It can be easy to get discouraged when looking at the impact that humans are making on the global climate. This post focuses on the positive advances that are being made, and technologies used to help reduce greenhouse emissions (especially carbon and methane).
Efforts To Reduce Dependence On Fossil Fuels
- Denmark creates more wind energy than it can use
- India’s biggest producer of renewable energy
- Germany plans to use 80% renewable energy, by 2050
- England is building the largest offshore wind farm
- Costa Rica went 250 days without burning any fossil fuels
Wind Turbine Advancement
- Bladeless wind turbines
- Dish wind turbines
- Altaeros Bat – high altitude wind turbines
- Enlil vertical rotor wind turbines for highways & waterfront locations
- New & revolutionary wind turbine designs
- Dual Rotor Design (published research)
- 6 vertical rotors
- Solar FREAKIN’ roadways
- Solar panel roof tiles
- Solar panel window blinds
- Self-cleaning solar panels
- Transparent solar cells (can be used for windows in buildings and vehicles)
Hydro Turbine Advancement
- Wave energy turbines; Various systems available
- Innovations with hydro-energy from dams
- Turbulent Vortex turbines for creeks & rivers
- Blue Freedom mini turbine
- Tiny hydro turbines (Portland, Oregon’s municipal water pipelines)
Kinetic Energy Generators
Fuel Efficient Cars
- Hybrid cars
- Solar roof
- Regenerative breaking (Tesla’s system)
- Adaptive cruise control (reduces fuel usage)
- GPS tracking & wireless communications
- Vehicle management
- Smart parking
- Turbo-charged engines (smaller engine, but more power)
- Self driving cars
- The benefits & trouble with hydrogen fuel cells
Innovative Forms of Transportation
- Photosynthesis bike (Captures carbon)
- Mag-Lev trains
- Hyperloop trains
- Suntory Mermaid II wave powered boat
- Solar & wind assisted ships
- Electric ships
- Concept of 0 emissions cruise ship design
- Pipistrel Alpha Electro
- Problems with large electric planes (disclaimer: lots of mathematics used in the explanation)
- Low carbon fuels
- Electric cars (if coal is burned for electricity, the benefit to the climate drops)
- Air compressed hybrid cars
Traffic Signal Synchronization
- GravityLight 2
- A Liter of Light
- Floor tiles that use kinetic footfalls to power street lights or building lights
- Piezoelectric roof (rain & wind generates electricity), created by Raymond Wang (14 years old)
- ITER Tokamak (a joint effort between China, European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States)
- Canada’s development of fusion
- Fusion energy explained
- Why I changed my mind about nuclear power
- Thorium nuclear fuel (more stable, longer lasting, less waste), LFTR Thorium reactor
Carbon Capture Technology
- Capture CO2 for growing plants, etc…
- Making thermoplastic by pulling methane out of the air!
- Building in Mexico City breaks down air pollutants, erasing the effect of 1,000 cars each day
- Smog-guzzling building in Italy
- Smog Eating Roadways
- Inexpensive, efficient liquid metal batteries
- Nano liquid batteries
Common Ways To Reduce Climate Impact
- Refuse/Reduce/Reuse/Repair/Recycle (including with packaging)
- Reduce the use of heat & air conditioning. Replace filters.
- Insulate and prevent heat loss (i.e weather stripping, caulking, etc…)
- Lower temperature of water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Insulate water heater. Install low flow shower heads.
- Use LED or CFL bulbs. Turn off lights, when not in use.
- Use bikes, public transportation, walk, or carpool. Plan your trips to drive less. Live close to work to minimize commute. Don’t idle your car.
- Teleconference and telecommunicate more & drive less.
- Maintain vehicle operations and tire pressure.
- Buy energy efficient appliances and other products. Hang dry clothes.
- Turn off electronics and chargers when they are not in use. Power down systems that run in the background.
- Eat less meat and less processed foods. Buy local foods and eat the food you buy.
- Use cloth towels instead of paper, and use multiple times before washing.
- Use reusable bags. Take lunch in Tupperware.
- Plant a tree and maintain the health of existing trees.
- Encourage others to conserve, particularly by setting a positive example.
Students did not want to stop there. This year, students are pursuing one of the other important topics that came up, protecting the world from plastic pollution.