Category Archives: Sustainability

Analysis: The Future Of Geothermal Energy

Miles below the Earth’s surface, there’s enough thermal energy to power all of humanity for the foreseeable future. It’s called geothermal energy, and it’s poised to play an increasingly large role as a source of always available, renewable power. Now, there are a number of startups in the geothermal space, working to figure out how to access this heat in difficult to reach geographies, at a price point that makes sense. And it’s even gotten the attention of oil and gas industry giants, who are interested in greening their portfolios while sticking to their core competencies – extracting energy resources from deep within the Earth. 

Earth Day – April 22, 2021: ‘Our Planet, Our Home’

NASA Earth science studies our planet all day, every day. By tracking the movement of our natural systems – and the effect of human activity on them – we can understand the patterns, causes and results of climate change on the elemental activities that sustain us.

On Earth Day, April 22, we take time to celebrate this wondrous planet with special discussions, events (virtual) and activities. Like our satellites, however, NASA’s Earth science goes on year-round, and we continuously create videos, activities, news and more to tell the story of what’s happening on and with our planet – and all always offered free and open to the public.

For the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, NASA created a special package of materials designed to mark Earth Day at Home. This included activities, videos, special programs and other materials in English and Spanish. You can find them all archived here.

Analysis: Recycling ‘End-Of-Life EV Batteries’ (CNBC)

Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere — in phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and increasingly cars. Demand for lithium-ion batteries has risen sharply in the past five years and is expected to grow from a $44.2 billion market in 2020 to a $94.4 billion market by 2025, mostly due to the boom in electric cars.

And a shortage of lithium-ion batteries is looming in the U.S. Former Tesla CTO and Elon Musk’s right-hand man, JB Straubel, started Redwood Materials in 2017 to help address the need for more raw materials and to solve the problem of e-waste. The company recycles end-of-life batteries and then supplies battery makers and auto companies with materials in short supply as EV production surges around the world. Straubel gave CNBC an inside look at its first recycling facility in Carson City, Nevada. Watch the video to learn why battery recycling will be an essential part in making EV production more sustainable.

Design: Geothermal Baths Built In Iceland By Basalt Architects (Video)

Basalt Architects has used marine-grade concrete to build Guðlaug Baths, a geothermal pool on Langisandur Beach in Iceland. The baths consist of a three-tiered structure, with a viewing deck on the top, a warm geothermal pool in the middle, and a cold-water pool at the bottom.

Read more on Dezeen: https://www.dezeen.com/?p=1621561​

Top Innovation & Design: ‘Sunne’ – Indoor Window Solar Lamp (Video)

Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel has developed a solar lamp that is designed to be hung in front of windows so it can generate its own energy.

Called Sunne, the light is equipped with photovoltaic cells and an integrated battery, allowing it to harvest and store enough energy throughout the day to light up a room at night. Van Aubel designed the lamp as part of an ongoing project to normalise solar technology by bringing it inside homes.

“To facilitate a shift in our perception towards solar, it also needs to be more accessible to a larger group of people,” she told Dezeen. “People need to be able to familiarise themselves with it and have it in their surroundings. Sunne is a first step to integrating solar energy into our everyday life.”

Read more on Dezeen: https://www.dezeen.com/?p=1619138

Analysis: ‘The Rise Of Wind Power In The U.S.’ (Video)

In the past decade, wind power capacity has tripled, and it’s projected to double in the decades to come. Wind is now America’s top renewable source of electricity generation, and the domestic offshore industry is finally taking off, as major manufacturers debut ever larger and more powerful turbines. While the industry faces some challenges with permitting, public opposition from various interest groups, and the obvious intermittency issues, there’s no doubt that wind is poised to play a major role in the energy transition. The question is just how fast it will grow.

Green Buildings: ‘Science & Energy Complex’ At Harvard (Video Tour)

Harvard’s much-anticipated Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) in Allston is complete. The SEC is home to a portion of Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Labs are setting up (some are already operational), furniture has been moved in, and offices are being transitioned. Assuming continued progress in controlling the virus, it will be open to students in the Fall of 2021. Join us for a look inside the new SEC – one of the most innovative, healthiest and energy-efficient buildings in the world!

Analysis: ‘Can Air Flights Go Green?’ (Video)

Covid-19 has caused the worst crisis in aviation’s history. Is this the industry’s moment for a green reset—and which technologies offer the best hope?