The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Driving Cars Powered by Organic Solar Cells Might Be Closer Than You Think
The German solar company Heliatek has set a new record for organic solar cells, a type of photovoltaic that uses organic electronics to produce electricity, by increasing its efficiency to 13.2 percent. This may not sound very impressive, but organic solar cells boasted a mere 3 percent efficiency just a decade ago.
"Organic solar cells are far less efficient than their silicon cousins, but they are also far less expensive," CleanTechnica explained. "They are also flexible and transparent (or semi-transparent), so they can be used over a huge range of applications including buildings and yes, cars."
While entire cars coated in solar cells are not yet commercially available, spray-on solar paint utilizing organic solar cells has made recent advancements. In 2014, Mercedes-Benz debuted its G-Code concept car, which is finished in "multi-voltaic silver" paint that harvests solar and wind energy.
The company is also targeting solar sun roof manufacturers as partners, as it's been developing solar window technology for several years.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions, which has been newly infused with $20 million in funds, issued its first ever call to launch new energy technologies from national laboratories to market.
"That's significant," CleanTechnica said, "because U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been all over organic solar cells like white on rice, and it is already partnering with the private sector on ramping up OPV [organic photovoltaic] efficiency. The new cash infusion should help step things up a notch."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."