Solar Lights  

Posted by Big Gav

Here's yet another cool solar powered lighting alternative via TreeHugger.

There's no denying that public lighting is bound to remain an unavoidable evil in modern cities of the world. A quick zoom at the "Earth at night" map, sold by National geopraphic won't contradict this very basic truth. Imagine the energy needed to enlight the earth like that : in an article about the city of Albi who has started reducing electricity costs, french research institute CNRS estimates that global consumption of lighting equals more than 2,000 TWh in electric energy per year, which sums more than one-tenth (approximately) of global electricity production.

Obviously the realistic solution is not to aim for a complete removal of streetlights around the planet. The city of Albi (France) has chosen a light system that is better adapted to the human eye and produces the necessary light with less energy. That's one part of the solution to reduce global impact of public lighting.

Everlight, a swiss company, has a second solution to go forward, simple enough : photovoltaic panel take solar input and send electricity to batteries drum that give it back at night.

A few other interesting posts at TreeHugger include an announcement from Toyota and BP Biofuels that they are negotiating a research partnership on biofuels.
"BP, which distributes light ethanol and biodiesel blends in a number of countries, is especially interested in the potential for the development of biofuels from feedstocks that don’t require intensive farming—cellulosic ethanol from biomass waste, for example." We are very excited about cellulose ethanol (and not just because the technology is being developed in Ottawa), and having two giants like Toyota and BP interested in it is great news. We'll keep an eye open for the official announcement of a deal.

And finally, the Union of Concerned Scientists have a set of suggestions about how to improve SUVs.

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