renewable energy

Tesla's Gigafactory Isn't Big Enough For Its Battery Orders

As Elon Musk revealed in an earnings call earlier this week, heaps of people preordered Tesla’s new batteries — over 50,000 Powerwall units were reserved. Now some interesting maths, courtesy of Bloomberg: The 465,000 square metre Gigafactory planned outside of Reno probably isn’t big enough to make them all.


This Hydro-Power Dam Is A Beautiful Building Site

There’s something serene about this panoramic view of the large scale construction site lit by the morning sun. The Smithland hydroelectric facility in Kentucky has been under construction since 2010 — but as of this year it will generate 72 MW of new, renewable energy for the region.


Tesla's New Battery Could Solve One Of Solar Power's Biggest Problems

So far, specific details are thin on the new battery designed for home use that Tesla’s announcing next week. But just based on what we do know, it’s a pretty big deal. The quest for a good battery that can store home-generated power is kind of like the holy grail for a renewable energy future. This one product might change everything.


Facebook's Wind-Powered Data Centre Is Now Processing Your Posts

Facebook’s first data centre powered solely by renewable energy is now in operation in Altoona, Iowa. The centre was expected to open in 2015, so it’s ahead of schedule.


Helsinki Blasted Out An Underground Lake To Water-Cool Its Buildings

If you’ve visited Helsinki, you’ve probably spent time in its leafy Esplanade Park at the center of the city. Now Helsinki has turned the ground below the park into a subterranean lake which can keep buildings and other civic operations cool as part of a growing network that replaces traditional air conditioning systems.


Turkey's New Eco City Could Be Heated With Leftover Pistachio Shells

As one of the world’s largest producer of pistachios, Turkey has plenty of pistachio shells to go around. So, in the tradition of turning food waste into energy, officials are proposing to burn pistachio shells for heat in Turkey’s first ever eco city — and it’s not a totally nutty idea.


Pouring Saltwater Over Graphene Generates Electricity

A team of Chinese scientists did an impossible-sounding thing. They created electricity simply by dragging a droplet of saltwater across a layer of graphene. No big fires, no greenhouse gases, no fuss. They created energy with just a miracle material and one of the most plentiful substances on Earth.


Moss-Covered Table Uses Photosynthesis To Power An FM Radio

As an electricity source, what could be greener than plants? That’s the idea behind this rig, the world’s first system that powers an FM radio using nothing more than the photosynthetic powers of moss. And creators Fabienne Felder and Dr Paolo Bombelli are just getting started.


The Batteries Of The Future Could Be Powered By Rhubarb

Building the perfect battery is a hard problem. Batteries either too inefficient or too expensive or too unstable to power the renewable gadgets of the future. But a team of Harvard scientists just built a new kind of battery with a molecule found in food, and it could solve these problems.


Can Wave Energy Really Power Australia's Future?

CSIRO recently announced that energy from the ocean — also known as wave energy — could supply 11% of Australia’s demand by 2050. That is enough to power a city the size of Melbourne. It is a bold claim, but it’s time for Australia to look at the sea differently.