This week at TreeHugger: Across the pond, the Brits are planning to build 7,000 new wind turbines off Britain's coast by 2020, effectively producing enough electricity — 33 gigawatts — to power all of the country's homes. Want a real hydrogen fuel cell car? GM will be giving some Equinox Fuel Cell crossovers away for free (for a few months — then you have to give it back) to a select few lucky folks, with a few strings attached. Because the pics are cool: get up close and personal with Google's new array, the largest single corporate solar installation in the world. Lastly, say hello to "litroenergy," a new type of material that emits light for 12 years without needing electricity or sun exposure; there's just one caveat: it's radioactive.
Providing further proof that many Brits are full of hot air (just kidding, mates), Gordon Brown's government is set to unveil an ambitious proposal to build 7,000 new wind turbines off Britain's coast by 2020, effectively producing enough electricity — 33 gigawatts — to power all of the country's homes. Currently, Britain's offshore wind farm system produces around 2 gigawatts, enough to power roughly 1.5m homes; the government hopes to meet the EU's target of producing 20% of energy by renewable sources by 2020 with its planned expansion. The plan would result in a turbine being build for every half mile of coastline.
Want a free hydrogen fuel cell car? Raise your hands now; beginning in January, General Motors will be providing 100 people with the Equinox Fuel Cell crossover, for free, three-month tests — no, you don't get to keep the cars — and it's just for every shmoe who promises not to crash leaving the parking lot. G.M. will be giving the Equinox to people that have been "active in its online forums for fuel-cell vehicles," and there's the small caveat of also residing near a hydrogen filling station. If you get your hands on one, take heed and be fairly warned: the Equinox is valued at a cool $1 million, so try to keep from wrapping it around a telephone pole.
Just because the pictures are cool: take a closer look at the largest the largest single corporate solar installation in the world, owned by the smartypants at Google. The company says the freshly-installed solar panels have cut its grid energy consumption by 30 percent and will pay for itself within seven years. Google shouldn't display the "largest corporate installation" trophy too prominently; the solar geeks at Wal-Mart say they have plans to build one more than 10 times the size of the one at Google. Now that's a lot of smiley faces.
Lastly, look, enjoy, but don't get too close to "litroenergy," a new material that emits light for 12 years without needing electricity or solar exposure. The self-luminous micro-particles are called Litrospheres and are said to be non-toxic (hmm) and inexpensive (double-hmm), and the light is said to be equivalent to a 20 watt incandescent bulb. It sounds too good to be true, and it is: the glow in the dark magic sticks are radioactive.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Wednesday on Gizmodo.