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Nan Ayers
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More good news
Everybody gets paralysed by bad news because they feel helpless, says Christiana Figueres the former UN climate chief who delivered the landmark Paris climate change agreement. It is so in our personal lives, in our national lives and in our planetary life.
But it is becoming increasingly clear that it does not need to be all bad news: a series of fast-moving global megatrends, spurred by trillion-dollar investments, indicates that humanity might be able to avert the worst impacts of global warming. From trends already at full steam, including renewable energy, to those just now hitting the big time, such as mass-market electric cars, to those just emerging, such as plant-based alternatives to meat, these trends show that greenhouse gas emissions can be halted.
If we were seeing linear progress, I would say good, but we’re not going to make it in time says Figueres, now the convener of the Mission 2020 initiative, which warns that the world has only three years to get carbon emissions on a downward curve and on the way to beating global warming. But the fact is we are seeing progress that is growing exponentially, and that is what gives me the most reason for hope.
No one is saying the battle to avert catastrophic climate change, floods, droughts, famine, mass migrations, has been won. But these megatrends show the battle has not yet been lost, and that the tide is turning in the right direction.
The important thing is to reach a healthy balance where we recognise that we are seriously challenged, because we really have only three years left to reach the tipping point says Figueres. But at the same time, the fact is we are already seeing many, many positive trends.
Michael Liebreich the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, agrees. “The good news is we are way better than we thought we could be. We are not going to get through this without damage. But we can avoid the worst. I am optimistic, but there is a long way to go.”
Also cautiously hopeful is climate economist Nicholas Stern at the London School of Economics. These trends are the start of something that might be enough, the two key words are ‘start’ and ‘might’. He says the global climate negotiations, continuing this week in Germany and aiming to implement the Paris deal, are crucial: The acceleration embodied in the Paris agreement is going to be critical.

1. Methane: getting to the meat
Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the main greenhouse gas, but methane and nitrous oxide are more potent and, unlike CO2, still rising. The major source is livestock farming, in particular belching cattle and their manure.
The world’s appetite for meat and dairy foods is rising as people’s incomes rise, but the simple arithmetic is that unless this is radically curbed, there is no way to beat global warming. The task looks daunting – people hate being told what to eat. However, just in the last year, a potential solution has burst on to the market: plant-based meat, which has a tiny environmental footprint.
What sounds like an oxymoron, food that looks and tastes just as good as meat or dairy products but is made from plants, has attracted heavy investment. The buzz is particularly loud in the US, where Bill Gates has backed two plant-based burger companies and Eric Schmidt, formerly CEO of Google, believes plant-based foods can make a “meaningful dent” in tackling climate change.
Perhaps even more telling is that major meat and dairy companies are now piling in with investments and acquisitions, such as the US’s biggest meat processor, Tyson, and multinational giants Danone and Nestlé. The Chinese government has just put $300m (£228m) into Israeli companies producing lab-grown meat, which could also cut emissions.
New plant-based products, from chicken to fish to cheese, are coming out every month.
We are in the nascent stage says Alison Rabschnuk at the US nonprofit group the Good Food Institute. “But there’s a lot of money moving into this area.”
Plant-based meat and dairy produce is not only environmentally friendly, but also healthier and avoids animal welfare concerns, but these benefits will not make them mass-market, she says: “We don’t believe that is what is going to make people eat plant-based food. We believe the products themselves need to be competitive on taste, price and convenience – the three attributes people use when choosing what to eat.”
Plant-based milks, soya, almond, oat and more, have led the way and are now about 10% of the market and a billion-dollar business in the US. But in the past year, sales of other meat and dairy substitutes have climbed 8%, with some specific lines, such as yoghurt, shooting up 55%. “I think the writing’s on the wall,” says Rabschnuk. Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson agrees. “I believe that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be [lab] or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone.”

2. Renewable energy: time to shine
The most advanced of the megatrends is the renewable energy revolution. Production costs for solar panels and wind turbines have plunged, by 90% in the past decade for solar, for example, and are continuing to fall. As a result, in many parts of the world they are already the cheapest electricity available and installation is soaring: two-thirds of all new power in 2016 was renewable.
This extraordinary growth has confounded expectations: the respected International Energy Agency’s annual projections have anticipated linear growth for solar power every year for the past decade. In reality, growth has been exponential.
China is leading the surge but the impact is being felt around the world: in Germany last week there was so much wind power that customers got free electricity.
In the US, enthusiasm for green energy has not been dented by President Donald Trump committing to repeal key climate legislation: $30bn has been invested since he signed an executive order in March. “I am no longer concerned about electric power,” says Figueres.

3. King coal: dead or dying
The flipside of the renewables boom is the death spiral of coal, the filthiest of fossil fuels. Production now appears to have peaked in 2013. The speed of its demise has stunned analysts. In 2013, the IEA expected coal-burning to grow by 40% by 2040, today it anticipates just 1%.
The cause is simple: solar and wind are cheaper. But the consequences are enormous: in pollution-choked China, there are now no provinces where new coal is needed, so the country has just mothballed plans for 151 plants. Bankruptcies have torn through the US coal industry and in the UK, where coal-burning began the industrial revolution, it has fallen from 40% of power supply to 2% in the past five years.
Last year, I said if Asia builds what it says it is going to build, we can kiss goodbye to 2C”, the internationally agreed limit for dangerous climate change says Liebreich. Now we are showing coal [plans] coming down. But he warns there is more to do.
Solar and wind are cheaper than new coal, he says, but a second tipping point is needed. That will occur when renewables are cheaper to build than running existing coal plants, meaning that the latter shut down. If renewable costs continue to fall as expected, this would happen between 2030 and 2040. At that point, says Liebrich, “Why keep digging coal out of the ground when you could just put up solar?”

4. Electric cars: in the fast lane
Slashing oil use, a third of all global energy, is a huge challenge but a surging market for battery-powered cars is starting to bite, driven in significant part by fast-growing concerns about urban air pollution.
China, again, is leading the way. It is selling as many electric cars every month as Europe and the US combined, with many from home-grown companies such as BYD. US-based Tesla is rolling out its more affordable Model 3 and in recent months virtually all major carmakers have committed to an electric future, with Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover announcing that they will end production of pure fossil-fuelled cars within three years.
We have a domino effect now says Figueres. These cars are “now being made for the mass market and that is really what is going to make the transformation”.
I don’t think it is going to slow down says Viktor Irle, an analyst at Drivers can see the direction of travel, he says, with a stream of choked cities and countries from Paris to India announcing future bans on fossil-fuelled cars.
It is true that global sales of electric cars have now achieved liftoff, quadrupling in the past three years, but they still make up only 1.25% of all new car sales. However, if current growth rates continue, as Irle expects, 80% of new cars will be electric by 2030.
The rapid rise of electric cars has left the oil giants, who have a lot to lose, playing catchup.
The oil cartel Opec has increased its estimate of the number of electric cars operative in 2040 by five times in the past year alone, with the IEA, ExxonMobil and BP all bumping up their forecasts too. Heavy transport remains a challenge, but even here ships are experimenting with wind power and batteries. Short-haul electric airplanes are on the drawing board, too.

5. Batteries: lots in store
Batteries are key to electric cars and, by storing energy for when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing, they are also vital when it comes to enabling renewable energy to reach its full potential. Here too, a megatrend is crushing prices for lithium-ion batteries, which are down 75% over the past six years. The International Renewable Energy Agency expects further falls of 50-66% by 2030 and a massive increase in battery storage, linked to increasingly smart and efficient digital power grids. In the UK alone, government advisers say a smart grid could save bill-payers £8bn a year by 2030, as well as slashing carbon emissions.
Fears that lithium-ion, the technology that dominates today, cannot be scaled up sufficiently are overblown, argues Liebreich, as the metal is not rare.
I think lithium-ion is a banker in that you can be sure it will get cheaper and you can be sure there is enough. He is also frustrated by frequent claims that a grid based on renewables and storage cannot be cheap and reliable: That stupidity and absolute certainty is in inverse proportion to any knowledge of how you run an electrical system.
It is true, however, that batteries will not be the solution for energy storage over weeks or months. For that, long-distance electricity interconnectors are being built and the storage of the energy as gas is also being explored.

6. Efficiency: negawatts over megawatts
Just as important as the greening of energy is reducing demand by boosting energy efficiency. It’s a no-brainer in climate policy, but it can be very tricky to make happen, as it requires action from millions of people.
Nonetheless, good progress is being made in places such as the EU, where efficiency in homes, transport and industry has improved by about 20% since 2000.
Improving the efficiency of gadgets and appliances through better standards is surprisingly important: a new UN Environment Programme report shows it makes the biggest impact of any single action bar rolling out wind and solar power.
But again, continued progress is vital. We need to drive energy efficiency very, very hard, even for European countries says Prof Kevin Anderson at the University of Manchester.
We could power down European energy use by about 40% in something like 10-15 years, just by making the most efficient appliances available the new minimum.
In countries with cool winters, better insulation is also needed, particularly as a fossil fuel, natural gas, currently provides a lot of heating. “What is a crime is every time a building is renovated but not renovated to really high standards,” says Liebreich, who thinks labelling such homes as “zero-energy-bill” homes, not “zero-carbon” homes, would help overcome opposition.
One sector that is lagging on energy efficiency is industry, but technology to capture and bury CO2 from plants is being tested and ways to clean up cement-making are also being explored.

7. Forests: seeing the wood
The destruction of forests around the world for ranching and farming, as well as for timber, causes about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is the biggest megatrend not yet pointing in the right direction: annual tree losses have roughly doubled since 2000.
This is particularly worrying as stopping deforestation and planting new trees is, in theory at least, among the cheapest and fastest ways of cutting carbon emissions.
But it is not getting the support it needs, says Michael Wolosin at Forest Climate Analytics. Climate policy is massively underfunding forests, they receive only about 2% of global climate finance. Furthermore, the $2.3bn committed to forests by rich nations and multilateral institutions since 2010 is tiny compared with the funding for the sectors that drive deforestation. “Brazil and Indonesia’s governments alone invested $276bn in the same timeframe, in just the four key driver commodities: palm oil, soy, beef and timber,” says Franziska Haupt at Climate Focus.
In fact, new research has shown that better land management could deliver a third of all the carbon cuts the world needs, and Wolosin says there are some grounds for hope that new forests can be planted. “Achieving large-scale forestation is not just theoretical. We know we can do it because a few countries have done it successfully.”
In the past two decades, tree-planting in China, India and South Korea has removed more than 12bn tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, three times the entire European Union’s annual emissions, Wolosin says.
This action was driven by fears about flooding and food supply, meaning that global warming needs to be seen as equally urgent in this sector. Regrowing forests can also play a crucial role in sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, which is likely to be necessary after 2050, unless very sharp cuts are made now.

The race against time
Will these megatrends move fast enough to avoid the worst of climate change? Opinions vary and Anderson is among the most hawkish. He says it remains possible for now, but is pessimistic that the action will be taken. “We’re pointing in the right direction but not moving [there]. We have to not just pursue renewables and electric vehicles and so forth, we have to actively close down the incumbent fossil fuel industry.”
Stern is cautiously optimistic, saying that what has changed in recent years is the realisation that green economic growth is the only long-term option: There is no long-run high-carbon growth story because it creates an environment so hostile that it turns development backwards.
There are some tremendous developments so I am very confident now we can do this, but the change, attractive as it is, has to be radical he says. Will we have the political and economic understanding and commitment to get there? I hope so.
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Good news
It’s often said you can’t make something out of nothing. Cody Friesen may have come as close to succeeding as anyone.
To show me his technological sleight of hand, Friesen invites me to a hillside house in Berkeley, California on a sunny afternoon. There, in a shaded courtyard, we each sample a cup of water that flows from a drinking fountain. The water is cool and delicious, and it was made out of thin air. Literally.
Nanomaterials, and physics, of course, played a role too. The drinking fountain is fed by a flexible pipe that leads to the house’s roof. There sit two Friesen’s devices, called Source Hydropanels. Each looks like solar panel mounted atop a metal box. The system extracts moisture out of the air at a rate of as much as five liters per day.

Friesen believes installations like this one could soon be providing clean, quality drinking water to homes, schools and businesses across the United States and beyond, and why not, to rural villages, desert towns or urban slums in the developing world.
Water stress is a human condition says Friesen, who is founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water, the Arizona-based startup that makes Source. “We want to guarantee access to safe drinking water for every person in the world, and fundamentally change the human relationship to water.”
Source is just for drinking water. The technology doesn't generate enough volume to be viable for general home or industrial use, let alone for irrigation. And Zero Mass Water has a long way to go before it can prove it can turn Friesen's cool tech into a viable business.
But Friesen, a materials scientist and professor of engineering at Arizona State University, has already installed the Source in eight countries, including Ecuador, Jordan, Mexico and the Philippines. In the U.S., his panels are collecting water at a Duke Energy facility in North Carolina, an office building in Santa Monica, Calif., some Bay Area residences, and a handful of homes and schools in Arizona, where despite the low humidity, Source produces roughly the same amount of water as in wetter climates. Zero Mass, which has raised $24 million from investors, begins selling the Source commercially in the United States on Wednesday.

Friesen’s clean water doesn’t come cheap. A typical setup for a home will set you back about $4500 -- $2000 for each of two Sources and an additional $500 for installation. Friesen says for a household that regularly buys bottled water, payback will take about five years. Considering that Americans drank, on average, 40 gallons of bottled water last year, he sees plenty of potential customers. Friesen says that over its lifetime, a two-panel set up may help to remove 70,000 plastic bottles from circulation.
But Friesen has a pitch and a plan to push Source well beyond homes. Consider a school that’s had issues with lead in its water. Installing an array of Source, say a dozen or two of the devices, could be cheaper than replacing decrepit infrastructure. Contamination doesn’t have to be on the scale of Flint, Michigan for the idea to make sense. Last year, the Los Angeles Unified School District, for example, spent nearly $20 million to retrofit or remove 48,000 contaminated drinking fountains. Zero Mass' backers believe numbers like these point to Source's viability not only for homes but also for institutions and organizations.
In developed markets, Source can be a choice for consumers, much like renewable energy is says Will Sarni a hydrologist and veteran water industry consultant, who advises Friesen part time. “It is absolutely a viable substitute that gets us away from capital-intensive, centralized water systems.”

Source works something like this: It draws ambient air through a fan into its devices. There, special nano-materials engineered by Zero Mass absorb the water through a process similar to what makes sugar in an open container clump with humidity. Similar, but highly concentrated, Friesen says. The solar panel then helps separate the water from the material. After it is condensed, it flows into a reservoir below the panel, where it runs through a mineral block that adds magnesium and calcium common in drinking water.
Friesen says a typical solar power installation creates valuable, but somewhat intangible output.
With us, you get to hold the result of that solar energy in a cup he says. It’s an unbelievable experience.
Friesen, who is 39, grew up in the Sonoran desert in Arizona. He earned an undergraduate degree in materials science at Arizona State University and a Ph.D. in the same field at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2007, he founded Fluidic Energy, which develops battery technology.
His work on water led him to found Zero Mass in 2014.
A year later, he was named to a Henry Crown Fellowship, a 20-year-old program of the Aspen Institute that seeks to “develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders.”
Alumni of the program include the likes of Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and venture capitalist Ellen Pao.
While in the program, Friesen met Aspen Institute fellow Skip Battle, a former tech exec who sits on the boards of Expedia, LinkedIn, Netflix, Workday and other companies.
Cody comes in three years ago Battle says. He’s going to get water out of the air. He’s done it Arizona. I said if he can do it there, he can surely get water out of the air in Kenya or Oakland.
Battle became an investor, joining Arnerich Massena’s 3x5 Partners, a growth-oriented fund, Material Impact, a Boston-based firm, and others, who invested over three rounds of financing.
There is an awful lot of far from pure water being drunk in the United States says Battle, whose Berkeley house Freisen took me for the demonstration of Source. And that’s not just in bad places. It would be so easy to include Source in any new construction.
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Some countries have leadership, not a millstone.
Renewables Provided 44.1% Of Germany’s Electricity In October, compared to less than 10% in the USA. The US March 2017 record of 10% electricity from renewables is at

See why (eco🌎+public health🌈+☮etc reasons) i installed ☀️ solar panels equivalent to planting 322 trees and why i drive an electric car equivalent to planting 382 trees (if the oil car would be refilled weekly) ► If your panels produce more electricity than you use, you get free charging for your car too, like me. 💜😊💜
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Hemp is the miracle plant of our time, breathing in 4x the carbon dioxide (CO2) of trees during it's quick 12-14 week growing cycle. Trees take 20 years to mature vs 4 months for Industrial Hemp! Our forests are being cut down 3x faster than they can grow! One acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber pulp as 4.1 acres of trees!!! Given how much deforestation happens due to toilet paper alone (15% of deforestation), the need of finding fast growing trees like hemp, moringa and others is more urgent than ever

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers GREW HEMP; (Washington and Jefferson Diaries). Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America. Hemp was in such demand in the colonies that taxes could be paid in hemp & fines were levied against farmers who did not grow hemp!

* Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America and it processed hemp. Also, the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow's export to England (Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer).

* For thousands of years, 90% of all ships' sails and rope were made from hemp. The word 'canvas' is Dutch for cannabis; (Webster's New World Dictionary).

* 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc. were made from hemp until the 1820s with the introduction of the cotton gin.

* Until 1883 more than 3/4 of the world's paper was made from hemp fiber. Hemp crops produce nearly 4 times as much raw fiber than equivalent tree plantations! Hemp paper is finer, stronger & lasts longer than wood-based papers. Bank notes & archival papers are made from hemp paper.

The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross's flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp (U.S. Government Archives).

* The first crop grown in many states was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for Kentucky producing 40,000 tons. Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th Century; (State Archives).

* Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5000 years in China. For more than 1000 years before the time of Christ until 1883 AD Cannabis Sativa was our planet's most important industry for thousands of products & enterprises producing the overall majority of the earth's fiber, fabric, lighting oil, incense, fibreglass replacement, lightweight sandwich boards, composite woods, kitty litter, potting mix, nappies, feminine care products, fuel, medicines & paper, as well as a primary source of protein for humans & animals.

Consider a few more facts about hemp:
• Hemp does not require herbicides or pesticides.
• Hemp can be grown in a wide range of latitudes and altitudes.
• Hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen, making it an excellent rotational crop.
• Hemp controls erosion of the topsoil.
• Hemp converts CO2 to oxygen better than trees.
• Hemp produces more oil than any other crop, which can be used for food, fuel, lubricants, soaps, etc.
• Hemp nut is a very healthy food, being the highest protein crop (after soybean) and high in omega oils.
• Hemp can be used for making plastics, including car parts.
• Hemp makes paper more efficiently and ecologically than wood, requiring no chemical glues.
• Hemp can be used to make fiberboard.
• Hemp can be used to make paint.
• Hemp can produce bio-fuel and ethanol (better than corn).
• Hemp can be grown more than once per year.
• Hemp fibers can make very strong rope and textiles.

See why (eco🌎+public health🌈+☮etc reasons) i installed ☀️ solar panels equivalent to planting 322 trees and why i drive an electric car equivalent to planting 382 trees (if the oil car would be refilled weekly) ► If your panels produce more electricity than you use, you get free charging for your car too, like me. 💜😊💜
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How solar energy saved a Puerto Rican farm from Hurricane Maria

While his competitors wait for diesel to restart generators knocked out by Hurricane Maria, flower grower Hector Santiago is already back in business because of solar panels powering his 40-acre (16.2-hectare) nursery in central Puerto Rico.

The U.S. territory is in a near blackout, its electricity grid shredded by the storm that slammed into the island on Sept 20. But Santiago’s decorative plant and poinsettia nursery, set amid the jagged peaks of the Barranquitas farming area, has kept working thanks to the $300,000 he invested in 244 solar panels six years ago.

“Everybody told me I was crazy because it was so expensive. Now I have power and they don‘t,” said Santiago, whose flowers are sold in Puerto Rico, at outlets like Costco, and throughout the Caribbean.

While Santiago’s nursery was considerably damaged during the storm, many plants were destroyed and the roofs of some greenhouses blew off, he was able to regroup quickly, with electricity to keep pumping water from his two wells.

Another good case for having decentralised generating capacity.

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I wonder what it costs..
Everyone knows that areas stricken with natural disasters take time, effort, money and often depend on tedious political negotiations before recovery becomes feasible. Restoring electricity in such areas is one of the more crucial aspects of emergency response, and this novel solar panel technology can do this almost instantly.

Flat Holm is an island in the middle of the Bristol Channel in Great Britain composed of limestone, and although that image has quite the scenic appeal, it hardly exhausts the extent of the island’s charm. The scientific community considers it especially valuable in light of its plant- and bird-life, a preserved domain of nature, which of course attracts the steady flow of tourists. But recently, the geographic treasure has also become a site of human-animal co-existence that goes beyond symbolic gestures and passive preservation; enter the pioneer technology for solar energy called the Rapid Roll system.
Developed by U.K. tech company Renovagen, based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, the Rapid Roll system lets you unfurl solar panels like a carpet from behind a truck. The idea came from John Hingley, managing director at Renovagen, who first conceptualized this scaled-up mobile solar technology five years ago.
Flat Holm decided to use this technology after Renovagen won a small business contest in 2016 for innovative use of renewable energy.
We were looking at solar and hydro, but that takes up a lot of land and land in cities is expensive Gareth Harcombe, Cardiff Council’s energy and sustainability manager, told the BBC.
Flat Holm’s solar panels generate an average of 11KW of power, connected to batteries that can store 24KW/h. That’s roughly a day’s worth of energy for the island’s four inhabitants, as well as for the tourists who frequent Flat Holm.
Best of all, the Rapid Roll solar panels can last up to 10 years.
The Rapid Roll panels are packed in 4×4 trailers, which carry enough solar panels to power a mobile clinic with 120 beds or to desalinate 25,000 liters of seawater daily, and is particularly suited for Flat Holm’s environmental and logistical needs.
Compared with traditional rigid panels, we can fit up to 10 times the power in this size container Hingley explained to the BBC.

According to Renovagen’s website, the Rapid Roll system was designed above all for fast deployment. That’s particularly useful in areas that don’t have ready-access to a regular energy source, like Flat Holm, or for areas devastated by natural disasters.
Indeed it has the potential to save lives by, for example, reducing or eliminating the need for military fuel convoys or by powering medical facilities in disaster zones.
In Puerto Rico, for example, which was recently struck by hurricane Maria, some places still don’t have electricity. Recovery, according to CNN, has been moving at “a glacial pace.”
Restoring power is crucial in disaster-stricken areas.
Electricity powers communication networks and provides a modicum of normalcy in the disrupted lives of the people affected by such calamities. A staggering 55 percent of Puerto Rico’s population were reported without drinkable water following Hurricane Maria. Although it may be too late this time, rapid-deploy solar panels could potentially assuage much of this kind of suffering, in the near future.
With a technology like Renovagen’s Rapid Roll solar panels, restoring electricity to typhoon and hurricane ravaged areas won’t be as difficult.
As the company said in their FAQs it’s not necessary to have solar engineers model the specific site and calculate particular solar field positions and configurations before deployment, the Rapid Roll will work anywhere and will make the most out of the set of conditions encountered.
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How can science NOT be celebrated? Well perhaps by corporate persons who'd rather sell water to a thirsty world. 🤓
Tiny Solar Device Rapidly Disinfects Water With Nanoflakes & “Eager Electrons”

A tiny device, half the size of a postage stamp, which can rapidly disinfect water with solar energy, has been developed by researchers at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. While the nanostructured device has only been tested with small amounts of water, and on three strains of bacteria, the little gadget shows promise in the quest for affordable and effective low-power water purification solutions.

This gadget, because it’s small and made from a “cheap and easy to make” material, molybdenum disulfide, could eventually be a viable solution for point-of-use water disinfection, either in the developing world or for emergency situations.

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This is Really cool 😎
Most of us have heard of solar water heaters. Now there’s a solar water cooler and the technology may sharply lower the cost of industrial-scale air conditioning and refrigeration.
The new water coolers are panels that sit atop a roof, and they’re made of three components.
The first is a plastic layer topped with a silver coating that reflects nearly all incoming sunlight, keeping the panel from heating up in the summer sun.
The plastic layer sits atop the second component, a snaking copper tube. Water is piped through the tube, where it sheds heat to the plastic.
That heat is then radiated out by the plastic at a wavelength in the middle region of the infrared (IR) spectrum, which is not absorbed by the atmosphere and instead travels all the way to outer space. Finally, the whole panel is encased in a thermally insulating plastic housing that ensures nearly all the heat radiated away comes from the circulating water and not the surrounding air.

Researchers at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, recently placed three water cooling panels, each 0.37 square meters, atop a building on campus and circulated water through them at a rate of 0.2 liters every minute.
They report today in Nature Energy that their setup cooled the water as much as 5°C below the ambient temperature over 3 days of testing. They then modeled how their panels would behave if integrated into a typical air conditioning unit for a two-story building in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The results: Their setup would lower the building’s air conditioning electrical demand by 21% over the summer.

It’s an excellent paper says Ronggui Yang a mechanical engineer at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who earlier this year reported the development of a plastic film that cools everything it touches up to 10°C.
Because the plastic IR-emitting materials are commercially available in large quantities, it shows that the technology has the potential to be scaled up, Yang says.
It shows a promising direction for real world use.
Aaswath Raman a physicist and member of the Stanford team, says that since conducting this initial experiment, he and his colleagues formed a startup company called SkyCool Systems in Burlingame, California, to commercialize the technology.
The company has scaled up the panels to 1.65 square meters each, and is now conducting a larger field trial in Davis, California.
Because cooling systems consume roughly 15% of all electricity and account for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, Raman says, the new water coolers could make a dramatic impact on global energy use.
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Look what my friends did with 48 hours...
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California wants to spend 3 billion on electric car rebate, moving the electric car rebate from $2500 to $10000, for small compact cars. This would make California the greenest state and given the federal 7500$ tax credit, it will slash prices by 17500 for all small electric cars, making many cheaper than cheapest gasoline cars. California spent 0.449 billion on electric car rebates last 7 years, but this didn't really do much, just 75000 electric and plug in electric cars sold.

See why (eco🌎+public health🌈+☮etc reasons) i installed ☀️ solar panels equivalent to planting 322 trees and why i drive an electric car equivalent to planting 382 trees (if the oil car would be refilled weekly) ► If your panels produce more electricity than you use, you get free charging for your car too, like me. 💜😊💜
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