Portland, Oregon, on the West Coast of the United States, is powering its electricity grid using … drinking water. Yes, you read that right. The city’s main energy company, Portland General Electric, is partnering with Lucid Energy to generate electricity from the water flowing under its streets and through its pipes. How so? By integrating […]

Did you know? Hugging a tree, even touching it, will likely make you healthier. And just being around trees has beneficial effects. Nature & Health magazine reports that, “Tree-hugging has been shown to specifically benefit depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), headaches, muscle weakness, stress and poor concentration.” Studies especially in Asia have long suggested […]

One goal, two pioneers, three remarkable world tours between them: the first in a balloon, the second in Solar Impulse, the renowned solar-powered aircraft, and the third, less widely known, in a solar boat called PlanetSolar. Less famous than Bertrand Piccard who accomplished the first two global tours, Swiss solar navigator and aviator Raphaël Domjan nevertheless has […]

Everyone knows how dangerous nuclear energy can be. No so long ago, the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 caused three meltdowns and the release of radioactive material the next day.  Time will tell whether cancer cases and deaths from radiation exposure following the […]

“There is surprising – even shocking – good news: Our ability to convert sunshine into usable energy has become much cheaper far more rapidly than anyone had predicted. The cost of electricity from photovoltaic, or PV, solar cells is now equal to or less than the cost of electricity from other sources powering electric grids […]

As Bill Clinton said, “It’s quite extraordinary, really; you kick a ball and turn on a light.” This is all about a ball of energy, a soccer ball of energy. The two entrepreneurial American women, Julia Silverman and Jessica Matthews, who had the idea, thought to “put a mechanism inside the ball that harnesses the kinetic energy […]

“Believe it or not, the electric storage battery — a technology that has been around since the eighteenth century — could change the economic course of the twenty-first century. Thanks to breakthroughs on the horizon, batteries qualify as one of 12 disruptive technologies that the McKinsey Global Institute has identified.” That paragraph is how a […]

Good news has been published about a vaccine that might help people with diabetes produce their own insulin. The injection helps reduce the number of cells that attack the needed insulin-producing cells. Diabetes occurs in people whose pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or whose cells do not react to the insulin produced. Insulin is a hormone […]

“How would you run a whole country without oil?” That’s what Shai Agassi is asking. Agassi is the founder of Better Place, which has developed a model and infrastructure for using electric cars as an alternative to fossil fuel technology (see The Good Times story of August 2011). His answer is to convert an entire country (in […]

Biotechnology or biotech is not just the weird stuff that goes on in Michael Crichton novels (for example Jurassic Park, Next, Prey or The Andromeda Strain). According to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, it is “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific […]