Daily Green Wrap-up 20.September, 2012

One house spectacular house on display comes from design students from Universidad Cardenal Herrera (CEU) in Valencia. The team has submitted an updated version of their SML System House, which first unveiled at the Solar Decathlon 2010. As noted in our preview article, the improved design takes the prefabricated construction idea and successfully integrates modular building with a quality finish to create a sustainable structure that can be re-customized and expanded to meet changing needs.
Solar energy is clearly part of the solution to the problem of dwindling fossil-fuel reserves. It’s increasingly cheap, it’s the target of huge quantities of investment and entrepreneurship, thanks to innovations like CSP (Concentrating Solar Power). But if you flinch at the idea of a world dominated by flat panels and vaguely sinister solar receiver towers, take heart: many designers are looking at the natural world for inspiration. Here are 5 gorgeous examples of that ethos at work.
Archeologists from the Goethe University of Frankfurt an the Main have found evidence that even in the Bronze age, over 3 millenia ago, mankind’s unsustainable activities were devastating the environment — often at their own expense.
The U.S. National Park System currently encompasses more than 84 million acres of land in the United States, and if oil-funded politicians in Washington, D.C. get their way, those millions of protected acres could soon become the playground for the dirty energy industry.
The sunflower inspired a researcher to create a new solar panel system that rotates toward the sun, increasing the energy harvesting capability by 10 percent.
The cost of plug-in electric vehicles is right up there with perceived loss of convenience as a stumbling block for mass adoption of electric vehicles. To help figure out what it will take to climb over the cost hurdle, the U.S. Dept. of Energy would like to hear from you.

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