The Green Wrap-up 28.December, 2012

It’s almost time to ring in 2013! Once you toast the New Year with delicious fruit-filled bubbly drinks, get things off to a great start by cracking open a homemade organic fortune cookie customized with words of wisdom for your children for the coming year!
A year ago, as the curtain was closing on 2011, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood in front of an audience at the United Nations and declared that it would be cities, not national governments, that would lead the fight against climate change.
Could the introduction of more affordable electric vehicles to the consumer market push the EV industry to a tipping point?
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and their industry partner Solar Junction, have just set the bar even higher in the race for ultra-high-effiency photovoltaic (PV) cells by achieving another world record of 44% efficiency.
One area where a lot of progress has been made over the past few decades is solar panels, yet there’s still a lot of headroom left to push things further. That’s exactly what a new DARPA-funded project is trying to do by using nanostructured materials to make solar panels much more efficient than they currently are.
A new project in Detroit will upcycle 93 shipping containers into a luxury multi-family home, aptly named The Power of Green Housing Development. The apartment complex will be the first luxury multi-family home in the United States made from shipping containers.
  • (Ally)GreenJoyment: Having spent a great deal of time in Detroit, I think that it’s a great place for projects like this. There is a ton of abandoned acreage that can be purchased for jaw-droppingly low prices. Constructing modern, experimental designs there could very well help with the city’s efforts at rejuvenation.
Critics of wind power all like to point out the same problem with turbine technology: “What happens when the wind doesn’t blow”? Apple, usually a maker of products that consume energy, recently filed for a patent that may answer that question once and for all.

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