SolarCity. Make the switch to better energy.

April 27, 2012 in Solar

Founded in 2006 in San Mateo, California, the rockstar company SolarCity provides (among many offerings) the opportunity for homeowners to switch to solar  —  wait for it — for free. Even with generous incentives (subsidies, feed-in tariffs, rebates, SRECs), homeowners often shy away from investing in solar energy due to the high initial investment cost (~$10,000-$20,000 before […]

Where are they now? Zoom in on Humdinger, Purpose Energy, Altaeros.

April 24, 2012 in Random Cool

The following projects were documented on Watt Now over one year ago.  Where are they now? Humdinger.  Wind Energy Reinvented. Purpose Energy.  Saving the earth.  One beer at a time. Altaeros Energies.  High Altitude Wind Power.   Humdinger. Original article: March 21, 2011.  Watt Now kicked off over one year ago with the Humdinger wind-belt, a radical […]

Ciguë. A second [and much more aesthetically pleasing] life for objects.

April 20, 2012 in Recycling

Ciguë, based in Montreuil – the burgeoning creative suburb of Paris, is a unique architecture collective that explores design through a DIY hands-on process.  Instead of relying primarily on sketches, [the six architects that make up Ciguë] focus on handling and understanding materials, objects, and surroundings to inspire their creations. Though the collective is not regimented […]

3-D Solar. Up to 20x more power than flat panels.

April 8, 2012 in Solar

Numerous companies – 1366, Bandgap, Twin Creeks, and more – are striving to optimize solar cell efficiency or manufacturing to bring down solar costs. Regardless of the innovative process, the end-result is generally the same: a flat panel that is fixed on a rooftop or other surface. A team of researchers at MIT is considering […]

TinkerToys. E-waste to e-toys.

April 2, 2012 in Appropriate Technology, Recycling

Designer/engineer Dhairya Dand is the brain behind ThinkerToys, an open-source project to recycle and convert electronic waste into fun, educational toys. Dand, a researcher at Singapore’s Keio-NUS Cute Center and Mixed Reality Lab, developed the idea for ThinkerToys during a trip to Cambodia, where he witnessed a landfill site just outside of Phnom Penh brimming with […]

Watt Now turns… 1 !

March 30, 2012 in Random Cool

Watt Now started on March 21, 2011 as a personal project to learn about renewable energy. 1 year and 128 posts later, the website has developed into a deep exploration of innovation in cleantech and sustainability – from solar.  wind.  and biotech.  to recycling.  to crazy storage technologies.  to efficiency.  to transportation.  to appropriate technologies that […]

AIRE. Charge your iPhone – by breathing.

March 28, 2012 in Wind

Rio de Janeiro-based designer João Lammoglia recently won a Red Dot Design award for his innovative face mask device baptized “AIRE“, which converts heavy breathing into usable electricity. The AIRE mask boasts an aesthetic that borders between cool — and creepy.  But if we manage to look beyond the Hannibal Lecter resemblance, the AIRE is […]

BlablaCar. Share the cost!

March 26, 2012 in Transportation

Founded in 2006, BlablaCar is a European car-sharing website with over 1.6 million members in France, Spain, and the UK.  The site connects drivers with empty seats and paying passengers — with the objective to reduce cost and carbon emissions for all involved.  And above all, the site encourages social “blabla” fixtures such as profiles […]

SolarFuel. Smart Energy Conversion.

March 23, 2012 in Energy Storage, Solar, Transportation, Wind

SolarFuel, a Stuttgart, Germany-based startup, is developing a Power-to-Gas (P2G) technology which converts wind and solar-generated electricity  into “storable” synthetic CO2-neutral natural gas. The key challenge facing the successful integration of renewable sources (re. solar, wind) into grid infrastructure is intermittency. Renewable electricity is generated irregularly – when the sun is shining or the wind is […]

Brite Solar. The future is Brite.

March 21, 2012 in Solar

Brite Solar, based in Athens, Greece, is developing 3rd generation photovoltaic technology to produce solar windows for homes and office buildings. Brite Solar’s PanePower Solar Technology is based on Building Integrated PV (BIPV) market, growing substantially from $528 million in 2008 to

Twin Creeks Technologies. A new era in thin crystalline wafers.

March 19, 2012 in Solar

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the San Jose-based “stealth” solar company Twin Creeks that recently came out of hiding with its ground-breaking Proton Induced Exfoliation (PIE) manufacturing technology that efficiently produces ultra-thin solar cells to reduce solar cell costs by up to 50%. Like 1366 Technologies, Twin Creeks optimizes solar panel manufacturing by […]

Tree Nation. Let’s plant trees for a better planet.

March 14, 2012 in Climate

Tree Nation, with a small dynamic team based in Barcelona, Spain, is building an online community dedicated to fighting climate change by simply… planting trees! Partnering with UNEP (UN Environment Programme) and its Plant for the Planet campaign since 2006, Tree Nation’s tree-investing community is growing rapidly with over 90,000 people and 120 European and international […]