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Trends and Innovations
  • These hyper-efficient solar panels could actually live on your roof soon
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    The clean energy boffins in their labs are always upping the theoretical limit on how much power you can get out of sunshine, but us plebes actually installing solar cells are stuck with years-old tech that’s not half as good as what they’re seeing. This new design from Insolight could... Read more »
  • SeaBubbles shows off its ‘flying’ all-electric boat in Miami
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    We were promised flying cars but, as it turns out, flying boats were easier to build. SeaBubbles, a “flying” boat startup that uses electric power instead of gas, hit Miami this weekend to show off one of its five prototype boats — or six, if you count an early, windowless white... Read more »
  • How to decarbonize America — and the world
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    Ramez Naam Contributor More posts by this contributor The Ultimate Interface Is Your Brain The Green New Deal has burst onto the American stage, spurring more conversation about – and aspiration for – ambitious climate policy than at any point in at least a decade. I’m glad to see it. Suddenly, climate is on the... Read more »
  • By Humankind picks up $4M to rid your morning routine of single-use plastic
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    Single-use plastics are the scourge of the environment, which is why many lawmakers are working to eliminate them. Today, a new brand is launching to try to eliminate single-use plastic in the area of personal care. With $4 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau (with participation from Red Sea... Read more »
  • VW’s Electrify America will use Tesla battery packs to lower charging costs
    Electrify America, the entity set up by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with U.S. regulators over its diesel emissions cheating scandal, plans to install Tesla Powerpack battery systems at more than 100 of its electric vehicle charging stations this year. Electrify America aims to use the Tesla Powerpacks to offset... Read more »
  • Aurora Solar’s computer-generated installation maps pull in a $20M Series A
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    Solar installations are becoming a no-brainer for anyone with a roof in much of the country. But getting an estimate on how much it would cost and how much juice it would generate can be complicated and time-consuming. Aurora Solar has made an automated process for doing this, and attracted... Read more »
  • Let’s save the bees with machine learning
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    Machine learning and all its related forms of “AI” are being used to work on just about every problem under the sun, but even so, stemming the alarming decline of the bee population still seems out of left field. In fact it’s a great application for the technology and may... Read more »
  • Starting with data centers, Carbon Relay is slashing energy costs and emissions using AI
    Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn International is backing Carbon Relay, a Boston-based startup emerging from stealth today that’s harnessing the algorithms used by companies like Facebook and Google for artificial intelligence to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the technology industry’s own backyard — the data center. Already, the computing demands of the... Read more »
  • Sustainable Ocean Alliance nets $1.5 million donation from Benioffs
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    Healthy oceans are on the minds of Marc and Lynne Benioff, and they showed it today with a $1.5 million donation to the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), a new nonprofit attempting to promote and incubate conservation-focused startups. The money will considerably expand the organization’s upcoming Ocean Solutions accelerator. Benioff appeared... Read more »
  • Google launches clean energy project in Taiwan, its first in Asia
    Google has launched its first clean energy project in Asia. The company announced today that it struck a long-term agreement to buy the output of a 10-megawatt solar array in Tainan City, Taiwan, about 100 km south of its data center in the country. Google already has solar and... Read more »
  • GBatteries let you charge your car as quickly as visiting the pump
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    A YC startup called GBatteries has come out of stealth with a bold claim: they can recharge an electric car as quickly as it takes to fill up a tank of gas. Created by aerospace engineer Kostya Khomutov, electrical engineers Alex Tkachenko and Nick Sherstyuk, and CCO Tim Sherstyuk, the company... Read more »
  • Geoengineering could solve our climate problems if anyone allowed it
    This weekend, I finished reading Oliver Morton’s The Planet Remade (thanks to reader Eliot Peper for recommending it). Morton has a multitude of goals with the book, but there were two I think are deeply valuable. First, geoengineering is a plausible approach to solving our climate problems this century, and... Read more »
  • Testing times for second wave scooter startups
    Investors are still pouring millions into scooter startups, albeit sometimes at flat valuations. At the same time a little cash is flowing the other way, in cases where cities have realized the importance of prioritizing the needs of the local environment and its citizens, over and above the ambitions of VCs... Read more »
  • Oil and gas giants Chevron and Occidental are backing tech to combat carbon emissions
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    Carbon Engineering, a Canadian company developing technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and process it for use in enhanced oil recovery or in the creation of new synthetic fuels, has locked in financing from two big industry backers — Chevron and Occidental Petroleum — to bring its products... Read more »
  • FloWater just raised $15 million to put bottled water out of business
    FloWater, an eight-year-old, Burlingame, Calif.-based company whose reusable water bottle refilling stations produce purified water, has raised $15 million in its first major round of funding. Bluewater, a Swedish company that sells water purifiers, among other things, led the round. FloWater caters to schools, colleges, fitness centers, hotels and offices,... Read more »
  • A look inside the Taipei 101 New Year’s Eve fireworks show as it goes green
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    One of the tallest buildings in the world, Taipei 101’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have become an iconic celebration since the first show at the end of 2004. But despite being a major tourism draw, the fireworks haven’t been immune to criticism. Over the past couple of years, as poor air... Read more »
  • A new solar technology could be the next big boost for renewable energy
    Across the globe, a clutch of companies from Oxford, England to Redwood City, Calif. are working to commercialize a new solar technology that could further boost the adoption of renewable energy generation. Earlier this year, Oxford PV, a startup working in tandem with Oxford University, received $3 million from the U.K. government... Read more »
  • This project is mapping every solar panel in the country using machine learning
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    Renewable energy is the future, but at present no one is tracking just who’s got solar panels on their roof, in their back yard, or a shared neighborhood installation. Fortunately, solar panels generally work best when exposed to the light. That makes them easy to spot, and count, from orbit... Read more »
  • China’s BYD further drives into Chile with 100 electric buses
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    Over the past few years, Chinese automaker giant BYD has been on a partnership spree with cities across China to electrify their public transportation systems, and now it’s extending its footprint across the globe. On Thursday, BYD announced that it has shipped 100 electric buses to Santiago, the capital... Read more »
  • OffGridBox raises $1.6M to charge and hydrate rural Africa with its all-in-one installations
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    The simplest needs are often the most vital: power and clean water will get you a long way. But in rural areas of developing countries they can both be hard to come by. OffGridBox is attempting to provide both, sustainably and profitably, while meeting humanitarian and ecological goals at the... Read more »
  • It’s Finally Here! Samsung Galaxy Fold Smartphone with Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex Display
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    It’s happening…foldable phone might be the next generation of our smartphone. Samsung has unveiled Samsung Galaxy Fold, it’s a smartphone that features 7.3-inch Infinity Flex display, it sets new mobile category as a foldable device. With this new flexible display, Galaxy Fold delivers powerful phone for multitask, play games, watch... Read more »
  • FuelBelt Helium Ergo Hydration Belt Ensures Best Fit Possible to Prevent Bouncing and Shifting
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    FuelBelt Helium Ergo Hydration Belt is an ergonomically advanced hydration belt that provides runner with most storage options. When you workout, good hydration helps to regulate your body temperature and lubrication your joints. When your body is not hydrated, it can’t perform at its optimum level, water also helps transport... Read more »
  • Luckstone Drifting Waterproof, Ultralight Floating Dry Bag for Boating and Kayaking
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    Luckstone Drifting Waterproof Dry Bag is practical for those who love boating, kayaking, swimming, or doing any water activities. This bag is lightweight yet can keep all your heavy-duty gear dry at all times. This waterproof bag offers water-resistant protection for your electronic devices such as camera, phones, documents, or... Read more »
  • Electra Meccanica Solo – Single Seat Three-Wheel Electric Vehicle
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    After Sondors, Electra Meccanica also releases Solo, a single-seater three wheel electric vehicle. Will this be our future? A personal, compact vehicle that will help reduce traffic congestion and reduce your gas bill to zero. Your daily commute can be the highlight of the day. Electra Meccanica Solo is a... Read more »
  • Yemlebeni Automatic Pet Feeder with a Companion App
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    Yemlebeni is a smart nutrition device that allows pets to feed more regularly. It can be managed remotely with smartphone where you can set or adjust the portion and the timing. It’s a concept device that allows your pet to eat more on regular basis even when you are away... Read more »
  • Xerall X-TANKCOPTER All-Terrain Drone Performs Well Both On Ground and In The Air
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    Xerall X-TANKCOPTER DRONE is world’s first flying tank, it’s not just drone, it’s little device that performs well both on ground and in the air. Designed from scratch, X-TANKCOPTER drone features unique, patented propulsion system that allows an efficient combination of both locomotion systems, driving and flight. This drone looks... Read more »
  • Explosive Bamboo Installations Present Modern Design and Craft Using Traditional Chinese Bamboo Waving Techniques
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    Artist and designer Hongtao Zhou conducted a bamboo design experiment to create Explosive Bamboo Installations. The project explored the possibilities of combining one single bamboo pipe’s fiber with advanced traditional Chinese bamboo waving techniques to push the level of modern design and craft. Opening the fibers of one piece of... Read more »
  • MEMOBIRD: Portable Photo Thermal Note Printer with WiFi Feature
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    Print your unique and cute memo with Memobird. It’s a small, portable thermal printer where you can print notes from tablet, phone, or desktop. Together with Memobird app, this paper messenger can send and receive paper messages in just seconds, even when you are away. This mini printing device has... Read more »
  • TUR Vehicle Concept for a Fire Department by 2Sympleks
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    Tur is a modular vehicle concept designed specially to fight fire. It’s a medium rescue vehicle for fire department, where each detail is carefully considered to extinguish forest fires. This vehicle can be extended to carry multiple equipment necessary to extinguish wildfires, the main unit can tow an extra container... Read more »
  • Happy Bees – Alternative Beehive to Provide Natural Habitat for Bees
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    Concerning for global bees-decline, Fabien Roy has come up with an alternative beehive, Happy Bees. This projects wants to answer the challenge that we have to face today where bees population is declining at alarming rate for the last twenty years. The causes of this problem are not just phytosanitary... Read more »