Energy

World ‘off-track’ in effort to limit warming, report says

Publication: NBC News   Date: June 10, 2013   View Article

Global emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide notched up 1.4 percent to 31.6 gigatonnes in 2012, a move in the opposite direction of an international climate goal to limit global warming, the International Energy Agency said in a report released Monday.

Instead of limiting warming to a long-term rise of no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), the report said the world is currently on a path toward a rise of as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5.3 degree Celsius) above pre-industrial levels.

Such a rise would come “with potentially disastrous implications in terms of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and the huge economic and social costs that these can bring,” Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said at the report’s launch.

Shoes could help charge artificial heart pumps

Publication: NBC News   Date: May 22, 2013   View Article

Cellphones, MP3 players and — one day — artificial heart pumps may get charged up as their owners walk or run around in a pair of electricity-generating shoes designed by college kids.

The shoes join a growing list of wearable energy-harvesting devices from a knee brace, and backpack to other shoes envisioned as a way to keep gadgets carried by everyone from soldiers in the field to kids on the go supplied with electricity.

Can 500-mile lithium-air car battery make gas obsolete?

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 3, 2012   View Article

The days of gas-guzzling cars may come to an end before we run out of oil if technologies such as 500-mile-per-charge lithium-air batteries become a real and affordable option. A company that customizes carbons at the molecular level believes it can help us get there.

Along the way, the same process the company employs to manufacture carbons for prototype lithium-air batteries is being used to improve the efficiency of batteries in gasoline and hybrid-electric vehicles, making a dent in carbon emissions.

Can traffic lights help save energy?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 9, 2011   View Article

Humans are visual creatures. When we see a red traffic light, we know to apply the brakes. Electric utilities are hoping a new generation of traffic light-like smart meter monitors will help people curb their energy consumption.

“When information is in real time and it’s in your face it helps change habits,” Catherine Cuellar, a spokeswoman for Oncor, an electric utility in Texas that is piloting two of the new monitors, told me Wednesday.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach