Groundbreaking DARPA-funded research has opened up the possibility of a lithium battery smaller than
a single grain of salt. Engineer Jane Chang is designing a microscopic electrolyte that will facilitate the
flow of charge between two equally tiny electrodes. The batteries are expected to power a handful of
micro and nanodevices as well as medical technologies more efficiently than their nuclear counterparts
or virus-powered batteries. The research is still in its early stages as engineers try to achieve the same
energy densities as current lithium batteries, but at a significantly smaller footprint. Chang and her
colleagues at UCLA are sponsored by DARPA, an agency created in 1958 in response to the launch of the
Soviet rocket, Sputnik.
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, approved the construction of a large solar energy facility in the
Mohave Desert Wednesday. While California remains embroiled in battle over its clean energy plans and
the infamous Proposition 23, the federal government seems to be on the side of the environment for
once. Salazar’s approval of the Calico Solar Project makes it the fifth such venture on public land in the
West. Upon receiving the nod from Salazar, The Bureau of Land Management offered Tessera Solar the
use of 4,600 acres of land for the next three decades to complete the project.
In 2007, President Bush announced a new law that pleased his eco-friendly constituents. The legislation
aimed to regulate the manufacturing industry to make more energy efficient light bulbs. Older
iridescent bulbs wasted as much as 90 percent of their energy in the form of heat. The law called for
manufacturers to improve their products not only saving money for the consumer, but also emitting
less CO2 into the atmosphere. Now, three years later, General Electric unveils their new fluorescent
light bulb- the halogen compact fluorescent bulb. Not only will they light up faster than standard ones,
the revolutionary halogen bulbs have an 8,000-hour life span. In addition, GE uses only 1 milligram of
mercury, further decreasing health risks in their product, available to consumers by 2011.
From war-mongrels to tree huggers. That’s the transformation adopted by Lockheed Martin’s fleet of
unused C-130 Hercules cargo planes as they prepare to drop “tree-bombs.” That’s right, the renowned
military contracting company will be using its aircraft, previously deployed to drop mines, to plant
as many as 900,000 saplings per day. With up to 70 planes unused in countries around the world,
reforestation is taking a leap. Deforested areas will be hit by cones that are shaped to bury themselves
in the soil; their casting eventually dissolves to allow the embedded fertilizer and moisture to nutrients
to the seedling.
Portland General Electric pocketed two Green Power Leadership Awards Wednesday night at a
ceremony during Renewable Energy Markets 2010 in Oregon. The event was sponsored by the DOE, EPA
and the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS). The company received the Utility Green Power Program
of the Year Award and their renewable power program manager, Thor Hinckley won the Green Power
Pioneer Award. The first of the two was presented by the DOE to recognize utilities that are heavily
involved in implementing a voluntary renewable energy for their consumers. PGE’s program reaches
more than 75,000 customers. The award for Thur was presented by the CRS for his leadership and
efforts in creating the industry.
Tags: C-130 Hercules cargo planes, california, clean energy, daily energy news, daily energy report, DARPA, department of interior, energy news, energy report, general electric, lithium battery, Tessera Solar