France’s Minister of Environment Ségolène Royal has officially opened the world’s first solar road this week with one kilometer and 2,880 solar panels in Tourouvre-au-Perche. Now the country is waiting to see if the road, built with construction company Colas‘ Wattway technology, will live up to the hype surrounding the clean energy experiment. The road is designed to produce sufficient power to electrify street lighting in the 3,400-person village.
All of the electric passenger trains running in the Netherlands are now powered entirely by wind. One year ahead of schedule, Dutch railway company NS announced its entire electric train fleet is running on 100-percent wind power as of January 1, 2017, ushering in a new era of green transportation. Renewable energy advocates hope the early success will inspire planners to incorporate wind-powered trains in other high-speed rail projects around the world, including some proposed in the United States.
The Maasai are a semi-nomadic pastoral tribe spread across Kenya and Tanzania, and globalization has not been kind to them. Vulnerable to wildlife that steal their livestock and powerless after the sun goes down, many Maasai often have to walk many kilometers just to charge their phones. But a new project spearheaded by Green Energy Africa has brought solar energy to 2,000 homes in Naiputa county alone, and put new power into the hands of women who sell affordable solar installations.
What if your car could be powered where the rubber meets the road? Range anxiety persists as a fear among electric car drivers, as heavy batteries with limited capacity remain slow to charge. Goodyearhas announced its concept for a heat-gathering, electricity-generating tire at the 2015 Geneva International Auto Show, and the tire could change all that by making a few changes to an oft-overlooked component.
Built by Mark Keevers and Martin Green from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the unique prism could help make solar panels cheaper and more efficient. "Instead of what you can get now, which is typically, say, 17 percent [efficiency] modules for your rooftops, in 10 or 20 years, you might be able to buy 34 percent efficient modules, so you'd need half as many for a rooftop to get the same electricity out." Keevers said.
Japan may be the easiest place in the world to drive an electric car, now that EV chargers officially outnumber traditional gas stations. A new estimate says the island country has more than 40,000 EV chargers nationwide, edging out fossil fuel fill-up spots by 5,000. Nissan, maker of the 107-mile-range all-electric Leaf, conducted the survey, tallying up all the places that help keep range anxiety at bay.
Renewable energy companies offered a record-breaking bid for the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. At rates of 2.99 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour, the bid means that solar power in Dubai would be cheaper than coal when compared to rates of a recently-commissioned coal plant.
Honda announced it’s going to expand its Clarity line to include an all-electric version and a plug-in hybrid next year. The latest version of the Honda Clarity will be available later this year any way you want it, as along as you want a fuel-cell vehicle. The other two variants will be ready in 2017.
Apart from electricity, hydrogen has also started gaining the interest of scientist community as an alternative fuel. A car to add to this concept is Audi’s ‘h-tron-quattro’.