Future Tech: This week in the world of tech and innovation, we look at ways to rethink how we power the world and going green.
Elon Musk wants to turn your house into a solar-powered dream machine
"Elon Musk's fondness for ambitious, out-of-left-field ideas isn't restricted to electric cars or rockets. During SolarCity's latest earnings call, the entrepreneur revealed that his energy-focused company is developing a "solar roof" -- not a roof with solar panels on it, a roof made out of solar cells. As Musk explains, people install millions of new roofs every year. Why not have them embrace solar power when they look for a replacement? Homeowners with old roofs tend not to install solar panels, since they know they'll have to rip everything off before long." - engadget
Rio 2016 and going for green in the Olympic Games
"Olympic Games are historically about gold, silver, and bronze – not green. Even the“greenest” Olympics, held in London in 2012, used nearly 400 temporary generators, which releaseharmful pollution, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides among many others. Nevertheless, when Brazil won its bid in 2009 to host the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the country pledged to host the “Green Games for a Blue Planet,” a festival with sustainability at its core.
"Brazil, nearly as large as the U.S. and holding 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, currently uses renewable energy to make about 85 percent of its electricity (compare that to the U.S., where only 13 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources). With renewable energy success like that, who better to host the “Green Games?”
"Yet, despite Brazil’s ambitious goals, years of planning, and an advantage in existing renewable energy resources, Brazil is falling short of its goal for a cleaner, greener Olympics. This is because serious social, political, environmental, and health challenges tangent to the Olympics have constrained the nation’s ability to realize the sustainability goals Brazil thought achievable in 2009." - The Energy Collective
Electric garbage trucks about to take over the roads
"While we wait and see whether electric cars will take over the roads, there’s a new vehicle up for an electric makeover: the garbage truck.
"“Within five years you’ll only have electric garbage trucks,” Ian Wright, founder of the startup Wrightspeed, told Quartz. Wright is designing a truck that combines a battery with an onboard natural-gas turbine to potentially replace diesel-powered garbage trucks.
"Both Wrightspeed and Nikola Motor Company are going in big for the natural gas/electric combination as the new way to power trucks (both companies say the result is a “zero-emissions vehicle,” though details are so far scarce). Wrightspeed has released a video of its truck doing doughnuts in the desert, while Nikola is promising a big reveal in December." - Technology Review
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