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Dutch Building Powered by Energy from Asphalt

Asphalt Energy

Tom Konrad is an Analyst at Alternative Energy Stocks, where he writes about investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency companies.  This article is a guest post for Jetson Green.

The December 6 Technology Quarterly from The Economist profiles a Dutch office building that is both heated and cooled using heat (or cold) from the asphalt of the road outside the building, as opposed to the more conventional use of solar thermal panels on the building’s roof.  The article optimistically ends:

The result is cheap heating in winter and cheap cooling in summer. And there is a bonus. Summer heating softens asphalt, making it easier for heavy traffic to damage the road surface. Dr de Bondt’s system not only saves electricity, but also saves the road. Expect to see more examples of it, in other countries, soon.

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Nanosolar Kicks Off the Solar Revolution: 12/18/07

Nanosolarpanelsrmrhead_web I mentioned Nanosolar back in August because I found an excellent video about the company — they’re poised to dramatically flip this solar industry inside out.  Today comes news that they shipped their first product and received an actual revenue check.  This is a big deal.  Thin film solar is incredible because it can be used more flexibly and produced at a much lower cost. 

Their powersheet product was recognized by Popular Science as 2007 Innovation of the Year.  Now that the product is a reality, we’re going to see some craziness.  They’ve accomplished a slew of world’s firsts (below) and decided to auction off an early batch of product on eBay.  Unfortunately, that’s all you’re likely to get because they’re sold out for the next 12 months!  Better start your orders now. 

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Consumers Spend $3 Billion/Year on Nothing!

Vampireenergy

Vampire energy, aka phantom loads, is estimated to cost U.S. consumers about $3 billion per year.  I know, it’s not really that much … I mean, if you break it down to the individual level, that’s only $10 per person ($3 billion / 300 million).  But the point is, it’s money that goes in the pocketbook of energy companies and their shareholders — it’s not going in yours.  The chart above is courtesy of GOOD, the magazine that always brings a full-page spread to otherwise obfuscatory information.

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Super Green Sunset Idea House 2007

Sunset Idea House

This is the San Francisco Sunset Idea House for 2007, and it's one of the first LEED Certified residential remodeled homes in the nation.  This home is unique from other Sunset Idea Houses in that it's in a dense urban area on a compact site.  There are two-units and the smaller one, which is about 1,200 sf, is reportedly on sale for $1,089,000.  No word on whether the larger, 3,600 sf unit will be for sale. 

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Saving the Environment, Thin-Film Solar, Regenerative Green, + Lower Operating Costs (WIR)

Week in Review

SunTrackerOne, Saving $$ with Smart Natural Light

Suntrackerone

Ciralight caught the attention of a few attendees at this year’s Greenbuild 2007 exhibition.  Their flagship product, SunTrackerOne, is free-standing, solar-powered, and completely self-contained.  SunTrackerOne has three mirrors that track and reflect the sun into buildings through a thermal barrier, light well, and diffuser.  It’s different than passive lighting because it collects more light and diffuses it more effectively throughout a building.  This lighting system is a major green innovation to keep an eye on, especially since Ciralight touts a seductive 15 – 35% return on investment on energy savings alone.

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