Solar power's epic price drop, visualized

As in, holy crap, we knew solar was getting cheap, but wow. Among energy afficionados, the precipitous decline in the price of solar cells is called "The Swanson Effect." And no – not after that Swanson. » 5/30/13 6:30am 5/30/13 6:30am

Adding a hairy coat to a building to capture wind power

Looking for an alternative to turbines for capturing wind energy, Belatchew Arkitekter has proposed adding a hairy addition to Stockholm's Söder Torn. It would serve as more than an architectural toupee, capturing energy through the movement of all those tiny straws. » 5/18/13 9:30am 5/18/13 9:30am

Brazilian prison incentivizes prisoners to provide pedal-powered energy

Brazil's Santa Rita do Sapucaí prison has found a new source of alternative energy: its own prisoners. The prison has offered to shave time off of prisoners' sentences if they'll charge batteries using special bikes and their own two legs. » 6/30/12 9:30am 6/30/12 9:30am

Poopmobile runs on the Denver Zoo's greatest resource — animal dung

It appears that brown is the new green. The Denver Zoo has decided to make use of all that primo animal poop that comes out of its residents and convert it into fuel. Now you can tour the zoo (and enjoy a frozen margarita) with the aid of this poo-power. » 3/24/12 1:30pm 3/24/12 1:30pm

Hamster-power submarine is the future of underwater rodent travel

Are hamsters the next step in resolving our energy crisis? A group of rodent transit enthusiasts decided to test their new invention, the Hamster-Powered Submarine (HPS), and film the vehicle's maiden voyage. » 1/07/12 10:30am 1/07/12 10:30am

Saltwater and sludge could give us an inexhaustible supply of energy

Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is generally considered a fantastic way to get a renewable power source. The problem is how exactly you go about splitting the water. Current methods require some power input in order to kickstart the reaction, reducing its effectiveness as a sustainable power source, since… » 9/23/11 6:40am 9/23/11 6:40am

We're one step closer to cheap, abundant biofuel

Biofuels are made from carbohydrates and fats in corn and other feedstock. This is a wasteful process because it leaves behind all the protein, a far more abundant substance. As a result, one of the big questions for alternative energy researchers is how we can pull biofuel from protein. Especially because proteins… » 3/08/11 7:20am 3/08/11 7:20am

Floating wind turbines could be our energy solution in the clouds

Wind is a clean, renewable energy source, but there isn't nearly enough of it down here on the ground. But high in the sky, there are furious jet streams of powerful wind just waiting to be harvested by floating turbines. » 12/19/10 3:00pm 12/19/10 3:00pm

I live in a hot spot

John Denver proclaimed it "almost heaven", but a group of geoscientists are implying it's a little more like the opposite. Most of the rest of the world doesn't think of West Virginia as a hot spot, but it is. » 11/13/10 3:30pm 11/13/10 3:30pm

Genetically-engineered yeast brings us closer to a biofuel future

Biofuels like ethanol could help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but growing crops for ethanol involves using up huge swaths of valuable farmland. Now we might have a solution - thanks to some re-engineered yeast. » 9/10/10 7:00am 9/10/10 7:00am

The next big source of alternative energy could be the air itself

There's electricity in the air all around us, formed as water vapor comes into contact with dust particles. For centuries scientists have dreamed of tapping into this source of power - and we finally might be able to do it. » 8/26/10 11:06am 8/26/10 11:06am

Urine could be the next big alternative energy source

A revolutionary new fuel cell could take in urine and produce electricity and clean water. It might sound silly, but a prototype already exists, and it could provide the unlikeliest possible solution to third world energy and clean water problems. » 8/22/10 2:10pm 8/22/10 2:10pm

Crematorium Plans to Use Burning Bodies to Generate Energy

While the city of Stockholm is burning bunnies to power its homes, the human cremation process could soon provide an alternative energy of its own. A UK crematorium is looking into a new technology to recapture energy from human cremation. » 12/10/09 2:30pm 12/10/09 2:30pm

15 Toys That Will Help You Survive The Holidays

The Holiday Season is officially on us again, and that can mean only one thing that isn't watching Christmas In Connecticut over and over again: Time to think about gift-giving (and getting). Where better to start than with toys? » 11/28/09 1:00pm 11/28/09 1:00pm

Sweden's Homes Heated with the Power of Bunny Blood

We've seen lamps that run on human blood and examined robots that eat corpses for fuel. Sweden is already using flesh-based biofuel, but it's not humans they're using to heat their homes; it's rabbits. » 10/15/09 9:30am 10/15/09 9:30am

The Next Alternative Energy Solution? Human Hair

Milan Karki, an 18 year-old from a rural village in Nepal, has invented a type of solar panel that replaces expensive silicon with cheap, easily replenished human hair. Melanin, the pigment in human hair acts as a conductor for solar energy, and hair, unlike silicon, can be easily replaced, giving the panels a longer… » 9/10/09 9:30am 9/10/09 9:30am

Fake Trees Charge Your Car While You Park


Purely electric cars may be green, but it's tough to find a parking place close enough to an electrical outlet. But one designer has come up with the perfect solution: solar-powered sculptures that charge your car while you park. » 7/27/09 12:30pm 7/27/09 12:30pm

Solve the Energy Crisis with Comics

According to a 2006 report from MIT, enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) are one of the most unfairly overlooked form of alternative energy in the United States. They're far cheaper than clean coal, indigenous, highly sustainable, and produce just about zero carbon dioxide; in fact, EGS have virtually no emissions. For… » 11/02/08 9:00am 11/02/08 9:00am

Energy Ball Turns Your Roof into a Wind Turbine Farm

When peak oil means you're paying more to power up your computers than you are for rent, it's time for Energy Ball. Developed recently by Swedish company Home Energy » 9/03/08 10:23am 9/03/08 10:23am, these cool-looking devices are designed to work in low winds and make very little noise. That makes them perfect for home use, as well as in giant wind…

Humpback Whales Teach Humans to Build Better Wind Turbines

Whales have given us a reliable source of energy for centuries: oil for our lamps, wax for our candles, and of course margarine. All that's required to harvest these lovely fuels is wholesale slaughter of the harmless creatures, and that's starting to go out of fashion, mostly because the whales were starting to go… » 7/14/08 9:37am 7/14/08 9:37am