German Coal and Gas Power Plants Closing Due to Cheap Renewable Energy

Germany has been so effective in tranisitioning from unsustianble (econmically and environemntally) energy sources to renewable ones that it is uncompetitive to burn fossil fuels for power!

“Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate,” RWE said in a statement.

“During the first half of 2013, the conventional power generation division’s operating result fell by almost two-thirds. The massive reduction in power station margins is a major factor in this development.”

On Tuesday, E.On said it had shut down or left idle 6,500 megawatts of generating capacity.

It had previously announced plans to close a total of 11,000 megawatts, but now says it may close more.

Read more at the BBC.

50 Small Things to Help the Planet

There are so many small things we can do throughout our day that can make the world a better place. Sometimes it may seem like there are so many we can’t focus on which activity to accomplish. Luck for us there is a website that lists 50 small ways to make a large impact – just choose one and go for it!

Some of the suggestions are common sense, so it should be easy to incorporate into your everyday, just look at #25:

Feel like you spend your whole week trying to catch up with the errands? Take a few moments once a week to make a list of all the errands that need to get done, and see if you can batch them into one trip. Not only will you be saving gasoline, but you might find yourself with much better time-management skills.

See all 50.

New Solar Powered Vehicles Seemingly from the Future

Last month an airplane known as Solar Impulse completed a fully solar-powered flight across the USA as a demonstration of current solar solutions. In the video above you can see why they made the flight and how the Switezerland-based company wants to change air travel.

At the Guardian there is an article on the flight plus other up and coming solar powered vehicles that we will hopefully see all over. The faster we reduce our global fossil fuel consumption the faster we can improve our planet and our economy.

Its solar cells are 135 microns thin – the same as a human hair; its motors waste only 6% of the energy they consume, compared with a typical bleed of 70%; its carbon fibre panels that form the structure of the wings and fuselage are, at 25g/m squared, three times lighter than writing paper. The new plane, the HB-SIB, can fly through night and day, clear skies and storms, at a top speed of 70km an hour. “We built the first plane with the technology of 2007,” Piccard says. “We built the second plane with the technology of 2015.”

Piccard sums it up: “The goal is to change the mindset of people through Solar Impulse. If a plane can fly around the world with no fuel, nobody can say that we cannot reach incredible goals with clean technology. You have a lot of resistance to change, a lot of people saying, ‘I don’t believe in that’ because of dogma. They are afraid of change and they are not pioneers.

Read more at The Guardian.

Open Tech Forever Hardware Cooperative in Colorado

Colorado has a new permaculture and open sourced initiative taking shape and it look promising. The team is adding open source technology from hardware and software to a sustainable agriculture setup. On top of all of that they are also developing an open source business model!

This is an exciting project with the ultimate goal of having their setup to be replicated locally elsewhere.

“Open Tech Forever (OTF) is dedicated to developing new and improved, open source versions of modern and cutting-edge technologies. In the open source spirit, we create free, online, high quality educational resources demonstrating how to understand, redesign, and replicate our products. We cover not only the skills, designs and the train of thought behind the development process but also the facilities, tools, and materials that it takes to really make a variety of technologies. We develop and document open hardware, manufacture products for sale, and host public workshops to provide a hands-on learning experience for improved skill development and retention.”

Follow the progress on Twitter @OpenTechForever and on their website.

Via bOing.

Artists Better Protected Against Cognitive Decline

People who engage in music or visual arts are better protected against dementia and other cognitive decline issues. Nows the time to pick up that instrument you keep meaning to learn how to play!

Artists compared with non-artists are better protected, he added. “Due to their art, the brain is better protected [against] diseases like Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and even strokes. They have more reserve in their brain in order to give functions.

“So [we know], based on other neuroscience studies, that art in any of its forms uses different neuronal avenues inside the brain to do their work. And the activity, the talent and the art per se gives reserve when the brain requires that reserve.”

Read more at CBC.

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