The worldwide push towards emissions reduction, renewable energy and sustainable living has prompted a rush of research into the improvement of existing green technology, and the development of new, more efficient energy-harnessing techniques. Researchers have already unveiled the following eight promising green energy projects, bringing new hope for the future of the green revolution.

 

1) Steam Energy from the Sun: One of the major problems with the green energy technology in mainstream use today is production cost. Despite green energy subsidies and initiatives, relatively few businesses find converting to green energy a venture lucrative enough to cover the associated costs. In response to this problem, the MIT mechanical engineering department has developed a new material structure that absorbs sunlight to produce steam. The structure, composed of graphite flakes and carbon foam, can convert up to 85% of incoming sunlight, and can still produce steam under low solar concentration. If implemented in larger scale systems, the material would produce more green energy, at less expense.

 

2)Solar Roadways: Developed by electrical engineer Scott Brusaw and his wife Karen, Solar Roadways would provide clean, renewable energy for homes and businesses all across the United States. Solar Roadways has already received development funding from the U.S Federal Highway Administration. If successful, the project will cut greenhouse gasses by 75%, as well as lighting U.S highways and melting snow and ice.

 

3) Eco Cities: Who would ever have thought that China would come out ahead in green energy game? But in a flagship cooperation project, the governments of China and Singapore have begun developing Eco Cities. The Eco Cities will use wind power, solar power and rainwater recycling to implement long-term sustainable living. Officials aim to complete and populate the first Eco City by 2020.

 

4)Efficient Electric Vehicles: Futuristic electric vehicles such as the Peugeot XB1 are already on the design table. Small and speedy electric vehicles like the Peugeot concept would reduce emissions and decrease congestion in cities. Electrical vehicles have yet to gain national popularity because of their impracticality for long distance journeys, but in a Solar Roadways future, electric vehicles could harness solar roadway power to recharge on route.

 

5) Solar Greenhouses: Solar energy manufacturers in Italy are experimenting with solar greenhouses, which, if successfu,l will supply both food and electricity across the nation. Solar greenhouses address critical crop production issues, and could ensure long-term sustainable urban agriculture.

 

6) Algae-Based Biofuel: Scientists at the U.S Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have successfully converted algae into crude oil. Because of algae’s high yield potential, this could mean a sustainable and affordable future for fuel.

 

7) Smart Meters: Smart meters provide individual accountability for energy usage, recording both residential and commercial energy utilization. Smart Meters can help individuals and business owners to make more informed energy consumption decisions, ultimately decreasing global energy expenditure and encouraging more people to switch to renewable energy sources.

 

8) Solar-Powered Technology: Solar-powered cell phone, laptop and tablet chargers are already on the market, and can be purchased for as little as $20. With small-scale solar power so affordable, it’s now possible for individuals everywhere to make a positive impact on the environment.