It's hard to beat the energy density of gasoline. Batteries don't come anywhere close, which is why nobody likes to use them for anything. But what if we could just take electrical energy and turn it into gasoline, and what if the only other ingredient we needed to do this was evil carbon dioxide, how awesome would that be? Liquid electricity: we can do it.
Out in the ocean, stuff sinks. Usually this is a bad thing, but if you're a submarine or one of these newfangled wind turbine systems from WindFlip, sinking is exactly what you have in mind.
Scotland, being awesome, is putting some serious effort into eventually sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources. Seeing as the weather up there is often blustery enough to blow your kilt up around your ears, wind energy seems like a safe enough bet, and the Scots are getting a giant new wind turbine that comes with its own helipad.
Of all the different kinds of renewable energy, wind might be both the easiest to manage and the most frustrating. Turbines are relatively cheap and easy to build and deploy, but wind is a fickle mistress, and an idle turbine is barely fit for birds to poop on. Solution? Send the turbine to the wind instead.
Okay, so this right here is a pretty terrible rendering. But the idea that it represents is a good one: by turning ships into mobile wave energy harvesters, you can cheaply and efficiently go out to the ocean and haul a big fat load of electricity back to your hungry customers. It's like fishing, except for power.
The ocean is a big place. And if you're going to steal a bunch of electricity from it, you'll need a big generator. A brand spankin' new Oyster 800 wave energy generator was just completed in Scotland, and this massive 85-foot-long beast will soon be cranking out hundreds of kilowatts of power from non-stop wave action.
Renewable energy's dependence on weather is one of the factors that's kept it from replacing oil and coal and nuclear and other nasty evil polluting power sources for day-to-day use. In a stroke of genius, scientists in the U.K. have stuck a solar powered generator onto a rain and wind-powered generator to make an all-weather power harvester.
It's Earth Week here at Syfy, which is all well and good, but what's the point of being green if there's nothing in it for you, right? The reason you should care about renewable energy is that it gives you lots of ways to start generating your own energy to power all those thirsty gadgets you love, and thanks to the many miracles of future technology, you won't even notice that you're doing it.
This is the AK-1000, which, when it's deployed this summer in Scotland, should be the world's largest tidal turbine. It just so happens that it'll also be the world's most powerful, able to power 1,000 homes as it harnesses the power of Scotland's choppy waters.
Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based company that specializes in renewable energy, is planning to build the largest concentrated-solar energy plant in the world. It'll cover an area of over an entire square mile, making it absolutely massive. The problem? For all that space, it doesn't crank out that much energy.