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The world has a challenge on its hands: As people rise out of poverty, their energy consumption rises, too, putting pressure on everyone around the globe to offer game-changing solutions to the greenhouse-gas crisis. These folks are meeting the task. Read more>

The world has a challenge on its hands: As people rise out of poverty, their energy consumption rises, too, putting pressure on everyone around the globe to offer game-changing solutions to the greenhouse-gas crisis. These folks are meeting the task. Read more>

The American political atmosphere might be polarized when it comes to climate change, but new evidence suggests that the public is more passionate about energy’s impact on the environment than one might think.

A new survey from the University of Michigan Energy Institute found that 60% of respondents worried “a great deal” or a “fair amount” about the environmental impact of energy use. By comparison, 55% worried a great deal or fair amount about energy affordability. The two concerns, researchers say, were basically equivalent.

"That was an eye opener for us," says professor John DeCicco. “I wouldn’t have guessed that we would have gotten, statistically speaking, an equally strong response.” More>

Hue, a wireless lighting system, allows you to “tune” your lights to up to 16 million different colors. 
You can control them remotely so that you don’t walk into a dark house. You can adjust the color or intensity to increase concentration or relaxation, based on years of studies on the effect of light on human behavior. Hue can even produce gentle reminders, so that your hallway lights automatically turn blue on a rainy morning (Bring your umbrella today) or so your house lights dim steadily beginning at 8 a.m. (Time to catch the train). Thanks to LEDs’ ability to accept digital signals, in other words, home illumination isn’t only about seeing or feeling better. It is an atmospheric conveyor of information, too.
"We’ve been making lighting products for 120 years, and until last year, for the home, all they did was turn on and off. We thought: Why not do more with it than just turn it on or off?" 
How Philips altered the future of light

Hue, a wireless lighting system, allows you to “tune” your lights to up to 16 million different colors. 

You can control them remotely so that you don’t walk into a dark house. You can adjust the color or intensity to increase concentration or relaxation, based on years of studies on the effect of light on human behavior. Hue can even produce gentle reminders, so that your hallway lights automatically turn blue on a rainy morning (Bring your umbrella today) or so your house lights dim steadily beginning at 8 a.m. (Time to catch the train). Thanks to LEDs’ ability to accept digital signals, in other words, home illumination isn’t only about seeing or feeling better. It is an atmospheric conveyor of information, too.

"We’ve been making lighting products for 120 years, and until last year, for the home, all they did was turn on and off. We thought: Why not do more with it than just turn it on or off?" 

How Philips altered the future of light

Happy Friday! Today, do the hardest things on your list first. 

Getting lost in email or mindless tasks can suck away much of your energy. It’s also a great way to avoid tackling the tough projects. But ultimately, when you’re not focusing your greatest energy on your most important tasks, you’re wasting it. He’s a big proponent of doing the most challenging,most important things first-thing in the morning when you’re rested and less prone to distraction.

More tips

A house powered by exercise? 

The JF-Kit House by the Spanish design firm Elii is an experiment in “domestic fitness,” rendering “the image of a possible future where citizens produce part of their domestic energy requirements with their own physical activities.” Each room features a fancifully named exercise station that would, theoretically, help create energy to power the home, including an “arm workout bureau,” a “spinning kitchen,” and a “triceps greenhouse.” A video shows the home’s imagined inhabitant lifting weights, cycling, and doing calisthenics as part of his house’s everyday upkeep and daily chores like cooking.

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There are a lot of roads just sitting there in the sun, doing nothing with all that energy. Why not use them to collect it? Introducing the Solar Roadway, a road built out of solar panels. 
The road is made of three parts: a hard-wearing translucent top-layer with the solar cells, LED lights (for road markings) and a heating element (to keep off snow and ice); an electronics layer to control lighting and communications; and a base plate layer that distributes power to nearby homes and businesses (and perhaps electric vehicle charging stations). Plus, there’s a channel at the edge to collect and filter run-off water (including anti-freeze and other chemicals that normally leeches into the ground). 
More…

There are a lot of roads just sitting there in the sun, doing nothing with all that energy. Why not use them to collect it? Introducing the Solar Roadway, a road built out of solar panels. 

The road is made of three parts: a hard-wearing translucent top-layer with the solar cells, LED lights (for road markings) and a heating element (to keep off snow and ice); an electronics layer to control lighting and communications; and a base plate layer that distributes power to nearby homes and businesses (and perhaps electric vehicle charging stations). Plus, there’s a channel at the edge to collect and filter run-off water (including anti-freeze and other chemicals that normally leeches into the ground). 

More…

Watch 1,200 Miles in 156 Seconds, Using Less Juice

According to the Association of American Railroads, freight trains are four times more fuel efficient than trucks, with 75% fewer carbon emissions for the same distance (it has a handy calculator here, if you want to plug in a few actual journeys). The video above shows off some new diesel locomotives that General Electric says are particularly efficient, using “11% less fuel than the existing locomotive average in North America.”