Food Waste as a Renewable Energy

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With fossil fuel depots becoming increasingly depleted every day and the difficulty of locating new reserves, it has become clear that there is an expiration date for the use and availability of fossil fuels.

The Problem with Fossil Fuels

Various reports have now estimated that the world’s oil and gas reserves could run out in just over 50 years, while coal deposits could be gone in 150 years. Also, there is the added concern of fossil fuels’ contribution to global warming and the climate change associated with it. With this being said, scientists are now trying to identify other potential clean sources of energy that will replace fossil fuels and, therefore, reduce the effects of energy production on climate change.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy has given great hope for energy production worldwide; however, there remains the issue of cost and affordability of general population. As one of the most popular clean sources of energy, using naturally replenished resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and heat, renewable energy was only making up to 13.7% of the total primary share of energy consumption worldwide in 2016. As energy demand increase significantly year on year, it is becoming clear that the quest for other sources of clean energy has not even begun.

Biomass as a Source of Energy

As terms such as climate security and food security came together, an important solution to the energy problem emerged: food waste-based energy. According to a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one-third of all food produced globally goes to waste each year, which makes up a total of 1.3 billion tons of wasted food with a value of more than $1 trillion. But what would the implications of further use of this food wastage be?

A so-called Biogas is produced through an anaerobic digestion of organic waste (or biomass) and can then be burned to produce electricity or heat. The biogas is a natural source of energy and its production relies on natural processes. The food waste is placed in digestion tanks where it is broken down by microorganisms in an oxygen-free environment. During the decomposition process, the microorganisms release methane gas, or Biogas.

Good Practices in Using Food Waste for Energy Production

A great example has been set by France, who has set an objective of implementing a 23% share of renewable energy by the year 2020. The county has made plans of utilizing biomass to heat plants, buildings and even entire cities.

A report by an American electrical company, SaveOnEnergy, has estimated the energy benefits from converting food waste to electrical power. According to their statistics, a North American city with a population of 6 million people wastes around 1.4 billion pounds of food per year. If this food is converted into energy, it would be enough to power 417 million washing machines for an hour. If implemented on a worldwide level, this type of energy could have enormous benefits for energy production.

The biggest biomethane plant in Europe is situated in Spain’s capital, Madrid. Built in 2009, this plant has been expanding significantly over the past decade and, according to its latest report, is expected to reach a capacity of 156 965 MW by the year 2030.

Anaerobic Digestion and the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is another example of a county utilizing biogas to power millions of homes. According to a report released by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, UK anaerobic digestion plants produce sufficient biogas to power over 1 million households every year.

A report from the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation from earlier this year shows an increase of biomethane supply to the energy market from 6 million liters in 2016-2017 to 7.6 million liters in 2017-2018. This makes up a total of 0.7% of the energy supply of the country. What comes as a surprise is that only 0.3 of the 7.6 million liters comes from local food waste, while almost 5 has been imported from Sweden.

In early 2019, the Scottish Government devised a new Food Waste Reduction Action Plan which aims to encourage and ensure that farmers and landowners, as well as householders with access to food recycling facilities, are using them appropriately. If such structures are put in place, there will be an opportunity for more anaerobic digestion plants to be built, particularly near urban areas. The new action plan postulates that anaerobic digestion is currently the most environmentally effective method of tackling the problems of food wastage and energy in Scotland.

With 50 anaerobic digestion plants already in existence, statistics show that only 55% of households recycle their food waste despite the recycling facilities available to over 80% of the Scottish homes. To address this problem, the Scottish government announced a ban on biodegradable municipal waste entering landfill from 2021, which opens up new opportunities for the use of anaerobic digestion plants throughout Scotland in less than 2 years.

As seen in the examples above, anaerobic digestion and biogas are inevitably part of our future as a solution to both food wastage and renewable energy production. With the added benefit of being environment-friendly, this method of energy production requires further development. An apparent drawback for the efficient use of anaerobic digestion is the collaboration of the public. Many people are still lacking the knowledge and will to use the facilities put in place for collection of food waste and, therefore, the creation of public campaigns and encouragements should be introduced by the governments.


Wang, T. (2019). Global Primary Energy – Statistics Facts.

Food Power Per Hour: Converting Your Food Waste Into Energy.

SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction.

ADBA visits Europe’s biggest biomethane plant in Spain.

Biofuels statistics.

Member Press Release: New food waste plan offers renewable energy opportunities in Scotland.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Green To Gold: How Eco-Friendly Entrepreneurs Are Profiting Off Climate Change

Sustainable agriculture is relatively new in the impact-investing sector, but the global market value of products is expected to rocket to a whopping HK$6,827 billion by 2020, writes Principles for Responsible Investment, an international network of investors. In California, Lundberg Family Farms uses eco-positive farming methods to produce certified organic rice.

“Consumers now realise that the products they purchase have an impact on the environment,” explains Tim Schultz, the company’s vice-president of research and development. “They experience the effects of poor air and water quality first-hand. They see the effects of climate change playing out in their backyards.”

“Customers want to show their support for sustainable businesses,” says Tamsin Thornburrow, who established Hong Kong’s first zero-waste store, Live Zero, in Sai Ying Pun. “But there is a much larger problem and that’s food waste.”

Thirty to 40 per cent of the food produced in the world is never eaten, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Some never gets harvested, some spoils and a lot is thrown away. ReFed, a US organisation that tracks food waste, counts at least 70 businesses that transform into new products food that would otherwise have been wasted.

Monaco: One of Europe’s smallest nations is going green

The Principality of Monaco is one of Europe’s smallest nations, and indeed 20% of the country has been reclaimed from the sea. A new reclamation project is under way at Portier Cove, to develop a new eco district for Monaco, involving such architects as Renzo Piano. Marie-Pierre Gramaglia from Monaco’s Ministry of Public Works, The Environment and Urban Development, talks us through the new eco district and other ways in which Monaco is going green.

Tell us about Portier Cove and why it is being built.

“Completion of the offshore extension project to the right of Portier Cove is part of the Principality of Monaco’s urban strategy, which centres on adapting the country’s development of the small size of its territory. It has three strands: developing programmes on land reserves, rebuilding the city over the city by demolishing ageing buildings of no heritage value, and extending the country into the sea – which has a total surface area of two square kilometres; around 20%, or 40 hectares, have been reclaimed from the sea over a period of more than 150 years. This latest project will see the creation of a six-hectare eco-friendly district, with strong ambitions on the sustainable development and environmental protection front.”

This will be the first “eco-friendly district” in Monaco. What green initiatives will be launched there?

“Construction of this new extension is being done in a way that complies with very demanding environmental specifications in terms of measures to protect the natural environment. Real-time monitoring of the marine and land environments is being carried out, alert thresholds have been defined for turbidity, sedimentation and light levels, with changes to be introduced on site as soon as thresholds are reached.

An eco-friendly approach has been adopted with regard to the design of civil engineering works in order to promote colonisation of species. Finally, an environmental monitoring committee made up of scientists and experts has been established to improve efforts to limit impact and enact environmental offsets.”

What about energy usage?

“On energy, 40% of consumption will be covered by renewable energy, including 80% of consumption for heating and cooling, thanks to ocean thermal energy. An ocean thermal energy network will be created to supply this district and the main buildings in the waterfront district of Larvotto. In addition, 80% of the energy used to power public lighting will come from solar.

The project will seek international certifications, including HQE Aménagement for the eco-friendly district and Breeam for the buildings. Regarding transport, the project will be a significant driver for the promotion of soft mobility: the new district will be given over to pedestrians, it will have an electric bike station, and a one-kilometre stretch of cycle path will be created to link Portier Cove to the beach resort at Larvotto.”

MonacoMichael Alesi: Direction de la communication

Could you tell us a bit about Renzo Piano’s architectural design and the technical aspects of the offshore extension project?

“The involvement of renowned individuals like Renzo Piano guarantees that this project will be outstanding from an architectural and urban development point of view. Particular attention has been paid to the quality of public spaces, which includes an 8,000 m2 planted park and a marina. An extension of the Grimaldi Forum will also be built in the new district. On the technical side, the first stage of the extension project involves creating the area of reclaimed land by installing a band of 18 caissons built in Marseilles and transported to Monaco by sea.

This will be completed by late summer 2019. I should note that these caissons have been designed to withstand sea swell and earthquakes. Delivery of the platform is planned for spring 2020. This will be followed by the digging of deep foundations, facilities work, and finally the construction of apartment blocks and villas. The eco-friendly district will be delivered in 2025.”

Related | 5 stunning examples of green architecture around the world

Plans for Portier Cove, Monaco150730 ®_VPA 08: © DR : Valode Pistre

Does Monaco have an environmental policy at other levels, for example on reducing CO2 emissions?

“The Principality of Monaco’s energy and climate policy aims, on the one hand, to combat climate change, and on the other, to reduce our vulnerability to the impact of such change. This means reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and we have ambitious targets that were set by H.S.H. the Prince during COP 21 in Paris: a 50% cut by 2030 (compared with 1990 levels) and carbon neutrality by 2050. The second objective relates to both managing demand for energy and improving energy efficiency. The third seeks to increase local production of renewable energy.”

How is Monaco trying to become a more environmentally friendly country?

“As a country, we are focusing our action in four areas: preserving biodiversity, conserving resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pursuing a policy that promotes a sustainable city. We have been taking action on each of these aspects for many years. On biodiversity, we are implementing inventory, mapping and monitoring programmes for marine and land-based plants and wildlife.

We promote efforts to bring nature into the city, for example by installing around 40 nest boxes in gardens to enable nesting of small passerine birds who are accustomed to the urban environment (great tits, blue tits, house sparrows, black redstarts, European greenfinches, etc.) and two small birds of prey, the scops owl and the common kestrel.

Environmental issues are taken into account during land use and urban development planning: Environmental Impact Studies are carried out with the aim of, first, avoiding and reducing the negative environmental impacts of a project and, second, putting in place offsetting measures. Of course, these are just some quick examples which illustrate our determination to be a country that places the environment at the top of its list of values. In addition, our Environmental Code covers all aspects relating to the protection of nature and environments, to pollution, risks and disruption, to improving quality of life, and to energy management.”

MonacoMichael Alesi: Direction de la Communication

What contribution do Monaco’s residents make to this environmental transition?

“Monegasque nationals and residents contribute to the implementation of our sustainable development policy by signing up, for example, to the National Energy Transition Pact. This now has more than 800 members including, alongside private individuals, Monegasque institutions and companies such as SBM, Monaco Telecom and SMEG. In terms of our greenhouse gas emissions targets, the Pact is a motivating initiative that aims to change consumption patterns and behaviours. We believe that it is through both individual awareness and collective mobilisation that we as a society will succeed in cutting our greenhouse gas emissions. Through reducing and recycling waste, through considering the best way to make our journeys, opting for public transport and soft mobility where possible, and finally through adopting a less energy-intensive and better managed approach to our use of electricity.”

What about plastic?

“We also have a strong policy to eliminate plastics in the Principality. Since 1 January 2019, plastic straws and stirrers have been banned, joining single-use plastic bags which were outlawed in 2016. From 1 January 2020, disposable plastic utensils will also be banned. Naturally, the Principality’s businesses have adopted these new regulations, and some have gone further, such as the major sports brand which decided to stop selling plastic bottles. As you can see, the Monegasque community is aware of the challenges posed by sustainable development.”

Words: Chris Beanland

Biofuels – Bioenergy Startup Licenses ORNL Food-Waste-to-Fuel System

The system combines biology and electrochemistry to degrade organic waste—such as plant biomass or food waste—to produce hydrogen. During the microbial electrolysis process, a diverse microbial community first breaks down organic material.

 “There are usually thousands of microbes that are required to convert a complex organic mixture from biomass into electrons,” said Abhijeet Borole, who co-founded Electro-Active Technologies with Alex Lewis, the company’s CEO. “We developed an enrichment process to create this [microbial] consortium to efficiently extract electrons from organic materials.”

 An electrolysis method they designed then combines the protons and electrons into hydrogen molecules. Although Borole and Lewis originally developed both processes to address the problems of liquid waste formed during biofuel production, Electro-Active Technologies will focus on fighting food waste.

The duo selected food waste as a microbial feedstock after interviewing 80 customers across waste-to-hydrogen industries while participating in DOE’s Energy I-Corps, a program that helps accelerate commercialization efforts at DOE laboratories. Because customers often must pay to dispose of food waste, the food waste-based feedstock presents economic advantages over using biomass, which must be purchased. The company is creating prototypes for modular waste conversion systems that customers can place onsite.

The initial research that enabled this technology development was supported by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office. The technology was jointly patented by ORNL and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of the UT system that promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property.


Photo: Seated are Michelle Buchanan, ORNL deputy for science and technology; Alex Lewis, CEO of Electro-Active Technologies; and Stacey Patterson, University of Tennessee Research Foundation president, who signed the licensing agreement for two ORNL microbial electrolysis technologies. Standing, from left, are Mike Paulus and Jennifer Caldwell of ORNL; Abhijeet Borole of Electro-Active Technologies; Maha Krishnamurthy of UTRF; and Edna Gergel and Brian Davison of ORNL. Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

7 denim brands that make sustainable jeans — Best sustainable denim 2019

The way I see it, jeans are the cornerstone of any wardrobe worth having. People of all ages, styles, professions, and income levels wear them, but as common as the popular pant style is, they’re actually rather harmful to the environment.

From the pesticides and insecticides used to grow cotton to the massive amounts of water, energy, and chemicals used to process the materials and turn them into denim, jeans rank as one of the least eco-friendly clothing items to make. According to Everlane, it takes about 1,500 liters (that’s roughly 396 gallons) of water to produce a single pair of jeans.

Realistically, those stats aren’t going to prevent anyone from buying jeans. But as responsible consumers, we can do our part by shopping brands that value sustainability in their production methods. So, to point you in the right direction, we rounded up seven brands that are making jeans more sustainably by implementing less wasteful manufacturing techniques and more effective recycling programs.

From startups like Frank And Oak and Outerknown to legacy brands like Levi’s, you won’t have a problem finding denim with high-impact style and low-impact everything else.

7 brands making sustainable denim:

Waste To Clean-Renewable Energy

Ever since the inception of the Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, the world of digital trading has never been the same. This phenomenon has birthed several other groundbreaking innovations and opportunities to make life easier and more efficient.

One such innovation is Vectorium and it has officially reached its soft cap. Vectorium is a “double coins project” created with the aim of providing a digital way to stock and share electricity manufactured from renewable sources.

Vectorium’s Goal

Over the years, waste management has been a huge issue almost every industry tackle to deal with. As a matter of fact, many factors continue to suffer from it globally. Vectorium aims to provide a cutting-edge solution by offering an opportunity to transform garbage into a value via their blockchain.

The model also utilizes blockchain technology to monitor waste-to-energy plants. While this is taking place, a transaction is made in the vectorium blockchain as a record of the passage of electricity. This transaction is only possible through the issue of a Coin, as an Internal Technological Instrument. The coins then end up in the wallet of the incinerator in storage. They can also be converted back into energy or sold for Recovery Expenses.

It has been reported that the heat given off by the mining equipment can be used to increase the temperature of greenhouses for growing biological products, especially in the cold seasons. Hence, the Blockchain technology is used to trace the “life” of the waste until it becomes a “value”.

Technical Specifications Of Vectorium

The following are the technical specifications of Vectorium:

Vectorium Flash

  • Extremely fast. Sending an almost instant confirmation.
  • Over 444,000 coins in
  • Distributed in mining
  • Anti ASIC
  • Slow release (2800 maximum minable coins per day).

Vectorium Plus

  • Fast (not at flash levels)
  • Optimized security x13 algorithm
  • Fixed annual interest of 20% (based on the contribution you give to the network acting as a node)
  • The initial release of 500m coin
  • It becomes equity after 4 years (security coin)

Introducing The Vectorium Team

Of course, talking about the major strides being made by Vectorium and not mentioning their team is impossible. The Vectorium team is filled with personnel with a history in technology, software management, and blockchain technologies methodologies. The brains behind this innovative idea, is, however, Enea Benedetto. The CEO Founder, who possesses a long history in finances and technology.

Vectorium’s Soft Cap Victory

With such great benefits attached to the Vectorium blockchain, it is no surprise that more investors are willing to chip in. Vectorium finally announced that they have reached their soft cap of $1,502,500 on the 31st of July, 2019. Vectorium celebrates this victory by leaving a message on their website for all to see.

The statement reads;

“We are truly grateful to all investors that are trusting us and believe we can change the future, solving the waste’s global issue.”

However, while this is a step in the right direction, the company still looks forward to reaching its hardcap of 200mln, and, with the progress they have made so far, this just seems to be a possibility really soon.

Waste To Clean-Renewable Energy added by on August 13, 2019
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What to Look for In a New Home to Ensure Sustainability

By Lori Melton

Today’s eco-conscious home buyers are interested in purchasing a home that’s good for the planet. With the growing popularity of green initiatives, it’s not too hard to find eco-friendly features in the current housing market. Plus, environmentally friendly elements in a living space usually save money.

Whether you’re buying or building, here are some things you should look for to ensure sustainability in your new home.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient aspects of a home help conserve energy usage. As such, they also help reduce monthly utility bills. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Program applies to both newly constructed as well as existing homes.

Using ENERGY STAR certified kitchen appliances, washer and dryers, heating and cooling systems, lighting, programmable thermostats, and more will help reduce the amount of energy homes use. In 2017, ENERGY STAR reportedly “helped Americans save 370 billion kWh of electricity with associated emission reductions of 290 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, 190,000 short tons of sulfur dioxide, 180,000 short tons of nitrogen oxides, and 21,000 short tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5).”

Well-Insulated Windows and Doors

Older homes with older windows and doors may lead to heat loss in the winter. This type of draft drives energy usage up as heat escapes and the furnace works harder to heat indoor spaces. Investing in high-quality double- or triple-pane, argon-filled windows will improve insulation and help keep heating costs down.

Once again, ENERGY STAR certified windows and doors help lower household energy bills. In fact, they can reduce energy costs by 12 percent. Furthermore, home energy conservation reduces greenhouse gas emissions at home and at local power plants.

Fair Trade Home Décor Products

Looking for the Fair Trade Certified seal on home décor products supports sustainability. The leading Fair Trade organization, Fair Trade USA, is committed to doing what’s right for “families, global citizens, and the planet.”

Choosing Fair Trade Certified products promotes income sustainability for producers, farmers, workers, and fishermen. It also supports empowerment for these groups, as well as individual and community well-being, and environmental stewardship.

Companies like Pottery Barn, Mark Graham, Birch, and more offer Fair Trade Certified furniture, rugs, bedding, and many more décor items. Filling your new home with these products is a creative way to beautify your home interior while promoting sustainability.

Natural Resources

Many eco-friendly homes harness natural resources for sustainability. For example, skylights and solar panels enable the sun to help heat or provide natural light to a home. Small electric wind systems can power homes (and reduce power bills by 50 percent). Additionally, harvesting rainwater for yard applications and storing it or future household needs helps conserve water in regions affected by drought. A huge benefit to leveraging natural resources is that they are available in unlimited supply. Plus, they help reduce the carbon footprint which is produced by other manufactured forms of power.

Green Building Practices Affiliation

Many home builders are following Green Building practices. Researching them in the buying process can help you make informed, eco-friendly decisions in the home building process. In New York, programs like OneNYC Green Buildings Energy Efficiency promote sustainability in homes, businesses and schools.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) lists all sorts of examples of sustainable home features including resource conservation techniques (like using recycled building materials, wood alternatives, sustainably harvested lumber and more), optimizing indoor environmental air quality (like using formaldehyde-free finishes, effective HVAC equipment, among others), preserving open space in site design, and more techniques.

Overall, becoming familiar with Green Building programs in your area and implementing these efforts in the construction process will help you achieve your home sustainability goals.

Eco-mansions can hold hidden bargains for buyers

In 2012, Dani Mouawad purchased a 1.55-acre piece of property in Chapel Hill, N.C., then spent 10 months constructing a “sustainable, natural, health-promoting” house.

The building was made out of straw, clay, plaster and lime, with a living roof made from topsoil displaced by the building’s foundation. Construction on the first of the property’s two buildings cost Mouawad, a pediatrician, “three times the cost of conventional materials,” he says, but what he spent in construction costs has more than paid off.

“The energy efficiency went up by a factor of three,” he said.

In June, Mouawad put the three-bedroom, 1½-bath house on the market with Hodge Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty. His brokers faced a quandary that’s being confronted by sellers of homes that are constructed in a way that mitigates, or eliminates, environmental impact: It’s hard to put a price on green living.

“Here in North Carolina, there are certain developments that are easy to price because you have next-door neighbors you can compare them to,” said one of Mouawad’s brokers, Aileen Stapleton.

“But with a property like this, you have to use unconventional methods,” she said.

After factoring in the land cost, construction costs and comparative availability in the area (it’s a few minutes from UNC Chapel Hill), along with the property’s low operating and maintenance costs, they settled on a $1.3-million listing price.

“Even if the upfront sales price seems to be a little higher,” said the property’s other broker, Giselle Feiger, “the running costs and maintenance are much lower than a regular home.”

Calculations along these lines are happening across the country, albeit with varying results.

In Garrison, N.Y., a $3.5-million house designed by Toshiko Mori has geothermal heating and cooling systems and a living roof. The three-bedroom, 3½-bath home has views of the Hudson River through its floor-to-ceiling glass windows and spans about 3,400 square feet.

When it was built in 2007, its owner was “pretty ahead of the curve,” Compass broker Aimee Scher said. The person who commissioned it was “very conscientious about her environmental impact,” and as a result spared no expense on using the most efficient building materials and design possible.

The flip side to that, however, is that prospective buyers aren’t necessarily willing to pay a similar premium.

“I do think the majority of people see it as a bonus,” Scher said. “We’re not getting a flood of people coming through who want it specifically because it’s eco-friendly.” Instead, “they’re coming to look at it because it’s beautiful, and then there’s the added layer of ‘Oh, we can feel good about living in it.’ ”

Home sellers are finding that the premiums they’ve spent on so-called green building best practices don’t necessarily translate into a higher sales price.

“We’re seeing it across the board,” not just in eco-conscious materials, Scher said. “Whether it’s the kind of tiles you use, or the quality of windows, or a slate roof versus an asphalt roof, any of those premiums aren’t showing a return in the market right now.”

And that means that conservation-minded buyers might end up getting some bargains, where the price of “green” homes doesn’t reflect the money that went into their construction or, for that matter, the low operating cost of living in the house itself.

In Salinas, Calif., a $3.6-million, 6,330-square-foot house has a neutral footprint thanks to large solar panels set on the property’s 10.8 acres. “Just from the list price and how much my clients have invested, it’s a great value,” said Compass agent Mark Peterson, who has
listed the property.

The sprawling Spanish-style home is hooked up to public utilities but is designed for more than two weeks of off-grid living.

Along with the solar panels there’s a backup generator, and there’s a well as a backup water source, even though it’s also hooked up to the town water system. (The backups can be turned on on demand.)

But, Peterson said, “it’s hard to market these features as the primary draws. At the end of the day, a house is still about how it feels and what its environment is like.”

So despite the home’s minimal energy costs and comparatively light environmental impact (it is, after all, still a mansion), Peterson said that he still has to price the house just as he would any other.

Its price per square foot is $569; a house a few doors down on the same street, set on a lot just a tenth the size of Peterson’s listing, had almost the exact price per square foot until last month, when it took a $200,000 price cut. Now it’s priced at $3.8 million, or $542 per square foot.

Down the road, a house that’s half the size but on a larger plot is priced at just under $3 million, or $889 a square foot. Neither of those houses has environmentally sustainable systems comparable to Peterson’s listing.

“When someone’s purchasing a house,” Peterson said, “they’re still going to look at aesthetics first.”

Hyundai launches solar powered car in Korea

Hyundai has this week released its first solar powered car, promising drivers up to 800 miles of free driving a year.

The Sonata Hybrid, which was first announced last autumn, is now on sale in South Korea featuring a rooftop solar array to top up its in-built battery, that runs in conjunction with a petrol engine.

Left in the sunshine for six hours, the panels can charge the car’s battery by up to 60 per cent, Hyundai said.

“Solar roof technology is a good example of how Hyundai Motor is moving towards becoming a clean mobility provider,” said Heui Won Yang, senior vice president at Hyundai. “The technology allows our customers to actively tackle emissions. We are striving to further expand the application of the technology beyond eco-friendly vehicle line up to vehicles with internal combustion engine.”

The car will be launched in the US in the coming months, but is not expected to be released in any other regions. However, Hyundai has suggested it could offer solar roof technology as an added extra on other hybrid models in the future.

Other carmakers have already experimented with adding solar panels to the roof of their vehicles, but historically the weight of the panels has restricted the number of extra driving miles available.

In 2010 Toyota offered optional solar panels on the roof of its Prius cars, that would power the air conditioning in the vehicle, and in 2017 released a new Prius model that allowed panels to feed directly into the car’s main battery to extend the range.

In July Toyota revealed it is testing a new solar roof for vehicles featuring much more efficient solar cells, which would be able to directly power the car while it is on the move. “The goal is to contribute to the creation of a new solar battery panel market, including the transport sector, and find solutions for energy and environmental issues,” Toyota said at the time.

Further reading

If You Want ‘Renewable Energy,’ Get Ready to Dig

Democrats dream of powering society entirely with wind and solar farms combined with massive batteries. Realizing this dream would require the biggest expansion in mining the world has seen and would produce huge quantities of waste.

“Renewable energy” is a misnomer. Wind and solar machines and batteries are built from nonrenewable materials. And they wear out. Old equipment must be decommissioned, generating millions of tons of waste. The International Renewable Energy Agency calculates that solar goals for 2050 consistent…