the world’s first integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station in barcelona implements vertical wind turbine technology paired together with an EV charger to provide clean zero-emission energy.
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from Designboom – Weblog



We’ve already seen a mobile app focused on rating brands’ attitudes toward child labor, but recently we came across a like-minded browser plug-in that goes further. Now available for Safari and Google Chrome, aVOID helps consumers stay away from products associated with the exploitation of children.

Created through a campaign by German Earthlink, aVOID currently works with all major online shops in the US, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, including Asos, Yoox, Amazon, Target, Macys, Zalando, Google Shopping, Frontlineshop and Otto. Users simply install the plug-in – which will be available for Firefox in the near future, the company says – and then shop online as usual. Using data from Active Against Child Labour, the plug-in automatically filters out products associated with child exploitation, helping consumers avoid such products altogether.

Brands have long recognized that a significant proportion of shoppers are ethically motivated. How could you help them find what they’re looking for — or avoid what they’re not?

Contact: info

Spotted by: Murray Orange


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from Springwise

the collaboration between the UK fashion label and speedo has seen the design of a couture ball gown – made entirely from surplus olympic swimsuit material.

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from Designboom – Weblog

In five years, the U.S. could be using a bit less coal to generate electrical power than it is now.

Power plant owners anticipate retiring almost 27 gigawatts of capacity from 175 coal-fired plants in the next five years, according to data compiled by EIA. That’s 8.5 percent of the 1,387-generator coal-fired capacity in the U.S., driving 318 gigawatts. Another EIA bulletin has 49 gigawatts of coal retired by 2020.

To put that in perspective, the entire global solar photovoltaic industry will ship 30 to 35 gigawatts of solar panels in 2012.

EIA attributes plant closure to:

  • Modest demand growth
  • The favorable and steady price of natural gas during this current boom in shale gas
  • Readiness of the combined-cycle plant fleet
  • Aging coal-powered plants generators.
  • Environmental compliance and RPS compliance

From the report:

  • The coal-fired capacity expected to be retired over the next five years is more than four times greater than retirements performed during the preceding five-year period (6.5 gigawatts). Moreover, based on EIA data, the approximate 9 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity retirements expected to occur in 2012 will likely be the largest one-year amount in the nation’s history. The record is, however, expected to be short-lived, as almost 10 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity are expected to retire in 2015.
  • Coal generators retired between 2009 and 2011 had an average size of 59 megawatts. By contrast, the average size of a coal-fired plant planned for retirement between 2012 and 2015 is 154 megawatts, more than twice the average size of the units retired during the 2009-2011 period. Twelve units of at least 200 megawatts are expected to retire in 2012, including two 790 megawatts units. Another 13 coal-fired units with generating capacities of 200 megawatts or greater are expected to retire in 2015.
  • Plants planned for retirement are more efficient than previously-retired plants. By 2015, the retiring coal-fired units will have average tested heat rates of about 10,700 British thermal units per kilowatthour; these coal-fired units are approximately 12 percent more efficient than the group of units, on average, that retired during 2009 to 2011, but 5 percent less efficient than the average coal unit.

The concentration of closures in the eastern U.S. is striking.

So what’s going to take the place of all that coal? And what’s EIA’s take on the future of fuel over the next twenty years?

Well, it’s not too dramatic, according to the EIA.

Coal drops a bit in terms of percentage, but stays steady in terms of kilowatts generated. So it’s coal that actually takes the place of that retired coal.

Nuclear stays steady, natural gas goes up a bit, and renewables go up considerably from their current 10 percent, according to the report from the government agency (which has been wrong before).

Germany claims 25 percent renewables today, led by wind with 9 percent, according to BDEW, the country’s energy industry association.

California’s big investor-owned utilities reached 20 percent renewables last year. But other U.S. utilities will have trouble meeting those heights or achieving aggressive RPS targets if the data from EIA is correct.


from Greentech Media: All Content

July 30, Mexico City

Molcajete. Urban Think Tank recently released the design of its Barrio Capital Skyscraper, as a prototype of an urban development strategy. The 330-meter (1,083-foot) public skyscraper project responds to the city’s most imperative problems, both socially and spatially. Read more.


from CTBUH Global News

Photo: Continental

In racing and on the road, the crash after the crash can sometimes be the difference between a dented door panel and Medevac. In hopes of preventing these secondary crashes, Continental, a German tire, braking, and stability control developer, has created Post Crash Braking Technology that slows the car automatically after an impact.

PCBT, part of the company’s full ContiGuard safety system, detects a crash from the car’s airbag sensors. It then electronically applies the brakes automatically to slow the car to a stop if the driver can’t operate the pedals due to disorientation or unconsciousness from the impact. The system uses stability control data to keep the vehicle from skidding or locking the brakes.

If the driver is aware and depresses either pedal – say, to move the car out of range from oncoming traffic – the system will disengage and give the driver full control. Without any driver intervention, the system will bring the vehicle to a stop within a safe distance.

Continental is working with an undisclosed German vehicle manufacturer to integrate the system, but look for a debut from a Teutonic marque within the next few years. Whether this tech proves to be a help or a hinderance will be determined when functioning prototypes appear for testing.

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from Wired: Autopia

Spread of AIDS

Adam Cole and Nelson Hsu for NPR plotted the percentage of people, ages 15 to 49, living with HIV from 1990 to 2009.

By 1990, the world had a pandemic on its hands. In 1997, the peak of the epidemic, more than 3 million people became newly infected with HIV.

Then science struck back. Drugs approved for HIV treatment in the mid-1990s proved profoundly effective, transforming AIDS from a death sentence to a chronic illness. Those treatments, combined with an international commitment to manage the disease by providing access to free drug therapy, led to a steep drop in new HIV infections.

The countries in middle, eastern, and southern Africa stand out in the chart, like Swaziland with a whopping 25.9%, but most areas cluster well below five percent. Although the drop-down filters help some with country selection, the data probably would’ve benefitted from a chart that had a self-updating vertical axis.


from FlowingData