in In The News

In the newsFirst we’ve got news from Swedish retailer IKEA, which is making its first wind-energy investment in the US. Then, we’ll introduce you to the first mobile charging system for electric vehicles and finally, an EcoEgg dryer egg, a knobbly light-pink egg that promises to save electricity in the tumble dryer.

  • IKEA Invests in Wind Energy in the U.S.

Like most companies, retailers have become actively engaged in expanding their use of renewable energy but one well-known chain plans to become the leader of the pack. The Swedish furniture and home-furnishings retailer Ikea said it’s making its first wind-energy investment in the U.S. through the purchase of a 98-megawatt wind farm in Hoopeston, Ill., about 110 miles south of Chicago. The Illinois wind farm, slated to include 49 wind turbines and be wholly owned by Ikea, is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2015. (The Wall Street Journal)

  • British Airways to Use Landfill Waste for Jet Fuel

British Airways has announced plans to power its flights using sustainable jet fuel made from landfill waste—a move it says will be equal to taking 150,000 cars off the road. In partnership with Solena Fuels, the UK’s flagship carrier says it’s committed to buying 50,000 tonnes a year of the sustainable jet fuel once the facility is completed in 2017. To be built in Thurrock, Essex, the facility will convert 575,000 tonnes of post-recycled waste, normally destined for the landfill or incineration, into 120,000 tonnes of clean burning liquid fuel. (The Malay Mail Online)

  • U.S. Energy Dept Plans $4 billion in Loan Aid for Renewable Energy
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The U.S. Energy Department unveiled a plan to offer up to $4 billion in loan aid to renewable energy projects, opening up another round of funding for a program that has faced harsh political attacks over past government-backed failures. The draft plan would provide loan guarantees for innovative projects that limit or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. It will specifically focus on advanced electric grid technology and storage, biofuels that can be used in conventional vehicles, energy from waste products, and energy efficiency improvements. (Reuters)

  • First Mobile Charging System for Electric Vehicles Created

Scientists in Spain have developed the first mobile charging system for electric vehicles. This system allows users to charge their vehicle from any plug—not just from a specifically designed one—as long as it has been previously authorized by an electric power company. The Premise project aims to update the recharging process and make it faster through a mobile system, one that no longer requires installing a charging point but can use a normal household plug. (Science Daily)

  • EcoEgg Dryer Eggs

Drying clothes can take hours, but can knobbly light-pink eggs that resemble toys save electricity in the tumble dryer? Inventor Rob Knight and his team of “clever physicists” filmed inside tumble dryers, and noticed that the clothes tend to go around in clumps. Nothing ever dried quickly in a clump. Also, it leaves a lot of wasted space inside the drum. The way the dryer eggs work is by bouncing around the dryer with your and separating” them so that they take up all available space. They’re made of an “eco-friendly plastic clothes, “lifting “, according to Knight, that absorbs and radiates heat. (The Guardian)

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Here are our summaries of noteworthy news events of the week. Today, we turn the spotlight on Japan as the country braces for its first sales tax hike in 17 years. To offset its impact, Japan’s biggest banks have agreed to raise salaries for the first time in 19 years. The world’s third largest economy also anticipates a rise in travel demand when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games in 2020. Find out what its biggest airline is doing to prepare for the big event.