I’m an experienced technology and business journalist currently writing for MIT Technology Review, IEEE Spectrum, Greentech Media, and GreenBiz. My articles also appear in Scientific American, the Boston Globe, The Guardian, New Scientist, OnEarth, and Data Informed. I previously worked as a reporter at tech news site CNET, where I managed the Green Tech blog, and as executive editor of enterprise IT publication InfoWorld.
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LS9 was a synthetic biology pioneer created by premier scientists and top-flight venture capitalists to make low-cost fuels such as diesel from sugar. But companies formed to make biofuels from genetically engineered microbes have yet to produce fuel at scale or compete with petroleum on price.
To bring light to places without an electric grid, entrepreneurs and designers need to focus on understanding local conditions and economic business models.
It’s not just about big batteries. A number of companies are building mechanical systems that use compressed or liquified air to store hours of energy on the grid. Their biggest advantage may be using off-the-shelf gear.
Boston-based startup Cambrian Innovation tries to bring innovation to industrial wastewater with biological reactor that uses microbes to turn waste into energy.
Clean tech finance:
Cooling servers with liquids–either by dunking servers in a bath of fluids or circulating water directly into server racks–could greatly cut energy use, but it faces cultural barriers in commercial data centers.
Dean Kamen, Segway inventor, is now bringing energy autonomy and Stirling engines powered by natural gas to the home. Will the utility-run electric grid only be used as back up to consumers and businesses?
Cities are a key proving ground for commercial energy storage technologies, offering businesses a way to shave peak power charges–and make the grid more resilient.
Think 3-D printing is overhyped? GE, the world’s largest manufacturer, is on the verge of using 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, to make parts for a fuel-efficient jet engine.