It's New Year's Eve and it's time to look back at the year in clean technology. This year held some incredible innovations and big renewable energy news. The stories you clicked on the most ranged from an energy-harvesting rubber material to a zero-energy fridge and, of course, the big Bloom Energy reveal. Ecogeeks, here are your top ten:
10. Google Develops New Solar Thermal Mirror Prototype Google made a lot of headlines this year, but you were most interested in its new solar thermal mirror prototype. Using new materials on the reflective surface, Google believes it can halve the cost of building a solar thermal plant and bring electricity costs way down.
9. Save Your Battery: Unplug Your Laptop We all want to preserve the battery life in our laptops. As it turns out, it could be as simple as pulling the plug as soon as your laptop is fully charged.
8. Rubber Material Harvests Energy from Small Movements A new material harvests energy from simple movements like walking or even breathing. It could be implanted in shoes to power gadgets or even next to the lungs to power pacemakers.
7. High-Efficiency Hydraulic Hybrid Car Could Get 170 MPG Hydraulic power in a hybrid car allows for significant weight reduction and greatly increases the power recovered with regenerative braking.
6. Solar Aero's Bladeless Wind Turbine The lack of blades in this new wind technology makes it cheaper, quieter and reduces the threat to birds and bats.
5. Europe Will Be Powered By Saharan Sun in Five Years A huge scheme of solar projects in the Saharan Desert will be up and running sooner than first planned. The enormous Desertec project will initially have a capacity in the hundreds of megawatts increasing to hundreds of gigawatts over the next two to four decades.
4. Printable Lithium Batteries Coming Soon The latest in the printable technology craze, we'll soon see lithium batteries rolling hot off the presses.
3. Zero-Energy Fridge Uses Gel to Preserve Food Easily one of the weirdest stories of the year, this fridge concept takes off the door and uses a gel-like substance to hold and preserve food.
2. Bloom Energy: Should you Believe the Hype? We cut through the hype of one of the biggest clean tech stories of the year: the Bloom Energy fuel cell box.
1. Sponge-Like Glass Cleans Contaminated Water The most popular story was about an amazing glass material that can absorb gasoline and other pollutants containing volatile organic compounds out of water. The Gulf oil spill had us all wishing that this material was ready to be deployed on a large scale.