This box sucks pure water out of dry desert air

For many of us, clean, drinkable water comes right out of the tap. But for billions it’s not that simple, and all over the world researchers are looking into ways to fix that. Today brings work from Berkeley, where a team is working on a water-harvesting apparatus that requires no power and can produce water even in the dry air of the desert. Hey, if a cactus can do it, why can’t we? While there are numerous methods for collecting water from the air, many require power or parts that…

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Apple invests $10M in greenhouse gas-free aluminum smelting

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard joined key execs from Apple and industrial manufacturers Alcoa and Rio Tinto to announce a new process for smelting aluminum that removes greenhouse gases from the equation. Alcoa and Rio Tinto are creating a joint venture in based in Montreal called Elysis, to help mainstream the process, with plans to make it commercially available by 2024. Along with swapping carbon for oxygen as a byproduct of the production process, the technology is also expected to reduce costs by around 15…

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Google endorses Clean Power Plan ahead of expected repeal

Google has joined Apple in a growing chorus of tech giants coming out in support of the Clean Power Plan. The company filed a statement with the Environmental Protection Agency, which it has since shared with TechCrunch, supporting the Obama-era legislation. The legislation, which sought to curb power plant emissions by more than 30 percent by 2030, is expected to be repealed by the Trump administration. As with Apple’s earlier filing, Google cites both environmental and economic fallout, should the policy be repealed. “Wind and solar deployment—as well as the…

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Solar project lending startup Wunder Capital raises $112 million as renewable energy shines

As renewable energy continues to gobble up more and more of the new energy capacity coming online, the solar project lending company Wunder Capital has raised $112 million in primarily debt financing to boost its business. The 90 percent debt and 10 percent equity commitment came from the multi-strategy investment firm Cyrus Investments, which has backed renewable energy projects for years through its investment in RePower Group. “The debt component is going to blow out the lending opportunity,” says Wunder chief executive Bryan Birsic. Wunder chose to consolidate the debt…

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Buick unveils an all-electric SUV concept and it’s exactly what GM needs

General Motors is spinning up its electrification plans and today announced the stunning, poorly named Buick Enspire concept at Auto China 2018. As a concepts go, this one looks great and rather feasible. GM says it’s powered by Buick’s eMotion powertrain that can produce a maximum output of 410 kW (roughly 550 hp). This should make it good for a 4-second sprint to 60 mph. Range is clocked at 370 miles and the battery can be recharged to 80 percent within 40 minutes. It supports both fast and wireless charging.…

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Apple says its global facilities are now powered by 100-percent clean energy

Last week, Apple called out the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to rollback the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The company cited both the obvious environmental impact of such a move, along with potential economic fallout. It turns out Apple’s got quite a bit invested in the latter.  The company announced today that its global facilities are now 100-percent run by renewable energy. The move is in line with the company’s 2015 plan to push toward 100-percent renewable energy, a list that includes all of Apple’s data centers as of 2014. As…

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Massterly aims to be the first full-service autonomous marine shipping company

Logistics may not be the most exciting application of autonomous vehicles, but it’s definitely one of the most important. And the marine shipping industry — one of the oldest industries in the world, you can imagine — is ready for it. Or at least two major Norwegian shipping companies are: they’re building an autonomous shipping venture called Massterly from the ground up. “Massterly” isn’t just a pun on mass; “Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship” is the term Wilhelmson and Kongsberg coined to describe the self-captaining boats that will ply the seas…

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Apple voices opposition to Clean Power Plan repeal

The Clean Power Plan is shaping up to be the latest Obama-era legislation on the Trump administration chopping block. In fact, Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has been quite open in his intentions to kill the plan focused on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Apple is among the first — but likely not the last — of companies to voice opposition to the matter. This week, the company filed a statement with the EPA noting concerns over the potential fallout from rolling back the policy. The note cites both environmental…

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Alphabet X spinout Dandelion raises $4.5M to build out its geothermal heating and cooling system for homes

Dandelion, a clean energy startup that was originally incubated inside Google parent Alphabet, has raised $4.5 million in funding to build out its business — a geothermal heating and cooling system for homes that claims it will drastically reduce its customers’ bills — it claims to cut bills in half (notwithstanding the upfront costs, more on that below) — while also being significantly more friendly for the environment compared to conventional systems that use gas and fossil fuels. The company opened for business first in Upstate New York — a…

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