An energy source you can ball up and carry on your back, solar-powered football stadiums, and a project to record all the plants in New York. All news is good news in the Good News Report.
Here at the Good News Report, we’ve occasionally written about how solar energy has been used to help people in remote locations, but delivering solar panels to those who need them definitely could be easier than it often is. That’s where scientists from the University of California, San Diego come in. The UCSD team is developing a solar tarp that can expand from a grapefruit-size ball to the size of a traditional panel for easy transport. “My group’s work has been focused on identifying ways to create materials with both good semiconducting properties and the durability plastics are known for – whether flexible or not,” researcher Darren Lipomi wrote in The Conversation. “This will be key to my idea of a solar tarp or blanket, but could also lead to roofing materials, outdoor floor tiles or perhaps even the surfaces of roads or parking lots.”
Up in Alaska, a business accelerator called Launch Alaska is challenging enterepreneurs to develop alternative energy solutions in a region normally associated with fossil fuels. Launch Alaska has selected four energy startups working on technology to bring clean energy to the state for its 2018 program, offering each one mentorship, training and $75,000 in exchange for equity in their companies. “Alaska is the ideal place for an alternative energy start up today! It’s a great place to prove your concept and get some traction,” said Isaac Vanderburg, managing director of Launch Alaska, according to GreenMatters.
Football season kicks off next month, and when the Detroit Lions host the New York Jets’ opening weekend, the team will do it with the help of solar power. Both Ford Stadium and the Lions’ practice field now boast solar panels to fulfill some of their energy needs. The Lions aren’t the only professional sports franchise to do this, but hopefully they’ll have even more company soon.
Susan Hewitt may not be a trained scientist, but the 70-year-old plant enthusiast is definitely doing her part for science in a project called EcoFlora. She’s among the 730 volunteers who’ve hit the the streets with their smartphones to photograph New York’s flora and upload the images to a platform where botanists can catalog floral growth throughout the city. Hewitt and her cohorts have already identified six species never before recorded in New York, two of which are new to the United States. “I get a tremendous kick out of identifying things,” she told The Washington Post. “There’s nothing more exciting.”
Finally, because some headlines tell a story better than we ever could: This Guy Rides A Floating Bicycle While Fishing For Plastic.
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