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In recent years, we have seen many cleantech projects becoming popular as a result of increased awareness of the world’s sustainability issues. Thanks to inspired, passionate entrepreneurs, these issues become business opportunities that address problems across the planet. Here are a few examples of new developments so far this year.
The Zerotracer is an electric motorcycle that traveled around the world in 80 days for $400. Powered by lithium-polymer batteries and a Brusa electric motor, this vehicle or something like it could be the next big thing in personal transportation. The Zerotracer addresses many concerns about electric vehicles by using batteries that pack a lot of power for their weight (they have a high energy density) and can also be fully recharged in just two hours.
Sticking with electricity, the California Solar Initiative has just reached the 1 gigawatt milestone. The program – developed by the state of California and involving rebates for buyers to boost solar adoption for residential and professional usage – is part of a larger objective: 3 gigawatts of solar power-generating capability by the end of 2016. Few countries and even fewer states have reached this milestone so far. This project seems to have a bright future ahead of it.
Finally, another example of how the sun can be used to address vital human needs: a company named Masdar is developing desalination plants to be powered by renewable sources. Due to growing populations across the world, the lack of potable water is a major problem that must be addressed. In particularly hot and dry areas, such as the Middle East, access to drinkable water can be difficult whereas sunlight is abundant. As such, the region has become a hot spot (no pun intended) for clean energy development, capitalizing on all those sunny days with large solar installations that Masdar hopes can be used to power desalination plants. With the Middle East already producing 50 percent of the world’s desalinated water, the company is well on the way to developing effective, efficient and sustainable ways to deliver potable water to millions more people.
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