Archives for posts with tag: Google

Green Halo - Google Buys Solar-Powered Drone Manufacturer Titan Aerospace to Boost Internet Access in Third World Countries3D printing may be all the rage in design, but for Big Tech, drones are where the money is. On Monday, web giant Google beat out Facebook in a race to acquire Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone manufacturer. Although Google claims the drones will be used for the forces of good, such as broadcasting Internet signals to remote areas, some worry that the high-flying drones may pose troublesome consumer privacy implications.

New Mexico-based drone maker Titan Aerospace specializes in the creation of high-altitude solar-powered drones. “It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation,” said a Google spokesman in an email to AFP. Google also plans to use the high-flying drones to assist their ongoing Project Loon, which uses giant balloons to broadcast Internet signals, as well as Makani, a project to build an energy-efficient airborne wind turbine.

The drones may also be used to enhance Google Earth’s aerial imagery capabilities. According to Titan, its drones can stay airborne for up to five years without the need for routine maintenance. The search engine giant’s continued foray into drone investing mirrors similar gambits by other high-profile consumer-based businesses such as Amazon’s proposed drone delivery service and Facebook’s similar plans to deliver Internet via drones to third-world countries.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Google has just unveiled a new online tool called Global Forest Watch that allows organizations and everyday people to monitor deforestation around the world. More than 40 organizations are collaborating on the site, which tracks the gain and loss of tree cover around the world using a combination of satellite data, crowdsourcing, and open data to show the state of the world’s forests in near real-time.

The site is designed to be easy to use and understand, showing separate maps of forest loss and gain over the present and past fourteen years, as well as maps of global tree cover, protected regions and conservation efforts, and more. Visitors to the site can view a map of the world for an idea of the big picture, or zoom in to see what’s happening in their own backyards.

There’s more the the site than simply giving visitors the ability to sit back and watch the world’s forests change, however. Global Forest Watch also wants to empower individuals, governments, companies, and NGOs to monitor logging operations. Corporations can use the tool to ensure their supply chain is sustainable, governments can identify illegal clearing operations, and residents in affected areas can report violators in their communities.

Check out this video on Monitoring Forests in Near Real Time:

Find out what is happening in forests right now at Global Forest Watch

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Clean energy got a big boost today as Ivanpah, the world’s largest concentrating solar power plant, officially started generating energy for California’s electric grid. Located just southwest of Las Vegas, the massive solar facility can produce a whopping 392 megawatts of solar energy to power 140,000 California homes with clean energy–the equivalent of removing 400,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air per year. Despite these impressive numbers, however, Ivanpah has been mired in controversy for its high operating costs and for reportedly killing and scorching alarming numbers of the local wildlife.Green Halo - Solar Energy Power Plant

Jointly created between NRG Energy, Inc., Google, and BrightSource Energy, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is the largest solar project of its kind and accounts for nearly a third of all solar thermal energy produced in the U.S. Stretching across five square miles in the Mojave desert, the massive solar project consists of three 40-story tall towers surrounded by 350,000 garage door-sized mirrors. Each reflective heliostat focuses solar energy onto the boilers atop the towers to create steam to power turbines.

The Ivanpah plant, however, has come under fire by various critics. According to the Wall Street Journal, the clean energy generated by Ivanpah will cost about four times as much as the electricity generated by conventional natural gas-fired plants. Ivanpah will also produce less electricity than conventional sources and require more land to operate. Animal activists have also been alarmed by the number of birds that have been scorched and killed around the solar plant towers, which can generate temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa