This week at TreeHugger: Tired of high gas prices? Even hypermiling isn't good enough for you? Check out VW's 282 MPG car! Limited edition coming out in 2010. If you are reading this, you have a computer. We often hear about all the energy they use, but rarely about all the energy they save. Wouldn't it be cool if a giant rubber snake saved the world? That's hyperbole, but this rubber tube could help produce power from waves.
The VW 1-Liter car has been around in prototype form since 2002 and greens everywhere have been drooling at its 282 miles per gallon fuel economy (or 1 liter of gasoline per 100 kilometers, hence the name). VW has finally decided to make more and sell them, and a limited edition (estimated in the thousands) should start selling in 2010.
The most obvious way that electronic equipment can make us greener is by reducing transportation emissions: Videoconferencing, email, audio calls, etc. That should all add up to between 140m and 220m tonnes of CO2 a year in 2020. But the real big improvements are elsewhere: Improving logistics (f.ex. planning better routes for delivery vehicles, managing supply chains better, etc) could save 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2, using data networking to create a "smart" grid could save 2 billion tonnes of CO2, and computer-controlled buildings that can manage lighting and ventilation depending on how many people are inside could save a further 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2.
Francis Farley, an experimental physicist, and Rod Rainey of Atkins Oil and Gas, have invented a new device that could help bring the cost of wave power down. They call it the 'Anaconda' after the species of aquatic boas (and a cheesy movie). It's basically "a large distensible rubber tube.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.