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Researchers have achieved an efficiency record for transparent solar cells, paving the way for skyscraper windows to serve as power sources. A team from the University of Michigan used an organic, carbon-based design to transform sunlight into electricity with an efficiency rate of 8.1 per cent. Commercial solar cells, which are typically made using silicon rather than carbon, tend to have an efficiency rate of between 14 and 19 per cent. "Windows, which are on the face of every building, are an ideal location for organic solar cells because they offer something silicon can't, which is a combination of very high...

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Japanese engineers are hoping to build wind turbines that can withstand the world’s worst typhoons, generating power even in the midst of a natural disaster. Mariel Robedizo Engranes was 15 when Typhoon Haiyan hit. She was living in her hometown of Dolores, Eastern Samar, in eastern Philippines. The country regularly experiences typhoons but Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, was extraordinary. It arrived on 8 November 2013, and it was one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded. “Before 6am, I heard my mum shouting and screaming,” Engranes remembers of the morning that Yolanda struck. “I noticed...

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The Chancellor is set to announce a ‘green homes’ scheme, including £2 billion worth of vouchers for homeowners, during his ‘mini-Budget’ announcement tomorrow. Newspaper reports suggest the ‘Green Homes Grant’, which aims to create green jobs and extra work for plumbers, builders and boost the green recovery of the economy, is expected to provide vouchers worth £5,000 and up to £10,000 for some of the neediest households. The scheme, which will allow homeowners to make upgrades on wall and floor insulation, low carbon boilers, heat pumps, energy efficient lighting and doors, is expected to go live in September. Under the new scheme, the...

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