Scotland now generates over half its
electricity from renewable sources like
wind and solar power. The goal is for
the entire country to stop depending
on fossil fuels and produce 100% of
its annual electricity needs with
renewable resources by 2030. SourceSource 2
Over the weekend, Germany did something amazing: It
produced so much solar, wind and hydro energy that the cost of electricity actually
went negative for a few hours. Yes, companies were actually paying some people to use electricity. This is an incredible achievement, but it revealed a problem going forward.
“One of the first successful photographs of lightning. The plate was exposed over a period of some minutes and shows a number of separate flashes occurring during that time.” The Idler; an illustrated monthly magazine. 1903.
CHOI+SHINE, an international architecture and design studio, has put forward several proposals to make ordinary high-voltage electricity pylons more interesting. They aim to change pylons from a bland necessity to “monuments in the landscape” by creating these immense giants.
This is what happens when you pump mains electricity through a steak (using a kettle as a resistor), when you focus the beams from a strong light source onto one piece of steak, and when you try to fry prawns using a bottle rocket.
As electricity is forced through the steak, electrons interact with the atoms and molecules of the meat. As the steak doesn’t conduct very well, the electrons have to push very hard, and in doing so transfer energy to the meat - a process known as joule heating.
Parabolas focus all the incoming energy into one spot. We harnessed that to cook a steak.
And we whipped out our old favourite - bottle rockets - to fry our prawns. Had to sort out a projectile prawn issue first, though.
Plant-e has a bold mission: to generate clean electricity from plants. That may sound like science fiction, but the breakthrough technology behind Plant-e could transform the way the world gets electricity. And it’s already starting to work.