In Pictures: World’s hot alternative energy projects

From hydrogen to solar and wood there are tons of ongoing cool alternative energy projects across the globe

  • Solar energy projects may get the most hype but there are many other alternative energy projects being developed across the globe. Here we take a look at some of the more interesting ventures.

  • The Google logo is spelled out in heliostats (mirrors that track the sun and reflect the sunlight onto a central receiving point) during a tour of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border. The project, a partnership of NRG, BrightSource, Google and Bechtel, is the world's largest solar thermal facility and uses 347,000 sun-facing mirrors to produce 392 Megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power more than 140,000 homes.

  • A hydrogen fuel pump nozzle is pictured at a factory of German industrial gases maker Linde in Vienna. Linde opened what it said was the world's first production line for hydrogen fuelling stations on Monday, in a bid to boost support networks for eco-friendly cars. Fuel-cell cars, which compete with electric and hybrid vehicles in a race to capture environmentally conscious drivers, use a stack of cells that combine hydrogen with oxygen in the air to generate electricity.

  • United Parcel Service, the world's largest courier company, early in 2014 said it would buy 1,000 propane-fueled delivery trucks and install 50 fueling stations in the United States as it expands its already-large fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles.

  • Mirrors, used by Israeli start-up NewCO2fuel which reflect sunlight back up to a reflector (unseen) to make a useful fuel gas mixture called syngas, which can be made into methanol, an alternative fuel for vehicles, are seen at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in the central town of Rehovot near Tel Aviv.

  • Wood is seen stacked in front of buildings in the western Ukrainian town of Zolochiv, 450 km (281 miles) west of Ukrainian capital Kiev. The town council of the 25,000 residents of Zolochiv, last fall rejected the use of expensive gas for heating and completely switched to an alternative fuel – wood.

  • The Turanor PlanetSolar, the world's largest solar-powered boat, travels on the Seine river in Epinay-sur-Seine, near Paris. PlanetSolar, a catamaran powered exclusively by solar energy, completed the first solar-powered trip around the world on May 4, 2012 after travelling over 60,000 km (37,282 miles) in 584 days.

  • Another shot of the Turanor PlanetSolar.

  • Wind turbines of the high-sea wind farm BARD Offshore 1, stand 100 kilometers (62 miles) north-west of the German island of Borkum in the North Sea.

  • A Massachusetts Water Resources Authority wind turbine turns in front of a 1951 megawatt fossil fuel power plant in Charlestown, Mass. The wind turbine powers the MWRA waste water pumping station at that site and the power plant uses natural gas and oil.

  • Jatropha seeds, the oil of which is used to produce biofuel. In 2011, an Interjet Airlines Airbus 320 passenger plane using biofuel landed at Angel Albino Corzo of Tuxtla Gutierrez airport in Chiapas. At the time the flight, from Mexico City's International Airport, was the first in Mexico partially powered (27%) by biofuel.

  • The Scottish island of Eigg has the first completely wind, water and sun-powered electricity grid in the world, according to the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust. Between 85% and 95% of the energy consumed on the island comes from renewable resources. Here Eddie Scott, team coordinator of Eigg electric maintenance team, checks the batteries at the control station of Eigg electric.

  • The Whales Head community pub is seen on the Isle of Eigg.

  • France announced in July a package of tax breaks and low-cost loans to improve insulation in buildings and boost investment in renewable energy, which is supposed to provide 40% of the country's electricity by 2030. Here we see a the assembly of the rotor hub of an E-70 wind turbine manufactured by German company Enercon for La Compagnie du Vent during its installation at a wind farm in Meneslies, Picardie region.

  • A worker is seen inside Brazil’s Cuncas II tunnel that will link the canals being built to divert water from the Sao Francisco river for use in four drought-plagued states, a project that is three years behind schedule and has doubled in cost from the original estimate of $3.4 billion.

  • Also in Brazil, the controversial Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River, a huge project aimed at feeding Brazil's fast-growing demand for electricity. Here’s a look at the houses being built for employees of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam. The dam in the Amazon rainforest is one of great controversy in Brazil, pitting environmentalists and native Indians against the government and companies involved in the project.

  • Algae colonies are pictured with a digital camera through a microscope after being collected from a tank at a waste-water treatment plant in Chiclana de la Frontera, near Cadiz, southern Spain. The Spanish resort town with sprawling golf courses and tree-lined beaches has added another green site to its attractions: the world's first plant to convert sewage into clean energy. The facility in Chiclana de la Frontera on the southwest tip of Spain uses wastewater and sunlight to produce algae-based biofuel as part of a 12 million euro project to pursue alternative energies and reduce reliance on foreign oil.

  • Chile's President Michelle Bachelet addresses the audience during the inauguration of a solar plant by local mining company CAP in the Atacama Desert June 5, 2014. CAP inaugurated the largest solar plant in Latin America with an area equivalent to 200 football fields and to generate enough power to meet almost all the electrical needs of an iron ore mine.

  • The solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 experimental aircraft takes off during its maiden flight at its base in Payerne June 2, 2014. The aircraft, which was unveiled April 9, weighs 2.4 tons with a wingspan of 72 meters (236 feet) and more than 17,000 solar cells. The attempt to fly around the world in stages using only solar energy will be made in 2015, according to the project.

  • Two 20,000-pound yellow buoys -- each worth $1.3 million -- festooned out with the latest in meteorological and oceanographic equipment will enable more accurate predictions of the power-producing potential of winds that blow off U.S. shores. The buoys are being commissioned by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state's Sequim Bay. Starting in November, they will be deployed for up to a year at two offshore wind demonstration projects: one near Coos Bay, Oregon, and another near Virginia Beach, Va., the DOE states. The buoys carry advanced instruments, including devices called lidar, which is short for light detection and ranging, to measure wind speed and direction at multiple heights above the ocean.

  • The world’s largest wave energy site is scheduled to be built off the coast of Scotland. The 40MW wave farm will be deployed by Aquamarine Power, through its subsidiary Lewis Wave Power.

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