Plus-Energy Homes



Roxbury E+ Townhouses. All photos:

We love finding new and innovative solutions to live more sustainably. In this case, imagine living in a home that not only produces enough energy (from renewable sources of course) to sustain its own energy consumption but also produces surplus energy.  These are known as plus-energy homes and they are not only energy efficient, but also eye appealing and becoming more affordable. Here is a list of eight homes that pioneer in sustainability (the three I have listed are my top favorites):

1. ZEB pilot House by Snøhetta in Norway

Dramatically tilted toward the southeast, Snøhetta’s ZEB Pilot House is a plus-energy family house that produces enough surplus energy to power an electric car year-round. Located in Larvik, Norway, the 200-square-meter home serves as a demonstration project to facilitate learning and is powered by rooftop solar energy and geothermal energy.

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Cool Chemistry



Increasing levels of CO₂ are the principle cause of the alarming climate changes that we have observed in the past several decades, so why not use the same chemical compound that is causing all our woes to generate fuel, or electricity, as we saw here a few days ago? The scientific community is well aware of the common and “conventional” renewable energies, so researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a solar cell that converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only the sunlight for energy.  This new invention removes the necessity of batteries and solves two crucial problems: Continue reading

Solar Comes Home!

Kerala, India, has the world’s first solar-powered airport. PHOTO:  CIAL

Kerala, India, has the world’s first solar-powered airport. PHOTO: CIAL

For five years now, RAXA Collective has called the state of Kerala, India, its home. Over the years, the ‘three magic words’ – community, collaboration, conservation – have guided our work here. And every story in these three spaces has us glad for finding another believer. Now we’ve found a believer who puts his thoughts into action in the Cochin International Airport. Welcome to our land and the world’s first solar-powered, power-neutral airport.

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A Scooter That Charges Faster Than Your Phone

Ather Energy's e-scooter - S340 - is powered by a battery that charges within an hour

Ather Energy’s e-scooter – S340 – is powered by a battery that charges within an hour

India is the world’s second largest market for two-wheelers, and more than 14 million two-wheelers were sold last year. But electric scooters, so far, aren’t too big a part of that pie. When electric two-wheelers were first introduced nearly a decade ago, companies were betting big. They had a brief honeymoon period between 2008 and 2010, with sales more than doubling during that time. But all that dwindled once the government slashed its Rs22,000 ($346) subsidy for lithium battery packs in 2012. From selling 100,000 units two years ago, sales plunged to 21,000 units by 2014. But Ather Energy is bent on revising the trend.

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