Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Silicon Valley dominated this week's news cycle, beginning with Yahoo's announcement that it will no longer allow employees to work from home. Some are crying foul, however, pointing out that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently installed a nursery in her office, and that unlike most mothers, she's allowed to bring her child to work. But while Yahoo's announcement may have ruffled some feathers, Google gave greenies reason to smile, as it announced plans to build a jumbo, green-roofed expansion at the tech giant's Mountain View headquarters. Not to be outdone, Samsung unveiled plans to build a garden-filled, eco-friendly Silicon Valley headquarters of its own.
In the world of green cars, engineer Jim Kor is developing the Urbee 2 -- a lightweight, 3D-printed car that could revolutionize the entire industry. The vehicle has a hybrid engine and three wheels that can reach speeds of up to 110 MPH. Meanwhile, Hyundai just became the world's first automaker to begin assembly-line production of a hydrogen vehicle with the ix35 Fuel Cell car. For those who need just a little more power, there's the McLaren P1 Hybrid Supercar, which clocks in at 903 horsepower and has a starting price of $1.31 million. And for an entirely different kind of ride, this week we peeked inside the charming interior of a van that a Welsh couple transformed into a rustic camper.
In labs across the world, scientists are tackling the question of how to produce clean, renewable energy for a population that is increasingly untethered and on the go. A new startup called Ubiquitous Energy is currently developing see-through solar cells that can be installed on top of tablet screens to keep your iPad running all day long, and Uncharted Play just launched the Soccket energy-generating soccer ball on Kickstarter. Taylor Wilson, the 18-year-old who built a nuclear fusion reactor in his parent's garage when he was 14, is developing a portable fission reactor that could be more efficient than existing nuclear plants. In India, students at Delhi University have received approval to pilot a project that will use the winds generated by subway trains to produce energy. In other renewable energy news, Saudi Arabia announced plans to produce 54 gigawatts of renewable energy, and solar power generation is projected to increase by 35 times in Argentina.
In other news, scientists have developed a flexible lithium-ion battery capable of stretching up to 300 percent its original size that could have great applications in wearable technology. Peruvian researchers teamed up with an ad agency to create an amazing billboard that generates drinking water from thin air. In a recent TED Talk, MIT's Skylar Tibbits explained the future of 4D printing, which involves creating a 3D-printed object that is capable of self-assembling. Scientists from the University of South Carolina are using pine sap to create biodegradable, renewable plastics. And a new study finds that a bracelet-like device fitted around a patient's esophagus could alleviate chronic acid reflux.