Using less and saving more through ingenuity and efficiency.

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How Researchers Are Recording the Sound of a Massive Bat Die-Off

Photo Courtesy of USFWS/Ann Froschauer This species of Little Brown Bat was once common in the Northeast, but has been devastated by white-nose syndrome. If you’ve ever tried to evict an unwelcome bat from your home, you know it can be tricky. If you haven’t, imagine trying to coax an agile mouse into a laundry [...]

Texas Wind Power Breaks Another Record

Another record was set for wind power generation this week, according to the group that manages much of the state’s power. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) says Wednesday evening, wind power generation on the grid reached10,296 megawatts (MW), or enough to power 5 million Texas homes during times of regular demand. That beat [...]

Texas Oil Spill Tracked With New High-tech Buoy

Crew about to deploy rapid response tracking buoy built by Texas A&M

There are over 500 clean-up crew members working in boats and on beaches near where the oil spilled near Texas City on Galveston Bay. But determining where some of the oil might still go is being done by experts who aren’t nearby. They’re over 2,000 miles away. Doug Helton is in Seattle, Washington. He’s in [...]

With Bats Disappearing, Researchers Listen for a Clue

The Ann Richards Bridge in downtown Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. But it’s just one of many Texas bat colonies. In other parts of the country, bats have been decimated by a disease called “White Nose Syndrome.” The bats in Texas appear untouched by the disease so far, [...]

Now You Can Track Groundwater Levels in Texas

Texans don’t need statistics to tell them what the drought is like – they can feel it in their bones. Residents, manufacturers and farmers all depend on both reservoirs and groundwater in Texas, but up until recently only surface reservoir levels were public in Texas. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) updates those reservoir levels on their [...]

Invasive Zebra Mussels May Have Finally Met Their Match

At first glance, zebra mussels appear harmless, perhaps even cute. But the tiny creatures are anything but cute for Texas lakes. Originally from Eurasia, zebra mussels made their first appearance in North America in the Great Lakes in the early nineties. The mussels have since made their way to Texas, and over the years, this invasive [...]

Feral Hogs Got You Down? There’s an App For That

The SXSW Interactive conference, also known as the week that launches a thousand apps, begins today. Start-ups will be pitching their app as The One to Out-Social Them All, whether it’s an app that helps you avoid humans, or, in case you’ve encountered too many humans, an app that can help you get tested for [...]

What Do Plane Flights and Wind Farms Have in Common? Turbulence

Turbulence is a menace to more than just airplane passengers. As wind power grows in Texas and beyond, its impact on wind turbines is becoming a challenge for energy generation. In a recent study released by the University of Texas at San Antonio, mechanical engineering professor Kiran Bhaganagar found that placing  turbines too closely together in a [...]

How the Yeast in Your Bread Could One Day Be Fuel For Your Car

For years, soybeans have been the predominant base for biodiesel fuel in the United States. But the crop has a major limitation — it can’t grow everywhere, preventing its widespread adoption as a fuel. Hal Alper, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has come up with a replacement. It’s found [...]

Here’s Who Will Pay You to Use Less Power in Texas

There’s a heated debate going on among state regulators and all over newspaper op-ed pages in Texas: Do we have enough power to meet the demand of our growing population? That answer largely depends on how to spin the latest forecasts and reports, but what is clear is this: the state’s actual power demand hasn’t [...]

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