energy blogs


I never thought about the relationship between organics and renewables. This article sums it up pretty well. The site is a good site for for good news about renewables too.

http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/blog/articles/2016/08/19/why-organic-farming-is-a-friend-to-renewables

Why organic farming is a friend to renewables

Posted in: Good Energy news

Posted on: 19.08.16

Organic farming methods help take carbon dioxide from the air and lock it in the soil – a process known as carbon sequestration.

Our brainy friends at the Soil Association have calculated that if all UK farmland converted to organic farming, at least 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be taken up by the soil each year.

Organic farming and renewable energy go hand-in-hand, so we’re thrilled to be teaming up with the Soil Association to sponsor Organic September for the fourth year running.

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Go there and read it all. More next week.

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I like this one in particular because the fossil fuel people said this was impossible.

https://energyx.org/category/notable-posts/

Will California Reach Its 50% Clean Energy Goal? No Problem

But managing so much clean energy may be difficult. California will easily meet its goal of having half of its electricity come from clean energy by 2030, a group of energy entrepreneurs and the head of one of the state’s largest utilities agreed at Fortune’s Brainstorm E conference on Monday.

PG&E’s CEO Tony Earley said that the company had already reached a milestone earlier this year of getting 30% of its electricity from clean energy sources. Building on that landmark, PG&E already has clean energy projects lined up that will help it deliver half of its electricity from clean energy, like solar and wind, within less than 15 years, said Earley.

“We can get there,” he confidently predicted.

Earley noted that California’s definition of clean energy is particularly narrow. While some broader definitions of clean energy include big sources of carbon emissions-free power like nuclear power, hydroelectric, rooftop solar energy, and energy efficiency technology, California’s definition of clean energy only includes utility-scale solar and wind energy

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Go there and read a yuge amount. More next week.

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Most environmentalists go after coal fired power plants. They make a mistake. Methane is a much more dagerous and persistent gas and our houses use more and thus waste more of it.

http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-use/home-work/

How We Use Energy

Home & Work

We use energy in homes and commercial buildings in similar ways. We keep rooms at comfortable temperatures, provide lighting, heat water for bathing and hand washing, and power computers, copiers, appliances, and other technologies. Many of these luxuries weren’t even possible 100 years ago—and they require a lot of energy. In 2008, 41% of all the energy consumed in the United States went to powering homes and commercial buildings.

Many of these luxuries weren’t even possible 100 years ago—and they require a lot of energy.

Whether you live in an apartment, townhouse, or a single-family home, chances are you want to keep it warm in cold weather. Data from 2006 show that space heating accounts for the greatest energy usage in the residential sector, with the rest devoted, in decreasing proportions, to appliances, water heating, and air-conditioning. At 7%, electronics usage surpasses washers/dryers and dishwashers, cooking, and computers in energy use. Appliances such as refrigerators, water heaters, and washers/dryers are all considerably more energy efficient than they used to be, thanks to legislation that requires appliances to meet strict standards.

In U.S. homes, natural gas is the most widely used energy source (49%), followed by the secondary energy source, electricity, at 39%. That’s reversed in commercial buildings, where electricity (55%) is depended on more than natural gas (32%). The commercial sector includes a broad array of building types, including offices, grocery stores, sports arenas, schools, shopping malls, hotels, and hospitals. Practically any space where groups gather falls into this economic sector. The energy needs for these different buildings vary but when viewed as a whole, more than half of the energy used in commercial buildings goes to just heating (36%) and lighting (21%). Within this sector, retail stores and service buildings use the most total energy (20%), followed by office buildings (17%) and schools (13%).

For a fuller picture of energy use in these sectors, explore Our Energy System.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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China is having smog days in some cities that have pollutants 50 times higher then allowed in the United States. Rates that can cause lung damage in mere minutes. So everyone in Asia is well aware that they need to switch from carbon fuels to renewables. Unfortunately, India has not learned the lesson yet.  But Taiwan definitely has.

http://solarbusiness.com.au/rise-rise-taiwan-solar/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SolarBusinessServices+%28Solar+Business+Services%29

The rise and rise of Taiwan Solar

21 Oct, 2013

(I skipped the first couple of paragraphs)

Either way, this beautiful, mountainous, island nation has become a technological powerhouse in Asia. Driven initially by Japanese influences prior to World War 2, it has developed a highly successful semiconductor industry including wafer foundries, Integrated Circuit (IC) packaging and testing industries and was considered the world’s number one in 2011 in terms of IC revenues.

The Taiwanese semiconductor industry developed an early vertical integration model (upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors) including silicon materials and silicon wafering; midstream IC design, IC manufacturing, and IC packaging industries; and downstream computer, cellular phone, and consumable electrical product companies. The transition from semiconductor to photovoltaic industries was a therefore a logical and natural progression for Taiwan and explains why it has become so enormously important.

Fast forward to 2012 and the beginning of trade tariffs on Chinese made PV products in some countries.  With deep historical and business ties to China but technically an independent status, the importance of Taiwan’s PV manufacturing sector took a huge leap forward.

One example of the Taiwanese PV industries rise to PV success is WINAICO.  WINAICO’s parent company is Win Win Precise Material Co Ltd who established themselves in 2003 as a supplier and marketer to the semi-conductor industry. By 2007, it had created Winergy Solar and soon afterwards WINAICO, establishing a network of global sales offices and joint ventures to develop, market and deploy its PV technologies.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I wrote the following rant in response to a question from my stepson Gus. I did it the way I write emails, minues capital letters and punctuation. I may change that later but for now here it is.

as one of my professors used to say.. think about the question before you ask it because it will have an answer….so my first answer is that nuclear anything is an inappropriate use of technology and worse yet design….at least here on the earth…at least until the END…now in space that is another matter…as a small is beautiful person schumacher said that – building nuclear power plants is like using a firehose to knock an ant off your toilet seat…it would do it but it would trash the rest of the bathroom….

using commercial grade nuclear power plants to generate electricity are by their natures large and complex with many moving parts.. they were larely invented by scientists who had a hard on for large complex machine and the military who needed cover for their nuclear weapons program…so it really has no relation to the actual generation of electricity in the world and represents a valid dichotomy in intellectual thinking .. ie. large and central vs. separate and continuous … to me diffuse power systems make a lot of sense…1. they require far fewer power lines so transmission lose is reduced and 2. there is much less of a chance of an actual power failure…then there is the cost

finland is currently the most committed nuclear power plant builder…i know that sounds very weird but it is true and they are right next door to norway the home of the first commercial thorium nuclear test reactor…(what a great segue and a return to your real question)…finland’s last nuke was projected to cost 3 billion $$$ and it came in last year (5 years late) at 8 billion $$$…now understand findland kinda models the earth towards the end of our sun’s useful life…where nukes make sense…they gots no fuel besides wood and it is colder than hell there much of the year…(plus as a political side note they got russia as a neighbor.. big yuk) still it really makes no sense…

so if you can accept the facts of large complicate expensive energy systems and find the current nuclear ones to be dangerous then thorium salt generators may seem to hold promise…i would argue that if the usa was going to go nuclear in the 1950s this is the direction we should have gone…in fact oak ridge build 2 such reactors one, a straight salts burner (remember fission is just a large fire) and 2, a burner with a “mat”….they were quickly shut down because they did not involve highly concentrated uraniun and plutonium…so from that perspective thorium reactors are much safer…generate higher temperatures and generate much “safer” waste…

again for me we got the biggest nuke that we need in the SUN…usens puny humans caint do no betters…so i say we use that until it begins to fail and then use all the stuff we could burn then…unfortunately we have burned 1/2 of it already so we better stop quick….and for the record…contrary to the science fiction models…i do not believe we are going anywhere in this solar system anytime soon so to all the capitalists that have been treating this planet as disposable i say tsck tsck tsck….the billionaires currently have a huge hard on for mars…well they have not solved the radiation, speed and food problems yet let alone the fuel problems so i say have a go at it bloke…i will stand by the side and watch…remember that voyagers 1 and 2 where launched when i was a child and they are just now leaving the solar system…thought votes are still out as to whether they have yet or not…

 

BUT THEN THERE IS SOLAR:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/07/08/germanys-solar-industry-is-imploding/?partner=yahootix

Germany’s Solar Industry Is Imploding

William Pentland, Contributor

I write about energy and environmental issues.

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The title says it all. Go there and read. More next week

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This is so big that I just had to find the original source. Once I got to the source the article did not carry the same headline as the inflammatory piece from Washington Blog but in the last paragraph he does imply phasing out the nukes. He also points out that no upgrades have been ordered in response to Fukushima nor included in the new licenses issue. This IS the insanity of Nuclear Generation of electricity.

http://peakoil.com/alternative-energy/former-u-s-nuclear-chief-american-nuclear-plants-should-be-phased-out-cant-guarantee-against-accident-causing-widespread-land-contamination

But this is what the guy really said.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201303140050

 

INTERVIEW: Former U.S. nuke watchdog chair says regulators must stay independent

March 14, 2013

By SHIRO NAMEKATA/ Correspondent

As it is poised to impose strict regulatory measures on the operation of nuclear power plants, the Nuclear Regulation Authority is increasingly met by opposition that it is making the resumption of plants that are currently offline virtually impossible.

In a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Washington, Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), said it is crucial for a nuclear watchdog to stay independent from the nuclear industry.

Jaczko, who, unlike his four colleagues, opposed the first new construction and operation of a nuclear plant in the United States since the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, also discussed the future of nuclear energy. Excerpts from the interview follow:

 

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Go there and read. More next time.

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What the planet can expect in the future and humans should be prepared for. A pulse starts some where when it is either cooler or warmer than the rest of the world. This temperature variant then pulses around the world until splat, it strikes a particular area with an unknown effect. Fire here, drought there, and a flood occasionally.

http://theenergycollective.com/josephromm/201816/weather-extremes-atmospheric-waves-and-climate-change

Weather Extremes: Atmospheric Waves And Climate Change

Authored by:

Joseph Romm

By Vladimir Petoukhov and Stefan Rahmstorf, via The Conversation

The northern hemisphere has experienced a spate of extreme weather in recent times. In 2012 there were destructive heat waves in the U.S. and southern Europe, accompanied by floods in China. This followed a heat wave in the U.S. in 2011 and one in Russia in 2010, coinciding with the unprecedented Pakistan flood — and the list doesn’t stop there.

Now we believe we have detected a common physical cause hidden behind all these individual events: Each time one of these extremes struck, a strong wave train had developed in the atmosphere, circling the globe in mid-latitudes. These so-called planetary waves are well-known and a normal part of atmospheric flow. What is not normal is that the usually moving waves ground to a halt and were greatly amplified during the extreme events.

Looking into the physics behind this, we found it is due to a resonance phenomenon. Under special conditions, the atmosphere can start to resonate like a bell. The wind patterns form a regular wave train, with six, seven or eight peaks and troughs going once around the globe (see graph). This is what we propose in a study published this week together with our colleagues of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Planetary waves

Normally, an important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating irregularly between the tropical and polar regions. So when they swing northward, these waves suck warm air from the tropics to Europe, Russia, or the US; and when they swing southward, they do the same thing with cold air from the Arctic. This is a well-known feature of our planet’s atmospheric circulation system

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster Japan has needed to find new power sources. This could be it and it is in their backyard. This could free up Japan’s stagnate economy because the cost would be so much cheaper and the money would stay in Japan. I need to know much more about how they extract the hydrates, how they process them and how they use them before I can say that this will be great for the rest of us.

http://theenergycollective.com/sbattaglia/200361/methane-hydrate-future-of-energy

Japan’s Methane Hydrates and the Future of Global Energy

Posted March 19, 2013

Authored by:

Sarah Battaglia

Sarah Battaglia has been one of the in-house Copywriters and the Social Media Specialist for Energy Curtailment Specialists since 2011.

All eyes are on Japan as they recently became the first country to successfully extract natural gas from methane hydrate deposits, commonly referred to as “flammable ice,” located nearly 900 feet below the seabed.  For a country that imports almost all of its energy, this discovery could be an incredible asset.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daichii disaster, Japan is in the process of moving away from nuclear power, and this new source of natural gas could be just the solution.  Spokesperson for the Japan Oil, Gas, & Metal National Corp. (JOGMEC) Takami Kawamoto stated, “Japan could finally have an energy source to call its own.”  The New York Times described methane hydrate as “a sherbet-like substance that can form when methane gas is trapped in ice below the seabed or underground.”  Even though it may resemble ice, it will burn when heated.  JOGMEC predicts at least 1.1 trillion cubic meters of this substance can be found in the eastern Nankai Trough located off the Pacific Coast.  That could be enough natural gas to last Japan 11 years!  Furthermore, an estimated 7 trillion cubic meters of “flammable ice” can be found throughout Japan’s waters, supplying natural gas for several decades.

When asked about the process, JOGMEC stated, “With specialized equipment, the team drilled into and then lowered the pressure in the undersea methane hydrate reserve, causing the methane and ice to separate.  It then piped the natural gas to the surface.”  The gas can also be attained by heating the solid methane hydrate, but this process uses a considerable amount of energy.

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Go there and read. More later.

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Well to be fair, they actually think it is going to be natural gas, but at least they mention solar.

http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Shell-Predicts-that-Natural-Gas-or-Solar-will-Become-the-No.-1-Energy-Source.html

Shell Predicts that Natural Gas or Solar will Become the No. 1 Energy Source

By Charles Kennedy | Sun, 03 March 2013

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) has just released new forecasts for its ‘New Lens Scenarios’ program, which aims to predict how current business decision and policies may unfold over time and affect the markets in the future.

Peter Voser, the CEO of Shell, explained that the scenarios “highlight the need for business and government to find ways to collaborate, fostering policies that promote the development and use of cleaner energy and improve energy efficiency.”

The scenarios take two different approaches: one considers the world with a high level of government involvement, and the other looks at the markets when they are given more freedom to develop naturally.

With high government involvement in dictating energy and policies, Shell believes that natural gas will flourish to become the number one energy source in the world over the next couple of decades, overtaking coal and helping to reduce carbon emissions.

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Go there and read. More later.

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It is true. Not in my backyard is a syndrome that can be defused but you have to start early and you have to speak often and sincerely. Utility Executives just do not have the right touch and even when they care they hire bright shiny faces that lack any sense of truthfulness.

http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2013/02/26/new-england-offshore-wind-planning-offers-lessons-for-great-lakes/

New England offshore wind planning offers lessons for Great Lakes

Posted on by

When Scandia, a Norwegian wind company, announced its plans to install 200 turbines in Lake Michigan four miles from the tourist town of Ludington, Michigan, in 2009, they likely didn’t anticipate the controversy that would erupt.

After all, the project would be delivering domestically produced renewable energy to replace planet-warming fossil fuels. It would create local jobs installing and operating the turbines. A nearby pumped-hydro facility for storing backup energy sat in the nearby dunes, complete with substations and high-voltage lines they could use to move electricity from their offshore turbines to the grid.

“The developer thought, We’ll build wind farms out in Lake Michigan, hook up in Ludington, and everyone will be delighted,” recalled Arn Boezaart, director of the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center at Grand Valley State University.

Instead, “they were basically run out of town,” Boezaart recalled.

Residents of this picturesque town were outraged about the prospects of scores of wind turbines ruining their view. Nobody had consulted them. And Michigan, like every other Great Lakes state, lacks even a rudimentary procedure for regulating offshore wind farms, without which there would be little opportunity for public hearings.

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Go there and read. More later.

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