energy education


Over the years I have gotten 100s of requests to post links with other Blogs and Internet Sites that are related to the things that I post about; Sometimes tangentially. Sometimes very tangentially. Below I am going to try to post some of those with the text of the request where applicable or sometimes just the link.

I am only one guy by the way. That is it, Community Energy Systems and Energy Tough Love is just one guy with 900 bucks in the bank….so there is no way I can track down each post of mine and put the link on the page. Did I mention I was 63 years old. I would be dead by the time i did 10 or 20 post. Is some of this sarcastic? Well yah. But I never mean it spitefully. Please laugh with me not at me. Consider this:

Sometimes people even offer to write entire articles –

Hi!

There are more than 3 million teachers within the U.S. public school system. While some may plan on being work-free during summer break, others might enjoy – or need – to find a short-term job during that time.

As a retired teacher, I thought it would be fun to research and write about summer side gigs for teachers. (Side note: Many of these gigs, especially those that take advantage of the growing sharing economy, can also be worked into the school-year schedule.)

Is this something that would be of interest to your readers? If so, I would love the opportunity to write a guest article at no cost to you. Please let me know, and I’ll start writing.

Thanks so much!

Joyce

Joyce Wilson

joyce@teacherspark.org

Teacherspark.org

 

5 Eco-Conscious Summer Jobs for School Teachers

As a teacher, you need a second job to make ends meet. But as an environmentalist, the idea of driving for Uber or running people’s errands through an on-demand app doesn’t appeal to you. You want to spend less time commuting in your car, not more. So what are the options? Here are five eco-conscious side gigs that teachers can work during the summer and year-round.

Walking Dogs

The school year leaves you sitting inside for most of the day. When summer hits, you want to get outdoors as much as possible. Walking dogs for friends and neighbors is a great excuse to spend time outdoors, and the pay isn’t bad either. According to CostHelper.com, the typical pay for a dog walker is $18 to $22 for a 30-minute walk. Because the gig comes with minimal overhead costs, most of that pay ends up in your pocket. Dog walkers can also offer pet sitting to boost their earning potential.

Building Custom Gardens

Everyone wants a gorgeous edible garden in their yard, but few want to put in the work. Start a business designing, building, and maintaining custom vegetable gardens in local backyards. You’ll help your neighbors eat healthier while reducing their carbon footprint, and you’ll enjoy a paying job that hardly feels like work. The only downside? There’s not much gardening to do during the winter months. However, teachers can offer winter yard maintenance to keep money flowing through the off-season.

Creating an Online Store

According to the Sierra Club, online shopping beats driving to the store when it comes to environmental impact. While boxes and packaging seem wasteful, one delivery truck driving from house to house spends less energy than each household making trips to the store. It’s easy to build an e-commerce website with drag-and-drop website builders, and you don’t have to create a unique product to open an online store. Many online stores earn money by dropshipping popular products like wireless headphones and phone cases from larger retailers. Offer a diversity of products or choose products with staying power so your store remains profitable for the long-term.

Flipping Second-Hand Goods

Our throwaway society has largely moved away from repairing broken goods, choosing instead to replace items the moment they cease to function. The result? Countless lightly used appliances, gadgets, and furniture items headed to the dump when they still have lots of life. If you’re handy and enjoy hunting for treasures, start a side business picking up broken items, repairing them, and reselling for profit. Yard sales and Craigslist are gold mines for free and cheap items in need of repair. Finance Superhero offers tips for getting started.

Blogging

Starting a blog is perfect for teachers who want to explore their interest in energy and environmentalism. Teachers can blog about topics they’re passionate about and generate income through ad revenue. A blog can also be a great platform for sharing information and selling lesson plans on environmentalism with other educators, who can then use the materials in their own classrooms.

Additionally, business ideas such as selling workwear, selfie drones, and electronics online have a smaller environmental impact than driving a rideshare, delivering groceries, or another sharing economy mainstay. They also have minimal start-up costs, so your business doesn’t take months or years to start generating profit like some small businesses. That’s important when your priority is increasing your income, not launching a new career. However, teachers shouldn’t assume their side gig is in the black. Diligent record keeping is key to ensuring you’re meeting your income goals and not putting more into a gig than you’re getting out.

There are many ways to earn an income on top of a full-time job. But if environmentalism is important to you, you may find it difficult to find a job that aligns with your values. While these five side gigs might not change the world, they’re practical ways for eco-conscious teachers to increase their income without increasing their carbon footprint.

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More whenever.

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All the capitalists care about is the money. So what if somebody dies making the power? So what if making the power kills someone? As long as they get their 100,000K profit or whatever it is. The numbers really have to mount before they even notice. Who cares if a “little person” dies, they were just taking up space anyway.

NOW this is a refreshing perspective.

https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2018-06-19/adding-offshore-wind-power-can-save-lives-benefit-public-health

 

The Lifesaving Benefits of Offshore Wind Power

Theoretically, offshore wind farms could supply all the electricity the U.S. consumes, according to the Energy Department.

By The Conversation, Contributor?June 19, 2018, at 9:52 a.m.

By Jonathan Buonocore

New plans to build two commercial offshore wind farms near the Massachusetts and Rhode Island coasts have sparked a lot of discussion about the vast potential of this previously untapped source of electricity.

But as an environmental health and climate researcher, I’m intrigued by how this gust of offshore wind power may improve public health. Replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar energy, research shows, can reduce risks of asthma, hospitalizations and heart attacks. In turn, that can save lives.

So my colleagues and I calculated the health impact of generating electricity through offshore wind turbines – which until now the U.S. has barely begun to do.

Greening the Grid

New England gets almost none of its electricity from burning coal and more than three-quarters of it from burning natural gas and operating nuclear reactors. The rest is from hydropower and from renewable energy, including wind and solar power and the burning of wood and refuse.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This Pope may be the best Pope I have ever lived through. I am not Catholic so I probably shouldn’t even be commenting on this or posting this BUT DAMN he is good. On sex abuse; On being gay; On capitalism and the poor; On so many issues he is right on. Now this. I am amazed.

https://thewest.com.au/business/energy/pope-francis-tells-big-oil-executives-clean-energy-is-an-epochal-challenge-ng-b88862527z

Pope Francis tells big oil executives clean energy is an ‘epochal’ challenge

AP

Pope Francis warned that climate change risked destroying humanity on Saturday (June, 9) and called on energy leaders to help the world to convert to clean fuels to avert catastrophe. Anna Bevan reports

Pope Francis has told world oil executives that the transition to less-polluting energy sources “is a challenge of epochal proportions”, and warned that satisfying the globe’s energy needs “must not destroy civilisation”.

The Vatican says the two-day conference with oil executives was meant as a follow-up to the Pope’s encyclical three years ago calling on people to save the planet from the ravages of climate change and other environmental ills.

Participants included the chief executives of Italian oil giant ENI, BP, ExxonMobil and Norway’s Statoil as well as scientists and managers of major investment funds. Their remarks on the first day of the closed-door conference were not released by the Vatican.

While Pope Francis lauded the oil executives for embedding an assessment of climate change risks into their planning strategies, he also put them on notice for their “continued search for fossil fuel reserves,” two years after the Paris climate accord “clearly urged keeping most fossil fuels underground”.

 

 

 

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This is what it is like at the end of a power source. People can hardly wait to get away from coal and on to something else. I say, GOOD FOR THEM. Coal is no longer competitive. No matter how they try to stand in the way coal supporters, including Dotard in Chief, will always lose. Can you say, dust bin of history.

  • 7:30 am

Solar is starting to replace the largest coal plant in the western U.S.

On Navajo land in Arizona, a coal plant and coal mine that have devastated the environment are being replaced by solar–with both enormous benefits and local drawbacks that can serve as a lesson for how the rest of the country will need to manage the transition to renewables.

In the desert near Arizona’s border with Utah on the Navajo Nation, a massive solar array built in 2017 now provides power for around 18,000 Navajo homes. Nearby, construction will begin later this year on a second solar plant. And on another corner of Navajo land, the largest coal plant west of the Mississippi River is preparing to close 25 years ahead of schedule, despite some last-minute attempts to save it.

“Those two [solar] plants really are the beginning of an economic transition,” says Amanda Ormond, managing director of the Western Grid Group, an organization that promotes clean energy.

The coal plant, called the Navajo Generating Station, was built in the 1970s to provide power to growing populations in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. A nearby coal mine supplies the power plant with coal. As recently as 2014, the coal plant wasn’t expected to close until 2044–a date negotiated with the EPA to reduce air pollution. But reduced demand for coal, driven both by economics and climate action, means that the plant is scheduled to close in 2019 instead. The coal mine, run by Peabody Energy, will be forced to follow.

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Go there and celebrate. I mean read. More next week.

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This method of generation will only go up from here. But here is something most people don’t consider, at sea drilling for oil and wind farms are incompatible. You can not drill anywhere near wind turbines because of the possibility of oil spills. There is a good chance those spills would ignite. That is not the case with other spills or even explosions and fires. Because they are easily put out. But when you have an electrical source, those fires are guaranteed and would be difficult to extinguish. So all you have to do to stop off shore drilling is build wind farms. Mark my words, when some hotshot wind person builds a wind farm over a proven oil deposit, oil is dead.

https://e360.yale.edu/features/after-an-uncertain-start-u-s-offshore-wind-is-powering-up

After an Uncertain Start, U.S. Offshore Wind Is Powering Up

After years of delays, the U.S. offshore wind industry is finally gaining momentum, with new projects being planned along the Atlantic coast. So far, the Trump administration seems to be regarding offshore wind as one form of renewable energy it can support.

This summer, the Norwegian energy company, Statoil, will send a vessel to survey a triangular slice of federal waters about 15 miles south of Long Island, where the company is planning to construct a wind farm that could generate up to 1.5 gigawatts of electricity for New York City and Long Island — enough to power roughly 1 million homes. Construction on the “Empire Wind” project, with scores of wind turbines generating electricity across 79,000 acres of leased federal waters, is scheduled to begin in 2023, with construction completed in 2025.

Farther south, 27 miles off the coast of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Avangrid Renewables, an Oregon-based company, has already begun planning for a major wind energy farm on 122,000 acres of federal waters, a project that could eventually generate 1.5 gigawatts of electricity.

And about 10 miles off the New Jersey coast, between Atlantic City and Cape May, Danish clean-energy giant Ørsted, which has a large portfolio of offshore wind farms across Europe, is talking with local officials, securing state permits, and doing seafloor surveys on a 160,000-acre site, where it plans to build its 1–gigawatt Ocean Wind project. Company officials say they are hopeful that the wind farm will come online between 2020 and 2025.

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Go there and read. (Cheer too) More next week.

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This is what happens in a transitional economy. All the big brave tough bullies, Captains of Industry, turn into silly whiny little sissies begging for handouts. Isn’t life interesting. And no, this is not an April Fools Joke.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/coal-nuclear-plant-operator-files-for-bankruptcy-asks-trump-for-a-bailout/

business cycles —

Coal, nuclear plant operator files for bankruptcy, asks Trump for a bailout

FirstEnergy’s request comes after regulator struck down an industry-wide bailout plan.

On Saturday, power corporation FirstEnergy placed its coal and nuclear generation units under chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although coal and nuclear plants across the country have struggled to compete with the low prices of natural gas, FirstEnergy’s filing is unique because it stands to take on a political dimension. Just two days before FirstEnergy’s bankruptcy filing, the company petitioned the Department of Energy (DOE) for an emergency bailout, citing concerns about reliability.

The petition could reinvigorate a debate started by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who proposed a rule last year to change how coal and nuclear plants are compensated for their power. The rule was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which said that there was not enough evidence to justify changing how coal and nuclear are compensated.

FirstEnergy disparaged FERC’s decision in its Thursday petition (PDF), claiming that “as a result of FERC’s and the RTO’s [Regional Transmission Organization’s] failure to address this crisis, swift and decisive action is needed now to address this imminent loss of nuclear and coal-fired baseload generation and the threat to the electric grid that this loss poses” (emphasis FirstEnergy’s).

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Go there and laugh your asses off. More next week.

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Solar and Wind Power are on a huge tear. This is both in price, where coal is dead and natural gas is getting iffy. But in terms of availability and cutting edge technology. I see a future where generating electricity through renewables may be a same day thing and cheap as dirt. I know I am a dreamer but I am not the only one.

By the way, some people say that size doesn’t matter. I ain’t one of those.

SOLAR BLANKET

What Saudi Arabia’s 200 GW solar power plant would look like—if placed in your neighborhood

Obsession

Energy Shocks

April 01, 2018

Saudi Arabia has a plan to wean its economy off oil. In the biggest sign of what the future of the Gulf state would look like, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese multinational Softbank to build 200 GW of solar power by 2030 at a cost of $200 billion.

These are eye-popping numbers. If built, that solar-power plant will be about 200 times the size of the biggest solar plant operating today. It would more than triple Saudi Arabia’s capacity to produce electricity, from about 77 GW today.

With current technology, solar panels capable of generating 200 GW would likely cover 5,000 sq km—an area larger than the the world’s largest cities.

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No it is not an April’s Joke. Go there and read. More next week.

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I have said for 30 years, storing nuclear waste onsite is dumb and dangerous. Especially at nuclear power plants. Yes the waste is dangerous and proper precautions must be taken. YES accidents will happen. But how many Fukushimas do you want to see. Melt downs and other disasters are really really bad, but how much worse are they with 1000s of tons of radioactive waste present. Yes, I think they should open Yucca Mountain as well.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2018/03/06/will-we-actually-get-a-place-to-store-our-nuclear-waste/#283213a023a0

 

Will We Actually Get A Place To Store Our Nuclear Waste?

, I write about nuclear, energy and the environment

It certainly looks like it. At the end of February, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted Holtec International’s license application for its proposed consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, called HI-STORE CIS.

To be located in southeastern New Mexico near Carlsbad, the facility would store spent nuclear fuel, which is better referred to as slightly used nuclear fuel, until a final disposal facility is built or until we build our new fast reactors that will burn it, or we recycle it into new fuel.

Reactor fuel usually spends five years in the reactor, after which about 5% of the energy in the fuel is used, but fission products of the reactions have built-up to the point where the fuel must be replaced. After leaving the reactor, the spent fuel usually spends about 5 years in spent fuel pools of water, until heat and radiation have decreased sufficiently to allow the fuel to be passively cooled in a dry cask (see 1,2,3).

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I am so amazed by this, that I do not know what to say. I wish these type projects had started 30 years ago. You would say, impossible. I would say the technology would have been different and the work harder, but it could have been done. Still I am so proud of Renault and I hope more companies try this out. GO Renault!

https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/21/renault-ev-second-life-batteries-smart-island/

Renault’s ‘smart island’ runs on wind power and recycled batteries

The experiment in Portugal aims to prove you can live without fossil fuels.

Renault has launched a “smart island” in Portugal that uses its Zoe electric vehicle, home batteries, smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2E) energy storage to run without fossil fuels. The idea is to make the Madeira island of Porto Santo energy independent and stimulate renewable energy production. “[We want] to build a model that can be carried over to other islands and cities,” Renault Electric Vehicle Director Eric Feunteun told Engadget.

Unlike Tesla’s massive Powerpack installation, the Renault project is more of a community endeavor on the small (16 square mile) and sparsely populated (5,483 inhabitants), tourism-oriented island. It will unroll in three phases: In the first, 20 fortunate Porto Santo volunteers will get 14 Zoes and six Kango Z.E. utility vans to use every day. They’ll benefit from 40 new connected public and private charging stations set up by Renault and local utility Empresa de Electricitade da Madeira (EEM).

“Let’s say you come home from work at 7 PM with a decent charge left, and only need two to three hours of charging,” said Feunteun. “The smart charging system we’re testing will decide when the best time to do that is, based on usage, energy availability and other factors. Then, it can charge up to eight times a day in chunks as small as 15 minutes.”

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Go there and read every glorious word. More next week.

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I do not believe in always presenting “bad news” about any given subject. Do I post happy news about coal? Not very often. Do I post good things about oil drilling? Not much. How about great stories about Nukes? No. But when a bad situation gets better, especially of the scope of what has gone on in Japan. Hell goods is hard not to report. Few people realize that removing the spent fuel rods from all three reactors is at least half the job.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/world/worst-hit-reactor-at-fukushima-may-be-easiest-to-clean/article_e1bd8254-2e1c-5345-80e3-70b298e6ad86.amp.html

Worst-hit reactor at Fukushima may be easiest to clean up

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press

OKUMA, Japan (AP) — High atop Fukushima’s most damaged nuclear reactor, the final pieces of a jelly-roll shaped cover are being put in place to seal in highly radioactive dust.

Blown apart by a hydrogen explosion in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reactor Unit 3 is undergoing painstaking construction ahead of a milestone that is the first step toward dismantling the plant.

The operating floor — from where new fuel rods used to be lowered into the core — has been rebuilt and if all goes as planned, huge cranes will begin removing 566 sets of still-radioactive fuel rods from a storage pool just below it later this year.

It has taken seven years just to get this far, but now the real work of cleaning up the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant can begin.

“If you compare it with mountain climbing, we’ve only been preparing to climb. Now, we finally get to actually start climbing,” said Daisuke Hirose, an official at the plant’s decommissioning and decontamination unit.

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Go there and read the good news. More next week.

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