FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Your Green Energy News Center (Page 13)

  This topic comprises 15 pages: 1  2  3  ...  10  11  12  13  14  15   
Author Topic: Your Green Energy News Center
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Seems similar to the compressed air car that has been touted recently. Might work better as a hybrid.
Posts: 3734 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Juxtapose
Member
Member # 8837

 - posted      Profile for Juxtapose   Email Juxtapose         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's not pie-in-the-sky then? I got all excited after I first heard about cars running on water using electrolysis or whatever, until I realized it was a physical impossibility. Now I'm more suspicious.
Posts: 2907 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Last but not least, the technology in the coupling between the gasoline engine and the electric drive is very complicated.
I do have a problem with this, however, because the Infinitely variable transmission is actually simpler than either an automatic or a manual transmission.

Sounds like this is trying to combine a lot of cycles. He's really downsizing the engine, and then has (what amounts to) a supercharger, a turbo charger, and also the ability to run the engine on plain old compressed air. If he can do it as elegantly as the prius combines it's drive systems, it might work quite well. But we'll see.

Has anybody mentioned the six stroke engine in this thread? That's my favorite right now, because it takes my old idea of a steam engine/internal combustion engine hybrid and combines them so elegantly. And it's potentially hugely efficient.

Posts: 3734 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
China's planning agency is likely to reject a Chinese company's bid to acquire General Motors Corp.'s Hummer unit, in part because its gas-guzzling vehicles conflict with Beijing's conservation goals, state radio reported.

The National Development and Reform Commission is also likely to say Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp., a maker of construction machinery, lacks expertise to run Hummer, China National Radio said late Thursday. It cited no source.

...

Auto industry analysts questioned how Tengzhong, which makes construction vehicles such as cement mixers and tow trucks, could succeed with Hummer, known as “Han Ma,” or Bold Horse, in China.

GM said the planned sale would save some 3,000 jobs in the United States. Tengzhong said it would invest in research to create more fuel-efficient Hummers and would keep Hummer's headquarters and manufacturing in the United States.

The Chinese government is trying to promote conservation and use of more fuel-efficient vehicles. It has cut sales taxes on cars with smaller engines and is encouraging auto makers to develop electric and other alternative-energy vehicles.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/doubt-cast-on-chinese-bid-for-hummer/article1198259/

Interesting. Put me in for cautious optimism.

Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, and finally some fun (good?) news from Toronto!
quote:
The mix of feces and toilet paper we flush down our toilets every day could soon be a major source of renewable power in the city's east end.

Toronto Hydro is awaiting final approval on a project that would take the biogas produced at the century-old Ashbridge's Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant and use it to generate up to 10 megawatts of power, or enough green electricity for 6,000 homes annually.

Waste heat from the process would also be used by the treatment facility to offset its annual consumption of natural gas. All that's required now is for city council to rubber stamp the project, which could be as early as July 6.

...

"We anticipate construction starting in the fall and plan to have the project in service at the end of 2010," he said.

...

The Ashbridge's Bay project will likely be the first of several biogas projects the utility plans to build, including an eight-megawatt plant that will use biogas from the Green Lane landfill near St. Thomas. Two smaller two-megawatt plants are also planned for the new green bin processing facility at the Disco Transfer Station and the existing Dufferin Organic Processing Facility, which is being rebuilt.

Simpson said Toronto Hydro is also in early talks with the Toronto Zoo about building an anaerobic digester facility that would convert elephant, giraffe and other animal droppings into electricity.

http://www.thestar.com/article/656938
Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Geothermal earthquakes.
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The new energy/climate change bill has narrowly passed a House vote 219 to 212 (I think).

It now goes on to the senate, but it could still be months before it's called up for a vote. Given the narrow margin, Dems may push back the vote until gas prices go up more or the economic recovers to frame it the best possible way. For their sake, Al Franken might be there too by that point, and he'll likely be absolutely necessary.

Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkKnight
Member
Member # 7536

 - posted      Profile for DarkKnight   Email DarkKnight         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Given the narrow margin, Dems may push back the vote until gas prices go up more or the economic recovers to frame it the best possible way.
Or at least push it back until they read it
Posts: 1917 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkKnight
Member
Member # 7536

 - posted      Profile for DarkKnight   Email DarkKnight         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Climate Change Climate Change
Posts: 1917 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Flutter generator

Interestingly fs (aka frustrated scientist) introduced a very similar idea to the Analog forum several years ago.

Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BandoCommando
Member
Member # 7746

 - posted      Profile for BandoCommando           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CO2 and Sunlight used to produce ethanol

This looks interesting. A couple key things stand out to me:

1) the potential of reducing CO2 output by collecting CO2 from large emitters (e.g. power plants, and

2) the projected cost of this system on an industrial scale.

I, however, don't have anything close to the background necessary to predict or assess whether such a system would be a success. Thoughts?

edit to add: I imagine that this is nowhere close to being carbon neutral, but also that it's far-and-away better than rampant consumption of fossil fuels.

[ July 26, 2009, 11:55 PM: Message edited by: BandoCommando ]

Posts: 1099 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Detroit is practically a giant food desert, with no produce-carrying grocery chains left and its citizens resorting to local raccoon and pheasant meat. According to Mark Dowie in Guernica, that makes Detroit a prime candidate for the world’s first “100 percent food-self-sufficient city.”
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/detroit-produce-city/

Wow. Things sound rough, but I guess there's a silver lining.

(the article has a link to what it defines as a food desert, which is also kind of interesting)

Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know it's funny, I was driving through Detroit the other day on my way home from a great book store by the river. We got lost, and this happened. At first I thought it was strange, but now that I know about the burgeoning rodent trade, I'm less confused.

Has anyone ever seen Roger and Me? This would explain the rabbit lady (who freakishly, my current professor's ex-wife used to get beer from when she was a kid, and that's just weird).

Seriously though, what the hell? That sounds ridiculous.

Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah. I thought it was kinda ridiculous too.
Is there really anyone that would want to live in Detroit badly enough to eat raccoons?

But now I know better. I gotta hand Detroiters some serious props for what they're going through.

Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Efficiency charts on the amount of water used for fuel production and for electricity production per 1000KiloWatt-hours
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jhai
Member
Member # 5633

 - posted      Profile for Jhai   Email Jhai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Eh, I haven't read the original paper, just the article, but there's a LOT of simplification going on in the data presented in the article. And does water usage matter if, for instance, the water "used" can still be used for other purposes after it's used in the process of electricity generation - or if it's already waste water when used?
Posts: 2409 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
Eh, I haven't read the original paper, just the article, but there's a LOT of simplification going on in the data presented in the article. And does water usage matter if, for instance, the water "used" can still be used for other purposes after it's used in the process of electricity generation - or if it's already waste water when used?

I think that would depend on which aspect of water usage we're talking about. I think some of it might be a closed loop, but the steam that is loosed from power plants leaves the watershed area for destinations unknown. I've had this discussion many times with Tatiana over nuclear power. It isn't enough just for the steam to rain back down somewhere, as if all water in all parts of the nation was equal. Out west and down south, removing water from an ecosystem and then having it rain down somewhere east or north of there effectively removes it from the system, and it results in a net loss of water from the area in question. In areas that are already in the midst of a water crisis, removing water from the area can and will have huge, long term effects.

This is one of many issues that is addressed in the Great Lakes Compact. Water taken from the Great Lakes can't travel beyond the watershed area. In otherwords, water that is pumped out of the lakes has to make it back into the lakes. I think there might be an exception or two for a couple bottled water plants who get water from non-Great Lakes sources, but the general idea still holds.

Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jhai
Member
Member # 5633

 - posted      Profile for Jhai   Email Jhai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmmmm. I recently moved to the public side of our consulting practice in energy policy, so I have the feeling that I'll be coming across more and more info related to this thread topic. For instance, right now I'm working on updating our modeling of all of the state regulations related to emissions - NOx, SO2, Hg, etc. And my group will be doing some rule-supporting policy work with the EPA's Water Office in the next few months, so I might be learning more about the watershed topic (as it relates to energy) soon, too.
Posts: 2409 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ooo, excellent. Frankly I don't know a great deal about the details, just the concept as it relates to the Great Lakes area. I've seen it talked about more and more with the West and South, as power companies move to solve the energy problems of regions that are growing in size but shrinking in necessary water resources.

I know in the West in particular, the Ogallala Aquifer is being diminished far past its natural replacement rate, and it's a major source of water both for farm irrigation and for local power generation. Too much of that water leaves the natural watershed area and can't replace the aquifer, which is usually replenished from rainfall and natural return through the soil. Once it runs dry, the West/Plains are seriously in trouble. It's a big problem out west too because of decreased level of snowmelt water from mountain fed rivers and streams. People seem to think that since it gets rained back down, it's all good, but everything travels north and east of where it gets released from, and the midwest, where it all falls, is doing fine, even in drought areas.

I look forward to hearing any information you come across! Please swing in here as often as you can to pass along what you learn.

Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Does the water export ban upon regions outside of the GreatLakes drainage basin include a ban on exports to the portions of the states and provinces bordering the GreatLakes but outside of the watershed? eg Other than Chicago, there ain't hardly nothin' of Illinois that is within the GreatLakes watershed.

China is outgunning the US in solar power. Admittedly the aggressive competition to become top players in solar manufacturing is hurting the market valuation of many companies. To be expected when "...less than two years ago the average U.S. retail price of a 200-watt module was $1500 while now it is less than $650."*

Meanwhile in the US, power companies are resisting home solar instatllation even though in 2006thru2008
"...consumers added 522 megawatts to the grid; whereas utility-generated sites added just 96 megawatts."

* hrrrm... A quasiMoore'sLaw in solar technology? a doubling of power-produced per unit cost every two years?

[ August 26, 2009, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
aspectre -

From what I've read (and I've haven't read the GLC from cover to cover, I'll admit), yes, it would ban moving water inland within a state if it meant that water left the watershed area. God knows Chicago takes up more than their fair share of Lake Michigan in a number of ways I'm not happy about. Illinois has, I believe, signed onto the agreement, which means Chicago has plenty of access, but they can't pump the water down to Cairo.

Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Aral Sea, 2000 to 2009, dramatic pictures of the sea's destruction

Soon, it will have gone from the 4th largest inland sea to a memory as it disappears entirely.

Michigan's bold plan for a new green economy

[ January 06, 2010, 08:06 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sponge-like glass cleans contaminated water

quote:
A new glass material engineered by Dr. Paul Edmiston at the College of Wooster has the ability to clean polluted water by absorbing contaminants like a sponge. What can't nanotechnology do?

The material is called Osorb and has amazing properties. It's a reactive glass, allowing it to bind with gasoline and other pollutants containing volatile organic compounds, but it's also hydrophobic, so it doesn't bind with water. As it collects pollutants it swells up to eight times it size. Once full, it floats to the surface to be skimmed up, removed of contaminants and then reused.

The substance could revolutionize groundwater pollution clean-up because it's relatively low cost and has the ability to rid a site of VOCs that other conventional cleaning methods can't.

Dr. Edmiston has formed a company called Absorbent Materials to market five different types of Osorb and it's already collecting venture capital.


Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SenojRetep
Member
Member # 8614

 - posted      Profile for SenojRetep   Email SenojRetep         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not exactly news, but I found this opinion piece interesting. Money quote:
quote:
In the end, whether or not the Senate passes a cap-in-name-only climate bill, the long-term failure of Kyoto and all other efforts to establish binding emissions caps is virtually assured and is a function of a basic technological problem. We simply do not have low-carbon technologies today that can at large scale replace fossil fuels at a cost that any political economy in the world is willing to impose upon itself. There will be no political solution to climate change, no binding international agreement to substantially reduce emissions, and no effective domestic carbon cap until low-carbon technologies are much cheaper than they are today
* I'm not familiar with the "Breakthrough Institute" that the authors founded, but it seems likely they're are propounding an opinion that is financially beneficial to themselves. But if (as it seems to me) what they're selling is their opinion (rather than particular technologies, or government access, or honest arbiter services) I don't see it really as a significant caution sign of a hidden agenda; the agenda's right out in the open.
Posts: 2914 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Like any relatively new technology, you have to invest in it, and buy it, before it can become cheap enough to apply widely. If we wait for enough research advances to cheapen the price of "low carbon technology" to the point of parity with the current standards, then we might as well not even bother. It will be too late, if what scientists are telling us today is even close to true. A lot of this stuff has come way down in price from even a couple years ago, and more new technologies are coming on the market every day. Besides, it's not all straight dollars and cents comparing fossil fuels to renewables, or whatever other "low carbon technology" he's referencing. Savings from greening come in many other forms, and not all of them are quantifiable.

Furthermore, California is a great example of how you can keep your carbon expenditure down without breaking the bank. They aren't in financial ruin because of their green policies. They've managed to keep energy consumption static for decades while adding new industries and people. That's a great example of how to save money while doing "the right thing."

Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkKnight
Member
Member # 7536

 - posted      Profile for DarkKnight   Email DarkKnight         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Furthermore, California is a great example of how you can keep your carbon expenditure down without breaking the bank. They aren't in financial ruin because of their green policies. They've managed to keep energy consumption static for decades while adding new industries and people. That's a great example of how to save money while doing "the right thing."
How much green will 'going green' cost California?
California ‘Green’ Transmission Lines Could Cost $15.7B

Posts: 1917 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Spread out over a decade, that's not prohibitive.
Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's over a third of the projected budget deficit. And both numbers are optimistic, so make that as much as half.

Not prohibitive? Perhaps. Not contributing the budget problems? Of course it is.

[ January 14, 2010, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: fugu13 ]

Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkKnight
Member
Member # 7536

 - posted      Profile for DarkKnight   Email DarkKnight         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lyrhawn, what did you mean by "keep energy consumption static for decades"? Does that mean they have not consumed more energy for decades?
Posts: 1917 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SenojRetep
Member
Member # 8614

 - posted      Profile for SenojRetep   Email SenojRetep         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Like any relatively new technology, you have to invest in it, and buy it, before it can become cheap enough to apply widely.

That's rather the authors' point. They're arguing that the focus on restricting consumption (carbon tax, international agreed carbon goals, etc.) pulls energy and resources away from the innovation side, which is where it's really needed. As a specific instance, they cite the cannibalizing of Sec. Chu's $15 billion technology development budget in order to pay off energy suppliers in exchange for their support on the cap and trade bill.
Posts: 2914 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jhai
Member
Member # 5633

 - posted      Profile for Jhai   Email Jhai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Anyone who works in the energy industry (and has a macro-ish perspective of the future of the market) would almost certainly agree with what the authors of SenojRetep's report say.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I work as a consultant for the EPA's Clean Air Division - my team is responsible for the EPA's model of how the US/Canada power market will look like through 2050, which means we're pretty much the technical center of any & all climate-change/emissions legislature regarding the power sector. We've just finished creating a new version of our base case with updated assumptions - it models what sort of plants will get built in the future, what level of emissions will be produced, etc, etc. for the next forty years. While I can't say much about our results (it's not public yet), I can tell you it's extremely unlikely green energy will get much above 10% of the US & Canada's generation mix without a major technological breakthrough (we try to capture minor breakthroughs, but game-changers we obviously can't predict). And this is with modeling all sorts of new wind & solar tech (especially off-shore), carbon-capture & sequestration coal plants (which I'm counting as green for this post), and taking into account our best expectations for reducing the growth of energy demand through conservation measures.

I can't say anything more about the current base case, but you can download the 2006 version here, if you're interested in getting a detailed look at some slightly older predicted results. Download the "Base Case 2006.zip", and then open the pdf document. There's a LOT of data there, but the second page, for instance, shows the expected capacity changes by plant type. Feel free to ask me any questions about the details - we (both my company & the EPA) don't particularly try to make the data easy to understand, but I'm free to answer questions about anything that's public data.

Personally, I'm just hoping that whatever cap & trade legislature goes through goes through *quickly*, so that I can stop working weekends to produce sensitivity runs.

Posts: 2409 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
Lyrhawn, what did you mean by "keep energy consumption static for decades"? Does that mean they have not consumed more energy for decades?

I don't have the statistic on me, which annoys me because there are some great numbers on California and what they've done with conservation efforts, but I've read in multiple places that, up to 2000 ( I don't have info for after 2000), conservation and efficiency efforts were pursued so aggressively in California that their energy consumption barely budged for years while all surrounding states skyrocketed.

I know California plans on using funds from their own state-wide carbon tax to help pay for efficiency upgrades, and also as a kickback to the citizens as a whole.

I don't think money is what is going to hold renewable sources back. It just takes time to build all that, and to build up the capacity to build it. As that happens, prices will fall and newer techniques will be tested out and applied. Investments in green technologies is only growing, and by billions and billions of dollars a year. Conservation is going to be the easier, cheaper way to help reduce emissions, and it isn't getting nearly enough attention in my opinion. I'm hoping the technology for home applications of cheap roof top arrays for solar power become available in the next couple years. Printable nano cells are going to really bring the price down for the average consumer, and could take a big edge off of future consumption, but that's probably a 20-30 year changeover. Still, it has to start sometime.

Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Hummer, the off-road vehicle that once symbolized America's love for hulking SUVs, has hit a dead end after its planned sale to a Chinese heavy equipment maker collapsed late Wednesday.

Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co. pulled out of the deal to buy the company from General Motors Co. Tengzhong failed to get clearance from Chinese regulators within the proposed timeframe for the sale, the Chinese manufacturer said Wednesday.

http://www.thestar.com/wheels/article/770885--end-of-the-line-for-hummer-after-chinese-deal-fails
Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Coolness.

quote:
Passengers will be able to travel by train from King's Cross to Beijing in just two days on trains that travel almost as fast as aeroplanes under ambitious new plans from the Chinese.
quote:
Mr Wang said that China was already in negotiations with 17 countries over the rail lines, which will draw together and open up the whole of Central, East and South East Asia. Mr Wang said the network would also allow China to transport valuable cargoes of raw materials more efficiently.

"It was not China that pushed the idea to start with," said Mr Wang. "It was the other countries that came to us, especially India. These countries cannot fully implement the construction of a high-speed rail network and they hoped to draw on our experience and technology," he said.

China is in the middle of a £480 billion domestic railway expansion project that aims to build nearly 19,000 miles of new railways in the next five years, connecting up all of its major cities with high-speed lines.

http://ow.ly/1fPfv
Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Using CO2 as a solution to replace extremely hazardous greenhouse gases in the refrigeration CoolWar.
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tatiana
Member
Member # 6776

 - posted      Profile for Tatiana   Email Tatiana         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This TED talk by Bill Gates sums up exactly what I've been trying to say about energy and climate change for a long time. Bill said it much better and more clearly than I did. I'm posting this in several different threads where it's appropriate. Sorry for the overlap, but I think it's super important and I want anyone who is interested in any of these topics to see it. Let me know what you think!
Posts: 6245 | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Funky. It's kind of coming full circle.

quote:
Nearly 150 years after American railroads brought in thousands of Chinese laborers to build rail lines across the West, China is poised once again to play a role in American rail construction. But this time, it would be an entirely different role: supplying the technology, equipment and engineers to build high-speed rail lines.

The Chinese government has signed cooperation agreements with the State of California and General Electric to help build such lines. The agreements, both of which are preliminary, show China’s desire to become a big exporter and licensor of bullet trains traveling 215 miles an hour, an environmentally friendly technology in which China has raced past the United States in the last few years.

“We are the most advanced in many fields, and we are willing to share with the United States,” Zheng Jian, the chief planner and director of high-speed rail at China’s railway ministry, said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/business/global/08rail.html?src=me&ref=homepage
Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know, usually American legislators are galled to hear that we aren't number one at everything. Why is it Democrats can't use our astoundingly poor placement on high speed rail technology to cow Republicans into submission on mass transit issues? Especially given all the news lately on the problems in air transport industry, shouldn't travel diversification be a no-brainer?
Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In fairness, Schwarzenegger is Republican IIRC, and the article depicts him at least as being quite interested in the proposal.
Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, it is nearly the opposite of a no-brainer (or the same phrase interpreted differently, I suppose). Even the most optimistic math by proponents of high-speed rail makes it at best a solution for a small number of very specific locations in the US. It makes no sense at all in most places in the US. Developing expertise in high speed rail in the US isn't a very high priority because it has little benefit for us.

This isn't to say rail doesn't make sense in a lot of places in the US, potentially, but most of the rail that makes sense, like most of the rail in the world, will be local and slow. There isn't much relationship between that local, slow rail and high speed rail, either.

And we aren't behind in slow, local rail because of any technological problem. The problems there are pretty much entirely political and policy-based.

Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
High speed rail will never be a replacement for air travel, but most of what I've read contradicts you at the regional level. You'll never be able to travel on a high speed rail line from New York to LA, but that's fine. It's smaller regional networks, 300-mile lines, that high-speed rail proponents are seeking, and that make workable sense.
Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Prove it [Smile]

I'm pretty familiar with the literature, and except for a very small number of very dense, linear areas in the US, that just isn't true.

Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The cutting edge of automotive technology.
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Limits on growth and phosphorus recyling.
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Efficient solar-powered laser
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Only tangentially related to Green news, but I can't really find a privacy thread.
quote:
Privacy czar raises alarm on smart meter data
Utilities given standards to keep private information from leaking out in unauthorized ways
...
Potential trouble lurks if that happens. In the wrong hands, up-to-the-minute data can tell people when you’re not at home, she said.

And she recently attended a conference in the U.S. where utilities were talking about “monetizing” – they meant selling—the new information they were gleaning from their customers.

That, she says, is “an abomination” because the utilities were planning to use private information in ways the customer had not intended.

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/824450--privacy-czar-raises-alarm-on-smart-meter-data?bn=1

Might be something to look out for.

Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Couldn't they just program the Smart Meter to provide real time data to the house, but save it in a buffer for daily bursts to the power company?
Posts: 21894 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Depends on the "they" I suppose.
Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jhai
Member
Member # 5633

 - posted      Profile for Jhai   Email Jhai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree that they shouldn't sell the information without the customers' permission - and they certainly shouldn't let any of the information out without making it anonymous. However, I do want to note that that data would be extremely helpful to a number of companies and government agencies who are trying to figure out ways to make our nation greener.

For instance, at my company we model the energy market for the EPA Clean Air Division - and a key assumption in our model is the hour-by-hour energy usage in our 30+ regions of the US for the entire US. A more accurate understanding of true energy usage each hour would mean we can better predict what sort of power plants are going to be needed in the future, and what sort of pollution controls are also going to be needed.

The energy efficiency group in our company (which, again, contracts with the EPA) needs even more detailed information - they would kill to get accurate accounts of how a 3-person, two-story townhouse in Cleveland uses their power in 15-minute segments vs how a 5-person single-story detached home in Omaha uses their power. Right now they have a lot of guesswork and extrapolations from known data in their models; more accurate information would increase their ability to advise the EPA and other government organizations how to best encourage the public to decrease energy usage.

This sort of data is also extremely valuable for companies interested in investing in solar power plants or wind farms. We have pretty good data on what wind speeds are like in many locations in this country by the hour for the year. And we have very good data on how much sun an area will get and when it'll get it. What we don't know is whether these match up well with the energy demands of the local community; when the wind is blowing (in most regions, the most wind is at night), do people actually need much power? If we could definitively say "yes" then it could become much easier for smaller wind projects to raise capital & then serve a local community (thus decreasing transmission costs, which are a huge problem for a lot of wind farms).

So - selling data without people's consent, and without removing identifying data: bad. Getting that data available in some way: good.

Posts: 2409 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The 75mpg McLaren to go along with your McLaren exotic.
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 15 pages: 1  2  3  ...  10  11  12  13  14  15   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2