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Author Topic: Your Green Energy News Center
Lyrhawn
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Las Vegas to build 30 story vertical farm.
What's not to love (well, other than building a farm in an area absent of water)? The thing feeds thousands of people, pays for itself, and drastically reduces the cost of transporting foods long distances. I wonder if they also have a reduction in pesticides since the crops are so high up in the air. It'll be a minor greening of the Vegas image, but I like it a lot.

GE says to expect an announcement soon on a Saturn VUE PHEV.

Researchers invent aerogel like substance that filters toxins from pipe emissions.

New report touts a globally sustainable world economy, the benefits of adhering to it, and the possibe pitfalls of being left behind.

Oregon looks to become world leader in tidal energy.

New method for low efficiency less toxic solar cell created.

Government pledges to buy EPEAT computers (you've heard me talk about LEED before for buildings, it's like that)

US Automakers show off recycling efforts

Britain approves new round of nuclear reactors to go onlike before 2020.

Environment plays role in presidential election

Futures traders are buying oil for $200/barrel.

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Dagonee
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FIve-year study shows ethanol from switchgrass can produce 540% of the energy put into it (relevant part quoted because it may be slashdotted):

quote:
But yields from a grass that only needs to be planted once would deliver an average of 13.1 megajoules of energy as ethanol for every megajoule of petroleum consumed—in the form of nitrogen fertilizers or diesel for tractors—growing them. "It's a prediction because right now there are no biorefineries built that handle cellulosic material" like that which switchgrass provides, Vogel notes. "We're pretty confident the ethanol yield is pretty close." This means that switchgrass ethanol delivers 540 percent of the energy used to produce it, compared with just roughly 25 percent more energy returned by corn-based ethanol according to the most optimistic studies.

...

In fact, Vogel and his team report this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA that switchgrass will store enough carbon in its relatively permanent root system to offset 94 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted both to cultivate it and from the derived ethanol burned by vehicles. Of course, this estimate also relies on using the leftover parts of the grass itself as fuel for the biorefinery. "The lignin in the plant cell walls can be burned," Vogel says.


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aspectre
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Tata to gas hogs? Probably not acceptable to many FirstWorlders as a primary vehicle.
But most of the non-work commute time spent in cars is for extremely short trips on surface roads and not freeways. So something similarly priced (with a thousand or so bucks more for front-passenger airbags) might be a great alternative second vehicle for tooling around town: grocery shopping, dropping the kids off at school, catching a movie, etc.
No freeway driving. But I suspect that for many Americans especially, spending $35hundred for a safety-version Tata would sound far more attractive than spending $12thousand for a Fortwo.

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Glenn Arnold
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I read an article in the New York Times today that people are buying Tatas without bothering to learn to drive them. I was in the doctor's office, and I didn't finish the article, but I've got to wonder what kind of licensing or insurance requirements they have in India.
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Lyrhawn
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Excellent article Dagonee! I've seen a few articles about different non food based plants as a fuel source, and it looked for awhile like sorgrum (spelling is off) would be the one, especially since it can be planted in depleted tobacco fields, which are rampant all over Virginia and other southern states, and can't grow traditional cash crops these days.

Cellulosic ethanol plants ARE under construction, but it remains to be seen that they will work the way scientists hope. A lot depends on next generation bacteria to break down the plants so they can be processed, otherwise it's much, much more costly. We'll see, but I think cellulosic is getting closer in leaps and bounds. I'm still waiting for more news on biobutanol and octobutanol too.

For Tata, it remains to be seen if those cars will pass rigorous US and European safety standards. Recently made Chinese cars have failed safety inspections in Europe.

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Lyrhawn
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Got off work early today because I have a nasty cold. So, here's a tiny weekend update. Not much because weekends are always light. Most of the news seems to be centering around the Detroit Auto Show (which I may go see in a couple weeks, we'll see) and the green cars coming out there (some neat stuff!) but there are a few other updates. Notably:

EPA changes their story in why the California waiver was denied for stricter emissions standards. Doesn't look good for the EPA.

Congressional commission to call for a 40 cent gas tax increase over five years, citing dangerously decrepit roads and bridges as in need of new funding. I support this, for two reasons. 1. I'm always a fan of infrastructure upgrades, I'm sure you all know that. 2. Higher gas prices should reduce the increase in fuel use in the country, and might even spur more investment in public transportation.

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Lyrhawn
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I just want to throw this out: I'm watching John McCain on CNN right now, and aside from some wanton and random France bashing and he more or less said exactly what I've been saying for months: that even if we're wrong about global warming, the economic benefits make it worthwhile regardless of the environment.

It's scary to hear my words not only coming out of a Republican's mouth, but a Republican presidential candidate's mouth, and the frontrunner to boot! I don't say that to bash McCain, though I'm mildly skeptical of his commitment to that wordplay, I'm just honestly surprised, and if he really means it, then it's great news! Getting the Republican leadership on board is one of the last great battles that has to be fought before this revolution can explode the way it needs to.

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Lyrhawn
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I'm getting lazy, more than a week since my last update. One of my favorite sites that has the most information doesn't work at the moment for some reason, but hopefully that's only temporary. So in the meantime, you get a small but good smattering of info.

A biodiesel refinery that uses algae as it's source of fuel will be built in Airzona. Looks like it plans on 30 million gallon per year. Similar small scale efforts have failed, but even a couple years ago the technology wasn't totally up to snuff, and fuel didn't cost what it does today.

Ford touts a revamped Escape/Mariner hybrid. From the looks of things, it's a major improvement. Tiny increase in efficiency, but the big story is the increase in power and performance without sacrificing that efficiency. This is the kind of thing that helps take SUV hybrids more mainstream.

Major orders coming in for GM's two-mode diesel hybrid bus. 1,700 new orders.

New Mexico to be the home of a new solar thermal factory. The factory will make the parts to make the power plants.

Union Pacific looks for even more efficient locomotives.

Google announces who gets the cash.

New nanocomposite material could be much more efficient way to capture solar power. Just reading the description of what these things are and how they are built left me slightly dizzy. Truly science, and the things we can do are amazing.

New technology could capture energy from waste heat, opening up a wealth of options and applications.

US improves wind power by 45% in 2007 totalling a bit more than 5GW. Impressive for renewables.

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Glenn Arnold
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The nanowire waste heat technology sounds like it could have a real value for cooling clothing. Plug in a discharged battery and the nanowires cool the wearer as the battery charges.
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Lyrhawn
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A lot of big announcements in the last few days. I'd forgotten all the good info you can get when you check these sites out daily.

This one isn't green news, but it effects us. Raytheon has licensed a technology to extract oil from tar sands and shale. As many of you know, shale in the American west holds more oil than all of Saudi Arabia combined, maybe even the whole Middle East combined. It's oil that's a few million years younger than what they have in the ME, and requires a lot of work to be turned into that light sweet crude we love so much. If prices go much higher, you'll really start seeing the push come to dig up Colorado for oil.

Big Solar is starting to get nervous over the lack of renewable of the tax credit for solar power. Many view it as crucial for the solar industry to survive until newer technology can make it cost competitive independently. Expect a big push from the renewable energy industry to lobby the White House and Congress for a quick fix to the problem.

Even though the southeast was the biggest obstacle to passing the energy standards portfolio in the 07 energy bill, they're still charging ahead with renewables.

The EU sets ambitious goals for emissions reduction.

WalMart plans to make its most energy intensive products 25% more efficient in 3 years.

New uber efficient inverters could lower the price of solar by a whopping 30% Inverters are what changes power from DC to AC, and before it wasn't the most efficient process, energy loss could be brutal (see my HVDC power line rants), but this new inverter has a 98.5% efficiency rate.

Going retro at sea: The first commercial vessel fitted with a SkySail (yep, we're back to sails!) takes to the sea on an official trip.

Every drop helps, or, using rain power for a tiny bit of energy savings

Washington University comes up with new way to produce Butanol, a plant based fuel source superior to regular ethanol.


Featured Article
Your featured article is an interactive map of the entire US, where you can calculate how much wind or solar power you could expect to collect from any given spot in the country.

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Lyrhawn
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I've been spending the time I normally spend on this doing Primary news stuff, but I haven't forgotten the treehuggers of Hatrack!

I'll do a two part update today, one now, and one when I get home from work around 3pm.

Researchers turn E Coli into mini-biofuel factories.

The State of Green Business in 2008 has many promising trends and a lot of great news to report. Highlights include a 500% increase in LEED certified office space in the last couple years, and a massive 48 billion dollar investment in renewable energy in 2006. Plus paper consumption in the US has plateaued, even as use increaes.

New development in algae farming looks like a major step forward in turning algae into fuel.

Chevy to consider a Hyrbid Camarao. Mostly as a result of the new CAFE rules. It'll be uber expensive if created, but it'll also get awesome performance.

Yet another big investment in solar.

5 big breakthroughs on the horizon for the health of ocean's.

About half of all aluminium cans are recycled in America. Aloca wants to see that raised to 75% by 2015.

World's largest wind turbine goes online with two prototypes in Germany. Each turbine produces a whopping 7MW and can power 5,000 homes. The details of the technical upgrades aren't readily available. I wonder if they integrated the Mag-Lev techniques the Chinese are working on.

New estimates predict that demand for oil will outpace growth in production by 2015.

An update on Bank of America's goal of LEED certifications.

[ February 05, 2008, 08:07 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Lyrhawn
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Intel wants to be the biggest purchaser of renewable power in the US

Featured Article
Paris plans to build green meeting space. Aside from looking fantastic and providing a great view of the city for visitors, it's powered by renewables, actually reduces smog from surrounding areas, and has a green roof that recycles water for the lagoon inside. I can't wait to visit!

Department of Energy gives up on prototype clean coal power plant.

Wind power finally coming to the Great Lakes. In her recent State of the State address, Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has said domestic energy providers are ready to spend billions on renewables including wind turbines to be built in Michigan as soon as the Michigan Congress passes legislation to clear the way for them.

France unveils new super fast, higher capacity, more efficient train. Let's buy some! Their speed is said to rival that of planes for short hops, especially considering reduced boarding time.

Wall Street gives coal the cold shoulder.

Letting solar and wind tax credits expire could cost 116,000 US jobs, and billions in investments.

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Lyrhawn
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Georgia Governor tells people to go swimming. In spite of record drought.

Company promises $1 a gallon cellulosic ethanol by 2010.

Hawaii makes big push for renewables. Hawaii right now uses oil for almost all of their energy needs. Every MW of renewables reduces foreign owned oil.

I posted about this a long time ago, but now it's actually built: Alaskan resort pioneers hydrothermal tech for cheap energy. The article also talks about using oil waste water to power plants as well, it sounds like a great way to make lemonade out of our excess of polluting lemons.

I've posted about this before too, so this is an update. NComputing has gotten a second round of funding for programming that turns one computer into twenty for companies that only use computers for small applications.

Researchers grow nanowire hairs for solar panels. Read the article, it's interesting.

Explosive growth in Chinese car sales. I've read a lot of articles lately saying that Chinese and Indian cheap cars and explosive growth will cause oil to surge in price over the next couple years. Oil producing companies have almost no hope of keeping pace with demand. Gas might be at $5 a gallon in just a few years.

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Juxtapose
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A seventeen minute video about how seeing the world from the perspective of other species can help us increase efficiency in a sustainable way.
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Lyrhawn
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I'll be perfectly honest. About halfway through I thought it was a bunch of hippy mumbo jumbo. Then it started to sound a little cooler, and in the last five minutes it blew me away a little. That's the kind of interdependent sustainability that we need to embrace, and he's hitting the nail on the head when he says there's no reason to sacrifice the environment for the things we need, the environment is already built to give us those things.

Excellent video Juxtapose.

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Juxtapose
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I was really interested in the article about the push for renewables in Hawaii.

I grew up in Hilo, the rainiest city in the US. I had an idea a little while ago for a device that would harness the energy from rainwater falling in gutters to help power homes. According to my calculations though, such a device running at perfect efficiency (with 130 inches of rain, mind you) would net less than 3 kWh a year.

Oh well.

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Lyrhawn
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I've posted an article before about harnessing rainwater for energy, but it wasn't from gutters, it was from the vibrations and impact that the water makes when it hits your roof. It's being worked on, but I haven't seen anything on it really recently.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
I was really interested in the article about the push for renewables in Hawaii.

I grew up in Hilo, the rainiest city in the US. I had an idea a little while ago for a device that would harness the energy from rainwater falling in gutters to help power homes. According to my calculations though, such a device running at perfect efficiency (with 130 inches of rain, mind you) would net less than 3 kWh a year.

Oh well.

I'm very curious what assumptions you used in that calculation. By my calculation, 130 inches of water over a 1 km square area that is 1 m above sea level has a potential energy just under 9 megaWatt hours.
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Juxtapose
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quote:
I've posted an article before about harnessing rainwater for energy, but it wasn't from gutters, it was from the vibrations and impact that the water makes when it hits your roof. It's being worked on, but I haven't seen anything on it really recently.
I saw that one too. Much more high tech than my idea.

I did my calculations on a per household basis, based on a 1000 sq. foot* roof area with 3m falling distance. I also did a fair amount of rounding.

*This works out to roughly 2360 L per inch of rain.

9.8m/s^2 * (2360kg * 130) * 3m = ~9,00,000J

According to google, 1 kWh = 3,600,000J

If I did something wrong here, I'd love to know about it.

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The Rabbit
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Ah, I see. You were calculating based on the ran gutters on a single house, I was thinking of the rain gutters on the street that would drain a much larger area.
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Morbo
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Biofuels Deemed a Greenhouse Threat --a NY Times article which references 2 new studies in the journal Science. The studies take a detailed accounting of what's involved in the manufacture and transport to market of biofuels, including land-use issues.

What's sad is that (edit: corn-based) biofuels will still be pushed hard, at least in this country, for years to come. There's too much political inertia behind it. [Frown] [Wall Bash]

[ February 13, 2008, 09:13 AM: Message edited by: Morbo ]

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Lyrhawn
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I don't think the article does enough to really explain the differences in biofuels. They're basically talking about corn, or maybe soybeans. But I don't know many people who really know about biofuels that think corn ethanol is a GOOD thing. It's horrible. But it's a stepping stone. If you look at the "well to wheel" for corn ethanol it's extremely wasteful.

But it's not the only biofuel. Fuel from agricultural waste, from carbon sequested algae farms, but plants that grow faster with less energy but YIELD more energy that are being worked on now like soghrum and switchgrass, and a few others, away from corn and into cellulosic ethanol, or biobutanol, or what not, these are good biofuels. It should be noted that not all trees are made the same when it comes to carbon sinks. The biggest, best carbon sinks are basically all in the third world. The worst ones are in the the northern hemisphere. South America and Africa MUST keep their forests intact, and we in the north who have a lot more room to maneuver need to make it easier for them to do so, otherwise they'll ignore our demands and do whatever makes them the most money. Biofuels of the future are going to look at LOT different from corn, and they'll be a lot more sustainable too. In the mean time there are a lot of other things we can do to sequester carbon. Japan is working on genetically modified trees that absorb massive amounts of carbon. I'm nervous at the idea of genetically modified trees, but I'm not willing to close any door until what's behind it has been explored.

I've heard that article talked about a lot lately, and I won't call it irresponsible journalism, because there is an extremely good point in there (the evils of corn ethanol), but they need to do more to really give the full picture or the backlash could harm a vital part of our sustainable energy future.

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Morbo
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Slashdot has a thread on raindrop energy, started off by discover.com article on it.

There's some math salvos back and forth on it, but it looks like a waste of time, to me. Just not enough energy per unit area to be worth any effort.

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Lyrhawn
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In Minnesota, thanks to a Byzantine approval process, potential wind farms face a 612 year waiting list before they can be built.

New player to the solar sterling engine game takes a smaller scale approach, rather than building massive farms in the desert, they have smaller dishes that can be built within cities.

Staples cancels contracts with paper supplier believed to be using unsustainable deforestation methods.

Canada pursues solar, despite the widely held belief that solar in the north is untenable.

Plans announced for wave power stations in Hawaii

Chevy Volt to cost around $35,000 and I'll follow that up with an article about PHEV tax credits, which could be up to $4,000, when and if they are passed later this year.

Fusion power in five years? Venture capitalists and some scientists think so. I'm personally skeptical, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

Folding bikes in style? Maybe. A company is looking to push production of these for those with concerns for storage and portability. The military has used bikes like this before. They airdrop with folded bikes on their backs, land, and boom, you've got fast transportation compared to walking, and it's easier on the troops. In this case it looks like they are trying to take the inconvenience of the size of a bike out of the equation. I'd be more excited if we actually had a lot of mass transit in the US that'd make this a cool invention for us, but, hopefully it'll gain traction in Asia and Europe.

Taking the supply chain into account with solar power...

One of your pictures of the day: Planting flourescent tubes under power lines makes for free light show. and what Chinese pollution looks like from space.

Solazyme has successful test of their algae based biofuel.

Potential LA highrise will be very green, but there are a lot of questions to be answered.

A design firm is looking to tun San Francisco's Treasure Island into a Green metropolis. They hope to level the island and start from scratch, turning the island into a living test bed of all the most current green tech. I think it looks pretty cool, and I hope they go through with it. Maybe if we can show how well sustainable building practices work, more people will accept them in their own backyards (though ironically most of them probably won't have backyards, but you get the idea!)

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Juxtapose
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See, what we need to do is figure out how to make biofuel from kelp. Fastest growing plant on earth and all that.

EDIT - apparently, it's already been looked into, and single cell algae are the way to go.

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Dagonee
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The US Department of Energy awards almost $21 million for 13 projects aimed at advancing solid-state lighting (including LEDs).
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Lyrhawn
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Lucky for you guys I don't have to work until the afternoon tomorrow, so I've got time to do a supersized weekend edition. I'll be flagging a couple articles that I think are extra interesting or important. This will come in two parts:

Texas is quietly turning into the next California, but maybe better. They have to produce a lot of their own green power because of how the power grid works, and because of mandates, and it looks like they are expanding to solar.

Big Business gets behind green energy producers to send a message to Congress to renew the energy tax credit. Smartly, they chose not to even mention global warming, but instead went for a purely economic message.

Ports and shipping are given new attention as their full polluting impact is realized. Even as old school wind propulsion starts to look mainstream again.

Sun Power and Jupiter sign silicon deal that could produce 3GW of solar power.

New UK project will be largest in the country's history to try and reduce the cost of Photovoltaics.

Nanotechnology is looking to create t-shirts that generate power through motion.

Interestingly, if you have a solar array and you use far less power than you generate, you get a $0 power bill, but nothing in return. A new bill in the California legislature would make power companies pay you for excess power of yours that they sell.


How Green is your Presidential candidate? Or more appropriately, how oily? This leads to a graph that details contributions from the oil industry to candidates. I browsed it a little bit. It's pretty in depth. It tells you who gave to who, how much, even links you to the actual FEC filing. It also goes back to 2004 and 2000 for fun.

Featured Article
New clothes drier could save American billions, and be first energy star approved drier ever.

Featured Article
Huzzah! The House has introduced a bill to extend the renewable energy tax credit, along with a slew of other goodies, even adding wave and tidal power, and including a $4K tax credit for PHEVs. Now if they can just get it past the Republicans

On a clear day in New Mexico...a new record was set in solar to grid conversion efficiency using a Sterling solar "flower" design.

Second entry to follow soon, or maybe tomorrow morning.

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Morbo
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Huh, I thought power companies were already buying excess power from solar arrays. Maybe just in some states. [Dont Know]
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Lyrhawn
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Al Gore gets big money to commit to energy efficient building practices.

How to Green your kitchen

World's largest PV farm opens in Spain. It's still way undersized for what is needed to dent the problem, but it's really just a drop in the bucket of what's to come.

Amsterdam considers underwater city.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
Huh, I thought power companies were already buying excess power from solar arrays. Maybe just in some states. [Dont Know]

It's a subject that varies wildly, not just form state to state, but from house to house. If it's a partnership, like the local power company built and maintains the array and sells you some power at a fixed rate, then you don't get anything out of it, it's a longterm partnership with defined benefits for both sides.

But in many places, they zero out your energy bill and you get nothing back. I know in the UK you get some sort of complicated system of solar credits which are traded in for actual cash. But yes, it does vary from state to state on who gets what. It's a bit convoluted at the moment, in part because it's still new to everyone.

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AvidReader
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Amsterdam's city under the city idea is cool. I do have to agree with most of the commentators from TreeHugger, though. Do you really want a bunch of gas fumes in your undercity?
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Dagonee
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Gravity-powered lamp:

quote:
Concept illustrations of Gravia depict an acrylic column a little over four feet high. The entire column glows when activated. The electricity is generated by the slow fall of a mass that spins a rotor. The resulting energy powers 10 high-output LEDs that fire into the acrylic lens, creating a diffuse light. The operation is silent and the housing is elegant and cord free -- completely independent of electrical infrastructure.

The light output will be 600-800 lumens - roughly equal to a 40-watt incandescent bulb over a period of four hours.

To "turn on" the lamp, the user moves weights from the bottom to the top of the lamp. An hour glass-like mechanism is turned over and the weights are placed in the mass sled near the top of the lamp. The sled begins its gentle glide back down and, within a few seconds, the LEDs come on and light the lamp, Moulton said. "It's more complicated than flipping a switch but can be an acceptable, even enjoyable routine, like winding a beautiful clock or making good coffee," he said.

Of course, it's actually powered by the food energy consumed by the person lifting the weight. Also, I didn't see a mention of how heavy the weight is or whether energy life-cycle costs have been calculated. But it's pretty cool.
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Lyrhawn
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Picture of the day: Bottom trawling seen from space

Mapping North America's environmental problems

L.A. goes Solar in a big way. I love it. This is exactly the kind of plan that every city needs. It creates jobs and reduces energy consumption. Now if they can link it in with increased efficiency plans, they'll be even better off.

I know I've posted it before, but now it's backed up independently. It the green tax credit isn't renewed, more than a hundred thousand jobs will be lost.

Multi billion dollar 280MW solar plant planned for Arizona. Will create thousands of jobs and inject at least a billion into the Arizonan economy. Mostly hinges on renewable of the green energy tax credit. The plant ave a molten salt repository. Excess heat from the sun will heat the salt and allow the heat to be released when the sun isn't shining or it's night time. The salt will allow for power generation up to six hours after the sun goes down.
The environmental report card for each individual congressperson - including the presidential nominees

Compressed air cars may finally become a reality, and in America no less. They get a reported 106mpg, which gives the driver an 800 mile driving range with a top speed of 95mph. Supposedly they'll be made in India and still be around $17K, so we'll see.

Clean energy, not just energy independence, key at the National Governor's meeting this year in Washington.

In what seems to be a never ending stream of offenses from this Administration, the Wildlife protection division of the Department of the Interior is under fire for prematurely delisting the Grey Wolf from the endangered species list.

British Columbia introduces a carbon tax as part of a partnership to cap emissions and trade with other territories and US states in the pacific northwest.

The Department of Energy is getting serious about EGS (Enhanced Geothermal Systems) EGS is a new type of technology being worked on to expand the output of geothermal wells, and to basically create a geothermal well where none previous existed, sometimes using a method called hot dry rock where you introduce water to a hot rock layer under the Earth that has none to create a geothermal resevoir. Progress continues on this relatively virgin technology, but it holds great promise. I've heard some wild theories about potential risks from doing this. Most of it sounds like it's straight out of a sci-fi disaster flick, like we'll cool the core of the Earth and die or something, but I've yet to see an actual study that says there are any ill effects at all.

[ February 23, 2008, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Lyrhawn
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Oy, I'm slacking! Sorry, guess I've gotten a bit lazy lately.

Abu Dhabi wants to be the Green capital of the world, on in their words, the "silicon valley" of Green tech.

Bush says the US will commit to greenhouse gas reductions for sure...so long as Brazil, China and India are included in the measure. Being a part of binding targets is a non-starter for China if not for India as well.

In the latest of a long string of predictions, a new predictions says no Arctic sea ice by THIS summer. Predictions in the last few years seemed to target 2100 as the year, then 2030, then 2015, and now it's a couple months. I guess we'll see.

Cheap salt wins over environmental concerns.

Newest updated drought conditions report still looks bad for the southeast.

On that vein of though, Georgian legislators are considering literally redrawing the state line between them and Tennessee to get access to the Tennessee River.

How's the EU doing on their targets for greenhouse gas reductions? As a whole they aren't necessarily doing bad. We on the other hand are doing pretty bad. The EU is on track to hit their goals as a 27 nation bloc by 2020 for 20% below 1990 levels. As a 15 nation bloc they aren't doing nearly as well, but they've managed to keep their emissions stead since 1990, while ours have gone up more than 15%.

PG&E looks to partner with customers and forestry experts to restore redwood sequoia forests to capture carbon.

London to become first Euro nation to begin retrofitting public buildings to make them more energy efficient.

The Arctic is about to get a lot busier, with the advent of a much reduced ice pack on the north.

Italy aims to send 20,000 tons of nuclear waste to the US for storage. The company hoping for the deal says that isn't quite true, only a fraction of that would be stored, but environmentalists are already on the attack.

Major LED breakthrough made. The first polarized LED has been invented, which will allow their use in a myriad of consumer applications.

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Morbo
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Now this is ingenious: MSI's Ecolution motherboard has a cooling fan powered by the chipset's waste heat.
The fan uses the venerable Stirling engine, and gets 70% efficiency.

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Lyrhawn
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Okay I feel bad, so here's a bonus post.

High speed rail comes to America....South America. The US continues to lag behind the world in high speed rail, much to my annoyance.

High powered Senators are taking aim at the EPA and their recent lack of action in the P part of the EPA.

Minnesota wind farm to experiment with sodium sulfite batteries to store power for when the wind isn't blowing.

DOE commits millions to research on new enzymes to help with cellulosic ethanol.

Oil would need to be near $127 a barrel to make gas $4 a gallon.

Hydrokinetic renewables, stuff like tidal and wave power, are slowly gaining momentum in the US. A report said that they could in the longterm maybe provide as much as 10% of our total energy needs.

The UK begins it's wind odyssey: to provide dozens of gigawatts of wind power from an array of wind turbines numbering in the thousands that will ring the island.

Silicon production finally catches up to demand.

For your eye candy: some pictures of the perils of biking around the world. Some of these are scary, some funny, but the last one is hopeful.

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Morbo
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You goof-off, is 20-1 in posts the best you can do? [Wink]
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Lyrhawn
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Weekends are always slow for Green news.

Come face me on a Wednesday, we'll rumble. [Taunt]

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aspectre
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Dubya is spouting misleadingly reasonable-sounding words to cover up his fierce opposition to any measure that would clean up the environment and strengthen the economy.
With extremely HIGH probability, China and India would be more than willing to submit to a per capita limit meeting that of the actual carbon emissions of the original EU core*members. Such a limit would allow China to double its greenhouse emissions, and India to more than triple its emissions.
And the US would have to cut back it's emissions by more than half; by 2/3rds if the EU core were to meet its 2020 goals.
But I'm sure such an equitable settlement is not what Dubya has in mind.

* Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UnitedKingdom.

[ March 04, 2008, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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aspectre
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An earlier discussion on Georgia's desire to grab water rights by redrawing its border with Tennessee. The "mischief" being an unwillingness to climb down the walls of "the Grand Canyon of Tennessee" to get to the river which filled that portion of the canyon with LakeNickajack after TVA damming.

Also, GovernorPerdue unilaterally decided to allow property owners to keep their private swimming pools filled. Those swimming pools will evaporate huge amounts of water every day; probably enough to keep everybody's ornamental gardens thriving were the water allocated for that use instead, though still not nearly enough to water all of the lawns.
Once again proving that money talks much louder than common sense.

[ March 03, 2008, 08:59 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Lyrhawn
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GE inks $700 million deal with RES for wind power.

California hit with two rejections on their emissions regulation battle.

GM will make a major hybrid tomorrow at the Geneva Auto Show. I'll post what it is tomorrow.

I have to laugh at what I just typed. In high school, our principal would always come on the PA system at about 2:40 (25 minutes before school ended) and he'd say "In ten minutes I'll be making an announcement." It always drove my English teacher insane that he interrupted class TWICE for once announcement.

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Morbo
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Short vid of a windmill blowing up during a windstorm
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aspectre
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PacificGas&Electric's new slogan: From contented cows.
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Lyrhawn
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I think I'll be doing one major update a week from now on, with a smattering of much, much smaller updates in between. Here's some hybrid news:

GE invests in electric cars, A123 systems batteries.

Continental (A123 partner) says late 2009 for Volt battery, but GM says 2010 is still the target for the Volt.

GM to offer greatly improved mild hybrid system by 2010. (this was the big announcement) It does actually sound pretty impressive if you read the details and see the changes they made. If they keep the cost down to what a current mild hybrid costs, and really ramp up production, this could be a boon.

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Lyrhawn
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SolFocus aims to meet or beat fossil fuel prices for enery with solar concentrators.

New UK study illustrates the massive possible savings from low cost solar heating

After four years of trying, GE invents a process to print rolls of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) sheets. This is significant because OLEDs have the potential to radically alter the way we light our homes and make all kinds of screens. They have the potential to be far more efficient than CFLs or current LEDs. They could eliminate the need for lamps and other traditional lighting sources. It's still a half decade away, but this is a big breakthrough.

Proposed law could outlaw new coal fired plants that don't capture 85% of carbon.

Collapse of Pacific salmon population could lead to ban on commercial fishing this season.

Solar roads, which we've debated in this thread before, are moving from the concept stage to the development stage officially.

A deal has been inked in Europe that could lead to the first large scale test project for wave power, in the 250MW range.

Dupont says they've saved $100 million on energy upgrades in their titanium dioxide production, and that by 2015, they'll be producing twice as much of the stuff per energy unit than they did in 1991.

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Lyrhawn
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I found this afterwards and I am absolutely GEEKED about it, so it gets it's own post!

quote:
This November, the people of California will have the opportunity to vote on a $10 billion bond measure which will show the world they have the vision to put in place the needed infrastructure to meet a crowded future. I know $10 billion is a lot but if you put it into a certain perspective, it's not so bad. Especially if you look at it as an economic investment.
From here

I am psyched about this! Californians reading this, vote for the bond issue! Not only could this be move that finally breaks the dam on the US getting high speed rail, but it's good for California too. Here is a video giving some details of the route, the cost, the reasons why it's good, and it's operation.

And here is the official high speed rail website for California.

$10 billion probably sounds like a lot for a state government, but Californians have not shied away from spending big bucks to invest in their future before, and in this case especially, it's a cheaper, safer, cleaner infrastructure upgrade that'll save them literally billions by avoiding more costly upgrades.

I'll be following this story closely, and I'm interested to hear what you Californians have to say on the issue.

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Lyrhawn
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New enzyme could make cellulosic ethanol cheaper.

The Automotive X-Prize starts next week.

Abu Dhabi company to spend billions on solar power stations around the world, including the American southwest.

Clean energy market to hit $254 billion in less than 10 years.

Five trends to watch in renewable energy

US Geothermal makes agreement to purchase a few megawatts of geothermal power in Oregon Geothermal is sloowly starting to take off, but it's finally getting some bigger investment dollars too.

Regulators and utilities called upon to modernize grid

Swansea University invents a pain that harnesses solar power. Still lab bound for the moment, but they hope to have 5% efficiency soon.

Not really big news but, the world's biggest butterfly will break ground soon.

Where electric car batteries go to die

Huge new complex in China is planned to open in 2010 as LEED Gold certified giant.

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aspectre
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Meanwhile coal use is skyrocketing. And not just in China and India. As well as the UK (mentioned), Germany and Japan are steadily increasing their use of coal in powerplants.
The good news being that US use of coal has been decreasing since 2000 (at least; didn't see a chart for earlier years).

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DarkKnight
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BMW Diesel beats Prius in Economy
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Lyrhawn
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$10 million Automotive X-Prize has been announced with details.

EPA implements strict new rules on trains and small boats for their emissions. It doesn't include large ships, but it's still an impressive move. The funny thing is that most of who'll be hit by this are either individuals or small businesses, while large corporations can keep doing what they do, but at least it's progress, even if it is on the backs of the people who can afford it least.

Book makers serious about making books more sustainable.

German/Algerian parnership aims to cut the cost of solar thermal. Europe also moves forward in their relationship to what could become Big Solar in North Africa.

A small summary on the state of planned solar projects in the SW US and Spain.

Hydro power looking for a comeback in the US.

Masdar, an Abu Dhabi based company is building a Green city from scratch, and they are starting with a 1.4 million square foot HQ that is energy positive in that it actually produces more energy than it uses, and uses 70% less water than a comparably sized building.

Scroll halfway down the page and you'll find a chart that details why solar is better per acre than ANY biofuel (though algae is good stuff). There's also an interestesting snippet at the bottom about "The Omnivore's Dilemma" which I'm considering reading.

Here's your mini Recycling News for the day:

Clover Technologies is working in a partnership with the United States Postal Service to provide mailers to people so they can recycle small electronics and printer cartridges by mail. If Clover can make this a successful venture, they hope to expand beyond the big cities.

Featured Article
A new company called Recycle Bank is trying to get you to recycle more. The idea is that special recycling bins (big ones too) will be coded with an RFID chip, and you then pick through your trash and recycle everything that can be, and they weigh it and give you credits based on the weight of your recycling. The idea is that if people working on sorting lines in recycling plants get paid, why not the consumers themselves? The credits can be redeemed at a lot of stores like Starbucks, a partnership based venture that I'm betting is half of how they make this financially viable. The other half is that recyclables are big business these days at the base price of so many things rises, and for that matter, it's green cred for places like Starbucks.

The only downside is that it could possibly increase consumerism, as people get discounts places they might be more inclined to shop there, but if the list of places you can cash your credits in at is large enough, I suspect people will probably only use them to supplement purchases they would already make. Besides, in the two test cities in the Philly suburbs, recycling rates went from 7% and 35% to 90%. That's a huge uptick.

Walmart cuts energy use with water cooling system rather than AC cooled. The choice to put that system in the desert was stupid, but hopefully it'll go elsewhere as well.

Why eliminating incandescents entirely might not be the best idea. This one requires a lot of further studying, and I think in some areas it might end up being a wise choice to switch to CFLs or LEDs in the Summer and incandescents in the Winter in the northern states. It depends on a lot of factors though.

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