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The Moral Question Of Our Time: Can We Share The Planet?

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2014 - 50 comments

Indirect fusion's nothing less than HiiiPoWeR

Installed solar capacity is growing by leaps and bounds, led by Walmart and Apple, and helped by bonds backed by solar power payments,[*] which have sent industry stocks soaring, even as molten salt and new battery technologies come on line to generate storage for use when the sun doesn't shine. Of course we could always go to geostationary orbit -- or the moon -- as well we may (if politics allow it) as thirst from the developing world grows beyond the earth's carrying capacity. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 30, 2013 - 41 comments

2012 sees slowdown in the increase in global CO2 emissions

From the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency... (Interactive Presentation)(Actual Report PDF) Actual global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached a new record of 34.5 billion tonnes in 2012. Yet, the increase in global CO2 emissions in that year slowed down to 1.1% , which was less than half the average annual increase of 2.9% over the last decade. This is remarkable, as the global economy grew by 3.5%. This development signals a shift towards less fossil-fuel-intensive activities, more use of renewable energy and increased energy saving. Increases in fossil-fuel consumption in 2012 were 2.2% for natural gas, 0.9% for oil products, and 0.6% for coal.
posted by Long Way To Go on Oct 31, 2013 - 13 comments

I love a sun-powered country, A land of deepening mines, of ragged nuclear plants, of biomass and hydropower

While developed countries are pondering whether they should sign up to The Kyoto 2 Protocol and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5% by 2020, based on 2000 levels which may be of questionable impact, the tiny Pacific territory of Tokelau has ditched its primary source of electricity generation, costly diesel imports, in favour of 100% renewable solar power, becoming the first nation in the world to do so, at a time when the global energy systems of the 21C are struggling towards decarbonisation. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Nov 9, 2012 - 60 comments

Islands in the steam

Solar Islands: A new concept for low-cost solar energy at very large scale.
A reduced-scale prototype is under construction.
posted by flabdablet on May 2, 2012 - 19 comments

Even more recent events in Solar Power

Some interesting things have recently happened in the world of solar power: Evergreen and Solyndra have gone bankrupt, panel cost has gone sub $1.00/watt, and China has vastly increased production capacities. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Nov 17, 2011 - 103 comments

Temporary Marriage: the next big thing?

Temporary marriage: the next big thing? The divorce rate in Mexico City is huge, with half of marriages ending within two years. Some lawmakers there are introducing a reform to the civil code that would make marriage contracts renewable, with a minimum of two years. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon on Sep 30, 2011 - 36 comments

The bright future of solar powered factories

Most of the talk about renewable energy is aimed at electricity production. However, most of the energy we need is heat, which solar panels and wind turbines cannot produce efficiently. To power industrial processes like the making of chemicals, the smelting of metals or the production of microchips, we need a renewable source of thermal energy. Direct use of solar energy can be the solution, and it creates the possibility to produce renewable energy plants using only renewable energy plants, paving the way for a truly sustainable industrial civilization. [more inside]
posted by Bangaioh on Jul 30, 2011 - 31 comments

you may say I'm a dreamer

-Only an 'energy internet' can ward off disaster
-We must electrify the transport sector [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 19, 2011 - 58 comments

renewable is doable if governments are think-it-throughable?

As you may know, Japan's prime minister Naoto Kan announced two days ago that plans for new nuclear power plants in Japan are to be scrapped (NYT). Meanwhile, a landmark study from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says renewable energy can power the world (Guardian - article includes many related links). Here's a summary of the IPCC Special Report.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 12, 2011 - 118 comments

More recent events in solar power

Around one year ago we saw some of the recent events in solar power. At that time solar panels topped out at a peak efficiency of around 290W for a 1.99 x 0.99 meter 72-cell module, with a lone rare and expensive 315W module that was used to build team Germany's solar decathlon winning house. Since then prices have dropped a lot, and China is advancing in commodity tech. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Mar 3, 2011 - 80 comments

Feed me! Feeeeed Me.

What does the future of electricity hold? Microbial Fuel Cells? How about a carnivorous clock?
posted by The Whelk on Feb 10, 2011 - 19 comments

We're cooking with gas - Gobar Gas

Conflict-blogger Michael Yon with a fascinating piece about Nepal, Afghanistan, the Gurkhas and the incredible technology of "Gobar Gas". [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Jun 12, 2010 - 19 comments

From Oil Derricks To Wind Turbines

A 1999 Texas electricity deregulation statute included, almost as an afterthought, a requirement that the state develop 2,000 megawatts of wind power by 2009. This past February, wind generators delivered a record 6,242 megawatts of power to Texas population centers -- 22 percent of all the electricity consumed in the Texas grid. Could their model transform the nation's utility sector?, Or will it be derailed by special interests and politics? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 9, 2010 - 68 comments

Recent events in Solar Power

Solar power continues to become more economical with every passing month. The price of standard monocrystalline/polycrystalline 210W to 300W modules has halved, from above $3/watt to below $1.70/watt in the past 12 months. The Canadian province of Ontario has become the first location in North America to offer an aggressive feed-in tariff comparable to the feed-in tariffs in Germany and Spain, paying above 80 cents/kWh for power generated by small rooftop photovoltaic installations. The US federal government is also offering massive tax breaks for solar installations as part of the 2009 ARRA act. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Feb 27, 2010 - 50 comments

2009 Solar Decathalon

For the second time in two years a team from Germany has won the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathalon. This year's entry was a cube shaped house entirely covered in 300W and 70W solar panels generating a peak of 11.1kW. The DoE has published a complete product directory of all the subsystems and components used to build each house. Another notable design is the Canadian Team North house designed for optimal solar+insulation performance in high latitude climates.
posted by thewalrus on Oct 17, 2009 - 15 comments

A PATH TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY BY 2030

Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. HERE'S HOW (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 13, 2009 - 82 comments

Hydrogen. It's the fuel of the future, and it always will be.

Pics of the new Tesla S-Model have been leaked. With an anticipated price tag of 50K and a potential 45-minute recharge time, will this finally kick-start a true replacement to the internal combustion engine? And if so, where will the electricity come from? What future is there for the fuel-cell vehicle, or will fuel cells remain stationary? Is that really it for hydrogen? [more inside]
posted by molecicco on Mar 28, 2009 - 68 comments

The Guide to Highly Efficient Things

Meta-efficiency is the analysis of efficiency at a more comprehensive level. Metaefficient Review assesses products considering not only their energy efficiency but also the embodied energy, toxicity, affordability, and usability. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 28, 2009 - 4 comments

Offshore windfarms attract killer whales

Chris Goodall, author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, talks about the ten big green energy myths.
posted by Artw on Dec 1, 2008 - 42 comments

Hot Rocks

Google goes geothermal with EGS.
posted by Artw on Aug 19, 2008 - 16 comments

The Wind Over the Waves

Is offshore wind power the renewable energy of the future? [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls on Apr 13, 2008 - 46 comments

Windmill output of up to one MegaTrumpton

Could giant magnetically levitated windmills be the solution to the worlds energy problems? Chinese scientist have reported 20 percent increase in capacity over traditional wind turbines using maglev turbines, and now Arizona-based based Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies claims their turbines will have 1000 times the capacity of a traditional turbine. Not everybody is convinced.
posted by Artw on Nov 26, 2007 - 84 comments

solar chic

The Solar Decathlon is a just-completed competition in which 20 teams of college and university students competed to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. View a photo gallery or take video tours of the homes. Inhabitat has been blogging the event - here's their view of Germany's winning entry. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 21, 2007 - 16 comments

"This collection outlines the promises and pitfalls of new energy technologies..."

Navarre now generates more than 50% of its energy needs by wind power: a profile of the small autonomous region in northern Spain that is leading the way in renewable energy. This is one of many free access articles in this special supplement on energy issues to the journal Nature.
posted by sergeant sandwich on Sep 11, 2007 - 24 comments

'Peak Oil' believers just got PWNED!

Genetically Modified Bacteria to make "Renewable Petroleum" (A biotech startup describes how it will coax petroleum-like fuels from engineered microbes within three to five years).
posted by ItsaMario on Aug 2, 2007 - 66 comments

Google's panels are online

Google went solar yesterday! Google's PV solar system went live yesterday (or at least the stats page did.) Also, they converted 100 Priuses to plug-in electric vehicles, to be recharged by the PV solar panels. Pictures.
posted by joeblough on Jun 19, 2007 - 25 comments

Solar tower in Spain

Solar Tower (text and video). "The rays of sunlight reflected by a field of 600 huge mirrors are so intense they illuminate the water vapour and dust hanging in the air."
posted by stbalbach on May 3, 2007 - 61 comments

His energy bill is $0

Mike Strizki lives in the nation's first solar-hydrogen house. "The technology this civil engineer has been able to string together – solar panels, a hydrogen fuel cell, storage tanks, and a piece of equipment called an electrolyzer – provides electricity to his home year-round, even on the cloudiest of winter days. Mr. Strizki's monthly utility bill is zero – he's off the power grid – and his system creates no carbon-dioxide emissions. Neither does the fuel-cell car parked in his garage, which runs off the hydrogen his system creates."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Mar 16, 2007 - 28 comments

Solar power rental

CitizenRe is a solar power rental company for the home. Free to install (!), a monthly rental fee is equal to what would normally be paid to the power company. Video.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 11, 2007 - 67 comments

Boundless energy or bad math?

Boundless energy or bad math? Randell Mills thinks he has the solution to our energy problems. In his company's patented process, "energy is released as the electrons of atomic hydrogen are induced to undergo transitions to lower energy levels producing plasma, light, and novel hydrogen compounds." It also implies that quantum mechanics is wrong.
posted by Espoo2 on Nov 5, 2005 - 73 comments

The Mad Genius from the Bottom of the Sea (Wired article)

The Mad Genius from the Bottom of the Sea
Unlimited energy. Fast-growing fruit. Free air-conditioning. John Piña Craven says we can have it all by tapping the icy waters of the deep.
posted by Edible Energy on Aug 25, 2005 - 33 comments

Got water?

The ultimate renewable energy resource - kids. Unlike Monsters inc, who harness the energy of screams, the Playpump (also discussed here) harnesses kids having fun to provide clean water. If they have to cart water, the Q-drum (also discussed here) is a very simple way to make this chore easier. In this complicated world, the best ideas are still the simple ones. via A Whole Lotta Nothing
posted by dg on May 27, 2004 - 7 comments

What if oil and natural gas were renewable resources? Prof. Thomas Gold opines that oil is produced by microbes breaking down methane deep within the earth, thus explaining how some depleted oilfields have begun producing again. He even wrote a book on it. Brilliant re-examination of accepted theory or crackpot lunatic?
posted by CRS on May 22, 2001 - 9 comments

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