Monthly Archives: April 2011

First HVDC Transmission Projects Beginning Globally

April 29th, 2011 | by Susan Kraemer

Finally. We are starting to get the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system we need to shift massive amounts of wind power from all those empty states where all the wind is, to all the full ones where all the people are. Green Car Congress reports that Siemens is starting to build the much-needed grid that it takes.

Harnessing Volcanoes Themselves for Energy?

April 28th, 2011 | by Susan Kraemer

A derailed 2009 project in search of improved geothermal resources has been found to have uncovered a new way to harness energy from volcanic magma itself, according to a paper just published at Geology: Origin of a rhyolite that intruded a geothermal well while drilling at the Krafla volcano, Iceland by Wilfred Elders, a professor emeritus of geology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside

Google’s Clean Energy Projects (7 Big Ones)

April 28th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

Google is one of the largest clean energy corporate leaders in the U.S. If we had more Googles (and fewer Facebooks or Apples), it looks like we'd have a much brighter future. Hopefully others will follow Google's lead sooner than later on this front, or even try to one-up it. With a number of recent clean energy project announcements, I thought it might be nice to run down a list of Google's major projects of the last year or so

Why Big Solar is a Colossally Bad Idea (10 Reasons Decentralized Solar is Much Better)

April 27th, 2011 | by Aaron Fown

Of late there has been much talk about moving towards a solar energy future. This is a positive development (albeit one that is almost too late) and has been driven, no doubt, by recent studies that have shown that solar and wind power are now amongst the cheapest forms of power generation, several critical breakthroughs in related fields, and big moves by some major players. However, it seems that a lot of money is being thrown at a particular type of solar power plant; massive centralized solar plants. It is my opinion that this is a massive mistake

Wouldn’t You Really Rather Have an Electric Vehicle?

April 27th, 2011 | by Tina Casey

Never underestimate the power of American consumers to fall out of love with an icon. We're talking about the gasoline engine, the embodiment of American sinew and spirit. Yep, it's headed to the dust heap of romance past along with the Marlboro Man and shoes with spats. The Nielsen Energy Survey recently questioned consumers about their preferences when purchasing a new car, and

CA Utility Misses 37% Renewable Target as Geothermal Firm Faces Financing Woes

April 26th, 2011 | by Susan Kraemer

Riverside Public Utilities is a small electric power utility that serves 107,000 metered electric customers in Southern California. Like its bigger cousins in the sunshine state, it is aggressively pursuing renewable energy targets. But its high goal is threatened by the collapse of financing for a geothermal project it signed a contract for - that would have raised the supply of its renewable energy to 37%

Fire Pot Stove Burns Cleanly

April 26th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers

An Australian resident, Adama Kamara, has invented a cooking stove that allows people in developing areas to cook without breathing toxic fumes or contributing to deforestation in search of wood fuels

SiEnergy Lowers Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Temperature by 300-500 °C

April 26th, 2011 | by Nicholas Brown

SiEnergy invented a comparably low temperature fuel cell technology by taking advantage of the fact that thin film cells can operate properly at lower temperatures than the traditional ones. They claim that these are the first thin film fuel cells which can operate in practical applications. In other words, they are saying that thin film fuel cells were not useful until now

Scientists Follow 150-Year-Old Trail to Clean Fuel of the Future

April 26th, 2011 | by Tina Casey

The great promise of hydrogen fuel cells is their potential to take hydrogen generated by low cost solar power, and put it to work at moving your car from point A to point B - all with zero emissions. But, there's a catch. The current technology relies on a tiny dose of

China Grows Wind Capacity to Top World Ranking

April 25th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers

But today's China has dramatically expanded its wind power capacity to rank as the world’s largest owner of installed wind capacity. If planned construction deadlines are met, China will end 2011 owning 58 gigawatts (GWs) of installed wind capacity, a number that will expand to as much as 150-230 GWs over the coming decade.

Coming Soon to an Army Base Near You: Net Zero Energy, Water, and Waste

April 25th, 2011 | by Tina Casey

A couple of weeks ago the U.S. Army announced that it was on the verge of identifying a group of bases to adopt a net zero policy for energy, water and waste, and now we can all stop holding our breaths. The U.S. Army's net zero bases were just announced and the program is even more ambitious than

Solar-Powered Bike Lanes/Roads Coming To Holland

April 25th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

If you know me much at all, you know that I love solar energy and I love bicycling for transportation purposes. Also, you might know that I lived in the Netherlands for 5 months in graduate school. So, yeah, the project I'm writing about here caught my attention

Dallas Hops on the Sewage-to-Biogas Bandwagon

April 24th, 2011 | by Tina Casey

Dallas, Texas has become the latest hotspot for renewable energy, in this case the capture and reuse of biogas from sewage. Biogas is a byproduct of the sewage treatment process and until now it has been routinely flared off at treatment plants. That's right, until recently biogas has been treated as a mere

Wind Power Beats Nuclear Power in Texas

April 21st, 2011 | by Tina Casey

Texas has more wind power than it can use, and that partly explains why NRG Energy, Inc. has backed out of a plan to build two new nuclear reactors in the state. To be clear, the stated motivation for the decision was the nuclear disaster resulting from last month's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which among other things has

EPA Submits Below-Average Plan to Cut its Own GHGs 25% by 2020

April 21st, 2011 | by Susan Kraemer

When it comes to passing laws to promote the switch to clean energy to prevent climate change, President Obama may have constitutionally limited powers, but one power he does have is the power to issue an executive order controlling the actions of all of our federal agencies - like the Departments of Defense, Energy, Justice, Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency

Google Maps Will Guide EV Drivers to Charging Stations

April 21st, 2011 | by Tina Casey

Google, Inc. is about to take the guesswork out of finding an electric vehicle charging station. The Internet giant has partnered up with the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other stakeholders to use Google Maps as the primary platform for coordinating a database that provides

Galvin Programs Bacteria; Gets Rid of Herbicides

April 20th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers

Justin Gallivan, associate professor of biomolecular chemistry at Emory University, is busy developing new ways to reprogram bacteria to carry out some remarkable new tasks – instructing the E. Coli bacteria, for instance, to eat atrazine, a widely used herbicide that can cause considerable contamination of ground water

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