Tag archives for Renewable Energy

Can good economic times roll while carbon emissions decline? Maybe so. Last week the Obama administration proposed new rules to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants under the auspices of the Clean Air Act. Once EPA officially publishes the rule in the Federal Register (most likely in a week or two), a…

So you’re thinking about installing a geothermal cooling and heating system? You can do this, and you have the means to install the best system money can buy for a fair price. There are a lot of competent geothermal HVAC professionals that are willing to help. As in any transaction, you just need to be…

British Columbia finds itself at the forefront of the global debate on natural gas, and its role in the future of energy. Some 15 energy company consortiums are vying to build massive export terminals on the Pacific coastline of Canada’s westernmost province, with an eye to shipping gas to energy-hungry Asia. British Columbia, in other…

Last year President Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two-thirds of the population is without electricity.  In a parallel move, the House Foreign Affairs Committee leadership introduced the Electrify Africa Act to encourage access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  Since then, there has been…

New study concludes that biofuels can be part of climate-energy solution.

Which is more important: Meeting energy demand, lowering carbon emissions, or conserving water? How about all three? The Three Big Challenges Facing the Electric Power Industry The U.S. electric power industry has huge challenges to meet in the coming decades. First and foremost it has to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2050 it is…

The greenish sheen that sometimes appears on still water is actually a potential energy powerhouse–cyanobacteria, a microorganism that manufactures its own energy through photosynthesis. Biotechnology companies today are working to develop cyanobacteria, algae, and even municipal waste as feedstocks for advanced biofuels. But these promising abundant non-food sources lack either the government subsidies or the…

By John Perlin Many people believe that solar energy is a twentieth century phenomenon, untried and untested. But I discovered through writing my new book Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy that houses have been designed since Neolithic times to scoop up sunlight in winter; that over the last three thousand years people have used solar concentrators…

Kenichi Hazawa, a resident of Ofunato in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture, moved into his new home this summer—a milestone in and of itself. The rebuilding job has been monumental in this coastal city, where almost one-quarter of the 15,000 homes were destroyed by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, and nearly 8,000 people were forced…

According to Fox Business reporter Shibani Joshi, renewables are successful in Germany and not in the U.S. because Germany has “got a lot more sun than we do.” Sure, California might get sun now and then, Joshi conceded during her now-infamous flub, “but here on the East Coast, it’s just not going to work.” (She recanted the next day while…

  Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s now famous comment, “Never let a serious crisis to go to waste,” could not have been more true of Hurricane Sandy, which was a harbinger of the costly destructive power of climate change.  Sandy made clear that willful ignorance of climate science and inaction is simply…

Iraq is longing for renewable and sustainable energy solutions, National Geographic Explorer Thomas H. Culhane found out. It just takes a little extra time to don body armor and get through security when you’re packing food-waste grinders, solar panels, water pumps, and bio-gas systems. Culhane filed this report from his travels to Iraq, a place…

A debate is in full-swing in northwest Washington state about the energy, economic, and environmental future of the region, where coal export terminals have been proposed to send U.S., and potentially Canadian coal to Asia. A plan to build a sprawling $665 million coal terminal northwest of Bellingham,  Washington has been the focal point of…

History suggests he’s wrong.

A lack of wind won’t stall our future renewable energy economy, but Congress might. Debunking the Myths That Take the Wind out of Wind Energy’s Sails Wind has its downsides. It’s intermittent; it’s too expensive. Fair points, but there are ways around them. For example the whole intermittency issue could be handled now by using…

How do Obama’s words on energy compare to Team Romney’s? Last week, while the Republicans were celebrating the Romney-Ryan ticket in Tampa, Florida, we posted a count-the-words analysis of their energy plan. The plan’s overall aim is to achieve energy independence for North America. The numbers told us the path to independence for the Romney…

Oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, efficiency. Which are the Republican hopefuls’ priorities? This week, it’s convention time for the Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees. Last week, the Romney-Ryan team rolled out its energy policy [pdf] for the nation. Entitled “The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class: ENERGY INDEPENDENCE,” the new plan, running…

It’s a sad fact of modern politics that what politicians don’t say is as significant as what they do. That certainly seems to be true on energy and climate change in the 2012  campaign, where both sides seem to be ducking the issues as best they can. Unfortunately, that’s not much help to the voters.…

Delegates gathered this week in Rio de Janeiro at the 20th anniversary of the historic Earth Summit  affirmed that climate change “requires urgent and ambitious action,” in an agreement that commits them to no new steps toward meeting that goal. But while nations are as far as ever from putting a global price on carbon…

Alexandra van Huffelen, vice mayor for sustainability for the city of Rotterdam, discusses why her city is an appropriate host for the Powering Progress business forum on the linked stresses that the world faces in meeting its water, food, and energy needs.

The U.S. Department of State has received a new application from TransCanada—the company behind the controversial Keystone XL project—to ship crude oil via a proposed pipeline running from the Canadian border to existing infrastructure in Nebraska. TransCanada had its initial application rejected by the Obama administration in January. The reapplication to the U.S. State Department…

The leadership of the solar industry let out a collective gasp of relief Tuesday. While it seems that tariffs will be imposed on China’s exports of photovoltaic cells, at least for now they are relatively minimal. Yet it’s still a fragile time for the industry and anything that raises cost within the supply chain or to the…

Ireland has always been known for its lush green landscape. But turning its energy a matching shade has been a longer road. The country long relied heavily on peat, its only domestically produced source of “fossil” fuel. Peat is a partially decayed plant matter that grows in bogs on that familiar countryside, and it takes…

Over the past decade, plans for 160 new coal fired power plants in the United States have been scrapped, largely due to rising costs and an inability to compete in today’s energy markets. That’s because the cost of once-“expensive” clean energy has fallen dramatically, while “cheap” fossil fuels are increasingly expensive in economic, health, and…

The recent plummet of the natural gas spot price to a 28-month low has stirred discussion about implications for renewable energy—the majority electrical generating component in RMI’s vision of the 2050 U.S. energy economy. Since mid-2009, it has been increasingly clear that the amount of natural gas supplied via hydraulic fracturing (popularly known as “fracking”) will create…