Tag Archives: Renewable energy

Science.Howstuffworks.com – reminder 2010


A repost – it’s interesting and informative
10 Sustainable Buildings

10 Sustainable Buildings

Green building is no longer a thing of the future. Find out how architects and builders use solar panels, plastic bottles and straw bale insulation for ten environmentally friendly structures.

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10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth

10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth

It’s a lot easier than you think to “go green” — many of these suggestions require little effort, yet can make a big difference for the environmental. Watch a video and read more about saving the earth.

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5 Amazing Green Cities

5 Amazing Green Cities

Sure, the Emerald City looked green, but you won’t need green-tinted glasses to see how environmentally friendly the cities on this list are. What makes a city amazingly green?

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5 Green Cities of the Future

5 Green Cities of the Future

Sustainable urbanism is no longer a futuristic dream. Welcome to five cities around the world that will be turning a radical shade of green in the coming decades.

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5 Myths About Renewable Energy

5 Myths About Renewable Energy

We’re currently suspended between two ages: a time dependent on fossil fuels and a future dominated by renewable energy sources. Yet not everyone is sold on this vision, so a number of myths about renewable energy persist.

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5 Wacky Forms of Alternative Energy

5 Wacky Forms of Alternative Energy

For those who reduce, reuse and recycle to the beat of their own drum, here are some of the wackier ways to help better the environment and lessen your carbon footprint.

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5 Walkable Cities

5 Walkable Cities

What makes a city walkable? It’s not just sidewalks. You have to be able to access jobs, stores and places of entertainment while feeling comfortable and safe. What are five cities in the United States that have risen to the challenge?

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Are climate skeptics right?

Are climate skeptics right?

It’s evident the debate over climate change is a heated one. Are skeptics clouding the public judgment for money? Are climate-change believers merely alarmists who risk the present for the future?

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Are my bath habits destroying marine ecology?

Are my bath habits destroying marine ecology?

After sloughing off your dead skin, what happens to those plastic microbeads that wash down the drain? Some make it all the way to the ocean and linger until they become a very unhealthy supper.

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Are personal watercraft destroying the planet?

Are personal watercraft destroying the planet?

They may seem like a fun water sport or a noisy nuisance, but whatever your stance on personal watercraft, there’s no denying they pollute. So how bad are they?

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Can air pollution affect heart health?

Can air pollution affect heart health?

Everyone knows air pollution isn’t good for your lungs, but it turns out that it’s not doing your heart any favors either. Why do the particulates in the air we breathe interfere with our heart’s basic job: to keep things ticking?

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Can baking soda save the environment?

Can baking soda save the environment?

One company’s SkyMine technology aims to capture industrial carbon dioxide emissions and turn them into an endlessly useful product: Baking soda. But how do pollutants become a household staple?

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Can house music solve the energy crisis?

Can house music solve the energy crisis?

Electrifying dance moves might impress your friends, but they usually don’t help power the club you’re dancing in. What’s piezoelectricity, and how could it help twist the future of energy generation?

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Can humans start an earthquake?

Can humans start an earthquake?

Earthquakes are “natural” disasters, right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean the shifting plates that cause them can’t be aggravated by human industry.

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Can I travel without expanding my carbon footprint?

Can I travel without expanding my carbon footprint?

You’ve booked a safari with the environment in mind. There’s just one problem: Trans-Atlantic flights aren’t very green. Can green tags make your gas-guzzling trip carbon neutral?

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Can my body generate power after I die?

Can my body generate power after I die?

Haunted by ideas of your body polluting the Earth after you’re gone? Microbial fuel cell technology could allow you to harness the energy of your own decomposition to power batteries.

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Can we bury our CO2 problem in the ocean?

Can we bury our CO2 problem in the ocean?

Carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels is a prime suspect in global warming. Could we mitigate the problem by burying the CO2 deep within the ocean?

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Can we harness energy from outer space?

Can we harness energy from outer space?

As alternative energy sources sputter to take off on Earth, scientists are turning an eye toward space. What are the most promising celestial options, and when could they be in use?

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Can we plug the hole in the ozone layer?

Can we plug the hole in the ozone layer?

The ozone layer prevents much of the sun’s ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth. But there’s a problem: a gaping hole the size of Antarctica. What can we do about it?

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Congress ACTION ALERT! Support a Level Playing Field for Clean Energy


Union of Concerned Scientists

Urge Congress to support tax benefits that will unleash the power of private investment to make renewable energy even more competitive and create clean energy jobs.

Level the Playing Field for Renewable Energy

It is time for Congress to unlock billions of dollars of low-cost financing for clean energy by allowing renewables to be eligible for an important tax benefit that the oil, natural gas, and coal industries have had for decades.

A few months back, we wrote to ask for your support in leveling the playing field for clean energy. More than 27,000 UCS supporters like you responded by sending messages to Congress. Policy makers heard you and took action, adding their names as co-sponsors to bipartisan legislation that will give renewable energy access to the low-cost financing available to the fossil fuel industries. Now, the lead co-sponsor of the bill is asking for your help once again.
Urge Congress today to support a level playing field for clean energy.
Renewable energy has long been denied access to certain tax benefits and low-cost financing made available to the fossil fuel industry for decades. Bipartisan legislation now before the U.S. House and Senate will finally give renewable energy projects access—unlocking billions of dollars of low-cost financing for clean energy.
Let’s make sure Congress does not fail to seize this opportunity to ensure renewables compete on more even ground with fossil fuels. This should be a clean energy bill Congress can agree on.
Take Action Today!

Sincerely, Megan Rising Megan Rising Energy Campaign Manager Climate & Energy Program Union of Concerned Scientists

Official Google blog ~~ Renewable energy


As part of our quest to power our operations with 100% renewable energy, we’ve agreed to purchase the entire output of the 240 MW Happy Hereford wind farm outside of Amarillo, Texas. This agreement represents our fifth long-term agreement and our largest commitment yet; we’ve now contracted for more than 570 MW of wind energy, which is enough energy to power approximately 170,000 U.S. households.
The Happy Hereford wind farm, which is expected to start producing energy in late 2014, is being developed by Chermac Energy, a small, Native American-owned company based in Oklahoma. The wind farm will provide energy to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional grid that serves our Mayes County, Okla. data center.

Some (happy) cows on the future site of the wind farm. 
 The cows will still have plenty of room to graze between the turbines.

The structure of this agreement is similar to our earlier commitments in Iowa and Oklahoma. Due to the current structure of the market, we can’t consume the renewable energy produced by the wind farm directly, but the impact on our overall carbon footprint and the amount of renewable energy on the grid is the same as if we could consume it. After purchasing the renewable energy, we’ll retire the renewable energy credits (RECs) and sell the energy itself to the wholesale market. We’ll apply any additional RECs produced under this agreement to reduce our carbon footprint elsewhere.
This type of power purchase agreement represents one of several ways we’re working to make additional renewable energy available for both our data centers and the communities in which we operate. In Scandinavia, due to the region’s unified power market and grid system, we’re able to purchase wind energy in Sweden and directly consume it at our Hamina, Finland data center.  We’re also working with our local utility partners to develop new options. In 2012, we signed an agreement with GRDA, our utility partner in Oklahoma, to green the energy supply to our Oklahoma data center with 48 MW of wind energy from the Canadian Hills Wind Project. Earlier this year, we began working with Duke Energy to develop a new renewable energy tariff (PDF) in North Carolina.
We take a comprehensive approach to acquiring renewable energy for our operations. We’ll continue working directly with utility providers, collaborating with industry regulators and pursuing creative agreements (PDF) like the Happy Hereford PPA.
Posted by Matt Pfile, Senior Manager, Data Center Energy and Location Strategy

What Renewable Energy can DO … Power the World


by RAN … Rainforest Action Network

renewables

Fossil fuels are finite, dirty, and dangerous. In 2010, the investment bank HSBC published a white paper that speculated that even under the rosiest scenarios, the world only has 50-year supply of oil left. That’s why oil companies are drilling offshore and in the Arctic—the easily accessible oil is already used up.

Fortunately, we have the technologies right now to begin our transition to an energy system powered by a green energy—one that is powered by renewable energy source like wind, solar, and geothermal. The transition to these solutions, coupled with improved energy efficiency, will create new jobs, decrease our exposure to toxic pollutants like mercury, and help to solve the climate crisis.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report in 2010 that examined 164 different energy scenarios and found that with the right policies in place, renewable energy can supply up to 43% of energy in 2030 and 77% in 2050. Togehter with improved energy efficiency, we would be well on our way to a zero carbon world.

We are already making significant progress, but there is so much work left to do. In the U.S. in 2010, renewable energy accounted for just 10.9% of U.S. domestic primary energy production, but that is an increase of 5.6% over 2009. In the same period, China added 29 gigawatts (GW) of grid-connected renewable capacity, for a total of 252 GW, an increase of 13% compared over the previous year.

To make a world powered by renewable energy, we need the right policies in place to incentivize the use of clean energy. Policies such as renewable energy standards (only 30 states in US have one now), feed-in tariffs, and a true price on carbon will speed up the transition. We also need the corporate sector to help lead by cleaning up their carbon footprints and by championing strong governmental to help move us forward.

Solar: The Power of the Sun

Solar works in multiple ways: Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels convert sunlight directly into electricity; and concentrated solar power (CSP) uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect the solar energy and convert it to heat energy that powers a steam turbine.

Globally, solar PV capacity has increased by a factor of seven in five years. As an example of change look at California, where a mix of policies is making renewable energy the standard. The California utility Southern California Edison requested in June 2010 approval for 20 solar PV projects. The project would generate approximately 567 GWh of energy in all – and would do it for less than the cost of natural gas!

Change is in the Wind

Wind turbines, some of which stand as tall as 300 feet, create electricity by using the wind to turn their blades which power an electric generator. The US Department of Energy estimates that wind alone can power 20 percent of the US grid with 10 years.

China is leading the world in the installation of wind turbines, and at the end of 2010 it had installed an amazing 41.8 GW of wind energy. The US is scaling up its use of wind as well, with project springing up in the MidWest and Texas at record speed. In 2010, the Department of Energy approved an offshore wind project that will power an amazing 1.9 million U.S. homes.

Geothermal

Geothermal power plants naturally heat water and create steam to drive a flash steam plant to make electricity. The steam can be as hot as use 360°F (182°C)! The US is the world leader for installed geothermal electricity capacity and generation, but the country has just scratched the surface of what geothermal can provide. In past two years in the U.S. geothermal capacity has growth more than 3%, and the Department of Energy estimates that geothermal can power the grid with 15,000 MWs of new capacity within the next ten years.

Using Energy More Efficiently

Part of solving the energy puzzle is using the energy we already use more efficiently. Insulation, painting our roofs white, passive solar design, and compact fluorescent lights, which use two-thirds less energy and may last 6 to 10 times longer than incandescent lights, are just a few examples of technolgies that can save energy. In fact, the International Energy Agency has said that improved energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world’s energy needs by one third by 2050, putting us far down the path to a saving the climate.

Read more: Renewable Energy Can Power the World | Rainforest Action Network http://ran.org/renewable-energy-can-power-world#ixzz2Ko61nDfc

The Dirty Dozen?


We know that you try to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle, but could your utility company be harming the planet? Please read this important message from our friends at Pear Energy to learn how you can support clean energy. Thank you for all you do.
-The Care2 Campaign Team
Is your utility in the Dirty Dozen?
Find Out Here
Here’s a wild guess for  you:  your utility company does not share  your environmental and social commitments. And another guess: we do share  your values at Pear Energy. That’s why  I’m inviting you to sign up with Pear now.
Pear Energy  released the Dirty Dozen Report, detailing the worst utility emitters. Did your utility make the list?
Even if your utility is not among the rock-bottom losers  of the lot, it is still certain that it relies on burning coal, fracking for natural gas, or operating unsafe nuclear plants to supply you with electricity.  If we are going to win the fight to control climate change, your utility is simply part of the problem.
By Contrast:
Pear Energy is an easy way to have clean wind and solar energy produced and addedto the grid for the exact amount of your energy usage;
We only deliver friendly, efficient and reliable customer service;
We stick to our Fair Price Promise of transparency and reasonable prices.Buying  clean energy does cost a little more, but just a little more — around the cost of a cup of coffee per week;
Pear Shares — We contribute to organizations that share our dedication to ecological sanity and full employment;
We have a no-hassle satisfaction policy — if you are unhappy, we’ll switch you back with no switching costs and no service interruptions.
Because your current utility owns the power lines to your home, it will continue to read your meter and deliver your electricity. With Pear Energy, you’ll get the same reliable service, but with the knowledge that you are buying into the solution, not the problem.
Signing up for Pear Energy now is one thing you can do right away. Just click here to visit our website and your efforts will be almost complete.
Bob Pollin
Founder and President, PEAR