Ocean Wave Energy – An Update

Ocean Wave Energy – An UpdateI try to help readers keep their fingers on the pulse of all the different flavors of renewable energy as they come along—even relatively obscure concepts like ocean wave. Extracting energy from the ocean waves has been a dream of hydrokinetic researchers for many decades, and here’s an article on the grand opening of a new project in Washington State (the Mecca of hydro), the first of its kind to come online.

Yes, there are all the expected issues.  Read more ›

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Posted in Hydrokinetics

Take a COOL Guess – the Fun Quiz on Clean Energy.  Today’s Topic: Nuclear Radiation

Question:  How many bequerels per cubic meter of seawater is safe?  Hold on.  Wait a second.  What’s a bequerel?

Answer: Can be found at Clean Energy Answers.

Relevance:  As my colleague Mike Conley writes:  Fear and paranoia are the two most common forms of radiation sickness.  (Part of the answer)  The Fukushima Cs-137 in California coastal water adds about 5 becquerels per cubic meter of seawater. Clean seawater normally contains 1400 Bqs. per cubic meter.




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Posted in Nuclear

Taking a Positive Tack with the Marketing Messages of Solar, Nuclear

Taking a Positive Tack with the Marketing Messages of Solar, NuclearHere’s a conversation between members of the pro-nuke group of which I’m a part.  It demonstrates a peculiar aspect of all this, i.e., that the group feels a need to beat up on renewable energy at every turn.  At the very best, that is self-defeating, as I’m sure most people find it tasteful and unfair.  You don’t see Coors commercials trying to communicate that Budweiser is skunk urine, yet what’s happening here is not too dissimilar. Read more ›

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Posted in Nuclear

Fraudulent Renewable Energy Business Plans Always Make Me Wonder: Who’s The LiAR, and Who’s the “LiEE?”

A Monster Day for Fraudulent Renewable Energy Business PlansA gentleman by the name of from Columbia writes:

I was referred to you by Mr Gustavo Rojas from AFD Colombia….CENTRAL ELECTRICA will be the first utility-scale power plant implementing the groundbreaking ECS-SOLAR technology (solar with mechanical induction). With a total of 19.9-megawatts of installed capacity, the grid connected power plant will generate clean and renewable energy to feed the Colombian power grid in South America providing a source of power that addresses energy security and climate change…..(business plan here).  Read more ›

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Posted in Renewables - Science

More Skepticism Re: Theoretically Impossible Energy-Related Inventions

More Skepticism Re: Theoretically Impossible Energy-Related InventionsOn the phone just now, I learned that these folks are trying to get a patent for what they claim to be a unique catalyst that electrolyzes steam, the heat for which uses only 12% of the hydrogen they produce, powering a fuel cell.  When I told them that this violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics, they said that they were aware of this, and understood my skepticism.

No surprise: They need funding to build and commercialize this, and wondered if any of the investors in my database would be interested.  Read more ›

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Posted in Renewables - Science

Chinese People Calling for an End to the Extreme Levels of Air Pollution that Are Cutting Their Lives Short

Chinese People Calling for an End to the Extreme Levels of Air Pollution that Are Cutting Their Lives Short

China’s people are learning the truth about the air pollution that’s causing a huge number of them, estimated to be over one million, every year to drop dead from lung disease. They’ve been unhappy about this for many years, but the video linked above, which had 100 million views in its first two days, appears to have really blown the lid off all this.

The main culprit, needless to say, is the proliferation of coal-fired point plants and billow out chemical and radioactive toxins in enormous concentrations, and, as show above, make it difficult for people in many cities to see across the street under certain wind conditions. The baby shown developed pneumonia before he ever left the hospital, and the local people are no longer willing to tolerate these conditions.

Now, it’s common knowledge that the Chinese government does not take kindly to expressions on the part of its people that may be considered “hostile” or “combative” or “subversive,” and we also know that the that the law of the land in China contains nothing that even vaguely resembles our First Amendment, i.e., the singular item we have in the U.S. that guarantees our freedom of speech. Thus an important question here is: what’s the fate of the brave people featured in a video that calls for the public outrage against the way their government is going about its business?

I don’t have an answer for that, but, obviously, I hope for their safety. Actually, my real hope is that they’re as far from China as one can get on this planet. I’m guessing that would be Bermuda, but I’d have to check a globe to verify that.
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Posted in Fossil Fuels

Oil Companies Are Placing Big Bets–With Your Money

Fossil Fuel Interests Are Placing Big Bets--With Your MoneyMy friend Cameron Atwood offers a fabulously rational approach to climate change mitigation as a comment to my post: Understanding the Ties Between Corporate Funding and the Findings of Climate Scientists (scroll down to see it).

Thanks, Cameron.  That makes sense to me.  But unfortunately, making sense doesn’t win the game here, as Read more ›

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Posted in Fossil Fuels

Power Utilities Add Fees for Customers with Solar PV

Power Utilities Add Fees for Customers with Solar PVA number of thoughts run through one’s mind when an electrical power utility, like this one in Arizona, adds a $50/month fee to all homes that have solar PV installed.

Philosophically, it’s hard to object to asking those who lower their power bills with solar to pay for the privilege of using the grid as their personal battery. Read more ›

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Posted in Photovoltaics

Finding the Truth about Anthropogenic Global Warming: What’s the Greater Miracle?

Finding the Truth about Anthropogenic Global Warming: What’s the Greater Miracle?About 40 years ago I read a couple of the philosophic works of the 18th Century Scottish empiricist David Hume (pictured).  I vaguely recall his discussion of the subject itself, i.e., that according to empiricists, the human mind has access only to sensory perceptions about the world, from which our brains try to make sense of the world around us.  We infer that there really is a world out there, even though we don’t have direct access to it.

The one big idea for which Hume is best remembered, however, is what he said about miracles, i.e., “We always disbelieve the greater miracle.”  Read more ›

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Posted in Climate Change

From Guest Blogger Jen: Ten Steps to Sustainable Building – A Homeowner’s Guide

Lower Your Kitchen's Carbon FootprintThe essence of sustainable building means using a process that ensures that the building is environmentally and resource efficient throughout its entire lifetime. You must take into account the design, construction materials, the overall operation, maintenance and care and renovation, which must also conform to green building techniques, and finally the demolition of the structure when its usable service life has ended. In a perfectly executed sustainable build, a balance should be found between the building and the sustainable environment.

Here are ten steps that should always be considered when building a sustainable structure. Read more ›

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Posted in Sustainable Building
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