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Treadmills That Generate Electricity May Be Headed For Your Gym

Treadmills That Generate Electricity May Be Headed For Your Gym

As scientists seek more ways to harness nature’s power to produce renewable energy, there’s one energy source burned naturally every day that isn’t being harnessed: calories.
Energy Efficiency and Weight Watchers

Energy Efficiency and Weight Watchers

We’ve been hearing for years that the energy efficiency industry needs to find its equivalent to the cell phone. These days industry folks refer to it as the ‘killer app,” the revolutionary product or service that consumers can’t resist. But lately, partly because I’m dieting, I’ve been thinking what energy efficiency really needs is something akin to a Weight Watchers […]
Putting Our Utilities on an Energy Diet

Putting Our Utilities on an Energy Diet

In the past, we made assumptions about our economy and our society that fit with the spirit of those times. The spirit of conquest and manifest destiny rushed through our American veins and led us toward the grand ambition of building a "modern" electricity and interstate highway system. We used our creativity to make energy from fossilized sunshine to power consumables and move people and products, generating electrons in abundance to ensure access to energy. Fast forward to the 21st century, and we still are using a fire hose to water a flower.
Let’s Talk About CO2 Baby – Carbon Capture & Storage

Let’s Talk About CO2 Baby – Carbon Capture & Storage

Well said, Salt ‘N’ Peppa, let’s talk about it:  U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions, By Source News flash: we need to curb CO2 emissions to slow climate change. While Tesla is working to clean up transportation, electricity generation and industrial production cause more than 50% of emissions. CO2 is not only a direct result of fossil fuel combustion, but also a byproduct of industrial production such as cement, steel, and paper.We now have technology to prevent large amounts of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): capturing CO2 produced by large industrial and power plants, compressing it for transportation, and then injecting it deep into a rock formation where it is permanently stored. You may know this as “clean coal”. Right. Now In Layman’s Terms CCS basically returns fossil fuels to where they came from. Here’s a simplified analogy: Using fossil fuels is like eating McDonald’s; we do it because it’s cheap and satisfies our need for energy. But it gives us a lot of excess unhealthy calories, more than the amount our bodies need to function. CCS is like continuing to eat McDonald’s but being able to block a substantial amount of the extra calories that our bodies don’t need.  Whoopty Do, What does it all mean? The technology has to be further developed to reduce the cost, but it already works in 22 CCS facilities that capture carbon either pre- or post-combustion. But where do we put that extra CO2? Won’t it just go back into the atmosphere or ocean?The captured CO2 is injected into rock formations deep underground where it’s trapped beneath an impermeable cap rock, thereby permanently removing it from the atmosphere. Iceland went a step further and successfully converted CO2 into solid rock. A project called CarbFix - not an Icelandic soccer diet - imitates the natural CO2 storage process observed in basaltic rocks.Oil and gas industry giants including BP have used CCS technology for decades for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). This allows them to squeeze more oil out of the ground and any leftover CO2 is stored deep underground.Although this storage process has occurred naturally for millennia (hence where we got the fossil fuels in the first place!), it remains a challenge to describe this process to the public. That's why you're reading this now -- to get the word out about CCS. You Know, We Could Just Plant More Trees True. Trees are the original clean technology and forests are natural CCS systems. In fact, forests removed 22-26% of our carbon emissions in the 2000s. Unfortunately, business is booming for deforestation, which causes as much as 18% of global annual emissions.This past Monday, White House science adviser John Holdren commented that a “keep it in the ground” movement regarding fossil fuels is “unrealistic”. Like with that colleague who rambles on and on, we’ve got to put up with coal and natural gas for a while. That’s our source of energy during this bridge phase to renewables. CCS can significantly reduce CO2 until clean technologies are intertwined in all industries. Here are some shareable Cold Hard Facts: The 22 worldwide CCS projects will be able to capture 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually...shaving 0.1% off global emissions each year.   In 2014, global emissions were due to reach 40,000 million tonnes, with nearly 16,000 million tonnes from coal alone.   There are around 50 CO2 pipelines currently operating in the US, which transport approximately 68 million tonnes per annum of CO2. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates the world’s potential capacity at two trillion tonnes, although it may possess ‘much larger potential’.   In 2006, Norway’ said carbon capture and storage would be the country’s equivalent of the “Moon landing”. Now, it’s the first government to consider implementing CCS by 2022. Most of the information in this newsletter comes from The Global CCS Institute.   Subscribe to www.cleantechrising.com to get content directly sent to your inbox.
The Solar Farmer

The Solar Farmer

Alvin Kunugi has a love-hate relationship with the sun, and it just got more complex. A farmer in San Luis Valley, Colorado, Kunugi's plants harvest the sun's energy and turn it into stored energy in the form of calories. But the sun in the valley is a little too much.
Solar Development in the US and China in the Shadow of Suniva’s Section 201 Trade Case

Solar Development in the US and China in the Shadow of Suniva’s Section 201 Trade Case

As Renewable Energy World has meticulously documented since Suniva, Inc. filed its case with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in April 2017 alleging that imports of solar cells and modules from overseas manufacturers (primarily China) had resulted in serious harm to U.S. domestic manufacturers, the Section 201 trade case has roiled the solar industry in the US and China.
Define ‘Green’ Please

Define ‘Green’ Please

Describing a building as ‘green’ makes a lot of people cringe. The word is overused. And what does it mean exactly? Serious efforts are underway to move away from the hype and offer a more specific analysis of a building’s energy performance. Think nutritional labels for food, except in kilowatt-hours (kWh) instead of calories. In fact, more than 50 national, […]
Electric Cars and the Kindness of Strangers

Electric Cars and the Kindness of Strangers

Guest blog by Cara Miale March 23, 2011 As if we don’t have enough phobias already, now there is range anxiety, a malady brought on by the electric car. But it’s okay; there is a cure, or rather an app for that. Studies indicate that many electric car drivers – and those considering joining the ranks – suffer the fear […]
Hurricane Sandy: “It’s Global Warming, Stupid”

Hurricane Sandy: “It’s Global Warming, Stupid”

On a recent broadcast of the news show Democracy Now hosted by Amy Goodman, Cynthia Rosenzweig, co-chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, went out of her way to begin her comments on Hurricane Sandy and the effects of global warming to issue a disclaimer: "but first Amy, I need to make something very clear: any one storm cannot be associated directly with climate change…we have to be very careful not to say Hurricane Sandy was caused by climate change."
After InterSolar 2009: The Hamburger and the Solar Panel

After InterSolar 2009: The Hamburger and the Solar Panel

When I was growing up in New York on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, there was a little hole in the wall burger joint called Diane’s on 72nd St and Columbus. My high school friends and I would meet there almost every Friday night before catching a movie at what was then the 83rd St. Quad Cinema on Broadway. […]