Renewable Energy Capacity Fuels Power Growth in January
February 21, 2013 06:02 AM - THOMAS SCHUENEMAN, Global Warming is Real
The latest Energy Infrastructure Update released yesterday by the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports that the US had 1,231 megawatts (MW) of new in-service generating capacity come online in January of 2013 — all of it from renewable sources including wind, solar and biomass. The new capacity for January represents a three-fold increase from the 431 MW of new renewable generating capacity that came online in January of 2012. Wind energy led the pack with six new units providing 958 MW, followed by 16 new solar units generating 267 MW of electricity and six new biomass units for 6 MW of new generation. Nuclear, hydro and all fossil fuel sources, including coal, oil, and natural gas offered no new electrical generating capacity last month.
Clean Coal Finally a Reality?
February 19, 2013 03:59 PM - J. David Thé, ENN
A team of researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) spent the past 2 years developing a clean way of harnessing the power of coal and have recently found great success in their research scale combustion system. The team is now able to harness clean coal energy chemically without combustion with air, while capturing 99% of the carbon dioxide produced from the reaction. With the next stage in testing on the horizon, could this possibly be the future of coal?
Over 35,000 march on Washington demanding climate action and rejection of Canada's 'carbon bomb'
February 19, 2013 09:16 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
Yesterday over 35,000 people rallied in Washington D.C. for urgent action on climate change, which, according to organizers, was the largest climate march in U.S. history. Activists called on the Obama Administration to do much more to tackle climate change, including rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would bring carbon-heavy tar sands oil from Canada through the U.S. to a world market.
Economics of Coal Power Shifting
February 18, 2013 02:03 PM - Dan Ferber, Science
During the presidential campaign last fall, a single message was repeated endlessly in Appalachian coal country: President Barack Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency, critics said, had declared a "war on coal" that was shuttering U.S. coal-fired power plants and putting coal miners out of work. Not so, according to a detailed analysis of coal plant finances and economics presented here yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW). Instead, coal is losing its battle with other power sources mostly on its merits. Although the United States has long generated the bulk of its electricity from coal, over the past six years that share has fallen from 50 percent to 38 percent. Plans for more than 150 new coal-fired power plants have been canceled since the mid-2000s, existing plants have been closed, and in 2012, just one new coal-fired power plant went online in the United States. To investigate the reasons for this decline, David Schlissel, an energy economist and founder of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in Belmont, Massachusetts, dove deeply into the broader economics of the industry and the detailed finances of individual power plants.
Rapid Expansion of EV Charging Stations Planned
February 18, 2013 06:29 AM - Tina Casey , Triple Pundit
The issue of electric vehicle range anxiety got a thorough airing last week, in the now notorious Tesla vs The New York Times battle. It started when Times reporter John Broder wrote a story about his recent Tesla Model S test drive. While acknowledging that the car itself is a thing of beauty (Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, to be precise) Broder detailed a litany of complaints about the driving experience on a 400-mile trip from Washington D.C. to Boston, primarily focusing on battery life and range. The whole thing ended ingloriously, short of the destination point with a spent battery and a tow truck involved. Of course, taking a 400 mile jaunt (actually more, considering that Broder detoured through New York City) along some of the most heavily traveled arteries in the U.S. during the dead of winter is a dicey proposition under any circumstances, but if Broder set out to demonstrate that electric vehicles are not ready for prime time, he ended up proving something else entirely.
Although the global consumption and installed capacity of hydropower and geothermal technologies have increased steadily since 2003, both types of energy saw slower growth in 2011, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service (www.worldwatch.org). Global installed capacity of hydropower reached 970 gigawatts (GW), only a 1.6 percent increase from the previous year, while geothermal cumulative capacity reached 11.2 GW, slowing to below 1 percent for the first time since 2002, writes report author Evan Musolino. "Despite the recent slowdown in growth, the overall market for hydropower and geothermal power is increasing in part because these two sources are not subject to the variability in generation that plagues other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar," said Musolino, a research associate with the Worldwatch’s Climate and Energy Program. "The greater reliability of hydro and geothermal can thus be harnessed to provide reliable baseload power."
NASA Develops Aircraft Design that Uses 50 Percent Less Fuel
February 13, 2013 01:15 PM - Cyrus Patten, Global Warming is Real
It seems like new, innovative technologies to reduce our carbon footprint are always 10 years away. It's hard to imagine there won't be another amazing technology just around the corner. In this case, NASA has developed a manufacturing method for wing-shaped aircraft. When combined with an uber-efficient jet engine called an "ultra-high bypass ratio engine", this new design promises to cut fuel consumptions by half.
Poll Reveals American Attitude Towards Climate Change, Support for Clean Energy
February 13, 2013 10:05 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Whether you believe climate change is occurring or not, according to a Duke University poll, the percentage of Americans who think climate change is occurring has reached its highest level since 2007. In recent years, the climate change debate has been a hot topic not only among scientists and experts in the field, but among political party lines.
Money Down the Pump: Where Does Our Gas Money Go?
February 12, 2013 05:40 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Rising gas prices have been in the news the past couple of years, as it seems the price of gas will never fall back down to what it used to be. The last time I filled up my tank, it cost me around $50 (on empty) and regardless of the fuel efficiency of my car, I know I am not the only person who is frustrated by how much money we are spending on personal transportation. According to a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), explain exactly what our gas dollars actually goes to. According to a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), explain exactly what our gas dollars actually goes to. In my case of a $50 fill up, the UCS show that $33 of my total went to crude oil, $20 of which went to private oil companies, and $13 to government-run oil companies, the remaining dollars to the gas station — a break-down that I would not have expected.
February 7, 2013 08:29 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Coal is somewhat notorious for not being the cleanest of fuels. Similarly all combustion systems release a good deal of carbon dioxide. A new form of clean coal technology reached an important milestone recently, with the successful operation of a research-scale combustion system at Ohio State University. The technology is now ready for testing at a larger scale. The Ohio State combustion unit produced heat from coal while capturing 99 percent of the carbon dioxide produced in the reaction.