Wind farms have longer operational life than previously thought
February 20, 2014 08:03 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
New wind farms have a longer economic lifespan than gas-turbine power stations, according to fresh research that also dismisses claims that ageing wind installations are a bad investment. The UK has a target of generating 15 per cent of the nation's energy from renewable resources such as wind farms by 2020. There are currently 4,246 individual wind turbines in the UK across 531 wind farms, generating 7.5 per cent of the nation's electricity.
Magma storage at Mount Hood compared to refrigerated peanut butter
February 19, 2014 09:10 AM - National Science Foundation
New research results suggest that magma sitting 4-5 kilometers beneath the surface of Oregon's Mount Hood has been stored in near-solid conditions for thousands of years. The time it takes to liquefy and potentially erupt, however, is surprisingly short--perhaps as little as a couple of months.
Air travel gone batty!
February 18, 2014 01:37 PM - Jason Socrates Bardi, American Institute of Physics
By exploring how creatures in nature are able to fly by flapping their wings, Virginia Tech researchers hope to apply that knowledge toward designing small flying vehicles known as "micro air vehicles" with flapping wings. More than 1,000 species of bats have hand membrane wings, meaning that their fingers are essentially "webbed" and connected by a flexible membrane. But understanding how bats use their wings to manipulate the air around them is extremely challenging -- primarily because both experimental measurements on live creatures and the related computer analysis are quite complex.
Fracking residual waters
February 18, 2014 09:40 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
As fracking amongst Marcellus Shale in the northeastern part of the United States increases so does the concern over its process. Fracking is done utilizing a hydraulic fracturing process, which pumps a high-pressure mixture of water, chemicals and sand deep into the sedimentary formations to extract naturally occurring gas. The resultant wastewater is then stored in large impoundment ponds and closed container tanks until it can be piped to wastewater treatment plants. Once cleaned it is discharged into local streams or trucked to Ohio to be pumped deep down into another injection well or into another fracking operation.
Hydrogen Cars to Hit the Road This Spring
February 14, 2014 12:22 PM - CleanTechies Guest Author, Clean Techies
Although electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles have been considered the only plausible alternatives to conventional cars for a long time, and practically all of the world’s biggest car makers have been investing heavily in these technologies, and governments around the world have been trying to promote the use of such vehicles by offering generous incentives and financial benefits to those who choose to buy an alternative fuel vehicle instead of a gasoline-powered car, adoption has been lagging and sales have not been as strong as the auto industry had expected.
Six Caribbean Islands Sign On to Replace Diesel with Renewables
February 14, 2014 08:05 AM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit
Brought together on Sir Richard Branson’s Caribbean island retreat by the Carbon War Room and Rocky Mountain Institute, to work out a framework to effect a transition away from fossil fuels, six Caribbean island nations have agreed to replace diesel-fueled power with a mix of clean, sustainable renewable power generation, energy storage systems, and greater energy efficiency.
Breakthrough reported in search for the "holy grail" of fusion energy
February 13, 2014 04:50 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Scientists are reporting a world-first landmark discovery in the quest to unlock the secrets of triggering and harnessing the energy from fusion science. Ignition - the process of releasing fusion energy equal to or greater than the amount of energy used to confine the fuel - has long been considered the "holy grail" of inertial confinement fusion science.
More contaminant troubles for West Virginia
February 13, 2014 09:18 AM - Judy Molland, Care2
On February 11, just one month after a chemical spill tainted drinking water for 300,000 people in and around the state's capital of Charleston, West Virginia experienced another environmental disaster: 100,000 gallons of coal slurry pour into stream.
Extreme Winter Weather Puts Strain on Power Systems, Lets Wind Energy Shine
February 10, 2014 08:20 AM - Sarah Lozanova, Triple Pundit
The North American cold wave has wreaked havoc on energy systems this winter, plagued by natural gas shortages, rising peak power demand and power plants going offline due to extreme weather conditions. The displaced polar vortex, with its frigid temperatures and strong winds, has caused energy use to soar—creating supply shortages and rising energy costs.
February 8, 2014 07:33 AM - ANGUS CHEN, ScienceNOW
Still searing from the formation of the solar system, the core of Earth is a nuclear reactor generating heat from the breakdown of radioactive elements like uranium, thorium, and potassium. Scientists have been harnessing that heat for decades by drilling deep wells to power turbines. But now researchers have been able to tap into even greater energy by drilling into volcanoes and exploiting the heat of molten rock. If current geothermal wells are replaced with the new technology, it could provide 30% more power than current renewable energy sources. The idea of tapping the energy of magma came from a pair of accidents. In 1985, workers drilling for a geothermal well in Iceland ran into a sudden and uncontrollable blast of high-pressure steam. Scientists think the steam originated from a reservoir of water that’s under such pressure that as it begins to boil, the water cannot expand enough to become vapor and remains in a liquidlike state. Water in such a "supercritical state" contains enormous amounts of energy. Water reaches this state once it reaches 222 bars of pressure and 374°C or above, and flashes into steam when the pressure drops as the water rises to the surface.