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For me, the most delightful turn of events in the ultimate nerd-song “Particle Man” by They Might Be Giants, is that after introducing (in order of complexity) particle-man, triangle-man, universe-man, and person-man—and learning that triangle-man naturally beats particle-man in a match up—we pit person-man against triangle-man to discover that triangle wins—again. In this post, we’ll pit solar against wind and see who wins. I will take my usual approach and estimate what I can—as opposed to researching the results of detailed studies. It’s part of the process of personal mastery of the big-picture issues, while also providing a sanity-check.
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph COPENHAGEN – Efforts to stem global warming have nurtured a strong urge worldwide to deploy renewable energy. As a result, the use of wind turbines has increased ten-fold over the past decade, with wind power often touted as the most cost-effective green opportunity. According to Connie Hedegaard, the European Union’s commissioner for climate action, “People should believe that [wind power] is very, very cheap.”
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph BRUSSELS – It has been evident for years that Europe needs an energy system that can cut dependence on fossil fuels, bring down future energy costs, and fight climate change. But the Fukushima accident in Japan one year ago underscored the need for an energy source that will fill the gap left by declining nuclear power. Many ask: is renewable energy up to the task? Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph In the aftermath of the Fukushima meltdown, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said that now is the time for the renewables sector to “prove itself as a scalable, affordable, and secure energy source….I believe that is going to happen.”
Read full article Continue reading page | 1 | 2 | 3 As energy demand grows, even alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and nuclear fusion could begin to affect the climate Editorial: " Taking the long view on the world's energy supplies " "A better, richer and happier life for all our citizens."
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph BERLIN – The Fukushima disaster in March reminded the world, 25 years after Chernobyl, that nuclear energy is anything but clean, secure, and affordable. Unfortunately, another nuclear catastrophe was needed to trigger a fresh debate on the use of nuclear power. Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph Germany’s decision in June to phase out nuclear power by 2022 has provoked irritation among its pro-nuclear neighbors.
The after-effects of Japan's megaquake and tsunami continue to be felt. Two planned UK power stations have become the latest victims of the anti-nuclear sentiment that followed the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant last year. However, renewable technologies are unlikely to benefit. German utility companies RWE and E.ON have pulled the plug on a joint project to build nuclear reactors at Wylfa on the island of Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.
From Monty Python: "Bring out your dead" Having looked at the major alternatives to fossil fuel energy production ( summarized here ), we come away with the general sentiment that the easy days of cheap energy are not evidently carried forward into a future without fossil fuels. That’s right, fossil fuels will be dead and gone. Is it time to pile them on the cart to be hauled away? In the slapdash scoring scheme I employed in the alternative energy matrix , the best performers racked up 5 points, whereas by the same criteria, our traditional fossil fuels typically achieved the near-perfect score of 8/10. The only consistent failing is in the abundance measure, which is ultimately what brings us all together here at Do the Math.
Energy & Sustainability :: News :: June 15, 2012 :: :: Email :: Print New report documents seismic activity related to a host of energy technologies By Mark Fischetti Image: Courtesy GreatBeyond on Flickr Geologists and politicians have been arguing for several years about whether hydraulic fracturing of shale to release natural gas can cause earthquakes . Finally, a comprehensive study released today by the National Research Council has settled the question: yes, fracking can.
This story first appeared on the ProPublica website . Over the past several decades, US industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation's geology as an invisible dumping ground. No company would be allowed to pour such dangerous chemicals into the rivers or onto the soil.
Energy & Sustainability :: Climatewire :: May 30, 2012 :: :: Email :: Print Burning more natural gas might also mean more greenhouse gas emissions causing more global warming By Nathanael Massey and ClimateWire GOLDEN AGE FOR GAS: Natural gas may enjoy a few decades of abundance and increasing use, according to the International Energy Agency.
United States oil production is on the rise. In the first quarter of 2012, average domestic crude oil production topped 6 million barrels per day (bbl/day). This is the first time that U.S. quarterly oil production has been above the 6 million bbl/day mark since 1998. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, this production growth is primarily the result of increases in output in North Dakota, Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Energy & Sustainability :: Climatewire :: May 14, 2012 :: :: Email :: Print For the next several decades, a growing appetite for power in Asia will mean more coal is mined and burned, according to a research report By Daniel Cusick and ClimateWire KING COAL: Growing Asian demand will fuel a boom in coal production and burning, according to one analysis. Image: Wikimedia Commons/Herry Lawford
ENDANGERED SPECIES?: The U.S. may rid itself of coal-fired power plants thanks to cheap natural gas and new regulations, according to a new report. Image: flickr/danoStL The era of U.S. coal-fired electric power generation will effectively end as new federal regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil plants take effect, a new analysis from Bloomberg Government concludes.
Energy & Sustainability :: Climatewire :: May 16, 2012 :: :: Email :: Print The new electricity grid will make it hard for China to meet its greenhouse gas and energy-intensity goals By Lisa Friedman and ClimateWire WRONG GRID?: China is building an electricity grid focused on coal rather than renewables, which will make it hard for the country to meet its greenhouse gas-emission reduction goals. Image: flickr/practicalowl
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph BIRMINGHAM – The dramatic events that unfolded at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant after last year’s tsunami are commonly referred to as “the Fukushima disaster.”