Archive for the ‘renewable energy’ category

Greenhouse Gases – What You Don’t Know

March 2, 2007

2 Mar 2007 – How much do you really know about greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide?!  When supporting a particular approach or decision affecting our environment, one must back up their position with knowledge.  Test your knowledge on these three questions about greenhouse gases!

Which greenhouse gas is trapping more heat on Earth than all the others?  If you said “carbon dioxide” you would be wrong.  The correct answer is “water vapor”.  Water vapor contributes about double that from carbon dioxide!

Okay, second question:  Which greenhouse gas traps heat more effectively, methane or carbon dioxide?  If you said “methane” you would be correct.  In the atmosphere, methane traps heat over 20 times more effectively than carbon dioxide!

Well, let’s try a third, perhaps an easier one:  Which greenhouse gas has increased in Earth’s atmosphere more significantly over the past 250 years:  water vapor, carbon dioxide, or methane?  Let me give you a hint.  It’s not carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide only increased 31% while methane increased 149%.  As for water vapor, there is much debate as to the amount of accumulation.

Why then, are we so afraid of carbon dioxide?!  Well, here’s an inconvenient truth, a piece of the pie not yet served:  We are wasteful; and the world is running out of oil to power our motor vehicles; and what quicker way to transform our chosen energy paradigm, than to frighten us… AND (before you get entirely upset) carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere IS increasing the greenhouse effect (our Earth is warming)… but remember:  accumulations of methane, water vapor, and others are also contributing significantly!!!

What can we blame for this global warming?  How about fossil fuels?  Okay.  So let’s eliminate all fossil fuels in 5 years.  That will fix the problem of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, right?  Well, no.  Renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel have carbon in them.  What?!  Yes.  Very much so!  In fact, our old buddy “natural gas” is a lower emitter of carbon dioxide than ethanol.

And hydrogen won’t be ready to take over by then.  Besides, what also happens if we ban all fossil fuel in 5 years?  How will you feed yourself or your family when lights go out or businesses and industries shut down?  What happens to the world economy when money stops changing hands?  What happens to individuals?  (For time sake, this argument leaves a lot out.)  Saving the planet, only to lose human civilization by another method – is not a good option!

Let’s join in bringing about the eventual end of human-initiated greenhouse gas emissions that have increased the global warming.  And let’s do it in a controlled, multi-faceted fashion with parallel solutions that will not create a different problem – that brings about the destruction of human society!

I have a saying that is appropriate.

“Believe half of what you see, and None of what you hear.”

Check out these facts for yourself.  Be responsible.  Make additional comments that help clarify.

Reduce, reuse, recycle, and switch to a new energy source… and be good,

– Lars

Power Without Fuel

February 27, 2007

27 Feb 2007 – Congratulations to the Germans.  They lead the world as innovators in wind power installations.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council website, the countries having the most MegaWatts (MW) of installed wind generation capacity are:

  1. Germany (20,621 MW)
  2. Spain (11,615 MW)
  3. USA (11,603 MW)
  4. India (6,270 MW)

But in 2006, the annual market for wind generation increased at a rate of 32%.  Here are the top countries that installed new wind capacity in 2006:

  1. USA (2,454 MW)
  2. Germany (2,233 MW)
  3. India (1,840 MW)
  4. Spain (1,587 MW)

For information on what’s happening in your country, check these National and Regional Association links.

This video, entitled “No Fuel” is a good advocate for Wind Energy.

United States Opens Access to Clean Energy

February 26, 2007

26 Feb 2007 – The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted a final rule that will facilitate access to clean energy resources.  Increasing numbers of renewable energy electrical generators have led to imbalances on the electrical grid.  In June 2007, a new rule to govern these imbalances will become mandatory and enforceable.

The electrical grid is getting more complex each year.  Differences between the scheduled and actual delivery of energy (generator imbalances) are corrected by transmission providers to keep the system balanced.  Existing policies provide wide discretion in charges and penalties, which many feel are discriminatory and excessive.  This is the reason for the reform.

Wind energy generation and other forms of renewable energy sources, by their intermittant nature, contribute to these generation imbalances.  But for increases in renewable energy source generation to occur, provisions must be made for green energy to have higher priority on the grid – and less penalties.  Some think this should require fossil fuel power-generating facilities, with higher greenhouse emissions, to shoulder more responsibility and cost in balancing the grid.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation has scheduled several workshops to understand implications of this paradigm shift underway in North America.  The workshops will focus on emerging standards, transitional steps, timelines, penalties, and how these 83 standards will be coordinated.

FERC press release.

Global Cooling

February 21, 2007

20 Feb 2007 – Global cooling is a name for a net cooling effect on the Earth.  When geothermal power plants tap the natural heat from deep within the Earth- heat that otherwise would not be released to the surface – global cooling is occurring.

Take a virtual plant tour of the geothermal power generation process to better understand this renewable and sustainable form of energy.  The tour is very straightforward.

How does a geothermal power plant compare with one that burns coal?  Well, take this virtual tour of a coal-fired power plant to find out for yourself!

Now compare both of these with a scientific virtual tour of wind power.

If you found the tours interesting, thank the creators.

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Here is Wikipedia’s reference to global cooling.  – Lars

Global Demand for Renewable Energy Increasing

February 20, 2007

19 Feb 2007 – Remote generation is emerging as a trend in energy.  Whether it be from wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, biofuel, digester methane, biofuel, or thermal heat recovery – it looks to become a significant factor in energy production.

Now Johnson Controls, in a news release from their website today has announced an expansion in their business in designing, installing, and servicing these types of renewable energy sources.

Johnson Controls is just one example, but many more companies are expected to shift and expand business directions in order to take advantage of the emerging renewable market.