Tag Archives | Alternative Energy

Big Oil’s Big Lies

Burning gas from Deepwater Horizon oil spill 2010-05-16Antonia  Juhasz calls foul on BP and other oil giants’ claims to be supporting alternative energy, at Rolling Stone:

Since the Gulf oil disaster in 2010, BP has spent hundreds of millions of ad dollars to cleanse its image as a dirty-energy giant. In the company’s latest TV ad, wind turbines whirl in the sun as a voiceover touts the number of American jobs created by BP and promises, “We’re working to fuel America for generations to come.” There’s just one problem: BP’s commitment to wind energy is virtually nonexistent.

In April, BP announced that it is selling off its entire $3.1 billion U.S. wind energy business – including 16 farms spread across nine states – as “part of a continuing effort to become a more focused oil and gas company,” according to a company spokesperson. Indeed, though it famously rebranded itself “Beyond Petroleum” in 2000, BP also exited the solar energy business back in 2011.

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Artificial Photosynthesis System as Efficient as Plants and Can Reduce CO2 Levels


Via DigInfo TV

A group at Panasonic has developed the Artificial Photosynthesis System, which produces organic materials with a world-leading efficiency in terms of solar energy conversion. The recently achieved efficiency, 0.2%, is on a par with that for real plants used in biomass energy.

Artificial photosynthesis is a technology that uses sunlight to produce oxygen and organic substances from water and carbon dioxide, like plants do. As an ideal technology that could solve both global warming and energy issues, artificial photosynthesis is currently being researched worldwide.

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World’s First Perpetual Motion Machine?

via Astounde
Since at least the 12th century, man has sought to create a perpetual motion machine; a device that would continue working indefinitely without any external source of energy. A large scientific contingent thinks such a device would violate the laws of thermodynamics, and is thus impossible. Could it be that as a race, we don’t fully understand the laws of physics and such a device may indeed be possible? What would the ramifications be if we could actually build a perpetually moving device?
Norwegian artist and mathematician Reidar Finsrud is an outside the box thinker that has devised a machine that he believes achieves true perpetual motion. Take a look at the video below and see what you think.
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Trees Used to Create Recyclable, Efficient Solar Cell

Via ScienceDaily:

Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University researchers have developed efficient solar cells using natural substrates derived from plants such as trees. Just as importantly, by fabricating them on cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrates, the solar cells can be quickly recycled in water at the end of their lifecycle.The technology is published in the journal Scientific Reports, the latest open-access journal from the Nature Publishing Group.

The researchers report that the organic solar cells reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7 percent, an unprecedented figure for cells on substrates derived from renewable raw materials. The CNC substrates on which the solar cells are fabricated are optically transparent, enabling light to pass through them before being absorbed by a very thin layer of an organic semiconductor. During the recycling process, the solar cells are simply immersed in water at room temperature. Within only minutes, the CNC substrate dissolves and the solar cell can be separated easily into its major components.

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Wind and Solar Power Paired With Storage Could Power the Grid 99.9 Percent of the Time

And it wouldn’t cost more money than our current system.  Via ScienceDaily:

Renewable energy could fully power a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030 at costs comparable to today’s electricity expenses, according to new research by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College.

A well-designed combination of wind power, solar power and storage in batteries and fuel cells would nearly always exceed electricity demands while keeping costs low, the scientists found.

“These results break the conventional wisdom that renewable energy is too unreliable and expensive,” said co-author Willett Kempton, professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “The key is to get the right combination of electricity sources and storage — which we did by an exhaustive search — and to calculate costs correctly.”

The authors developed a computer model to consider 28 billion combinations of renewable energy sources and storage mechanisms, each tested over four years of historical hourly weather data and electricity demands.

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Low Cost, High Efficiency Solar Technology Developed

Picture: Anna Scafford (PD)

So much for the old “solar is too expensive” dodge.  Via ScienceDaily:

Researchers at RTI International have developed a new solar technology that could make solar energy more affordable, and thus speed-up its market adoption.

The RTI solar cells are formed from solutions of semiconductor particles, known as colloidal quantum dots, and can have a power conversion efficiency that is competitive to traditional cells at a fraction of the cost.

Solar energy has the potential to be a renewable, carbon-neutral source of electricity but the high cost of photovoltaics — the devices that convert sunlight into electricity — has slowed widespread adoption of this resource.

The RTI-developed solar cells were created using low-cost materials and processing techniques that reduce the primary costs of photovoltaic production, including materials, capital infrastructure and energy associated with manufacturing.

Preliminary analysis of the material costs of the technology show that it can be produced for less than $20 per square meter — as much as 75 percent less than traditional solar cells.

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Germany Sets New Solar Record By Meeting Nearly Half of Country’s Weekend Power Demand

Photo: Túrelio (CC)

Photo: Túrelio (CC)

This story from inhabitat has the sustainable energy movement incredibly excited, and rightly so methinks:

Germany fed a whopping 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour into the national grid last weekend, setting a new record by meeting nearly half of the country’s weekend power demand.

After the Fukushima disaster, Japan opted to shut down all of its nuclear power stations and Germany followed suit after considerable public pressure. This seems to have paved the way for greater investment in solar energy projects. The Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster announced that Saturday’s solar energy generation met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs AND was equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity! …

By meeting a third of its electricity needs on a work day and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed, Germany’s solar power industry has broken all previous records.

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Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat Cold Fusion

Source: ecathome.com Sterling D. Allan reports on the Energy Catalyzer (also called E-Cat), a purported cold fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) heat source built by inventor Andrea Rossi. Temper your enthusiasm in the knowledge that his website, Pure Energy Systems News, has a business relationship with Mr. Rossi:
This past week saw at least 80 stories on the web, 4 from mainstream news, regarding Andrea Rossi's E-Cat powered by LENR or cold fusion. The hottest theme was Rossi's assertion that he is in discussion with Home Depot to distribute 1 million home heat units this Autumn for less than $2,000 USD. Reality will probably dictate a longer time-line. Once again we bring you a compilation of various news items about Andrea Rossi's E-Cat...
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Luxury-Sea Boat Allegedly Generates Electricity from Ocean Water

Fake? Hank Mills with Sterling D. Allan report for Pure Energy Systems News:
A company named Luxury-Sea is building a boat with a special device that is claimed to generate electricity from ocean water, to both produce hydrogen to fuel its engine as well as power its on-board electronics. A boat that requires no fossil fuel and that has an infinite range would be a true breakthrough. The French company Luxury-Sea claims to be building such a boat, named the MIG 675. Allegedly, it utilizes a patent pending technology that generates up to 50,000 volts of electricity from ocean water. The electricity generated is used both to power on board electronics, and to generate hydrogen to fuel a powerful 500 horse power engine... Of course the most amazing aspect of the boat is that it runs off salt water. No details are given about how it works, and no evidence is provided. Here is a video of the boat in action, but there is no way to determine if it is really powering itself using ocean water. The inventor of the technology, Angi Le Floch, is asserted to be self taught...
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