Tag Archives | Alternative Energy

Solar Plant Pollutes River in China … Riots Ensue

Solar PanelWhat does sustainability truly mean in an industrial world? Villagers in Zhejiang Province are wondering the same thing since the production of solar cells and batteries at a factory in the area has effectively poisoned their river and their children … Via the BBC:

Hundreds of villagers in eastern China have held three days of protests at a solar panel plant over pollution fears. Around 500 people started gathering at Zhejiang Jinko Solar company in Haining city, Zhejiang province, on Thursday. Some of protesters stormed the factory, overturning several company cars and destroying offices, officials said. Residents in the nearby village of Hongxiao said they became concerned after the deaths of a large number of river fish.

One 64-year-old villager told the Associated Press that the factory — located close to a school and kindergarten – discharges waste into the river and spews dense smoke out of a dozen chimneys.

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Orlando Uses Sewage To Produce Electricity

Photo:  wfmillar (CC)

Photo: wfmillar (CC)

Can poop be turned into power? The city of Orlando has been working with private-industry partners on turning sewage into electricity in an attempt to answer the age-old question: ‘What if you could take sewage and get rid of it cleanly and quickly, without dumping it in rivers or landfills — and generate pollution-free electricity at the same time?’ Orlando Sentinel reports:

Orlando officials think they’ve perfected a technology that has flummoxed scientists for decades — one they hope will be used worldwide to turn sewage into electricity and earn the city tens of millions of dollars in royalties.

If city officials and their private-industry partners are right, it could be the biggest thing in sewage treatment since the flush toilet.

“We call it poop to power in five minutes,” said project consultant Roy Pelletier.

While the five-year, $8.5 million project has drawn little attention locally, a small, experimental test plant off busy Alafaya Trail near the University of Central Florida has drawn visitors from Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Europe and elsewhere in recent weeks.

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Low Energy Nuclear Reactions: 2.5 Million Watt-Hours From A Nickel?

Thomas Blakeslee writing at renewableenergyworld.com:

All existing nuclear plants, and the planned $13 billion ITER hot fusion project, are based on the “atoms for peace” idea of adapting military bomb technology to civilian use. The tens of billions in research dollars that have been spent have clouded the judgment of leaders in the nuclear science community causing irrational denial of the work being done at low energy levels.

The ITER platform in Cadarache, where construction began in 2010 on buildings and facilities. Photo: Altivue.

The ITER platform in Cadarache, where construction began in 2010 on buildings and facilities. Photo: Altivue.

The disasters in Japan prove that these grandiose attempts to generate power from bomb technology are misguided.

The scientists that perform peer reviews and make up government advisory panels are all recipients of government largess. As a result, promising low energy nuclear work has been driven underground and forced to create its own journals and finance its own research.

Now, from Italy, comes the stunning news that Low Energy Nuclear Reactors (LENR) are, suddenly, a practical reality consistently generating significant power.

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China Leads The World In Clean Energy

Solar collectors on apartment rooftops in Xian Chian. Photo: Richard Chambers (CC)

Photo: Richard Chambers (CC)

One of the most polluted countries has become number one in clean energy. The US ranks number three. The Guardian reports:

China has overtaken the US for the first time in a league table of investments in low-carbon energy among the G-20, according to a new report by not for profit group the Pew Charitable Trusts published this week.

The report found that despite an overall 6.6 per cent global decline in clean energy investments last year, China invested almost twice as much as the United States in clean energy during 2009.

But the US still leads in energy capacity. It’s interesting for the UK too:

• third in overall clean energy investments
• fourth in five-year clean energy investment growth rate
• fifth in the percentage of total power it receives from clean energy sources ahead of France, China and the US

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The Relationship Between Oil, Earth and Humanity

LittleEarthOil has been the topic of discussion in American news since the 1920s, but have circumstances really changed? With the Deep Horizon spill in 2010 causing unprecedented pollution, the leak in the Alaskan pipeline and the new energy deal between China and Scotland, we are witnessing an increasing struggle for fossil fuel resources and a constant search for new energy sources. An excerpt from disinformation‘s The Little Earth Book by James Bruges gives us a retrospective look of how the oil situation of today was seen 6 years ago.

The Future of Oil: Who’s Fooling Whom? – and Why?

Draw a line five miles long to represent the millions of years during which solar energy has been captured and laid down in the earth’s crust in the form of coal, gas and oil. Then put a blip in it. That blip represents the time we have taken to extract and use this embodied energy.Read the rest

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Solar Roads Can Beat Peak Oil And The Icing Over Of America

This is a pretty amazing idea -- the roads might even be able to charge electric cars while they travel using mutual induction! Check out Solar Roadways:
Suppose we made a section of road out of this material and housed solar cells to collect energy, which could pay for the cost of the panel, thereby creating a road that would pay for itself over time. What if we added LEDs to "paint" the road lines from beneath, lighting up the road for safer night time driving? What if we added a heating element in the surface (like the defrosting wire in the rear window of our cars) to prevent snow/ice accumulation in northern climates? The ideas and possibilities just continued to roll in and the Solar Roadway project was born. In 2009, we received a contract from the Federal Highway Administration to build the first ever Solar Road Panel prototype. During the course of its construction, we learned many lessons and discovered new and better ways to approach this project. These methods and discoveries are discussed throughout this website...
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Gore: ‘First-Generation Ethanol Was A Mistake’

It’s not often that politicians apologize for their actions without having to, but Al Gore voiced his regrets at a green energy business conference in Greece. From The Washington Post:

Former vice president Al Gore said Monday that he regrets supporting first-generation corn-based ethanol subsidies while he was in office.

Reuters reports that Gore said his support for corn-based ethanol subsidies was rooted more in his desire to cultivate farm votes for his presidential run in 2000 than in doing what was right for the environment:

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens, Greece. First-generation ethanol refers to the most basic, but also most energy intensive, process of converting corn to ethanol for use in vehicle engines.

Gore went on to say that “first-generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.” Gore now supports so-called second-generation technologies that do not compete with food — using farm waste or non-food sources such as switchgrass to make ethanol.

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White House To Go Solar

The White House is going green. First Michelle Obama began a vegetable garden, now they’re installing solar panels. The Obama’s are encouraging an environmentally conscious lifestyle. From The Environmental Leader:

The White House announced plans to install solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House Residence. These two solar installations will be part of a Department of Energy (DOE) demonstration project that shows that American solar technologies are available and reliable for installation in homes throughout the country, according to the DOE.

President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House’s West Wing 31 years ago but they were removed by his successor, Ronald Reagan, reports Bloomberg.

“President Obama has said the Federal Government has to lead by example in creating opportunity and jobs in clean energy,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, in a statement. ”By installing solar panels on arguably the most famous house in the country, his residence, the President is underscoring that commitment to lead and the promise and importance of renewable energy in the United States.”

Continues at The Environmental Leader

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