The World Challenge For Renewable Green Energy Technology

You may think that this is the sort of thing that an engineer that works for JPL does on his time off. However, with all of the available information on the Internet today anyone that has ever been able to use a tape measure, and is proficient with a hammer and saw will be able to construct these items with a minimum of effort.

One of the most disconcerting things we face today is the uncertainty regarding our energy reserves. I often think about the future we are going to leave for our children and grandchildren.

The demand of the public for self reliance and cheap, clean, renewable energy have resulted in all kinds of projects and legislation aimed at encouraging the average citizen to take advantage of the technologies out there that will allow them to supplement their energy needs or to become outright independent. The laws that have been enacted even include provisions that force the utility companies to buy any excess energy generated by private citizens.

In this climate, and with the myriad of available materials today, the average person has the ability to construct high output solar cells and wind powered generators. For a relatively small initial investment the person can build a supplemental energy system that will return all of their initial investment in less than a year. Coupled with this incentive is also the fact that many counties offer special tax credits for homes and businesses that use solar, wind, hydroponic, or biomass energy. If you call your local city or county building department you can find all of the forms and information on what is available in your area. You can also find this information on line.

In addition we are also having to pay astronomically high electric energy bills. If you go back a few years you will see that the consumption of energy in American cities has increased exponentially and now the costs we pay for this energy are rising sharply.

However, this has changed in the face of developments on the world market that have forced cutbacks on available fuels used by the utilities in their power plants. Clean air regulation has sharply cut the ability of many of these plants to burn coal or burn high sulpher fuels, and the outrageous prices of oil have driven many of the gas fired power plants out of business.

The incredible fact is that there has been several solutions available to the average citizen for more than 50 years, however, these solutions have never been encouraged by the government and local utilities because of the obvious reasons that the utility companies do not want competition to their supply of power, and the government has usually had a stake in these companies and therefore gone along with their policies.

You may be starting a revolution - but in the end it will be for you and your family's benefit. You will also be showing the all American notion of being independent and that spirit of enterprise that was in the pioneers that helped build this country. Think of the impact you could have in your community if you were the pathfinder and introduced your friends and neighbors to the benefits of generating your own energy.

As you make an audit of your energy needs you realize that if you remain on the grid you will be handing over a major amount of your hard earned money to the utility company in return for a few basic things like gas to heat up the hot water in the house, and electricity to power up things like your computer, television, or stereo. If you were to take a pair of scissors and cut your energy bill by half or more, you could use that saved money to invest in things like a new computer or a trip with the kids. Sound far fetched?

Do this quick test - get out your last 12 months utility bills and add up what you have spent on electricity and gas. Do the math! Now figure out what that amount would have been if you only paid 50% or even dare to think of 20%. That amount, which can easily be in the thousands of dollars, is a real number. What does it add up to? A week or two of your work salary? The amount it would cost for you and your wife to go out to Vegas for a weekend including some moderate gambling - and still something left over when you came back? Think about it.

Once you have established that you are basically giving your money away for free, then the construction and addition of a solar and/or wind generation system is a no - brainer. You will find that the construction and installation of your system will take you perhaps a weekend or two, but in the end you will have taken your first step towards energy independence and you will see tangible results of your efforts on your very next utility bill. Couple that with the tax credits and grants that may be available in your area and you will be laughing all the way to the bank!

You can be very creative as to what you can use your solar or wind energy to do. A friend of mine has made a solar array that just heats up the pool so that he has been able to disconnect the gas heater and use just the solar heater. Another person I know uses a windmill to keep his security system in his shop powered by way of the windmill charging the storage batteries full time. Even if the power is cut by intruders the system is still active since it is not connected to the power grid. Yet another uses a combination of solar cells and windmill for the batteries that he uses in his lighting system in the back of his barn.

The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. All you need is to take that first important step to energy independence and then let your imagination take wing. Just about any system you have hooked up to the power grid right now can be converted to either solar or wind energy or both. Once you change over to these alternative power sources you will have achieved a change to a reliable and clean energy that will not get cut off because of an unpaid bill.

When you think of your application you have to make the mindset that you are no longer bound by having to work around the constraints of what the utility company wants you to do. Most people end up having several independent systems working together in order to eliminate the possibility of a main system failing thus leaving the entire area without power. Having two or three systems running off of their own solar cells or windmills will allow the home or business owner to be able to stack the cards in his favor in the event of a natural disaster that cuts off the power to the adjoining residents.

For more information about the building of renewable energy devices, visit Leonardo Nicholas Di Masi's webpage.

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Tough climate

From: Nature 458, 679-680 (9 April 2009) | doi:10.1038/458679b; Published online 8 April 2009

"The US Congress has put the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in an awkward position. In asking for the academy's advice on what to do about global climate change, it has left the NAS with a difficult balancing act if the academy wants to be effective and remain respected.

The question of efficacy is in large part a matter of timing: things are moving very quickly in the climate arena, and the political world won't necessarily wait for the academy's methodical review. In the past two weeks, for example, as the NAS was gathering information on the science and policy of climate change at a high-level workshop in Washington DC, two congressmen — Henry Waxman (Democrat, California) and Edward Markey (Democrat, Massachusetts) — introduced a 648-page bill that would commit the United States to a cap-and-trade programme to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. In Bonn, Germany, meanwhile, international negotiators were meeting as part of the lengthy process of hammering out a climate treaty, which is expected to be adopted in Copenhagen this December.

The NAS study committee, under the banner of America's Climate Choices, is not scheduled to release its first set of findings until the end of the year — by which time the national and international strategies on climate change may well have been decided.

The concern over respect comes from the scope of the studies. Congress specifically asked the NAS committee — which includes top scientists, corporate leaders, environmentalists and industry representatives — to "make recommendations regarding what steps must be taken and what strategies must be adopted in response to global climate change, including the science and technology challenges thereof".

On the face of it, this sounds as though Congress was asking the NAS for specific policy choices — a request that could lead the academy into dangerous territory. Although it has recommended specific policies in the past, the academy runs the risk of politicizing itself and weakening its standing should it advocate policies such as the stabilization of carbon dioxide at a particular atmospheric concentration, or the adoption of a US cap-and-trade programme. These are not scientific decisions: they depend on how much society is willing to spend on curbing CO2 emissions versus how much it is willing to live with the results — a fundamentally political problem.

Leaders of the NAS study say that they are not overly concerned. On timing, they point out that any bill moving through Congress this year will be only the first of many. And the same could be said of any treaty that emerges from Copenhagen. NAS studies are meant to provide sound and comprehensive advice that could inform policies over the long term. That laudable goal should not stop the academy from providing Congress with more immediate guidance, should Congress ask for it. For example, the academy could produce an interim report within a few months summarizing its most important findings so far.

As for politicization, the NAS can avoid the pitfalls by its usual practice of outlining the pluses and minuses of different policy options without choosing specific ones. In particular, the committee should examine both carbon taxes and a cap-and-trade programme, even though politicians avoid talking about the former and have lined up behind the latter. If the NAS eschews politics, as it should, then it should have a much greater impact than any advocate ever could, simply by providing a trusted and dispassionate analysis of each strategy's relative merits."

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Exploring Biogas

Biogas is a type of fuel that is produced biologically through the breakdown of organic and naturally occurring matter in the absence of oxygen. The gas originates from biological matter. There are many types of biogas. One type is produced by fermentation of ecological materials like sewage, green waste, municipal waste, biomass, manure and energy crops. Such a type of gas comprises of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and nitrogen. These can be oxidized or burnt with oxygen. The energy that is released from the combustion allows the gas to be converted to biogas and used as energy. In other countries, biogas is used for heating and for cooking. In the modern world, the gas can be used in waste management and in running heat engines in order to generate electrical power and mechanical power. More importantly, biogas can be condensed just like other types of gases and used to run cars. In countries such as the UK, biogas is reportedly extensively used in the motor industry to run motor vehicles. It is reported to have replaced about 17% of motor vehicle energy.

In countries such as Sweden, biogas is used to power trains. A biogas run train operates between Vaestervik and Linkoeping. The train is generated with energy that is derived from sewage and animal waste. The reason why Sweden has adopted the gas as a form of energy for its large motor vehicle industry is that the gas has been shown to generate less carbon dioxide emissions compared to other forms of diesel such diesel. The country produces the gas from alcoholic beverages that have been confiscated by other agencies. Most industries also concentrate the Methane gas that is found in biogas through biogas upgrader to standards such as natural gas. The resulting product known as biomethane is then used in the local energy distribution centers and in the pipeline industries. Further, biomethane is compressed and concentrated where it is used in the transport industries to power vehicles.

Other investors such as Bates transformed their cars in order to power them with biogas energy. Short documentaries that were produced in early 1974 show the simple benefits and process of powering cars using biogas. The documentary showed such gas being used to power vehicles for periods as long as seventeen years. In countries such as India, biogas is used to generate a gas known as gober gas. Gobar gas is a form of biogas that is made from animal waste. It is also made using various household plants. In other countries such as Pakistan, the government offers about 50% funds that are used in the creation of gas chambers. The flammable methane energy gas that is generated from the process is usually smokeless and odorless. This makes it quite economical in environmental sustenance. Due to this, the gas is largely used in the motor vehicle industries to power vehicles making true the assertion that biogas could be the fuel that will be used in powering most vehicles in the near future.

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Separation Equipment

Are you tired of paying a fortune to have an independent company separate your waste? Do you need an economical solution for separating chemicals, and contaminates from your waste? If so, there are many options available today. Separation equipment can be rented or purchased and used in your business to reduce the amount of waste you dispose of and increase the amount of water you have available for production. The following businesses can find that there are a number of benefits available by purchasing separation equipment.  Separation Equipment for Manufacturers Many manufacturers use water to cool metal equipment during the manufacturing process. This water may be mixed with oil of other chemicals in the process. After a short time the water becomes unbalanced and is no longer effective for use in cooling. However, by using separation equipment the water and contaminates can be separated, extending the life cycle of the water. This can cut down on the amount of waste that must be disposed of and save on the cost of using large amounts of water. In addition this is an environmentally friendly process of using up natural resources when manufacturing.  Separation Equipment for Waste Water Plants The process of treating and purifying waste water for disposal requires the use of separation equipment. During this process solid matter must be removed from the water along with contaminates that can hurt the environment. After the removal of all solid material the water is safe for disposal without contaminating ground water. This process can be completed using shakers, centrifuge equipment, and holding tanks. Many local and municipal waste water facilities use separation equipment in the process of purifying contaminated water.  Separation Equipment and Oil Rigs When removing oil from the ground a drilling company will have to drill down to a certain depth to extract the oil. This process requires that a mud be sprayed over the drill bit to keep it lubricated. When the mud that is used comes back to the surface it is littered with rocks, sand, and other debris. This solid material must be removed before the mud can be circulating back to the drill bit. This requires a separation of solid and liquids. Separation Equipment for Rock Quarries Removing rock and dirt form the ground is required for building roads and making concrete for building projects. However, during the process it is inevitable that much of the rock and dirt will become mixed with water and turn into sludge. When this happens the water must be removed before the solid material can be used. By using separation equipment the water can quickly be removed from the solid allowing for a quicker use of the product. In most cases this is done by using a shaker which will run the mixture across a mesh screen and allow the water to pass through leaving slightly moist solid material at the end.  As you can see there are many companies that require the use of separation equipment. There are many different types and styles available depending on what is to be removed and how the waste product should be disposed.

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A Perfect Storm For a Surge in Renewable Energy Employment?

While the financial crisis may have sidelined renewable energy as a viable choice for the average homeowner or small business owner, the same forces that created this downturn may setup a perfect storm for renewables to come surging back and bring employment opportunities with them.

A lack of available financing, restricted household budgets, and plunging business profits put a damper on the change to renewable energy since this recession began in late 2007. Once oil and natural gas came crashing down from their summer 2008 highs, renewables such as solar and micro-wind have suffered from a poor dollar cost comparison with brown energy. Despite a clear public desire to switch off carbon-based energy, many found renewables difficult to justify in terms of a personal utility choice. System sales stalled and a question mark hung over the industry's future. Analyst recommendations for solar and wind companies followed their stock prices: down. And many who had seen a future career move into renewables found themselves dealing instead with the realities of a severe economic downturn. While the desire for renewables continued, the means of fulfilling it was weakened.

Today a confluence of factors may be shifting once again in favor of renewables, bringing back a surge of new system sales, investment and importantly, employment. The price of brown energy is cycling up again with crude oil back to $50/barrel, home heating oil at $2/gal and natural gas seems to have formed a bottom at $4/MBtu's. On the investment front, significant commentary by economists and stock analysts about the lack of investment in new oil and gas production capacity is pointing at supply shortages on the 5 years horizon. In the near term, China's internal stimulus packages are widely recognized to be effective in restoring economic growth at the same time that the American economy is seeing glimmers of positive news. Blocks and blocks of foreclosed, abandoned and scavenger-gutted housing stock in cities across America present a chance for restoring them with renewable energy technologies. And perhaps most telling, the new administration has made renewable energy a centerpiece of its agenda and declared it off limits in budget negotiations with congress. This welcome stabilizing of the recession points to increased energy consumption as the world economy re-inflates, with increased prices and employment following on its heels.

So how to ride this new wave of opportunities in renewable energy? The same as you ride any wave: with a surfboard and some skill, remembering to add in a touch of bravery. In the case of changing careers into renewable energy, the "surfboard" is basic knowledge about the science and technology of solar, wind and geothermal, how such systems work, the skills used in assessing a residential or commercial site, the financing and ROI calculations, and system design and installation details. This set of knowledge and skills is the foundation for understanding and working with renewable energy. Complementing this knowledge, an understanding of the industry and how it is structured and the wider trends at work in and on it enables one to make informed choices. Rather than riding the same wave as everyone else, a broader education brings a broader view and the ability to plan well for the future. As with any career move - one made by choice or by having the choice forced upon us - a touch of bravery overcomes the inertia that so often prevents us taking the first step.

To get the career equivalent of the surfboard, seek out education and training options that will get renewable energy knowledge and skills in your hands sooner rather than later. However, try not to set yourself up to be overwhelmed with the transition by planning multiple classes spread out to give yourself time to absorb and use what you learn. The brown energy infrastructure has taken 150 years to be build up: it won't change overnight and most people alive today have never dealt with "energy" beyond the electrical outlet in the wall. An increasing number of community colleges, solar and wind equipment manufacturers and training companies are offering classes and workshops in renewable energy. Ranging from hands on training geared for technicians to install solar panels and erect wind turbines to courses in renewable energy sales and marketing, these classes will add renewable energy knowledge and skill to your resume and extend it beyond your previous career.

With a new, upward trend in energy costs and strong motivation to re-tool America's buildings off brown energy, $15 billion per year promised by the new administration and signs of economic stability on the horizon, now is the time to pursue the many training providers across the country for knowledge and skills in renewable energy. Few other recessions in the post World War II era have been as severe as this one. Nor have they had such a perfect storm of conditions built-in to bring about an explosion of new economic growth to end them. Catch the wave. The time to train for the coming change from the brown energy of the past to the renewable energy of a recovered economy is now.

Train-For-The-Change is a training workshop series offered by LinguaGraph LLC that provides knowledge and skills in renewable energy. You can read the full description of each workshop at

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China Consulting Services and Technology Clean Energy Efficiency

Dynasty Resources believes there are enormous business opportunities for companies with innovative technology, process controls and supply chains that address unmet needs for energy efficiency. Our Clean-Tech partners, with offices in New York and Shanghai, help American Clean Energy companies enter China by introducing joint-venture candidates and offering consulting services assuring clear communication between both sides.

Areas of Concentration:

energy efficiency, clean coal, more efficient and clean oil and gas (production and consumption), renewable energy and bio-fuels, waste reduction, carbon reduction, pollution mitigation, water management, health and sanitation, food safety

Strategic and Operational Expertise:

Access to business, government, regulatory, military and other important influencers, China entry strategy, US entry strategy, Environmental, “green” and “clean tech” positioning, Culturally-appropriate marketing and advertising, Internationally-recognized sustainability reporting, environmental, certifications and audits, Public relations and government affairs, as needed, Investor communications, Crisis management, Infrastructure services, e.g., legal, tax, government affairs

Financial Services:

Access to capital, including hedge funds, venture capital, private equity and high net worth families, specifically interested in China energy efficiency and clean technology opportunities, Access to project finance, IPO preparation including but not limited to Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, New York, Toronto, Oslo, Effective investor positioning and investment memorandum preparation, Carbon credits

Commercial diligence for strategic and financial investors including private equity, VC and hedge funds,

M&A advisory

China market entry is shifting the national energy policy by putting its first priority on energy conservation and improving the energy efficiency from its previous emphasis on energy exploitation. The objective of the Energy Efficiency Financing Project is to improve the energy efficiency of medium and large-sized industrial enterprises in China, and thereby reduce their adverse environmental impacts on climate. Please visit online in NewYork city.

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Renewable Energy Potential and Disinformation

Are you confused about our energy crisis? It's no wonder, given the amount of disinformation that is being pedaled by Republicans and those with a vested interest in oil, coal and nuclear energy. What they want you to believe is that solar and wind cannot replace our current energy sources. John McCain repeated these lies in his recent debate with Barack Obama. Their calls of drill baby drill are absurd and misleading. For example, the amount of oil reserves estimated to exist off California's coast are 10 billion barrels. The U.S. consumes about 7.5 billion barrels per year. So what they are advocating is risking the long term health of the coastal ecosystem, in exchange for about 16 months worth of oil.

Republicans have been taking Senator Pelosi to task for not bringing up a vote, on offshore drilling. Meanwhile, Republicans have voted against renewing the tax credits for solar and wind eight times this year. Talk about shortsightedness! As T. Boone Pickens says, whether we drill or not, "this argument misses the point." It's a band-aid at best. The U.S. only has 3% of the world's oil supply. We consume 25% of the supply.

What is needed is long term energy solutions. Here is what they don't want you to know. Using less than 1% of our southwest desert lands, solar power plants could power the whole country. This is an area 92 miles by 92 miles, an area which is less than the land now used for coal mining. The January 08 issue of Scientific American featured an article called "A Solar Grand Plan", a proposal, (which you can read online) to do just that. Their proposal would create a 69% solar powered grid by 2050.
You can read it online at Scientific American website

It proposes building solar thermal and concentrating photovoltaic power plants, in our southwestern deserts, and a network of high voltage DC transmission lines to distribute the power to other parts of the country. This HVDC distribution system is the same thing that T Boone Pickens is recommending to move wind generated power from Texas, and from windfarms in the midwest, to the rest of the country. This will have the added benefit of beefing up the grid, something that is needed anyway.

Current thinking is that solar thermal should be emphasized more than the concentrating photovoltaic plants that the SciAm article emphasizes.

There is no shortage of good ideas out there. At, you will find another plan called "A Blueprint for U.S. Energy Security".

This plan shows how we can achieve energy security and meet the goals of reducing the threat of global warming, using current technology to get started. As we build, the technology will improve and the costs will improve.

One thing this plan calls for is plug in hybrid cars, (PHEV) which would achieve an overall 100 mpg for the average driver. Most people drive less than 40 miles a day, cummuting etc. With current battery technology you would use no gasoline for the first 40 miles in a PHEV. Most people would recharge at night when demand is low by plugging into a 120 volt outlet, using about $1 worth of electricity to recharge. As the grid gets cleaner, the environmental benefits will improve. Plug in Partners has good information on PHEVs, including cost benefits.

from their site:
"A motorist driving 9,000 annual gasoline-free miles and 3,000 using gasoline would get 100 mpg (based on vehicles that get 25 mpg).

PHEVs outfitted with a battery pack providing a 40-mile electric range could power, using the all-electric mode, more than 60% of the total annual miles traveled by the average American driver.
A 2004 study by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) found that plug-in hybrids can achieve life cycle costs parity with conventional gasoline vehicles - meaning that over the life of the car the cost will be equal or less despite the initial higher cost. The study calculated gasoline price as $1.75/gallon."

Once the grid is clean energy, it can power much of our transportation as well. At that point, electric cars will make perfect sense and we will have had more time, to perfect the technology. If you study these two plans, you will see that they have much in common. By combining the best ideas of these and other similar plans, we can get the job done.

Another energy plan that also has much in common with these are at:

Those in power want you to believe that these solutions will be too expensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, the solar proposal published by SciAm calls for spending about $400 billion in public money, over a period of about 40 years. This is less public money, than we spent to build the high speed information highway over the last 35 years. And that is about how much we give to oil companies, in the form of tax credits and subsidies, every five years. So by spending about 1/8 of what we now give away to oil companies, we could power the entire nation with solar energy in the southwest.

As further proof that we are misinformed, most Americans probably haven't even heard of solar thermal energy. Solar thermal power plants use the heat from the sun to generate electricity, usually by boiling water to drive a steam turbine generator. This is so low tech that we could have done it 100 years ago. If you can build parabolic mirrors or Fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight, and if you can build a steam driven electric generator, you can build a solar thermal power plant. In fact some designs use flat mirrors. Solar thermal plants can generate electricity at night or during cloudy periods by storing heat. One method uses molten salts, which are excellent at retaining heat. Their power output can remain steady when clouds pass by. The scale of these plants is in the hundreds of megawatts. Two plants proposed for the Mojave Desert are for up to 800 and 900 megawatts each.

One gigawatt equals 1000 megawatts. One gigawatt would power San Francisco or about 770,000 homes.

An excellent article on solar thermal and it's benefits is at:

"The key attribute of CSP is that it generates primary energy in the form of heat, which can be stored 20 to 100 times more cheaply than electricity -- and with far greater efficiency"

"I don't believe any set of technologies will be more important to the climate fight than concentrated solar power (CSP).....It is the best source of clean energy to replace coal and sustain economic development. I bet that it will deliver more power every year this century than coal with carbon capture and storage - for much less money and with far less environmental damage."

The sunlight can be intensified 1000 fold with concentrating solar.
They do need intense sunlight to be cost effective, hence the emphasis on the southwest. With 1% of the Sahara Desert, you could power the whole world with current technology. 3% of Morroco would power all of Europe. Green Wombat's website has many articles on solar power plants being built or on the drawing boards in California and Arizona. The three power companies in California have already signed on for about 3 gigawatts of solar power plants. About 2 gigawatts of this is solar thermal. It's just the beginning.

Concentrating PV or photovoltaic plants use similar parabolic mirrors, fresnel lenses etc. to concentrate sunlight on photovoltaic solar cells or panels. Specialized solar cells that can take advantage of the increased light are used.

"I'd put my money on the sun & solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."
Thomas Edison, 1931

Republicans keep pushing nuclear energy, claiming it is a simple solution and good for the environment. I don't rule out nuclear power altogether, but it has numerous problems, and is not as green as it's promoters claim.

One of nuclear's biggest problems is water. It takes billions of gallons to cool a single reactor. We are already seeing one potential problems with this. A reactor in Alabama had to be briefly shut down last summer during a drought in that region. How reliable will the sources of cooling water be in a changing climate?

"An Associated Press analysis of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors found that 24 are in areas experiencing the most severe levels of drought. All but two are built on the shores of lakes and rivers and rely on submerged intake pipes to draw billions of gallons of water for use in cooling and condensing steam after it has turned the plants' turbines."

Every nuclear power plant will require about $500 million to dismantle it, when it has outlived it's useful life. This adds to the nuclear waste disposal problem.

Every nuclear reactor represents about $200 million for it's share of Yucca Mt. in Nevada, to dispose of the waste.

Nuclear power doesn't give us energy independence. We import 65% of our oil and 90% of our uranium. And now Russia is being lined up as a future source of 20% of our uranium.

"The United States and Russia signed a deal that will boost Russian uranium imports to supply the U.S. nuclear industry, the Commerce Department said Friday...."

"The new agreement permits Russia to supply 20 percent of US reactor fuel until 2020 and to supply the fuel for new reactors quota-free."

"So if, under a President McCain, we build a bunch of new nuclear reactors -- they could be fueled 100 percent by Russia."

"I can almost hear Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin saying, "Excellent."

Nuclear power is not safe. According to Argonne National Laboratory, an airliner crashing into a nuclear power plant could cause a complete meltdown, even if the containment building isn't compromised. Think the twin towers disaster was bad?

The more nuclear reactors are build all over the world, the more fissionable material there will be, which can be stolen by terrorists and used against us. Just look at the concern over Iran's nuclear program. How many times may this kind of scenario be played out if nuclear energy proliferates all over the world?

The transportation of radioactive waste from all over the country to Yucca Mt. is potentially dangerous, as well as expensive.

"In the United States, current surcharges on nuclear power are too low to cover expected disposal costs. In addition, the US government foolishly absorbed all risk for an on-time opening of a repository for commercial nuclear waste -- despite longstanding technical and political challenges associated with making this happen." from

There is no accountability with nuclear power. The Price-Anderson Act places most of the liability for nuclear accidents on the backs of taxpayers, not the nuclear power industry.

A nuclear power plant costs about $4,000 per kilowatt hour to build, compared with $1,400 per KWH for wind energy.

Wind and solar are much quicker to get up and running than nuclear or coal. And both can start generating power before large wind or solar farms are completed, because they are modular in design.

Nuclear energy is heavily subsidised, like coal, gas, and oil. Estimates are 4-8 cents per KWH

If you want to know more, read "The Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy" pdf online. It's a real eye opener.

from "The Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy" -which takes apart the argument for nuclear energy piece by piece. After reading this you will understand, that what you have been told about nuclear energy thus far, is completely misleading. It is not a long term solution, in any way shape or form. It is inherently unsustainable. Unsustainability is not what we are looking for.

"The world's endowment of uranium ore is now so depleted that the nuclear industry will never, from its own resources, be able to generate the energy it needs to clear up its own backlog of waste."

"Shortages of uranium - and the lack of realistic alternatives -leading to interruptions in supply, can be expected to start in the middle years of the decade 2010-2019, and to deepen thereafter."

"Every stage in the nuclear process, except fission, produces carbon dioxide. As the richest ores are used up, emissions will rise.

"It is reasonable to conclude that,even if the nuclear industry presented no other problems, "peak uranium" would rule out the prospect of the nuclear industry being in any way an answer to "peak oil", and to scarcities of gas and coal."

"Nuclear energy certainly has disadvantages, quite apart from the clincher problem of the depletion of its fuel. It is a source of low-level radiation which may be more dangerous than was previously thought. It is a source of high-level waste which has to be sequestered. Every stage in the process produces lethal waste, including the mining and leaching processes, the milling, the enrichment and the decommissioning. It is very expensive. It is a terrorist target and its enrichment processes are stepping stones to the production of nuclear weapons."

Wind and solar can provide most of the power for our future energy needs. They never need any fuel, to prospect for, mine, transport, refine, store, burn, fight wars over, or clean up the mess from. It's our future. Oil and other fossil fuels will only go up in price. The price of solar is falling fast and will soon be cheaper than fossil fuels. The American Wind Energy Association forecasts that installed capacity could grow from 11,603 MW today to around 100,000 MW by 2020. That's 100 gigawatts, or a nearly 90 gigawatt increase. Hoover Dam produces about 2 gigawatts, as does a medium size nuclear reactor. Many nuclear plants are one gigawatt. So in the next twelve years we could get as much power from new wind farms as McCain's plan for 45 new nuclear plants would achieve, at less cost and way less risk. And that's just wind!

Solar can do more. Add photovoltaic panels on rooftops etc. all over the country to the solar plants in the southwest and you have both distributed and centralized solar energy on a vast scale. Denmark already has 20% wind power. Parts of Germany and Denmark have 40% wind power. We are told that wind and solar are too intermittent. Why isn't that a problem in Denmark. Could it be because they have no oil company lobby?

That's why we should start building up this new energy infrastructure now. As we build, the costs will fall. Photovoltaics are becoming more efficient and cheaper to make. Economies of scale will kick in as these industries grow, further reducing prices.

One company on the cutting edge, Nanosolar, says their thin film PV solar systems can be built for less than the cost of a comparable coal fired plant, without the need for any coal or any other fuel. They are promoting their solar systems as solutions for individual towns. They say ten acres on the outskirts of town would power 1,000 homes, twenty acres- 2,000 homes.

In many parts of the country solar prices are already competitive, during hours of peak demand, when rates are higher. This is particularly so in sunny areas that also have high electricity prices. Also, solar plants put out energy when it is most needed and when prices are the highest. At those peak prices, solar is already competitive.

We can't afford to wait. Oil is ruining our economy and our environment. SetAmericaFree estimates the annual hidden costs of oil, including the subsidies mentioned above, at over $800 billion. If these costs were reflected in prices at the pump, gasoline would be close to $12 a gallon. Their estimate of oil and gas company tax credits and subsidies is over $80 billion annually. The mililtary costs of protecting oil shipments are estimated at $100 billion annually. And oil adds $700 billion annually to our trade deficit, mostly with nations we don't get along with. Throw in the costs of the two wars in Iraq in both lives and money and oil starts to look pretty expensive.

McCain wants to give $4 billion more in tax credits to oil companies. Exxon/Mobile made $40 billion in profits last year, and the top five companies made a combined $123 billion. We are subsidizing the past, when we should be subsidizing the future.

Our lack of political will to develop renewable energy in the U.S. threatens to put us in a position, of playing catch up with other producers.

Green Wombat comments of Abu Dhabi solar project and Torresol ambitions in U.S. southwest.

"Abu Dhabi is not content to just sell you the oil that fuels your SUV; now its going to sell you sunshine to keep your lights on and power your electric car when the internal combustion engine goes the way of the buggy whip. Masdar, the oil-rich emirate's $15 billion renewable energy venture, and Spanish technology company Sener on Wednesday announced a joint venture called Torresol Energy to build large-scale solar power plants in Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States."

(They are targeting the same American southwest, where the authors of the Solar Grand Plan proposal are encouraging America to invest.)

"The irony is too rich to leave unsaid: A leading oil producer invests billions in carbon-free energy while a leading consumer of fossil fuels - the United States - continues to subsidize Big Oil while while offering only tepid support for green technology."

"It is inevitable that climate change will foster the rise of renewable energy - the only question is which countries and companies will profit from the new energy economics. It is entirely possible that the U.S. will trade energy dependence of one kind - on Middle East oil - for another - on Middle East and European solar technology - in the era of global warming. It's no coincidence that most of the solar energy companies with contracts to build utility-scale power plants in California and the Southwest have overseas roots - Ausra hails from Australia, BrightSource was founded by American-Israeli pioneer Arnold Goldman, Solel is based in Israel and Abengoa is headquartered in Spain."

from the proposal in the Scientific American article:

"The greatest obstacle to implementing a renewable U.S. energy system is not technology or money, however. It is the lack of public awareness that solar power is a practical alternative-and one that can fuel transportation as well. Forward-looking thinkers should try to inspire U.S. citizens, and their political and scientific leaders, about solar power's incredible potential. Once Americans realize that potential, we believe the desire for energy self-sufficiency and the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will prompt them to adopt a national solar plan".

About the author:
My name is Richard Mercer. I have spent probably 1000 hours researching climate change and energy solutions. I am not a scientist or energy expert, but feel that I have information that the average uninformed American needs to know. My blog is called Energy Solutions We Can Believe In - Google it!

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Is Water A Renewable Resource

With water covering about 80% of our planet, one would think that our water resources are unlimited. However, upon closer inspection, we find that our water-resources at risk, and it is not as renewable as we may think. Here’s why.

All of our drinking water comes from two sources groundwater (underground aquifers) or surface water (lakes, rivers, streams). These sources renew themselves through the water cycle. This is where water moves from the earth to the air and back again. The most basic problem is this - as our population grows, so do the demands placed on these resources. Therefore, water is being drawn out more quickly than it can replenish itself.

Now let’s say you happen to live in a water-rich region, such as the Pacific Northwest or Northeast, you’re free and clear, right? Not quite.

North East

Generally regarded as having a multitude of lakes, rivers and streams to draw from, this region is relatively unaware of the growing demands placed on their water resources. Population growth has continued to play a need for water conservation practices. In addition, from spring until fall, much of the precipitation that falls either evaporates transpires. Transpiration is where plants take in water through their roots and return it as water vapor into the atmosphere.

Thus, in the warmer months when people are out watering their lawns, washing cars, etc, water levels drop rapidly. By late-summer much of this region may enter into a drought, which not only effects humans, but also aquatic life which depends on the water.

Pacific Northwest

This is yet another region that sparks to mind cloudy skies and rainy days. So, why should they be concerned about water conservation? Several major metropolitan cities in the pacific northwest rely on snowpack run-off for their water supplies. Typically, run-off will melt slowly throughout the summer months, providing a steady flow of fresh water. As warmer temperatures have continued, much of this snowpack is melting earlier than ever before. So, by late-summer when water is needed most, the snowpack is gone. This poses a serious problem for this region.

In conclusion, water should not be regarded as an unlimited resource. It is becoming increasingly clear that with our continued growth in global temperatures, and population, water conservation practices need to start today. To learn more about how you can reduce you water consumption, please visit eco touch waterless car wash

© 2007 eco touch LLC

James Dudra is an ecopreneur from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He currently owns and runs eco touch LLC, which sells a complete line of earth-friendly waterless car care products at eco touch™ waterless car wash + polish

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The Oceans' Wave Power

For more than 200 years inventors worldwide have filed patents for wave-power technology of a dazzling variety of designs-bobbing objects ("ducks"), buoys, articulated rafts, floating bags, overspills, and many others. There has been no shortage of ideas. Many of these ideas are in fact technically feasible, so it seems a shame that this renewable energy resource has not been much used. The main challenge is building a system that is economically attractive when so many other forms of energy production (nuclear, fossil fuels) receive subsidies and already have infrastructure in place. There are some wave power systems in place around the globe: the Faroe Islands; Islay, Scotland; Oahu, Hawaii (providing power for the U.S. Marine Corps. base there); Santo, Spain; Portugal; and even the world's first commercial "wave farm" in England.

The World Energy Council has estimated that wave power could produce as much energy in a year as 2,000 oil, gas, coal and nuclear power plants' twice the amount of electricity produced worldwide-by generating as much as 2 terawatts (that's 1 trillion watts).

Not every place is a candidate for wave power generation. Prime locations identified are Scotland, northern Canada, southern Africa, and the Atlantic Northeast and Pacific Northwest of the United States. Experts have estimated that wave-power systems in the Pacific Northwest alone could generate up to 70 kW per meter of coastline.

Typical Designs

Wave-power systems can be located onshore or offshore, and come in a surprising range of designs. There are currently four basic "capture" methods: point absorbers (largely vertical, with a relatively small footprint on the surface); attenuators (horizontal footprint, arranged parallel to the waves to undulate with the flow); terminators (perpendicular to the waves); and overtopping (perpendicular to the waves, which break over the system). There are different power take-off systems including hydraulic ram (water hammer pumps water above the starting point); elastomeric hose pump (peristaltic, like your intestinal tract), pump-to-shore, hydroelectric turbine, air turbine, and linear electrical generator. Here are some systems already in operation, or close to it:


1. The Salter "Duck"-In 1970 Stephen Salter ("the father of wave power"), a professor at the University of Edinburgh, designed a wave-power device that could both stop 90 percent of the wave motion and convert 90 percent of that into electricity, a standard that all other designed continue to be measured against. Ironically, the Duck itself never went into use. During the 1990s, a project based on the Duck and dubbed the OSPREY (Ocean Swell Powered Renewable Energy), commenced in the Clyde Estuary of the Scottish coast. Capable of generating 1 mW of power, the OSPREY was on its way to becoming an unqualified success until Hurricane Felix came along and sunk it (at great expense in terms of both money and confidence).

2. The AquaBuOY wave energy device-AquaBuOYs (Finivera Renewables) really do look like navigational buoys, and this is no coincidence. Obviously, maximum output from a wave-power device should be during those times when the waves are at their highest, but if the technology can't withstand rough seas (as with the OSPREY, above), they aren't much good. Operating on the premise that since navigational buoys can survive for decades in all sorts of conditions, the AquaBuOYs were designed to ride the waves for an estimated 100 years. The vertical wave action drives a two-stroke hose pump that directs pressurized seawater into a turbine connected to a generator; the resulting power is sent via an underwater transmission line. While at least four projects are in the permitting process (including one in Makah Bay, WA), as of this writing.

3. PowerBuoy "Like the AquaBuOY above, the PowerBuoy resembles a navigational buoy, although one with long cylinder extending far below that houses the mechanics of the system. These PowerBuoys (Ocean Power Technologies) are placed from one to five miles offshore in 100 to 200 feet of water, and can be ganged together to form a "wave-power farm" such as the one to be installed off the coast of Santo, Spain. That 1.39MW station will have one 40kW and nine 150kW PowerBuoys.


1. Pelamis - Ocean Power Delivery, Ltd., developed world's first commercial offshore wave-power facility using its Pelamis Wave Energy Converter, a string of steel cyclinders hinged to articulate. It lies half-submerged, like a 150-meter-long, bright red sea snake (pelamis is the genus for the sea snake), more or less facing into the waves. The cylinders contain hydraulic pumps activated by the wave action; the electricity comes as high-pressure oil gets pumped into generators. The first phase of the wave farm, located 5 km off the coast of Portugal, comprises three 750kW Pelamis "snakes" that combined to generate 2.25 MW; another 28 are expected to be added, bringing the total power generated to 22.5 MW'enough to provide electricity for more than 15,000 homes.


1. Nearshore OWC-This is an offshore version of the Limpet, described below.


1. Wave Dragon-Overtopping systems work very much like hydroelectric dams, using the potential energy of water stored at an elevation higher than the turbines it drives. The Wave Dragon overtopping system funnels the waves into its own reservoir to create a head; the water is then released through channels that contain turbines. The Wave Dragon is moored 25 to 40 meters offshore in deep water, somewhat like a floating beach.


1. Limpet (Land Installed Marine Powered Energy Transformer)- This an oscillating water column (OWC) system to convert the waves' kinetic energy to electrical power. Picture a box with the open end submerged but slightly tilted toward the incoming waves, with air trapped inside the box. Now imagine there is a narrow outlet for this air, and inside this tube is a turbine. As the waves raise the level of the water inside the box, the air rushing in and out of the tube powers the turbine. A Limpet system (WaveGen) in Islay, Scotland, uses an inclined oscillating water column (OWC) system optimized for the area's anverage annial wave intensity, and feeds a pair of 250kW generators. The Limpet power station in the Faroes is very similar. WaveGen also designs a near-shore oscillating water-column system.

There are many companies designing wave-power systems using these and other designs (such as the tapered channel system, an onshore system, and the pedulor system, an offshore device), and new ones seem to come along frequently as more countries come to recognize the potential of wave power.

Wave Power Advantages

1. Wave energy is an abundant and renewable resource.
2. Even though not every country has coastline, the combined potential output of wave-power generation would meet all the electricity needs of the world.
3. Although the equipment represents a substantial investment, the "fuel" is free and not confined by geopolitical boundaries.
4. The effect on the environment is deemed to be minimal.

Wave Power Disadvantages

1. These are most effective near coastlines, of which there is a finite supply.
2. Large scale systems are still in the early stages.

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Wish to know about renewable energy solar wind technology? Look for Enerlix

If you’re concerned about your mother earth and the atmosphere in which you are living then it is the right time to act. It is necessary to act if we are well-determined to give a clean and idyllic planet to out future generation. It is only possible with the joint efforts of all the human beings existing on this earth.

A study estimates that mankind will face an excessive shortage of energy resources in the upcoming period of time. It is basically because the present sources of energy are limited (non-renewable) and will unable to meet the requirements of the population pressure of the future.

The limited sources of energy normally include the supply of natural gas, coal, petroleum, etc. to meet the needs of industries, various sectors and the common man. It will now take millions of years to attain the same stage where one can avail the same quantity of renewable sources which people were using to meet all kinds of needs some decades ago. In addition to this, an excessive use of the burning fuel is also promoting the threat of global warming in the entire planet.

What can be a sensible solution to the problem when in the upcoming decades we will lose all the major but limited sources of energy after doing immense amount of damage to the atmosphere in which we and all the other species survive?

We can get a better answer to this question with the help of renewable sources of energy. It is a matter of debate since past whether the non-conventional sources of energy are proficient enough to meet the ever increasing demand of energy throughout the world.

It is a fact that most of the people including a great margin of researchers and scholars not only believe but guarantee that non conventional sources including wind, solar, tidal and geothermal energy can be more competent to the rising needs of the mankind in contrast to the traditional conventional sources of energy. One better source of renewable energy is solar wind.

Like all the other renewable sources the best part of going for the renewable energy solar wind is that you can avail one more means by which it is possible to generate good amount of energy without polluting the atmosphere of earth. Like other renewable sources of energy you can avail all kinds of information about renewable energy solar wind with the help of internet. There are some of the good sites available on the internet which can provide necessary services on renewable energy solar wind for free! One such site is Enerlix, formerly known as Energyportal24.

Enerlix can be advantageous to you in many ways. It is counted among the superb market places for the environmental technologies. Enerlix is a site which is highly supportive to the user. With the help of navigation bar available on the site one can get in touch with all kinds of information including news, press releases, and events on all the topics including renewable energy solar wind technology. You can gain good information as well as submit your own opinion in the form of content for free. You can avail free online tools, articles, and publishing events after registering with Enerlix.

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