Posts tagged “renewables”
A Rational Middle in Energy Futures
I recently spoke with director Gregory Kallenberg of the energy documentary film series, the “Rational Middle.” In their second round of energy education and outreach, Kallenberg and team address the topics of renewables, shale gas, conservation and transportation, and many others. From the short films, roughly ten to fifteen minutes each, I viewed the renewables, shale gas, and drilling features. They were well done and I intend to view more time permitted, particularly the “days in the life of” and Canada films.
What is useful —whatever part of the energy spectrum one falls into—is the exercise of being open and willing to listen to the arguments. The mere act of spending the time listening to the multiple perspectives offered was an exercise in finding one’s own middle. Hats off to the gesture, both simple and yet complicated, of finding and presenting the middle. The films feature some good academic and think tank-type commentary, of the ones I viewed.
U.S. Power Producers Offer Insight for Investors and Policymakers Worldwide
As the number two carbon emitter on the globe, behind only China, U.S. power generation’s impact on carbon emissions can shed light on our progress. U.S. data can also inform other countries as they make choices regarding their energy portfolio mixes, particularly in power generation fuel source decisions. It would seem easier to start cleaner than to become cleaner.
Carbon emissions, a chief culprit in the warming of the planet, crossed a new threshold with uncertain consequences in May to 400 parts per million (ppm). The last time concentrations were this high was 3 to 5 million years ago — featuring an earth with higher sea levels and forests extending to the Arctic Ocean, according to an atmospheric scientist. It was a reminder to those concerned about the effects of climate change and others supportive of a lower carbon economy that considerable heavylifting lies ahead. A goal of 450 ppm is considered a threshold to ward off temperature rises higher than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 Fahrenheit.
But the West is still more reliant on coal for electricity than states in the East
A recent report by Western Resources Advocates, a Colorado-based resource and environmental policy organization, highlights the fact that, for the first time in 30 years, carbon dioxide emissions resulting from coal-fueled power generation in the Mountain West region of the United States are dropping.
While that fossil fuel still plays a major role in bringing power to the American West, the slow retirement of aging coal plants and their replacement with natural gas and renewable energy power generation has seen a major change in energy trends in the area, encompassing New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. With more than 58 percent of electricity in the western half of the country still being produced by coal-fired plants compared to the national average of 42 percent, there is certainly still room for improvement, but the trend is heartening to those with an interest in alternative energy sources.
Generation from wind turbines in the United States increased 27% in 2011 from the prior year, and is up 350% since 2006.
“During the past five years capacity additions of wind turbines were the main driver of the growth in wind power output,” the U.S. Department of Energy reported. “As the amount of wind generation increases, electric power system operators have faced challenges with integrating increasing amounts of this intermittent generation source into their systems.”
The following is a guest post from OilPrice.com. ——————————- In the Aftermath of Fukushima, Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Rise to 20 Percent The worldwide implications for nuclear power advocates in light of the 11 March disaster at Japan’s Daichi Fukushima nuclear complex, battered first by an earthquake and a subsequent tsunami, are slowly unfolding. Nations committed to nuclear power are being subjected to a relentless PR barrage by nuclear construction firms, who stand to lose billions if current contracts are suspended or, even worse, canceled. Despite the bland reassurances of the nuclear power industry that “it can’t happen here,” in Europe, Italy has canceled plans to construct nuclear reactors, while Germany’s Bundestag last month passed a resolution to close all… Continue»