Archive for the Distributed Power Production Category

Utilities putting new energy into geothermal sources

Posted in Geothermal, Sustainable Emissions, Sustainable Energy on November 4, 2008 by Mark P. Line

Utilities putting new energy into geothermal sources

  • Yet another sudden “innovation” that we could have been doing 50 years ago.
Advertisements

Google.org invests $10m to develop enhanced geothermal systems

Posted in Geothermal, Sustainable Energy with tags , , , on August 20, 2008 by Mark P. Line

Google.org invests $10m to develop enhanced geothermal systems

  • Well, it’s nice that the foundation is dropping some money on alternative energy research, any alternative energy research.
  • It’s important not to lose sight of the big picture, though. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to drill a hole 10km deep. It takes energy to run water into the hole and back out again. It takes water to run water into the hole and back out again. So scalability and capital cost are a couple of issues to track here.
  • There needs to be a balance between high-tech energy systems and lower-tech systems. There also needs to be a balance along the efficiency spectrum: there’s a niche for systems that have to consume a significant proportion of their output for their own creation and operation, but let’s try to keep them in that niche.

Britain To Build World’s Largest Tidal Power Station

Posted in Distributed Power Production, Sustainable Energy, Tidal with tags , , on August 9, 2008 by Mark P. Line

Britain To Build World’s Largest Tidal Power Station

  • Conventional hydroelectric dams generate electricity from the flow of water due to terrestrial gravity, while the Severn dam will benefit from tidal flow (which is due to lunar gravity).
  • Of course, Britain also wants to build a bunch of new coal and nuclear power plants, and most Brits think that global warming is a hoax. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they want to capture the tidal energy of the Severn Estuary the stupid way instead of the right way.

Continue reading

Boris performs fuel cell U-turn

Posted in Fuel Cells, Global Warming, Hydrogen Energy, Sustainable Emissions, Sustainable Energy, Transition Towns, Transparent Government on August 7, 2008 by Mark P. Line

Boris performs fuel cell U-turn

  • I’m not going to blame Boris. Most of his constituents believe that global warming is a hoax.
  • Sixty vehicles for the entire London transport network is a nice gesture, but it’s hardly enough to motivate an original equipment manufacturer, is it.
  • The way out of this vicious cycle (neither manufacturers nor their customers want to put their money ahead of the coming economy of scale) is for jurisdictions such as Greater London to proactively protect the commons they’re charged with protecting in the first place: enact a short-timeline transition to zero vehicle emissions. That will make hydrogen vehicles very competitive, very fast.

Mini waterwheel can power a house

Posted in Micro-Hydro on July 31, 2008 by Mark P. Line

Mini waterwheel can power a house

  • No details on how it works, whether or not a patent is being applied for, or how much it’s going to cost. I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned.

Report finds US is worlds top wind producer

Posted in Wind on July 31, 2008 by Mark P. Line

Report finds US is worlds top wind producer

  • It will be interesting to see how the economy of scale plays out. Awful lot of headroom there.

Reid Seeking Energy Refuge in Renewable Projects

Posted in Geothermal, Photovoltaic, Sustainable Energy on July 27, 2008 by Mark P. Line

Reid Seeking Energy Refuge in Renewable Projects

  • It will be interesting to see if the Nevadans will be able to keep coal at bay. Big Coal is not Big Oil (not yet, at least), so maybe there’s a chance.
  • How is nuclear power a “low-pollution energy source” if there are 77 million tons of radioactive wastes looking for a permanent home?