Seawater is proving to be one way to combat climate change by reducing fossil fuel dependency for some ocean island nations. Taking a page from land-based geothermal power which uses the coolness below ground in heat exchange systems, islands are using the thermal energy gradient in a column of seawater to generate electricity.
April 12, 2014 - There are two types of solar renewable technologies. The first, solar photovoltaics, is at best marginally efficient when converting energy from sunlight into electricity. And when the sun is not shining...well you get it. The second, solar thermal involves putting mirrors on motors to track sunlight.
There are two types of solar renewable technologies. The first, solar photovoltaics, is at best marginally efficient when converting energy from sunlight into electricity. The second, solar thermal involves putting mirrors on motors to track sunlight.
An unprecedented global "supersociety" may be emerging -- in spite of resource depletion, pollution and conflict that seem to be driving us to dystopia.
This surprisingly positive prospect is the fruition of key developments that are now germinating and sending out their first tentative shoots. They all engage a vastly underutilized resource: the best that is in people.
April 10, 2014 - Using agricultural land to grow an industrial crop to convert to fuel seems like a make work project for farmers. Yet an entire subsidized industry has grown up in Brazil, the United States, Canada and other countries doing just that. In Brazil they turn sugar cane into ethanol (which I don't mind too much since sugar in my book is more a food additive than a food).
With atmospheric temperatures creeping upward from the tropics to the poles, air conditioning in dwellings and workplaces will be in great demand. The estimate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states we will see a rise in energy demand around air conditioning from 300 Terawatt-hours in 2000 to 4,000 Terawatt-hours by 2050. Increased energy demand, of course, has implications for greenhouse gas emissions.
Over time, we integrated the Canadian and American grid to allow power generators to sell their products wherever electricity was needed. Today, this is the system we have here in North America, and it has its problems.
Within a few short years we could see an energy explosion that changes everything. It promises to come years to decades sooner than conventional (hot) nuclear fusion. And it could be a lot cheaper, more scalable, and more transformative.
(But keep it to yourself. Most media people are.)
From an MIT conference on cold fusion to the latest refusal to grant a U.S. patent for Andrea Rossi's E-Cat, to a company developing what it calls dense plasma fusion, the future of cheap, clean, nuclear energy still appears to be a dream with no immediate breakthroughs.
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