Big Oil Reaps The Benefits

Big Oil Reaps The Benefits

At the end of this year, the production tax credit for wind energy is set to expire. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has stated he would allow the tax credits to expire, and President Obama has said he would continue the tax credits. However, the decision has to go through Congress first, and it appears Republicans in the House of Representatives would be more than pleased to see the tax credits end. This week, 47 House Republicans urged House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to let them expire, metaphorically hammering a nail into the coffin of wind power. Despite 81 percent of… read more

Cooling Down The IT

Inside a data centre

Computers have virtually fashioned another world for humans, with recent encroachment like cloud computing, computers have become another home for humans giving them utmost services with a very little effort, but there is a serious problem with so called “data centres” which are volcanoes inside a room, it has been found in a recent research that more than half of energy consumed by data centres are used to cool down millions of processors inside boxes. This heightened problem has caught the attention of various design firms whose major job, now is to work in reducing the power consumed to cooling… read more

Solar Powered Boat

Solar powered boat

Boats have been driven by various fuel sources ever since they were first used for navigation. First came the hand rowed boat which required tedious human physical work to move from one place to another. Then came the electric boat that was commonly used along the coasts of England, which was then replaced by the fossil fuel powered boats which form the majority of the boats today. But due to the need and constant efforts to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, many initiatives are taken every day and this gave impetus for Dan Baker of British Columbia to design… read more

Future For Fracking

Future For Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been a controversial issue for some time now, mainly due to the safety and contamination problems that are inherent in the practice. However, researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered a possible solution: chemical-degrading bacteria which can clean the used water and eliminate contamination. Centimeter-sized silicon beads will house the bacteria, and when introduced to the polluted water, the porous bead will soak up the water and the bacteria will eat away at the contaminants, effectively cleaning the water. While this is a way to make fracking safer on the whole, it cannot be… read more

Hydrofracking Threat

Clearing land for hydrofracking

Hydrofracking, formally known as hydraulic fracturing, is a gas extraction mechanism that involves pumping large amounts of water, sand and chemicals underground to unearth natural gas from rock formations. This new mechanism is economical for companies in gas extraction, for the environment it can spell devastation. The environmental threats from hydrofracking are numerous, an overview as to how the mechanism works is thus necessary to appreciate the gravity of the overall potential for disaster. Hydrofracking requires large quantities of water which is either transported to the extraction site or pumped from a nearby water sources. The water is then mixed… read more

Energy Efficiency Dropped

Energy POlicy Dropped

In a disturbing yet unsurprising turn of events, the Republican Party national platform for 2012 contains no mention of energy efficiency. The omission has turned heads, given the previous positions of Mitt Romney on energy efficiency during his tenure as Massachusetts governor, and the 2004 and 2008 Republican Party platforms including energy efficiency. Even Former President George W. Bush, with all of his ties to the oil industry, had nearly 50 recommendations addressing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy conservation during his 2004 term. In the past, energy efficiency and conservation has been a fairly bipartisan issue, especially in Congress,… read more

Thy Name is Republican

Thy Name Is republican

Usually there isn’t need for such drastic partisan claims to be made, but the situation at present is an exemption. Mitt Romney, on top of his disastrous handling of the attacks in Libya and Egypt, is still pushing a campaign promise to let the wind energy tax credits expire at the end of the year, while maintaining the massive tax credits given to the coal and oil industries. Constantly touting the philosophy that tax credits allow the government to determine which industries succeed and fail is incorrect and doesn’t allow for the free market to decide, Romney and similar-minded Republicans… read more

Power From The Skies

Wind Power From Space

According to a new study, utilizing upper-level winds, which are consistent and reliable, along with ground-level winds could provide 20-100 times current global power demand, in addition to near-zero-emissions. Ken Caldeira of Stanford University’s Carnegie Institute, co-author of the study, admits despite the vast potential for wind energy to power the globe, and other studies showing similar results, there will always be a need for a multi-faceted energy system. Further, in order to achieve the amounts of wind energy production, it is a necessity to scale-up production of wind farms, which may not be technologically or fiscally feasible at this… read more

Waste, Water and Waves

OPT's Power Buoy

As a result of the delay and unwillingness of the government to fund projects and studies related to future renewable energy technology, many have taken matters into their own hands. Granted, in some way or another, the government has had a role in the processes, but the primary force at work is an individual or group of individuals. As usual, these projects have taken time to come to fruition, but the team members have been committed and ultimately discovered possible components to a powerful renewable energy system in the United States. In Portland, Oregon, Ocean Powered Technologies (OPT), a New… read more

Are You Grid Smart?

Smart Grid technology

A more efficient and consistent alternative to the dated grid system