Thursday, December 26, 2013

It is not Nuclear Power but Renewable Energy: the answer to climate change

There are a lot of people who assumes that the sole technology that is now available to substitute fossil fuels is nuclear power especially when climate scientists and some energy policy analysts take a “tough-minded” look at the numbers. Eduardo Porter of the New York Times made that argument last week when he wrote: …nuclear power remains the cheapest and most readily scalable of the alternative energy sources.

There are many reasons why nuclear power is a bad solution to the climate crisis. The first reason is that the technology is not available. Nuclear power plants are capital-intensive, technologically complex to manage, and difficult, if not impossible, to site. These issues are not minor, investors chose putting their money somewhere else and communities are greatly against sitting a plant in their backyard.

As a consequence, despite our knowledge on how to use electricity this way plus our years of experience practicing it, in the U.S. these plants will never be built in enough amount to reduce global warming. There is a slight difference between the technology of nuclear power generation and the technology of nuclear bomb development. It is now hard to put things back the way it used to be, let us admit that human political systems or organizational processes cannot manage the risks of this technology.

Other issues associated with current nuclear technologies that cause them to become problematic. For instance, the toxicity of its fuel and waste should not be ignored. Dangerous accidents are rare but once it happened, the impact is intense and long-lasting. It is hard to judge the danger posed by a poorly managed one while a well-managed plant poses little real danger. There is also a possibility of sabotage. Terrorists taking over a plant and threatening to plant accident could hold a city hostage.

Electric utilities are natural monopolies that necessitate government regulation. The investment in infrastructure to produce and send out electricity is so enormous that it makes slight sense to permit more than one system for each city. This investment in infrastructure and equipment strengthens the chance of electric utilities to be greatly centralized, vertically incorporated organizations. These utilities have a propensity to be firm, dull and monopolistic.

Renewable energy has the chance to change the energy business. There could be the start of decentralized, distributed generation of energy while some large-scale organizations will always be part of the energy industry. Even though the predictable wisdom informs us that solar power, battery technology, and smart grids will take time, the technology is only a breakthrough or two away from a new age of decentralized energy technology.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s recently published 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book reported that:

• Renewable electricity represented 14 percent of total installed capacity and more than 12 percent of total electric generation in 2012

• The installed global renewable electricity capacity, including hydropower, doubled between 2000 and 2012, and represents a significant and growing portion of the total energy supply both globally and in the U.S.

• In 2012, wind energy and solar photovoltaics (PV) were two of the fastest growing electric generation technologies in the U.S. Cumulative installed wind energy capacity increased by nearly 28 percent and cumulative installed solar photovoltaic capacity grew more than 83 percent from the previous year.

• Renewable electricity has been capturing a growing percentage of new capacity additions during the past few years. In 2012, renewable electricity accounted for more than 56 percent of all new electrical capacity installations in the U.S. — a major increase from 2004 when renewable electricity installations captured only 2 percent of new capacity additions.

In the United States, these data grant evidence of the growth of renewable energy, with modest, incremental improvements in technology. Large-scale completion of smart grid technology would make it possible to hurry this trend. This signifies a latent market that could inflate quickly subsequent to a major technological advance in solar receiver or storage technology.

Bizarre sources for alternative energy

·         Body Heat

Body heat can warm an entire building, complete with offices, apartments and shops.  In fact, Jernhuset, a state owned property Administration Company is putting together a plan to capture body heat from train commuters traveling through Stockholm’s Central Station.  The idea is that the heat will warm water running through pipes, which will then be pumped through the building’s ventilation system.  While in Paris Habitat, owner of a low-income housing project in Paris, will use body heat to warm 17 apartments in a building as well.  The said housing project is directly above a metro station near Pompidou Center.  

·         Sugar

Currently, researchers and chemists at Virginia Tech are developing a means to convert sugar into hydrogen.  In which can be used in a fuel cell, and in turn it will provide a cheaper, cleaner, pollutant-free and odorless drive.  The scientists combine plant sugars, water and 13 powerful enzymes in a reactor, converting the concoction into hydrogen and trace amounts of carbon dioxide.  The hydrogen could be captured and pumped through a fuel cell to produce energy.  Their process will translate into cost savings; it delivers three times more hydrogen than traditional methods.

·         Solar Wind

This is way more powerful than humility currently needs is available right now, out in space.  A stream of energized, charged particles flowing outward from the sun is actually from the solar wind.  Brooks Harrop, a physicist at Washington State University in Pullman and Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State’s School of Earth and Environmental Science, think they can capture these particles with a satellite that orbits the sun the same distance Earth does.

·         Feces and Urine

Feces contain methane, a colorless, odorless gas that could be used in the same way as natural gas.  Human waste is also good and so is urine. 

·         Vibrations

Club Watt in Rotterdam, Netherlands is using floor vibrations from people walking and dancing to power its light show.  The vibrations are captured by “piezoelectric” materials that produce an electric change when put under stress.

While the U.S. Army use piezoelectric technology for energy.   They put the material in soldier’s boots in order to charge radios and other portable devices.   But it’s not cheap although this is an interesting renewable energy with great potential

·         Sludge

The waste-to-energy technology is designed to be on site which means companies can save on trucking costs, disposal fees, and electricity. Although the research is still on going, estimates show that a full-scale system can potentially generate 25,000 kilowatt-hours per day to help power reclamation facilities.

·         Jellyfish

Jellyfish that glow in the dark contain the raw ingredients for a new kind of fuel cell. Their glow is produced by green fluorescent protein, referred to as GFP.  A drop of GFP onto aluminum electrodes and then exposed that to ultraviolet light will make the protein released electrons, which travel a circuit to produce electricity.  Similar proteins have been used to make a biological fuel cell, which makes electricity without an external light source.  As a substitute of an external light source, a mixture of chemicals like magnesium and luciferase enzymes, which are found in fireflies, were used to produce electricity from the device.   These fuel cells can be used on small, nano devices like those that could be surrounded in a person to diagnose or treat disease.

·         Exploding Lakes

The three "exploding lakes" were called such for the reason that they contain huge reservoirs of methane and carbon dioxide trapped in the depths by differences in water temperature and density. If temperatures should change and the lake turns, these gases would immediately fizz to the surface like a shaken bottle of soda, killing the millions of people and animals living nearby.

·         Bacteria

Billions of bacteria live out in the wild.  They have a survival strategy like any living organism for when there is a limited food supply.  E. coli bacteria store fuel in the form of fatty acids that resembles polyester.  That similar fatty acid is required for the production of biodiesel fuel.  Because of these, the researchers are seeking for genetically modify E. coli microorganisms to overproduce those polyester-like acids.


·         Carbon Nanotubes

From armor-like fabrics to elevators that could lift cargo between Earth and the Moon this is one of the range of potential uses of the carbon nanotubes, these are hollow tubes of carbon atoms.  Lately, scientists from MIT have a found a way to use carbon nanotubes to collect 100 times more solar energy than a regular photovoltaic cell.  It could work as antenna to capture and funnel sunlight onto solar arrays. This means that instead of having an entire rooftop covered in solar panels, a person may need just a small space.

·         Trains

Widening the imagination when it comes to energy would get us to producing energy like nature do: free and efficient.  According to London Mayor Boris Johnson, excess heat from the subway tunnels and an electric substation will be funneled into British homes.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Report shows global warming is a fraud

The Global Climate Status Report produced by scientists with the Space and Science Research Corp was newly issued by the United Nations.

“Of the 24 global climate parameters evaluated by the SSRC, 20 show a global cooling trend, three show a global warming trend, one shows a neutral trend,” as explained in the report's summary. Also, “…. the integrated global atmospheric and oceanic temperatures, both indicate a declining global temperature trend is in place. ... This singular fact is conclusive evidence to restate that global warming, as a natural phase of climate variation caused by the sun, has ended.”

“The behavior of the sun may trigger a new little ice age,” this is the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark’s headline last Aug. 7. Hence, at least a small number of the newspapers and climatologist in Europe are not terrified to speak the truth about global temperature differences.

Now well-known “Climategate” scandal, pop-up a couple of years ago, hit some of the news when top English climate scientists had their emails leaked to the news presenting that they plan to, in their own words “hide the decline” of the general global temperatures. While this whole thing exposes entire “global warming” as fraud. While this exposes the entire “global warming” as fraud, the important thing to us in the United States at this time is what was leaked to the Associated Press. That demonstrated our present administration and some other national governments were putting weight on the IPCC to not liberate the fact that “global warming” had basically ended and that, for many years, the earth is actually getting slightly cooler.

This information is very important for the reason that “global warming” has been used by most of the government environmental regulations for the past four administrations as an excuse and the result is it is destroying the U.S. economy. We could use some rethinking and reanalyzing about this information for the reason that that means, nearly each regulation the Environmental Protection Agency enforces is based on permeated fraud. The said fraud that will turn the United States into a Third World country that can't produce food, oil or minerals, but we will have an overabundance of hunger.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Working towards Alternative Energy

Advocates of alternative energy have sustained that on a global rate, increasing energy consumption is connected to the renewed hostile extraction of natural resources from Africa to reach the target increasing demand in North America, Europe and the BRICS countries namely: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

They compete that despite of the growing demand for energy, more than 1.6 billion people has no electricity and about 2.4 rely only on fuel wood.  According to the Executive Director, ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Ojo, the event was conceived to deepen understanding of energy issues.  It is the effort to find substitute to this irregularity that the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) working in concert with over 50 civil societies, community groups and energy experts organized the Africa Alternative Energy Transition forum recently.

Ojo said the event that attracted participants from across Africa was organised to coincide with the Global Month of Action on Energy by a coalition of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Actionaid, International Rivers,, and some other international Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) to reclaim power by resisting dirty and harmful energy and affirming the need for transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.

He said in Nigeria, about 70 percent of the population depend solely on fuel wood for energy, a development, which has put the country in the ranking of the countries with the highest deforestation rate.  He stated that the country is said to be losing 3.5 percent of her forest annually.

“The rising energy demand is also leading to violent resource conflicts at the site of extraction. The energy expansions to dirty energy frontiers and technologies such as coal, shale gas fracking, or energy from biofuels have deleterious consequences on farmers and fragile ecosystems.
“It is also important to note that the newly released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment report emphasises that climate change and the many environmental catastrophe will likely increase due to anthropogenic causes releasing GHGs into the atmosphere that is leading to global warming and extreme weather conditions.

The meaning of this would be that the ecological problems will probably be happening at greater frequency and intensity and with unknown overwhelming impact except there will be actions to lessen the impact.  The energy sector takes the lead in ruining the earth and accounting for 35 percent of human GHG emissions, Ojo stated.
He said while the groups would resist all false solutions to the global energy deficit, they support a move towards renewable energy sources, adding: “There cannot be any option to a quicker energy transition from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy that is 100 percent renewable sources by 2020. The trade in carbon is a false solution because it provides warped incentives for industry to continue to pollute rather than cut emissions at source.”

He stated the groups’ position: “We want to use this medium to demand that governments in Africa wean themselves of the imposed historical “Energy Colonialism Syndrome” where gigantic infrastructure, huge capital and personnel are emblems of development. For the African continent the energy challenge remains a lack of vision to achieve the right energy mix from renewable sources. For example, the Nigerian energy policy is on a wrong footing by cataloguing textbook sources of energy such as nuclear, oil and gas, heavy oil such as tar sands, while failing to prioritise renewable energy sources and setting targets for the future energy transition.

“We reiterate our argument that the World Bank and other financial institutions still play the double game of claiming to promote so-called energy solutions while investing heavily in dirty energy projects that strip the poor from access to energy and with adverse effects on energy access in Africa.”

A $12 billion loan for the Trans-Sahara gas pipeline project was condemned, the federal government’s attempt to secure from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group by Ojo.  He said the project which prioritises gas exploitation and supply mainly for export rather than meet local demand, is expected to secure loans for the construction of a gas pipeline infrastructure that would deliver natural gas sourced from Nigeria through the Sahara desert to Algeria and then Europe.

“The World Bank-funded West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) project is a perfect example of such projects that are touted as solutions to the energy deficit on the continent that have ended up robbing the people of their natural resources, lands, livelihoods and peace. Benefits that the project promoters promised like employment and social amenities have been shown to be fallacy as little or no benefits have accrued from the project,” he added.

Member at the workshop observed that present energy policies in Africa mirrored in astronomically high tariff carry on to dishearten adoption of the several available alternative energy sources open to communities, particularly rural women who can barely afford the costs.

Energy policy and poverty in Africa be addressed by the prioritisation of national and community energy needs over global economic model that promotes export of natural resources and to the detriment of local markets; African governments promote decentralised alternative energy with a focus on renewable were just fraction of the demands of the group are that.  African governments must augment support for energy models that are cooperative and friendly to the community and environment.