follow us like us subscribe contact us
Loading, please wait

Alternative Energy / Renewable Energy

  • Google Gives Up On Renewables

    This is a post-mortem on a project initiated by Google – a master of innovation if ever there was one and a company with impeccable green credentials (see photo below) – the goal of which was to scope out an innovative renewable energy system that could compete economically with coal and other fossil fuels and which could be deployed quickly enough to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. Google headquarters, complete with 1.6MW of PV panels Work on the project, which Google named RE<C (Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal) continued from 2007 to 2011, a period over which…

  • Waste To Energy Could Be Long-Term Renewable Solution

    On a recent business trip to Edmonton, in northern Canada, I was surprised to find, amid the bales of recycled materials and heavy equipment pushing around mountains of trash, a large facility that looked a lot like an oil refinery. The building was a couple of storeys high and consisted of a network of interlocking pipes, surrounded by a cage of steel framing and a number of platforms. When I asked about it, a landfill worker told me the facility is a waste to biofuels plant that essentially converts garbage into biofuels. Opened in June, the waste to biofuels plant…

  • The Cold, Hard Truth About Renewables

    Does the recent climate accord between US and China mean that many countries will now forge ahead with renewables and other green solutions? I think that there are more pitfalls than many realize. Pitfall 1. Green solutions tend to push us from one set of resources that are a problem today (fossil fuels) to other resources that are likely to be problems in the longer term. The name of the game is “kicking the can down the road a little.” In a finite world, we are reaching many limits besides fossil fuels: 1. Soil quality–erosion of topsoil, depleted minerals, added…

  • Renewable Energy Will Allow Communist Party Of China To Hold Onto Power

    News about the US-China climate change deal was met with an equal measure of praise and doubt. Many observers cheered the fact that the world’s two largest economies had come together on an issue as important as climate change and vowed to take real, measurable steps in curbing emissions. Still others saw the announcement as a paper tiger, an agreement that allowed Beijing to gain some credibility while having no intention of ever following through with the terms of the deal. The National Review was particularly virulent in making the latter point. It wrote that there “was abundant reason for…

  • How Global Fossil Fuel Dependence Hasn`t Changed In 20 Years

    Whilst enjoying the good natured exchanges on this blog concerning the pros and cons of new renewable energy sources I decided to dig deeper into the success of Green energy policies to date. Roger Andrews produced this chart the other day and the low carbon energy trends caught my eye. It is important to recall that well over $1,700,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) has been spent on installing wind and solar devices in recent years with the sole objective of reducing global CO2 emissions. It transpires that since 1995 low carbon energy sources (nuclear, hydro and other renewables) share of global energy…

  • Kazakh President Shuns Renewables In Favor Of Fossil Fuels

    From small villages to big cities, wherever you go in Kazakhstan these days, billboards offer reminders that Astana is gearing up to host Expo 2017, the next World’s Fair. Kazakhstan helped secure the right to host the event with a pledge to emphasize green energy alternatives. But now it appears that Kazakhstan is red-lighting its own green transition. Green energy has been the rage in Kazakhstan in recent years, but the country’s strongman president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, seemed to shift gears out of the blue in late September. “I personally do not believe in alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar,”…

  • Big Oil And Renewables: Not So Strange Bedfellows

    In most conversations about energy, the topic of Big Oil versus renewables usually becomes a zero-sum game. Renewable advocates accuse Big Oil of conspiring to shut out wind, solar and other alt-energy sources in the pursuit of greater profits driven by fossil fuels. Big Oil defenders say that renewables, while an important adjunct, can never meet the global demand for energy provided by traditional sources: coal, oil and gas. In fact, the big oil companies have never shunned renewable energy in their mix of business operations, and only recently have pulled back investments in solar and wind. But the reasons…

  • Epic Drought Impacting California‚Äôs Clean Energy Goals

    California has just entered its fourth year of drought -- a slow-rolling crisis that is showing no signs of abating.All of California is now affected, with more than half of the state considered to be in “exceptional” drought, the worst designation handed out by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Reduced rainfall means that California reservoirs are continuing to shrink, with water levels at just 52 percent of their historic average.That’s not just a problem for California’s $42.5 billion agricultural industry, which grows and produces much of the country’s fruits, nuts and vegetables. It is also is cutting into the state’s electricity…

  • New Technology Could Have Us Generate Power As We Walk

    You may have heard how the jaw movement from talking or chewing can be turned into useable energy. Now scientists have found a way to harness the energy of something equally simple: walking.The amount of energy produced by it isn’t nearly enough to power something like an electric car, but watch batteries -- yes. Researchers at the Center for Research in Advanced Materials (CIMAV) have designed a small, flat cylinder that fits in a shoe and stores the mechanical-vibrational energy that a human creates by walking.The scientists then used the captured energy to recharge AAA batteries and even self-powered clocks.Related:…

  • A Big Pension Fund Is Investing Heavily In Clean Energy. What Should You Do?

    Earlier this week, one of the largest pension funds in America, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) made an announcement that was of particular interest to energy investors. They announced that they would be nearly tripling the amount they have invested, bringing it to around $3.7 Billion. Obviously, that a fund of that size is to step up investment in that sector is good news, but investors should be careful not to read too much into the announcement.First, let’s look at what they didn’t say. They didn’t, as some coverage of the news has suggested, say that they are…