Midnight In The Desert — renewable energy

Here's how you can actually help stop climate change

Posted by K R on

Here's how you can actually help stop climate change

Soaring temperatures, melting ice caps, diseases on the rise. With such high stakes, it’s not surprising that climate change tends to trigger a sense of fear. In fact, one recent, widely-shared story about climate change in New York Magazine opens with the words, “It is, I promise, worse than you think.” “The article paints a bleak picture,” says Seth Wynes, a researcher in the Geography Department at the University of British Columbia. “I think it’s important to realize that we have a lot of choice in the planet that we want to have future generations inheriting. Even if we’ve missed...

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How Much Fuel Is Left in Earth's Tank?

Posted by K R on

How Much Fuel Is Left in Earth's Tank?

The may seem like a strange comparison, in some ways, the Earth is a lot like a Toyota Prius. Our planet requires energy for the internal engine that drives its various functions, ranging from tectonic plate movement and volcanic activity to its magnetic field. It gets that energy from two sources -- primordial energy left over from the Earth's formation, and nuclear energy from the heat produced by natural radioactive decay. Scientists have wondered for a long time how much of those two sources of energy still are left in the Earth after 4.6 billion years. But now, in an...

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Forget about Climate Change

Posted by K R on

Forget about Climate Change

In January, we learned that 2016 was the hottest year on record, the 40th in a row above average. If years were coins, the chance of flipping 40 straight heads would be one in a trillion. Yawn. In February, the Arctic was 50 degrees warmer than average. And in March, an African drought threatened 20 million people, a humanitarian crisis that has been called the worst since World War II. March Madness, anyone? If I said coal use in the United States dropped 20 percent in the last two years, slashing carbon dioxide emissions and future climate change, some people...

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Researchers convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol

Posted by K R on

Researchers convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 12, 2016—In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. Their finding, which involves nanofabrication and catalysis science, was serendipitous. “We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said ORNL’s Adam Rondinone, lead author of the team’s study published in ChemistrySelect. “We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on...

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Costa Rica runs 100% renewable for 113 days, Tesla Powerwalls, WInd Turbines [video]

Posted by K R on

Costa Rica runs 100% renewable for 113 days, Tesla Powerwalls, WInd Turbines [video]

Costa Rica just ran its electricity grid for 113 days in a row entirely on renewable energy. Using a mix of wind, solar and its abundant supply of geothermal energy (a nice boon for anyone wanting to have dispatchable renewables!), this small nation is proving that fossil fuels are no longer necessary to keep the lights on. That's just one snippet of news from Robert Llewellyn's Fully Charged news update, which also includes some cool information about gigantic, 180-meter (590-feet) high, 8MW wind turbines which are being positioned off the coast of France; Tesla Powerwalls being installed in Australia; and...

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