May 19, 2009

A Few Informational Links On Clean Energy

General Links:

CARSON CITY, Nev.—As lawmakers rush through the final weeks of their 2009 session, they're working out details on several bills to help Nevada overcome obstacles to realizing its full potential as a renewable energy leader.
Nevada's ample wind, sun and hot springs have put the state in a favorable position to develop renewable energy resources, earning it the nickname the "Saudi Arabia of alternative energy."

While Congress continues to debate renewable energy portfolios and infrastructure development, individual states and companies continue to move forward.

On Wednesday, Pacific Gas and Electric announced a deal with solar company, BrightSource Energy for the production of 1,310 megawatts of solar thermal power. There are seven projects in the deal, with the first expected to begin operations in 2012, and all being operational by 2017.

With politicians pushing adoption of renewable energy in the United States and Europe, the last few years have seen a surge in plans for wind farms--both on land and sea. But wind power isn't viable everywhere--and prime coastal spots are often already developed.
So some wind-turbine makers are shifting their focus toward building bigger wind turbines that can harvest the lower-speed winds that are more readily available. This next generation of wind turbines is no small matter: their rotors have a diameter the size of a football field.

Australia to build largest solar energy plant
Published: Sunday 17 May 2009 16:02 UTC
Last updated: Sunday 17 May 2009 16:02 UTC
The Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced plans to build the world's largest solar energy plant. The plant will generate three times as much energy as the current largest solar plant in California in the United States. The prime minister called sunshine "Australia's biggest natural resource".

Introduction to Geothermal Power

Heat from the earth can be used as an energy source in many ways, from large and complex power stations to small and relatively simple pumping systems. This heat energy, known as geothermal energy, can be found almost anywhere—as far away as remote deep wells in Indonesia and as close as the dirt in our backyards. Tapping geothermal energy is an affordable and sustainable solution to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and the global warming and public health risks that result from their use.

In the Western United States and in other places around the world, geothermal energy produces electricity in large power plants. Today, geothermal energy provides about five percent of California's electricity, and 25 percent of El Salvador's.[1] In Idaho and Iceland, geothermal heat is used to warm buildings and for other applications. In thousands of homes and buildings across the United States, geothermal heat pumps use the steady temperatures just underground to heat and cool buildings, cleanly and inexpensively.

Links From Bill Moyers

Here is a collection of links that stress how you can practically help to preserve our biodiversity.

Moyers of Energy and Environment

Links from PBS NOW

Can something as common as building materials
represent an opportunity to create jobs, help the needy, and save the planet? This week, NOW looks at two "green" projects keeping furniture, paint, cabinets, and other building supplies out of landfills and getting them into the hands of those who need them most. Will they be devastated by the economic meltdown, or do they signal a possible way out?

A California Assemblywoman's personal environmental mission to reduce auto emissions inspired her colleagues to act and other states to follow suit. Supported by favorable federal court decisions, encouraged by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and armed with new laws, her state is now on the cutting edge of efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of everything from American power plants to automobiles.

Will the green energy dream come to fruition? This week NOW explores obstacles to the promise of renewables—energy generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, and rain.

As America looks to dramatically increase its use of renewable energy, an inconvenient reality stands in the way: the need to upgrade the country's antiquated electricity grid. Part of that overhaul involves the construction of gigantic and expensive long-distance transmission lines to carry clean energy from remote sites to population centers.

NOW travels to California, which has the most ambitious clean energy plan in the nation. But the state's efforts face stiff opposition from property owners and conservationists who prefer renewable energy from "local sources," such as photovoltaic rooftop solar panels.

Complicating the matter are claims that the transmission lines are not actually carrying renewable energy at all, but represent a thinly-disguised strategy to stick to old energy practices.

The green energy dream: Why it may not happen.

Can Coal be Earth-Friendly?
Can America's cheapest and most plentiful energy resource be produced without burning the environment?

A rise in sea levels isn't the only impact global warming is having on the world's oceans. A growing body of evidence suggests that climate change is also affecting ocean currents and the chemistry of the seas, with potentially catastrophic results.

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