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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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How The Power Of Ocean Waves Could Yield Freshwater With Zero Carbon Emissions

How The Power Of Ocean Waves Could Yield Freshwater With Zero Carbon Emissions

CREDIT: Shutterstock
A new project in Australia aims to create freshwater by harnessing the kinetic force of ocean waves, RenewEconomy reports. Run by the Perth-based firm Carnegie Wave Energy in cooperation with the Water Corporation, and supported by a $1.27 million grant from the Australian Federal Government’s AusIndustry Clean Technology Innovation Program, the plant will use Carnegie’s proprietary CETO wave energy technology to power reverse osmosis desalination. The resulting process, free of carbon emissions, “will be a world first” according to CEO Michael Ottaviano.

Reverse osmosis desalination has been in use for several decades, and works simply enough: high pressure is used to force saltwater through a membrane, producing drinkable freshwater on the other end. Traditionally the pressure is provided with electric pumps powered by fossil fuels, resulting in both carbon dioxide emissions and lots of points for energy loss.

But instead of relying on those electric pumps, Carnegie is using the latest iteration of its CETO technology — CETO 5 — to supply that pressure with wave energy instead. Underwater buoys eleven meters in diameter are installed offshore, and as ocean waves catch them, the movement supplies hydraulic power to pump seawater up underground pipes to shore. At that point, the water runs into the desalination plant, where it directly supplies the pressure for the reverse osmosis. Some of that hydraulic energy is also converted into electric power as needed.

The resulting system not only cuts out all carbon dioxide emissions, it also greatly reduces the points where energy can be lost, making the process much more energy efficient and cost-effective.

The two megawatt demonstration project will be situated on Garden Island....


Energy Commercials From Germany

Energy Commercials From Germany

Renewable energy, electric mobility, efficient buildings and appliances are the future. In Germany, that vision of the future is not only deeply rooted in public opinion, but also official policy – labeled the “Energiewende.” Owning a piece of that future today is thus a really good sales pitch, especially when half of all Germans think that the “Energiewende” is going too slow!

During the past decade, renewable energy and energy efficiency have grown into a mass market over here in Germany. Growing demand leads to a growing variety of products, which leads to more competition. This development is good and desirable, as well as the source of some very cool commercials. So here are some of these cool internet and TV commercials I came across (the first one is in English, the rest are just in German, but I think you get the picture):

Varta Storage — Engion Family
A customizable Li-ion battery based home energy storage and management system.


Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/08/29/germany-solar-energy-efficiency-home-management-commercials/

Bright sun, bright future: Can Africa unlock its solar potential?

Bright sun, bright future: Can Africa unlock its solar potential?
By Teo Kermeliotis, for CNN
August 29, 2013

Solar power projects are increasingly being announced across Africa

Experts say that Africa can use solar power to fuel its future growth

Lack of awareness and financing are still major challenges

Industry insiders also call for new policies to help the sector to take off

Read full article at: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/29/business/bright-sun-bright-future-africa/

Amy Goodman - Just say no to nuclear power

Just say no to nuclear power – from Fukushima to Vermont
Fukushima showed us the intolerable costs of nuclear power. The citizens of Vermont show us the benefits of shutting it down

Amy Goodman

theguardian.com, Thursday 29 August 2013 10.30 EDT

Welcome to the nuclear renaissance.

Entergy Corp, one of the largest nuclear-power producers in the US, issued a surprise press release Tuesday, saying it plans "to close and decommission its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vermont. The station is expected to cease power production after its current fuel cycle and move to safe shutdown in the fourth quarter of 2014." Although the press release came from the corporation, it was years of people's protests and state legislative action that forced its closure. At the same time that activists celebrate this key defeat of nuclear power, officials in Japan admitted that radioactive leaks from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe are far worse than previously acknowledged.

"It took three years, but it was citizen pressure that got the state Senate to such a position", nuclear-energy consultant Arnie Gundersen told me of Entergy's announcement. He has coordinated projects at 70 nuclear plants around the country and now provides independent testimony on nuclear and radiation issues. He explained how the state of Vermont, in the first such action in the country, had banned the plant from operating beyond its original 40-year permit. Entergy was seeking a 20-year extension.
The legislature, in that 26-to-4 vote, said: 'No, we're not going to allow you to reapply. It's over. You know, a deal's a deal. We had a 40-year deal.' Well, Entergy went to first the federal court here in Vermont and won, and then went to an appeals court in New York City and won again on the issue, as they framed it, that states have no authority to regulate safety.

Despite prevailing in the courts, Entergy bowed to public pressure.

Back in 2011, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who called Entergy "a company that we found we can't trust", said on "Democracy Now!":
We're the only state in the country that's taken power into our own hands and said that, without an affirmative vote from the state legislature, the public service board cannot issue a certificate of public good to legally operate a plant for another 20 years. Now, the Senate has spoken ... saying no, it's not in Vermont's best interest to run an aging, leaking nuclear-power plant. And we expect that our decision will be respected.

The nuclear-power industry is at a critical crossroads. The much-touted nuclear renaissance is collapsing...


I don't know about the part where Entergy "bowed to public pressure" since it was an economic decision, but the article is still an interesting read.

Nature News: Government 'must step in' to halt Fukushima leaks

Government 'must step in' to halt Fukushima leaks
Ministers called on to intervene as regulators upgrade severity level of the leakage.

Quirin Schiermeier& Jay Alabaster
29 August 2013


Incident upgrade
The leak of some 300 tonnes of partially treated water that had been used to cool melted nuclear rods from the destroyed reactors was reported by TEPCO on 19 August. The radioactivity of the water stands at about 80 megabecquerels per litre, about 1% of what it was before treatment by an on-site purification system. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority initially labelled the incident a level 1 event (known as an ‘anomaly’) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, but yesterday upgraded it to level 3 (‘serious incident’), citing the large amount of contaminated water leaked and the fact that a safety buffer was not available for the water tank in question.

At present, TEPCO is storing more than 300,000 tonnes of radioactive water on the site of the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi plant. Radioactive caesium isotopes are being removed from the water by an advanced liquid-processing system built after the accident, but a facility for removing strontium isotopes is not yet ready. Tritium, another harmful radionuclide, cannot be safely removed by any known purification system because it is incorporated within water molecules.


Storage situation
Some 400 tonnes of cooling water are being collected in tanks each day. The growing fleet of storage tanks — which currently stands at about 1,000 — is a source of alarm for experts, who fear that huge amounts of contaminated water will eventually have to be dumped into the ocean. Worse still, some 300 tonnes of groundwater highly contaminated with caesium-137, which has a 30-year half-life, are thought to be flowing from beneath the destroyed reactors into the sea every day.

The potential for harm is huge, says Jota Kanda, an oceanographer at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology who monitors radionuclide distribution in sediments and biota off Fukushima1.

“The effects of one relatively small leak may be insignificant,” he says. “But there are huge amounts of radionuclides in these tanks and the water may have to be stored for a long time to come. If more leaks were to occur the consequences might be severe.”



German energy crisis favours the fleet (of foot- k)

German energy crisis favours the fleet

By Christoph Steitz
BERLIN | Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:33pm BST
(Reuters) - Germany's half-a-trillion-euro energy overhaul is forcing sector players to turn around their business models fast, giving smaller groups a head start on the country's ponderous utilities.

Europe's largest economy has seen its energy sector slide into crisis following its decision to abandon nuclear power by 2022, as a subsidised boom in solar power has dealt a heavy blow to traditional utilities, forcing them to close plants generating thousands of megawatts.


Capital Stage earlier this month said its operating profit more than doubled to 20 million euros in the first half of the year, showing that there is serious business to be made from renewable energy.

Bain & Company estimates that profits from large conventional power plants - also called centralised power - will fall by a third to about 5 billion euros in Germany by 2020.

In turn, profits from decentralised power - small generation units such as solar installations - could rise by up to 60 percent to 4 billion euros....


This is a great look at a key aspect of the energy transition which is vital to understanding what is happening in Germany. Kind of long but well worth the time.

Zimmerman's wife was staying at parents night of shooting because of argument w/ GZ

...She revealed she wasn't home the night George confronted Trayvon because they had an arguement earlier that day and she was staying with her father...


Wonder if that had any bearing on his state of mind?

ALEC's Energy Climate Agenda: ProFossil, ProNuclear, AntiRenewable

If a person promotes nuclear power under the guise of climate concern while trying to derail renewable energy programs, they are serving the interests of the American Legislative Exchange Council's Energy/Climate Agenda.

ALEC's Agenda (from their website) -
Recognizing the Large and Growing Need for Commercial Nuclear Energy

Resolution Recognizing the Large and Growing Need for Commercial Nuclear Energy and Urging the President and Congress to Make Steady Progress toward a Permanent Geologic Repository for Used Commercial Nuclear Fuel and Such Nearer-Term Priorities as Interim Fuel Storage and Research into Fuel Reprocessing and Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Model Resolution

WHEREAS, America’s 103 commercial nuclear plants generate 20 percent of the Nation’s electricity with remarkably high levels of efficiency and reliability while producing zero emissions of pollutants or greenhouse gases; and

WHEREAS, projected U.S. electricity demand will increase by 40 percent by the 2030, requiring the nuclear industry to bring online 50 gigawatts of additional generation just to maintain nuclear energy’s present 20 percent share of the electricity generation fuel mix, and

WHEREAS, more than a dozen nuclear utilities and consortia are actively exploring plans to pursue construction and operating licenses for more than 30 new commercial nuclear reactors in the next several years; and


NOW THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the American Legislative Exchange Council hereby urges the President and Congress to work together with the commercial nuclear industry, State and Local governments and other interested parties to encourage development of safe new nuclear plants as a key component of American fuel portfolio diversity and energy security; and


Approved by ALEC Board of Directors in 2007.


And lest people are fooled by ALEC's expressions of concern for GHG emissions while they justify their support for nuclear (sound like anyone we know here?) this is what you'll find elsewhere on their website.

State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives

WHEREAS, there has been no credible economic analysis of the costs associated with carbon reduction mandates and the consequential effect of the increasing costs of doing business in the State of ______;

WHEREAS, forcing business, industry, and food producers to reduce carbon emissions through government mandates and cap-and-trade policies under consideration for the regional climate initiative will increase the cost of doing business, push companies to do business with other states or nations, and increase consumer costs for electricity, fuel, and food;

WHEREAS, the Congressional Budget Office warns that the cost of cap-and-trade policies will be borne by consumers and will place a disproportionately high burden on poorer families;

WHEREAS, simply reducing carbon emissions in the State of ______ will not have a significant impact on international carbon reduction, especially while countries like China, Russia, Mexico, and India emit an ever-increasing amount of carbon into the atmosphere;

WHEREAS, a tremendous amount of economic growth would be sacrificed for a reduction in carbon emissions that would have no appreciable impact on global concentrations of CO2;...


Resolution Opposing EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck
WHEREAS: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed or is proposing numerous new regulations, particularly in the area of air quality and regulation of greenhouse gases, that are likely to have major effects on the economy, jobs and U.S. competitiveness in worldwide markets;

WHEREAS: EPA’s regulatory activity as to air quality and greenhouse gases has become known as the “train wreck,” because of the numerous and overlapping requirements and because of the potentially devastating consequences this regulatory activity may have on the economy;

WHEREAS: Concern is growing that, with cap-and-trade legislation having failed in Congress, EPA is attempting to obtain the same results through the adoption of regulations;

WHEREAS: EPA over-regulation is driving jobs and industry out of America;

WHEREAS: Neither EPA nor the Administration has undertaken any comprehensive study of what the cumulative effect of all of this new regulatory activity will have on the economy, jobs and competitiveness;

WHEREAS: EPA has not performed any comprehensive study of what the environmental benefits of its greenhouse regulation will be in terms of impacts on global climate;

WHEREAS: State agencies are routinely required to identify the costs of their regulations and to justify those costs in light of the benefits;

WHEREAS: Since EPA has identified “taking action on climate change and improving air quality” as its first strategic goal for the 2011-15 time period, EPA should be required to identify the specific actions it intends to take to achieve these goals and to assess the total cost of all these actions together;

WHEREAS: The Legislature supports continuing improvements in the quality of the nation’s air and believes that that such improvements can be made in a sensible fashion without damaging the economy so long as there is a full understanding of the cost of the regulations at issue;

WHEREAS: The primary goal of government at the present time must be to promote economic recovery and to foster a stable and predictable business environment that will lead to the creation of jobs;

WHEREAS: Public health and welfare will suffer without significant new job creation and economic improvement, because people with good jobs are better able to take care of themselves and their families than the unemployed and because environmental improvement is only possible in a society that generates wealth.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the legislature of {insert state} calls on Congress:

1. To adopt legislation prohibiting EPA by any means necessary from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, including if necessary defunding EPA greenhouse gas regulatory activities.

2. Imposing a moratorium on promulgation of any new air quality regulation by EPA by any means necessary, except to directly address an imminent health or environmental emergency, for a period of at least two years, including defunding EPA air quality regulatory activities.

3. Requiring the Administration to undertake a study identifying all regulatory activity that EPA intends to undertake in furtherance of its goal of “taking action on climate change and improving air quality” and specifying the cumulative effect of all of these regulations on the economy, jobs, and American economic competitiveness. This study should be a multi-agency study drawing on the expertise both of EPA and of agencies and departments having expertise in and responsibility for the economy and the electric system and should provide an objective cost-benefit analysis of all of EPA’s current and planned regulation together.


Intrastate Coal and Use Act

Resolution on Best Available Control Technology FOR Coal-Based Electric Generation

And from the press:

In Chicago, ALEC Reboots Failed Strategy for Attacking Renewable Energy Policies

Jeff Deyette, asst director of research & analysis, Clean Energy
August 7, 2013

Having failed completely in its attempt to repeal state renewable electricity standards (RES) during the spring 2013 legislative season, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is shifting gears. Their new strategy is more nuanced, but the goal remains the same: support their fossil fuel cronies by rolling back renewable energy policies. Fortunately, this latest scheme is likely doomed to fail as well.

Some explaining to do
This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will host its annual meeting in Chicago, during which the group, which provides powerful corporations with behind-closed-doors access to legislators for the purpose of drafting ‘model legislation’ that serves their interests, will discuss the next phase of its ongoing effort to dismantle state renewable energy policies across the country. But first, ALEC leaders will likely have to explain their failures to their fossil fuel industry funders, including Koch Industries, Exxon-Mobil, and Peabody Energy.

Just last year, ALEC made it very public that repealing state RES policies would be a legislative priority in 2013, doubling down on its recent efforts to roll back these standards. ALEC adopted model legislation, written by climate skeptics at the Heartland Institute and innocuously dubbed the “Electricity Freedom Act”, which had the sole purpose of repealing state RES policies. Along with the Heartland Institute and a host of fossil fuel-funded cohorts, ALEC launched a disinformation campaign targeting several state RES policies, including high-profile attacks in Kansas and North Carolina.

The good news is that ALEC’s efforts completely failed: not a single state RES was repealed. Instead, 14 new pro-renewable energy bills became law nationwide, including stronger RES targets in Colorado, Minnesota, and Nevada.

Don’t mess with success
How did ALEC misfire so badly? ...

More at: http://blog.ucsusa.org/in-chicago-alec-reboots-failed-strategy-for-attacking-renewable-energy-policies-197

ALEC to States: Repeal Renewable Energy Mandates (‘Electricity Freedom Act’ model bill adopted)
by Todd Wynn
November 1, 2012

“Households in 29 states are and will continue to see higher electricity rates, lower economic growth and, subsequently, lower standard of livings without outright repeal of these crony capitalist policies.”

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the nation’s largest non-partisan association of state legislators boasting more than 2,000 members from all 50 states, recently adopted a firm stance opposing misguided government intervention into the electricity market which works against affordable, reliable electricity.

ALEC’s model bill for state legislators, entitled the Electricity Freedom Act, repeals a state’s renewable energy mandate stating:

“…a renewable energy mandate is essentially a tax on consumers of electricity that forces the use of renewable energy sources beyond what would be called for by real market forces and under conditions of real competition in generation resources…”

- See more at: http://www.masterresource.org/2012/11/alec-repeal-state-energy-mandates/#sthash.4Bsxs4aN.dpuf

Another former Japanese Prime Minister turns anti-nuclear

Ex-PM Junichiro Koizumi pushes for a ‘zero nuclear power’ Japan
Aug 28, 2013 John Hofilena

Earlier in August, former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Germany – a nation that has decided to give up on the use of nuclear power – and Finland, which continues to rely on nuclear technology. The 71-year-old former leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has made his opinion known after the trip that he is for the abandonment of nuclear power.

Koizumi has retired from politics, and his seat in the Diet is now held by his son, Shinjiro Koizumi. But he remains an influential personality in Japanese politics, and it is certain that his comments will attract the attention of the country’s media. Koizumi was accompanied on this specific trip by four executives from the nuclear divisions of Toshiba, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – companies that continue to manufacture and export Japan’s nuclear technology. One of these executives reportedly asked the elderly statesman if he agrees to keeping nuclear power in Japan, and also influence others to that position. “If I was back in the Diet in my old job, trying to persuade undecided members on the nuclear power issue, I don’t think I’d have it in me to convince them that Japan needs nuclear power,” Koizumi reportedly replied to the executive. “But after seeing what I’ve seen on this trip, I think I could persuade those members to move toward zero nuclear power. I’m more confident of that all the time,” he added....


Perspective: a graphical comparison of earthquake energy release

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