‘Meeting energy needs while being efficient and using environmentally responsible technologies is probably the single greatest change that needs to happen to alter the effects of climate change now. In the United States and the European Union, governments are backing smart grid and renewable energy programs. Undoubtedly, the two technologies go hand-in-hand, but where should we put our efforts and dollars/euros first?’
‘PARIS Reuters – Biofuels could be used to replace jet fuel in less than five years following recent tests by plane-maker Boeing, while the industry says it is putting billions of dollars into improving its environmental impact.’
This literally high tech approach is expensive and potentially politically dangerous. There is plenty of solar energy available for lower cost capture on the ground – is it reasonable to burn a lot of fossil fuels to get solar collectors into orbit so that we can beam additional energy down into an already overheated terrestrial system? Might this accelerate the development of space based military technology?
‘Space-based solar power is back in vogue these days, three decades after the U.S. government started toying with the idea as a way to get steady—if not cheap—power to remote battlefield locations. California utility PG&E just signed a deal with Solaren, another space-solar firm, to provide 200 megawatts of space-based solar power in 2016.’
‘As environmental worries cut into sales from traditionally lucrative bottled water, beverage companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle and SABMiller are becoming more attuned to the risks of negative consumer environmental perceptions.’
BONN, Germany — U.N. climate delegates completed their first rough sketch of a new global warming agreement Friday, a draft replete with gaps and competing ideas that await decisions by political leaders.
‘It’s not your average science fair when the 16-year-old winner manages to solve a global waste crisis. But such was the case at last month’s year’s Canadian Science Fair in Waterloo, Ontario, where Daniel Burd, a high school student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, presented his research on microorganisms that can rapidly biodegrade plastic.’
‘Just how bad has the coal ash situation gotten in the United States? So bad that the Department of Homeland Security has told Sen. Barbara Boxer D-Calif. that her committee can’t publicly disclose the location of coal ash dumps across the country.’
‘As the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill moves forward in the House, Big Ag interest groups are circling their plows and sharpening their pitchforks. Some of the largest corporations in the agribusiness sector—including the GMO-and-herbicide giant Monsanto—are pushing to control how agriculture would fit into the bill’s cap-and-trade scheme.’
Researchers and startups might tout flow or sodium batteries, but caves are going to be tough to beat when it comes to energy storage, says Robert Schainker, a senior technical executive at EPRI.
‘Chalk up another casualty of climate change: Wind speeds in many parts of the U.S. seem to be decreasing, which could make life tougher for the wind industry.’