I just came across an interesting item describing the three most common types of coolant for solar hot water systems and some of their properties. The article seems to be written by the manufacturer so there may be a bit of bias, but it does highlight the issues inherent in coolant selection. It is short and easy to read.
While numbers can lie, these look pretty compelling to me. My question is, why are we still arguing with the deniers. Let’s just write them off as an unfortunate failure of our school systems and start working with the well informed on the solutions. Think globally and act locally is a good place to start. Let’s get the kids involved, and not as canon fodder, but as leaders. They are smarter than us and they have a lot more at stake.
I follow the folks that write Japan Safety: Nuclear Energy Updates and they just posted an article from the Japan Times where they look at the current government’s plans for energy sustainability over the next few decades. The picture is disturbing in light of the disaster at Fukushima in 2011.
Nuclear energy is carbon neutral, but it brings so many other long-term risks into the picture that it should not be considered as a sustainable energy source. At Fukushima, they are having to store huge amounts of contaminated water on a site that was completely inundated with ocean water in 2011.
Read the article here.
Interesting piece, and it now has a great link to the OECD report that the statistics come from.
Sweden has shown a longstanding commitment to the environment, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and nitrogen leaching.
Renewables supply more than a third of its energy needs. Sweden has set itself tough targets for the future, however, and must continue to innovate if it is to meet them, according to a new OECD report.
Sweden is one of the few countries to have successfully used taxes to reduce environmental damage. Strong environmental record, that has encouraged eco-innovation and spurred the use of green technologies.
“Sweden is a frontrunner in using market instruments like green taxes to discourage environmentally harmful activities and foster new technologies,” said OECD Environment Director Simon Upton, presenting the Review’s main findings in Stockholm.
I always look at MIT’s stuff whenever the world gets me down and I feel like giving up. There is so much innovation and enthusiasm there that my hope gets restored. Thanks MIT!
This is another example of excellent innovation from MIT and Harvard. This one is for energy storage and it is quite similar to one I just recently posted on the “bionic leaf”. With better solar energy conversion and more efficient energy storage the idea of moving away from fossil fuels and nuclear power begins to look possible.
A molecular approach to solar power
Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining.
David L. Chandler | MIT News Office
April 13, 2014
It’s an obvious truism, but one that may soon be outdated: The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine.
Now a team at MIT and Harvard University has come up with an ingenious workaround — a material that can absorb the sun’s heat and store that energy in chemical form, ready to be released again on demand.
This solution is no solar-energy panacea: While it could produce electricity, it would be inefficient at doing so. But for applications where heat is the desired output — whether for heating buildings, cooking, or powering heat-based industrial processes — this could…
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John [jpratt27] has published an excellent summary of a new plan to develop a new solar-powered greenhouse in South Australia. This plant will not only produce fresh vegetables but will also be used to desalinate water in a very arid region. A few more details are needed about how the resulting salts will be dealt with, but the project looks very hopeful.
“GeoHarvey” has posted a lot of excellence and hopeful stories here. It’s nice to hear some good news for a change.
Science and Technology:
¶ A number of studies investigating the effect of wind turbines on birds have found that the actual impact wind turbines have on avians is relatively low. However, according to this new research, published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research, wind turbines’ effects on bats cannot be ignored. [CleanTechnica]
¶ Israeli alternative energy company Brenmiller Energy has solved one of the biggest issues with solar technology: how to generate electricity when the sun sets. The company says it will build a 10-MW solar facility that will generate electricity 20 hours per day through a proprietary energy storage technology. [Inhabitat]
¶ In Geneva, Switzerland just three weeks after the US Senate’s 98-1 vote that climate change is not a hoax, the first round of the 2015 United Nations talks among 194 nations produced the first-ever universally agreed negotiating text on how…
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The site at the link below (“A ‘bionic leaf’ …”) presents a really interesting idea on how to store energy from the sun and at the same time act as a temporary carbon sink by absorbing CO2 for creation of the chemicals. I will be looking forward to seeing how this plays out when they try to scale it up to household, community and industrial sizes.
Sorry about the original posting…I posted the comment on the article from my smart phone and it “corrected” my spelling to make my comment unintelligible. Here is what I meant to say.
It is sad that, because of ill informed or ill intentioned climate change deniers, we are just now getting around to acknowledging formally that human activities are implemented in the changes to the global climate. The need to be “balanced” means that we have spent an inordinate amount of time defending the proven and discussing the ridiculous. It is not time to move on to finding a solution to the problems.
But, better late than never.
The Australian Academy of Science says man-made climate change is real and the consequences will be dire if no action is taken to address it.
The academy, in an update to its science of climate change booklet produced in 2010, says its authoritative account of the science behind global warming will help counter confusion and misinformation.
The update is written and reviewed by 17 of Australia’s leading experts in a range of climate-related sciences.
Earth’s climate has changed over the past century. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, sea levels have risen, and glaciers and ice sheets have decreased in size.
The best available evidence, the scientists say, indicates that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the main cause.
Elon Musk’s electricity empire could mean a new type of power grid
About 60 paddlers and environmentalists got together yesterday to see renowned paddler, raconteur, and author Max Finkelstein speak about his latest adventure paddling the Big Muddy (Mississippi) with the American adventurers that rowed across the Atlantic.
Max was at his casual best, evoking