Fuel cells have the potential to dramatically change how the military carries out its missions, and how soldiers operate in the field. With the largest, most technologically advanced military in the world, the U.S. armed services use an immense amount of fuel and electricity, and any use of alternative energy would have positive effects on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, fuel cells are of particular interest to the military not for their environmental savings, but because of unique technical features that can aid soldiers in the field.
Not all the alternative generation of energy is really taken into account because numerous small-scale projects are inevitably overlooked. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) does make available figures on the economy, crude oil prices, and alternative resources to the best of their data collecting ability. This information is almost constantly revised as more data is available but the changes and revisions are not especially dramatic. The change in energy consumption and sources of energy is an evolutionary process and not a revolutionary process.
As a recognized solar industry pioneer, Gary is 2008 and 2009 President of CALSEIA - the California Solar Energy Association - and a board member of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility and Build It Green - using his three decades of knowledge to grow the solar industry for all companies.
This article deals with the present energy mix and tries to discover how the future energy mix should look in order to be sustainable and significantly reduce environmental impact, for example reduced CO2 emissions. It should be less dependent on the fossil fuels, have increased reliability, have fuel cost with reduced price fluctuations and be able to successfully meet the future demand for energy that just gets larger and larger as world energy requirements increase with the new lifestyle choices.
The US has installed over 25 gigawatts of wind, and thanks to hodge-podge of policy incentives, research and development, and private investment wind has become the poster-child of renewable energy and at the utility-scale has achieved grid-parity with conventional fossil-fuel energy. However not a single kilowatt of offshore wind has been developed, despite it being a stronger and more consistent energy source than its counterpart on land, closer to large populations where the energy is needed, and already proven commercial technology.
"Buildings like trees, cities like forests." When Michael McDonough, author and sustainability architect, suggested this be the new paradigm for the future, he was referring to the creation of buildings and communities that are self-sufficient. He also reminds us that "waste is a human phenomenon", so the concept of recycling and efficiency is central to the attainment of environmental stewardship. Through integration, energy management, efficiency techniques and technologies it is now possible to create buildings that are 'greener' and more ecologically synergistic than ever before.
Here is a short summary of some of the hot stories reported on in the last month or so.
Wind power development doesn't deal with a single industry. There are steel workers, engineers, precision manufactures, boat builders, construction crews, composite technologies, and marine technologies. The Maine Wind Industry Initiative brings these partners under one roof, so that they can network and solve problems working together.
As the PV business continues to grow, new backsheet constructions are continually being introduced. But the products we use in our efforts to be more sustainable have a bigger footprint than we think. Currently, there are at least ten commercial manufacturers of traditional PV backsheets, with traditional products in the development stage. Traditional backsheets, the protective covering on solar cells, are produced mainly from polyester and Tedlar films. Polyester is made from petroleum and Tedlar is solvent-cast using DMAC, a highly toxic industrial solvent. Both of these products defeat the purpose of clean, green energy, and as the demand for solar energy increases, so does this issue.
Each wind generator, each solar farm absolutely requires a stable grid to feed into and are not and can not be prime power sources. Meters record the amps passing thru the transformers which connect the wind units to the grid, but very little real power goes very far (see notes on AC power). They are simply dispersed, independent power producers which cannot supply any load without the base loading power of coal or natural gas. In truth, not one ounce of coal, programmed to be burned in a coal fired power system has ever been offset by the introduction of wind or solar power into the grid.
AWEA has created their first Small & Community Wind Conference & Exhibition to bring together industry leaders, new entrants, project developers, economic development groups, municipalities, land owners and other allied organizations to formulate and enact growth strategies for small and mid-sized wind applications. Focusing on important topics such as national renewable energy legislation, technology costs, zoning requirements, utility interconnection, tax revenues and investment opportunities, this conference offers valuable information on how best to capitalize on wind technology.
Watteco, a System on Chip (SoC) manufacturer has developed a unique Power Line Communication solution for the Smart Energy Command & Control Market (Home Control and Street Lighting). This technology meets today the future market requirements in term of Low Power, Small Size and Low Bill of Material.
With over three decades of experience, Jack Ristau has been a driving force in developing, constructing, and operating municipal infrastructure facilities, including solid waste management and energy recovery projects, in the United States and overseas. Since joining Wheelabrator in 1984, he has developed many notable resource recovery business activities as well as directed several projects in the Far East, Mexico, Turkey, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Barbados. Currently, Ristau is director of business development and manages waste-to-energy project opportunities in the United States and Canada, supervising proposal development and customer contract negotiations. Prior to joining Wheelabrator, Ristau held project management positions at MITRE Corporation, Hayden, Harding and Buschanan Engineers, Inc., and Metcalf and Eddy, Inc. Ristau holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Penn State and a Masters of Science degree in Industrial Management from Northeastern University.
Biomass wastes can be transformed into clean energy and/or fuels by a variety of technologies, ranging from conventional combustion process to state-of-the art thermal depolymerization technology. Besides recovery of substantial energy, these technologies can lead to a substantial reduction in the overall waste quantities requiring final disposal, which can be better managed for safe disposal in a controlled manner while meeting the pollution control standards.
In December 2008, the 84-acre coal ash surface impoundment at the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Kingston coal-fired power plant failed and released over a billion gallons of coal combustion waste. It's estimated that this release could ultimately cost a billion dollars to remediate because 300+ acres were covered by the flood of coal ash slurry. At question is does the U.S. need more traditional coal-fired power plants and what to do with the ash slurry mess?
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