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Archive | Energy

Rio Bravo Fresno biomass energy plant

Biomass energy plants in California are closing

Biomass energy can’t compete with heavily subsidized solar in California, and that’s a big problem for San Joaquin Valley agriculture and processors, as they increasingly have no way to dispose of plant leftovers. One almond grower is almost out of land to spread ground up shells on. He used to truck 50,000 tons a year […]

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Wendelstein_7_X

Wendelstein 7-X nuclear fusion test successful

After years of construction and €1billion in costs, the Wendelstein 7-X machine in Germany successfully generated plasma, a major first step in creating nuclear fusion reactors, which do not use or create radioactive materials. Up until now, commercial nuclear fusion was not feasible because it required tremendous amounts of electricity to control the plasma. Wendelstein […]

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Swell Actuated Reverse Osmosis System – SAROS

Wave powered desalination

Desalination on a small scale is being testing using a low-cost device powered by ocean waves. It can produce enough water per day to be useful in emergencies or to provide water to small communities, plus it is small and completely self-sufficient. “Small scale desalination for people who really need it,” says a co-developer in […]

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From 32 to 4 since late July. Could easily drop to 2.

SunEdison, huge renewable energy developer, faces bankruptcy

Crushing amounts of debt are pummeling SunEdison, the biggest renewable energy developer in the world. Hedge funds, who used to favor the company, are dumping the stock, accelerating SunEdison’s problems. There is an unfortunate misconception that renewable energy companies are so wonderfully squeaky green clean that they are immune from Wall Street and financial machinations. SunEdison […]

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World Climate Summit. Paris 2015

US says Paris Climate Treaty not legally binding

As is usual before a major climate treaty talk, the US begins to hedge and evade. Oh sure, we talk a great game about being squeaky-green with plentiful renewable energy and lowered carbon emissions. But when it comes time to make an international treaty, well, then the US says it’s not really a treaty thus […]

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Lower Austria Verbund-Hydropower

Largest state in Austria now 100% renewable energy

Lower Austria, the largest state in Austria with 1.65 million people, now gets 100% of its power from renewable sources. The sources of the power may be surprising to some. They are 63% hydropower, 26% wind, 9% biomass, and 2% solar. The Danube River provides most of the renewable energy. Hydropower is still the king […]

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Advanced Rail Energy Storage

Robot train in Nevada will generate energy like a Prius

An innovative system in Nevada for generating energy on demand to stabilize the grid when needed will use the railroad equivalent of pumped hydro, which uses excess renewable energy top pump water uphill into a reservoir, where it is released as needed to power turbines. Similarly, surplus power will be used to send a robot […]

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ice

Cooled liquid energy storage is economically viable

Energy can be stored many ways, the most common being in batteries. Concentrated Solar Power projects store excess heat from the sun in molten salt to power turbines at night. Pumped hydro uses excess energy to pump water uphill into a holding reservoir to be released when needed to turn the turbines. Using cheap power […]

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Crescent Dunes CSP plant, Tonopah

Tonopah NV solar plant generates power at night

The Crescent Dunes Concentrated Solar Power plant 200 miles northwest of Las Vegas in Tonopah is now coming online. Unlike photovoltaic, CSP solar plants can store energy and thus generate power at night. 10,347 tracking mirrors, each about the size of a billboard, reflect the sun’s heat to the Crescent Dunes central tower to heat […]

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