Tag Archive for fossil fuels

The Cost of Fossil Fuels

The Cost of Fossil FuelsI cannot blame the utility company for looking at renewable energy and the lower profits caused by the availability of cheap fossil fuels. But of course, the cost of fossil fuels is not real.

We still, and I know that I have been on my soapbox about this for some time, provide obscene levels of subsidy to fossil fuels. Thus the price for these fuels is already artificially low.

We will never move forward unless we either:

  1. Take those subsidies away from fossil fuels.
  2. Charge for their true cost in terms of environmental and ecosystem cost.
  3. Provide the same subsidies to alternative power sources at the same level.

Read the full article:
In Britain, a Green Utility Company Sees Winds of Change
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Lacking a Carbon Budget for Emissions

Why can’t we come up with a carbon budget for emissions? The Times article is quite clear even if it does not say so…we lack global leadership at virtually all levels.

emissions-pollution

This is not a knock on our leaders (well maybe a slight one)..just a nod to the reality of politics….

What I find most interesting is the insistence that those countries that are trying to raise their economic standards are sold on the idea that they need centralized power and polluting industries to get there. Some companies (such as Hermann Miller in the US) have shown that they can make high quality products using renewable power.

In another thought, wouldn’t countries be less susceptible to disruptions with a decentralized power system that relies on small scale power generation scaled to the size of a community? Why do we always lend money for the big projects…like power lines and plants…(see the picture of a power line destroyed in the Ukraine)…and weak power distribution cyber security….and limit our investment in decentralized systems that don’t rely on fossil fuels?

Just a thought…

Read the full article:
Paris Climate Talks Avoid Scientists’ Idea of ‘Carbon Budget’
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Renewable Energy

renewable-energy-cubeThe New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has taken a step forward in solving a major concern with regard to renewable energy. Storage = consistency of power. As we move forward in the area of energy storage, we continue to allow for our evolution away from fossil fuels.

The grants are a great step forward.

One thing that we must do with this research, and something on which I see little written, is be certain that we design storage systems with end of life design in mind. Storage and renewable energy will have less meaning if the technologies result in additional pollution or end of life waste.

I hope that the grants are taking this into account.

Read the full article:
State Invests in Backup Storage for Solar Power and Wind Energy Systems

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Germany’s Solar Powered Network survives Solar Eclipse

We have heard renewable naysayers claim that solar and wind are unreliable…that they are not able to provide an even source of power and that the system cannot handle the irregularities of the renewable generating systems. Well, a good test was held in Germany when a solar eclipse resulted in a huge spike and drop in solar power production.

Instead of panicking and shutting off the solar grid (which Italy did to protect its system), Germany applied a thorough engineering solution and guess what; the system did not crash. In fact it worked just fine.

solar-power-plant

Well, I am sure that those who make the most from fossil fuels, or those that simply can’t stand change, will have a new excuse next week for us to remain in the 20th Century.

Read the full article:
German power net survives solar eclipse

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