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Why the Green Economy Is Here to Stay

Why the Green Economy Is Here to Stay thumbnail

In recent decades, global economic development has increasingly been impacted by sustainability considerations. While corporations in previous eras may have polluted rivers, produced smog and run through natural resources with reckless abandon, today – whether catalyzed through government legislation, consumer demand, or a sense of social responsibility – companies are developing and growing their businesses […]


Despite the Hype, Batteries Aren’t the Cheapest Way to Store Energy on the Grid

Alternative Energy

There are many different kinds of energy storage technologies, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Lithium ion batteries are the most popular form of storage at the moment, but according to Roger Dargaville, Deputy Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute, they are not always the cheapest option. Nevertheless, lithium ion will probably be the […]


Michael Lynch: Will Dishonesty Kill Cleantech?

Michael Lynch: Will Dishonesty Kill Cleantech? thumbnail

Public debate having become weighted with bombast and extremism, there is still a potential penalty to be paid for dishonesty.  Many forget the story of the debate on homelessness in the 1980s and the sad end of activist Mitch Snyder, famed for extravagant, often tongue-in-cheek protests.  It was thought by some that the issue of […]


Photovoltaics: cultural rape?

Alternative Energy

Those of you who can read French may be interested in this rant by Nicolas Casaux at http://partage-le.com/…/le-desastre-ecologique-renouvelabl…/ Apparently, the government of New Zealand financed a large PV installation in the Tokelau island, somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The plant is backed up by lead batteries, so it can provide 24/24 power […]


Fact-Checking Snopes On Las Vegas And Renewable Energy

Fact-Checking Snopes On Las Vegas And Renewable Energy thumbnail

When I hear a claim that doesn’t sound quite right to me, I usually check in at Snopes to get the facts. They usually do a good job of debunking fake news, and they provide lots of references to back them up. However, I think they did a huge disservice to readers recently with their […]


Solar Could Beat Coal to Become the Cheapest Power on Earth

Solar Could Beat Coal to Become the Cheapest Power on Earth thumbnail

Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it’s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere. In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the […]


‘Peak Solar’ Hits California

‘Peak Solar’ Hits California thumbnail

Despite the U.S. Congress passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December 2015 to slather another $9.3 billion of taxpayer credits on new solar power added to the electrical grid, California solar installments peaked in 2015 and are now headed south. The extension of the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) through 2021 was quietly tucked into […]


Solar power at 1¢/kWh by 2025 – “The promise of quasi-infinite and free energy is here”

Solar power at 1¢/kWh by 2025 – “The promise of quasi-infinite and free energy is here” thumbnail

Thierry Lepercq, head of research, technology and innovation at the French energy company Engie SA, said in an interview at Bloomberg that he sees a potential for the cost of solar electricity to fall below $10-megawatt hour (1¢/kWh) in the sunniest climates by 2025. Lepercq believes “solar, battery storage, electrical and hydrogen vehicles, and connected devices […]


2016 was the year solar panels finally became cheaper than fossil fuels. Just wait for 2017

2016 was the year solar panels finally became cheaper than fossil fuels. Just wait for 2017 thumbnail

The renewable energy future will arrive when installing a new solar panels is cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas or other options. If you ask the World Economic Forum (WEF), the day has arrived. Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries, […]


Las Vegas just became the largest US city to run on 100% renewable energy

Las Vegas just became the largest US city to run on 100% renewable energy thumbnail

The city of Las Vegas officially achieved a milestone last week, when Boulder Solar 1 — a solar power plant on the edge of Boulder City, Nevada — went live. According to the Huffington Post, the plant’s acres of solar panels will provide 100% of the city’s municipal power, excluding commercial and residential buildings. It’s something Las […]


EROEI estimates show PV to be a fully mature technology

Alternative Energy

“The EROEI of Photo-Voltaics can be whatever you like these days” a friend of mine said once after attending a bio-physical economics conference. It epitomises a growing problem in this field, while the broad concept of net energy or Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) is broadly accepted there is no unified methodology for its […]


EROEI Calculations for Solar PV Are Misleading

Alternative Energy

The Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI) concept is very frequently used in energy studies. In fact, many readers seem to think, “Of course, EROEI is what we should be looking at when comparing different types of energy. What else is important?” Unfortunately, the closer to the discussions of researchers a person gets, the more […]


South Korean Scientists Smash Nuclear Fusion Record

South Korean Scientists Smash Nuclear Fusion Record thumbnail

Physicists in South Korea managed to keep high-performance plasma stable for 70 seconds this week. This gives the Korean Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) reactor the record for the longest ever time sustaining such reaction. [Image Source: Michael Maccagnan/Wikipedia] This superheated plasma holds the key to unlocking nuclear fusion for virtually limitless and reliable energy. […]


Solar Now Produces a Better Energy Return on Investment Than Oil

Alternative Energy

The future is not good for oil, no matter which way you look at it. — Motherboard ***** Solar — it’s not just a clean power source producing zero emissions and almost no local water impact, it’s also now one of the best choices on the basis of how much energy you get back for […]


New EIA Survey Collects Data on Production and Sales of Wood Pellets

New EIA Survey Collects Data on Production and Sales of Wood Pellets thumbnail

Like Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Densified Biomass Fuel Report. Note: Data for February through June are preliminary.   During the first half of 2016, U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 3.3 million tons of wood pellets and sold 3.1 million tons, mostly to foreign markets, according to data from EIA’s newly released Densified Biomass Fuel Report. […]


I Was Wrong About Peak Oil

Alternative Energy

We used to worry about the time when the world would start running out of fossil fuels, defined as Peak Oil. The concept of Peak Oil is when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which production is expected to enter terminal decline causing energy prices to skyrocket. Based on oil demand […]


Solar Power is Community Power

Alternative Energy

Do you think solar panels are only for the affluent and for a small circle of elite environmentalists? Maybe that used to be the case, but not anymore! Community solar is here to turn that image upside down by offering solar benefits to all. First of all, let’s start by considering conventional energy production. Apart […]


State of The Transition, November 2016: Steps forward continue to outnumber steps back

Alternative Energy

The global energy transition remains in a state of net forward momentum as of the end of November. However, evidence that the society is in danger of reaching its eventual target of complete or near-complete energy decarbonisation too late to save the planet from runaway global warming was particularly clear this month. As if we […]


Shell Discovers 500 Billion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in Egypt’s Western Desert

Shell Discovers 500 Billion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in Egypt’s Western Desert thumbnail

New natural gas discoveries were made earlier this month in Egypt’s western desert, announced Royal Dutch Shell plc, commonly known as Shell. The discoveries were made in Alam El-Shawish concession area. Initial estimates indicate that 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas was discovered, with more possible reserves yet to be uncovered, announced the CEO […]


A fusion-focused future

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Dr David Kingham explains why fusion energy is closer than ever before Nuclear fusion is the creative process of the universe. All matter, besides hydrogen and a smattering of helium, was created in the fusion furnaces within stars as small atomic nuclei joined together to make larger ones. This reaction releases huge amounts of energy […]


Reinventing Fire in China

Reinventing Fire in China thumbnail

Amory Lovins’ Rocky Mountain Institute, backed by Chinese institutions and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has published a stunning roadmap for an energy revolution in China. If its ideas are taken up, it could lead to a transformation of the largest energy economy in the world – and serve as a model for other developing nations […]


Are We Entering a Renewable Energy Tipping Point?

Are We Entering a Renewable Energy Tipping Point? thumbnail

Energy, the world’s largest industry, is currently undergoing a revolution. A switch towards renewable energy sources from the traditional fossil fuels we have relied upon to advance industrial and economic growth is underway. Chris Goodall is a writer on new energy technologies. His book, The Switch, focuses on a global transition to an energy system […]


Another failure of scientific peer-review: a wrong paper on the energy return of photovoltaic energy manages to get published

Another failure of scientific peer-review: a wrong paper on the energy return of photovoltaic energy manages to get published thumbnail

Theoretically, whatever is published in a scientific journal should go through a rigorous review process that ensures that it is correct and reliable. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. If you follow the debate on renewable energy, you know how important is the question of the energy return (or EROEI) of the various sources. An […]


Wind Energy Could Supply 20% Of Global Electricity By 2030

Wind Energy Could Supply 20% Of Global Electricity By 2030 thumbnail

The Global Wind Energy Council released its biennial Global Wind Energy Outlook today, outlining scenarios where wind could supply 20% of global electricity by 2030. The report looks at four scenarios exploring the future of the wind industry out to 2020, 2030 and 2050. “Now that the Paris Agreement is coming into force, countries need […]


The mother of all promises and how science failed to maintain it

The mother of all promises and how science failed to maintain it thumbnail

  “Energy too cheap to meter” was the mother of all promises (above, Disney’s atomic genius from 1956).  Unfortunately, science failed utterly to deliver this and many other promises made during the “nuclear age,” and even later. Eventually, people will realize how much hot air there is in the press releases about pretended scientific breakthroughs […]


The great transformation

Alternative Energy

A record deployment of renewables has helped shape the energy supply over the last 15 years A number of emerging technologies, policy initiatives such as the COP21 agreement in Paris last year, the continued increase in demand in China and India, a rise in growth of renewable energies, as well as the growth in unconventional […]


An AWEsome energy source: where do we stand with airborne wind energy?

An AWEsome energy source: where do we stand with airborne wind energy? thumbnail

I have been following the development of airborne wind energy (AWE) for more than 10 years and I keep following it. This summer, I visited the campus of the Technical University of Delft, in Holland, where I met the people of “Enevate”, the university spinoff dedicated to kite power, a field in which the university […]


Corporate America’s Huge Appetite for Clean Energy

Corporate America’s Huge Appetite for Clean Energy thumbnail

An increasing number of corporations are directly buying (or building) their own clean electricity. For decades most Fortune 1000 companies did little more than try to manage costs as they bought electricity and fuel from the existing marketplace. This model of simply relying on the existing marketplace to meet energy needs has, however, suddenly become […]


Could small nuclear fusion reactors provide the clean energy safety net the world needs?

Could small nuclear fusion reactors provide the clean energy safety net the world needs? thumbnail

The old joke suggests nuclear fusion is always 30 years away, but undeterred a British firm is now working to connect a nuclear fusion reactor to the grid by 2030 The idea of nuclear fusion someday providing a cheap and abundant source of clean energy has been around for decades, but has long considered by […]


China’s Continuing Renewable Energy Revolution – Can It Save the World?

Alternative Energy

China has made strategic choices favouring renewables over fossil fuels that are still not widely understood or appreciated, writes John A. Mathews, Professor of Management, Macquarie University, Australia. In this article he gives an overview of the latest trends in Chinese eletric power generation, which shows that the system is still “greening” faster than it is […]


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