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The route to commercial fusion electricity by 2030

The route to commercial fusion electricity by 2030 thumbnail

Tokamak Energy’s contribution to putting fusion power into the grid by 2030: the ST40 prototype of a compact fusion reactor The world is facing a deep decarbonisation challenge, and major organisations such as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and the newly-announced Breakthrough Energy Ventures are seeking bold new technologies, like fusion, as the solution. Decarbonising all […]

Tidal Lagoon Energy in Wales

Tidal Lagoon Energy in Wales thumbnail

The report of an independent review of UK tidal lagoon energy was published on 12 January 2017 by a former UK energy Minister Charles Hendry. The report praises the proposed ‘pathfinder’ tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay as a ‘no-regrets option’, and sets out a supportive case for developing the sector. The Hendry Review was commissioned […]

Is Fusion Energy in Our Future?

Is Fusion Energy in Our Future? thumbnail

John Holdren has heard the old joke a million times: fusion energy is 30 years away—and always will be. Despite the broken promises, Holdren, who early in his career worked as a physicist on fusion power, believes passionately that fusion research has been worth the billions spent over the past few decades—and that the work […]

Do You Hear That? It’s the Fat Lady, Singing: Nuclear Revival Ends Almost Before It Starts

Alternative Energy

Five years ago almost to the day (Feb. 9, 2012, actually), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 to issue a construction and operating license to Southern Company for the 2,234 megawatt Vogtle 3&4 project—the first of the new generation of reactors that was touted as the beginning of the industry’s long climb back from 30 […]

The Orphaned Solution

Alternative Energy

“By combining compost with biochar, or feeding biochar to those herds of migrating herbivores, the story could become one of negative emissions — net sequestration — almost immediately, continuing indefinitely. “ Let’s summarize: so here we stand. The ocean is going out, the fish are flopping in the sand. Do we stay and scoop them […]

The World Could Reach Peak Coal And Oil In Three Years, Thanks To Cheap Renewables

Alternative Energy

The world could reach peak oil and coal in as little as three years—not because either is close to running out, but because of the falling cost of solar power and electric cars and stronger climate policy. A new report from the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative analyzed how […]

Renewable Lies And The Deception Of Dutch Commuters

Alternative Energy

It’s been a while since the Automatic Earth featured an article from Energy Matters, the site run by our longtime friend Euan Mearns, Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Aberdeen, and his co-conspirator Roger Andrews, a British engineer/geophysicist, semi-retired in Mexico. But I read a piece by Roger yesterday that I like, because it […]

More Bad News For Coal, Another Rosy Report For Clean Energy

More Bad News For Coal, Another Rosy Report For Clean Energy thumbnail

Imperial College London has more bad news for coal and oil, too. The school’s Grantham Institute has paired with the Carbon Tracker Initiative to crunch the numbers, and the results ain’t pretty. The researchers are basically accusing fossil energy companies of using alternative facts to project relatively slow growth in the clean energy sector. The […]

An unconventional approach to fusion

An unconventional approach to fusion thumbnail

There’s no easy road to fusion. Whether one travels the large route forged by six decades of research on hundreds of machines, or whether one tries to open a way through uncharted and exotic territory, difficulties abound and challenges loom large.   General Fusion’s approach is quite exotic: no vacuum vessel in their planned fusion […]

Coal and oil demand ‘could peak in 2020’

Coal and oil demand ‘could peak in 2020’ thumbnail

Solar power and electric vehicles will wreak havoc on the energy sector, say analysts from Carbon Tracker and Grantham Institute, in contrast to rosy industry forecasts Spain’s Gemasolar power plant spied from the historic Solar Impulse round-the-world flight in July (Pic: Solar Impulse) By Megan Darby Fossil fuel giants are vastly underestimating the disruptive power of […]

The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” Delusion

Alternative Energy

by Gail Tverberg The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” story is based on a long list of misunderstandings and apples to oranges comparisons. Somehow, people seem to believe that our economy of 7.5 billion people can get along with a very short list of energy supplies. This short list will not include fossil fuels. […]

Another Defeat for Science: “Metallic Hydrogen”

Alternative Energy

  This blob is supposed to be “metallic hydrogen” according to the claim of a group of Harvard scientists. Maybe. For sure, it is another disaster for the reputation of science and of scientists. Another day, another disaster for Science. A group of researchers from Harvard claimed of having obtained for the first time “metallic […]

Former ITER Spokesman Confirms Accuracy of New Energy Times Story

Former ITER Spokesman Confirms Accuracy of New Energy Times Story thumbnail

From the ITER Web site: “At nightfall, when buildings, work areas, roads and parking lots light up, the ITER site looks like an alien spaceport. Drenched in the yellow glow of sodium lights, with its cranes reaching for the sky, the Tokamak Complex is like a launch pad minutes before a shuttle’s departure; towering above, […]

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…/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 […]

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