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A new energy order in the offing

Alternative Energy

THE notion that ‘oil demand is approaching the cliff’ is now being formalised. Global energy leaders are beginning to assert oil is past its peak. Not that oil would not be required in the years and decades to come. It would still be in demand but the world would not be critically, crucially, and strategically […]

Building The World’s First Nuclear Fusion Reactor

Building The World’s First Nuclear Fusion Reactor thumbnail

70 years after the first energy was made using nuclear power at an experimental station near Arco, Idaho, nuclear energy remains at the heart of a contentious debate. Nuclear power holds enormous potential as a solution to curbing emissions that contribute to global warming, as splitting atoms to make energy is extremely efficient and produces […]

California Blackouts Show Natural Gas Is Needed For A Stable Grid

Alternative Energy

The California Independent System Operator (CalISO), the entity tasked with managing roughly 80% of the California electricity grid, ordered rolling blackouts last Friday for the first time in 19 years. The finger-pointing began immediately, with various actors blaming renewables, problems at natural gas plants, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and even market manipulators (the […]

Clouds gather over solar panels

Clouds gather over solar panels thumbnail

A recent article by Maddie Stone at warns that in the next decade or three, the world will face a novel but entirely predictable problem:  what to do with millions of square feet of worn-out solar panels.  This problem is especially ironic because solar energy has been sold as one of the most appealing […]

Helium: Fuelling the Future?

Helium: Fuelling the Future? thumbnail

What is Helium? HELIUM, deriving from the Greek word ‘Helios’, Ήλιος’, meaning ‘Sun’, and with the elementary symbol ‘He’ (in the elements periodic table) is a colourless, odourless gaseous element. Helium is considered one of the noble gases; how could it not be? It is the element of the Sun itself! Helium has a peculiar […]

Argonne National Lab Breakthrough Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol

Argonne National Lab Breakthrough Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol thumbnail

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do something useful with excess carbon dioxide other than capture it, compress it, and bury it deep in the bottom of the ocean? Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory may have discovered a way to do precisely that. Image credit: Argonne National Lab According to a press release from […]

Can Renewables Fully Sustain Our Current Way Of Life?

Alternative Energy

“The reason renewables can’t power modern civilization is because they were never meant to. One interesting question is why anybody ever thought they could.” Michael Shellenberger, Time magazine “Hero of the Environment,” wrote this commentary in an article in Forbes. According to Shellenberger, president at Environmental Progress and an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel […]

The end of fossil fuel. Is it here yet?

Alternative Energy

Has peak oil arrived and what are the impact and opportunities for cleantech? Peak oil. It has been a topic of heated conversation for decades. The traditional definition describes it as the theorised point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which it enters into terminal decline. In 1962, […]

Renewable Energy Growth Continues At A Blistering Pace

Alternative Energy

This article is the fifth in a series on the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020. The Review provides a comprehensive picture of supply and demand for major energy sources on a country-level basis. Previous articles covered overall energy consumption, petroleum supply and demand, natural gas, and coal. Today, I want to cover the production and consumption of renewable energy. […]

Assembly of the worlds largest fusion reactor (ITER) begins

Alternative Energy

During the first phase of machine assembly, from March 2020 to December 2024, the ITER Organization will assemble the core machine—the vacuum vessel, cryostat, thermal shields, all superconducing magnets and their feeders—as well as some heating and diagnostics. Watch how it will be done in this video. This video is a July 2020 update of […]

Has the coronavirus killed the oil sands industry?

Alternative Energy

The spectacular collapse in oil prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic has brought the costliest – and most polluting – oil projects such as tar sands to a standstill, a development some analysts say could be definitive. Even though oil prices have partly recovered from the April market crash, they have not returned to pre-crisis […]

Gail Tverberg: Why a Great Reset Based on Green Energy Isn’t Possible

Gail Tverberg: Why a Great Reset Based on Green Energy Isn’t Possible thumbnail

It seems like a reset of an economy should work like a reset of your computer: Turn it off and turn it back on again; most problems should be fixed. However, it doesn’t really work that way. Let’s look at a few of the misunderstandings that lead people to believe that the world economy can […]

World’s 1st Fusion Reactor For Endless Clean Energy

World’s 1st Fusion Reactor For Endless Clean Energy thumbnail

Nuclear fusion is capable of producing “nearly four million times more energy than a chemical reaction such as the burning of coal, oil or gas.”Larsen & Toubro received the contract from the Indian Domestic Agency for the fabrication of ITER cryostat in September 2012India’s engineering major Larsen & Toubro has finished building the world’s largest […]

China Ramps Up New Nuclear Reactor Construction

China Ramps Up New Nuclear Reactor Construction thumbnail

The Reuters wires service reports, based on a news item in the official China Daily, and quoting the China Nuclear Energy Association, that China will build six to eight nuclear reactors a year between 2020 and 2025 and raise total capacity to 70 gigawatts (GW). The China Nuclear Energy Association said the country’s total installed […]

Is the holy grail of energy finally within reach?

Is the holy grail of energy finally within reach? thumbnail

It’s been around for so long that it’s almost gone out of fashion. Nuclear fusion has been and remains the holy grail of energy research and it’s about to take a giant leap forward. In Provence, the world’s largest and most exciting nuclear fusion research facility is finally taking shape. The cost overruns are almost […]

Radiation level increase in northern Europe may ‘indicate damage’ to nuclear power plant in Russia

Alternative Energy

Low levels of radiation spotted in northern Europe may have come from a malfunctioning nuclear power plant in western Russia. Nuclear safety officials from Finland, Norway and Sweden have all announced earlier this week they have detected increased radioactive isotopes across Scandinavia and in some Arctic regions. While the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said on […]

A Star is Born. What’s Happening on the Front Lines of Fusion

A Star is Born. What’s Happening on the Front Lines of Fusion thumbnail

Fusion power, a form of power that is highly efficient, secure and eco-friendly with a virtually inexhaustible supply of fuel, is being eyed as the solution to current major energy and environmental problems. Toshiba shares its vision and how advancement in its fusion technologies is contributing to the realisation of this energy source in the […]

The Biggest Energy Problem In The World

The Biggest Energy Problem In The World thumbnail

A recent U.S. Department of Energy headline reminds us of just how lucky we are: “U.S. customers experienced an average of nearly six hours of power interruptions in 2018.” For perspective, that means we Americans have our electricity interrupted for less than 6 hours of the 8,760 hours in a year. So my wheels got […]

Why are fossil fuels so hard to quit?

Why are fossil fuels so hard to quit? thumbnail

We understand today that humanity’s use of fossil fuels is severely damaging our environment. Fossil fuels cause local pollution where they are produced and used, and their ongoing use is causing lasting harm to the climate of our entire planet. Nonetheless, meaningfully changing our ways has been very difficult. But suddenly, the COVID-19 pandemic brought […]

Fossil Fuels for Decades and Beyond

Alternative Energy

The easy thinking flies smoothly off the keyboard: “Fossil Fuels are Done;” “End of the Oil Era;” “The Inevitable Death of Natural Gas;” “The Demise of King Coal;” On and on, a parade of abstractions unconnected to the empirical world but sounding good, nevertheless. Preying on everyone’s wish for a clean, healthy environment, special interest […]

The Big Boy Fusion Reactor

The Big Boy Fusion Reactor thumbnail

Engineers have installed the first and largest piece of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) fusion project in France. The gigantic assembly begins with this piece, the steel base, which weighs more than 1,200 tons. Meet the Big Boy Nuclear Fusion Is Right Around the Corner ITER has been in the works for 30 years. […]

We Don’t Need an Economic Collapse to Curb Emissions

Alternative Energy

COVID-19 has caused a worldwide economic collapse. Yet some environmentalists are celebrating. As factories remain shuttered and drivers stay off the roads, emissions are falling. Worldwide energy-related carbon emissions will drop as much as 5.4%  this year, according to Goldman Sachs. Many environmentalists can scarcely contain their glee. “This is an opportunity to talk about … […]

Diversified Energy Mix for A Clean Energy Transition

Alternative Energy

The world’s incredible decrease in energy consumption caused by COVID-19, and the unprecedented collapse of the oil and gas markets has some arguing that 2019 was the peak for oil and clean energy will dominate in the years ahead. This and more was unpacked during a renewable energy webinar hosted by the African Energy Chamber […]

Another step toward making nuclear fusion power plants a reality?

Another step toward making nuclear fusion power plants a reality? thumbnail

Nuclear fusion’s energy potential is vast. Scientists believe it could, theoretically, lead to the construction of commercial power plants that would deliver virtually unlimited amounts of energy without leaving a trail of waste behind. But efforts to harness the technology have been exceedingly slow. However, a small step forward has been made by scientists at […]

Energy won’t be the same when this is over

Alternative Energy

With planes grounded, cars parked, factories shuttered and offices dark, the coronavirus has carved a big hole in the energy economy and redirected its future in ways that could hardly have been imagined four months ago. Even once the world picks up again, the basics of the business will reflect the legacy of the 2020 […]

The power of artificial sun: Fusion

The power of artificial sun: Fusion thumbnail

With energy, people live, plants grow, machines move, and the world survives. Sounds familiar? Yes, that is the Sun, the ultimate energy source, the holy grail of all problems. But can we bring it closer and have it here on Earth? The Sun is basically a pressure cooker. It cooks one basic element of our […]

Nuclear power can provide the reliable clean energy essential to our future

Alternative Energy

It has been about two months that most of us have been staying home to help flatten the curve of the COVID 19 pandemic.  While it may seem difficult, we keep telling our kids how lucky we are to have incomes as we work from home to limit our health risk.  There are many who […]

Tesla Energy: Elon Musk’s Next Big Plan

Alternative Energy

The way that you trade energy could soon have a whole lot more star power. Elon Musk is entering the energy trading scene with a new Tesla Energy software asset called Autobidder, which would allow both providers and consumers to exchange their energy capacity. The software is currently being used to run the company’s new […]

The Great Pause Week 7: Coping with a Nuclear Infection

Alternative Energy

“Emergency preparedness plans are already inadequate, but the prospect of a mandatory mass evacuation at a time like this is an impossible choice.“ Back in Week Two, we began warning of the danger of cascades across multiple fault lines, beyond the single threat everyone is now so focused upon. Some people think the giant Asian […]

The Limits of Clean Energy

The Limits of Clean Energy thumbnail

Strong winds blow sand at a wind farm in the Coachella Valley on May 6, 2019 in Palm Springs, California. Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images. The conversation about climate change has been blazing ahead recently. Propelled by the school climate strikes and social movements like Extinction Rebellion, a number of governments have declared […]

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