It’s Not Easy Going Green, Part IV
Remember jatropha? In 2007, Goldman Sachs called it one of the best candidates for future biofuels. Time Magazine touted its promise in an article from January, 2009: Renewable energy, it turns out, does grow on trees. The fruit pods plucked from jatropha trees have seeds that produce clean-burning diesel fuel. But unlike corn and other biofuel sources, the jatropha doesn’t have to compete with food | Read More »
Energy Flow: Sources and Uses
A picture is worth 1,000 words. Or 95 quadrillion BTUs, which is how much energy from all sources the U.S. consumed in 2009. A well-constructed graph can convey so much information. I posted a link to this image on RedHot the other night, but thought it was worth bringing out a few observations. Since energy flow is represented by the width of the various lines, | Read More »
Wind Energy Blows
Wind energy, the crown jewel of President Obama’s green revolution, seems to be encountering a stiff headwind of its own. As we shall see, wind energy is a highly inefficient technology for reliable power generation. The industry which supports it depends entirely on direct tax credits and federally-mandated consumption for its profitability. This week in wind energy news: Wind farms exposed as a threat to | Read More »
Enviros Drive Enviros Bats
At first blush, this story from the Washington Post is pretty funny: a “green energy” firm’s wind farm project in West Virginia is being challenged under the Endangered Species Act by some local tree bat huggers. Tiny bat pits green against green It is the first court challenge to wind power under the Endangered Species Act, lawyers on both sides say. … At the heart | Read More »
What Color Is Your Electricity? Green, Brown(out) or Black(out)?
The Problem: Wind farms located in the Great Plains will be a long distance from where the electricity they generate will be used. Wind energy is not a steady source of generation like coal or natural gas. A wind- and solar-based system will of necessity be located farther from population centers, requiring more power substations and more transmission lines. The tab for the upgrade to | Read More »
Wind Energy: How Con-veeen-ient!
T. Boone Pickens’ wind energy plan calls for blanketing the Great Plains, from the Texas Panhandle to the Dakotas. That’s because that’s where the wind resource is best, right? Wrong! That’s because “nobody lives there”, at least from the perspective of the good folks on the coasts and in the big cities. Putting all those wind turbines in the Plains creates at least two knotty | Read More »