This post explores the concept of an end-to-end ‘green’ power, water, and community eco-system based around mega-watt scale power and cooling requirements in a real world environment of limited financial resources and stringent system availability requirements. It suggests that huge power hungry data centers should consider incorporating on-site biomass electricity generation as an integral part of their operations systems.
This post addresses some of the misdirections being propagated by politicians about the rising price of gasoline and points at the actual underlying reasons for these rising prices, clearly illustrating how the global price of crude oil is by far the largest factor in the price of a gallon of gas at the pump and that fuel taxes are a small portion of the overall price. It goes on to make the point that these taxes are also badly needed by a rapidly crumbling national road infrastructure. This is a complex subject; this article provides an important perspective on it.
While other parts of the world are busy actually building national Ultra High Voltage (UHV) transmission infrastructure the US continues to do noting more substantial than litigate. A UHV super grid would be able to move renewable energy from where it is abundant to where people live and work, and do so at an economic cost. This kind of national electric energy infrastructure would enable solar, wind, hydro and geothermal generated electric power to reach market. It is a critical piece of the kind of future energy infrastructure we will need in order to continue to prosper. John goes into a lot of detail and provides numerous links to examples and more in depth reading on this very important subject.
This post takes a look at hydro power potential in the US, which is significant. For example, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has estimated that there is more than 12GW of untapped capacity at existing dams across the US; this is in part due to the fact that only 3% of existing dams generate electricity. Furthermore a 2006 DOE report noted that in every region realistic increases in generation capacity ranged from a minimum of 50% to well over 100%, which represents a lot of potential additional power. Large dams have serious environmental issues, disrupting Salmon runs for example, but a lot more power can be generated from existing dams and from less disruptive run of the river hydro.
The creation of a Green Bank will encourage a long overdue integrated and strategic approach to clean-energy innovation, efficiency, and deployment in the United States. In combination with Senate action on clean energy—legislation that provides incentives for the research, development, and deployment of clean-energy technologies, and a market-based pollution-reduction program that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and reinforces a predictable price signal on carbon—the Green Bank will open credit markets, motivate private business to invest again, and create good, clean-energy jobs here at home.
Dr. Gabriel Alvarez from King Juan Carlos University authored a May 2009 study entitled “Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources” (KJCU Study). Dr. Alvarez has tried repeatedly to correlate the Spanish investment and experience with Renewable Energy technologies (RETs) with that of the U.S. However, even cursory analyses of the Spanish public policies that have been employed over the past decade reveal significant and dramatic differences from the current and proposed domestic (U.S.) approach to RET deployment, and thereby obviate any implied correlation between the negative conclusions of the KJCU Study and the impact of the domestic RET investment. Additionally, included within the KJCU Study are several assumptions with respect to the economics of the U.S. investment inRETs that are fundamentally incorrect.