This post looks at some of the financing and perception challenges that the renewable energy sectors need to meet in order to compete with the much better organized and currently profitable fossil energy sectors. The author would like to see a greater focus in the renewable sector on the specific needs of the companies in the industry and makes the argument that companies in the renewable sector need to do a better job in how they present their case if they want to compete with the red hot oil & gas sectors with investors.
indoor marijuana weed cannibisThe yearly greenhouse-gas pollution of the $40 billion per year marijuana industry is responsible for about 3% of all electricity use or 8% of household use. Indoor growers use high-intensity lights that are 500 times more powerful that a standard reading lamp. They also use several other high energy industrial practices. The closest comparison for these massive, industrial-style grow facilities are data centers, which consume about two percent of the nation’s electric power.
In a troubling development for proponents of geologic carbon sequestration a Saskatchewan farmer has just made public an independent study that links high levels of CO2 found in their farm’s soil to the thousands of tons of CO2 that is currently being pumped into deep oil bearing deposits under their land by Canadian Energy giant Cenovus.
The Cancun conference is being credited with keeping international climate talks alive. But the real potential for bringing emissions under control may lie in a Plan B, with nations acting on their own in moving toward a low-carbon economy.
What is the meaning and importance of embodied energy as a measure of sustainability and why we need to develop widely accepted standards for embodied energy? This article explores this somewhat arcane concept that seeks to measure how much energy is “embodied” in a product or service; in other words how much energy is used throughout the entire life cycle of the thing being measured including the energy required by decommissioning, disassembly and deconstruction.
cop 16 supply chainCountries need to take ownership of their entire life-cycle emissions and when such agreements are based on data that attributes emissions fairly. But companies are not waiting around for any unlikely agreement that may come out of COP 16. Many are starting to see a sustainable supply chain as a way to not only cut costs, but also create new products that are less impacting to the environment and expand in developing-world markets that are likely to be hit hard by global warming.
The disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has reopened the debate over the direction the United States’ energy future is headed. Now more than any other time in history, citizens are beginning to understand the necessity to evolve past our love affair with oil. An economy that is dependent on a non-renewable, quickly fleeting resource can only move towards instability if alternative fuels are not found. The Congressional Budget Office is beginning to analyze how energy policies and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will affect employment in an economy that is trying to pull itself out of a recession. Democrats are pushing for a comprehensive energy bill that will enhance the production of clean energy technologies, put a price on emitting carbon, reduce greenhouse gases by a significant amount over the next 20 years, and influence entry into a range of new renewable energy industries. Senators John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman are due to present their energy bill in the Senate next week. This bill, The American Power Act will be hard-pressed for passage without strong republican backing. The loss of republican Senator Lindsay Graham as a cosponsor of this bill is devastating. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, “the oil spill showed drilling alone would not solve U.S. energy problems and that higher summer fuel prices will heighten consumers’ views that the country must move more aggressively into alternatives.” (Cowan & Gardner, 2010) If the country decides to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this will have many significant implications for employment in our country.
The drive to extract and store CO2 from coal-fired power plants is gaining momentum, with the Obama administration backing the technology and the world’s first capture and sequestration project now operating in the U.S. Two questions loom: Will carbon capture and storage be affordable? And will it be safe? by David Biello, Editor of Scientific […]
The debate surrounding global climate change has been a very hot button issue for the past few years. In most cases the average person doesn’t know enough about the science behind this issue to make an informed decision. The fact is that climate change will become a major issue within the next two decades and will have a host of environmental as well as economic impacts in the United States. Climate change will play a major role in the way our economy functions as well as the way our legislators make decisions.