Business & Technology

Coal

Dissing coal — and the future of West Virginia

When state leaders react to mild criticism of coal like it's an assault on the dignity of all West Virginians, they're doing more than overreacting: They're cheating the Mountain State out of a clean energy future.

Green Jobs

Why do green jobs pay better than other jobs?

Less-educated workers with green jobs get higher wages than their peers with other low-skill jobs. Could it be because more green jobs are union jobs?

Business & Technology

China to build 50+ nuclear reactors based on unsafe 60's tech, says Wikileaks

"China is currently in the process of building as many as 50 to 60 new nuclear plants by 2020; the vast majority will be the CPR-1000, a copy of 60's era Westinghouse technology that can be built cheaply and quickly …

Business & Technology

Wind power breakthrough: Carbon nanotubes make strongest, lightest blades ever

Bigger wind turbines can harvest more wind energy, but they're also heavier, which makes them less efficient. But a scientist at Case Western Reserve University figures he can solve this fundamental dilemma by throwing carbon nanotubes at it.  

Biofuel

In battle between fuel and food, food is losing worse than ever

Despite the backlash against ethanol in the U.S. and biodiesel in the E.U., global production of biofuels was up 17 percent in 2010. That's 27.7 billion gallons of liquid fuel for the year. (For reference, the U.S. uses 137 billion …

Biofuel

Panda poop could revolutionize biofuels

One down side of biofuels like ethanol is that they rely on easily processed crops that are also staple foods. The more farm space is given over to raising corn, soybeans, and sugar for fuels, the less is available for …

Business & Technology

How the smart grid of the future will prevent power outages for millions

Right now there are millions of people without power thanks to the wind and heavy rainfall that accompanied hurricane Irene, and I'm one of them. It sucks. Having to call the utility company just to let them know that they've …

Business & Technology

How to get paid to save the electrical grid

On the hottest days of the year, it's not uncommon for regional electricity systems to become so overloaded by demand that they come within a hair’s breadth of failing completely. (It happens in Texas all the time.) Fortunately, utilities have …

Business & Technology

Fracking sadface: U.S. has one-fifth the shale gas once projected

"Oops," says the United States Geological Survey, "We used to think the shale on the East coast of the U.S., which gas companies are currently fracking into submission, had a metric buttload of natural gas. Turns out it only 0.2 …