Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

Solar energy, volatility, and the grid

No surprises here, please

The electricity grid doesn't like surprises. Sudden voltage spikes or sags do not a healthy grid make. So proponents of large-scale solar and wind are working to create tools to smooth over volatility issues, so these generating resources can be integrated seamlessly onto the grid. If we're going to be in a position to rely on more solar and wind power and use these to replace significant amounts of power generated from coal, the grid planning and dispatch issues must be addressed. Which brings us to yesterday's announcement by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) that they have received a $100,000 federal …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

A Biospherian weighs in on offsets

Having survived Biosphere, she’s ready to enter the offset debate

A summary overview / intro to offsets by a woman who was one of the Biospherians.

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Hurricane update

They might be coming sooner than you think

From a NASA's Earth Observatory: Hurricanes need two basic ingredients to develop: warm, moist air and a relatively calm atmosphere. Late summer over the Atlantic Ocean provides both things. Ocean waters above about 27 degrees Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) give rise to the warm, moist air that fuels tropical storms, and winds that could tear a storm apart are light during the summer. Typically, the Atlantic is primed for hurricanes by early August, and the height of the hurricane season comes in September, though the official hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. They have a great figure showing …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

FOX News on global warming

Wrong

From here:

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Umbra on wave power

Hello Umbra, I just read a little bit about wave power and was wondering what you think the future potential is for this clean and never-ending energy source? Peter Blomquist Orlando, Fla. Dearest Peter, Wow. I'm a sucker for anything with a good name, like "LIMPET." There are fun technologies under development to harness the might of the sea as it swells up from the briny deep. Crest easy. Photo: iStockphoto Wind hits the surface of the ocean and makes tiny ripples that over distance and time become waves. As contrasted with the tidal technologies we discussed last week, which …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Pick your poison

Ranking oil companies from evil to even more evil

Get pumped: Sierra has updated its guide to choosing the least-evil gas stations. And they've condensed it to fit in a handy travel-sized package: a rearview-mirror air freshener, which could not be more appropriate considering how gassy Americans are. (We consume some 400 million gallons of crudeness a day!) Below, the top eight oil companies ranked from evil to even more evil: Top of the Barrel BP Sunoco Middle of the Barrel Royal Dutch Shell Chevron Valero Energy Corporation Citgo Bottom of the Barrel ExxonMobil ConocoPhillips

Comments

For peat's sake, stop the palm oil madness

It’s not a ‘sustainable’ biofuel

So Europeans are buying Indonesian palm oil as a "sustainable" biofuel, but it isn't sustainable, as we've noted before. The tragedy continues: Palm oil companies are burning peat forests to clear land for plantations in Indonesia's Riau province, despite government pledges to end forest fires ... Blazes have started flaring again since the end of June with the start of the dry season. How a big deal is this? As The New York Times put it earlier this year, "Considering these emissions, Indonesia had quickly become the world's third-leading producer of carbon emissions that scientists believe are responsible for global …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Hansen on 'fossil fuel subsidies'

They should be gradually eliminated

Even more from NASA's climate guru: Given the damage that fossil fuels cause to the climate, human health, wildlife, forests, lakes, ocean fish, etc., you may think that we place a very high tax on fossil fuels, right? Umm, well, not exactly. On the contrary, our government, egged on by special interests, chooses to subsidize them, or, more accurately, they volunteer you to subsidize fossil fuels. ... Being from Iowa, I point out an example on the farms, pointed out to me by Bruce Johansen, who found it in an article by Steve Mufson. Franklin Roosevelt granted subsidies for coal-fired …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

The snowman

More on the dumbest video from the YouTube debate

The Wall Street Journal brings you more than you ever wanted to know about that stupid snowman who asked the question about global warming in the Democratic debate. Kill me.

Comments

An interview with John Edwards about his presidential platform on energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Update: John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 30, 2008. John Edwards. Photo: Rachel Feierman John Edwards has gone to great lengths to outshine the top Democratic candidates with an aggressive environmental platform. On the 2008 campaign trail, this blue-collar defender has painted himself as a bleeding-heart greenie. The first candidate to call for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 and the first to make his campaign carbon neutral, Edwards has had a pied-piper effect on the …