Wind Power

Crazy ideas for next-gen wind turbines

Is there any image that represents a renewable energy future better than a stately white wind turbine turning on a hillside? Well, don't get too used to it! Researchers are coming up with all sorts of crazy ideas to improve on the current turbine model, the Los Angeles Times’ Tiffany Hsu reports. Here’s what future wind turbines will look like:

Critical List: Melting Arctic ice pollutes; wind farm could kill bald eagles

Melting Arctic ice is releasing banned chemicals like DDT, which were trapped there back when they were legal. Post-tornado clean-up in Joplin, Mo. is going slowly. Can water heaters store energy captured by wind turbines and solar panels? A startup called GridMobility thinks so.

Critical List: Operators say the grid can handle the heat; green tech investment down

Grid operators say they're ready to handle the extra load that air conditioners and other cooling devices will put on electricity supplies during the heat wave. Venture capitalists invested less money on green tech projects last quarter; they're hot on "internet-specific" companies. (Think businesses like Twitter or Spotify.) So if you’ve got an internet-specific green startup idea burning a hole in your laptop cover, now may be the time. Apparently it's cool with Republicans if the government interferes with private businesses' decisions, if those decisions would mean being involved in the E.U.'s airline carbon trading program.

Cleantech

Dudefest no more? Women are infiltrating cleantech

Men are running the show at most of the companies pushing renewables, efficiency, clean cars, and the smart grid -- but that's starting to change.

Nuclear power's new marketing strategy: hide behind some windmills

The tagline on this advertisement for German Atomic Forum ("founded in 1959 to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy in Germany") is "CO2 Emissions = Zero."

Wind Power

Koch brothers declare war on offshore wind

The dirty-energy-loving Koch brothers have put out a “cost-benefit analysis” of New Jersey offshore-wind plans that finds lots of costs and not so many benefits.

Critical List: Keystone XL could spill millions of gallons of oil; snails that like being eaten

The current Yellowstone spill involved 42,000 gallons of oil. That’s bad enough. But the Keystone XL pipeline could dump 6.9 million gallons of oil into the river. Republicans want to repeal the incandescent light bulb "ban," but since it's NOT SUCH A BRIGHT IDEA (har har), their bill probably won't pass. Trees can suck up carbon from the atmosphere, delaying disaster for a little while. But so can cities, it turns out. Parks, gardens, abandoned lots, golf courses, sports fields, and river banks suck up more carbon than anyone imagined

Critical List: Australia will tax carbon; U.S. cars kill 32.5 trillion insects each year

This is a carbon tax: Australia is going to put a tax of $23 per metric ton on carbon emissions from 500 companies. Hybrids and electric vehicles may no longer be legally allowed to slink quietly down the street, surprising pedestrians and dogs everywhere. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing a rule requiring that the near-silent cars emit some sort of sound at low speeds. The EPA is not happy with ExxonMobil and the company's plan to clean up the Yellowstone River. I mean, it’s in favor of cleaning up, it just thinks this particular plan stinks.

Will wind power blow the Earth out of orbit?

YES. YES IT WILL.

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