Category Energy & Environment

Portuguese Renewable Energy Generation Achieves a New Record
Energy & Environment

Portuguese Renewable Energy Generation Achieves a New Record

Serpa solar farm, Portugal Image Source:Wikimedia Commons Hot on the heels of Germany supplying 95 percent of its electricity demand from renewable energy, Portugal has managed to meet all of its electricity needs from solar, wind and hydro-electricity over four consecutive days, running for a total of 107 hours between the morning of Saturday 7th May and early evening on Wednesday May 11th.

Read More

Energy & Environment

Mitigating the Risks of Hydraulic Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing is currently covered in a heat of controversy, surrounded by a battle of politicians and engineers hoping to protect and save America. The natural gas industry has boomed in recent years with the push to make the U.S. energy independent. Through the process of hydraulic fracturing, engineers have devised ways to extract previously inaccessible energy in the earth’s crust.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Floating renewable power projects now appearing in the UK

The new Thames Water floating solar panel array on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir near London Image Source: Lightsource Renewable Energy Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource Renewable Energy are about to unveil the largest floating solar array in the world later this month. The £6 million array is located on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, approximately 20 miles from London, and has been commissioned by Thames Water.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Which is better – Net Metering or Feed-in Tariffs?

Electricity meter Image: Nicholas Blumhardt, Flickr Net metering was first established in the US state of Idaho in 1980 and in Arizona in 1981, although Minnesota is commonly acknowledged as the first state to pass an actual net metering law in 1983. It is now commonplace in certain countries, particularly the USA, but how does net metering fare against Feed-in Tariffs (FiTS) with regard to its effectiveness as an incentive for renewable energy installation?
Read More
Energy & Environment

China Creates Plasma Hotter than the Sun

Scientists and engineers in China have managed to produce a hydrogen gas plasma that is three times hotter than the sun.February 16, 2016Chinese scientists and engineers have managed to produce a hydrogen gas plasma that is three times hotter than the sun. Produced through nuclear fusion, the reaction was sustained for almost two minutes.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Factors in Wind Turbine Gearbox Failure

Wind turbine maintenance can cover a wide variety of activities but one of the major issues concerns repair or replacement of wind turbine gearboxes, which often fail prematurely before they have completed their 20-year lifespan. Some wind projects experience failure rates of up to 50 percent within the space of a few years.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) Systems

SustainX& 39;s (ICAES) energy storage systemSustainXCompressed air energy storage (CAES) uses surplus energy to compress air which is then stored in an underground reservoir. The compression of the air generates heat. The air can be released to a combustor in a gas turbine to generate electricity. The aim of course, along with other forms of energy storage, and other approaches such as smart grids and demand reduction strategies, is to provide a means in which intermittent renewable energy such as solar and wind can take over from fossil fuels.
Read More
Energy & Environment

New projects demonstrate marine energy’s gathering momentum

Pelamis floating wave energy device at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Image Source: Wikipedia Commons Maf Smith, the Deputy Chief Executive of trade association RenewableUK, believes that the global marine energy sector is at last riding a rising tide, although he believes the sector may not be receiving the attention and resources that other emerging industries enjoy.
Read More
Energy & Environment

MIT Creates Solar Towers that Increase Energy Production

March 21, 2016Advances in the efficiency and energy production of solar panels are needed to increase the devices as viable alternative energy sources. A team of engineers at MIT may have just made that breakthrough, creating solar panel towers that can increase energy output by more than 20 times! The out-of-the-box solution was to focus not on making the cells more efficient but rather perfecting the arrangement of the solar panels.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Scotland is Entirely Coal Free for the First Time Ever

March 25, 2016The drive for countries to reduce their dependence on coal power and convert to sustainable green energy has been growing stronger in the past years. Up until recently, Scotland had one operating coal fire plant, the Longannet power station, which picked up the slack from the largely wind farm driven Scottish energy industry.
Read More
Energy & Environment

11 Ways Humans Impact the Environment

We as humans have become dependent on luxuries such as cars, houses, and even our cell phones. But what does our love for manufactured metallic and plastic goods do to the environment? Things like overconsumption, overfishing, deforestation are dramatically impacting our world.Human activity can be directly attributed to the cause of hundreds of extinctions in the last two centuries, versus the millions of years that extinctions naturally occur.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Solar Cells that Could Generate Energy from Rain

Researchers have found that graphene solar cells are capable of generating electrical current through the breakdown of salts in rain.By Robin WhitlockApril 13, 2016Graphene has been the subject of research programs at numerous academic institutions all over the world with regard to benefits for renewable energy, such as those involving Manchester and Abu Dhabi Universities earlier this year.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Green motoring leaps ahead in Norway

By Robin WhitlockApril 20, 2016Nissan LEAF Image Source: Karlis Dambrans, Flickr Norway is currently surprising everyone with a sudden leap in green vehicle use, according to Green Car Reports. Two out of three cars sold in the country last month (60 percent) were either electric cars or plug-in hybrids.
Read More
Energy & Environment

An Exemplary Renewable Energy Mark for Scotland

A wind farm in West Kilbride, Scotland Image Source: Paisley Scotland, Flickr In March this year, Scotland was congratulated by the UN Climate Change Secretary for the country’s exemplary stance on tackling climate change. What are the Scots doing right?The Scottish Climate Change Act, passed in 2009, set binging targets for the country to cut emissions each year until 2020.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Disney World Gets a Mickey Mouse Shaped Solar Farm

By Robin WhitlockApril 27, 2016 The new Mickey-shaped solar farm at Walt Disney World, Epcot, Florida Image:Blog Mickey With the help of Duke Energy and Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) the popular US resort of Walt Disney World has established a solar farm shaped like Mickey Mouse. Representatives from all three organizations were present at an opening ceremony on April 12th this year, when the facility, constructed by Duke Energy Florida, was officially switched on at Epcot, one of four theme parks operated by the company in Bay Lake, Orlando.
Read More
Energy & Environment

German Nuclear Power Plant Infected by Computer Virus

May 01, 2016 Image Source: Felix König According to a report by BBC, a computer virus has infected computers at a German nuclear power plant in Bavaria.The viruses were discovered on computers used in a system that models the movement of nuclear fuel rods. The computers are not connected to the main control of the system.
Read More
Energy & Environment

How Effective Could Willow be for Biomass Energy Generation?

Shrub Willow (Salix) Image Source: Matt Lavin, Flickr Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) has embarked on a remarkable research project involving the use of shrub willow for biomass renewable energy generation.Willow (Salix) is part of the 400-strong Salicaceae family, a water-loving species of plant with lanceolate (‘lance-shaped’) leaves with a bark that was once used as a source of aspirin.
Read More
Energy & Environment

German Renewables Provide 95 Percent of Electricity Demand

Solar PV and wind turbines at the Schneebergerhof wind farm in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany Image Source: Google Images/Wikipedia Commons As reported recently by PV Magazine, German think tank Agora Energiewende announced this week that renewable energy has been responsible for providing 95 percent of the country’s electricity demand, achieving this on Sunday May 8th.
Read More
Energy & Environment

Portuguese Renewable Energy Generation Achieves a New Record

Serpa solar farm, Portugal Image Source:Wikimedia Commons Hot on the heels of Germany supplying 95 percent of its electricity demand from renewable energy, Portugal has managed to meet all of its electricity needs from solar, wind and hydro-electricity over four consecutive days, running for a total of 107 hours between the morning of Saturday 7th May and early evening on Wednesday May 11th.
Read More