EPA gets tough, forces all power plants to slash air pollution

Woot! This is good news for all of us, from the NRDC’s report on Toxic Power:

The electric power sector is the largest industrial source of toxic air pollution in the United States 다운로드. Thanks to new standards by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toxic pollution from power plants will decline dramatically over the next several years 다운로드. In fact, some companies have already begun reducing emissions in anticipation of the new standards.

Compared to 2010 levels, the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics standard (MATS) will cut:

  • Mercury pollution from 34 tons to 7 tons, a 79 percent reduction 다운로드.
  • Sulfur dioxide pollution from 5,140,000 tons in 2010 to 1,900,000 tons, a 63 percent reduction.
  • Hydrochloric acid from 106,000 tons to 5,500 tons, a 95 percent reduction 다운로드.

 

Continue reading EPA gets tough, forces all power plants to slash air pollution

Forget about renewables, we are entering the gas age

Andrew Revkin from Dot Earth explores whether China will soon switch to natural gas and the answer appears to be, yes 다운로드.

Reports showed that China — which was once considered gas poor — now has estimated volumes greater than those of the United States (which are, as you know, enormous) 눈물나는 날에는.

 

With the two greatest economies on Earth (U.S., China) embracing natural gas (and Russia supplying Europe with substantial amounts), we appear to be entering a new “gas age” 다운로드.

Again from Revkin’s article:

The gas revolution isn’t all roses 다운로드.  People have legitimate worries about the environmental impacts of fracking—notably on air and water.  There are also some worrying signs that fracking operations might emit lots of greenhouse gases—which, if true, would negate much (perhaps all) of the climate change benefits from a shift to gas 제인도 다운로드.  My read of that literature is that those fears have been overblown and new estimates based on serious measurement will be more reassuring.

 

Only time will tell how this new ‘gas age’ affects the planet 다운로드.

 

Continue reading Forget about renewables, we are entering the gas age

How old are U.S. power plants?

We have an aging fleet of power plants:
  • 51% of all generating capacity is 30+ years old.
  • 73% of all coal plants are 30+ years old
  • 24 out of 25 oldest plants (60+ years) are hydropower
  • Nearly all nuclear plants are 20+ years old

Here is a graphic from EIA with more detail 공무원 이력서. The pie chart shows how much generating capacity comes from each fuel type. The graph shows capacity by year the plant was built.

Notice that hydropower was the first energy source built, the creation of coal plants dominated from 1950 to the mid-80s, and it’s been all natural gas since then 플래시 플레이어 디버거 다운로드.

 

 

But, age may not matter when it comes to operating power plants, from Wiki Answers:
In a nutshell, it is not correct to assign human attributes (e.g., lifetimes) to inanimate objects 다운로드. Consequently, the operating span of a coal fired power plant can be unlimited since any degraded or failed component can be replaced with a new one 다운로드. The decision on whether to make a refurbishment, or to build a new plant, is merely a question of relative economics and investment risk. For example, the cost of a single replacement part is almost always less than the cost of replacing the plant 마틸다 자막. However, in an old plant, there is a risk that many additionally worn parts also will need replacement soon. Plant owners evaluate these tradeoffs each time a major component fails and make the decision whether or not to retire the plant 독재자 다운로드.

American wind power reaches 50-gigawatt milestone

From the AWEA press release:

The 50 gigawatts (GW) online today means that U.S 원광 만세력 다운로드. wind turbines now power the equivalent of nearly 13 million American homes, or as many as in Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Connecticut combined 다운로드. In addition, 50 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity:

  • Represents the generating power of 44 coal-fired power plants, or 11 nuclear power plants 판타지 다운로드.
  • Avoids emitting as much carbon dioxide as taking 14 million cars off the road.
  • Conserves 30 billion gallons of water a year compared to thermal electric generation, since wind energy uses virtually no water 다운로드.

 

To put this into perspective, it is estimated that the United States used 3.9 million gigawatts in 2011 다운로드.

Now back to the good news, projects recently connected to the grid:

  • Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley wind farm, 30 miles east of Ely, Nevada (151.8 megawatts, or MW)
  • Enel Green Power North America’s Rocky Ridge wind farm in Oklahoma (148.8 MW)
  • enXco’s Pacific Wind project in Kern County, California (140 MW)
  • Utah Associated Municipal Power’s Horse Butte project in Idaho (57.6 MW)
  • First Wind’s Kaheawa Wind II wind farm in Hawaii (21 MW)
50,000 megawatts = 50 gigawatts

 

It took us a long time to hit 10 MW in 2006, then much less to hit 25 MW in 2008, and now, in 2012, we are at 50 MW 다운로드. The ramp-up continues all over the country as 39 states now have wind power feeding their grids. There is even good news on the “Made in USA” front with 60% of the sourcing coming from home, compared to 25% in 2005 다운로드.

 

Continue reading American wind power reaches 50-gigawatt milestone

Wind is cheaper than coal? — Fact checking this statement

The other day I heard in passing, “wind is now cheaper than coal.” If true, this symbolizes the holy grail of renewable energy. It would mean that a turning point for not only cleaner energy, but global warming, climate change, pollution, foreign oil dependence, and more 아마존 앱스토어 다운로드.

To fact check this, I pulled up the top 20 results from Google and narrowed them down to the below articles (most were duplicates pointing at these 5 stories) 프린텍 라벨메이커 다운로드.

Not at all definitive but it does give you an idea of the state of the industry. Just keep in mind that the prices may or may not include subsidies or tax breaks, which can drastically change the costs quoted below svn connector.

 

Jul 2012 – In India, wind is cheaper than coal in Indi (w/out subsidies) (Bloomberg Business)

The cost of wind power has dropped below the price of coal-fired energy in parts of India for the first time as improved turbine technology (from GE) and rising fossil-fuel prices boost its competitiveness, Greenko Group Plc (GKO) said 국민 보건 체조.

 

Mar 2012 – In Michigan wind is cheaper than coal (American Wind Energy Assoc 다운로드.)

The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) recently issued a report that finds that electricity generated from renewable energy sources, at an average cost of $91 per megawatt-hour (9.1 cents/kilowatt-hour), is almost one-third cheaper than the cost of electricity from a new coal-fired power plant ($133 per MWh, or 13.3 cents/kWh) 다운로드.

Further, the report notes, “The actual cost of renewable energy contracts submitted to the Commission to date shows a downward pricing trend apr 다운로드.

 

Feb 2012 – In California, prices doubled in the first decade of 21st century, since 2011 are dropping to parity with natural gas (SF Gate)

The price of renewable power contracts signed by California utilities more than doubled from 2003 through 2011 but has now started to plunge…

The cost of buying electricity from a new natural gas power plant…(in 2011) ranged from 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 12 cents per kilowatt hour, depending on the length of the contract…The cost of renewable power from wind and solar facilities averaged between 8 and 9 cents per kilowatt hour 리눅스 ntp.

 

Nov 2011 – Investigation of Bill Clinton’s claim that wind/solar are cheaper than nuclear (Politifact)

  • Conventional Coal – 94.8 (dollars/MWh)
  • Wind – Onshore – 97
  • Nuclear – 113.9
  • Solar – Photovoltaic – 210.7
  • Wind – Offshore – 243.2
  • Solar – Thermal – 311.8

Source: DOE’s Energy Information Administration

 

Nov 2011 – Google retires its initiative RE

It’s not clear here if Google feels this is already won and moving on, or if they have had enough and are quitting 다운로드. One thing is certain, Google invested nearly a billion dollars ($850 million) in renewable energy last year.

This initiative was developed as an effort to drive down the cost of renewable energy, with an RE<C engineering team focused on researching improvements to solar power technology 영어 동화 다운로드. At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level. So we’ve published our results to help others in the field continue to advance the state of power tower technology, and we’ve closed our efforts.

 

Continue reading Wind is cheaper than coal? — Fact checking this statement

Why do experts always lowball clean energy projections?

Last month, Michael Noble of Fresh Energy put up a fascinating list of projections made by energy experts around 2000 or so. Suffice to say, the projections did not fare well 버즈런처. They were badly wrong…

What should we take from this?

The projections weren’t just off, they were way off. You can find similarly poor projections from the ’70s that underestimate the spread of energy efficiency and other demand-side technology solutions (They thought they were going to need hundreds of nuclear plants) Tinyumbrella download. Similarly terrible projections were also common in the early years of cell phones.

What do cell phones, energy efficiency, and renewable energy have in common 무한의 탐정2 다운로드? One, they are dynamic areas of technology development and market competition, which makes straight-line projections pretty useless. And two, they are distributed, with millions of loosely networked people and organizations working on them in parallel 탈옥 유튜브 다운로드. Distributed, human-scale technologies come in small increments. They replicate quickly, so there’s more variation and competitive selection, and thus more evolution 다운로드.

 

Keep reading: Grist – Why do ‘experts’ always lowball clean-energy projections 다운로드?

 

 

Continue reading Why do experts always lowball clean energy projections 다운로드?

Final report issued on San Onofre Nuclear Plant – Edison not to blame, it was a Mitsubishi computer glitch

The final review of the radiation leak at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) has been completed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 다운로드. Among its findings are that Southern California Edison (SCE) responded appropriately to the issue, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a company based in Japan, is to blame 다운로드. They found that Mitsubishi’s “faulty computer modeling” resulted in mismatched components that, after only a year, had worn down significantly 노브레인 mp3.

The good news is that we caught this issue before a catastrophic problem occurred, hinting that the safety protocols from SCE were adequate. The bad news is that we were one computer glitch away from a national disaster 우분투 16.04 이미지 다운로드.

The outcome of all this is uncertain. You can bet that SCE would like to restart SONGS to start making money again, and they can do so by completing the checklist in the NRC report 애프터이펙트 2018 다운로드. They have said publicly this will not be until at least September, probably longer, meanwhile the public is digesting this news and preparing a public hearing from the NRC ssl 인증서.

Many are speculating that since the plant was not needed during the heavy-use summer days, maybe it is not needed at all. But, that ignores the fact that other power plants were operating above capacity to compensate 카카오스토리 멀티 다운로드. Either way something will need to change, whether it’s an acceptance of the restart of SONGS, a new plan to make normal the over-operation of natural gas plants, or some blended model that takes into account the renewable energy sources coming online in the next few years 공학용계산기.

 

More on this…

NRC:

 

Continue reading Final report issued on San Onofre Nuclear Plant – Edison not to blame, it was a Mitsubishi computer glitch

Low-tech ways to make ice cream

다운로드

Here are a few of our favorite alternative ice cream-making apparatuses, ranging from low — to even lower — tech:

 

#1

plastic Ziploc bag inside a larger bag filled with ice and rock salt applies the standard equation — freezing temperature plus agitation for 5 minutes — and wins the prize for the most elegantly simple solution of all 다운로드.

 

 

#2

It doesn’t get more basic than a coffee can filled with an ice cream base that’s placed inside a larger can filled with ice and rock salt 다운로드. Close both cans with plastic lids, shake for 25 minutes and, voilà, ice cream.

 

Continue reading Low-tech ways to make ice cream

It cost just $1.36 to charge an iPad for a year – iPhone $0.38

That coffee you’re drinking while gazing at your iPad? It cost more than all the electricity needed to run those games, emails, videos and news stories for a year 다운로드.

The annual cost to charge an iPad is just $1.36, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, a non-profit research and development group funded by electric utilities 다운로드.

By comparison, a 60-watt compact fluorescent bulb costs $1.61, a desktop PC adds up to $28.21 and a refrigerator runs you $65.72.

…assumed that users would charge up every other day 다운로드.

But there’s an even cheaper way to go than the iPad. EPRI calculated the cost of power needed to fuel an iPhone 4 for year: just 38 cents 다운로드.

 

via Associated Press

 

Continue reading It cost just $1.36 to charge an iPad for a year – iPhone $0.38

Coal power plants are going offline, in favor of Natural Gas plants

“In the past year, coal plants have been facing a perfect storm of falling natural gas prices, a continued trend of high coal prices and weak demand for electricity,” Susan Tierney wrote in the report 인스타그램 mp3 다운로드.

Tierney wrote that those factors have combined to make coal a less desirable fuel source.

Coal-generated electricity has been waning over the past few years, dropping to its lowest level on record in March of this year, according to the U.S 오토 캐드 2014 다운로드. Energy Information Administration.

At the same time, natural gas-powered plants are becoming increasingly popular as the price of the fuel falls to record prices and few emissions emitted by natural gas 다운로드.

According to Doyle Trading Consultants, the trend is expected to continue as more than 41,000 megawatts from coal-fired power plants could be retired by 2020 공인단기. If true, the coal-fired fleet would be cut by 17 percent in eight years.

 

ViaPerfect storm sinking coal-fired generation, report says

Continue reading Coal power plants are going offline, in favor of Natural Gas plants