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76 Days, No Fossil Fuels: Costa Rica Has Been Running on Renewables for Over Two Months
"Largely due to its small size, Costa Rica has manage to run for two months relying solely on various sources of renewable energy. This success, though, isn't just due to the country's size. The government isn't at all lacking when it comes to serious effort in eliminating the use of fossil fuels."
climate-change  environment  energy  country(CostaRica) 
december 2016 by tsuomela
U.S. Energy Data
Very well-done energy flow graph showing where US energy is produced and how it is used.
energy  environment  information  visualization 
november 2016 by tsuomela
Electric Forecast Calls for Increasing Blackouts -
Two scary things stand out about America’s failure to shore up its grid over the last 15 years. The first is that the grid’s frailties are getting worse as our weather is getting weirder. The second is that the U.S.’s inability to sort out the right mix of public and private investment and get on with the process of building the grid we need reflects that we no longer quite believe in the common good. It’s not just a power failure, it’s also an optimism failure.
electric-grid  electricity  energy  infrastructure  america  decline  declension-narrative  environment  climate-change  global-warming 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Read This: Powering the Dream - Boing Boing
"Energy isn't just what it is. Energy is what we have decided we want it to be. Sometimes, that fact leads us to make good decisions. Sometimes, it leads us into horrible mistakes. More often, we get a little of both at the same time. But we can't plan out the future of energy without taking a good, hard look how our beliefs and cultural ideas have created its past. We have to come to terms with the fact that our decisions about energy aren't guided by pure economics or pure science, and never have been. If we ignore that, then we're doomed to keep making sloppy choices, or become frozen in a standoff of ideologies disguised as fact—and neither is something we can afford to do right now.

Human society—American society—is reflected in the infrastructures it builds, Madrigal writes. Powering the Dream is a book that makes that fact abundantly clear. "
book  review  energy  technology  ideology  ideas  infrastructure 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Paying Too Much for Energy? The True Costs of Our Energy Choices  »  Papers  »  The Hamilton Project
Energy consumption is critical to economic growth and quality of life. America’s energy system, however, is malfunctioning. The status quo is characterized by a tilted playing field, where energy choices are based on the visible costs that appear on utility bills and at gas pumps. This system masks the “external” costs arising from those energy choices, including shorter lives, higher health care expenses, a changing climate, and weakened national security. As a result, we pay unnecessarily high costs for energy. New “rules of the road” could level the energy playing field. Drawing from our work for The Hamilton Project, this paper offers four principles for reforming U.S. energy policies in order to increase Americans’ well-being.
energy  environment  cost  economics 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Oil, Cognitive Dissonance, and American Politics » Sociological Images
"In the TED video below, Lisa Margonelli of the New America Foundation Energy Policy Initiative gives a fascinating 17-minute talk on the political psychology and the political economy of oil… and how the former distracts us from the latter."
oil  energy  psychology  design  politics 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Looking ahead: scenarios - About Shell
"Shell uses scenarios to explore the future. Our scenarios are not mechanical forecasts. They recognise that people hold beliefs and make choices that can lead down different paths. They reveal different possible futures that are plausible and challenge people’s assumptions."
futurism  future  scenario-planning  scenario  business  energy  environment 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Chernobyl | The New York Academy of Sciences
"This is a collection of papers translated from the Russian with some revised and updated contributions. Written by leading authorities from Eastern Europe, the volume outlines the history of the health and environmental consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. According to the authors, official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations' agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments. "
nuclear  power  energy  environment  risk  accidents  disaster  country(Russia) 
march 2011 by tsuomela
How Josef Oehmen's advice on Fukushima went viral - opinion - 21 March 2011 - New Scientist
"On 13 March, an essay entitled "Why I am not worried about Japan's nuclear reactors" appeared on a new and unknown blog. Within hours the post had gone viral – a testament to the power of hyperlinking and social media."
information  diffusion  rumor  country(Japan)  nuclear  energy  risk  disaster  crisis  viral 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way with thorium - Telegraph
"A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium. "
country(China)  country(Japan)  nuclear  energy  risk  safety  disaster  crisis  environment  technology  america  fear 
march 2011 by tsuomela
How to get to 100 percent renewables globally by 2050 | Grist
News post on an optimistic report on changing world energy supplies. We just need to divert 3% of world GDP to efficiency, renewables, and infrastructure. Whew!
energy  environment  infrastructure  reform  change  climate  global-warming  electric-grid  electricity  model  future  growth  optimism  efficiency 
march 2011 by tsuomela
ClubOrlov: Video Interview: The Nation
" Dmitry Orlov, engineer and author, warns that the US's reliance on diminishing fuel supplies might be sending it down the same path the Soviet Union took before it collapsed.

In this fifth video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, Orlov, who was an eyewitness to the collapse of the Soviet Union, asserts that as oil becomes more expensive and scarcer, the US will no longer be able to finance its oil addiction and the economy will hit a wall."
america  future  energy  resources  environment  oil 
march 2011 by tsuomela
From Hiroshima to Fukushima | The Nation
"The problem is not that another backup generator is needed, or that the safety rules aren’t tight enough, or that the pit for the nuclear waste is in the wrong geological location, or that controls on proliferation are lax. It is that a stumbling, imperfect, probably imperfectable creature like ourselves is unfit to wield the stellar fire released by the split or fused atom. When nature strikes, why should humankind compound the trouble? The earth is provided with enough primordial forces of destruction without our help in introducing more. We should leave those to Mother Nature."
country(Japan)  disaster  nuclear  energy  environment  commentary 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Japan, the Persian Gulf and Energy | STRATFOR
"It is not the loss of the reactors that will shake Japan the most but the loss of the certainty that the reactors were their path to some degree of safety, along with the added burden on the economy. The question is how the political system will respond. In dealing with the Persian Gulf, will Japan continue to follow the American lead or will it decide to take a greater degree of control and follow its own path? The likelihood is that a shaken self-confidence will make Japan more cautious and even more vulnerable. But it is interesting to look at Japanese history and realize that sometimes, and not always predictably, Japan takes insecurity as a goad to self-assertion."
political-science  country(Japan)  disaster  geopolitics  foreign-affairs  energy  nuclear  confidence 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Japan's nuclear crisis and the 2011 earthquake tsunami: Let's cool the political meltdown. - By William Saletan - Slate Magazine
That's how we deal with tragedies in the oil business. Accidents happen. People die. Pollution spreads. We don't abandon oil. We study what went wrong, try to fix it, and move on.
Contrast this with the panic over Japan's reactors. For 40 years, they've quietly done their work. Three days ago, they were hit almost simultaneously by Japan's worst earthquake and one of its worst tsunamis. Not one reactor container has failed.
nuclear  power  energy  risk  country(Japan) 
march 2011 by tsuomela
All Things Nuclear
All Things Nuclear is the blog of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. We’ll cover nuclear weapons, fissile materials, arms control, missile defense, space weapons, reprocessing, China and security, nuclear power, and a few other things for good measure, all in the context of science, security, and policy.
weblog-organization  nuclear  power  energy  environment 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Guest Blog: Beware the fear of Nuclear....FEAR!
"It is frightening to watch what’s going on with Japan’s nuclear plant at Fukushima. It is also worrying to watch the fear racing around the world as a result of those events, fear that in some cases is far in excess of what’s going on, or even the worst case scenarios of what might happen."
nuclear  energy  power  country(Japan)  disaster  earthquake 
march 2011 by tsuomela
The Oil Drum | Applying Time to Energy Analysis
"Is a BTU today worth more or less than a BTU ten years from now? It's seemingly an easy question. A BTU will heat one pound of water one degree whether its 2010, 2020, or 2100. And, in a world of entropy where the easiest and best quality energy sources (generally) get used up first, one unit of energy should increase in value over time, as its ability to accomplish work becomes more valuable to society as time progresses. However this is solely a physical perspective, one that ignores biology of time preference. Once humans with finite lifespans and cultures with sunk costs enter the picture, a BTU today, behaviorally, becomes worth more than one in the future. This fact has pretty big implications for biophysical analysis of energy alternatives, which will be explored below."
energy  economics  time-preferences  time  behavior  environment 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Dana Blankenhorn: Moore's Law of Renewable Energy
To the popular mind, all these other changes are just as much Moore's Law as his original silicon conception. Moore's Law has become a shorthand for the computerized world all around us, and for our (correct) assumption that it's just going to get better and better, faster and faster.

So how does this apply to renewable energy?
energy  abundance  future  growth  solar 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Energy Conservation "Nudges" and Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment
“Nudges” are being widely promoted to encourage energy conservation. We show that while the electricity conservation “nudge” of providing feedback to households on own and peers’ home electricity usage works with liberals, it can backfire with conservatives. Our regression estimates predict that a Democratic household that pays for electricity from renewable sources, that donates to environmental groups, and that lives in a liberal neighborhood reduces its consumption by 3 percent in response to this nudge. A Republican household that does not pay for electricity from renewable sources and that does not donate to environmental groups increases its consumption by 1 percent.
energy  environment  nudge  behavioral-economics  politcal-science  politics  ideology  conservative  republicans  democrats 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Transition Culture
The convergence of challenges, most particularly global warming and peak oil, have brought us to a point where we are profoundly challenged to act. We are surrounded by what poet Gary Snyder, in his classic poem For the Children called “The rising hills, the slopes, of statistics” and by individuals telling us that this means the end, that we have gone too far, that it is inevitable that life as we know it will collapse catastrophically and very soon.
sustainability  environment  permaculture  energy  community  weblog-individual  culture  transition  peak-oil 
june 2010 by tsuomela
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Home Page
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development (R&D).

NREL's mission and strategy are focused on advancing the U.S. Department of Energy's and our nation's energy goals. The laboratory's scientists and researchers support critical market objectives to accelerate research from scientific innovations to market-viable alternative energy solutions.
energy  renewable  research  environment  solar  science  federal  government  lab 
june 2010 by tsuomela
NERC - North American Electric Reliability Corporation
Our mission is to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America. To achieve that, we develop and enforce reliability standards; assess reliability annually via 10-year and seasonal forecasts; monitor the bulk power system; and educate, train, and certify industry personnel. NERC is a self-regulatory organization, subject to oversight by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and governmental authorities in Canada.
energy  electricity  power  standards  security  research  grid  smartgrid  government  regulation  infrastructure 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Go fly a kite: Mapping the oil spill the open source way |
Last month, as the mainstream press reported on the worsening environmental and economic crisis that is the British Petroleum spill in the Gulf Coast, I and a small group of DIY mappers flew down to New Orleans to coordinate a grassroots, citizen effort to map the spill. Instead of helicopters and satellites, we deployed a new generation of low-cost tools, including weather balloons and kites with cameras attached.
open-source  mapping  gis  energy  oil 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Energy and the Empire State | Miller-McCune Online
The King Kong of buildings makes efficiency pay, but how much energy renovation should come from regulators?
building  environment  architecture  retrofit  energy 
may 2010 by tsuomela
The EV Project » Home
eTec is partnering with Nissan North America to deploy up to 4,700 zero-emission electric vehicles, the Nissan LEAF, and 11,210 charging systems to support them in strategic markets in five states: Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.

The EV Project will collect and analyze data to characterize vehicle use in diverse topographic and climatic conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of charge infrastructure, and conduct trials of various revenue systems for commercial and public charge infrastructure. The ultimate goal of The EV Project is to take the lessons learned from the deployment of these first 4,700 EVs, and the charging infrastructure supporting them, to enable the streamlined deployment of the next 5,000,000 EVs.
energy  environment  electricity  infrastructure  electric  automobile  cars  vehicles  transportation 
april 2010 by tsuomela
DOE - National Energy Technology Laboratory: Home Page
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), part of DOE’s national laboratory system, is owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). NETL supports DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.
energy  government  federal  lab  science  computational-science  modeling 
april 2010 by tsuomela
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