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Jumping in Pools

"Today we stand at a precipice." Then-Senator Barack Obama told an audience in Racine, Wisconsin last year, "If we are able to reduce carbon emissions and build a sustainable future, our children will benefit for generations." The future President has stated that environmental policy will be one of the cornerstones of his tenure in the White House. In order to reduce pollution caused by carbon dioxide, President Obama has pushed for various pieces of legislation, including the Cash for Clunkers bill and the so-called Cap and Trade provisions. Both candidate and President Obama has stated that a paramount goal would be to reduce American need for foreign sources of fuel. Many of the efforts to reduce energy consumption are well-known to the American people. These include turning off lights when not in a room, insulating buildings, and raising mileage standards for automobiles. However, one small proviso has many within the Defense Department and in Congress infuri

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Popular Science

Norwegian oil and gas giant StatoilHydro has inaugurated the world's first floating full-scale offshore wind turbine, paving the way for deep-water wind farms possessing the dual appeal of being out of sight as well as more efficient.

The turbine, known as Hywind, towers 213 feet above the waterline, but the steel spar on which it is mounted plunges another 328 feet below the surface, where it is anchored to the sea floor by three stabilizing cables. The spar is filled with water and rocks to provide ballast that keeps the turbine from capsizing in rough seas. Located about six miles off of Karmoey near the country's southwestern coastline, Hywind will serve as a test bed for offshore technologies over the next two years as engineers work on getting the cost of Hywind down and figure out how best to develop even larger deep-water turbines.

 

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Popular Science

First Solar just signed an agreement with China to build the biggest solar power plant yet, according to a statement released today by the company. The 2-gigawatt plant in the Mongolian desert will generate enough electricity to power three million homes.

That's a heck of a lot of cadmium telluride, the semiconductor they use for their thin film cells.

The largest solar plant currently in operation is a mere 60-megawatt plant in Spain, according to pvresources.com.

First Solar and China officially signed a memorandum of understanding, which is still up for final negotiations. The plan is to start building a 30-megawatt phase this summer, adding more and more until the final phase is complete in 2019.

Earlier this year, First Solar became the first company to produce solar cells at less than a dollar per watt, crossing the boundary thought to make solar power competitive with traditional energy sources.

 

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Technology Review

A printing technique that could stamp out features just tens of nanometers across at industrial scale is finally moving out of the lab. The new roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography system could be used to cheaply and efficiently churn out nano-patterned optical films to improve the performance of displays and solar cells.

Nano press: This 10-by-30-centimeter plastic sheet (top) has been patterned with a series of nanoscale polymer lines using roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography (bottom). The film is iridescent because of the way its nanoscale features scatter light.
Credit: ACS Nano

Nanoimprint lithography uses mechanical force to press out a nanoscale pattern and can make much smaller features than optical lithography, which is reaching its physical limits. The technique was developed as a tool for miniaturizing integrated circuits, and a handful of companies, including Molecular Imprints of Austin, TX, are still developing it for this applicat

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Scientific American

The Japanese government is prepared to spend some 2 trillion yen on a one-gigawatt orbiting solar power station—and this week Mitsubishi and other Japanese companies have signed on to boost the effort. Boasting some four kilometers of solar panels—maybe of the superefficient Spectrolab variety but more likely domestically sourced from Mitsubishi or Sharp—the space solar power station would orbit some 36,000 kilometers above Earth and transmit power via microwave or laser beam.

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arclein

According to project leaders, the massive undertaking will be able to supply power to the entire African continent, with enough left over to sell to Europe. When the Grand Inga Dam is completed, it is expected to have an output of about 39 000 MW, making it one of the biggest hydroelectric projects in the world. The first phase of the scheme will be the construction of the Inga Three hydroelectric plant, expected to generate about 5 000MW of electricity, which, according to research, will provide electricity to five countries by 2015. Inga Three will draw water from the existing Inga One and Inga Two. Its design consists of eight parallel tunnels of 6 770m in length and 13.3m in diameter. Each tunnel will support two turbines, of 270MW each

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red Orbit

Remember it was reported here BO gave money to Brazil and Petrobus that his financier (soros) from Move On had recently invested and stands to make $$$ One has to wonder how long they have known about this HUGE new discovery? The story Petroleum firm BP announced Wednesday that it has made a “giant” discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. “BP announced today a giant oil discovery at its Tiber Prospect (well) in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico,” the firm said in a statement. "The Tiber well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 35,055 feet making it one of the deepest wells ever drilled by the oil and gas industry."BP operates Tiber, where it has a 62 percent share, along with Brazilian firm Petrobras, with 20 percent, and US group ConocoPhillips with 18 percent.

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Current

I was just watching Jodie and Marc walking through the hemp field and I thought it would be a good time to share my hemp ethanol research with y'all! In this day of oil wars, peak oil (and the accompanying soaring prices), climate change and oil spills such as the Exxon-Valdez, it's more important than ever to promote sustainable alternatives such as hemp ethanol. Hemp turns out to be the most cost-efficient and valuable of all the fuel crops! And as it turns out, the whole reason for hemp prohibition - and alcohol prohibition - may have been a fuel monopoly! So check out my hemp ethanol research ... and leave your comments here so I can find out what you think! Here's the link: http://hemp-ethanol.blogspot.com/

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www.reuters.com

 Worldwide demand for rare earths, covering 15 entries on the periodic table of elements, is expected to exceed supply by some 40,000 tonnes annually in several years unless major new production sources are developed. One promising U.S. source is a rare earths mine slated to reopen in California by 2012.

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LiveScience

Solar cells soon could be painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops with nanoparticle inks, according to one chemical engineer.

The new nano-ink process could replace the standard method of manufacturing solar cells, which requires high temperatures and is relatively expensive, said Brian Korgel of the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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AP

Enough natural gas to heat every home in North Dakota through at least two brutal winters was burned off as an unmarketable byproduct in the state's oil patch in 2008. North Dakota produced a record 62.8 million barrels of oil last year, up nearly 18 million barrels from 2007. Natural gas, a byproduct of oil production, was pegged at 86 billion cubic feet — of which 26 billion cubic feet was "flared" because of the lack of collecting systems and pipelines needed to move it to market.

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David Biello

Turning the sun's heat into electricity--by concentrating it with thousands of mirrors onto a tower. 

In southern California's Antelope Valley, 24,000 silver-bright mirrors have been positioned to reflect light on two 50-meter-tall towers. And at 11:08 A.M. local time Wednesday, this concentrated light heated steam in those towers to turn a turbine—the first "power towers" in the U.S. to convert the sun's heat into electricity for commercial use.

Dubbed Sierra SunTower, the power plant can produce five megawatts, enough to power roughly 4,000 local homes at full capacity—and provide the modular blueprint for larger plants in California and New Mexico, according to eSolar, the Pasadena start-up behind the power plant.

"We call this a commercial demonstration," says eSolar senior vice president of engineering Craig Tyner. "A 46-megawatt commercial design will incorporate 16 of these towers, two of which we have at

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techcrunch.com

Silicon Valley’s electric car company, Tesla Motors, says that it hit profitability in July. The private company reports that it made “approximately $1 million of earnings” on revenues of $20 million, and that it shipped 109 Roadsters, its $109,000 all-electric sports car. The revenues reflect GAAP accounting standards and are only for the month of July.

Founder and CEO Elon Musk predicted in June that the company would soon hit profitability at the end of a lengthy blog post dealing primarily with a lawsuit brought on by Tesla’s ousted co-founder Martin Eberhard. In June, Tesla was also awarded a $465 million loan from the Department of Energy, which will help it manufacture its more reasonably priced Modern S sedan.

The $20 million in revenues and $1 million in profits do not reflect any proceeds from that loan, the company tells us.

 

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Technology Review

The construction is the start of a vast experiment, an attempt to create the world's first car-free, zero-carbon-dioxide-emissions, zero-waste city. Due to be completed in 2016, the city is the centerpiece of the Masdar Initiative, a $15 billion investment by the government of Abu Dhabi, which is part of the United Arab Emirates. The new development, being built on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city, will run almost entirely on energy from the sun and will use just 20 percent as much power as a conventional city of similar size. Garbage will be sorted and recycled or used for compost; sewage will be processed into fuel. Concrete columns will lift the city seven meters off the ground, creating space underneath for a network of automated electric transports that will replace cars. Planners predict that the development will attract 1,500 clean-tech businesses, ranging from large international corporations to startups, and--eventually--some 50,000 residents.

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arclein

But the first detailed assessment of more than 800 oil fields in the world, covering three quarters of global reserves, has found that most of the biggest fields have already peaked and that the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago.

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posterchildrenfortermlimits.com

Our new boy on the poster, Sen Charles Grassley of Iowa, doesn’t have the worst overall record of Repubs or Dems but he has, by virtual of his longevity in Congress, reached a position where he has been able to influence enactment of some of the most damaging legislation to our freedoms and well-being. The ethanol disaster is one and now, Obama’s plan to take over healthcare has Grassley in position to enable Obama’s power grab. He’s working on a “compromise” that he says won’t concede the entire health care system of the USA to the State –just a part of what is left in the free market. Government already controls about half of healthcare through Medicare and other federal programs. Where is THAT in the US Constitution? Who benefits from a FedGov command of health care for each and every one of us commoners? Note that all of the plans offered so far by the Obama regime exempts royalty --federal officials and Congress-- from the restrictions and regulations.

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