Monday, December 28, 2009

WSJ: More Builders Zero In on Energy Neutral Housing

I guess it is winter when peoples' thoughts in North America turn to energy efficiency. The cold in large parts of this continent makes heating homes imperative and it is good thing that home builders are now working hard to make homes here energy neutral - as this article from The wall Street Journal points out, homes consume 40% of all the energy that is used in the USA:Link. There will be lessons learned from the American experiment that could be replicated in the rest of the world as well.

I hope that they succeed soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Vastly Better Option Than to Try to Bury CO2

The Telegraph, easily among my favorite newspapers, has this excellent piece about a Dutch farmer who is buying CO2 from an ammonia plant near his farm to grow aubergines better: Link This is an excellent idea and it could be used over whatever plant someone might want to grow in a controlled environment. I can think of flowers for the perfume sector, herbs and a lot more. I also think this is a lot better than some of the clownish ideas that are being thrown out to try to store CO2 underground in either natural or man-made caverns. Let's hope that the idea catches on across the world. This is channeling carbon back into living organisms - where it is meant to be - instead of storing it in risky places from where it might leak out and cause potential disasters.

I can think of several ammonia plants in India attached to refineries etc which could do this if the plant owners aka the Government of India decided to do something technologically creative.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Texas as the Next Solar Superpower - This is an Example that all South Asian Countries Could Emulate

Solar Today is the superb magazine of the American Solar Energy Society. They have this very interesting article about the great state of Texas and its huge investment in solar power - I hope this example would be followed by other states in the USA and also by all other countries that have sunlight for reasonable periods every year: Link

All of the nations of South Asia are excellent candidates for solar power. I hope these nations would use their heads and look at using solar power more. Yes, I do hope that this happens . . .

Sunday, December 6, 2009

An Excellent Idea - Carbon Stickers for Buildings

An Op-Ed in Forbes magazine suggests a simple but brilliant idea - emissions stickers for buildings: Link When cars are regulated for the pollutants they put out, the average home needs to be regulated as well. While this may make some homes more expensive, there are a number of technologies to make homes vastly mroe energy efficient using bolt on methods like double glazing, energy efficient doors, insulation etc. At my home itself, we installed energy efficient insulation lasst year - it paid for itself over the winter in saved heating expenses and it will last five more years. Of course, there are ultra-modern methods available which could make a difference in the future if they are applied more widely.

Color me impressed and this is one mroe reason to read Forbes IMO!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wish This Study Were Available When Ted Kennedy Was Alive

As a prime moron and scumbag who still has a fan following that even calls him "green," the late Ted Kennedy was a crook who managed to hoodwink many otherwise somewhat intelligent people with his supposed environment-friendly credentials. Treehugger published a laudatory note after his death that could only come from a true believer, never mind that the idols that treehugger believes in turn out to have feet of clay almost regularly these days. But then they do some good work highlighting some enw tech and that overrules everything else, I guess. Dead snakes also have their uses, as the old Indian saying goes . . .

In any case, the New York Times has an interesting report on its Green Inc blog which should have told the senior Kennedy that though this might not, quite, have altered the view from his summer home which he wanted preserved, offshore wind power be damned, the price of his cottage would not have been affected by a wind farm offshore or anywhere on land near any property in the country. Anyone else who is reluctant would do well to look close and hard at this study. Though some individual houses in some areas could be negatively affected by wind turbines being around them, the vast majority of homes wouldn't be affected negatively in any way. And that can only be considered a good thing!