Friday, April 30, 2010

Some Nice Solar Powered Homes in the USA

As the old saying goes, a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words. These pictures are nearly a coffee-table book on elegant homes that are also efficient, powered as they are by the sun. From The Wall Street Journal for your viewing pleasure!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Green Poseur Ted Kennedy is Finally Buried

I love the hypocrisy of the left-wingers. They scream themselves hoarse about how bad carbon is and how renewable energy should be embraced. They worship people like Ted Kennedy whom some call a "Green Lion" though the man was responsible for blocking a wind power project that he decided would harm the view off his beach-house. And now, when the Federal Government finally gives the go-ahead for the project, the Secretary of the Interior has to go and pay obeisance to the dead Kennedy's widow as the linked New York Times piece describes.

Well, here's a final nail in the Greenwash Vampire's coffin - this plant will be built even though the final number of offshore turbines will be smaller in number than what the promoters wanted to put up. And my only regret is that old Ted wasn't alive to see these go up around his beach-house. In any case, it is a fitting finale to a hypocrite who managed to fool a lot of idiots into considering him a great champion of environmental causes while using brute political power to stop a really green project. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Welcome clean offshore power to Massachusetts!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Germany's First Offshore Wind Farm - Der Spiegel

As the world's most balanced and well run economy, Germany always has something for the rest of the world to look at and be inspired by. Der Spiegel has this excelelnt analysis of the first offshore wind energy powerplant in Germany off the Emden coast. The 220 GW project will power 50,000 households. Knowing the Germans, this powerplant will be fully commercially viable and not a mere demonstration of left-wing idealism by a bunch of starry-eyed jholawala types (yes, an Indian expression there, ha, ha!) hellbent on doing little other than preaching to the rest of the world.

Considering that India, the country of my birth, has a huge power deficit problem and that it also has one of the world's longest coastlines, and, considering that some reports suggest that if India continues on its current path of building more and more coal fired powerplants, it will have to spend more than $ 40 billion a year on importing coal alone in about 7 years time, I hope someone in New Delhi is watching this development. I also hope that whoever is watching it is open-minded enough to think seriously about looking at replicating this around the country. Not to do this would be stupid in the extreme - the Germans didn't become as rich as they are by half measures. If India - and other countries in the region - want to enjoy the same levels of prosperity, they will need to follow in the Germans' footsteps.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

US Military - Massive Gas Shortages Possible As Early as 2015

Looks like the US Military agrees with Kuwait and other peak oil experts predicting massive oil shortages as early as 2015 as the Gas 2.0 blog describes. I found this blog by accident today and am glad that I did. For regular visitors here, I shall link to it after posting. Occasional visitors who are interested in this subject would be well advised to subscribe to it. You will find a lot that interests you, especially if, like me, you believe in showing fossil fuel the fist.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Very Interesting Trash to Energy Piece n The New York Times

With the quantity of trash increasing in cities around the world year after year despite the best attempts of governments to get people to recycle their garbage, the best option for getting rid of trash that cannot be recycled might be to burn it and use it as a fuel. This New York Times article gives an interesting overview of several studies that suggest that this method of getting rid of garbage might be the best way to actually use the garbage in generating electricity and heat and prevent further pollution. It speaks of studies that show that burning non-recyclable trash is a better idea than using it in landfills.

Right now, Europe is significantly ahead of the USA in using this technology. It would be nice to see some American companies compete with the Europeans and try to beat them at their own game. This competition can only result in the best possible results no matter where it is applied.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Indian Wind Energy Expert Calls Government Bluff

From an informal interview with K Kasthurirangan of the Indian Wind Power Association, “While India can produce 48,000 MW of wind energy, so far we have installed wind mills that could generate only 10,500 MW.” Need I post anything more? A most interesting article that can be read here.

Do check out the Indian Wind Energy Association website: at this link.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010



I learned about this particular project - Solar Impulse - which aims to fly a solar powered airplane around the world for the first time with a mixture of child-like excitement and awe. As a boy who was a happy airplane model and glider buff and who saved pocket money every week to buy up books on aircraft until other interests took over, I always suffered from a sense of regret over not living in the era of the Wright Brothers, Santos-Dumont, Alcock and Brown, Lindbergh and other pioneers of aviation. Somehow, all of those regrets are now dead, many years later, in life. Those attempting this flight are pioneers in the same sense as the earliest pioneers were. And, someday in the near future, their feat will be of as much significance as the exploits of the early aviation pioneers. I shall follow Solar Impulse with the delight of nine year old boy. Anyone who cares about the environment and who is excited by the whole business of invention, discovery and human achievement, will be as delighted by this as I am.

I shall wish the team at Solar Impulse the very best of luck while I look forward to congratulating them!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Interesting Forbes Piece on Designer Biofuel Crops

While the basics of converting plants into fuels are known, the efficiency of the process depends on breaking the plants' cell walls down into sugar with a minimum use of energy. That would make the process less energy intensive and reduce the overall consumption of energy used to process biofuels from plants. Forbes has this very interesting piece on two competing companies that are working to make this happen.

If this process were significantly developed, it would go a long way to reducing criticisms of the amount of energy required to produce ethanol for use as a fuel, for example. It could also help produce even cheaper biodiesel from plants like Jatropha in countries like India and Mexico that are trying to grow the crop on degraded land. It is a story that this blog will follow as it is something that is important as a transitional process from fossil fuels to cleaner, renewable ones. Agrivida's website is: Link and Syngenta's is: Link 2.

Watch this space!