Sunday, August 14, 2011

Solar Light Bulbs - An Invention that This Blog Has to Love

Considering that this blog is called "Showing Fossil Fuel the Fist," a product like the Nokero (for "no kerosene") solar light bulb has to be something to instantly fall in love with! While I can see from their website that they are marketing these bulbs in Pakistan, I hope that they plan on entering the Indian market next. India is a country where even large cities suffer from 8 to 12 hours of power failures a day. These bulbs should sell to both the poor as well as the not quite impoverished population in that country.

Here's wishing the Nokero guys good luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Using Used Vegetable Oil to Generate Power

I learned about the Vegawatt Power Generation System from the Smart Planet blog which I subscribe and link to over here. The units throw out several very interesting possibilities especially for India and the Middle east, all countries where a lot of fried food is consumed and where the used oil almost invariably goes down the drain. Needless to say, these are also nations with severe electricity shortages. The system could be used to supplement power generation in large hotels and possibly also on a community collection basis. I need to find out more - I'll shoot these guys an e-mail and report back. Some very interesting stuff here!

Pythagoras Photovoltaic Glass Units - Combining Windows and Solar PVs

This is a really interesting product that a friend alerted me about, and which has been featured on several green building websites - combining a transparent window and solar cells in such a way that light is let into the building while electricity is generated with an energy payback time of five years suggests some very exciting possibilities. I would think that the product would make a lot of sense in countries that have to build upwards because they lack land - India comes to mind, as do the various small Gulf Arab nations - and these are all nations with severe power shortages already. These are also nations that receive abundant sunlight. I would hope that someone in these countries (and in India in particular) checks these windows out.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hydrogen Powered Electric Car to Race at Le Mans

This is simply amazing news in my opinion - the Swiss Green GT company has been invited to race its car at Le Mans. The fact that something that is as radical as a Hydrogen powered car will race in the toughest race in the world is an achievement itself, whether the Green GT wins or not. In recent years, Le Mans racing has become a very interesting form of racing with alternative fuels like diesel - and now hydrogen - being used in cars that compete with gasoline powered racers. Unlike Formula 1 which seems to look more and more like a silly parade with every passing year - I can't recall when I last bothered to even read Formula 1 results whereas, through the 80s and 90s, I was an addict - Le Mans has been working overtime to pit competing technologies against each other in its grueling racing format. At some point, one or another technology will win by demonstrating a clear superiority over others. But in that victory, the whole world will win because this will be a technology that will eventually filter down to the cars that everyone of us drives.

Green GT's website is well worth a visit.

Flying from New York to Paris on Biofuel

A major criticism leveled by Green Groups against air travel has been the amount of fossil fuel aircraft use. This Forbes article talks about a new biofuel developed by Honeywell's UOP division that works in conventional jet aircraft. By not using crude that has been taken out of the ground and by refining the fuel from the output of a non edible plant that grows overground, UOP only makes use of atmospheric carbon that has been absorbed by the Camelina plant. I do not know much about this plant but it does look like there could be a good opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow it in different parts of the world if the price of the biofuel extracted from it proves competitive with conventional aviation fuel.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Design Electric Light Airplane

Via the Smart Planet website: the Fly Nano electric light aircraft. Somehow, I feel like we are living in a new golden era - a time that schoolboys read about in their Biggles novels, and older people in their Saint-Exupery novels. The coming of electric aircraft is a development that I find particularly interesting - here is one more aircraft, a single seat biplane with either electric or hybrid electric and internal combustion engines with ranges of 40 to 70 Km. Yes, this is a rich person's toy at the moment but in time, if the technology is developed, it would suit longer range aircraft for commercial purposes. Look at a Tiger Moth and then at a current light sport aircraft and you can see an evolution. Look at the even more sophisticated Fly Nano and just imagine where this technology would take us in the future . . .

The electric car that's one of a kind in Dubai - The National

The electric car that's one of a kind in Dubai - The National

The Tazzari Zero is one of the new crop of electric cars with expressway capabilities hat is available in Europe. This is an interesting piece in the UAE'a "The National" about the only one in Dubai, owned by a German enthusiast. There's a lot to be said about the owner's courage in buying this car and shipping it to a center of oil production to make a point - perhaps, in time, some of the UAE's rulers would see that cars like these which do not use gasoline or diesel, permit them to export more and earn more money for their country. That can't be a bad thing even for a country as wealthy as an oil emirate!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wall Street Journal Article on New Energy Sources

I have posted on this blog several times that when a mainstream media outlet becomes interested in Renewable Energy, it is more significant than any blog or specialized media talking about this. That is why, when the Wall Street Journal, Forbes or Businessweek look at RE, it is always a matter of importance. This article looks at both the advantages and the difficulties of harnessing three new forms of energy in a simple and easy to understand manner. The thing is that this will be read by businessmen - people working in the energy sector, financial sector professionals and so on. And, hopefully, some visionary businessman of the future is reading this as I type this here, taking notes, and thinking about how to make money from these sources of energy. As someone who believes in showing fossil fuel the fist, I say, please go ahead! And, thanks in advance . . .

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wikileaks: Saudi Arabia Cannot Pump Enough Oil to keep a Lid on Prices

I received this piece from The Guardian via Dr Mayraj Fahim which suggests a most alarming prospect - that Saudi Arabia's oil reserves might have been mis-stated by as much as 40% and that there is far less oil available in that country than was earlier presumed. In every sense, this news suggests that it is important for the world to look for alternative sources of energy as oil is going to run out at some point in time. This blog is not in the business of trying to forecast when the oil will run out - that is the job of experts, and, whenever one of them speaks about it, those views will be reported here. But, with China and India buying enormous quantities of oil and increasing their purchases as their economies grow, consumption in the future is certain to grow significantly over the past.

The shortage of oil in Saudi Arabia (and who knows what the situation is with other countries?) is worrying but some solid work has begun to wean the world off oil - the numerous electric cars, electric motorcycles and electric airplanes that are now being worked upon are an example of work that could minimize the shock from oil running out when that happens. The time to work hard to develop alternative sources of energy is NOW. Any delay and this would only cause monstrous problems when the oil does run out.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Canada's Globe and Mail Takes on Phantom Power

Onee thing that many of us don't realize is how much power we waste through not turning things like computers, televisions and DVRs off - the power consumed when these are on standdby mode costs hundreds of dollars a year (or whatever currency is used in other parts of the world) and all of this is money that could be saved merely by switching these devices off. Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper has this excellent piece that discusses this way of saving money and becoming more energy efficient. Yes, it doesn't fit in with the Renewable energy focus of this blog, but it certainly shows how less energy could be used, thereby showing fossil fuels (and all other kinds of fuels as well) the fist!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nissan Designs a Relatively Cleaner Car Carrier

Visitors to this blog know how much I love the idea of making seafaring more efficient - yep, I have been beating the sailship drum for some time. But, there is a place for large fuel efficient fossil fuel powered cargo vessels compared to some of the dinosaurs that we have today. And Nissan, the first car company to have made a major leap with its Leaf electric car, has shown the way ahead with a fuel efficient roll on roll off car carrier to transport their Leaf cars. My hat's off to Nissan! I hope this aerodynamic design is also applied to container carriers and to dry bulk cargo carriers - the shipbuilding industry could do with savings on fuel costs and the world could do with less pollution!