Saturday, October 11, 2014

World of Clean Energy ‘Feasible’ by Mid-Century - Truthdig

World of Clean Energy ‘Feasible’ by Mid-Century - Truthdig

    Keeping it clean: a hydropower site at Holbuvatnet in the highlands of eastern Norway. Photo by Ximonic/Simo Räsänen via Wikimedia Commons
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network
This piece first appeared at Climate News Network.

LONDON—A global low-carbon energy economy is not only feasible, it could double electricity supply by 2050 while actually reducing air and water pollution, according to new research.

Even though photovoltaic power requires up to 40 times more copper than conventional power plants, and wind power uses up to 14 times more iron, the world wins on a switch to low-carbon energy.

These positive findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Edgar Hertwich and Thomas Gibon, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Department of Energy and Process Engineering.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

China shows there’s more to renewable energy than fighting climate change : Renew Economy

With the failure of international agreements to fight climate change, the way is open to viewing the role of renewables as more than agents for reducing carbon emissions. Indeed is it possible for countries to build their manufacturing industries, enhance their energy security — and contribute to reducing carbon emissions?
In an article published today in Nature, we argue that China shows us just such a way. By boosting markets in water, wind and solar power, China is driving down costs and accelerating the uptake of renewable energy.
We argue that this is “contributing more than any other country to a climate-change solution”, and could be viable alternative to international climate agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, which has been so ineffective in cleaning up the world’s still carbon-heavy energy supplies.

Friday, September 12, 2014

China and India in race to harness the full nuclear power of thorium

China and India in race to harness the full nuclear power of thorium
Drive for change? Chemical element thorium is seen as a safer nuclear alternative to uranium (Picture: Reuters)
It might sound like the kind of material used as a plot device in a comic book blockbuster, but it could solve the fuel crisis in the real world.
Chemical element thorium is being hailed as the key in the bid to find safer and more sustainable sources of nuclear energy to provide our electricity. And just like in a Hollywood movie, the race is on to be the first to fully harness that power.
Named after Norse god (and Marvel comic book hero) Thor by the Swedish chemist who identified it in 1828, thorium has taken almost 200 years to be taken seriously as an energy contender.
After a period in the 1950s and 1960s in which it flirted with thorium, the US government shut down its research into the radioactive element, preferring to go the uranium route. Critics say thorium was pushed aside because uranium was an easier component for nuclear weapons. But times have changed, and thorium’s status as a safer alternative to uranium is now a help, not the hindrance it was during the Cold War.
India, which has hundreds of thousands of tonnes of the metal amid its terrain, has announced plans to build a thorium-based nuclear reactor by 2016.
But it faces competition from China, where the schedule to deliver a thorium-based nuclear power plant was recently overhauled, meaning scientists in Shanghai have been told to deliver such a facility within the next ten years.
While thorium nuclear exploration is not new – Britain had its own reactor in Dorset carrying out tests 40 years ago – the will to make it a viable energy source is growing stronger.
Professor Roger Barlow from the University of Huddersfield is part of a team researching thorium power generation.
Nuclear power in India | Greenpeace India

The Government of India intends to draw twenty-five per cent of its energy from nuclear power by 2050. This plan includes 20,000 MW of installed capacity from nuclear energy by 2020, and 63,000 MW by 2032.

There are currently twenty one operational nuclear power reactors in India, across six states. They contribute less than three per cent of the country’s total energy generation, yet radioactively pollute at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle: from mining and milling to reprocessing or disposal. There is no long-term radioactive waste disposal policy in India.

The inherent risks of nuclear power are made greater in India by the structure of the country’s nuclear establishment. he organisation in charge of safety in all nuclear facilities, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, shares staff and is provided funds with the organisations it is supposed to be regulating. This compromises its ability to act independently and enforce vigorous safety regulations.

In addition, there is little distinction between military and civilian nuclear affairs, and all matters of atomic energy come directly under the Prime Minister, not parliament. This means the nuclear establishment is under no obligation to disclose information on the nuclear power sector to citizens. There’s no excuse for this opacity in a country with an ambition to use nuclear energy for electricity.

Regardless of these flaws, India is one of the few countries in the world that is expanding its nuclear power sector at an enormous rate. Seven more nuclear reactors are under construction, of 4800 MW installed capacity. At least thirty-six new nuclear reactors are planned or proposed. See them on a map.

Foreign investment in India's nuclear sector

India’s civilian nuclear programme was largely indigenous for many years, but the government is now beckoning foreign investment. It intends to set up ‘nuclear parks’ supplied by foreign companies and operated - for now - by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a government-owned company. These ‘parks’ are planned to have installed generated capacity of 8,000-10,000 MW at a single site. As the greatest installed capacity at one site is currently only 1,400 MW (Tarapur Atomic Power Station in Maharashtra, with four reactors), this is a huge increase.

Russian company Atomstroyexport, a government subsidiary, has reached a deal to build sixteen nuclear reactors in India. From the two of these units, of 1000 MW each, one is operational and the other is currently under construction in Kundankulam, Tamil Nadu.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

We need an alternative energy grid | TheHill

The specter of climate change relentlessly haunts the news. Just in the last month, the Council of Economic Advisors released a report estimating that each decade we wait to reduce emissions increases the cost of meeting carbon standards by 41 percent, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the cost of inaction on climate change, and even bastions of the financial community like former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin are issuing similar warnings. To avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, we must drastically cut fossil fuel consumption and replace that energy with renewable alternatives. Given this, we need to focus our attention and efforts on determining the best strategies to move forward for the next five years and the next fifty.
The good news is that the U.S. has an abundance of renewable energy resources. The sun shines hot and long in the South and West, wind howls in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, and the water runs freely in the Northwest. The bad news is that the U.S. power grid is not designed to integrate many of these resources, even though today’s renewable technology could provide enough power to match national electricity demand.

Read more:
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Monday, August 11, 2014

How Negative Energy Affects Your Life and How to Clear It
You know that like attracts like, right? So here’s the deal: Positive people are drawn to positiveenergy; negative people are drawn to negative energy.
We tend to perceive negative energy as something other people have. Sure, sometimes we feel negative – as in, “go away and leave me alone, world!” but did you know that negativity can be so ingrained in you that it goes unnoticed?
That’s because negativity sometimes wears a disguise called ‘reality’. It’s easy to rationalize that you’re ‘just being realistic’ in not daring to act on a dream – and believe it!
You may assume that positive people are not being realistic – that they’re being naive, that they are in denial with their heads stuck in the sand, that they put on fake smiles in the face of difficulty and so forth.  But are they really happy idiots or is there something to their positivity?
Consider this: since when does ‘being realistic’ necessarily mean that things will go wrong and that you have to accept that as the truth?
That doesn’t mean that being realistic is automatically negative. When you view the world from a ‘realistic’ standpoint, you can’t help but be negative IF your version of reality is negative.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The top 7 fruits that will guarantee weight loss!

fruitA recent study found that eating five portions of fruits and veggies a day is a great way to live a disease-free life. Fruits are natural superfoods with immense benefits that help in weight loss – they are high in fibre, contain natural sugars and help keep hunger pangs at bay. One portion of fruit is defined as 80g of fruit so one medium-sized apple would constitute one portion. Here are the top 10 fruits for weight loss:
The watermelon is your go-to fruit for weight loss. It’s high in water content (90%) and a 100g serving just contains 30 calories. They’re also a rich source of amino acids called arginine which helps burn fat. The best thing about watermelon, however, is the fact that not only does it keep you hydrated, it will also keep you satiated for a long time which will lead to less unhealthy snacking. Read more about the health benefits of watermelons
What if we told you that there was a fruit that could reduce your cancer risk, keep your heart healthy, make your teeth whiter, boost your immune system and even beat diarrhoea and constipation? Well the apple’s the one. If you’re on a weight loss diet, then you certainly need the apple in your dietary repertoire.  One medium-sized apple contains around 50 calories and doesn’t have any fat or sodium. In fact, a Brazilian study found that women who ate apples before their meals lost 33% more fruits than those who didn’t eat them! Read more about the health benefits of apples. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nuclear power is hardly 'emission free'

                 Dennis Harbaugh, Waterloo, Letter to the Editor

Once again the Register has published a predictable essay by Carolyn Heising, where she trots out the same old line explaining how nuclear power is this country's energy savior ("Climate Needs New Support for Nuclear Power," July 27). Since she is an Iowa State University professor of nuclear engineering, this is no surprise. It's her job.
It's inexcusable, however, for her to continually describe nuclear power as "emission-free". Nuclear power creates plenty of emissions, many of the fatal variety. In addition, each year nuclear power creates 2,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste and 12 million cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste in the U.S. alone.
One significant nuclear power accident in Iowa could wipe out millions of acres of productive farmland and endanger thousands of residents. Nuclear power is a dangerous gamble for Iowa, and it's a risk that insurance companies absolutely will not take. When Heising can produce a single private insurance company willing to insure a nuclear power plant, then we can talk about nuclear power.
Until then, Iowa needs to continue to require investor-owned utilities to produce or buy 105 megawatts of truly renewable energy annually, without nuclear power.
— Dennis Harbaugh, Waterloo

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Detox Guide: How to Tell if Your Body Needs a Natural Detox

I came across this article on and it really resonates well with what we are promoting here at FitLife.TV. The detoxification process is not a one time event, but a lifestyle that one must adopt order to live a healthy, vibrant life. I also recommend checking out the Juice With Drew System as we dive into all facets of detoxification so you can get that sexy body you deserve!
Your body is naturally equipped with a self-cleaning process. But too much sugar, caffeine, processed foods, stress, and too little exercise can slow the body’s natural detox function to a slow pace. And then your body can’t clean itself when it is put up against the increasing number of harmful and toxic substances in the environment. Toxins come in many forms: pesticides in produce, formaldehyde in carpets and cosmetics, PCBs from plastic containers, dioxins from bleached paper products, and more.
- See more at:

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Slow Death of Nuclear Power and the Rise of Renewables

 | July 31, 2014 2:01 pm |
The Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Lewis Strauss noted in a 1954 speech to the National Association of Science Writers that the splitting of the atom and the dawn of the Atomic Age heralded, in his view, a coming era of electrical power that for consumers would be “too cheap to meter.” Soon, he said, “it would not be too much to expect that our children”—meaning, of course, us—would know of things like famine, limited range of travel and nearly every other human malady only from reading about them in history books.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
The technology known as nuclear power today is a lumbering giant utterly dependent on state-based largesse for its existence. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Born on a great tide of technological progress released by the atom, he intoned, mankind would collectively face a new age of prosperity the likes of which the world had never known before. At the time it was widely assumed that Strauss—a pivotal figure in America’s early years of nuclear experimentation and tinkering—was talking about fission power, as he had just days earlier spoken of industry having at its command vast amounts of “electrical power from atomic furnaces,” at the groundbreaking of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the world’s first full-scale, civilian nuclear power reactor, located outside of Pittsburgh.
In fact, Strauss was actually talking about fusion power, which, at the time, was a top secret, Cold War concern of the American government. However, the supposition of the country’s technocratic elite was that just as fission research had led to both the atomic bomb and plants like the one at Shippingport, fusion breakthroughs would soon lead to controlled fusion reactions and reactors that would herald the coming age of plenty that Strauss predicted.
From too-cheap-to-meter marvels to state-supported dinosaurs
History didn’t turn out as Strauss had envisioned, of course, as a controlled fusion reaction—as opposed to the uncontrolled variety which scientists easily pulled off and turned into ever more powerful nuclear weapons—proved devilishly difficult to produce.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

10 reasons to be hopeful that we will overcome climate change

From action in China and the US to falling solar costs and rising electric car sales, there is cause to be hopeful
Indian workers walk past solar panels at the 200 megawatts Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka in Patan district, India, Saturday, April 14, 2012.
Indian workers walk past solar panels at the 200 megawatts Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka in Patan district, India, Saturday, April 14, 2012. Photograph: Ajit Solanki/AP
For the last few months, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have been at record levels unseen in over 800,000 years. The chairman of the IPCC, an international panel of the world’s top climate scientists, warned earlier this year that “nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change”.
Future generations will no doubt wonder at our response, given the scale of the threat. It’s known that death, poverty and suffering await millions, and yet governments still vacillate.
But solutions are available. Here are ten reasons to be hopeful that humans will rise to the challenge of climate change.

1) Barack Obama has made it one of his defining issues

Any politician who runs as the personification of hope is bound to be a bit of a let down. And so it seemed for five long, hot years. Barack Obama inaugurated his first US presidential term by promising to “roll back the spectre of a warming planet”. Yet he seemed unable (or willing) to even roll back the ghosts haunting his Congress. Now, as he staggers into his legacy-building stage, Obama has confronted and even circumvented Congress. His emissions caps on coal power stations, announced last month were the culmination of a massive public relations push andscientific blitzkrieg with Obama as its champion, potentially making the next presidential election a referendum on climate change action.
Obama speaks at the 2014 State of the Union. Sitting behind him on the right is Republican congressional leader John Boehner, who said in May “that every proposal that has come out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy and killing American jobs”

2) China has ordered coal power plants to close

Just a day after the launch of Obama’s big crackdown on coal, He Jiankun, a top Chinese government climate advisor told Reuters, “The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap”. This was the first time the promise of limiting absolute emissions had emerged from a source close to the Chinese leadership (even if He was later forced to disown the comments).
The response of world’s largest emitter of carbon has the potential to be swift and decisive, given its centrally controlled economy. Responding to smog-tired residents in China’s cities, the government has ordered amass shutdown of coal plants within a few years. Coal control measures now exist in 12 of the country’s 34 provinces. Greenpeacehave estimated that if these measures are implemented, it could bring China’s emissions close to the level the International Energy Agency says are needed to avoid more than 2C warming.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Pumped hydro – the forgotten storage solution : Renew Economy

hydroStorage is in the energy news now, in more places than can be listed.
To pick a few, here is recent news from Europe,Tesla, and Queensland.  Everyone is looking to the day when battery technology can economically partner with the popular yet variable renewables: solar PV and wind.
But what if today there was a proven way to store vast amounts of energy at capital costs lower than what battery technologists hope they might achieve in 20 years time? A technology with high round-trip efficiency and one heck of a lifespan: 85 years and counting!
If you have read this article’s title, then you know where we are going with this: pumped hydro.
You may know, in energy terms, pumped hydro can be enormous (the Bath County Virginia facility with 3 GW of generation capacity and 30 GWh of stored energy is said to be the “world’s largest battery”), or niche (the 11 MW El Hierro pumped hydro facility, partnered with wind, now makes that Canary Island 100% renewable).
Possibly you already know that pumped hydro – with 140 GW of generation capacity installed globally – dwarfs all other forms of frequently and deeply cycled, on-purpose energy-storage technologies such as batteries, compressed air, flywheels, molten-salt-thermal storage, or synthetic chemicals created to store energy, combined!
Why? Because for so long pumped hydro has been the cheapest. At the University of Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI) we surveyed literature costs for pumped hydro projects globally and found capital costs as low as $100 to $200 capital per kWh of useable energy stored. Chemical battery makers are aiming for costs in the range of $200 to $500 capital per kwh (useable) to be on the market in 2025.
Due to this technology-cost gap and other factors such as the growing penetration of renewables, you may know pumped hydro is resurging globally: in China and Europe, and it is again being considered in Japan, Canada, and the US (California, Hawaii, North Carolina, and even in the desert state of Arizona.)
You may know Australia already has three large-scale pumped hydro facilities in Queensland and New South Wales, operating for more than 30 years: Shoalhaven (240 MW), Wivenhoe (500 MW), and Tumut 3 (600 MW).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World-class Solar

What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?