Friday, November 30, 2012

Peak Oil Book Review: Peak Everything by Richard Heinberg

Website: This is my Peak Oil book review for the book, "Peak Everything" by Richard Heinberg. Waking up to the century of declines. I'm giving this four stars, I do like Heinberg and the way he writes. Heinberg explains very clearly the peaking of basically everything from water, fish, food, oil, coal and you name it. Population, the peaking of growth. He softly gives alternatives, where we'll either apply them as individuals or society, or we won't. I like the way he does that. He does that very bluntly but he's not too critical about it. He also goes into the psychological and cultural changes that will happen as we hit a lot of these peaks in resources around the world. The main theme is that there are limits to growth and that includes the peaking of anything. This book is good for the individual and your local elected official to read. Four stars to, "Peak Everything", another Richard Heinberg book. Highly recommended. Facebook Twitter: Peak Everthing Book Review Richard Heinberg Extended Chevrolet Chevy Volt Range Electric Vehicle EV Clean 2013 Video Ampera Holden World oil supply high demand solar how to alternative fuels global warming "Peak Oil" crisis understanding explaining peakoil petroleum future apocalypse end crash energy inflation gas gasoline reserves strategic reserve prices unemployment fuel finance resource wars middle east war military kunstler heinberg martenson simmons save money powerdown howto Vlog ...

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Raspberry Pi daddy: Stroke your hardware at night, land a job easy

You want a career in computers? Start using computers

Eben Upton, a key player in the Raspberry Pi's genesis, said out-of-work graduates should get busy with computers in their spare time if they want to land a job. And he didn't mean logging into Facebook....


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Alaskans sitting on billions of barrels of oil

What the Inuit think about the giant oil find beneath their feet


ARPA-E Awards $130 Million for 66 Transformational Energy Technology Projects

November 28, 2012
ARPA-E Awards $130 Million for 66 Transformational Energy Technology Projects

OPEN 2012 is ARPA-E's Second Open Call for Innovative Energy Technology Solutions


Research Projects Addressing Technical Challenges to Environmentally Acceptable Shale Gas Development Selected by DOE

Fifteen research projects aimed at addressing the technical challenges of producing natural gas from shales and tight sands have been selected to receive a total of $28 million in funding from DOE's Office of Fossil Energy.


BP Temporarily Suspended from New Contracts with the Federal Government

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it has temporarily suspended BP Exploration and Production, Inc., BP PLC and named affiliated companies (BP) from new contracts with the federal government. EPA is taking this action due to BP's lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company's conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response, as reflected by the filing of a criminal information


4-GW Tata Mundra Coal Plant Is A Test Of The World Bank's Stated Commitment To Address Climate

Nicole Ghio, via the Sierra Club

When Dr. Jim Yong Kim took over as President of the World Bank, there was hope amongst health advocates and environmentalists that, given his background, the Bank would reevaluate its support for deadly fossil fuel projects. Dr. Kim's assertion that a new World Bank report on global warming should "shock us into action" is a step in the right direction.

Now, however, he has an opportunity to back this rhetoric with concrete action as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) reviews the social and environmental impacts of its $450 million loan for the enormous four-gigawatt Tata Mundra coal plant in Gujarat, India.

In response to extensive work by local communities and civil society groups to document and expose the impacts of Tata Mundra (PDF), the IFC's independent Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) has formally opened an investigation. Last week the CAO released the Terms of Reference for the review which will cover the devastating health, livelihood and environmental impacts of this mammoth coal plant.

This review is an important step towards rectifying the impact the project has had on the 10,000 local villagers who rely on the land and water the plant is destroying. Dust and ash from the project is contaminating fish and salt flats, while livestock that used to roam freely can no longer access the commons for grazing. And both villagers and animals are forced to breathe air and drink water contaminated by toxic pollution. All of these are impacts from just Tata Mundra. The sad reality is cumulative impacts are much larger, as it is sited right next to the even bigger 4,620 MW Adani coal plant.

Thousands have been displaced, and those who have stayed are face drastic health and economic risks, all for electricity that they will never be able to afford (PDF). That's because Tata Corporation dramatically lowballed the price they would pay for imported coal, and used this estimate to claim they could provide power at below-market rate in order to secure approval from the Indian government and funding from the IFC. Then, after construction started, they went back to the government, acknowledged that the project would run at a 270% annual loss, and demanded that they be allowed to raise rates on average citizens, destroying any notion that the project would ever help provide energy access for the poor.

This situation is hardly unique. Across India, funding for coal projects is drying up as lenders realize that the projects are expensive, unreliable, and likely to go bankrupt.

The IFC approved funding for the project despite the clear warning signs, once again acquiescing to the long standing belief that coal is cheap, and its impacts on local communities and the environment should therefore be ignored. While the review is technically independent, how the World Bank responds to the recommendations lies entirely at Dr. Kim's feet. He will have an opportunity to take back the rubber stamp and help make right any violations the CAO finds. His decision on Tata Mundra will be a referendum on his ability to protect the health and environment of those impacted by the World Bank. We're hoping he lives up to his reputation.

Nicole Ghio is a Sierra Club Campaign Liaison. This piece was originally published at the Sierra Club's Compass Blog and was reprinted with permission.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Researchers Create Single-surface Material For Energy Storage

The Rice hybrid combines two-dimensional graphene, which is a sheet of carbon one atom thick, and nanotubes into a seamless three-dimensional structure. The bonds between them are covalent, which means adjacent carbon atoms share electrons in a ...
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Peak Oil News 11/27/12

Website: This is Peak Oil News for November 27th, 2012. I'm your host MrEnergyCzar. We're covering Peak Oil, renewable energy, electric cars and everything in between. As the world struggles to grow and replace the shrinking supply of cheap conventional oil, major investments will be made in the arctic where there is an estimated 22% of global undiscovered oil and gas reserves. It is said to have only 90 billion barrels or a three year supply. I don't think this arctic oil will be cheap and thus will not fuel our economy for growth. I won't be surprised if we begin exploring Saturn's largest moon, Titan, which is said to contain more oil than earth has ever had. Congratulations to Tesla Motors. The Tesla Model S electric car was just named MotorTrends Car of the Year. This is the first time a pure EV has been named Car of the Year by MotorTrend. It has an EPA rated 265 mile electric range. I'm amazed at how you can charge the car 150 miles in 30 minutes. Hopefully, this type of technology will be implemented in some of the cheaper electric vehicles in the coming years. General Electric has just installed its 20000th wind turbine worldwide. They installed 3000 turbines in just the past year alone. During the past 10 years there has been a three times reduction in the cost for electricity. Most of the installations have been done in Europe and on land in the United States. I say on the land because the US remains one of the few large economies of the world ...

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FirstFuel Software Named a GoingGreen Silicon Valley Global 200 Winner

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FirstFuel Software today announced it has been chosen by AlwaysOn as a 2012 GoingGreen Silicon Valley Global 200 winner.

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The installed price of solar photovoltaic systems in the US continues to decline at a rapid pace

The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).


Monday, November 26, 2012

Massachusetts Approves Cape Wind / NSTAR Power Purchase Agreement

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cape Wind secured another major milestone today with the approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of the 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with NSTAR to buy Cape Wind's energy, capacity and renewable energy credits. Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said, "This decision helps secure the position of Massachusetts as the U.S. leader in offshore wind power, launching a new industry that will create jobs, increase energy independence and promote a

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A solar funnel that could lead to more efficient cells

The reality of solar panels is that those on the market today aren't very efficient - most of the solar cells, which make up an entire panel, convert less than a fifth of the sunlight into electricity. But researchers at MIT said on Monday they have come up with a funnel-like design that will manipulate the incoming electrons to engineer more efficient solar cells.

The research, just published in the journal, Nature Photonics, used computer modeling to look at how to stretch the semiconductor molybdenum disulfide to change its physical properties to make use of a broader spectrum of sunlight than what silicon, the most common solar cell material, can manage today. Whether the design will work as well in real life will require further research.

Improving cell efficiency is important for lowering the cost of producing solar electricity. One way to do that is to extract more energy from the same amount of materials. That also will reduce the amount of land needed to generate the same amount of electricity. As it stands, photovoltaic power plants are more land-intensive compared with fossil fuel power plants with a similar energy output. Building solar farms on large swath of land has prompted fierce debates over their environmental impact on wildlife and prompted developers to agree to set aside wildlife corridors in exchange for permits or to avoid lawsuits.

What some scientists have been working on is to manipulate the band gap in a material. A band gap describes the amount of energy that electrons need to move around and generate electricity. If you can manipulate band gaps, then you can control the amount of electricity produced. Band gap engineering is not a new concept and is already used by solar cell developers and academic researchers in their search for more efficient solar cell designs.

What the MIT researchers proposed is more novel: strain a material to create specific and varying band gaps within a single material to capture different portions of the light spectrum. They imagined creating that strain by using a microscopic needle to poke at the material down the center and create that funnel. The pressure on the needle would cause different degrees of strain and band gaps.

Knowing how to stretch a material is only part of the solution. Finding materials that can withstand the pressure is another hurdle. Conventional solar materials would break or warp undesirably under the straining process proposed by the research. But there is a more recently minted class of ultra-strength materials" that could be suitable. MIT researchers settled on molybdenum disulfide.

The research, which received support from U.S. and Chinese institutions, is only a start in exploring the idea of using ultra-strength materials to engineer more efficient solar cells. The MIT research team, which includes Ju Li, Xiaofeng Qian and Cheng-Wei Huang, hopes to conduct lab work to verify the results of their computer modeling. Ji Feng of Peking University in China rounds up the research team.


Applied Micro shows off X-Gene ARM server prototypes

Systems pr0n 101 to build excitement

Applied Micro Circuits is not yet shipping its first X-Gene ARM-based processor aimed at servers, and it is going to be a while yet before it can get the processors into the field. But because there is so much at stake, Applied Micro can't afford to be left out of any conversations about ARM Holding's attack on the data center. The reason? It has invested very heavily (at least relative to its size) in this X-Gene project....


Friday, November 23, 2012

The Peak Oil Crisis: Descent Into Chaos

By Tom Whipple, posted Nov 22, 2012:

Iraqi soldier at roadsideThere is a growing disconnect between forecasts of prodigious amounts of oil coming out of the Middle East in coming decades and what is likely to happen in the region. The Middle East today is a patchwork of geographical entities known as states. A few, such as Iran, are reasonably coherent and go back hundreds of years, but others such as Iraq, Israel, and Jordan were created by outside powers out of a polyglot of ethnicities. In many countries, the people's first loyalty is to a tribe or a religion rather than a national government.

Overlaying the region is Islam, which goes back to the 7th Century. Unfortunately, so does the intra-religion split which goes back some 1,200 years, and still provokes an amazing amount of animosity between Sunnis and Shiites. In some places this animosity runs deep, and in countries where the population is divided, such as Iraq or Syria, the group in power invariably discriminates against the other.
The rapid population growth has been and will be a fundamental cause of instability. Between 1970 and 2012, the population of the Middle East and North Africa grew from 127 to 569 million. Only some 160 million live in countries that enjoy substantial oil revenues, while the other 400 million live mostly in poverty. The region is adding about 8 million people a year, and because of traditional religious and social practices - mostly involved with the lack of empowerment for women - there is no end to rapid growth in sight.
We might add climate change into the pot. With rising temperatures, in an already warm region, there will be lower crop yields - and for those with lots of oil more air conditioning, which cuts the amount of oil available for export. Much of the region is already dependent on food imports to feed growing populations and this in turn requires foreign exchange.
The political history of the region has done little but exacerbate the situation. The establishment of Israel after World War II has resulted in 65 years of confrontations punctuated by periodic wars. The Cold War resulted in the U.S., Russia, and to a lesser extent Europe arming their friends and clients in the region to the teeth. When these "well-armed" governments started collapsing from internal dissent or foreign invasion, it left millions of modern weapons and tons of high explosives available for any group that wanted to make trouble.
When the colonial powers pulled out of the region they left behind various kings and princes, some of whom quickly fell prey to military coups and decades of rule by military strongmen. More recently some of these have been replaced, in some cases with considerable violence, by their citizens newly empowered with information technology and aspirations for better forms of government. In the last few years alone governments in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and soon Syria have been overthrown. Other governments are on the endangered list as recent violence in Jordan, Bahrain, and Kuwait clearly shows.
Although the troubles have not yet gotten to the major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, they are getting closer all the time. Libya, Syria, Kuwait, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran have been unable to export oil for varying periods of time in recent years. Currently, Syrian oil exports are unlikely for the duration of the uprising; Iranian exports are down because of a disagreement about its possible acquisition of nuclear weapons; Egyptian exports of natural gas to Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon are out due to the precarious security situation in the Sinai. These are all rather minor when viewed from the global energy perspective; however, with the violent fighting going on in Syria and Gaza at the moment, there is the likelihood that there will be far more troubles ahead.
The Gaza situation presently seems unlikely to have much impact on oil exports, unless the Israeli - Egyptian peace treaty should come apart; then all bets are off. The Syrian uprising has much greater potential for spreading further across the region and eventually affecting oil exports, for the country is at the crossroads of several long-standing confrontations. For historical reasons the Russians and Chinese are supporting the Assad government, which is prolonging the conflict. Then, the Assad government is a minority government made up of Shiites trying to rule a country which is 75 percent Sunni. The hatreds which have arisen during the uprising are already making themselves felt in Iraq and Lebanon. When the Assad government goes, it is likely to be followed by a period of instability if not outright chaos in the country. Foreign intervention may become necessary if only to secure some of the more dangerous weapons from Assad's arsenal, further inflaming passions.
So far only a minor part of the region's oil exports have become involved in the upheavals. The most vulnerable of the major oil producers is likely to be Iraq, which is already experiencing frequent bombings targeting the Shiite-controlled security facilities. The security situation in Iraq still permits increasing oil production, but this is not likely to last and we are already seeing major foreign oil companies pulling out of Iraq for Kurdistan where there is not as much oil, but the opportunity for profit and the security situation is better.
The region's conflicts have been going on for a very long time and show every sign of getting worse as population pressures and the worsening climate leads to new pressures. Increasing communication with other cultures is also creating pressures that will inevitably lead to increased political instability. Those who count on the Middle East to produce much of the world's oil supply over the next few decades are sure to be disappointed as the probability of steadily increasing violence is very high.
Originally published at Falls Church News-Press

Iraqi solider image via shutterstock


Electricity from the marshes

An unexpected source of new, clean energy has been found: the Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell that can generate electricity from the natural interaction between living plant roots and soil bacteria. The technique already works on a small scale and will soon be applied in larger marshland areas throughout the world.


Chevy Volt: Q & A #2

Website: This is my Chevy Volt question and answer video number two. I'm directly answering your Chevy Volt or electric car questions while giving your channel a shout out. Featured followers channels Our first question comes from SoulSurviv...

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

LED Christmas Tree Lights

Website: This video is about LED Christmas lights on a tree. I replaced my old style tree lights that used 400watts. Over a month it would cost about $35 to $40 depending on your electric bill. These new LED bulbs use about 40watts or about 10 times less. That is about three or four dollars per month. More importantly it's less of a fire hazard because the bulbs aren't as hot. Plus, the bulbs last longer. Each of the LED bulbs is sealed in the fixture so moisture doesn't get in. The LED bulbs will last a very long time, ten to twenty years. They are definitely a lot safer. Any questions or comments, please let me know. Thank you. Facebook Twitter: LED light bulbs Christmas Save energy Save money Plug-in "Electric Car" Extended Chevrolet Chevy Volt Range Electric Vehicle EV Clean 2013 Video Ampera HoldenWorld oil supply high demand solar how to alternative fuels global warming "Peak Oil" crisis understanding explaining peakoil petroleum future apocalypse end crash energy inflation gas gasoline reserves strategic reserve prices unemployment fuel finance resource wars middle east war military kunstler heinberg martenson simmons save money powerdown howto Vlog preparing for peak oil solar heating array inverter homestead survival supplies sustainable living permaculture crops tips ideas tools protect family cut Saudi Arabia Libya Iran Yemen Nigeria Syria Iraq tar sands Chavez high gas price

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Chevy Volt: Q & A #1

Website: This is my Chevy Volt question and answer video series, session number one, where I'm answering my followers questions directly and giving a shout out to their channels and questions. Featured followers channels

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chevy Volt: The Auto Awards

Website: The Chevrolet Volt has received many auto awards. This video is about what awards the Chevy Volt has won. Let's get right to the list. It won the Motor Trend car of the year, the North American car of the year and Automobile magazine's automobile of the year....

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Peak Oil: Oil Lamp Lighting

Website: This video is about using an oil lamp as back-up emergency lighting. Fortunately, here in Connecticut the power has gone out for several weeks total the past year. I say, fortunately, because that allows you to find out what your weaknesses are in terms of your...

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