Global warming initiatives

This thread is for initiatives to combat global warming, be it renewable energy, clean coal, carbon capture or space mirrors etc...

To kick it off, here's a few from last week:

Scotland funds "world's biggest wind farm"..
quote:
Now Scottish Power is planning a venture which it believes could create enough power for 2,000 homes.
[...]
Scotland has the potential to generate a quarter of Europe's marine energy
[...]
Wave and tidal power could supply a fifth of UK's electricity needs


Does this imply that the potential marine energy for the whole of Europe would only supply 4/5 of the just the UKs electricity needs?

Australia to phase out incandescent bulbs, potentially saving 4 million tonnes of CO2 per annum.

One of Britain's biggest wind farm planned.
 
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Great thread topic!!! Thanks Kradlum!
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SoCal Solar Power
Huge Solar Plants Bloom in Desert

Two Southern California utility companies are planning to develop a pair of sun-powered power plants that they claim will dwarf existing solar facilities and could rival fossil-fuel-driven power plants.
...
The first phase of the SoCal Edison project will be to build a 1-megawatt test site using 40 dishes, which should be complete by spring 2007. Construction on the full, 500-megawatt facility is expected to begin in mid-2008, and should take three to four years. Each dish can produce up to 25 kilowatts, and the site will eventually have 20,000 dishes stretching across 4,500 acres of desert.

Stirling plans to begin construction on SDG&E's 300-megawatt project in late 2008, and it should take about two years to install the 12,000 dishes covering about 2,000 acres.

From http://www.stirlingenergy.com :
 
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I forgot - EU agrees to 30% CO2 cut by 2020. Germany plans to cut emissions by 40%.
 
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virgin chief will give 25 million dollars to the guy who scrubbs enough carbon
 
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maybe this is the guy

I really like that he wants to make gasoline out of the recovered carbon and burn it again...

dunno. these mirror and phosphorous spreader types are a new problem...at least they've accepted the problem...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by DIT:
Great thread topic!!! Thanks Kradlum!
---
SoCal Solar Power
Huge Solar Plants Bloom in Desert

Two Southern California utility companies are planning to develop a pair of sun-powered power plants that they claim will dwarf existing solar facilities and could rival fossil-fuel-driven power plants.
...
The first phase of the SoCal Edison project will be to build a 1-megawatt test site using 40 dishes, which should be complete by spring 2007. Construction on the full, 500-megawatt facility is expected to begin in mid-2008, and should take three to four years. Each dish can produce up to 25 kilowatts, and the site will eventually have 20,000 dishes stretching across 4,500 acres of desert.

Stirling plans to begin construction on SDG&E's 300-megawatt project in late 2008, and it should take about two years to install the 12,000 dishes covering about 2,000 acres.



quote:
Originally posted by TwiliteMinotaur (predictions thread):

2006 - After the success of 'An Inconvenient Truth', the market for 'eco-media' takes off, and global consciousness snowballs.

2008 - 'Sun farms', self-maintaining photovoltaic fields several miles wide capable of powering entire cities, effectively end the (fossil fuel) energy industry.


Hey, a little off target, but maybe I'm not so bad at this futurismization stuff after all!
 
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nanosolar Printable Solar Cells
This looks pretty cool - solar power you can roll out like roofing material. Could really open up the market for locally generated solar power.
Nanosolar's thin film technology involves "printing" a microscopic layer of solar cells onto metal sheets as thin as aluminum foil. The resulting panels are lighter, cheaper, and as efficient as traditional solar panels, but they require no silicon, short supplies of which have caused many solar companies to stumble. Others are pursuing thin film, too, but Nanosolar is poised to produce enough to generate 430 megawatts of electricity a year"”four times the amount produced by all solar plants in the U.S. combined.

Perhaps more importantly, Nanosolar is the first company to figure out how to produce these cells cheaply. How cheaply? Less than $1 per watt, or one-tenth of the cost of traditional cells. In other words, solar power will finally be able to compete with gas and fossil fuels. This year, the company will begin building the world's largest solar-cell factory, which will triple U.S. capacity and make us second only to Japan in output. Investments from Silicon Valley heavyweights like Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, are bolstering the company, and a new deal with Conergy, the nation's largest solar electric systems integrator, gives Nanosolar a huge jump on its competitors.
(ref.)
 
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Aw yeah!
 
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TVA produces an average of 822 kWh (One kilowatt-hour (kWh) equals the amount of electricity needed to burn a 100-watt lightbulb for 10 hours.) of electricity per day with 16 different pilot sites right now. That's 300 megawatt hours per year. With cheaper solar cell technology, that number will go up exponentially.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Eric:
TVA produces an average of 822 kWh (One kilowatt-hour (kWh) equals the amount of electricity needed to burn a 100-watt lightbulb for 10 hours.) of electricity per day


The maths looks wrong. If it produces 822kWh per day then shouldn't it power 822 100 watt light bulbs for 10 hours?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kradlum:
quote:
Originally posted by Eric:
TVA produces an average of 822 kWh (One kilowatt-hour (kWh) equals the amount of electricity needed to burn a 100-watt lightbulb for 10 hours.) of electricity per day


The maths looks wrong. If it produces 822kWh per day then shouldn't it power 822 100 watt light bulbs for 10 hours?


Yup per day or 300,030 - 100 Watt light bulbs for 10 hours over the course of 1 year.

Not a whole lot of power compared to the Kingston coal power plant that produces 10 million megawatt hours per year. The growth of solar power will have to be exponential to phase out fossil fuel energy production.
 
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Oh yeah. Sorry, I misread it.
 
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as someone who built a house out in the woods and didn't get power for 3 years, I can tell you. Running a house is all about the heat. The lights and appliances are easy. A little wind or solar and you're there.

But the heat is hard. Geothermal is the answer. I don't mean hotsprings, I mean 7 feet down in your yard the temp is enough to heat your house if you bury a big coil...

it's not just solar we need. Wave energy, wind, geothermal, micro-hydro, they all have to be used...
 
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Back in the 70s I saw a documentary on tv about a large array of hundreds of mirrors (in France?) that focused sunlight into a point, supposedly it woud reach thosands of degrees. Wonder what happened to that one. Confused
 
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those guys were on the right track but you have to have a sterling engine at the centre to turn the difference in heat to power
 
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There is a lot of controversy in Norway at the moment, as the red and green government has refused to pledge the same CO2 cuts as the EU.

Also, the gas-fired power plants being built may not have CO2 capture for years.

http://www.power-technology.com/projects/karsto/

http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/37742/story.htm

http://co2captureproject.com/index.htm
 
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"you have to have a sterling engine at the centre to turn the difference in heat to power"
?
Thought you only had to boil water....
 
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quote:
"Photovoltaic was the first-generation, utility-scale solar technology," he said. "The Stirling engine looks like it will be the second generation."


I think the france one was first-gen too.

If sterling engines spin because of a difference in heat where are they getting the cold?
 
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Good article on CO2 sequestration and Clean Coal.

See also Capturing carbon - We have the technology, why aren't we doing it?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by DIT:
Good article on CO2 sequestration and Clean Coal.

See also Capturing carbon - We have the technology, why aren't we doing it?


Thanks!
A taxi driver (the best-informed people around here) told me he heard on the news that Mitsubishi have what we need for the gas-fired power plants here right now.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Aisha:
Thanks!
A taxi driver (the best-informed people around here) told me he heard on the news that Mitsubishi have what we need for the gas-fired power plants here right now.

Followed up on your taxi driver's tip and found this article on Mitsubishi's technology
Gas turbine combined-cycle (GTCC) generation can effectively use natural gas to provide high generation efficiency. The reason for this is because the GTCC system has two stages of power generation. GTCC systems produce electricity not only by running a gas turbine that burns natural gas but also by turning a steam turbine that utilizes the hot exhaust from the gas turbine. The newest GTCC system with a high-efficiency gas turbine developed by MHI can convert more than 50% of the fuel gas energy into electric energy. Thus, the system provides higher generation efficiency by about 20% and reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 20% compared to conventional generation with gas turbines alone.
 
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Capturing Carbon with Enzymes
A new process turns the greenhouse gas into useful materials.

A CO2 Solution bioreactor, like the one shown in the diagram, contains an enzyme-bonded packing material that interacts with a water solution pumped in from the top and smokestack emissions that enter and bubble up through the bottom. The carbon dioxide in the emissions stream is captured by the enzymes on the surface of the packing material and converted into bicarbonate ions. Cleaned-up air then escapes from the top while the bicarbonate solution exits the bottom. The bicarbonate, in a separate process, can be extracted from the solution and made into compounds, such as limestone, for use by industry.
Credit: CO2 Solution Inc.

 
Aluminum giant Alcoa tested CO2 Solution's lab prototype in 2004 by attaching it to an air outlet from a smelter's emissions-scrubbing system. Michel Lepage, Alcoa's director of laboratories and environment, says the technology worked well. "The system removed 80 percent of the CO2, which is quite large," says Lepage, emphasizing that it was a small-scale test. "But it told us it has a high potential."
...
Langley emphasizes that CO2 Solution's technology is still very much at an embryonic stage of development and that there are major economic and technical hurdles to overcome. "There's not any technology today that's really down to where we need to be," he says.


The company's techniques for reproducing the enzyme have already led to a significant drop in enzyme production costs. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be to produce enough of the enzymes to process the enormous quantity of carbon dioxide that would be emitted from a coal- or gas-fired power plant. CO2 Solution is determined to do it, particularly given the heightened profile of climate change and the likelihood that carbon regulation is around the corner.
 
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Mayor plans greener London. More subsidies for home insulation, conversion of bus fleet to diesel-electric (not sure why they have rejected the fuel cell vehicles they were trialling, perhaps lack of hydrogen infrastructure), energy capture from Tube brakes, tighter new build controls, "carbon neutral" housing development planned, 25% of London's electricity supply to be from local combined heat and power systems.

More information in a bloated PDF format.
 
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New World Record Achieved in Solar Cell Technology: 40.7% Sunlight-to-Electricity Conversion Effiency

PYRON SOLAR INC., in cooperation with Boeing-Spectrolab has developed a highly cost-effective concentrating solar technology to convert sunlight into electricity.

It's system is a low-profile circular array of with short-focal-length lenses concentrating direct sunlight by 400X onto photovoltaic cells. The basic idea is that the 23' diameter circular array of solar concentrators floats, and is rotated by a small motor in order to track the position of the sun. Placing the units close together allows a common motor to drive three arrays at the same time, and captures 75% of the sunlight falling on the land. Since the unit is supposed to be deployed in sunny desert environments, evaporation of the water used to float the array is an issue. An evaporation barrier is used to help address this.

Video of the tracking system in operation (5-second time lapse photography)

The solar concentrators are what allow the unit to achieve such high conversion efficiency. (see the brochure for details). The design features low material requirements (it's only 12" high) and large 'acceptance angle'. Each circular array can generate 6.6kW peak.
 
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Interesting to read about the different technologies for CO2 capture-- and more are to be developed.
See also Zeng.


Here are some very recent (and naturally coloured) views of the current Norwegian government, with facts-- a presentation by the State Secretary (Minister's right hand) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

And here is what I know:
The problem in Norway is that the previous Government granted a concession to build Kårstø gas-fired power plant without CO2 handling (CCS: CO2 Capture and Storage). It will be ready this coming autumn, so the current red-green coalition obviously needed to and has decided to sponsor CO2 handling there.

The question is when can the technology be in place?
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and American Fluor have technology that is operative (based on not exactly harmless amines), but would need to scale up considerably from 3 per thousand and 10% to handle the exhaust from Kårstø.
They can be ready by 2011/2012. (The Government had assumed and hoped for CO2 handling of whatever kind by 2009.)

Hardly in keeping with its promises, the current government has granted a concession to build Mongstad, a combined heat and power plant, with the permission to start operations without CO2 capture (in 2010)-- with CO2 handling possibly at best from 2014.

Add to this that Aker Kvaerner, a major Norwegian corporation, are developing new technology (see p. 12 in the link), possibly better -- however, they naturally lag behind the old, but practicable technology of the foreign competition, by a year at best.

AkerKvaerner can build a test facility to handle 10 % of the CO2 exhaust at Kårstø by 2009. And a full-scale plant (with better technology than the ocmpetition) by 2013.

Meanwhile, we add to global warming (and have to buy our climate quotas elsewhere)to produce the energy Norwegian industry craves, as does the rest of the world.

(Largely based on a three-page spread today in Klassekampen -- the paper edition.)
 
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did you know that livestock create more greenhouse gases than vehicles

I don't know if this is true.
 
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I think writing sci fi like this is a global warming initiative

the main character builds his house on land abandoned by others because the sea washed over it...
 
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quote:


Wow-- this man tries hard!

And then you could find the answer blowing in the wind
 
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quote:
Originally posted by greendreams:
did you know that livestock create more greenhouse gases than vehicles

I don't know if this is true.


That's what I was talking about when I mentioned the creation of the Sahara desert being a result of over-farming and large human-raised cattle herds in the Middle East/North Africa. More reason for us not to eat too much meat or mass-produce it. Keep in mind that this still makes the problem our fault.
 
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This is why I say overpopulation is the root cause of global warming.

Without all these gaping mouths to cram full, without the swarming exhalations at every moment, this place would be fine. As it will when we've extinguished our collective little flame.
 
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EU initiatives
 
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US extends Daylight Saving by 4 weeks, with possible savings of 10.8 million tons of CO2 over the next 13 years, plus other benefits. A simple, non-technical initiative.
 
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What's wrong with ethanol from corn.

quote:
In the end, even the most generous analysts estimate that it takes the energy equivalent of three gallons of ethanol to make four gallons of the stuff.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kradlum:
US extends Daylight Saving by 4 weeks, with possible savings of 10.8 million tons of CO2 over the next 13 years, plus other benefits. A simple, non-technical initiative.


For some reason I hadn't realized that was why.
In Norway, we always htought of it as a health-promoting measure-- long light evenings after work to be outdoors and catch up after the dark season.
Probably just me not keeping up with the times (the EU have similar reasons now, I suppose.)
 
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quote:
That's what I was talking about when I mentioned the creation of the Sahara desert being a result of over-farming and large human-raised cattle herds in the Middle East/North Africa. More reason for us not to eat too much meat or mass-produce it. Keep in mind that this still makes the problem our fault.


I crossed the sahara by thumb and goat bus a while back, and I came upon some huge petrified stumps. Cedar trees, really big.
 
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quote:
What's wrong with ethanol from corn.



what's wrong is that an acre of algae produced 100 times more ethanol than an acre of corn.
 
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