Everyone loves Biodiesel
So what’s going to replace fossil based fuels and when? Chuck Steiner of WaterSmart reviews the existing options and weighs up the science and the cost. He concludes Biodiesel is the answer.
Here is a potential virtuous circle of future energy production
1. Energy collection using parabolic solar collectors that focus and concentrate the light energy of the Sun.
2. Applying the collected energy to a Stirling-cycle heat engine which, in turn, drives an electricity-producing generator to power an electrolysis system.
3. Electrolysis systems use electricity to chemically decompose water into its component elements of hydrogen and oxygen. Free hydrogen doesn’t exist in sufficient quantities to support a hydrogen based transportation fuel.
4. The solar hydrogen is then used as an environmentally clean fuel to power transportation equipment.
Ditch the rucksack
The first in a regular series from Ditchmonkey – the Sotheby’s employee who sleeps in a field to raise money for the Woodland Trust.
So what’s it like to have nothing?
Well I don’t strictly speaking have ‘nothing’ — when I spend such a vast amount of time lugging all that I do own around on my back, it sometimes feels as though I have quite a lot. I have given away almost everything I used to own. Now the things I still possess are heavy with potential.
What I do have in my life right now is just about as little as I can get away with. And to be honest it still feels like too much. I have found people around me incredibly generous and things that I need seem to appear when needed.
So what do I mean by saying that the things that I do possess are heavy with potential? There are two aspects to this: the immediate and the future potential. Owning little requires adaptability not just of oneself, but also of one’s possessions. My rucksack is not just a means of transporting possessions but is also a seat, a windbreak, a handy way of knocking items off shelves in packed shops, a conversation starter, and, when carried for a few miles every day, a fine way of keeping fit.
This site is all about living off the grid, so why are we carrying an ad for power delivered down the grid?
Well, let’s face it — one reason is that we need the money which will come from each one of you that switches from an old dinosaur power supplier to this new, young, vibrant company (that’s enough suck-ass – Ed!).
But there are two other reasons why we are proud to recommend Ecotricity to our UK readers:
Solarworld – not the only one going north
Alternative Energy firms across Europe are considering floating their shares in the coming months as the soaring price of oil makes solar and wind power ever more attractive than costly and polluting fossil fuels.
We see money going to solar and wind. Governments recognise the fact that those technologies have entered the market and see the necessity for further development to make them more efficient and cheaper.
At Charity hospital in New Orleans, as the emergency generator ran out of fuel yesterday, nurses hand-pumped ventilators for patients who could not breathe and doctors used canoes to get supplies from neighbouring hospitals.
“It was like our tsunami,” said Vincent Creel, spokesman for the coastal city of Biloxi, one of the worst-hit areas. “The city’s power grid, water and sewage systems were destroyed.”
How can Off-Grid help the disenfranchised and dislocated people of New Orleans? This is not going to be a temporary phenomenon. Readers are invited to make comments at the end of this story for ways to use our know-how for their benefit. New Orleans looks set to be off the grid for the next year at least. The city may become a case study of a large-scale off-grid community, using renewable energy.
“The entire grid system in these areas is completely ruined,” said David Botkins, a spokesman for Dominion Virginia Power, which sent 200 workers to Louisiana and Mississippi. “They’re starting from scratch.”
The solar water heater industry was driven out of business in the 1940s, and now look at the mess we’re in. Eco-building consultant Laren Corrie explains.
In 1930s Florida, Solar energy totally dominated the water heating business (the same was true in southern California). Two thirds of water heaters sold in Florida in the 1930s were Solar water heaters, up on the roofs. When WWII began, copper, glass, and able bodies were in high demand to serve the national cause. Just as the auto industry in Detroit shut down, and we never saw any cars for a couple of auto years (1943-44 ?) the very successful Solar energy industry in Florida, also shut down for the war years. For rest of story, click on “more” below.
Solar Power: The Evolution of Sustainable Architecture – buy it from Amazon US
Singer Elton John has joined the Queen and Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen in planning to create an underground network on his property to extract heat from the earth’s natural warmth.
He is following a new fashion among the super-rich for drilling boreholes at their properties as the latest “green” status symbol.
Sir Richard Branson, the entrepreneur, George Davies, the high street fashion guru, Paul Lister, son of the founder of the MFI furniture empire and owner of a vast Highlands nature reserve we have written about before, and the Queen are all planning to switch to Geothermal energy.
The Buckingham Palace system will provide secure, free and inexhaustible energy from beneath the surface of the four-acre lake at the heart of the walled gardens. The network will pump heating to the state rooms, the formal area of the palace used by the monarch to host official banquets and investitures.
Palace insiders said that a meeting next month between an installation firm and officials from the royal household was expected to approve the plans. It will cost approximately £50,000 to install the outdoor equipment. To see rest of story click “more.”
21st Century Complete Guide to Geothermal Energy, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Electricity, Potential, Drilling, Photo Gallery, Geopowering the West, Department … National Renewable Energy Lab NREL (CD-ROM) buy it from Amazon
Manchester City Football Club is set to get one of the UK’s largest land-based wind turbines provided by independent green power company Ecotricity, in a bid to curb its carbon emissions and become genuinely green in its energy supply.
The turbine has been designed by globally celebrated architect Sir Norman Foster.
We’re Not Really Here: Manchester City’s Final Season at Maine Road – buy it from Amazon UK
The turbine will also be used to supply energy to the homes of people in East Manchester.
Baby, its hot down here
The State of Arizona has set up subsidies for household solar and wind installations as part of a big package announced this week.(12th August 2005)
“We should be to solar as Texas is to oil,” said Arizona Energy Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes as he argued for development of Arizona’s solar resources.
Shop for Solar Energy products at Gaiam.com!
With President George Bush still in denial about the effect of US energy consumption on the rest of the planet, it is left to Her Majesty the Queen of England to show the green way forward to Heads of State.
Micro-hydro Design Manual: Guide to Small-scale Water Schemes – buy it from Amazon — 4% goes to Off-Grid
Having already installed a Hydro-electric plant at Windor Castle, the “Green” Queen has harnessed a stream on the Balmoral estate – where the Royals are currently enjoying their summer break – to produce hydro-electric power.
George Bush would approve of the fact that every volt will be sold, with enough electricity being generated to potentially power The White House.