Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature.
Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows.
The US Navy is all over space solar power, so yes it really is a real thing and no, the Navy hasn't suddenly lost its way to the ocean. One key advantage of generating solar power from space is the idea that it can be transmitted to remote locations where transmission lines would be difficult
A viable technology now exists that will break fossil fuel's stranglehold hold on America and no one is talking about it? Your corporate media hard at work.
Khannea Suntzu's insight:
Surf’s up! The Navy appears to have achieved the Holy Grail of energy independence – turning seawater into fuel:
> After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists > believe they may have solved one of the world’s > great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel.
> The new fuel is initially expected to cost around > $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval > Research Laboratory, which has already flown a > model aircraft on it.
Curiously, this doesn’t seem to be making much of a splash (no pun intended) on the evening news. Let’s repeat this: The United States Navy has figured out how to turn seawater into fuel and it will cost about the same as gasoline.
This technology is in its infancy and it’s already this cheap? What happens when it’s refined and perfected? Oil is only getting more expensive as the easy-to-reach deposits are tapped so this truly is, as it’s being called, a “game changer.”
I expect the GOP to go ballistic over this and try to legislate it out of existence. It’s a threat to their fossil fuel masters because it will cost them trillions in profits. It’s also “green” technology and Republicans will despise it on those grounds alone. They already have a track record of trying to do this. Unfortunately, once this kind of genie is out of the bottle, it’s very hard to put back in.
There are two other aspects to this story that have not been brought up yet:
1. The process pulls carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas driving Climate Change) out of the ocean. One of the less well-publicized aspects of Climate Change is that the ocean acts like a sponge for CO2 and it’s just about reached its safe limit. The ocean is steadily becoming more acidic from all of the increased carbon dioxide. This in turn poisons delicate ecosystems like coral reefs that keep the ocean healthy.
If we pull out massive amounts of CO2, even if we burn it again, not all of it will make it back into the water. Hell, we could even pull some of it and not use it in order to return the ocean to a sustainable level. That, in turn will help pull more of the excess CO2 out of the air even as we put it back. It would be the ultimate in recycling.
2. This will devastate oil rich countries but it will get us the hell out of the Middle East (another reason Republicans will oppose this). Let’s be honest, we’re not in the Middle East for humanitarian reasons. We’re there for oil. Period. We spend trillions to secure our access to it and fight a “war” on terrorism. Take away our need to be there and, suddenly, justifying our overseas adventures gets a lot harder to sell.
And if we “leak” the technology? Every dictator propped up by oil will tumble almost overnight. Yes, it will be a bloody mess but we won’t be pissing away the lives of our military to keep scumbags in power. Let those countries figure out who they want to be without billionaire thugs and their mercenary armies running the show.
Why this is not a huge major story mystifies me. I’m curious to see how it all plays out so stay tuned.
People have been asking for more details about the process. This is from the Naval Research Laboratory’s official press release:
Using an innovative and proprietary NRL electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM), both dissolved and bound CO2 are removed from seawater at 92 percent efficiency by re-equilibrating carbonate and bicarbonate to CO2 and simultaneously producing H2. The gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system.
In plain English, fuel is made from hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon). This process pulls both hydrogen and carbon from seawater and recombines them to make fuel. The process can be used on air as well but seawater holds about 140 times more carbon dioxide in it so it’s better suited for carbon collection.
Another detail people seem to be confused about: This is essentially a carbon neutral process. The ocean is like a sponge for carbon dioxide in the air and currently has an excess amount dissolved in it. The process pulls carbon dioxide out of the ocean. It’s converted and burned as fuel. This releases the carbon dioxide back into the air which is then reabsorbed by the ocean. Rinse. Repeat.
In its economic response to Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine, the US is apparently trying to pry open not just the records of shell companies, but also the code of silence around allegedly corrupt energy deals. Last week, the US announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin had invested in the trading firm Gunvor, a rumor...
Germany, Europe’s largest energy consumer—and the world’s seventh-largest—seems to be running out of politically feasible sources of power. At a summit last week, EU leaders pledged to reduce their reliance on Russia for energy supplies. This isn’t an immediate crisis: No matter how tense things get, Russia isn’t likely to...
The nuclear race is on. China is upping the ante dramatically on thorium nuclear energy. Scientists in Shanghai have been told to accelerate plans (sorry for the pun) to build the first fully-functioning thorium reactor within ten years, instead of 25 years as originally planned. “This is definitely a race. China faces fierce competition from [...]