Adaptability is the key to survival — both in nature as Charles Darwin observed, and in the business sector. As the solar industry continues to flourish, utility companies across the U.S. are beginning to witness how the traditional electric grid is transforming. As tens of thousands of reside
With the Obama proposal to get some money for infrastructure, it is time to revisit the payoff from investments in transportation. Investments that improve the performance of transportation in the US will pay for themselves in 17 years through increased economic activity and the resulting gains in federal tax revenue. The rate of return for national investments in transportation is 7%, significantly more than the cost of borrowing. Recently released research verbalizes a theory of why the performance of infrastructure matters for the economy.
A new mapping tool from the U.S. Department of Energy lets users see how geothermal power plants across the country are taking advantage of the heat stored within the earth’s crust. Most of the nation’s 154 operational and planned geothermal plants are clustered in western states, where geothermal heat potential is especially high (red areas). Notably, the map identifies two areas that appear ripe for new geothermal development: one in the Great Plains and another at the border of Virginia and West Virginia. The bulk of the facilities are conventional geothermal plants, which generate power using fluid found naturally deep below earth's surface. Steam captured at the surface spins a turbine, which then powers an electric generator. A newer type of hydrothermal technology, called enhanced geothermal, forces cold water from the surface down into the hot crust, which also generates steam that powers a generator. Both types are generally considered clean sources of energy.