The Museum of Science had a display of solar and wind energy which was very informative as well as hands on. It showcased the different ways that solar energy can be collected and used ranging from the tower design to the trough and the parabolic dish and included small designs of each so that you can put a picture with what was being said. I thought that the parabolic dish was a pretty cool design because i’ve never actually seen it in person.
I was also surprised that the New England Region and including New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey consumed more energy per household than any other region in the country. I was taken back by that statistic.
Also I learned that coal is still by far the most used source to produce electricity in the country at about 49%. I didn’t think that coal was still primarily used as an energy source. Natural gas is also used quite a bit which is cleaner than coal.
Also on exhibit was the different types of wind turbines and how much electricity each can generate along with the max wind speed that it can withstand and how long each turbine is.
Overall, the trip was very informative and it was a good time. The museum did a great job of putting on an engaging exhibit.
I remember waking up on the morning of March 11, 2011 to news of a devestating Earthquake the hit Japan and the subsequent tsunami that washed ashore. I recall walking into my first 9 am class and watching live reports coming out of Japan that wiped out towns miles inland.
Then came the news of the Fukushima power plant that was knocked offline and suffered a meltdown in some of its reactors. The area around the power plant became a ghost town. Worries about how far the radiation would spread caused thousands to move away when the area was already unstable. Which raises the question how is it that this could happen? Shouldn’t there always be an emergency plan for nuclear power plants?
Nuclear power is an extremely reliable form of power and it essentially a renewable source of power. And if something can be down with the waste that come out, it be can a clean way to produce energy. With that said there is the ever-present threat of a disaster. Why isn’t there emergency procedures for things like this? That is the last hurdle to accomplish to make this nuclear power a safe producer of energy.
But time is running out. Nuclear is old and on the way out and if green energy can make strides in its output, that would end the era for Nuclear power. For the people of Japan that were effected by the power plant, they wish that green energy was around and implemented in their area. Still over two years later, there are worries of how the radiation will effect them and it may take decades to find out.
Wall Street Journal
With green energy being viewed as the way to go, investers are coming out to support the new movement. The biggest invester this country has, the U.S. Government pumped over a half-billion dollars into this company. How is it that it failed and cost taxpayers over $400 billion?
This company claimed that it has developed a new solar energy cell for rooftops that could produce more energy than the typical rooftop solar cells. Obama even visited the company and praised it as a model company for energy and job creation. Not long after that, the company learned that it was out of money and laid off more than 1,100 employees.
The company spent more money than it had building expensive factories and not enough buyers for its products. Many people want to go green, but the price just isn’t right for many. To install solar panels on the top of your roof costs thousands of dollars. Not until the price of buying and installing these devices drops will the public be ready to buy them up and Solyndra is a prime example of that. Until then, there is potential for millions and billions of dollars to be lost in failed companies and the failure of this company will be a warning signal to other start up companies.
Until then, the Government needs to take a look at its own investing with green energy. Solyndra got billions of dollars and also got tax breaks for over $25 million. The purpose behind tax breaks is to create jobs, and they laid off over 1,100 people when jobs are in high demand. The government needs to clean up its act.
If you turn on the TV and catch an ad for a new 2013 vehicle, you might be surprised by the fuel efficiency of the vehicles that are rolling off the assembly lines
According to a Reuters report, vehicles that were bought during the March of 2012 had an MPG of 24.1 miles per gallon, which is up 20 percent from 2007. In addition to the increase of gas milage, the emissions of vehicles have fallen by 17 percent.
Back in 2007, the Bush Administration set the requirements for fuel efficiency for vehicles in America. Then in 2009, the Obama Administration mandated that each automaker’s fleet average a 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, according to US News.
With the recent wave of hybrid and electric cars, the MPG average has skyrocketed. The fact that you can charge your car battery overnight and drive on that and then switch over to gasoline once that has been exhausted has helped save on emissions as well. And has helped drivers defeat high gas prices. According to truecar, the Toyota Prius can average upwards of 50 combined MPG.
The U.S. is behind the rest of the world when it comes to fuel efficiency. It is about time the government intervened and mandated higher fuel efficiency. With all the technology that is available there is no excuse for there not to be high fuel efficiency.
It’s been a worry in the back of the minds of those living in the Mid-Atlantic area for years. What if a hurricane struck the heart New York City. What kind of damage would be inflicted? What would the storm surge do to the subway system?
Well on the last weekend of October, an unseasonably late hurricane struck right there. Hurricane Sandy struck the tri-state area as a category 1 storm, but would cause the second most damage ($65.6 billion) of all hurricanes since 1851, according to the National Hurricane Center.
So why did a Hurricane a few days before November strike? Was global warming to blame? It is still too early to say for sure, but there are a handful of clues that point to global warming.
According to a Huffington Post story, the temperatures in the Western Atlantic during October were much warmer than normal, rivaling the temperatures of an average September. A hurricane needs water temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit to continue, which is why so many fizzle out during the end of Hurricane season (lasts until Nov. 2). Because the temperatures were so warm, the hurricane nailed the entire east coast.
George Lakoff, professor of linguistics at California-Berkeley believes that global warming was to blame for the hurricane, in addition to the midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas. He also agrees that global warming heated the waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic which caused the massive storm.
But not everyone agrees that global warming caused Sandy. Kevin Drum says that global warming did not cause Sandy. However it did make it worse. His argument is that while hurricanes are not common during October, they are not unheard of. But what make the matter worse is that over the past century, the sea levels have risen by over eight inches. That eight extra inches that Hurricane Sandy has to her advantage and the rise of those levels are because of global warming.
This hurricane should shed some light on the raising sea levels around the world.
In a world that is dominated by fossil fuels and the constant released of carbon dioxide, it is good to see one country that is taking the initiative to turn the page on the 20th-century way of producing energy and begin newer, cleaner ways of producing energy.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Germany accounts for 11.7 percent on the worlds green energy (second to only the U.S., however keep in mind the U.S. is roughly 27 times larger than Germany). And that number is only expected to go up.
The German idea for green energy began as long as 40 years ago from President Jimmy Carter, according to truthdig. And since then, Germany has not looked back. Germany created strong public incentives to go green as well, by buying excess energy that is produced from solar panels on residential homes.
Following the earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan in March of 2011 that caused devastation to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Germany vowed to close all of their 15 nuclear power plants by the year 2022. The closing of the power plants (which accounted for 22.4% of national electricity in 2010) will leave a gap in electrical power unless an alternative is found. And leaving your citizens in the dark is not as option.
German website Spiegel reports that solar energy is the top renewable source of energy in the country at 275.5 billion killowatt-hours. But other forms such as wind, hydroelectric, photovoltaic solar and biomass were gaining ground in the first half of 2011.
Being just under 20 percent at renewable energy is quite a feat for a small country. But there is still a long way to go. And the German Government has outlined a plan through 2050 to stay on track. By 2020, they want 35 percent of their electrical power to come from green sources, 50 percent by 2030, 65 percent by 2040 and 80 percent by 2050.
If only the United States would follow the same premise the Germans have outlined before it’s too late.