The image below, acquired by NASA on November 12, 2012, shows gas flares burning, a byproduct of oil production in North Dakota.
Natural gas production from Bakken shale has increased more than 20-fold between 2007 and 2010. However, due to insufficient natural gas pipeline capacity and processing facilities in the Bakken shale region, 35% of North Dakota’s natural gas production in 2011 was flared, producing tons of CO2.
Though it is better to flare natural gas than to vent it into the atmosphere, because natural gas (methane) is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, it is BEST to wait till the gas can be shipped to market before producing it! The percentage of flared gas in North Dakota is considerably higher than the national average; in 2009, less than 1% of natural gas produced in the United States was vented or flared. The world can not afford the oil AND CO2, being taken out of the shale in North Dakota!
Bakken Gas Fires
Image by NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon/VIIRS/Suomi NPP
knock 45 per cent off fuel bills for an average motorist
when driving in towns and cities costs could be slashed by as much as 80 %
expensive batteries will no longer be needed
Air power would be used solely for city use, automatically activated below 43mph
The system works by using a normal internal combustion engine, special hydraulics and an adapted gearbox along with compressed air cylinders that store and release energy. This enables it to run on petrol or air, or a combination of the two.
By 2020, the cars could be achieving an average of 117 miles a gallon, the company predicts.
Samsung’s Solar Powered Internet Schools opens up opportunities to millions of students in Africa. Easily accessible computer labs encourage students, like Lefa in the video below, to dream big and think beyond what they thought was initially possible. The internet provides a future for Aferican youth, beyond what is available via their limited local, physical resources.
Austin Hay has spent the past couple of years, building a 12′x7′ home on a trailer frame – a DIY mobile home. He has finally completed his home, including a full kitchen, DIY sofa-bed, nearly full-sized shower and composting toilet (doorknobs and solar to come).
Austin hopes to live in his DIY home on wheels, while going to college – just needs a spot in someone’s backyard, with a water hose and extension cord.
Save Energy- Save Money – Easy, low cost ways to save energy and money.
lower your hot water heater temperature (to 140F to eliminate the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease), and insulate the tank and the pipes
reduce thermostat – dress for the cooler temps – use a programmable thermostat. Dispose of old thermostats that contain mercury, property. These old termostats can contain as much murcury as 3,000 CFLs.
wash clothes in cold water
air dry – outside clothes line in summer and indoor line or rack in winter
turn off lights, appliances, computers, etc. when not in use. Add power bars.
seal air leaks – caulking, foam, pastic on windows, draft stoppers on doors, etc.
fix water leacks, replace shower heads with low flow heads and add fauct aerators, displace water in old toilet tanks or replace with new dual flush toilet
replace all incandescent lights with LED or CFL – use LED when the light is used for short durations as quick on/off usage will reduce the lifespan of CFLs
The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880.The finding sustains a trend that has seen the 21st century experience nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York released an analysis of how temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience higher temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) higher than the mid-20th century baseline.
Through global inaction, it appears we have passed the point of “return to normal”. We must therefore expect the fallout – stronger and more frequent storms, droughts, floods, crop failures, etc.
Toronto-based Pond Biofuels has a pilot project that pumps smokestack emissions from St. Marys Cement plant and feeds algae that are grown in large tanks. The algae is then harvested, dried and burned in the plant’s kiln to displace the burning of petroleum coke. It’s a first of its kind in North America, possibly the world. This video was produced May 6, 2011 by Tyler Hamilton for www.cleanbreak.ca after an on-site visit.
Of course the next big question – can this be expanded in a cost effective manner, to take all of the smokestack output. The cost of setup and operation is not discussed in this video. Adding a “price” to dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, would go a long way to making this type of setup cost effective.
Battery systems in electric vehicles are expected to outlast the vehicles themselves. Thus at the end of the car’s life, the battery system should still retain 70% of it’s storage capacity. These used battery systems would not be strong enough to power another new vehicle but could they be used for home power systems?
ABB, in partnership with 4R Energy, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) and Sumitomo Corporation of America is looking into technical and commercial evaluations of battery energy storage units. The following video is an interview with Jochen Kreusel, ABB’s Head of Smart Grids:
Power systems using batteries, controllers and inverters are in use today. With a new source of “cheap” reusable batteries, this should be a no-brainer application. Commercial use would likely center on storage for Wind Turbines, which produce power at off-peak times. Solar systems already produce power at peak intervals, though weekend usage requirements are lower.
As the owner of a hybrid car, I’m looking forward to reusing my EV battery for home use. Add the appropriate controller/inverter to charge the batteries during cheap evening power times, then power my home during the expensive daytime period from my batteries. Once my 20 year contract expires for my roof mounted solar system, I can use that source to charge the batteries on weekends as well. Maybe future electricity rates won’t “drive” me to the poor house after all.