Category: Science

Wind Plus Solar Plus Storage = 99.9% of Grid Needs, Affordably

I was greatly encouraged today to read the news of a new study in Delaware that suggests that it would be affordable to combine wind and solar with storage to replace substantially all of the nation’s power grid.

The finding is contained in new  research by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College and reported in Science Daily.

According to the report, “Unlike other studies, the model focused on minimizing costs instead of the traditional approach of matching generation to electricity use. The researchers found that generating more electricity than needed during average hours — in order to meet needs on high-demand but low-wind power hours — would be cheaper than storing excess power for later high demand.”

 

3-D Printing is On the Near Horizon and Here are Seven Good Reaons Why

An HP 3D Printer Available Now

An HP 3D Printer Available Now

Well, six reasons really. The seventh is a little frivolous but that doesn’t make it less a profitable idea.

This article contains seven pretty intriguing, potentially practical applications for this new technology. Several of my friends are paying close attention to this market. It’s clearly filled with promise.

The possibilities of this technology advance are infinite and a dedicated hobbyist interested in getting started can do so for under $500.

 

Despite Sandy, Global Climate Change is MIA in Campaigns

Fifty years from now, it won’t matter a whit who won the 2012 Presidential election in the United States. The entire human race will be focused instead on minimizing the loss of human life to as few tens of millions as possible as global climate change overcomes rumors of its mythical nature and wipes out huge portions of the planet.

Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has so much as mentioned climate change during the campaign. The President has taken some modest steps toward environmental cleanup but he’s far, far short of the kinds of drastic measures that are now clearly called for. Romney’s site does not, as far as I can tell, even mention climate change. You can use their search box to locate the topic and a bunch of links come up but as far as I can tell, not one of them is on topic.

Climate change is real. Superstorms like Sandy will seem like child’s play in 20 years or less. The new storms will be bigger, more powerful and more frequent. And that will be the least of our problems.

What will it take for our national leadership to recognize the problem and force the kind of change on us that we need to make if we expect humanity to survive even somewhat unchanged? If “Frankenstorm” can’t do it, what will?

The most articulate description of the dilemma we face and the choices we will be forced to make comes in a well-done amateur video called “The Worst That Could Happen.”

You should stop now and watch it. Regardless of your beliefs about climate change (aka global warming in one of the worst misnomers in history), this movie will persuade you that action is preferable to inaction.

It’s already too late to avoid some of the most devastating consequences of our actions. Perhaps extinction of the human species can be avoided. But not if our leaders continue to whistle past the rapidly melting graveyard.