Category: Energy Systems

China is World’s Leading Renewable Superpower

Top in investment, installed capacity and generation, and moving away from fossil fuels; in contrast to the USA. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho Photo Credit: Greenpeace/Xuan Canxiong Overtakes US in investment For the second year, the annual Pew Charitable Trusts report, “Who’s winning the clean energy race?” shows China leads in clean energy investment with $54 billion in 2013, well above total US investment of $ 36.7 bn, with Japan in […]

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China’s Solar Panel Production to Double by 2017

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute China installed a world record amount of solar photovoltaics (PV) capacity in 2013. While this was the first time the country was the number one installer, China has led all countries in making PV for the better part of a decade. China now accounts for 64 percent of global solar panel production — churning out 25,600 megawatts of the nearly 40,000 megawatts of […]

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Earthworker – Australia’s First Worker-Owned Green Manufacturing Cooperative

The Earthworker Cooperative is a community-led initiative addressing two significant problems; the stark reality of climate change, and a lack of secure, dignified work in sustainable industries. Earthworker is responding to these issues by setting up an Australia-wide network of community-owned cooperatives in sustainable industries. This is beginning with Eureka’s Future – a worker-owned factory manufacturing high-quality solar hot water systems in Morwell, Victoria, in the heart of Australia’s coal-dominated […]

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Wave Carpet – Harnessing Wave Energy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWnY-XFihVQ Professor Reza Alam and his PhD students in Mechanical Engineering Department, University of California, Berkeley, are testing out a prototype of a device which can produce electricity and provide clean drinking water for coastal communities throughout the world. Called a ‘wave carpet’, it harnesses the predictable wave power to obtain usable energy. As the waves roll through, the carpets motion produces hydraulic pressure energy. This energy can to used […]

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Denmark, Portugal, and Spain Leading the World in Wind Power

by J. Matthew Roney Denmark produced one third of its electricity from the wind in 2013. In no other country has wind’s share of annual electricity generation yet topped 30 percent. But the Danes are not stopping there — they are eyeing a goal of 50 percent wind by 2020, with most of the needed expansion coming from offshore wind farms. Recent experience shows that Denmark’s grid can accommodate this […]

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Solar Tyre Cooker

Sketch showing the solar tyre cooker With relatively inexpensive materials and easy to construct, a solar tyre cooker can be a very useful device for many of the poor people in the world. In many African countries people walk long distances to collect firewood to cook their food, or spend up to 50% of their income buying wood or charcoal. The materials needed to make this solar oven are very […]

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The Multi Bioregion Earthship

Adaptation – any alteration in the structure or function of an organism or any of its parts that results from natural selection and by which the organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment. Who am I if not myself? So, you’ve decided that you would like to live a more sustainable life — filled with natural homes, gardens and fresh water among other things. This transition […]

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Zeer Pot: Demonstration of Its Effectiveness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNLPeb3qIhc A Zeer Pot – Off Grid Refrigeration (Duration 5:36 minutes) A zeer pot is an ancient device used to cool things. It was invented by the Egyptians about 2500 years before Christ was born. It works on the principle of evaporative cooling. It’s still in use today in North Africa and this video tells you about it and shows you how to make and use one. Interesting notes: More […]

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World Wind Power Poised to Bounce Back after Slowing in 2013

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute At the end of 2013, the wind farms installed in more than 85 countries had a combined generating capacity of 318,000 megawatts, which would be enough to meet the residential electricity needs of the European Union’s 506 million people. New data from the Global Wind Energy Council show that wind developers built 35,000 megawatts of new generating capacity worldwide in 2013. This was […]

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Ram Pumps

People are always fascinated by ram pumps. I think partly because they achieve the seemingly impossible task of pumping water to a higher height than the water supplying the pump, and they do it for no added energy input. This is often misunderstood as needing no energy, but even a casual understanding of the laws of thermodynamics tells us this is impossible. You will notice I said no added energy […]

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Lessons From the Rust Belt with Geoff Lawton

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Geoff Lawton looks at the rust belt collapse of an entire industry in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and the lost opportunity that could have been prevented if people thought differently and redesigned their way using some proven Permaculture techniques. The future might have been vastly different. Holyoke once had a thriving wool and sheep industry. When that fell away, a cotton textile mill industry was introduced and flourished for a while before […]

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