Category: Energy Systems

Generation Gap: Wind Opens Big Lead over Nuclear in China

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute In China, wind power is leaving nuclear behind. Electricity output from China’s wind farms exceeded that from its nuclear plants for the first time in 2012, by a narrow margin. Then in 2013, wind pulled away — outdoing nuclear by 22 percent. The 135 terawatt-hours of Chinese wind-generated electricity in 2013 would be nearly enough to power New York State.

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A Bicycle-Powered Water Pump (Malawi, Africa)

Sitting quietly at Butterfly, on the shores of Lake Malawi, it always struck me as odd when I would hear of people in the U.K. and the ‘leisure time’ they allotted themselves to keep fit. I found it stranger when people would want to do it while here on holiday, but each to their own. Living in a place like Malawi for over ten years you see the amount of […]

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Rough, Ready, But Very Real – a November 2013 Update on the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site)

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Project from above, featuring a garbage-accumulating fence edge Well, you would be hard pressed to find a tougher block of land — a 400m below sea level, West facing slope, in an extremely hot, arid climate, with extremely poor, shallow highly alkaline top ‘soil’, covered in rocks, with a limited water supply and in a mostly Palestinian refugee-populated village. When we first started working on the site local farmers thought […]

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2013 To Be Record Year for Offshore Wind

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute Offshore wind power installations are on track to hit a seventh consecutive annual record in 2013. Developers added 1,080 megawatts of generating capacity in the first half of the year, expanding the world total by 20 percent in just six months. Fifteen countries host some 6,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity. Before the year is out, the world total should exceed 7,100 megawatts. […]

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Report on a Permaculture Internship – Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge (Sept-Oct, 2013, Ethiopia)

Editor’s Note: Beginning 2 December 2013, Alex is running another PDC at the developing Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge in southern Ethiopia. Following that will be a four-week Internship, starting 16 December, 2013. Why not book your place and head off for the learning and cultural immersion experience of a lifetime! This is a write up based on a brief report by Jesse Wood which he wrote at the end of […]

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Funding for Small Scale Anaerobic Digesters in England

UK government starts mining agricultural wastes for renewable energy as municipal and household wastes are becoming scarce. by Dr Mae Wan Ho On Farm Anaerobic Digestion Fund The UK government has set up the On Farm Anaerobic Digestion Fund to help farmers in England install small scale anaerobic digesters on site [1, 2]. The scheme, formally launched 12 October 2013 by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Secretary […]

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Zero Net Energy Households

A "zero net" home is a household with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually — essentially, the idea of a zero net home is a building with a virtually invisible carbon footprint. As renewable and clean energy sources become more affordable and accessible to everyday homeowners, we should hopefully see an increase in both zero net homes, and homes that consume slightly more energy than they produce, […]

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Japanese Farmers Producing Crops and Solar Energy Simultaneously

Revitalizing the farming sector for the next-generation and could provide more than enough electricity for the entire country. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho Restriction to solar PV installation on farmlands removed Solar sharing in Fukushima Farmers in Japan are taking advantage of new opportunities to generate electricity while growing crops. In April 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) approved the installation of solar PV systems on crop-producing farms, […]

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Permaculture in the Bahamas

At the same time as the 36-inch snow storm hit the East Coast of the US in early February, 2013, I found myself standing on an island in the Bahamas. With no way to ‘escape’ I decided to accept my situation and make the best of it. I had been invited to speak at a Peace Symposium hosted by the Sivananda Yoga Retreat located on Paradise Island just north of […]

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The Three Legs of the Integrated Permaculture Design Stool

by Rob Avis I woke up this morning with a realization — nothing I didn’t already know in principle, just a clearer understanding of how certain principles fit together to create good design. My epiphany was visualizing integrated design as a three-legged stool which requires all three legs to make a stable seat/design. The three legs of the design stool are The Elements (food forest, roof, solar panel) The Placement […]

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Pollinate Energy (Bangalore, India)

One of the major consequences of industrial agriculture is the steady flight of rural populations to urban centers. Economists have widely encouraged this mass movement of people as a sign of a developing economy ‘specializing’. We are seeing this trend in all majors cities in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Young men and women leave their villages and move to the city in search of better wages and lifestyle. Unfortunately, […]

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Living Without a Fridge

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. I’ve been living without a fridge for the last three months — the winter months of Melbourne, Australia. Before you send me to the asylum, however, let me tell you about this experiment which produced several interesting, and I think important, surprises, related to energy consumption and lifestyle habits. […]

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