Category: Energy Systems

Problem: Pollution — Solution: Biogas

In this polluted world there is good news. We can create energy from some of our waste! by Zaia Kendall, PRI Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast Creating the biogas biodigester dome in our May 2013 Biodigester Course Debates about CSG (Coal Seam Gas) mining (otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’) are ongoing. There is also talk about highly contaminated human manure polluting water with oestrogens, prozac and other hormones, drugs and […]

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Dezhou Solar City (China)

For one day only we were able to make a stop in Dezhou, one of China’s famed ‘Solar Cities.’ As a bright and cheery advertisement explained, "Just like the Silicon Valley, this is the Solar Valley." The ad was remarkable for several reasons. First, China’s economic development plan of copying hallmark Western institutions was essentially nicely summarized in that simple slogan. Second, the peppy poster instilled in me images of […]

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Growing a Wild Garden

The following is adapted and extracted from the book – The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka (1978). Upon investigatiion, my garden seemed to have just as many insects as in the surrounding fields, which had been sprayed countless times with a variety of deadly chemicals. But the populations of harmful insects were a lot less in my garden, and beneficial (predatory) insects were present in far higher numbers. I realized […]

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Creating the Alternative Tour, First Stop: Solar Living Institute – Soaking Up Some Rays of Inspiration

For background on this series, please see: Creating the Alternative Tour – Intro by Mo Lohre & William Redwine Brakes begin failing in Mendocino Range By the time we reached the Solar Living Institute (SLI), north of San Francisco in Mendocino County, we had only been on tour for less than 24 hours and already had learned some crucial lessons. We realized quickly that everything to do with living in […]

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Pistols at Dawn

A three-year, £100 bet on solar power has matured. Who won? by George Monbiot The UK — a solar powerhouse…? Summer solstice. At dawn. What better time could there be for resolving a duel, albeit one not fought with flintlocks? The time is of my choosing, as the other party, though he accepted the challenge, would not agree terms. It is appropriate in another sense too, as this is the […]

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How to Build a Rocket Stove Mass Water Heater

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With deforestation still moving ahead apace, dealing with the global demand for fuel wood is critical. Life without heat and hot water would be very unpleasant. Life without trees is impossible and to satiate our hunger for heat, richly biodiverse forests are being replaced with ‘sterile’ monoculture tree plantations which give rise to tree diseases and other ecological vulnerabilities. The pressure for fuel wood is on in most parts of […]

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Coppiced Nitrogen-Fixing Firewood Species of the World

Coppice-planting

This article is an excerpt from my forthcoming book Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices, and is part of a series promoting my kickstarter campaign to raise funds with which to complete the book. Coppiced firewood species trial at ECHO These firewood species grow rapidly, fix nitrogen, and re-sprout (coppice) quickly after cutting. All have high-quality firewood. They are thus […]

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PRI Sunshine Coast – Biogas Project Update, March 2013

On the 18th of March we started our biogas project. This project involves making a bio-digester which will turn manure into methane gas for cooking and other energy needs. An update on a previous post, by Zaia Kendall Outline of the bio-digester Tom had to re-do some fencing and clear the site for the bio-digester. He calculated that with the amount of manure we are getting (around 30kg per day), […]

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Energy Advice: Think Long Term and at the Local Level!

Interview of Nikos Salingaros by Mumtaz Soogund on Defimedia, Mauritius, 8 March 2013. Dr. Salingaros recently joined the CT (Centrale Thermique) Power debate in Mauritius, and in this light graciously agreed to share his views on the matter with the readers of News on Sunday. MS: A coal-powered plant proves to be a massive investment in the long run, and people are talking more and more about renewable sources of […]

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Iowa and South Dakota Approach 25 Percent Electricity from Wind in 2012: Unprecedented Contribution of Wind Power in U.S. Midwest

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to one quarter of their electricity from wind farms. Wind power accounted for at least 10 percent of electricity generation in seven other states. Across the United States, wind power continues to strengthen its case as a serious energy source.

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Biogas Project at PRI Sunshine Coast

For some years now we have been looking at minimising our energy consumption, and at alternative forms of energy creation in order to produce the energy we need. As we have animal systems in place here at PRI Sunshine Coast, we have a fair bit of manure on the property. As well as animal manure, we also have waterless (composting) toilets, so humanure is another resource on our property waiting […]

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Fracking for Shale Gas

A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here. Shale gas could be a useful stop-gap substitute for more conventional fossil fuels on our way towards fully green renewable energies, but health and environmental risks including pollution to ground water remain to be addressed. by Prof Peter Saunders Click for larger view Shale gas Shale gas is being hailed […]

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