Category: Energy Systems

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

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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Wind Surpasses Nuclear in China

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute Wind has overtaken nuclear as an electricity source in China. In 2012, wind farms generated 2 percent more electricity than nuclear power plants did, a gap that will likely widen dramatically over the next few years as wind surges ahead. Since 2007, nuclear power generation has risen by 10 percent annually, compared with wind’s explosive growth of 80 percent per year. Before the […]

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Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 – the DVDs (Kickstarter Campaign)

Four DVDs will be created: "Fire Science", "Sneaky Heat", "Boom Squish" and "Hot Rocket" – showing the most sustainable way to heat. I pointed the video camera at all the cool stuff at the workshop, just like I said I said I would. Now it is time for you all to pony up for the DVDs. Once funded, the raw footage will be massaged into stuff that will fit into […]

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Heating The Greenhouse Rocket-Style

by Rob Avis Our new rocket mass heater is now functionally done. After installing a proper chimney, it really hums! Above is a video that we produced showcasing its construction.

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Working With Principles for Creating More Efficient Cooking Stoves (Ethiopia)

In rural Africa it’s pretty hard to come by fuel sources which are a good alternative to wood. Gas is too expensive. Kerosene is also pretty expensive and quite a dirty fuel anyway. Wood also has the advantage that it burns quite slowly so that you can slow cook over a fire for several hours just feeding it occasionally. If you did this with gas it would cost a fortune. […]

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