What Would It Take To Power New York State On Only Wind, Water And Sunlight?

Wind, water and sunlight power.

“We must be ambitious if we want to promote energy independence and curb global warming,”
Study co-author Robert Howarth, Cornell University

Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, a senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy, led a study to calculate what it would take to power the State of New York by 2030 with only renewable energy generated from wind, water and sunlight. Currently, almost all of New York’s power comes from gas, oil and coal.

Based on power demand forecasts for all industries, here’s what Professor Jacobson and his team determined would be needed:

  • 4,020 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 12,770 offshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 387 100-megawatt concentrated solar plants
  • 828 50-megawatt photovoltaic power plants
  • 5 million 5-kilowatt residential rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 500,000 100-kilowatt commercial/government rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 36 100-megawatt geothermal plants
  • 1,910 0.75-megawatt wave devices
  • 2,600 1-megawatt tidal turbines
  • 7 1,300-megawatt hydroelectric power plants, of which most exist

Looks like a lot and it is but it’s an investment. If installed, renewable energy would be the fuel source for vehicles, home heating and all industries in the state – it would be powering everything. Check out the full article on the study and find out how the plan, if implemented, would save billions in pollution related healthcare costs and help mitigate the future costs of climate change. [EurekAlert via e360]


Peel-And-Stick Solar Cells Could Generate Renewable Power On Everything And Everyone.

Stanford University: Peel and Stick thin film solar cells.Researchers at Stanford University have developed a way to produce ultra-thin solar cells that can be peeled and applied to a variety of surfaces including cell phones, windows etc. From e360:

“Normally, thin-film solar cells are attached to rigid, often heavy, silicon and glass substrates because most unconventional surfaces aren’t compatible with the thermal and chemical processes involved in producing the cells. The new process gets around that challenge, the scientists say, because it does not require any fabrication to occur on the final substrate surface. Instead, it involves pressing an ultra-thin film of nickel, a silicon/silicon dioxide wafer, and a protective polymer into a “sandwich,” and then attaching a layer of thermal release tape. When dipped in room-temperature water, the thin-film solar cell can be peeled from the original wafer and attached to a wide range of surfaces, from window glass to cellphones.”

Depending on how the solar power is transferred and stored by the host, the applications of the Peel-and-Stick solar cell technology are endless.

Jubbling wants to help further this technology so we searched and discovered our possible, and now hair-less, candidate who’ll host a mobile solar farm:

Sticker Man:  Peel-And-Stick Mobile Solar Farm... Man
So where do you think the battery will go? [Yale e360]


The White Roof You Had Your Wife Paint Back To Black? She Needs To Paint It Back To White Again.

NY Mayor Bloomberg and Al Gore - Cool Roofs ProjectHoly crap! Less than 6 months ago and inspired by the results from a study out of Stanford University, we posted an article that the whole cool roof / white rooftop idea was bunk and we should all paint our roofs back to black. We even joked that it was only a matter of time until we had a new “study that negates the negate and we’ll be back to painting our roofs white again.”

Well it happened sooner than we expected and we have Columbia University and NASA to blame this time. Those bastards couldn’t wait a year to publish their results about the positive, temperature lowering attribute of white rooftops. Their study showed that roofs painted white will actually counter the heat-island effect in cities where evening temperatures can be 5-7 degrees warmer as buildings slowly release the heat captured during the day.

But revisiting the cool roofs wasn’t all bad. During our search, we discovered that Wikipedia used our article as a reference for their page describing cool roofs. What’s crazy is Wiki, by referencing a post on Jubbling, will lower their credibility with site browsers while simultaneously boosting ours. (Thanks Wiki!) [Yale360]


You Know The Roof You Had Your Wife Paint White Last Summer? Well, She Needs To Paint It Black Again.

Cool Roofs NYCPainting your buildings’ roof white just seemed like such a no-brainer way to reduce global warming with its reflecting and not-heat absorbing properties. New York City bought into this amazingly simple idea and its city run NYC Cool Roofs painted over 2 million square feet of rooftops white while the non-profit White Roof Project painted its share of roofs. But then the hammer dropped and a study on the heat island effect concluded that white roofs may promote cooling for each individually painted building but globally, they are causing more warming. Here’s how the white roofs don’t work:

  1. Rooftops painted white.
  2. Sunlight is reflected and surface temperatures fall.
  3. As temps fall, less water is evaporated to form clouds.
  4. Fewer clouds means higher surface temperatures.

So the cooling and energy savings would be local but any gains from the white roof would be negated by the overall increase in temperatures due to the white roofs. I have a weird feeling there’s going to be another study soon that negates the negate and we’ll be back to painting our roofs white again. Or maybe grey? [Discover Magazine]

Read the full study (PDF): Effects of Urban Surfaces and White Roofs on Global and Regional Climate.