Geothermal Power Isn’t As Sexy As Solar Or Wind And That’s Why It May Be The Most Promising

SMU Geothermal Laboratory and Google.org
Enhanced Geothermal SystemsGoogle and SMU recently completed a study to more accurately determine how much energy could be generated using geothermal sources under the US. This is SMU’s Geothermal Laboratory’s third study on the availability geothermal and their results are pretty amazing – the geothermal potential under the US is nearly 3 million megawatts, or 10 times the amount of power produced by coal plants today. Even crazier is that the geothermal energy potential under West Virginia is greater than what the state could generate annually from coal.

Geothermal is kind of the Ugly Betty on the renewable energy scene and much like the fullback in football. Never glamorous, it rarely gets the same attention as cool solar or sleek wind turbines. Non-glamorous Iceland has found a way to harness its geothermal resources and they currently get 53% of their primary energy from the hot stuff – when will we? [TPM]

For more information, check out A New Geothermal Map of the United States and A Googol of Heat Beneath Our Feet

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Solar And Wind Power Could Supply 100% Of US Energy By 2026

Wind Turbines and Solar PanelsThe 1973 movie Soylent Green predicted that due to over-population, we will be happily unaware and dining on humans in the year 2022. Four years after that, according to an article on Treehugger.com, the US could be getting 100% of its electricity from renewable wind and solar sources. Meeting this 100% renewable goal would be kind of simple: implement wind turbines and solar panels at the same rate as the Germans and do it to scale.

(Note: We’re pretty sure that our diet of Soylent Green from 2022 – 2026 was not factored into meeting this goal.)

[youtube width=”350″ height=”197″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVpN312hYgU[/youtube]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Putting Wind Turbines In Living Trees May Drive Increased Wind Power Acceptance

[youtube width=”425″ height=”319″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDOGc8eNFDI[/youtube]
This post was inspired by an article on Inhabitat
Being able to incorporate a wind turbine into a living tree may seem farfetched but it’s something Jubbling thinks will make the technology more attractive and affordable. According to Inhabitat.com, the power generated by a tree-top mounted turbine is 30% less than a standard wind power generator its size but still enough to supply its builder, Architect Wolfgang Frey, and his nearby neighbors with power. We have to assume that the installation costs were less too since his tree-top wind turbine does not require a base. Mr. Frey’s tree-top wind turbine idea is not original [thank you Queen Wind Turbine] but it is the first application we’ve heard of where this Macgyverish technology is in use.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Queen Wind Turbine Wants To Generate Electricity Bird Friendlier And In Full Camo

After reading article after article from groups and individuals who oppose wind power, it’s nice to see that one person wants to stand with wind Nacelle Spinner with Blades - Queen Wind Turbine and meet those objections with his idea called the Queen Wind Turbine. That one person is Mr. Vince Fodera and his idea is to generate electricity using his nacelle spinner with blades encased in a bird-proof mesh instead of a 50 – 150′ tower with the standard turbine blades. Mr. Fodera sees his Queen Wind Turbine as a localized solution (i.e homes, businesses) and one that could be used along freeways (Roadside Draft Turbine) and on top of boat masts. It works by channeling air so it never needs to be moved or rotated to face the wind source.

Queen Wind Turbine in a TreeProbably the most interesting application of the Queen Wind Turbine is its ability to attach to an existing tree which then camouflages the electricity generator. This helps overcome the “eyesore” complaint that follows most wind power installations both on a large and small scale and it reduces the comparative costs.

Yes, the Queen Wind Turbine might be a little far fetched but maybe makers of personal wind power generators could borrow some ideas from Mr. Fodera. His approach seems to be “look at the objections and develop a solution” without losing the main goal of the product and that is to generate electricity in a renewable manner. Cell towers faced the same “it’s an eyesore” objection and companies sprang up to meet the need for less obtrusive cell towers.

Whether it works or not, we’d still like to wish good luck to Mr. Fodera and his Queen Wind Turbine. We hope groups like Turbine Unwanted Raptors Daily (TURD) and Not Using Trees for TurnbineS (NUTTS) stay out of your way. Your Queen Wind Turbine may just be too ahead of its time the way your motorized shopping cart was in 1964.

Applications of Queen Wind Turbine

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Double Shot Of Jubbling: Solar Costs Fall in 2010 And More Wind Power Options

Rooftop Solar Panels and Xzeres Wind Turvine
For all of the outlying ideas for generating electricity, we keep coming back to solar and wind power based solutions and now they’re looking even more attractive. It’s all thanks to the economies of scale and these old school technologies are only going to get more affordable, efficient and creatively packaged.

Cost Of Solar Falls Again In 2010 – A study out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that the cost per kilowatt of solar has fallen again in 2010 thanks to improved manufacturing and product efficiency. California and New Jersey, which account for 87% of all solar installations, saw the largest gains as the price for solar dropped by 14 and 16% respectively. In 1998, the price per kilowatt for solar panels was $10.80 and in the first 10 months of 2010, the price per kilowatt has dropped to $6. Leasing options from companies like SolarCity and Sungevity have also made it more attractive for people looking to move toward solar. Gone are the days when installing solar meant you had to take out a second mortgage and shell out $25-40,000. CNET

Wind Turbine For Your Home? – If you’ve ever driven through Palm Desert CA, you probably have seen the huge collection of massive wind turbines. It’s unreal and distracting because it looks like a scene out of a Godzilla movie. A company out of Oregon wants to change our impression of wind power by manufacturing and maintaining more affordable and possibly residential friendly wind turbines. The company is Xzeres and their wind towers stand 60-100 feet with a rotor that is 24 feet in diameter. The size of Xzeres’s towers are in contrast to the 300 ft tall, 250 ft diameter wind turbines we’re used to seeing. Xzeres latest offering is similar to “lease to own” options found in the solar industry – they’ll install their wind turbine, you pay Xzeres’s for your electricity as if they were your utility company and then you own the turbine in 8 – 10 years. It’s a lease to own where the byproduct is electricity you would’ve paid for anyway. Now, if they could only make them look like pine trees….NY Times

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Finally, Off-Shore Wind Farms Are Coming To US Waters

From the New York Times

Off-Shore Wind Turbines

The Cape Wind off-shore wind power project has finally received its permit and will be the first of its kind in US waters. The project has been “in progress” since 2001 and has faced strong opposition from residents of Cape Cod, environmentalists and other groups based on aesthetics and costs. With federal approval, the Cape Wind project should make it easier for other wind power projects along the eastern seaboard to move forward. [New York Times]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail