Tag Archives: solar power

Friday Linkage 8/11/2017

Heading out on vacation in a few hours because nothing says relaxing like Orlando in August with your extended family.  There is absolutely nothing quite like late summer Florida heat and humidity to really bring people together.  At least there will be Dole Whip.

On to the links…

Utah Commission: Keep “Negro Bill Canyon” the Same—Between the zealots who cannot stop fighting the Civil War by idiotically flying what they assume is the flag of the Confederacy—when in truth it is bastardization of a battle flag flown by either the Army of Northern Virginia or the Army of Tennessee—to maintaining symbols of hate like this we will never grow as a nation.

How Midwestern Farmers Could Help Save the Gulf of Mexico—It will never happen with the current White House and most of the governors being Republicans, but there should be a national program to pay farmers to deploy cover crops.  No single action would be better for the health of the Gulf of Mexico and our nation’s water quality.  It is a proven solution.

How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God—Be wary of the man who claims to be godly, but spends his time talking about earthly matters.  It usually means that he is hiding an agenda and using a veneer of piety as a shield against criticism.  As I tell people all the time, “I do not remember a single passage in the bible where Jesus talks about the rights of oil companies to drill on public lands.”

Americans Are Using Less Electricity Today Than A Decade Ago—The key caveat here is per capita.  There are more people, but we are using less electricity per each person.

Thanks To Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big On Solar—I went to a wedding this summer just outside of Kalona and the solar panels were all over the place.  Ground mount arrays were at almost every farm that was not owned by an older order Amish or Mennonite family.  If everyone could embrace solar like the customers of Farmers Electric Cooperative the world would be a better place.

Dirty Energy’s Quiet War on Solar Panels—They can try and stem the tide but solar panels will win in the end.  The guys who put the panels on my house this week were booked solid with jobs for the rest of the summer and fall.  Solar power is real and it is here.

To Solve ‘Duck Curve,’ Missouri Utility to Pay Bonus for West-Facing Solar Panels—It’s not just about south facing roofs anymore.  As someone who has installed a west facing array—270 degree azimuth baby—I cannot wait to see how my peak production lines up with the duck curve.

Shell Oil CEO Stunner: ‘My Next Car will be Electric’—The worm has turned.

More New Yorkers Opting for Life in the Bike Lane—Bikes are amazing and can be a major component of the mobility solutions puzzle we, as a nation and species, are trying to solve.  Seriously, if people are willing to bike in New York City you should be willing to bike in Cedar Rapids.

A Perfect Illustration of the Spatial Inefficiency of the Automobile—Remember, if you work in a cubicle your parking space is bigger than your office.  What do we truly value?

Pedal Power: How Denver Bike Crews are Rescuing Food from Landfills One Ride at a Time—I love this business model.  Collect scraps—for a fee—with a no-emissions bicycle and create wonderful compost to nourish the soil.

Here’s Proof the Average U.S. Household Isn’t the ‘Dumb Money’—I spent twenty one months in business school listening to the icons of “smart money” tell aspiring investment bankers how they were the masters of the universe and what not.  The financial crisis in 2008 was a total nut punch to these guys, but it obviously did not make them humble.

Papa John’s has Made a Gluten-Free Pizza that Gluten-Intolerant Diners can’t Eat—Here is proof that the gluten free trend is not about people with celiac disease and more about marketing.

Impossible Burger’s ‘Secret Sauce’ Highlights Challenges of Food Tech—Soy leghemoglobin may be an allergen, but I love the government’s concern.  I also find it stunning that the FDA has acted so quickly when other problems in our food system are persistent and pernicious going on for years and decades without any government intervention.  Do you think big meat is behind this?  Oh yeah…

Advertisements

Friday Linkage 1/13/2017

Did that circus sideshow…er, press conference actually occur on Wednesday morning?  Is this the beginning of the end for the American experiment?  Or is it the beginning of the end of the Republican Party?  We can always hope.

Furthermore, can someone please tell right wingers to stop making comparisons to Nazi Germany.  One, it is factually wrong on so many levels and right wingers have been getting it wrong for the better part of a decade.  Just because the official party name included the word “socialist” does not mean that the Nazis had anything to do with socialism.  Two, it cheapens the horrors committed by the Nazis and their allies.

On to the links…

All the Risks of Climate Change, in a Single Graph—Try and think some happy thoughts:

nature_cc_reasons_for_concern_graph.png

States, Power Companies Lead in Cutting Carbon; Election Not Slowing Expected 2017 Progress—The Federal government may be screwed for the next several years, but paralysis at the national level will not stop progress by states and utilities.

US Energy Analysis Sees Renewable Electricity Passing Coal by 2030—Granted, natural gas is still going to be getting burnt.  A lot, but there is hope that we can kill the coal beast.

Arab Gulf Firms Set their Sights on the Region’s Growing Appetite for Solar Power—Lots of sunshine…check.  Available land…check.  Urban populations…check.  When oil rich gulf states are realizing the potential you know the jig is up.

Costa Rica got 98 Percent of its Electricity from Renewables in 2016—Costa Rica uses a lot less electricity per capita than other nations, but 98% is a totally rad figure.  Yes, I used the adjective rad.

China Is Pumping Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Into New Renewable Energy Projects by 2020—While the U.S. led by an orangutan dithers on what to do about the next generation of energy, China is blowing everyone’s doors off by investing billions on top of billions into renewables.

Clean-Energy Jobs Boosting Colorado’s Economy—The key element of this report is not the jobs related to energy production like wind turbine mechanics or solar installers, but the jobs around things like energy efficiency.  There is hay to make in driving efficiency into all corners of our economy.

Arizona still a Force in Solar Power, despite Other States’ Gains—The economics must be good because Arizona politicians have definitely tried to kill solar power on a number of occasions.

Infinite Solar Power Technology Could Completely Change Our Future—Headlines like this remind me of old newsreels that proclaimed nuclear power was going to be so cheap that it would be “too inexpensive to meter.”  How did that work out?

The Bizarre and Inspiring Story of Iowa’s Fish Farmers—What if our fish came from aquaculture in the middle of the U.S. instead of dirty farms in South America or Southeast Asia?  What is that fish was raised on plant based meal instead of ground of fish meal?  What if…

Nine Easy Things You Can Do To Save the Ocean—Some of this is obvious, but repetition is not always a bad thing when you are trying to change people’s behavior.

Friday Linkage 4/10/2015

Do you ever have those weeks at work where you look up and it’s Friday morning? The problem with those weeks is a lot of time is spent not actually doing you “day” job, but instead focused on some parallel project. Whoever told me that mergers and acquisitions was an exciting field of work during b-school was not telling the whole truth.

On to the links…

California’s Worst Drought in 1,200 Years in Pictures—I have not been to California since the current drought cycle began, so it is shocking to see these pictures. Remember, this is a mega-drought cycle that could last decades.

Barclays Ends Financing of Controversial Mountaintop Removal Mining—In 2013, Barclays was the biggest financier of mountaintop removal mining in the world. Imagine you worked in an industry where the single biggest source of private capital ceased operation. Ouch.

U.S. Power Sector In 2015: More Renewable Energy, Less Carbon Emissions—The price of a portfolio of renewables is low enough that it competes on its merits against fossil fuels. One of those merits is that once installed renewables do not require constant refueling. Sure, oil is at a low price right now but who believes that will be true in five years?

How to Maximize Renewable Energy Options for New Mexico—Renewables is all about location. In Iowa, it makes more sense to deploy wind power because of our wind energy infrastructure and constant wind speeds. In the American southwest the portfolio looks quite different. Even between Arizona and New Mexico the portfolio may look different.

Rethinking the Grid: Personal Power Stations in Your Garage—In some ways, traditional utilities are pushing this model to the forefront by adjusting their pricing schemes to harm solar power producers at a rooftop scale. What happens when more and more customers disembark from the grid?

Spain Got 47 Percent Of Its Electricity From Renewables In March—Granted, Spain’s economy is still in the proverbial toilet but including nuclear the country got approximately 70% of its power from non-carbon sources. Amazing.

Indian State Plans 25 GW of Solar, Gets 40GW—Rajasthan blew past its solar target of 25GW in the next few weeks as businesses have signed memorandums of understanding (MOU) for over 40GW of solar. Imagine exceeding your targets by 60%. Wow.

Detailed Projections of Coral Bleaching—Coral bleaching, which is equivalent to a coral reef dying, will impact different reef ecosystems at different rates and spreads. It is still a damn shame that it is happening at all.

Scientists Have Found A New Way To Save The World’s Coral Reefs, And It’s Pretty Fishy—Coral reefs are an ecosystem. We have forgotten the impact that fish have on this ecosystem as fishing and aquarium collection have devastated fish populations.

Microbeads: Solving a Big Problem of Little Bits—Plastic microbeads should be outlawed. It’s pollution that we can only control at the source.

Friday Linkage 5/31/2013

Few things could make my week turn out much better, but noted conservative wing nut and all around bat shit crazy wingbat Michele Bachmann is not going to seek re-election to Congress in 2014.  Granted, the current scandal surrounding her failed Presidential campaign—who for a minute thought that someone so far out of the mainstream would have a prayer of winning?  Oh right, the Republicans—might have played a role, but she did not elaborate on her decision.  Still, it’s a good week.

If you want to remember some of her greatest hits, check out this list.

On to the links…

Solar Power’s Epic Price Drop Visualized—Dig it man, solar power is getting cheaper and cheaper every day.  There may be hope for a clean energy future.

Solar Industry Anxious over Defective Panels—It looks like the boom and bust in solar panel manufacturing is coming with a dark side.  Namely, cost cutting in the name of survival may be leading to sub-standard products being shipped out the door.

The Three Best Things Minnesota did for Solar—Who would have thought that Minnesota would be a leader in solar right now at the government level?  It’s not like people think of sunny Minnesota.  Maybe the state will be our Germany?

Kansas City to Install Solar Panels on 80 Municipal Buildings—The move is expected to save upwards of $40K per year for the city.  Such a move would not have made since with higher panel prices, but as the cost curve has bent downward it looks increasingly attractive.

Coal Making a Comeback in 2013—Ugh, I thought the coal demon was slinking back into the dark forever.  It looks like I was wrong.  Maybe some of the predictions over at WonkBlog will come true with regard to coal’s struggles continuing.

The CBO says We Need a Price on Carbon Emissions—If we cannot put a price on something, no one will put the cost in their models and it is models that rule the world now.  Trust me, if you can put it into an Excel spreadsheet it instantly becomes more believable to the MBAs of the world.

5 Reasons Why I Became a 1 Gallon Brewer—The idea of brewing batches of beer in smaller than 5 gallon increments is enticing, I would be one bummed out dude when I made something that I loved and had only a dozen or so bottles.  Bogus!

Dean Foods Completes Spin-off of WhiteWave Foods—I remember when Dean Foods’ purchase of WhiteWave was viewed as the death knell of organic because now the term was going to be abused by the big industrial food machine.  I do not know if the spin-off is a good thing because it means that organic is now big enough to be its own industrial machine.

Shuanghui Buying Smithfield Foods for About $4.72 Billion—You want to talk about a disaster waiting to happen.  China’s food system is a mess and now a Chinese company is buying a U.S. pork producer not known for its sterling food safety record.  The answer is to opt out of industrial meat completely.

16 Not-Quite Meatless Recipes—This is the way to do things if you want to opt out of the industrial meat game.  Use a little bit of meat to enhance a dish, but make vegetables and grains the center piece of the meal.  Mark Bittman’s approach to food is quickly becoming my favorite perspective.

Breeding Nutrition out of Our Food—Great, our food system is not only designed to produce crap but it looks like even the unprocessed foods have been bred to be less healthful than nature intended.  Is there any good news?

How I got Hooked on Weeds—and Why You Should Too—One answer to finding more nutritious food is to eat the things that have not been or cannot be bred for industrial farming.  Who is going to spend the time to genetically sequence dandelions or lamb’s quarter?

How to Find out Where Your Food Comes From without Waiting for Label Laws—The informed consumer is the powerful consumer.  Companies want you to be as ignorant of their practices as possible so that you make decisions based purely on information that they themselves provide.  Kind of sounds like the Catholic Church prior to the Reformation.  Trust us…

Illegal Monsanto GMO Wheat found in Oregon Field—Do these people have any control of what they are doing?  And to think they want less regulation and oversight.  Ok.

California Plan to Overhaul Water System to Cost $25B—Whenever I read about California’s water system and its problem I think about Cadillac Desert and Chinatown.  The history of that state is just interwoven with the story of water.  It’s still going on.

Microplastic Pollution Prevalent in Lakes, Too—It feels like we are quickly approaching a time when the prevalence of plastic in every step of our food chain will be a reality.  Great.