Posts Tagged ‘green energy’

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Japan Legal Action Against Ontario Green Energy Act “Concern” for WTO – International Institute Sustainable Development

11/10/2011

IISD convenes meeting at WTO – international trade/investment laws

GENEVA—October 11, 2011—The International Institute for Sustainable Development has convened a one-day meeting of specialists from the climate change and the international trade law communities aimed at developing a better framework to address unilateral trade-related action on climate change, at the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva on Thursday.

“Several high profile measures have already sparked legal challenges in the WTO, a clear sign of things to come,” said IISD senior advisor and associate Aaron Cosbey.

The most prominent case is the action Japan has brought against Canada over Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which provides preferential incentives to green energy (solar and wind), but only if it uses components manufactured by local manufacturers. If Japan succeeds, it could mean lost jobs and a roadblock to Ontario’s ambitions to be a clean energy exporter.

“This is a major concern to all members of the WTO, as the uncertainty has stalled critical and urgent investments in clean energy infrastructure and other climate change-related investments,” said Cosbey.

Despite the urgency, Cosbey said it will still take years to establish a framework to deal with the complex issues. “This meeting is just the beginning, but the issues are so important we expect a lively and productive discussion at the very least.”

He said the aim is to foster greater international cooperation in an effort to keep investment flowing in the direction of initiatives that help countries develop the infrastructure needed for climate change adaptations and mitigation.

The meeting will also look at issues around border carbon adjustment, which pose serious challenges for international cooperation on trade and investment, as well as in the ongoing climate change negotiations.

Please see the agenda for a full list of presenters at the conference: Trade, Investment and Climate Change: Searching for Progress on Key Issues,on October 13, 2011.

source: IISD

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Wind Power Without Blades: Images of New Technology

22/09/2011

Wind Power Without Blades: Images of New Technology

22/09/11 via Discovery News – Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving. The designers came up with the idea for the planned city Masdar, a 2.3-square-mile, automobile-free area being built outside of Abu Dhabi. Atelier DNA’s “Windstalk” project came in second in the Land Art Generator competition a contest sponsored by Madsar to identify the best work of art that generates renewable energy from a pool of international submissions.

The proposed design calls for 1,203 “stalks,” each 180-feet high with concrete bases that are between about 33- and 66-feet wide. The carbon-fiber stalks, reinforced with resin, are about a foot wide at the base tapering to about 2 inches at the top. Each stalk will contain alternating layers of electrodes and ceramic discs made from piezoelectric material, which generates a current when put under pressure. In the case of the stalks, the discs will compress as they sway in the wind, creating a charge.
“The idea came from trying to find kinetic models in nature that could be tapped to produce energy,” explained Atelier DNA founding partner Darío Núñez-Ameni.
In the proposal for Masdar, the Windstalk wind farm spans 280,000 square feet. Based on rough estimates, said Núñez-Ameni the output would be comparable to that of a conventional wind farm covering the same area.
“Our system is very efficient in that there is no friction loss associated with more mechanical systems such as conventional wind turbines,” he said.

Each base is slightly different, and is sloped so that rain will funnel into the areas between the concrete to help plants grow wild. These bases form a sort of public park space and serve a technological purpose. Each one contains a torque generator that converts the kinetic energy from the stalk into energy using shock absorber cylinders similar to the kind being developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Levant Power .
Wind isn’t constant, though, so Núñez-Ameni says two large chambers below the whole site will work like a battery to store energy. The idea is based on existing hydroelectric pumped storage systems. Water in the upper chamber will flow through turbines to the lower chamber, releasing stored energy until the wind starts up again.

The top of each tall stalk has an LED lamp that glows when the wind is blowing — more intensely during strong winds and not all when the air is still. The firm anticipates that the stalks will behave naturally, vibrating and fluttering in the air.

“Windstalk is completely silent, and the image associated with them is something we’re already used to seeing in a field of wheat or reeds in a marsh. Our hope is that people living close to them will like to walk through the field — especially at night — under their own, private sky of swarming stars,” said Núñez-Ameni.

After completion, a Windstalk should be able to produce as much electricity as a single wind turbine, with the advantage that output could be increased with a denser array of stalks. Density is not possible with conventional turbines, which need to be spaced about three times the rotor’s diameter in order to avoid air turbulence. But Windstalks work on chaos and turbulence so they can be installed much closer together, said Núñez-Ameni.

Núñez-Ameni also reports that the firm is currently working on taking the Windstalk idea underwater. Called Wavestalk, the whole system would be inverted to harness energy from the flow of ocean currents and waves. The firm’s long-term goal is to build a large system in the United States, either on land or in the water.

source: Discovery News, Alyssa Dangelis

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Ontario Tries to Understand “Green”

07/09/2011

I spent this afternoon participating in a meeting of some of Ontario’s biggest green supporters. And we are talking about real people, who, simply put, see green in Ontario as a way of life. It’s not up for debate. It’s not about economics. It’s not about politics. It’s about our lives & its up to us to take action.

What I got out of the discussions is such a bonus: people are really starting to see the way. The hardest part: trying to find a common term that Ontarians can relate to without some kind of political stigma or ‘guilty by mis-information association’ or bad press. (I think big industry like oil & gas stick their noses in it everywhere to bend perspectives).

The simple truth of the matter is that we should be looking at balance. Oil, gas & other ‘ungreen’ energies are not going to disappear overnight.  But they can be replaced & changed with green, renewable energy.

The Green Energy & Economy Act is not something we should dismiss. I have written several posts about the Government’s Federal Sustainable Development Act & the GEEA, by comparison, is truly far superior & respectful of green & the opportunities & possibilities it presents and this is because of its specificity to producing energy in ways far more beneficial to the health & environment of Canada. And we can further use it & improve it to move forward.

There is no legislation, economic model, accord or contract that ever makes all the people happy all the time. What we can do here in Ontario, is use our collective intelligence to improve & enhance the Act, creating better & more – not taking away from & having less.

Green is a term is being loosely used & abused on political terms in Ontario, and is quite abandoned & manipulated on a Federal level. Green is neither scientific or define-able. It is our heart & soul and way of life, about loving our country & leaving a clean legacy to our children. It cannot be branded or taken away or labelled. There is no compromise here, because it is about life.

The opportunity to take action as a real person is here. Keep the GEEA. We are a leader in North America & in the world and can further expand, enhance & create in order to protect our lives. Let’s keep moving forward from here.

Don’t take it from me, here are some Twitterers who are very knowledgeable:

@OntarioSEA

@JimHarris

@EnviroDefence

@Go2CleanBreak

@DavidSuzuki

And a personal fave, I’ve had dinner with him & his wife, the real authority on renewables, Mr. Paul Gipe at http://www.wind-works.org

But what do I know?

🙂

peace

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10 Facts I Didn’t Know Until the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

15/05/2010

#1  NOAA or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that in 2006 there were approximately 3,858 oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA

approximately 4000 oil & gas platforms exist in the Gulf of Mexico

#2  The world’s deepest oil platform is floating, known as Independence Hub which is a semisubmersible platform in the Gulf of Mexico in a water depth of 2,414 meters (8,000 ft).

#3. Many household products are made from crude oil, such as:

  • plastic gadgets, tools, bags
  • candles
  • clothing (polyester, nylon)
  • hand lotions
  • perfumes
  • dishwashing liquids
  • ink
  • bubble gum
  • car tires
  • ammonia
  • heart valves and so many more!

#4. The 10 animals at most risk due to the oil spill in the Gulf, right now are:

  • the Blue Fin Tuna
  • Sea Turtles
  • Sharks
  • (Mammals) Whales, Porpoises & Dophins
  • Brown Pelicans
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp & Blue Crab
  • Menhaden & Marsh Dwelling Fish
  • Beach Nesting & Migratory Shorebirds
  • Migratory Songbirds
  • and that there are close to 600 species listed as endangered

#5.  The Gulf of Mexico is the 11th largest body of water in the world.  The Gulf basin is approximately 615,000 miles squared or 1.6M kms squared and contains approximately a volume of 642 trillion gallons.

#6.  Especially during the summer months, the Gulf of Mexico suffers from a hypoxia zone (oxygen depletion in the water).  It has to do with the Mississippi sweet waters meeting ocean’s salty h2o.  Seems to me a big oil spill will only make matters worse.

#7. That there are somewhere in the neighbourhood of 650 large sized oil refineries in the world.  The first oil refineries in the world were built by Ignacy Łukasiewicz near Jasło, Austrian Empire (now in Poland) from 1854 to 1856, but they were initially small as there was no real demand for refined fuel. As Łukasiewicz’s kerosene lamp gained popularity, the refining industry grew in the area.

how oil is refined

Oil Refining Diagram

#8.  One of the first products of refined crude oil in the 1800s was kerosene.

#9.  Nearly 1/2 of all the crude oil sucked out of the ground is refined into gasoline.

#10.  The coastal population of the five states of the Gulf of Mexico is projected by the Census Bureau to increase from a total of 44.2 million in 1995 to an estimated 61.4 million in 2025, nearly a 40% increase. Texas and Florida are the most rapidly growing states.

The news is getting grimmer everyday, and oil keeps spilling like the tears of pain, weeping from Mother Nature’s bosom. We are praying for it to stop and for the environment.

The time to change our ways of thinking to shift into clean, green energy is here.  Let’s transition people from oil dependencies and oil jobs into green freedoms & healthy green jobs.

But what do I know?

Peace 🙂

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Green Giggles Pt. 2 – Renewable Energy Jokes

13/05/2010

In a time when grave environmental issues are all over the news, we need some laughter – the world’s best medicine.

Green Giggles Pt. 1 has got some good attention over the past while, so here is Pt. 2.

Green Giggles Pt. 2 to encourage Renewable Laughter!

I made this one up today: and twittered it first: (my personal hate on for the oil companies)

How many BP Oil Execs does it take to screw in a lightbulb? They still haven’t figured that one out yet.

funny green humour


Sun and/or Solar Jokes:

Did you hear about the blonde that stayed up all night to see where the sun went? It finally dawned on her.

Three men in a NASA conference room deciding how to spend $10 billion.
“I think we should put our men on Mars!” said the first man.
“Ooh, good idea,” said the other two.
“I think we should put our men on Venus!” said the second man.
“Ooh, good idea,” said the other two.
“I think we should put our men on the Sun!”
“How are you going to do that?”
Easy. We go at night.”

Here is a link to a cute video with Will Ferrell & side kicks with some very interesting ‘green’ hints and tips (don’t try some of those at home & some of the language may be strong – warning).

Green Team from Will Ferrell

Wind’s Other Uses (or Natural Way to See Under …)

alternate source of energy

Why are Eco warriors bad at playing cards? They like to avoid the flush.

Just a few funnies in a world that is now amidst environmental, ecological and human turmoil.

If you do read down this far, please take a stand, please change your ways of thinking … we need to clean up Earth before it is too late.

I read many posts about saving dogs, cats, animals, deforestation etc…  But this Gulf Oil Spill has me worried, ashamed of my oil dependent life and I so know we all need to get together on this one.

I am here to join forces to help.  I’ll even go down to the Gulf and throw hay on the ocean and clean up the crap.  It is so sad.

Let me know how I can help up here in Canada …

But what do I know?

Peace 🙂


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Energy Ignorant Learning

26/04/2010

I live in Ontario and recently looked at my energy bill.

Boy I didn’t like what I saw. 

So now, although I am involved in energy sector work, I have quickly come to realize I need more of a ‘power’ education as I think I really am energy ignorant.

Recently having read Parker Gallant’s FP blogs about the way energy is run, operated, handled, mishandled, misoperated, finances and the new green economy (my head hurts) … what the heck is going on?

Seems to me there are alot of valid, good reasons for us to make a change in how we make work, do work and learn work here in Ontario and Canada.  We have alot of smart people, out of work and in work, who could have handled this job.  We have a need to cultivate a new way of living to survive and succeed – and we have our own resources to do it.

And who is accountable?  Pointed fingers everywhere and organizations splintered around the energy ring that make an oridinary citizen like me chase around behind doors number one, two and three …  and the ride doesn’t just start and end at Becky Gate.  But don’t get me started because I am just starting.

Someone have an energy cell developed yet that would instantly direct a current of energy education into my piddly brain?  I guess I just have to do it the new old fashioned way. Read.  Read on the internet.  But what do I know?

I hope you will follow and comment, debate, agree, disagree here with me. 

My point is that we can all learn from and work with eachother to benefit those who count … us ordinary folks.  Its time to teach ourselves to stop being selfish and to learn to give back.

The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.
~ Ralph Nader

 

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