While the Smart Grid we needed years ago is still years away, the Obama administration took a step forward today as Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $620 million in stimulus awards for 32 Smart Grid demonstration projects benefiting 21 states. A decidedly feel-good video that is nonetheless educational was released along with the announcement and explains (in broad terms at least) what the DOE aims to achieve with its Smart Grid investment. View it after the jump.
Server farms are undeniably awesome in that they store huge pools of data, enable such modern phenomena as cloud computing and Web-hosted email, and most importantly, make the Internet as it stands today possible. The downside: data centers get very, very hot. Cooling huge banks of servers doesn't just cost a lot, it eats up a lot of energy, and that generally means fossil fuels.
Algae get a lot of airtime as a possible future source of biofuels to wean us from dirty fossil fuels, but even biofuels don't go so far as to eliminate hydrocarbons (and their constituent carbon emissions) from our energy diet. But a different use for algae could prove a better solution to the future of fuel.
A new process that produces clean, sustainable hydrogen from photosynthesis in algae could change all that. The means of manufacturing clean, usable hydrogen has heretofore required a high-energy process that drastically dilutes the upside.
In The People's Republic of China, it's no secret that the Party controls just about everything. But as Beijing suffers through its second major snowstorm this season, residents are growing weary of their leadership's control-freak tendencies. After all, while the storm came as a surprise to residents, the government knew about it all along. In fact, the government caused it.
With the efficient pre-fab panels that make up the walls of my home, it’s vital that I don’t let all the heat—and my budget—escape out my 47 windows. So the fact that I had my heart set on sleek aluminum frames instead of wood or vinyl posed some challenges.
Whether they're tossed with Old Bay and served in a sandwich, fried at Great NY Noodle Town, or sauteed as a base for pasta, soft shell crabs always come out delicious. Unfortunately, this delicacy is only available a few times a year. But hopefully not for long.
Even before a single ounce of natural gas gets burned in a home or power plant, massive amounts of CO2 have already been released. The process of extracting natural gas releases carbon dioxide pent up in the same wells as the gas, thus adding to the climate-changing impact of the fuel.
To help lower the global warming impact of one of the world's largest natural gas fields, General Electric has supplied Chevron, Exxon Mobile and Shell with enough compression "trains"--the pumps and turbines that do the sequestering--to create the world's largest carbon sequestration project. The trains will pump 3.3 million tons of CO2 released from natural gas mining back into the ground every year. That's the equivalent of taking 630,000 cars off the road.
Controlling the weather with cloud seeding has previously proved popular with Chinese and Russian officials, but Moscow's mayor does not seem content with just keeping the rain off his roofs. Now Mayor Yury Luzhkov has hired the cash-strapped Russian Air Force to chemically spray clouds so that no snow will fall within his city limits.
This Thursday, NASA will kick off the largest aerial survey ever undertaken of Earth's polar regions. The effort will help fill a multi-year gap between the satellite missions that usually track changes in ice, and should also help scientists understand how the changing ice sheets might contribute to sea level rise around the world.