Tag Archives: renewable energy sources

Abandoned Mines Hold Potential to Capture Wind Energy

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s Iron Range is pocked with ponds – abandoned open pit mines – that could help energy providers more efficiently use intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind, to meet state renewable energy mandates. A study released Friday by the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute shows that the water-laden pits have the potential to store wind energy using a process developed in Europe in the late 1800s.

The pumped-hydro storage process would use excess late-night wind energy to pump water uphill from the pits to a higher-elevation holding pond. Then, when electricity demand goes up during the day, the process reverses the flow and captures the energy in hydro turbines. For every 100 megawatts used to pump the water upward, the plant generates nearly 80 megawatts through the turbines. (more…)

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IBM Joins European Consortium to Build a Smart Grid Using Renewable Energy

Armonk, NY and Copenhagen, Denmark & COPENHAGEN, Denmark – 13 Oct 2011: IBM today announced it has joined a collaborative consortium to help develop an energy grid that uses at least 50 percent of renewable energy sources, such as wind power, solar energy and biogas. Led by a European Union-funded consortium, the EcoGrid EU project will demonstrate a smart energy grid that will allow smart devices to use renewable electricity based on near real-time pricing and availability.

The EcoGrid EU project will be piloted on the Danish island of Bornholm with 2,000 residents and commercial users, representing approximately every tenth house on the island. Using smart meters and a Web-based app, that runs on smartphones, tablets and PCs, consumers can schedule when to purchase electricity online and at what price. Project scientists believe that by making this data easily available, eco-conscious Danes will choose to purchase renewable energy over fossil fuels, which will result in cost savings. The portal will also enable utilities to manage pricing based on supply, demand and available storage capacity. Selected participants will begin the testing phase towards the end of next year. (more…)

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Are You Alarmed or Dismissive? Americans’ Latest Views on Climate Change Fall Into One of ‘Six Americas’

In a new report, researchers have found that Americans have a wide range of attitudes and beliefs when it comes to climate change, yet also show some surprising similarities. The report, which is the latest in a series from the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication, demonstrates how Americans fall into one of six categories called the “Global Warming’s Six Americas,” each reflecting different attitudes and behaviors when it comes to climate change. (more…)

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Aggressive Efficiency and Electrification Needed to Cut California Emissions

*Berkeley Lab joint report offers a variety of scenarios to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels.*

Berkeley, CA — In the next 40 years, California’s population is expected to surge from 37 million to 55 million and the demand for energy is expected to double. Given those daunting numbers, can California really reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, as required by an executive order? Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who co-wrote a new report on California’s energy future are optimistic that the target can be achieved, though not without bold policy and behavioral changes as well as some scientific innovation.

The report, titled “California’s Energy Future­­—The View to 2050,” ­draws a series of energy system “portraits” showing how California can meet its ambitious emissions targets using a combination of measures and energy sources that may include electrification, enhanced efficiency, nuclear energy, renewable energy sources, grid modernization, and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). (more…)

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