GE-Hitachi Proposes to Burn U.K. Plutonium Stockpile

December 22, 2011 by Dan Yurman

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has proposed to the U.K. government to build an advanced nuclear reactor that would consume the country’s stockpile of surplus plutonium.The technology is called PRISM, which stands for Power Reactor Innovative Small Module. If accepted, it would be very different than the other proposals to process...[read more]

Toward 2 Way Powerflow on the Smartgrid

December 6, 2011 by Dick DeBlasio

Through Smart Grid rollout over decades, the world could bring reliable electricity delivery to more regions, create new economic opportunities, reduce carbon footprint andcreate a more cost-efficient facility for power delivery. But all of those potential benefits,to varying degree, are predicated on enabling an end-to-end system of two-way powerflow in which consumers would not only draw from the grid but also store and feed energy back to it.[read more]

Energy ≠ Power

September 7, 2011 by Alex Trembath

Bay Area locals may recognize this ad, which I found on BART. I thought it was hilarious, though you may not unless you share my appreciation for energy/power errors in your sense of humor.I've taken better pictures in my life. The caption reads: "Power from the sun: 400,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilowatts per second." This of course makes...[read more]

Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Power in Japan

August 17, 2011 by Karen Street

Grief was our first reaction when a civilized nation so prepared for earthquakes was devastated. Those of us who live in earthquake country found it hard to tamp down the fear that we can't protect ourselves from nature. Japan, so much better prepared than the West Coast, actually did quite well with the once-in-a-millennium earthquake (the previous largest in that area was M8.3, in 869 CE), but the tsunami killed thousands, left hundreds of thousands homeless, and may have a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.[read more]

Why Do Malthusians Ignore The Sun?

August 16, 2011 by Alex Trembath

This article at the Energy Collective on "plastic trees" got me thinking about something that doesn't come up too often here at Energetics, though it should: geoengineering. From the article:The idea employs biomimicry by deploying small-scale units of “trees” to soak up more CO2 than real trees, wherever you might need them. “You can...[read more]

Opportunities in Power Market Design: Wind Power, Capacity Markets, Optimization Software

May 10, 2011 by Michael Giberson

Michael Giberson A handful of stories raising power market design issues: The Oregonian, ”Northwest wind power to double but inconsistency creates nightmare“: “The value of BPA’s surplus power sales are already being undermined by wind energy sloshing into the market. That ultimately increases rates for its public utility customers...[read more]

Preliminary Lessons From Fukushima For Future Nuclear Power Plants

March 25, 2011 by Barry Brook

No strong conclusions can yet be drawn on the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis, because so much detail and hard data remains unclear or unavailable. Indeed, it will probably take years to piece the whole of this story together (as has now been done for accidents like TMI and Chernobyl [read this and this from Prof. Bernard Cohen for an...[read more]

A Focus on USA Energy Policy – On Target?

March 25, 2011 by David Hone

It was a curious time in Washington DC last week. While the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted against three amendments on the validity of climate change science and its potential future impact, some 400 other people were meeting close to the Capitol at the IETA (International Emissions Trading Association) Carbon Forum...[read more]

Is that a Banana in Your Pocket or Are You Radioactive?

March 18, 2011 by Scott Edward Anderson

"Banana Equivalent Dose" was a concept new to me when it came to my attention via that font of much wisdom and arcana, Paul Kedrosky, who got it from William Gibson's Twitter stream (@GreatDismal). According to its Wikipedia entry,  "banana equivalent dose (or BED) is a concept   to place in scale the dangers of radiation...[read more]

Canada: Committed to Nuclear Power

March 17, 2011 by Breakthrough Institute

The Globe and Mail yesterday reported that a number of key Canadian provinces have "reaffirmed their support for nuclear power" and that "the national regulator declared the country's generating stations safe even as Japan's crisis spurred other nations to back away from nuclear." The province of Ontario, the nation's most populous and...[read more]

U.S. Solar Industry Has Record-Breaking Year in 2010

March 11, 2011 by Nathanael Baker

A new industry report conducted by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research highlights record-breaking growth for the United States' solar power industry in 2010. According to the U.S. Solar Market InsightTM: Year-In-Review 2010 [pdf], the industry's total value grew 67% from US$3.6 billion to US$6.0 billion last...[read more]

Examples of Wind Power to Learn From

March 11, 2011 by Willem Post

Mark and Rebecca, Please be so kind to post this article on the TEC website. I think it will be of interest to many people. Thank you, Willem Post[read more]

ERCOT rolling blackout news: Powerful market forces already at work

February 16, 2011 by Michael Giberson

Michael Giberson A regulatory filing by Energy Futures Holdings Corp., the parent company of Luminant, a major power generator in the Texas market, provides a small peak behind the curtain of confidentiality that has limited the public’s view of what all went wrong on February 2. A small peak, but a significant story: In an 8-K filing...[read more]

Does Nuclear Energy Really Equate to Nuclear War?

January 5, 2011 by Charles Barton

In a previous post I looked at Mark Z. Jacobson's decision to exclude nuclear power as an future energy source in a recent paper. In that post I reviewed Jacobson's assertions that the global spread of nuclear generated electrical power would cause nuclear proliferation and nuclear war. In the course of my investigating of actual...[read more]

Wireless charging standard a great boost, but is it good or bad for overall power consumption?

September 20, 2010 by Tyler Hamilton

My Clean Break column today looks at wireless power transfer and charging, and how a newly created standard called Qi could dramatically boost the use of such technologies over the coming few years. Already major device makers like Research In Motion, Samsung, Sanyo and Nokia are behind it. If Apple, Intel and a few others jump aboard...[read more]