Green Tech

Can we make clean energy storage the norm?

Aug 15th, 2016 | By

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director

This is part two of a three-part series. See part one here.

As the renewable energy industry rushes headlong into the distribution of expensive and toxic energy storage technology, there are signs that cheaper, cleaner, more efficient technologies will emerge soon, two of which were on display at Intersolar.

Flow batteries have been around for several decades, but the clamor for storage systems has brought them out of the labs and into commercial development of late. A flow battery is combination of a fuels cell and a rechargeable battery. The difference between conventional batteries and …



Energy storage is big business, but is it safe?

Aug 15th, 2016 | By

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director

Judging from the number of companies that exhibited at the Intersolar/EES joint conference in San Francisco, energy storage is the next big thing in green energy. It resolves the problem of intermittent over-and under-production that plagues sources like solar and wind. It comes, however, at a high cost to the pocketbook, the environment and personal safety. The good news is that there are alternatives to conventional storage technology. The bad news is those technologies are only now coming to market and are facing an uphill battle with the technology status quo.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Intersolar North America Conference at Moscone Center West, Tuesday July 8, 2014.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA



Wind power has a cost… in human life

Feb 29th, 2016 | By

This is the next chapter of our series on energy production. We take a look at wind power, it’s history, application and challenges.

The first time wind power was put to use was in the sails of boats and for more than two millennia wind-powered machines have been a cheap source of power for food production and moving water. It was widely available, was not confined to the banks of fast-flowing streams, and required no fuel. The Netherlands used wind-powered pumps to push back the sea and wind pumps provided water for livestock and steam engines for over a century.…



Turbines are foundational to electrical power generation

Nov 30th, 2015 | By

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director

This is our second part on our series on the weaknesses of alternative power. In this installment, we look at the core of our generation technology, the turbine.

Entering into an evaluation of turbine technology we need to understand how important the technology is to production of electricity. What is going on in California is valuable to that understanding.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill to combat climate change by increasing the state's renewable electricity use to 50 percent and doubling energy efficiency in existing buildings by 2030 at a ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill to combat climate change by increasing the state’s renewable electricity use to 50 percent and doubling energy efficiency in existing buildings by 2030 at a ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.



Is alternative energy really an alternative?

Nov 2nd, 2015 | By

Alternative energy is a huge industry generating and spending money at breathtaking speed. Governments have invested trillions of dollars in building out the industry infrastructure and thousands of private citizens have invested billions in private applications. And yet two-thirds of our electrical energy is generated by fossil-fuel burning technology, just as it was 20 years ago. With all the infrastructure established in the past two decades, the world’s demand for energy has outstripped our ability to meet it with alternative power.

1200x-1It’s time we admitted that alternative power is not an alternative. It is only a supplement. Once we admit …