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Wind and Solar Power Paired With Storage Could Power Grid 99.9 Percent of the Time

Renewable energy could fully power a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030 at costs comparable to today's electricity expenses, according to new research by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College.

A well-designed combination of wind power, solar power and storage in batteries and fuel cells would nearly always exceed electricity demands while keeping costs low, the scientists found.

"These results break the conventional wisdom that renewable energy is too unreliable and expensive," said co-author Willett Kempton, professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy in UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. "The key is to get the right combination of electricity sources and storage -- which we did by an exhaustive search -- and to calculate costs correctly."

The Earth

The heat of the Earth makes up what is known as geothermal energy. When dust and gasses from Earth mixed together 4 billion years ago, geothermal energy resulted.

Inside the Earth at its core, some 4, 000 miles deep, the temperature is estimated at about 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Geothermal energy has been used throughout history for bathing, relaxing, cooking and heating. It was thought by some to have healing effects and was used to treat eye and skin diseases. The first geothermal generator that produced energy was built in Lardarello, Italy in 1904. The United States followed with their first attempt at geothermal power in 1912 at The Geysers in California. Today it is produced in twenty-one countries around the world.

Ocean Tidal Power as Renewable Energy

One of the Earth’s great renewable energy sources is actually the energy that can be found in all the waves of the ocean. Let’s look at this further.

If you have ever been to the ocean, you were probably fascinated by the phenomena of the waves crashing against the shorelines as the tides came in. The ocean’s tides are the product of gravitational pull of the sun and the moon, as well as, the Earth’s rotation. It causes the ocean waters to be raised and lowered from time to time. The tides have cycles of twelve and one half hours, twice per day, and are easily predictable.

The use of tidal power is seen as early as the twelfth century where tidal mills used the force of the tides to grind grain and corn. The eighteenth century brought competition from windmills and waterwheels. Tidal mills pretty much became extinct with the invention of cheap steam engines. In 1967, France became the first to be able to put tidal wave power to work on a large scale to produce electricity.

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Renewable Energy Careers

If you are interested in an exciting career, one choice may be a career in the field of renewable energy. Finding resources for generations to come can be both challenging and satisfying.

If you’re looking into this area of interest there are many different professions that will be and are available. Because of the vast variety of existing opportunities, it will also accommodate a number of different degrees and different types of training. Your goal is to find which career path is the right fit for you.

Certain jobs in communications, community outreach, sales, marketing and business support are available in every renewable energy field. In addition, each field will need construction workers for building of the facilities, architects for the building design, mechanical and electrical engineers for research and development and technicians to maintain operations of the buildings. There are other jobs that will specifically target certain renewable energy technologies.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Energy

There are many energy sources today that are extremely limited in supply. Some of these sources include oil, natural gas, and coal. It is a matter of time before they will be exhausted.

Estimates are that they can only meet our energy demands for another fifty to seventy years. So in an effort to find alternative forms of energy, the world has turned to renewable energy sources as the solution. There are many advantages and disadvantages to this.

Renewable energy sources consist of solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, ocean and biomass. The most common advantage of each is that they are renewable and cannot be depleted. They are a clean energy, as they don’t pollute the air, and they don’t contribute to global warming or greenhouse effects. Since their sources are natural the cost of operations is reduced and they also require less maintenance on their plants. A common disadvantage to all is that it is difficult to produce the large quantities of electricity their counterpart the fossil fuels are able to. Since they are also new technologies, the cost of initiating them is high.

solar-cell fabric

Image provided by Sphelar Power on December 11 shows small spherical solar cells woven into a piece of fabric. The new fabric is made of wafer-thin solar cells woven together that could see people powering up their electronics with their sweater or trousers. Clothes that could literally light up your life were unveiled Tuesday by Japanese researchers who said their

Specially Adapted Solar Energy Collector

Researchers at MIT have come up with a low-cost system that can produce electricity and hot water or steam simultaneously using the energy of the sun. Their design is based on a conventional solar thermal system but incorporates special features that make it more efficient and flexible.

For example, it uses evaporation, condensation, and gravity to move the captured heat to the point of consumption -- no need for an energy-consuming pump. It generates electricity using a solid-state technology that converts the captured solar energy directly to electricity with no moving parts. And depending on the materials used, the heat output can range from low-temperature water for household use to high-temperature process heat for industrial applications such as aluminum smelting. The researchers are now building a prototype of their system........

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Silent wind Turbine

To harness the wind for energy, a silent wind turbine is taking the world by storm (pun intended). Wind energy naysayers have often cited the noise of wind turbines as a negative factor.

One of the earliest devices to harness the power of the wind was the windmill, which was used to pump water and grind grain. The modern equivalent of the windmill is the silent wind turbine, which, like the windmill, uses propeller-like blades to catch the wind. These blades then spin a generator, producing electricity.

WRSystems: New Emissions Monitoring System Could Change Face of Pollution at Sea

A new emissions monitoring system being developed by a Norfolk, VA, systems engineering firm will allow vessels worldwide to continuously monitor pollutants and readily report findings to regulatory agencies and inspectors.

The patent-pending Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS), developed by W R Systems, Ltd. (WRSystems), is the first technology integration of its kind. A successful land-based test of the CEMS prototype was performed in August 2009. Stringent new regulations regarding vessel emissions are forthcoming from US and worldwide governments and maritime organizations. WRSystems developed the new technology to help the maritime industry meet these new regulations and reduce their carbon footprint. The company, for more than a decade, has been developing sophisticated, high-reliability critical sensor systems for the US Department of Defense. WRSystems has also provided high reliability monitoring systems to the public transit industry.

Anesthesia : Contributing to pollution?

Protecting the environment is a matter for concern for all. Any report on intrusion of the environment by mankind attracts public glare. A recent article by Sulbaek Anderson et al. on climatic effects of inhalational anesthetics raked up the issue of environmental pollution by anesthetic gases in contemporary media. Although global climate changes are primarily attributed to emissions of carbon dioxide, the reactions of the media on pollution by anesthetic gas emission were possibly not unfounded.

Impact on Environment
Emission of infrared radiation into space is an important mechanism by which the earth loses heat and cools down. Atmospheric pollution by molecules that hinder the escape of the infrared radiation affects the temperature regulatory mechanisms of the earth and thus affects the climate.

Energy Storage and Solar Power *

Perhaps the greatest technical problem facing the increased adoption of solar power is to find ways to meet our expectations of electricity - that it be available upon demand, when we flip the switch - with the intermittent and variable nature of solar production. As critics of wide-scale adoption of solar energy technologies are quick to point out, there is not only every night, but a good portion of many days when the sun doesn't shine. While such statements miss the advances that have been made in accommodating the electricity grid to this natural phenomenon, various forms of energy storage are important for wider use of solar power.

This phenomenon is also true of wind energy, and in many ways wind and solar share similar challenges in terms of integrating more wind into our expectations of electricity production. As a result, much of the research into integrating more solar into electricity production looks at integrating both solar and wind.

Solar Energy Directly Into Steam!

Solar steam technology achieved an overall energy efficiency of 24 per cent, which is better than photovoltaic solar panels, which generally have an overall energy efficiency around 15 per cent.
A new technology has been devised by scientists at the Rice University, which uses nanoparticles to convert solar energy into steam. The researchers claim that their technology can even convert icy cold water directly into steam. Termed as 'solar steam', the researchers said the technology would be employed in sanitation and water-purification applications initially. This is about a lot more than electricity, said Naomi Halas, lead scientist on the project, director, LANP in an official posting. With this technology, we are beginning to think about solar thermal power in a completely different way.