Environmental

Recent Posts

Is the credit crunch and lack of transmission capacity slowing the growth of wind power? Probably so, though perhaps not for long
Posted on 6 Aug 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Because of nearly $16 billion in investment in 2008, America overtook Germany to become the world’s biggest wind-power generator last year. Wind accounted for 42% of new generating capacity, up from just 2% four years earlier. But this year momentum... Read More

Want to place your renewable energy project on a brownfields site? New web site helps to locate sites, their condition, and potential project incentives from Feds and State
Posted on 23 Nov 2008 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The is replete with brownfield sites. EPA has now launched a web site that superimposes roughly 10 thousand color-coded dots on a map of the Each dot represents a contaminated site or abandoned mine, and the color represents a site category. Clicking... Read More

California's Governor threatens to veto alternative energy legislation; alleges he can enact via executive order
Posted on 28 Sep 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Both the California Assembly and the Senate have passed AB 64 [ http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/ab_64_bill_20090921_enrolled.html ] and SB 14 [ http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sb_14_bill_20090915_enrolled... Read More

EPA plays Solomon in terms of ethanol standard for gasoline
Posted on 3 Jun 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the debate over ethanol, including whether it is a renewable fuel, the failure to account for production of N2O as a byproduct of the farming of inputs, and the concern by manufacturers of automobiles and engines that ethanol in... Read More

Smart grid will be a major technical challenge
Posted on 2 Sep 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the necessity of a smart grid to improve energy efficiency and allow various alternative energy technologies to deploy their power to the grid even if the generating source is located far from users of electricity. The challenge... Read More

Oil refiners join others in opposition to raising ethanol amount in gasoline above 10%
Posted on 11 Jan 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

In a prior post it was noted that EPA was considering increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline to perhaps as high as 20%, and that the auto industry was opposed to the proposal due to concerns about the impact on engines and emissions control equipment... Read More

Generating 20% of U.S. electricity from wind by 2030 is possible, alleges Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Posted on 16 Aug 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

In a recent report by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change it is noted that supplying 20% of U.S. electricity from wind power by 2030 would be "challenging but not unachievable." Currently, wind and solar provide 2% of U.S. electricity production... Read More

Ohio Wind Energy Tax Incentives Deficient, Trade Group Says
Posted on 25 May 2009 by Peter Miller

Ohio is in a quandary as it tries to reconcile last year's greening legislation and aspirations for wind energy production with the state's financial troubles. The linchpin of the problem, of course, is tax revenue. The state is trying to find... Read More

Obama Administration commits $2.4 billion to research, development, and manufacture of advanced battery and electric drive technology
Posted on 7 Aug 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the technology and current shortcomings of electric vehicles and battery technology; prior posts have also described various research activities to develop batteries able to provide a charge over a longer period of time. The Obama... Read More

The Smart Grid: An Analysis
Posted on 24 Jun 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Much of the recent talk about alternative sources of energy has focused on the need for expanding and improving the electrical grid. At the same time, in the interest of efficiency and conservation, there has been much chatter about turning the rather... Read More

GM claims Chevy Volt will get 230 mpg city
Posted on 11 Aug 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Using EPA mileage methodology, GM claims that its forthcoming Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid, will achieve 230 mpg city driving; the range of the Volt on battery-power alone is anticipated to be 40 miles. The price of the Volt is currently anticipated to... Read More

The rush into biofuels may be a major error
Posted on 15 Apr 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted that EPA is conducting an assessment of biofuels to ascertain if they are truly "renewable", and that the so-called GHG emission benefits of ethanol appear to disappear if the "indirect" land-use effects are... Read More

Solar Thermal Is Poised To Take Off. Will It?
Posted on 24 Jun 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

When the media conceptualizes about solar energy, they usually obsess over photovoltaics. Yet, solar thermal plants are, in terms of today's technology, often more cost-effective. Although there is only 500 MW's worldwide of solar thermal in existence... Read More

Salty water may be useful as a power source
Posted on 2 Sep 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted various potential alternative energy sources, from the nearly developed to the "still on the drawing board". One idea that may hold some promise was recently noted in a prestigious science journal. The key researcher likens... Read More

California SWRCB defends decision to limit use of UST's to B20 fuels
Posted on 1 Sep 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

A prior post noted that the California State Water Resources Control Board decided to allow the storage of biodiesel blends up to 20% (B20) in UST's designed for hydrocarbon fuels (e.g., diesel). Much to the Board's surprise, they have been heavily... Read More