Answering Question Whether Solar Energy Renewable or Nonrenewable

Talking about renewable energy, many people often question: is solar energy renewable or nonrenewable? The answer of that question can be found down below. However, before we get to that matter, let us remember a bit of renewable energy and its importance.

Knowing that now we need greater power source to generate electricity, water cooling, water heating, air cooling, transportation, and so on, we cannot depend on non-renewable energy alone. We need to have something new that will never run out in the future. It is the renewable energy. Here is the answer of “is solar energy renewable or nonrenewable” and a bit information related to that.

1. Is Solar Energy Renewable or Non-renewable?

Solar is gained from sunlight. The term renewable is something that can be renewed over the time. Sunlight is of course coming from the sun. The sun will never go away, won’t it? This is why solar energy is totally renewable. There will always be sunlight today, tomorrow, next year, and basically forever. As long as we get the sunlight, the solar energy can keep being produced. This is why solar energy is one of the energy sources that seems to be most promising for the further generation.

We can see today that many industries are using solar panel to generate energy. Not only great industries, even small houses in the neighborhood are now starting using solar power. Solar power is powerful enough to generate electricity, water heating, and so on but in a good and healthy way.

2. Benefits of Using Solar Energy

Beside of being renewable, solar energy is also very affordable. Just by installing solar panel on the rooftop, we can gain tons of energy. They are enough energy to generate electricity and many other aspects. The best benefit of all is that solar energy does not damage the earth even further. All we do is maximizing what the sun has given us. Surely, it is one of the best thing we can do to keep the sustainable of the earth.

Solar energy is now getting more and more popular across the world. Today, almost 8% area of the earth is using solar electricity instead of the regular electricity. It is an amazing fact considering that solar electricity is not well-known for many people. However, it is a good work and we have to keep it up. So, what is the answer of “is solar energy renewable or nonrenewable”? It is totally a yes. Yes, solar energy is renewable for sure.

So that is about some short answer about whether the solar energy is renewable or not.

The Definition of Wind Energy for Dummy

In this article we will define wind energy. And further, we will also talk about wind energy pros and cons. And also its comparation with solar energy.

A. Define Wind Energy

Define wind energy

How to Define Wind Energy

To define wind energy, we can start by safely saying that the wind energy is the energy source coming from the wind. Wind energy is totally a renewable source of energy that will never run out from time to time. The wind itself has been used to generate power since the ancient time. It has the power to move something big. Say for example, you can take a look at a ship in the sea.

The wind is blowing the ship and it moves easily. You can also see it on the windmill. The windmill solely uses the energy from the wind to spin the mill and operate it. Below you will see more information to add the wind energy.

1. Why Wind Energy Source is Renewable?

After we define wind energy, we need to know why wind is considered as renewable. Wind is a totally renewable source of energy because it is a natural source. Wind occurs because of the airflows between the low and the high area of the earth. It will never stop as long as the earth keeps spinning round. That is why wind is renewable since it is never going to run out.

Wind can be used to generate electricity as well as powering water heating, water cooling, and so on. That is why wind seems to be one of the best source of energy we can have in the future.

2. Wind Energy to Create Wind-Generated Electricity

Airflows from the wind can be definitely used to generate electricity. That is why wind-generated electricity is now quite common in the world. In 2015, wind-generated electricity was in the number of more than 63 GW It was enough to generate the electricity in a small city.

The wind-generated electricity is created from the cube of the wind speed. As the speed increasing, the output power will get bigger and bigger. Also in 2015, wind-generated electricity met almost 4% of the need of global electricity demand. It is the evidence that wind-generated electricity has great impact.

Today, many areas in the world including in China, Europe, US, and Canada has the leading source of wind-generated electricity. More than 40% people in the area living with wind-generated electricity as well.

We did define wind energy quite well above. Now, you also know its related news including about wind-generated electricity. Considering that wind is a great source of energy, from now on you should never take it for granted anymore. It is important for the good of the people around the world.

B. Wind Energy Pros and Cons

pros and cons wind energy

Wind Energy Pros and Cons You Should Know

Like solar energy, wind energy becomes the most popular energy that is loved and even applied by many people in the world. Particularly since wind energy is easy to use, but it is able to generate the electricity and even fulfill human being’s needed. However, wind energy also has some pros and cons that people are cannot avoid.

Particularly, since we know that there are many people who already applied wind energy in their places as the great source for them to support the electricity. Therefore, these cases becomes the bigger problem from time to times, so in helping you to get to know about today’s issues we are providing you with some ideas related to the pros and cons of wind energy that you should know. So, let us check them out. Here they are!

Why is it good to apply wind energy?

The first idea that we are going to discuss is related to the reason why wind energy is good to support our electricity, especially as the enormous resources. However, we also have to know first the steps why wind energy is able to produce electricity. The first reason is related to the wind’s existence that later is developed as the energy by using wind turbine that is consisted of propellers. The propellers is functioned as the connector to the generator and later it is used to generate electricity.

The processes will work after the wind passes the turbines that will moves the blades and spins the shaft, as the wind passes to these parts it will produces the electricity that needed by us. Consequently, since wind energy is founded many people try to have wind turbines around their house in order to support their electricity.

Especially since they know that wind turbine is clean source of power or usually known as the energy that does not pollute the air or even does not bring the bad chemicals. They also love to apply wind turbines, since it is renewable source, cost effective, can be used in rural areas as the source power for farms, and it is also supports the developing of technologies.

And, why Wind Energy could be not good?

Different from the pros of wind energy, not a few people think that it is harmful and even bad for them. The reason because they think that it is too noisy and will be visual pollution for the people who are living next or around to it. Some people also believed that wind energy is dangerous for wildlife, especially birds. Not only dangerous for animals, it is also bad for the environment.

The reason is because when you are planning to build it up, it means you have to chop down the trees and minimalize the green area around you. Another cons issues is related to the safety of the people, especially when it occurs storms and high winds that will damage the blades of the wind turbines and probably fall down to the people who are working and living around it.

In brief, wind energy is having pros and cons. It is now becomes your job, whether you want to agree to the cons or the pros. The one thing that you should remember is everything is good, but it depends on which sides you are.

C. Solar Energy Vs. Wind Energy

Solar Energy vs Wind Energy

Which is Better of Power Source: Solar vs Wind

Wind and solar become the heavy hitter from the renewable energy. They made a good job, they reduce the pollution, they provide the power for the populations and supply the power for the most rural district in the world.

We all knew that solar and wind become the green energy’s superior producers that can cut off our dependence of using fossil fuels. Some poples may wonder which is better within them. The solar energy vs wind energy, then which one is better for you? Which one is more effective? However, it is not easy conclusion. You should know further about there source energies.

What is the wind energy?

Actually, the wind energy is form of the solar energy. When the sun’s radiation heats the Earth’s in the irregulate surface, the hot air will rise and the cold water is settles. The differences from the atmosphere pressure can create the wind that also a kinetic or the based of motion from the energy.

The wind turbines catch the kinetic energy. When the wind is blowing over the turbines blade, the generator will change the energy from the blades becomes the mechanic energy that can be changed into power to pump the water, grind the grain or supply the power for buildings.

What is the solar energy?

The solar energy is the sun‘s radiation which had been reached the Earth. When the sun ‘s rays hit the photivaltic or PV cells that placed inside the solar panels then these cells will change the sun radiations into the power electricity. The process is quite simple than wind energy.

The Pros and Cons between wind and solar energy:

1. The wind energy (Pros):

  • The wind can be used during day and night.
  • The wind turbines are able to produce more power electricity than the solar pannel.
  • The wind turbines is very less pollution than use the solar panels.
  • The wind farm is able to generate the power in the huge scales.
  • The wind turbine can be placed in the offshore.

2. Wind Energy Cons:

  • The wind turbines may so noisy.
  • The wind turbines may do not suit for populated area.
  • The wind becomes unpredictable energy source.
  • The wind turbines can damage the flying wildlife.

3. The solar energy (Pros):

  • The solar farms are able to generate the huge scale.
  • The solar panels do not give noisy.
  • The solar more predictable.

4. Solar energy Cons:

  • Cannot be produced in the night or certain session.
  • More expensive.

That’s the short introduction about defining wind energy, its pros and cons, and the comparation to solar energy. Hope it added you information.

For other insteresting renewable energy read maybe you want to read: Renewable energy facts for dummies.

Interesting Renewable Energy Facts That You Need To Know

In this article we will present you abou some renewable energy facts that need to be considered. Not just that, but we also talk about renewable energy definition and the disadvantages of renewable energy.

A. Renewable Energy Definition

Explaining Renewable Energy Definition

Many people these days want to know renewable energy definition. It is because in this time of energy crisis, we need a breakthrough. We need a new source of energy that will not run out and will not damage the environment any further. This is why renewable energy sources needed.

Thankfully, today we have the renewable energy sources that can be used basically forever and ensure a good future for our next generation. Below is more information about renewable energy including the explanation of renewable energy definition.

1. The Definition of Renewable Energy Definition

Renewable energy can be defined as the source of energy gained from something that will never run out. The source of energy, which is “renewable” is basically collected from natural resources that naturally renewable. There are several obvious example of this kind of energy resource.

The first example is sunlight or solar energy. Using sunlight to generate power and electricity is common these days. The sunlight will never run out. This is why solar power is called renewable. The source of power is not going to get rare at all.

Second of all, we have wind. Using wind to generate power and electricity is also common. Wind is also something natural that will never go away for good. As long as the earth spins around, there will always be wind and we can always use it to generate energy. Beside of sunlight and wind, other examples of renewable energy source are including geothermal heat, rain, waves, and tides.

2. The Importance of Renewable Energy

Some people may argue why renewable energy is that important. Well, actually, renewable energy is incredibly essential these days, especially when the regular energy sources like petrol is going to get rarer from time to time. Renewable energy sources can be used to provide energy in many important areas. Among them are in the electricity generation, transportation, and water cooling or heating.

3. Why Renewable Energy is Needed

The major reason why renewable energy is needed is because they will never go away or not even get rarer from time to time. Unlike petrol, for example, sunlight and wind are not going to stop being produced. As long as the earth works regularly, there will always be sunlight and wind. It will guarantee a secure future for the next generation.

Now that you know the renewable energy definition and you know how important it is, you will never take renewable energy for granted. It is because now you know the role of the renewable energy for the future generation.

B. Renewable Energy Facts

renewable energy facts

Interesting Facts about the Renewable Energy

The renewable energy is the energy that able to regenerative or for all the practical purposes. This renewable energy becomes the virtually inexhaustible. These all including of solar energy, hydropower, the wind energy, biomass (that derived from plant), ocean energy and the geothermal energy (the heat that derived from earth).

The renewable technology is able to provide the energy for heating and cooling of buildings, fuels for the transportations, electric generator and heat that useful for the industrial processes. The increasing use of renewable energy can decrease burning of fossil fuels, such as: coal, natural gas and petroleum that also able to eliminate the air pollution and the carbon dioxide emissions.

The renewable energy is also able to contribute for the national energy independence and economic-political security as well. There are several interesting renewable energy facts that will be a good sign for future population.

The major types that used the renewable energy sources.

As you know that the Biomass is including of wood, agricultural crops, municipal refuse, residues, manufacturing waste, human and livestock manure, etc. This is can be used to heat the home and buildings, result the electricity and fuels for transportations. Wood and paper manufacturer use the biomass residues to process the heat and electricity production.

The other is geothermal systems that ha created from the deep beneath of the earth surface that tapped to produce he electricity within 22 countries in around the world, some of them are Philippines, US, Iceland, Italy, etc. This is also renewable energy facts that you should know.

The Hydropower also becomes the major usage of renewable energy source.  the Hydropower had been produced from the flowing water that passed trough the hydropower turbines. This is becomes the superior of renewable energy source that give the contribution around 9% from the electricity generator in the US.

Most of the Hydropower had produced in the large dams.
Several interesting facts about renewable energy resources.
There are a lot of renewable energy facts that essential to know. In the 200 BC, the peoples in China use the windmills to pump the water and grind their grains. But, there is more further expected a well. The researcher had found that the sun rays able to store in a special salt and used at the night. The power plant in Spain had soaked up the sun during the day and result the seven hours power electricity that used in surrounding area.

C. Disadvantages of Renewable Energy

disadvantages of renewable energy

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Energy

The renewable energy describes the technology of energy collection, such as: wind, geothermal that came from the source which is never ending then can be replenished from time to time. Most of the countries in around the world really depend on fossil fuel, such as: oil, coal andgas as the energy source for their economies.

Fossil fuels are the non renewable energy.  This is means that they use limited resources that will ultimately exploit, hence the energy costs will increase as well. Several countries had responded to the threat by increasing the campaigns to embrace the renewable energy, such as: wind and solar. However, there are several advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy.

Advantages of Renewable Energy

There are several advantages of renewable energy.

1. The renewable energy source is very eco friendly.

This is the clean energy sources that means has the lower or zero carbon from the greenhouse emission. The fossil fuels give the high level of greenhouse and carbon dioxide that give the contribution for global warming. Solar and wind energy were considered as the eco friendly sources because emit the zero toxic gas for the environment. Using the renewable energy can decrease dramatically of fossil fuels usage as the energy source and cut off the air pollution.

2. Renewable energy becomes the reliable energy source.

As we know that over reliance on fossil fuels can cause several issues that happened in our environment. Although there are several argues that the solar and wind energy are unreliable, the solid infrastructure will broke  this arguments, if the solar and wind plants are distributed to the wider geographic location, there will be minimum electricity generation interruption because the weather distruption in certain or one location cannot be same with another locations.

Disadvantages of Renewable Energy

There are several disadvantages of renewable energy:

1. The electricity generator capacity is not enough.

There are several challenges to generate large amount of renewable energy technology than compared with the fossil fuels. Currently, the fossil fuels produce the large amount of electricity. This is means that we need to provide the other facilities to match up with the growing demand or we can reduce our energy consumption.

2. The lower efficiency levels.

The renewable technology is still far away from the market. This is means that they still less efficiency than the much needed. This is can cause several problems and the investors do not brave enough to invest their money that cannot get returns in faster time.

That’s the introduction of renewable energy definition, renewable energy facts, and its disadvantegs. Hope it added you information.

After read this articel, maybe you want to read: The Explanation of Clean Energy Sources and Clean Energy Fuels for Dummy.

What is Solar Energy Used For?

Things You Need to Know About Today’s Energy!:

What is Solar Energy Used For?

With so many gadgets and even technologies that is produced by many companies all over the world, not a few people still do not know about today’s energy. Actually, it becomes our responsibility to learn and even to know about what is going on around us. One of them is particularly related to the energy that we needed all the times.

Besides, as the human being who is born and living in this 21st century era, we also have to know how to develop or even use and apply today’s innovation; especially things that save energy. For example is solar energy that is important and can be applied and support today’s technology, especially in order to save the energy that later can be used for our grandchildren. Is not right? Therefore, in acknowledging you with solar energy and even the function of its, we are going to help you with some precious information.

How far you understanding Solar Energy?

The first thing that you should need to know is about the definition of solar energy itself. So, what do you know about it? Solar energy is known as one of many renewable sources that is derived from the rays of the sun. Since it is the sun’s rays, it becomes the renewable one or usually known as the source that we use from the earth itself.

Alternatively, in another word, it is the natural resources such as; sunlight, wind, rain, geothermal tides, and so on that is able to generate the electricity. For the processes in generating the electricity, solar energy converts directly to the electricity through solar photovoltaic or usually popular as PV. In this process, solar energy is collected the reflective surfaces and then heat an object that will produces solar thermal energy. Moreover, after the electricity is able to work well, it can be used to power the lights, heaters, gadgets, and so on. About the function or even the used of solar energy, we are going to discuss it in the next section.

The used of Solar Energy Today

After knowing some information that you should know related to the solar energy, then you also have to know about the use of solar energy today. To generate the electricity, solar energy works through a transmission system that requires sunlight. It occurs only during the daylight times, so it will get the maximal results as the energy that later will produce the electricity. Furthermore, based on the brief explanations about it, solar energy can be derived based on the function or the usage.

For the first usage of solar system works by the help of solar panels. This energy from solar system is usually used to heat a building and house. Since it is used to heat building or house, it requires bigger panels. Moreover, not only can be used as solar heating, solar panels also can be used as solar cooling, but the price is much expensive. Other function of solar energy today is also can be used to develop the solar technology. It means that these technologies can be charger by solar power. Those devices are included; cell phones, music speakers, tablets, thermostats, solar dryers, solar visor radios, mini-fridges, best rechargeable flashlights, and so on.

In brief, based on the explanations, we can conclude that solar energy is beneficial for today’s era. The reason because there are many stuffs, technologies, and other supporting items that is helpful for us are using solar energy. In which it means that solar energy is able to save and used as the best the energy for living.

The Explanation of Clean Energy Sources and Clean Energy Fuels for Dummy

Renewable Clean Energy is The Future of Energy

Definition of Clean Energy

In the most general meaning, clean energy definition is similar to renewable energy.

There are some renewable energy sources and considered to be a friendly environmental that use the natural process. Several energy sources give the clean energy sources as the good alternative, helping to rip off the effects from the pollution. All of these power generations technique can describe as the renewable energy because they cannot deplete of any sources to produce the energy.

Although, we know that there are some huge scale of renewable energy source that had used for several projects, sometime in the most rural district use the renewable energy source that very essential in human life. That’s why, it’s important to develop clean energy bonds.

Now, What is the clean energy source?

Most of our electricity had been derived from the power plant which uses the fossil fuels, such as: coils and oils. The power plant burns the fossil fuels to produce electricity and these all processes cause the greenhouse gas that will able damage our environment. This is including of carbon dioxide and methane. This is why they were called as the dirt source energy.

Geothermal clean energy source
One of the clean energy source: Geothermal

These greenhouse gas can cause the Earth’s atmosphere becomes warm which some scientists had warned us that there is the climate changes in our Earth. This things more adjustable that able to cause the extreme climate, spreading thme disease and threat the habitat of all creatures.

The Example of Clean Energy Sources

So, clean energy sources is contain of very few or zero pollution. Of course, they also renewable and can be used again and again.

The top 3 of renewable clean energy sources:

1. The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

The Compressed Natural Gas or CNG is the substitute of fossil fuels for gasoline, propane fuel or diesel. Although, the burning process does not cause the greenhouse gas, this is the cleaner alternative which more friendly environment for those fuels and more safe than the other fuels as well. CNG used for internal gasoline which uses the traditional gasoline internal combustion machine that had been converted into the bi-fuel or CNG.

2. Biomass.
The biomass can be as the renewable source that uses the living and recently dead of biological that can be used for the fuel or for the industrial production as well. in this context, the biomass referred to produce the electricity or produce, such as: dead wood, branches, yard clipping, etcwhich used for the fiber production.

3. Geothermal.
Geothermal is the powerful ways and efficient to convert the renewable energy from the Earth through the natural process.

That’s is about short introduction of clean energy. We also need to research about present clean energy facts to receive more understanding about clean energy prospect.

And also, see this interesting-mindblowing video about 10 top clean energy of the future:

Clean Energy Renewable Fuels

Create the Friendly Environmental with Clean Energy fuels

We also need to know how the clean energy is used. One of the trending issue of clean energy use is Clean Energy Renewable Fuels. Although, the clean energy fuels is still in development, it is already used in many things.

To substitute the pollutant fuels, such as: diesel and petrol, the cleaner alternative fuels were being developed. They incusing of : liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), city diesel hydrogen, alcohol fuels, compressed natural gas (CNG) and use the battery to operate the vehicles. Clean energy fuels can be the best alternative ways to make our environment cleaner.

Clean Energy fuels
How clean energy add value to us

In the crowd of urban society, whether the CNG and LPG are still have the lower emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) than the vehicles that used the petrol powered. Indeed, the emition of carbon monoxide from the CNG powered for vehicles were the same orders as these emitted by the diesel vehicles.

However, the emissions from hydrocarbons in CNG vehicles were relatively high because the methane that becomes the main component from the natural gas. The methane gas is small contributor for the lower level of forming ozone that becomes the main factor of global warming, however, is still better and lower than the diesel vehicles that give more damage pollution for the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Example of Clean Energy Fuels

There are several clean energy fuels which are available:

1. The biodiesel.
Biodiesel s the renewable fuels that made from the vegetable oil, the animal fats, reused of cooking oil, the corps of seed and even the algae that also able to make this biodiesel. This is a pour and go of biodiesel technology which easier to blend with the petroleum diesel and can be used fro the diesel machine as well.

The biodiesel reduce the particles, carbon monoxide, the unburned of hydrocarbon tailpipe from emissions and sulfur dioxide. This is also able to reduce the greeenhouse emission in overall. This is also becomes the clean energy fuels that can be used as the alternative

2. Electric and hybrid vehicles.
The electric vehicle is not new invention, which had been built in 1828. Nowadays, there are some of them that available for consumers. The hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) has 2 machine in internal combustion machine and the electric motor.

This HEV vehicles is more fuel efficiency than the conventional vehicles. This is because the HEV vehicles do not use the tailpipe emission and do not produce the tailpipe emissions as well.

3. Ethanol.
Ethanol is the fuels that made by the fermenting organic materials, such as: grains, crop, the forest waste and corn. This is can be used for the flexible fuel vehicles or FFV that able to utilize this ethanol.

Climate change heats up this summer

Climate change heats up this summer – the issue as well as the air temperature – and what takes place this spring and summer will determine what we as a nation will do – or not do – to mitigate climate change.

No surprise, no action on climate is coming out of a deadlocked Congress . This month there were anti-climate amendments to a very good – now dead – energy efficiency bill, one of them sponsored by our own Dean Heller. And in the lack of action, the thirty-eight members of the Congressional Safe Climate Caucus continue to fight the “conspiracy of silence in Congress about the dangers of climate change” by standing up and talking about it at any opportunity. Their grandchildren will thank them.

Nevada’s Congressional Representatives Dina Titus, Joe Heck, Mark Amodei, and Steven Horsford are not part of the cCongressional Safe Climate Caucus. Maybe their constituents should ask that they join. Their grandchildren will thank them.

Executive action

It’s clear that the Obama Administration has settled on executive action to do what Congress will not. Here’s a rundown of how all this climate activity relates to Nevada.

EPA carbon standards for existing power plants due June 2

The EPA will issue draft standards for carbon pollution from existing electrical generation on June 2. The standards will apply to all existing electrical generation facilities, and they are the subject of much speculation: How much leeway will states have to draft standards to fit their own circumstances? Will utilities be allowed to use energy efficiency and renewable energy to offset their carbon emissions? Will the standards direct an actual reduction in the total amount of carbon emitted, or only a reduction in the carbon intensity? And finally, who will sue the EPA first?

What will Nevada do?

Nevada is in a good position to comply with new carbon standards. With the closure of three units of the Reid Gardner coal-fired power plant this year, the closure of the forth unit next year, and withdrawal from its share in the Navajo Plant in Arizona, NV Energy’s only remaining coal-fired generation facility will be the Valmy Generating Station in northern Nevada. Natural gas has become the fuel of choice for NV Energy, and while some carbon pollution results from the burning of natural gas to generate electricity it is much less than coal. (Though methane pollution from mining, transporting and incompletely burning natural gas does occur – and methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.)

NV Energy also plans to replace a portion of the coal generation with renewable energy. If NV Energy established a firm commitment to move to renewable energy for most or all of its generation capacity, with the state’s abundant renewable resources, the state could be a leader in a clean energy economy.

Nevada’s Dean Heller joins in Republican resistance derailing Portman Shaheen energy efficiency bill

Republican resistance to EPA’s upcoming carbon standards helped derail a bipartisan energy efficiency bill this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to allow Republican amendments supporting the Keystone XL Pipeline and opposing the pending carbon regulations. Neither side backed down, and the bill died. Heller’s proposed amendment would have required the EPA to go through an exhaustive list of potential economic impacts before establishing any pollution standards for the production, use or supply of energy.

National Climate Assessment released last week – Nevada fact sheet

Last week the Obama administration released the third U.S. National Climate Assessment—the most comprehensive scientific assessment ever generated of climate change and its impacts across every region of America and major sectors of the U.S. economy. Here’s the climate change bottom line for our region:

“Increased heat and changes to rain and snowpack will send ripple effects throughout the region, affecting 56 million people – a population expected to increase to 94 million by 2050 … Severe and sustained drought will stress water sources, already over-utilized in many areas, forcing increasing competition among farmers, energy producers, urban dwellers, and ecosystems for the region’s most precious resource.”

Increased warming, drought, and insect outbreaks, all caused by or linked to climate
change, have increased wildfires and impacts to people and ecosystems in the Southwest.
Fire models project more wildfire and increased risks to communities across extensive
areas. ”

Maybe Dean Heller should start proposing amendments directing the EPA to evaluate the costs of drought and wildfire in the lack of significant action on climate change. This is, after all, the region he represents – as climate change heats up.

Recycling CFL Bulbs in Nevada

Just in time for Earth Day

Articles about recycling are big around Earth Day (April 22) so we thought we’d add our effort and let you know how and where you can recycle compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) and fluorescent tubing in Nevada.

This piece is prompted by a question that Speaker of the Nevada Assembly Marilyn Kirkpatrick asked SWEEP’s Howard Geller when he spoke about energy efficiency opportunities in Nevada to the Legislative Committee on Energy last week. The Speaker asked where and how her constituents could recycle the mercury-containing CFL bulbs.

Why CFLs?

CFLs’ use about a third the power of traditional incandescent bulbs and last eight to fifteen times longer. CFL’s are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but can save over five times the purchase price in energy savings. Here’s a page on the Energy Star website where you can calculate your savings from CFL and LED bulbs.

All that energy savings is good for the environment. According to Energy Star, in 2012 Americans saved $1.8 billion by switching to Energy Star-certified CFL and LED light bulbs. Changing these bulbs removes as much greenhouse gas pollution as planting 9.5 million acres of trees or taking 2 million cars of the road each year. The energy saved could light all households in a city the size of Washington D.C. for eight years.

About mercury

But CFL’s contain small amounts of mercury, a potent neurotoxin.

(Some parenthetical perspective: a coal-fired power plant produces 13.6 mg of mercury to power one 60-watt incandescent bulb, but only 3.3 mg to power an equivalent CFL. Even if the CFL has about 5 mg of mercury inside, using CFL’s results in 5.3 fewer grams of mercury per bulb than using incandescent lighting.)

Nevertheless, because of the mercury CFL’s are classified as hazardous waste, cannot be disposed of in regular household trash, and must be recycled.

To echo Speaker Kirkpatrick, where can we recycle CFL’s in Nevada?

A wealth of CFL recycling options

It turns out we have a wealth of options to recycle CFL bulbs.

Lowe’s recycles both CFL’s and tubes at no charge and with no limit on the number. Take the bulbs to the customer service desk.

Home Depot does the same. I asked the sales rep whether they have a limit to the number of bulbs people can bring in and he said, “Nope, people bring in boxes of them.”

Batteries Plus stores in both northern and southern Nevada accept CFL’s and tubes for recycling for a charge: the northern Nevada franchise charges 66 cents per bulb for CFL’s and 12 cents a foot for tubes; the southern Nevada franchise charges 35 cents a bulb for CFL’s and 50 cents per tube.

In Las Vegas, Republic Services accepts CFL’s at hazardous waste drop-off locations in North Las Vegas and Henderson.

What happens if you break a bulb?

A recycling guide put out by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful has good advice on what to do if you break a CFL or fluorescent tube:

  • Open the window before doing any cleaning and leave open for at least 15 minutes to avoid inhaling mercury vapors. Exit and close the door behind you to prevent children and pets from exposure.
  • Wear rubber gloves and use a stiff paper towel or cardboard to scoop up broken glass and powder and put waste in a sealable plastic bag. Do not use a vacuum or a broom as dust will become airborne.
  • Thoroughly wipe down area with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  • Put everything used for cleanup in the plastic bag with the broken glass and powder. Seal bag. Put the sealed bag into a second sealable plastic bag.
  • Wash hands after cleanup. C
  • Contact the recycling resource in your community for collection sites that accept broken bulbs.

So there you go. – all you wanted to know about recycling CFL bulbs in Nevada.  Happy Earth Day.

Get Ready for Crescent Dunes

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) project in Tonopah slated to open this year

Concentrating solar power uses fields of mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a structure in which the solar heat is  collected to generate electricity. Unlike the more common photovoltiac (PV) solar energy technology – the kind found on rooftops – CSP has the capacity to store energy, in the form of heated material, so electricity can continue to be generated after the sun sets.

How does concentrating solar work?  A picture is worth a thousand words, and we found this great video that gives us the story on Crescent Dunes CSP.

 

More than 800 megawatts of CSP plants currently operate in the United States. Four new CSP plants, including Crescent Dunes CSP and the recently-opened Ivanpah plant in California’s Mojave Desert will soon increase the total CSP capacity in the United States to 1.8 gigawatts. These new CSP plants will provide enough electricity for nearly half a million homes.

Crescent Dunes CSP  is expected to generate 485,000 megawatt hours per year, enough to power up to 75,000 homes during peak electricity usage periods.

In a recent project update video, Solar Reserve’s site manager Brian Painter says, “Crescent Dunes will be a game changer. This plant can do anything any other power plant can do, but with this power plant there’s no fossil fuel involved – it’s strictly the power of the sun.”

Here’s a picture of the almost-completed Crescent Dunes CSP project. The plant is in the commissioning phase now – testing and calibrating the various systems from the heliostats to the steam turbines – and is expected to go online in the fall.

Aerial photo of Crescent Dunes CSP project, January, 2014. Photo courtesy SolarReserve

Aerial photo of Crescent Dunes CSP project, January, 2014. Photo courtesy SolarReserve

Energy in Nevada: Tale of three power plants

Energy in Nevada – Do you know where your electricity comes from?

Energy in Nevada – the lights turn on when you flip the switch. So does the computer if you even bother to turn it off anymore. And yes, we do, most of us, have at least some idea of where our electricity comes from. It comes from those power plants somewhere – well, somewhere out there.

Last week while driving along I – 80 on my way back from Utah, I decided to take a look at some of the generating stations out there. It was surprisingly easy to get really close to these big industrial facilities. In fact, at Beowawe my husband wandered inside the control room to ask if the road we were on would eventually rejoin I-80. The plant operators at the remote facility were startled to see him, and gave him directions to Battle Mountain.

Geothermal energy in Nevada: Beowawe Geothermal Power Station

Geothermal energy in Nevada: Beowawe power station

Beowawe geothermal power station: photo Anne Macquarie

Beowawe is one of 19 geothermal power plants in Nevada that provide electricity to NV Energy customers under power purchase agreements with the company. Together, the plants provide over 385 megawatts of installed geothermal capacity. NV Energy also has contracts for another 150 megawatts of geothermal power from plants either planned or under construction.

Beowawe is one of the smaller geothermal plants in the state, with a 17.7 megawatt capacity. Owned by Beowawe Power LLC and operated byTerra-Gen Power, Beowawe started producing energy in 2006. The company’s power purchase agreement with Sierra Pacific Resources expires in 2025.

The Beowawe plant was named Geothermal Project of the Year in 2012 by Renewable Energy World for “the first commercial use of a low temperature bottoming cycle at a geothermal

Geothermal energy in Nevada: Beowawe geothermal power plant

Beowawe is a combined binary, bottoming-cycle and double-flash geothermal plant. Photo Anne Macquarie

flash power plant in the United States.”

According to NV Energy, “Geothermal power is a premium renewable energy source because it provides reliable, around-the-clock power with no specific ties to fluctuating fuel costs.”

The production of electricity from geothermal energy emits few greenhouse gases compared to fossil-fuel-fired electrical generation. The EPA shows no greenhouse gas emissions from Beowawe in 2012.

Geothermal energy in Nevada: Beowawe geyser in 1971

Beowawe geyser in 1971: Photo courtesy Northeastern Nevada Museum

The Beowawe plant did, however, destroy the Beowawe geyser field, one of only two geyser fields in Nevada, when it became operational. Nevada’s other geyser field, the Steamboat Geyser Field south of Reno, was also destroyed by geothermal development.

Beowawe is located in Eureka County a few miles west of the former hamlet of Beowawe.

 

Coal energy in Nevada: North Valmy Generating Station

Coal energy in Nevada: North Valmy Generating Station

North Valmy generating station: Photo Anne Macquarie

The North Valmy generating station is a lot bigger than Beowawe, and it is powered by coal shipped by railroad from mines in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Valmy is jointly owned by NV Energy and Idaho Power.

The North Valmy Generating Station is a coal-fueled, steam-electric generating plant with two operating units. Unit No. 1 went into service in 1981 and Unit No. 2 went into service in 1985.

Both Valmy units combined have a capacity of 522 megawatts. NV Energy says the plant can produce enough electricity to serve approximately 315,000 Nevada households.

NV Energy and PUCN disagree about Valmy retirement date

When, as required by SB123, the last unit of the Reid Gardner coal-fired plant in southern Nevada closes by the end of 2019, Valmy will be the only remaining coal-fired power plant in Nevada.

The retirement date for the Valmy plant was the subject of an interesting discussion in Nevada Public Utilities Commission testimony last December, when NV Energy argued for an earlier closure date than the PUC was willing to allow. PUC and Bureau of Consumer Protection staff argued that the company’s plan to close Valmy Unit 1 in 2021 would mean that higher annual depreciation costs would be borne by NV Energy customers. Commissioners agreed, and directed the company to move back the older Unit 1’s closure date to 2025, which is the proposed closure date for the newer Unit 2.

NV Energy argued that earlier closure of the unit made much more sense in the prospect of eventual greenhouse gas and other pollution regulations – in fact, they said closing down the plant by around 2019 made the most sense – but commissioners told them that “issues that may arise from future legislation and/or environmental regulations” were only “hypothetical” and should not be considered.

coal energy in Nevada: North Valmy Generating Station

A closer view of North Valmy: photo Anne Macquarie

It appears the PUCN and Bureau of Consumer Protection are more concerned about temporarily providing NV Energy customers with lower rates by stretching out the depreciation period for an aging coal-fired power plant than they are interested in helping to protect those customers – and everyone else – from the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the EPA Total CO2 (equivalent) emissions in metric tons in 2012 from North Valmy were 1,579,682 metric tons. This makes Valmy the third-largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, behind only Reid Gardner and the Lenzie natural-gas-fired generating station in southern Nevada.

North Valmy is located a few miles northwest of the tiny town of Valmy in Humboldt County.

Natural gas energy in Nevada: Frank A.Tracy Generating Station

natural gas energy in Nevada: Tracy Generating Station

Frank A. Tracy Generating Station: photo Charlie Macquarie

Tracy is not as remote as Beowawe and Valmy, in fact, it’s impossible not to notice it. Located alongside I-80 about 17 miles east of Reno, the Frank A. Tracy Generating Station is “a multi-technology natural gas-fueled power plant complex that includes 12 generating units. The newest and largest addition consists of two highly efficient General Electric combustion turbine generators, similar to the turbines that power jet airplanes. The exhaust from these two units is then recycled to power a separate steam turbine .”

Peak generating capacity at Tracy is 1,021 Megawatts.

In 2012 Tracy emitted 1,548,686 metric tons of CO2 (equivalent) (EPA), making it the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the state.

New readings in climate change

Paleoclimate of the American West, and what we know right now

I just finished reading two very good new readings in climate change. One tells you  what you might want to know about the past, present and future – and it turns out, very wild –  climate of the American West. The other is the perfect place to go for a general overview of what we know right now about anthropogenic climate change – something you might want to have handy  when you go to Thanksgiving dinner with that climate-skeptic uncle or to a town meeting with your climate-change-denying congressman.

First, the past: The West Without Water

This ambitious book, written for a general audience, sets out to tell us the state of what we know about the past, present, and future climate of the American West, and the influence of that climate on the region’s environment and society.

It’s a big job, but authors B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of Earth and Planetary Science at U.C. Berkeley and Frances Malamud-Roam, Environmental Planner and Biologist with the California Department of TransportationNCARE New readings in climate change manage it pretty well. The first section, “Floods and Droughts in Living Memory” reads almost like a thriller: did you know that in 1861-62 the city of Sacramento was under six feet of water for six months?

The meat of the book is the central section: “A Climate History of the American West,” in which we learn not only what paloeclimatologists have pieced together about the climate history of our region, we learn about the natural “archives”  that have allowed them to do it, from ocean sediments in the Santa Barbara basin, to wetland sediments in Suisun Marsh, to bristlecone pine growth rings, to analysis of the tree stumps rooted on the floors of Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake and Mono Lake.

The take-away: We live in a region with a wild climate that alternates between drought and floods, a climate that could well become even wilder with the addition of human-caused climate change. And is a region where millions of people now live in towns and cities that are entirely dependent upon a regionwide plumbing system for their water, a plumbing system that was developed during a short period of relatively benign climate conditions.

Ingram writes, “The American West faces a climatic future that is predicted to become generally warmer and drier, with deeper droughts interspersed with larger and more frequent floods.  The American West appears to be facing a potential climatic double-whammy: a cyclical return of drier conditions and new greenhouse-gas-induced warming.”

What we know now

NCARE New readings in climate change: Climate Change Evidence and Causes Climate Change Evidence and Causes is also written for a general audience. A joint publication of the National Academy of Sciences and Great Britain’s Royal Society, the aim of the publication is to serve as “a key reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative answers about the current state of climate-change science.”

Most of the 24-page booklet consists of questions and answers about climate change, from the most basic – Is the climate warming?  –  to the more complex – What is ocean acidification and why does it matter? There is also an eight-page booklet summing up the basics of climate change that would be useful for a high school science teacher – or to give to that skeptical relative.