In the past decade, an ambitious — but still mostly hypothetical — technological strategy for meeting our global climate goals has grown prominent in scientific discussions. Known as “negative emissions,” the idea is to remove carbon dioxide from the air using various technological means, a method that could theoretically buy the world more time when it comes to reducing our overall greenhouse-gas emissions.
LM Wind Power, a blade manufacturing company, has been acquired by General Electric Co. GE struck a €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) deal with the manufacturer’s owner, Doughty Hanson & Co., and has announced that it will be incorporated as a stand-alone unit, adding in a statement that it intends to support industry customers “with the aim of expanding these relationships.”
Rapidly rising investment in renewable energy has allowed for a “decoupling” of economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions across much of the world, but the future will continue to be shaped by dynamic and sometimes volatile energy markets, according to findings released yesterday by the World Energy Council. In its latest resources report issued yesterday, the council said the past 15 years have witnessed “unprecedented change in the consumption of energy resources worldwide,” and that “most countries have achieved a more diversified energy mix” thanks to steeply falling costs for nontraditional energy fuels and technologies, including renewables.
Investors in wind and solar power are getting more capacity for their money as the cost of the technology tumbles, making alternatives to fossil fuel more competitive. That’s the conclusion of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which found dramatic improvements in wind and solar technology is helping to boost the amount of power generated from each plant — and the cash they yield. That allowed installations to grow by almost 70 percent in the last five years even as investment flat lined.
Lithium-ion is likely to remain the king of energy storage and expand its kingdom as companies like Tesla work to make batteries a common household appliance alongside its electric cars. Batteries in these roles consist of dozens of smaller lithium-ion cells in packs that store much more electricity than mobile phones, so the potential harm from a thermal runaway is much greater. On the other hand, large battery packs mean that a single failing cell doesn’t have to take out the entire system, and with sophisticated power management systems, vehicle, household and grid batteries can be made even safer.
The release of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in the first half of this year sank to their lowest level since 1991, the Energy Information Administration said yesterday. The agency attributed the decline to a warm winter, slumping use of coal-fired electricity, and strong growth in renewable and hydroelectric power. It was the first time in 25 years that emissions during the first six months of any year were that low.
Wind energy has been a major driver of Iowa’s economy and an important part of its electricity mix, despite the inaccurate and misleading claims in Grant Kidwell’s Oct. 6 commentary. Iowa leads the nation by reliably generating over 30 percent of its electricity using wind power. When Wind XI comes online, the Hawkeye State will near 40 percent. The results of this development have benefited Iowans across the state. As Gov. Terry Branstad has explained,“Every wind turbine you see in Iowa means income for farmers, revenue for counties and jobs for Iowa families.”
The United States pumped out the least climate-changing pollution from fossil fuels in the first six months of this year than at any such period since 1991, federal energy officials said Wednesday. That’s in part because those six months were the third-warmest on record in the country. From January to June, the number of days that Americans needed to turn on their heating dropped to the lowest level since at least 1949, when the U.S. Energy Information Administration began keeping those records nationwide.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) spends many Mondays on the Senate floor, talking about the dangers of climate change. Yesterday, he took his presentation to Austin, Texas, where he sharply criticized Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for his decision to subpoena New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) for documents from their investigations into Exxon Mobil Corp. “Rep. Smith is not just here doing something unprecedented to obstruct state officials in the performance of their duties, he’s doing it on behalf of the very subject of their investigation,” Whitehouse said in a brief speech from the state house.
Farms are the top story in Iowa — for food, for energy and for the waste that the state’s 20 million or so hogs and millions more cattle produce. “In Iowa, water quality and clean energy continue to remain front and center,” said Ralph Rosenberg, executive director of the Iowa Environmental Council.