According to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal will still be the top energy provider in 2040. Although renewables and nuclear are growing at the fastest rates in electricity, the EIA predicts coal will still be top.
“EIA’s forecast shows non-hydropower renewables as still just a small piece of the electricity generation mix in 2020, with coal still trailed by natural gas. Nearly 80 percent of the world’s energy use, for both transportation and electricity, will be fossil fuels through 2040.”
Read more about the report at GreenTechMedia.com.
Natural gas is one of the developing technologies that have many opportunities. But will those opportunities contribute to a more sustainable world?
GreenerIdeal.com examines several benefits of natural gas. “Natural gas is seen as a provider of a cleaner energy alternative with significantly lower emissions when you compare a natural gas-fired plant with a coal-fired one.”
One of the largest benefits of natural gas is that it provides an effective transportation with limited environmental impact. Natural gas is easy to distribute, and can be safely transported as liquefied natural gas (LNG). It can also be transported across continents through a series of pipelines.
Another benefit of natural gas is to use them to fuel vehicles. Natural gas vehicles (NGV) emit up to 25% less CO2 gases when compared to other forms of fuel, which can help create a more sustainable world especially in highly populated urban areas.
One large hurdle natural gas supporters must overcome is the way natural gas is obtained. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves drilling a deep hole into dense shale rocks, whichdoes come with its own challenges.
If the risks of fracking can be overcome, there’s no doubt natural gas can contribute to a more sustainable world.
There’s plenty of buzz about energy these days. But what are some of the innovations that stand out?
Government studies predict that the U.S. energy intensity will continue to decline about 2 percent every year through 2040. While efficiency in a broad term is accelerating, the steep drop in energy usage will be in automobiles.
“At the same time, efficient use of electricity – which is used three-fourths in buildings, one-fourth in industry – is finally starting to pull out its decades-long doldrums.”
Renewables are booming worldwide with solar systems and wind turbines being installed all around the world. Wind power added 45 GW of global capacity last year, and solar PVS added about 32 GW.
“These and other no-hydro renewables are continuing to win a quarter-trillion dollars’ private investment per year globally. It’s the core of the global market and increasingly central to the United States’ energy landscape.”
The means of producing electricity have shifted from slow, gigantic projects to scalable, mass-produced manufactured products. This shift from centralized to distributed generators could be the future of energy and how it powers our homes and businesses.
“Distributed renewables save money, avoid price volatility and fuel insecurities, and prevent carbon emissions. But their unique strategic and marketing advantage is that if properly deployed in a largely distributed system, they can enable a resilient grid architecture that makes big cascading blackouts improbable by design.”
Source: Rocky Mountain Institute Solutions Journal
The emerging green technology sector may be delivering the economic benefits its advocates have long said it would.
According to a year-end report from Environmental Entrepreneurs, more than 300 new renewable energy or clean transportation projects, facilities projects, and facilities were announced in 2012, promising an estimated 110,000 new jobs.
Sectors covered in the report include power generation (solar, wind, and geothermal), manufacturing, energy efficiency, public transportation, and biofuels. Solar, one of the fastest growing sectors with a 40 percent increase in installed capacity led renewables with 19,100 generation and manufacturing jobs.
Read more from the report at Green Tech Media.
By Gaylen Davenport
The Solar Impulse flies using solar technology. Every aspect of the plane has been designed to save energy.
The lightweight Solar Impulse once flew overnight without using fuel. This summer, engineers are hoping to fly it across the U.S.
The solar-powered plane features a lightweight design, a wingspan of more than 200 feet wide, and weighs less than a typical car. “Every aspect of the plane, from the carbon fiber components to the flight instrumentation, has been designed to save energy.”
Designers of the Solar Impulse say it’s far from being ready to replace commercial jets, but is a model for how technology and science has evolved. “Major challenges await humanity… their objectives will be less to conquer unknown territories than to preserve the planet from today’s threats, in order to sustain and improve our quality of life.”
Read more about the Solar Impulse.
According to a recent study by ESource, energy efficiency could become a $60 billion opportunity.
The study found that businesses waste a collective $60 billion a year, or 30% of the power consumed by U.S. industrial and commercial facilities.
The report goes on to look at the details of certain industries including restaurants, health care, data centers, and government.
Energy efficiency is sometimes called the “fifth fuel” after coal, oil, nuclear, and renewables. But energy efficiency deserves better than co-equal status, as its side effects are small. After all, “the cleanest and cheapest energy is the energy that we don’t use.”