Category: Other

Miscellaneous lighting- and power-related articles.

The New Normal? Renewables, Efficiency, And “Too Much Electricity”

Just over a decade ago, the state of California faced serious concerns about whether its utilities could generate and/or buy enough power to assure that the world’s seventh-largest economy could keep the lights on. The infamous California energy crisis, which affected several other western states as well, was a complex tangle of poorly structured deregulation, significant market manipulation (remember Enron?), and other causes. Along with rolling blackouts, California endured an official state of emergency that lasted 34 months, led to the recall and replacement of Gov. Gray Davis, and cost the state and its ratepayers billions of dollars — a cautionary tale for all states of electricity supply unable to meet demand.

Using Geothermal Solutions to Desalinate Oil Field Water

Clean water — it’s a precious resource in hot demand right now, for more than taking a shower or watering our crops. The United Nations projects the world’s population will grow by another billion people, to 8.4 Billion, by 2030. More people means more need for food, water, electricity, and other necessities. Beyond the obvious demands for water, our increasing appetite for electricity also requires water — and plenty of it. Most of the electricity generated in the U.S. uses water in some capacity.

Listen Up: Can We Get To 100 Percent Renewables?

We’ve made great progress with renewable energy — but from an almost zero base we still have a long way to go. Fortunately, the path is clear. California is already over 12 percent with a combination of hydroelectric, wind and solar (unfortunately not much hydro this year). Getting to 50 percent only requires the deployment of existing technology. But can we get to 100 percent?

Fracking and Solar: Friends, Foes or the Bridge to Clean Energy Adoption?

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” has been widely criticized by environmentalists who cite concerns with water pollution and methane leakage from this high-volume method of extracting natural gas. However, the burning of natural gas is undoubtedly better for the planet than the burning of coal. Some experts are now saying that — toxic chemicals an

Springtime for Tesla

In my past couple blog posts, I’ve written about the electric car market and inventor Nikola Tesla , but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to talk about Telsa Motors and the very big waves the company has been making lately. Tesla is having a very, very good May so far. Stock prices raised eyebrows on Wall Street, the company turned its first