Saturday, November 7, 2009

Problems with Coal-Based Electricity Generation

The Big Stone II Coal Fired Power Plant Project met it's demise this week in NE South Dakota. On the one hand I 'm not sorry to see it shot down. On the other in the process of building another Power plant they were supposed to clean up the plant already on line.
Ottertail Power Company announced that they would abandoned the project this week.

The following is a blurp on coal from another site.

Courtesy of,

Beyond the environmental problems with coal mining, burning coal to generate electricity is notoriously dirty. While great improvements have been made over the years in air-pollution-control technologies for coal plants, many old, fume-belching plants remain online. Despite industry proclamations of the wonders of "clean coal" technology—coal-gasification combined cycle (CGCC) power plants are indeed a quantum leap from plants with even state-of-the-art emissions scrubbers—almost none of the coal plants currently under construction or on the drawing boards around the world are this super-clean type.

Even if you give the coal industry and its political allies the benefit of the doubt and assume a wholesale move to clean coal-burning technology, that would still leave the intractable issue of the pollution and environmental damage caused by coal mining. There are no easy solutions for that problem, and increasing the demand for coal will also increase the environmental problems associated with coal mining.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Trading in Dinosaur Power On A Better Model.

I thought this Series of articles worth presenting to the readers of this blog. I will post one. everyday for the next few days.

Courtesy of

Thanks Guys,

Peak Oil Solutions — Real Energy Solutions for
Declining Energy Supplies

In our article Peak Oil and Environment, we outlined how non-conventional oil, biofuels, coal, and nuclear energy are peak oil solutions that have both inherent limitations and an environmental dark side. To that list, we added methane hydrates, biofuels from animal fat and offal, and hydrogen. None of these are technologies that we feel can provide a real solution to the problem of peak oil—or at least can do so in the long term without causing environmental problems that are just as bad as the peak oil problem.

No doubt our future will include some energy from all of those sources, and hopefully any chaos resulting from a liquid-fuels crisis will not be so bad that the public abandons its desire for clean air, pure water, and unpolluted land—i.e. that there won't be an energy disruption so bad that they tell their elected officials, "give me energy, no matter what the environmental cost."

This is Part 2 of a three-part series. Article 3 is coming soon. Why not sign up for the free GP email service so you don't miss it.

If you need a primer on peak oil, please see our Peak Oil FAQ or this Peak Oil article.

But if the "old guard" of energy technologies—coal, oil, gas, nuclear—are unsuitable for solving the coming liquid-fuels crisis because of supply limitations or because of unacceptable environmental consequences or other risks; and if the "new dog" technologies like ethanol, biodiesel, and hydrogen fuel cells are found to be lacking for various reasons, what would real energy solutions look like? Today, we offer our ideas for peak oil solutions, with a focus on energy technologies that have a real chance of long-term sustainability

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Boating & the Environment

Boating is, arguably, one of the most environmentally sensitive past times we encounter. It is a very tough subject to address but it is being addressed, nevertheless, by companies, bureaucracies and individuals every year.

Florida's Department of Environmental Protection has recognized Boat marina's in their state for a few years now.The reward is based on educational venues used by each marina effort put forth to educate new boat owners on procedure to keep boating safe for the environment as well as fun for the whole family.

Caribee Boat Sales (this years winner)hands out flyers as well as distributing DVD's to their potential customers on tips to keep boating safe for the environment as well as giving personal instruction to all customers purchasing boats from them.

It is good to see that keeping the coastlines and reefs clean has not escaped the marina's as they pursue a livelihood so closely intertwined with the environment.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How Does Gas Win An Environmental Debate

Well today in Washington the Senate was debating environmental legislation that will put natural gas in the forefront on generating enough electricity to curb a demand for electricity that has run rampant in recent years.
Coal is to dirty and wind and solar are not dependable enough according to their line of thinking.
There is no doubt coal is dirty as anyone can see simply by looking at a coal miner at the end of the day. At the same time companies are ramping production on photo voltaic cells that are more stream lined as well as more efficient. They should be more cost effective as well. Ampulse Corporation, Golden CO. has raised $8 million along with various partners to step up production of PV products.

“Ampulse has assembled a strong management team along with key strategic partnerships with two renowned laboratories to develop a low-cost, high efficiency, c-Si thin-film PV solution for the residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar markets,” said Daniel Leff.

Wind is well positioned in the market place simply because development has momentum and oil is beginning to be so volatile because of supplies needed in countries like China and India. The shear number of cars alone added to just one of these countries is scary indeed. China's demand for oil alone is to exceed a jump of 150% by 2020.

In any event, the Republicans, today, were clearly trying to either obstruct or derail any progress on environmental policy as the Senate struggles to put rose colored glasses on the rest of the world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Busy Summer

I've been away for a time. I travel all over NE, KS & SD working for an engineering company. Summers are very busy between trying to keep up with work, get home some and creating family time.
I will again make a valid effort to keep this blog up to date with pertinent information we can all use to better our lives and the lives of those around us.
Each and every person we come in contact with on a daily basis is affected by our outlook on life and our response to them as individuals and members of society.
I will use this time to try to catch all of us up on issues that matter to us that can see far enough into the future to realize, like it or not,we will leave a legacy for our posterior to deal with.
What will that legacy entail? Will we as a Collective Nation be able to bite the bullet making the hard decisions that will leave our Home (Earth) a better place for our grandchildren? Like it or not; the good old US of A is a leader in the cause against global warming. After all, we have been the ones that have benefited the most from the build-up of Greenhouse gases.
China claims that we (USA) should contribute more because of what we have gained in the past. They may be right. Look for information coming out of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in the second week in December, 2009. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. What roll will the USA take in this Summit? What roll will they be willing to take on a global scale to curb the rampant expansion of greenhouse gases world wide.

We are the beneficiaries of a great deal. Much of which has caused the problems we are faced with today.