Category: Green Energy


Did the Government Give Industrial Hemp a Pass to Clean Up Radiation in the States?

Christina Sarich

NationofChange / News Analysis

Published: Friday 14 February 2014

Hemp has numerous uses and could replace many crops that require heavy irrigation and pesticides, but the most interesting fact about hemp is that it “eats” radiation.

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Activists have been shouting they want an end to GMO foods for more than a decade now, and Cannabis Sattiva L. supporters have been at it for even longer, so why has the US government finally given farmers the right to legally grow industrial hemp, the non-hallucinatory, sister plant of medical marijuana?

It is safe to say that industrialized hemp should have been legalized years ago. With THC levels so low, you would have to smoke more of it than Snoop Dogg to get ‘high’ – and that’s a lot of Cannabis, it is ridiculous that it was classified as a drug at all. It has numerous uses and could replace many crops that require heavy irrigation and pesticides, like cotton, for example. Here’s the most interesting fact though – hemp plants ‘eat’ radiation.

When the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Reactor 4 accident caused severe radioactive contamination in 1986, families within a 30-kilometer area of the site had to be evacuated. Radioactive contamination was later found at 100 kilometers from the accident site, and Fukushima radiation levels are still to be determined, with the Japanese government planning on dumping their overflowing radiated water tanks into the Pacific as we speak.

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| February 20, 2014 11:58 am

There’s clearly a lot of honor in being named the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., and developers keep that in mind with each deal they strike and announcement they make.

In the past two weeks, Deepwater Wind announced deals that it believes keeps its Block Island Wind Farm “on target to become the nation’s first offshore wind farm.” First, the Providence, RI-based firm signed a deal with the French Alstom Group for five, 6-megawatt (MW) turbines that will power the farm to be constructed on waters near Rhode Island’s Block Island. Next, Deep Wind tapped Oslo, Norway-based Fred. Olsen Windcarrier to provide the vessel for the farm’s turbine installation.

Video screenshot: Deepwater Wind

Video screenshot: Deepwater Wind

“This agreement represents a giant leap forward for the Block Island Wind Farm, and the start of turbine construction just last month marked a major project milestone,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

Alstom’s 6-MW Haliade 150 turbines are 589 feet tall. The company has 2.3 gigawatts of offshore wind farm substations delivered or under construction around the world.

The 30-MW Block Island Wind Farm will generate more than 125,000 MW hours annually, enough to power about 17,000 homes. The energy will be exported to the mainland electric grid through a 21-mile, bi-directional Block Island transmission system that includes a submarine cable proposed to make landfall in Narragansett, RI.

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MLive

ice lighthouse.JPG
Ice on Lake Michigan is a major concern for those exploring wind turbines on the Great Lakes as this winter scene from Muskegon shows. (Chronicle file photo)

By Dave Alexander | dalexan1@mlive.com

on October 22, 2013 at 6:45 AM, updated October 22, 2013 at 7:27 AM

MUSKEGON, MI – Ice on Lake Michigan is apparently not a “show stopper” for those exploring wind turbine farms on the Great Lakes.

That is the initial conclusion of University of Michigan marine engineer Dale G. Karr based upon his work for the U.S. Department of Energy studying Great Lakes ice and its impact on wind turbine towers.

“I have not found ice to be a show stopper but our research will be useful in determining that question,” Karr told a lecture audience Monday, Oct. 21 at the Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon.

That is not to say that lake ice isn’t an issue, far from it.

ProfessorKarrMAREC.JPGUniversity of Michigan Professor Dale G. Karr makes a point Monday, Oct. 21 at a lecture on Great Lakes ice and wind turbines at the Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon.

“The Department of Energy is supporting this research to see if there is a show stopper,” Karr said. “Ice is a major issue if not the major issue for wind energy on the Great Lakes. The answer will start to emerge next spring when we will determine the designs and costs.”

Already offshore wind production is three times the cost of onshore wind farms such as the Consumers Energy Lake Winds Energy Park now producing electricity in Mason County south of Ludington, according to MAREC Director Arn Boezaart. Factoring in the cost of engineering wind tower protection against the ice is just one more reason that Great Lakes wind farms are likely more than a decade away, if the political will for such installations ever materializes, he said.

Karr said that the United States has taken an economic and technological back seat to Europe – especially Germany – and now both China and Japan in exploring, developing and deploying offshore wind. With the controversy of offshore wind in the United States for more than a decade, no offshore wind turbine has been installed although seven test projects are underway with federal funding.

“Europe is ahead of us probably a decade or so,” Karr said of offshore wind. “The German government is making offshore wind development the equivalent of our 1960s moon program. We are not the world leaders (in offshore wind) but now playing catch up.”

As the University of Michigan’s world-renowned department of marine engineering and naval architecture decided several years ago to delve into offshore wind technology questions, Karr began to study the effects of ice – an expertise he has obtained through studying oil and natural gas rigs in Arctic waters.

“We always get the question, why put wind turbines in the Great Lakes when there is ice?” Karr said of his research.

 

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A group of miners pose for a photograph inside of an excavation corridor at Zofiowka coal mine in Jastrzebie Zdroj, southern Poland April 3, 2013. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

 

 

OSLO | Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09am EDT

(Reuters) – Poland could halve its demand for coal by 2030 with a shift to renewable energies that would end its image as a laggard in European Union efforts to slow climate change, a study showed on Friday.

The report, by researchers in Germany and Poland, renewable energy groups and environmental group Greenpeace, included a foreword by ex-Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki who called it a “feasible, realistic scenario”.

It estimated that Poland, which now generates 90 percent of its electricity from coal, could create 100,000 jobs with a shift to wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and solar power by 2030.

The scenario would require investment of $264 billion, double the $132 billion cost of business as usual. Still, free renewable energies would be cheaper in the long run by eliminating costs of fuel to generate electricity, it said.

Poland “has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move beyond coal,” it said. “Poland is home to a geriatric energy system, based on coal. Its power plants are old with about 70 percent of them being over 30 years old.”

 

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The New York Times

 

Yoshikazu Tsuno/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

An offshore wind turbine off the coast of Fukushima.

 

 

 

 

OFF THE COAST OF FUKUSHIMA, Japan — Twelve miles out to sea from the severely damaged and leaking nuclear reactors at Fukushima, a giant floating wind turbine signals the start of Japan’s most ambitious bet yet on clean energy.

The project’s turbines, and even the substation and electrical transformer equipment, float on giant platforms anchored to the seabed.

 

When this 350-foot-tall windmill is switched on next month, it will generate enough electricity to power 1,700 homes. Unremarkable, perhaps, but consider the goal of this offshore project: to generate over 1 gigawatt of electricity from 140 wind turbines by 2020. That is equivalent to the power generated by a nuclear reactor.

The project’s backers say that offshore windmills could be a breakthrough for this energy-poor nation. They would enable Japan to use a resource it possesses in abundance: its coastline, which is longer than that of the United States. With an exclusive economic zone — an area up to 200 miles from its shores where Japan has first dibs on any resources that ranks it among the world’s top 10 largest maritime countries, Japan has millions of square miles to position windmills.

The project is also a bid to seize the initiative in an industry expected to double over the next five years to a global capacity of 536 gigawatts, according to the industry trade group Global Wind Energy Council. The Japanese have lagged at wind turbine manufacturing, which is dominated by European and Chinese makers.

The Japanese government is paying the 22 billion yen, or $226 million, cost of building the first three wind turbines off Fukushima, part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to make renewable energy a pillar of his economic growth program. After that, a consortium of 11 companies, including Hitachi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimizu and Marubeni, plan to commercialize the project.

“It’s Japan’s biggest hope,” said Hideo Imamura, a spokesman for Shimizu, during a recent trip to the turbine ahead of its test run. “It’s an all-Japan effort, almost 100 percent Japan-made.”

What sets the project apart from other offshore wind farms around the world, consortium officials say, is that its turbines, and even the substation and electrical transformer equipment, float on giant platforms anchored to the seabed. That technology greatly expands potential locations for offshore wind farms, which have been fixed into the seabed, limiting their location to shallow waters.

For this reason, there have been few great sites for offshore wind farming in Japan, which lies on a continental shelf that quickly gives way to depths that make it unfeasible to build structures into the seabed. But floating wind farms could change the picture in a big way.

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A Commentary By Alexander Neubacher

All of the wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, hydroelectric and biogas plants in Germany have not reduced CO2 emissions in Europe by a single gram. Zoom

DPA

All of the wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, hydroelectric and biogas plants in Germany have not reduced CO2 emissions in Europe by a single gram.

Germany pretends to be a pioneer in the green revolution. But its massively expensive Energiewende has done nothing to make the environment cleaner or encourage genuine efficiency. One writer argues: Either do it right, or don’t do it at all.

So, perhaps you’ve heard about Germany’s heroic green revolution, about how it’s overhauling its entire energy infrastructure to embrace renewable energy sources? Well, in reality, our chimney stacks are spewing out more than ever, and coal consumption jumped 8 percent in the first half of 2013. Germans are pumping more climate-killing CO2 into the air than they have in years. And people are surprised.

 

ANZEIGE

Why coal, you might ask? Aren’t Germans installing rooftop solar panels and wind turbines everywhere? What’s being done with the billions of euros from the renewable energy surcharge, which is tacked onto Germans’ power bills to subsidize green energy and due to rise again soon? This is certainly not how we imagined the Energiewende, Germany’s push to abandon nuclear energy and promote renewable sources, which Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government launched in 2011 in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

This same government acts as if this coal fever were merely a growing pain or transitional problem. But that’s not true. Instead, it stems from structural flaws in the Energiewende. Renewable energy and the coal boom are causally linked. The insane system to promote renewable energy sources ensures that, with each new rooftop solar panel and each additional wind turbine, more coal is automatically burned and more CO2 released into the atmosphere.

Counterincentives Galore

Indeed, Merkel’s Energiewende is morphing into an environment killer. It burdens the climate, accelerates the greenhouse effect and causes irreversible damage.

Take the fluctuation/storage problem: Sun and wind sometimes provide an abundance of electricity, and then nothing at all — depending on the time of day and the weather. When they are pumping out lots of power, however, very little of the surplus can be stored because there is a lack of appropriate technology and the incentives to develop it.

 

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Colorado farmers harvest industrial hemp despite federal prohibition

Finished hemp, marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin, is legal in the US, but growing it remains off-limits under federal law

Colorado Hemp

Volunteer walks through a hemp field at a farm in Colorado during the first known harvest of industrial hemp in the US since the 1950s. Photo: P Solomon Banda/AP

Ryan Loflin, a farmer from southeast Colorado, tried an illegal crop this year. He didn’t hide it from neighbors, and he was never afraid that law enforcement would come asking about it. Loflin is among about two dozen Colorado farmers who raised industrial hemp, marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin that cannot be grown under federal drug law, bringing in the nation’s first acknowledged crop in more than five decades.

Emboldened by voters in Colorado and Washington last year giving the green light to both marijuana and industrial hemp production, Loflin planted 55 acres of several varieties of hemp alongside his typical alfalfa and wheat crops. The hemp came in sparse and scraggly this month, but Loflin said he is still turning away buyers.

“Phone’s been ringing off the hook,” said Loflin, who plans to press the seeds into oil and sell the fibrous remainder to buyers who will use it in building materials, fabric and rope. “People want to buy more than I can grow.”

Hemp’s prospects, however, are far from certain. Finished hemp is legal in the US, but growing it remains off-limits under federal law. The Congressional Research Service recently noted wildly differing projections about hemp’s economic potential.

However, America is one of hemp’s fastest-growing markets, with imports largely coming from China and Canada. In 2011, the US imported $11.5m worth of hemp products, up from $1.4m in 2000. Most of that is hemp seed and hemp oil, which finds its way into granola bars, soaps, lotions and even cooking oil. Whole Foods Market now sells hemp milk, hemp tortilla chips and hemp seeds coated in dark chocolate.

Colorado will nt start granting hemp-cultivation licenses until 2014, but Loflin didn’t wait. His confidence got a boost in August, when the US Department of Justice said the federal government would generally defer to state marijuana laws as long as states kept marijuana away from children and drug cartels. The memo did not mention hemp as an enforcement priority for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“I figured they have more important things to worry about than, you know, rope,” a smiling Loflin said as he hand-harvested 4ft plants on his Baca County land.

Colorado’s hemp experiment may not be unique for long. Ten states now have industrial hemp laws that conflict with federal drug policy, including one signed by California Governor Jerry Brown last month. And it’s not just the typical marijuana-friendly suspects: Kentucky, North Dakota and West Virginia have industrial hemp laws on the books.

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AFPCalifornia AFPCalifornia·

Published on Aug 30, 2013

Climatologist Dr. Fred Singer explains how climate alarmism is ruining California’s prosperity. California’s efforts to force CO2 emission reductions on its citizens will do nothing to impact the earth’s climate and will only drive more jobs out of the state.

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JackieTreehornEsq·

 

Uploaded on Feb 25, 2010

The recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile killed thousands of people and have left hundreds of thousands homeless. Today, poverty has left up to 3.5 million Americans in need of temporary housing.
Haiti, Chile and the US, have 100,000s of empty ISO shipping containers sitting dormant. My idea is to use local labor to convert one of these shipping containers into a safe, low-cost, eco-friendly home for temporary housing to those in need.

ISO shipping containers are rugged, weatherproof, and plentiful.

Local artisans and craftspeople will design and convert one of these shipping containers into a livable and safe home. Because building materials are unavailable to the poor, the design and build will focus on using scrap and recycled materials. Also, all build techniques will be done in a manner that is easily replicable by individuals with little or no construction skills. The final product will be instructional videos for NGOs to build these homes locally, with local labor.

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Hopefully  Not  Another Solyndra Fiasco In The Making…..

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Obama ‘Energy Security Trust’ Pushes Green Research And Natural Gas Development

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 03/15/2013 2:47 pm EDT  |  Updated: 03/15/2013 5:13 pm EDT

Obama Energy Security Trust

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill., Friday, March 15, 2013. Obama traveled to the Chicago area to deliver a speech to promote his energy policies. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama toured the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago on Friday and announced his plans for an “Energy Security Trust” to further clean energy research and development in the U.S.

The trust, which will be funded by federal royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling and not add to the budget deficit, will provide for $2 billion in research over the next 10 years. According to the White House, it will advance research into technologies like electric vehicle batteries, biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells.

Obama said on Friday at Argonne, “We have to keep investing in scientific research,” and lamented the impact of the federal budget sequester on U.S. research. “We cant afford to miss these opportunities while the rest of the world races forward,” the president argued.

Obama’s plan also funds natural gas research, furthering the president’s forthright support of an “all of the above” energy strategy and “responsibly tapping” U.S. natural gas reserves.

The president’s “Blueprint for a Clean and Secure Energy Future” advocates for “accelerating the growth” of natural gas in the transportation sector. Although increased utilization of natural gas is partially responsible for a decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, significant leakage of methane — a shorter-lived but more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 — may negate environmental benefits over coal.

Obama’s “blueprint” also gives a nod to the coal industry with “significant funding for clean coal technology.” Carbon sequestration from coal-fired power plants has been called “mythical” by environmentalists, who have criticized Obama’s Energy secretary nominee, Ernest Moniz, for supporting the concept.

The president originally proposed the Energy Security Trust in his 2013 State of the Union address. “If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we,” he declared. “Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.”

 

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