Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Solutions

Ken asks…

What would environmentally sustainable transportation look like?

What would environmentally sustainable transportation look like?
Seems like Global Warming might be real. Cars and Planes are two sources of Carbon Emissions that might have a technological solution.
What would an Ecologically Appropriate Transportation System look like?

If, after the Moon Landing in 1969, NASA (or similar gov agency), had spent an equal amount of time, money, and passion to build a clean air transit system; what would it look like?

admin answers:

There’s a lot of ways to have environmentally sustainable transportation. Given our current installed base of gasoline and diesel vehicles, the logical solution would be to synthesize gasoline and diesel from bio-mass waste and utilize the existing distribution networks and existing vehicles. The DoD does this with the Diversified Energy Hydromax gasifier and the Velocys Micro Channel Fischer Tropsche reactor to produce diesel and jet fuel from the waste generated at military installations. This is technology dating back to the 19th century so it doesn’t take a NASA Apollo effort to achieve environmental sustainability (Don’t get me started on the Apollo killing off 1950’s era Project Orion issue). However this does not sell more cars.

Just as with tail fins and the concept of model years, the introduction of new vehicle categories such as the Hybrid, Fuel Cell and before that the SUV, Mini-van, and station wagon lineages prompts the public to replace their vehicles earlier than would be justified on purely utilitarian and environmental considerations. This has driven the economic growth, generous employment and population redistribution that we have seen in the last century and arguably isn’t sustainable.

The question should be is economic sustainability even possible given our current expectations of continued economic growth? Can our expectations be changed? Unfortunately, the free market suffers from the parable of the commons and periodic economic collapse is inevitable in such a system.

Mandy asks…

What are potential sources of energy, to harvest?

I’ve heard of sustainable dance floors which harvest energy from dancers, they have them in gyms, and bridges too now..

But are there any other sustainability solutions for the environment?

sound energy? maybe from typing on your computer… I DUNNO?


admin answers:

The most exciting is biomass, which will lower the price of gasoline, along with other petrochemicals.

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy Jobs

Betty asks…

Would the person who discovers a way to efficiently power cars using renewable energy become richest person?

Would the person who discovers a way to efficiently power cars just like petrol using endless renewable energy without using fossil fuels and causing pollution become the richest person on earth?

also, is science a job career to take, like physics, biology, chemistry etc? it sounds fun and interesting.
I mean a way to power cars using renewable energy just as efficiently as petrol….electric cars dont really work at the moment imo..

admin answers:

Possibly quite wealthy but telecommunications and computers will always be a more valuable industries than transportation.

So maybe the third richest.

As pornography and robotics have not yet conjoined I still suspect that the person who invents the first realistic sex robot will actually be the richest.

So maybe the fourth richest.

Jenny asks…

Is getting a job in renewable energy a worthwhile career move in Australia ?

At the moment I’m a fully qualified panel beater in Scotland , I’m looking to move to Australia in the next 2 years and I’m also looking at a career change , my friend is out there at the moment and told me about renewable energy. I’ve done a search on google , I cant seem to find any straight answers , any info is appreciated thanks

admin answers:

I’ve been thinking about this also. I live in a different country than you but what I’ve found was that the government is putting more and more money into producing alternative sources of energy. Australia has a giant coast line and tidal energy is becoming more popular.

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Technologies

Chris asks…

What technologies are we lacking for manned deep space exploration?

Other than the energy requirements and possibly artificial gravity if we build a large spaceship that’s big enough to be self sustainable for the humans on board, what other technologies would we need to master before we can even consider sending people out into deep space?

If you can think of more than a few, can you write a list. 🙂

admin answers:

Nonsense = we have had the technology since the 1950’s .. What we lack is the political will ..

Carol asks…

How can UK families become more energy efficient in the future?

are there any ways of becoming more energy efficient for families in the future?

what are the causes of so much energy usage?
what are the effects of it?

admin answers:

I believe neighbourhood communities could be the answer. Families alone find it expensive or impractical to become more energy efficient, however the combined skills, knowledge, capital and resources within a neighbourhood could overcome this.

Utilising a community to transform a neighbourhood can generate so many more benefits. With the use of technology communities could provide their own energy, grow/farm the majority of their own foods, provide social care for the elderly and young. Create infra structure to enable community activities and develop towards being self sustainable.

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy Certificates

William asks…

What can you do with an Associates in Applied Science?

I will be graduating in the Spring of 2013 with an Associates in Applied Science after changing my major from Radiology to Environmental Science/Renewable & Sustainable Energy. My first intent with this degree was to obtain my bachelors. I contacted a few Universities around the country and each made it clear that the gap between a technical renewable degree is quite different from the more engineer-geared bachelors programs. My future has pretty much vanished. Advice? Thanks.

admin answers:

The term “applied science” has come to be used to mean that a particular program is NOT college but rather a vocational certificate. It sounds like you have learned this the hard way. Many schools offer vocational certificates that they refer to as an associates “degree” in applied science. The student is mislead into thinking they are getting a college degree. I hope the school told you that this was not a true college degree.
College level associates degrees are generally just 2 yr. Liberal arts degrees geared towards meeting the gen ed requirements for transfer to a 4 year university. There is a major difference between the college level program and the vocational program you were in. Thus, the vocational credits will not count as college and will not transfer.

The bottom line here is that you have two choices. You can settle for your vocational certificate that was mislabled as a “degree”, or you can pursue a true college degree by taking college level courses. It likely means that you are essentially starting over, this time taking college classes rather than vocational classes. The job prospects and employment outlook is much better for those with a bachelors degree rather than a vocational certificate. This is especially true in the field of environmental science. It sounds like you just made a wrong turn in choosing a non-college program, but you can correct that by switching to college level next semester.

Steven asks…

what education/certificates do I need to become a solar pv designer?

I want to be involved with solar pv design or R&D. Getting my msee doesn’t seem possible having a bs in environmental science. Are there any other certificates that I could get that would make me attractive to employers for these sorts of positions? Basically, how can I be involved with the solar industry without being a construction worker, salesman, or having an engineering degree?

admin answers:

There’s a few options for you.

San Juan College in NM has a Renewable Energy program, but there may be a waiting list for it. Http:// “The Renewable Energy Program gives the student a solid foundation in the fundamental design/installation techniques required to work with renewable technologies. The concentration in Photovoltaic System Design and Installation is offered as an A.A.S. Degree and or a one-year certificate.”

Many Community Colleges are starting to offer renewable energy programs, you should check out what may be available near you.

IREC is an organization that certifies schools in renewable energy programs, you can see a list of ISPQ certified schools, including some online courses at:

There are several 1 or 2 week classes that can cover the basics to get you started in the industry without years of school. Some are listed in the IREC link above. The AltE Store has some IREC certified classes in Massachusetts that range from 1 – 5 days. Http://

We also have some free videos teaching the basics at

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy

Nancy asks…

Does Egypt support financial aid for other countries as well as sustainable energy?

I’m attending my first Model U.N. conference in a few weeks and I’m unsure of how to research my country’s position on a topic. I was put into the UNDP (U.N. Development Program) and our two topics are financial aid to developing countries and sustainable energy. If someone could provide some information on Egypt’s position on these two issues, or better yet, with links to some detailed websites, I would be grateful. I am looking forward to the conference but just need a helping hand to get started with my research.

admin answers:

Egypt is too busy implementing Sharia law and exterminating Christians to do anything else.

James asks…

How do i get started in an alternative/sustainable energy (biomass/bioenergy) business/awarness?

I am a current college student (Junior) in Austin, Texas and i am presently study Petroleum engineering but i intend to swtitch to Sustainable energy developement for my Masters program. I need people or someone to partner with or who can help me/us get started. I will like to get started as soon as possible rather than wait untill i graduate? I am very into the alternative energy movement and i need peole like myself to work with. For anyone who just want to help by pitching me random ideas here on yahoo,i will send you $20 dollars via PayPal or else contact me direct to discuss the possibility of working together on the project. I am very open to relacting anywhere that will best suite the chance of success.

admin answers:

With a background in petroleum engineering I’d have thought a good place to start would be with the petro-chemical companies. Many of these are diversifying into alternative and renewable energy sources and as they expand into these areas it would seem likely that they’re going to need people with the relevant skills.

If you can secure a placement with one of these companies and learn something of their core business it would stand you in good stead for a subsequent career opening.

A possibility would be to gain a few years experience with a major company then look at establishing your own business, perhaps with your original employer outsourcing contracts to your new business.

Good luck, hope it all works out for you.

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy For Kids

Joseph asks…

Where can I find information on Hydroelectric Power?

I’m doing a persuasive research paper on why Hydroelectric Power is a better energy resource than any other alternative resources. I have a few web sites I’ve found with good information but still need more because the paper is 8+ pages. I’ll probably check out a few books at the library as well but as far as at-home research goes…

What are some good, reliable web sites I can find information on Hydroelectric Power?

admin answers:

You might have some of these websites already…


Here are some books that you could try to get.

Hydroelectric Power – by Josepha Sherman
The Economics of Hydroelectric Power – by Brian K. Edwards
Micro Hydroelectric Power Stations – by Lucien Monition, M. Le Nir, J. Roux

Good luck! I hope that the information helps!

Daniel asks…

What are the future ideas of green energy?

I want to know that what is the future of green like tidal energy etc

admin answers:

Well, get ready to face the truth, even if you don’t like it.

We have had over 10 years of studies showing that wind is a bust. Its only 30% efficient and that doesn’t even count all the transmission line medical issues, etc, etc.
Read them for yourself from all over the world
September 2004
Report doubts future of wind power – Germany Study
26 February 2005
Wind farms criticized as costly an inefficient in report by renewable energy group – UK
06 October, 2008
Small Wind Sucks, Test Finds
July 29, 2009
Wind Turbines Leave Clouds and Energy Inefficiency in Their Wake
01.22.2010 – UK
February 3,2011 – operated at only 24 per cent of their capacity
Lack of wind hits wind energy production – Netherlands
28 February 2011
Lack of wind saw Scottish land-based turbines idle for four-fifths of 2010
02April 2011

Solar is good, but still have the transmission line issues. They are also expensive, but technology is changing to create better panels that produce more voltage per square inch.

Tidal ? Your kidding, right ? First you have to section off a piece of beachfront property just to anchor them out. You’ll need transmission lines to them. Good luck if you live in an area with frequent storms and hurricanes. Beachfront property is the most expensive and beach communities usually don’t like to waste the real estate. The power derived from these are limited so far.
An underwater tidal generator would be a better idea, but its only being experimented with.

Once you look at how much power a city uses, you’ll come to realize that the only way we have to create that power we need in the quantity we need it is Nuclear, coal and / or oil. NOT saying give up on green technologies, but coal plants have come a LONG way and don’t produce the Acid Rain we saw back in the 70’s and 80’s. Especially the new ones and they can utilized carbon sinking systems too. Nuclear is only scarey due to the recent events in Japan, but it has a safe record through history.

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Development

Charles asks…

What do you think of Sustainable Development? Do you really understand what it is?

It will have a huge impact on your life. I would like to tell you about it but its better if you do the research yourself. Its pretty unbelievable when you think about how the government will control every aspect of our lives.
No, I’m talking about life altering laws that tell you where to live, what you may eat. You will no longer drive and will live in an urban area with many restrictions on your activities. In fact, you will be raising food collectively. I’m talking about major life changes.

admin answers:

I’ve read some on it Bek and every time I do I get a migraine. It’s amazing how much energy these busybodies have. Of course the main ones pushing it don’t plan on living under it. Kinda like Moore and Ted Kennedy and ‘universal healthcare’.. No standing in lines for them..that’s for the peasants.

If individuals want to get together and raise food collectively..hey more power to them. It’s the Central Planning by bureaucrats who live under a separate set of rules that I reject. That’s just putting a happy face on something similar to the old Soviet system. To get this SD plan implemented they’d have to trash what’s left of our constitution…..

Oh never I get it. )

Lizzie asks…

With reference to climate change and sustainable development what is the futuristic house?

What construction materials are likely to be used and in what architectural styles and what would be the issues involved in their winning, productin and use.

admin answers:

One of these:

HOUSE # 1:

A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern “snow belt,” either. It’s in the South.

HOUSE # 2:

Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as “the Texas White House,” it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

You be the judge…

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy World

Donald asks…

Who else thinks that all the immaturity and greed among utility companies will serve to promote green energy?

The more big, wealthy gas and oil companies make their services a nuisance with disruptions and price hikes the more the world will turn to alternative supplies of clean, abundant, renewable energy. They are bringing about their own demise with their retarded thinking. Good! Keep it up you shits!

admin answers:

There is no evil per se in the energy business. The problem is, profit and loss alone drives things the way they are, and the environmental costs are, at present. External to the energy companies’ balance sheets, so they have an economic incentive to damage the environment, which historically they have done. Anything that is free gets overused by profit-motivated enterprises, including any environmental resource (air, dump sites, extraction sites, etc.) Utility companies are highly regulated at the State level, and the regulatory bodies are often elected, so the power of the ballot box can be used to get them in line. “Energy companies” (oil, coal, and gas producers) respond primarily to market conditions (collectively, all of us who buy energy) and to regulation (which they fight in the political arena because compliance costs money.)

Energy law must be national or international to be effective, and we, humanity, have barely gotten to the State and Province level for putting these externalities back on the company balance sheets. Furthermore, regulations must be administered by civil servants, so all that elected officials need to do to protect the status quo is to fund too few and appoint managers who are pro-industry.

Green energy will be embraced by the private sector when there is a competitive amount of money to be made in it. In the meantime, individuals can promote legislation that makes the externalities internal, so that green is more profitable, and can take advantage of existing rules that allow homeowners to generate their own power and requires utility companies to buy it.

Demonizing the opposition does not facilitate a solution. In the end, it is what is done, not what is intended, that matters.

Mandy asks…

Why should we have renewable energy sources?

I am writing an essay and I need the answer to this question I want to write about it but I want to know the reason why we need renewable energy sources so I can state it in my essay.

admin answers:

Renewable energy are the demand of this age. In past, energy were derived from burning of wood and other biomass sources. And then from coal, natural gas and petroleum products. But as these source of energy unlike wood and biomass products require hundreds and thousands of year to produce, they cannot be replenished and their source is getting depleted at faster rate with rise in population. Thus, energy crisis in future can be predicted even when the world is getting more and more energy dependent if we continue to rely only on the these sources of energy.

Another point is, not every country has got crude oil and coal reserves. Their economy is dependent on other countries as their energy cost can be huge which the other country can manipulate, much like middle east controlling oil – supply and prices which went above $140 per barrel (as of now is above $ 40/barrel). This makes a country less dependent on other country for their energy demand if they can use renewable energy available in their country. Energy from biomass is available everywhere, so is the solar energy(less in high latitude), In the region of higher altitude, wind energy can be harnessed, and energy can be harnessed from ocean, river and other water (larger) bodies and from earth (called Geothermal energy).

Another very important advantage is they are clean source of energy. They don’t cause air pollution either while producing energy from them (like energy from coal) or using them (like using gasoline). With the rise of issue of global warming and cutting out green house gas emission, it becomes more and more increasing important to use them instead of more polluting sources of energy.

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air

Helen asks…

What do you think of this story? What would your response to it be?

This story was made in1977.

The Nightmare Life Without Fuel

Americans are so used to limitless energy supplies that they can hardly imagine what life might be like when the fuel really starts to run out. So TIME asked Science Writer Isaac Asimov for his vision of an energy-poor society that might exist at the end of the 20th century. The following portrait, Asimov noted, “need not prove to be accurate. It is a picture of the worst, of waste continuing, of oil running out, of nothing in its place, of world population continuing to rise. But then, that could happen, couldn’t it?”

So it’s 1997, and it’s raining, and you’ll have to walk to work again. The subways are crowded, and any given train breaks down one morning out of five. The buses are gone, and on a day like today the bicycles slosh and slide. Besides, you have only a mile and a half to go, and you have boots, raincoat and rain hat. And it’s not a very cold rain, so why not?

Lucky you have a job in demolition too. It’s steady work.

Slow and dirty, but steady. The fading structures of a decaying city are the great mineral mines and hardware shops of the nation. Break them down and re-use the parts. Coal is too difficult to dig up and transport to give us energy in the amounts we need, nuclear fission is judged to be too dangerous, the technical breakthrough toward nuclear fusion that we hoped for never took place, and solar batteries are too expensive to maintain on the earth’s surface in sufficient quantity.

Anyone older than ten can remember automobiles. They dwindled. At first the price of gasoline climbed—way up. Finally only the well-to-do drove, and that was too clear an indication that they were filthy rich, so any automobile that dared show itself on a city street was overturned and burned. Rationing was introduced to “equalize sacrifice,” but every three months the ration was reduced. The cars just vanished and became part of the metal resource.

There are many advantages, if you want to look for them. Our 1997 newspapers continually point them out. The air is cleaner and there seem to be fewer colds. Against most predictions, the crime rate has dropped. With the police car too expensive (and too easy a target), policemen are back on their beats. More important, the streets are full. Legs are king in the cities of 1997, and people walk everywhere far into the night. Even the parks are full, and there is mutual protection in crowds.

If the weather isn’t too cold, people sit out front. If it is hot, the open air is the only air conditioning they get. And at least the street lights still burn. Indoors, electricity is scarce, and few people can afford to keep lights burning after supper.

As for the winter—well, it is inconvenient to be cold, with most of what furnace fuel is allowed hoarded for the dawn; but sweaters are popular indoor wear and showers are not an everyday luxury. Lukewarm sponge baths will do, and if the air is not always very fragrant in the human vicinity, the automobile fumes are gone.

There is some consolation in the city that it is worse in the suburbs. The suburbs were born with the auto, lived with the auto, and are dying with the auto. One way out for the suburbanites is to form associations that assign turns to the procurement and distribution of food. Pushcarts creak from house to house along the posh suburban roads, and every bad snowstorm is a disaster. It isn’t easy to hoard enough food to last till the roads are open. There is not much in the way of refrigeration except for the snowbanks, and then the dogs must be fought off.

What energy is left cannot be directed into personal comfort. The nation must survive until new energy sources are found, so it is the railroads and subways that are receiving major attention. The railroads must move the coal that is the immediate hope, and the subways can best move the people.

And then, of course, energy must be conserved for agriculture. The great car factories make trucks and farm machinery almost exclusively. We can huddle together when there is a lack of warmth, fan ourselves should there be no cooling breezes, sleep or make love at such times as there is a lack of light—but nothing will for long ameliorate a lack of food. The American population isn’t going up much any more, but the food supply must be kept high even though the prices and difficulty of distribution force each American to eat less. Food is needed for export so that we can pay for some trickle of oil and for other resources.

The rest of the world, of course, is not as lucky as we are.

Some cynics say that it is the knowledge of this that helps keep America from despair. They’re starving out there, because earth’s population has continued to go up. The population on earth is 5.5 billion, and outside the United States and Europe, not more than one in five has enough to eat at any given time.

All the statistics point to a rapidly declining rate of population increase, but that is coming about chiefly through a high infant mortality; the first and most helpless victims of starvation are babies, after their mothers have gone dry. A strong current of American opinion, as reflected in the newspapers (some of which still produce their daily eight pages of bad news), holds that it is just as well. It serves to reduce the population, doesn’t it?

Others point out that it’s more than just starvation. There are those who manage to survive on barely enough to keep the body working, and that proves to be not enough for the brain. It is estimated that there are now nearly 2 billion people in the world who are alive but who are permanently braindamaged by undernutrition, and the number is growing year by year. It has already occurred to some that it would be “realistic” to wipe them out quietly and rid the earth of an encumbering menace. The American newspapers of 1997 do not report that this is actually being done anywhere, but some travelers bring back horror tales.

At least the armies are gone—no one can afford to keep those expensive, energy-gobbling monstrosities. Some soldiers in uniform and with rifles are present in almost every still functioning nation, but only the United States and the Soviet Union can maintain a few tanks, planes and ships—which they dare not move for fear of biting into limited fuel reserves.

Energy continues to decline, and machines must be replaced by human muscle and beasts of burden. People are working longer hours and there is less leisure; but then, with electric lighting restricted, television for only three hours a night, movies three evenings a week, new books few and printed in small editions, what is there to do with leisure? Work, sleep and eating are the great trinity of 1997, and only the first two are guaranteed.

Where will it end? It must end in a return to the days before 1800, to the days before the fossil fuels powered a vast machine industry and technology. It must end in subsistence farming and in a world population reduced by starvation, disease and violence to less than a billion.

And what can we do to prevent all this now?

Now? Almost nothing.

If we had started 20 years ago, that might have been another matter. If we had only started 50 years ago, it would have been easy.

admin answers:

I think it is a very mild projection i would have thought i might be much worse .

The aspects of a global nuclear war or the full effects of Global warming have not been included.

Such as rising seas ,which could displace millions of people ,moving them further in land ,to fight it out with the residents already there causing wide spread public violence.

Also global food and potable water shortage ,and we have since come up with many alternatives to producing power ,why did he leave out solar or wind power.

But then this story was from 1977,and even so Asimov is a master at imagining future happenings
I wonder what he would see today ,it will be a different story.
The solution to a world devoid of energy is to think backwards and improve upon it .This is what Permaculture is all about sustainable ideas from the past (only in the past can prove of sustainability be found )

So my response is teach the people about PERMACULTURE a way of life using ingenuity and innovation with limited technology or dependence on Government energy sources,derived from a collection of sustainable ideas from around the world coupled to present level of knowledge
ideally suited for those who want to get back to the country and build a auto sufficient situation for themselves and the family or a community .

People plant rather for the quality of life and to feed their families, than for the market ,so the motivation and the manner are totally different from ordinary agriculture .

Although the basic concept of Permaculture also applies to Organic and sustainable farming,

Utilizing soil management ,and mulching

The utilization of space is more concentrated ,thinking in cubic and vertical terms instead or merely horizontal on the plain ,

Having many principle to follow such as utilizing all resources and following and enhancing energy flows ,
for example the ditch around the house catches the rain water and leads it through the chicken house where it cleans and picks up the manure to deposit it in the vegetable patch

Permaculture means permanent agriculture
a concept put forward by Bill Mollison in the 60`s

Which offers practical solutions for energy systems ,infrastructure ,intelligent design in housing,
animal shelter ,water systems and sustainable agricultural practices.
With the world and it`s history as it`s source
From the chinampas of Mexico to the terraced gardens of the Andes.
From the dessert wadis to the steppes of Russia.
Covering all climatic conditions temporal, dessert, humid and dry tropics.
With chapters on soil ,Water harvesting and land design,Bio diversity
Earth working ,Spirals in nature,Trees and water ,utilizing energy flows,
Strategy for an alternative nation

including gardening tips,bio-gas,companion planting and ideas for structures ,how to cool down houses in hot climates ,how to warm up houses in cold climates with out using technology but rather by design.
The Permaculture designers manual by Bill Mollison,which cost about 40 dollars.
And is the best all round book you can get,on Environmental design,.(tagiari publishing,

Some other writers that are on the Internet are
David Homegrown
Larry Santoyo
Kirk Hanson

Masanobu Fukuaka has written ,
One-Straw Revolution
The Road Back to Nature
The Natural Way of Farming
Simon Henderson
and Bill Molisson.
There is a Permaculture Institute in Australia
there is also a Dry land strategy Institute in North America

Links to previous relevant answers
bio diversity;_ylt=AoHkf4Mao.pJn3xHi6xV1Pnsy6IX?qid=20070728220706AAmTdlT
organic pest control;_ylt=AhfcBgXmgqLHJDS.1hZOVA3sy6IX?qid=20070609070008AA35IZ5
growing your own;_ylt=AqLpdYrdelPnP0HiyH2wurjsy6IX?qid=20070528180353AAxQuAm
water harvesting;_ylt=AlhND.Nc1wg2D5AyfZU9NzDsy6IX?qid=20070504150425AAAwVwA
the rippling effect;_ylt=AvwaHVtzogdsI8MrfMcvhaHsy6IX?qid=20070706214424AAjgbuz
choosing a site;_ylt=An5GAG03Te7IFEFaD1XTwkfsy6IX?qid=20070711193404AAGQlW7
alternative solutions to Urban sprawl;_ylt=AksobeRFQTAnaaAr4FEBAiMAAAAA;_ylv=3?qid=20071013043017AA6wcWX

Jenny asks…

Power Wastage Question?

If you leave a power charger in the power socket and have the switch switched on, will it waste power even though nothing’s plugged in at the other end?

For example, you have a phone charger cord plugged in and switched on, but no phone is attached, is power wasted?
No… i don’t think you understand. There is no electrical device plugged in. Just a cord
the charger doesn’t get hot

admin answers:

Almost every electronic device uses some electricity just by being plugged in. In fact, phone chargers often come up in articles about saving energy and such.

David MacKay, a professor at the University of Cambridge, to the rescue. Dr. MacKay has published an online tome “Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air” (free PDF download here) which relies on Kilowatt-Hours to quantify these decisions. It’s incredibly comprehensive – 409 pages – and provides the apples-to-apples that points you in the right direction.

Case in point – cell phone chargers. David performs some tests and concludes that these chargers use maybe 0.01-0.05 kWh per day; over a year, that’s the equivalent of a skipping a single bath (5 kWh per pop), or driving 6 minutes less annually (average driver being 40 kWh per day). David makes the point that all else being equal, you should of course unplug the charger. On balance though, better to go stinky for one day or lose a convenience store run. :: Without Hot Air

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy Definition

James asks…

What is the difference between conservation and recycling?

All resources are finite inclusive of renewable resources in the larger meaning of conservation of mass and energy.

admin answers:

Hi, Conservation and Recycling are a similar and different.
The easy definition of Conservation is just the “wise use” of any resource such as timber, water, farmland, wildlife, or just about any renewable and non-renewable resources.
Recyling, on the other hand, is putting something to use, that has already had one useful purpose and is nolonger needed for its original intended purpose. Examples are the recycling of aluminum cans, doors, folding chair and window frames.
The difference you asked for is that Conservation may be an overall term that covers just about use you make of the environement, while Recycling is use one aspect of conserving our resources.
Good Question: Both are great concepts and highly important, even essential, in good environmental stewardship.

Lisa asks…

What makes a resource renewable or nonrenewable?

What are examples of renewable and nonrenewable resource?

admin answers:

A resource that will never be depleted by using it up is renewable.
Wind hydro, trees, farm crops appear to be renewable.
Things we get out of mine or well, other than water, are non-renewable.

Fresh water is an important resource that appears to always regenerate itself. But fresh water right here is not quite as renewable. Some times we do run out of fresh water here even when there is a major flood of it somewhere else.

Geothermal energy is often wrongly classified as renewable. The amount of available geothermal energy may be very large, but it is finite.

Solar energy is renewable within the lifetime of earth even if the sun may be snuffed out. Its being snuffed out is not a result of our overuse.

Wind is classified as renewable even though it runs out, because it is not running out from use, and wait a few months and the wind will blow again.
While farm crops may be a renewable resource they depend on non-renewable resources, the minerals plants need come from the soil or are mined, manufactured. So, we can run out of those nutrients. Or put another way, the nutrients can be allowed to escape to the oceans. We can even run out of soil itself as it erodes and flows to the oceans.

When a resource is dependent on non-renewable resources we might treat that as a non-renewable. But classic definitions do regard plants and geothermal as renewable.

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy Group

Laura asks…

What business can i start in south india with Rs.1 lakh?

I’m a mechatronics engineering graduate who wishes to start my own business venture in india. I am willing to invest Rs.1,00,000-1,50,000. I wish to get a profit of Rs.50-70,000 per month within 2-3months after starting the business. Is it possible to start a renewable energy based company on these terms? I am ready to put in a lot of hard work. I hope to get some genuine suggestions from everyone here. Thanks in advance

admin answers:

Starting a business is big step is life and it is even bigger than marriage decision especially when you are new to this!

You may get many genuine advice. But tell me one thing, if everyone could do business just like you mentioned with 1 Lakh ( let us consider 10 Lakh) and get monthly profile of 50K then no one would be answering here. Everyone could be happy to work hard to get more profit 🙂

Be realistic about business. Do not play with numbers. Play with ideas.

Bottom line : Answer to your question – There are many small ventures working in energy sector. One of my friend work in solar energy sector in Bangalore. It took him almost 2 years to build network and get customers. Atleast for one year he was running business in loss.

Remember, its a venture, full of adventures. If you can handle it, think about it. Without profit business wont work and without planning nothing works. Meet experts, get into start-up group.

Donna asks…

why are environmentalists voting no on CA prop 7?

i’ve read that groups like the sierra club and the environment defense fund oppose prop 7. i don’t understand — doesn’t it increase renewable energy? what’s wrong with this bill?

i support environmental causes but i want to know what the facts are before tuesday. any insight would be appreciated.

admin answers:

What it does is insist that ONLY huge companies can provide clean energy, which will put out of business all the little companies that have been developing and implementing clean energy all this time.

It also sets inflated energy rates, costing everyone MORE for cheaper energy.

I bet League of Women Voters has good stuff on this.

You could also go to NRDC and Sierra Club web sites; I bet they lay our their reasoning there.

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Systems

Linda asks…

What is a voltage inverter and converter?

please can you tell me what they are…i am doing this for my design tech project sustainable energy A level

admin answers:

An Inverter is a device which inputs battery level DC (usually 12V, large scale systems may be 24 or 48 volts) and outputs domestic mains voltage/current. Cheap ones output a coarsely simulated AC, better ones provide a wave which more closely resembles sinusoidal AC.

A converter, generally, is a device which changes the input of the device to a different output.
In power, it usually means voltage, which may be a transformer for AC power, or a switch mode converter for DC.

Sandra asks…

Can a UK Government (Labour or Tory) really invest in creating green jobs and pulling us out of recession?

Or will the money get spent on expensive weapons systems instead?

admin answers:

The Atlantic weather front breaks on this country. If Europe has successful wind energy programs then why can’t we. 40% of the net wind energy throughout Europe is in the UK.

We’re also surrounded by the sea which means we have massive potential for wave energy devices and tidal turbines but, this technology is less developed than wind energy.

Then we are also not utilising our own rubbish enough. We are running out of landfill and are burying a great potential energy source. Incineration, although not everyone favourite can generate vast amounts of electricity.

Then there’s cows. We have a very sustainable farming industry (providing the government is there to support it). Using anaerobic digesters we can produce quite a bit of energy also.

There are many materials out there that can make our homes more efficient. Further research and the backing to get companies off the ground to produce these materials can make huge savings in energy usage.

There are many potential methods to really kick start a green economy it just needs a government to get behind the idea and crack on with it.

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy

Joseph asks…

Why is important for business to use renewable energy?

Why is important for ‘business’ to use renewable energy? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Do you know a company that uses renewable energy and has reduced its carbon footprint? And one that doesn’t and is considerably contributing to global warming etc

admin answers:

It’s important because fossil fuels are a finite resource. Global oil production is beginning to decline as old oil fields reach their peak, (the Gwhar and Cantrell giant oil fields for example,) and their production curves begin the inevitable slide downwards. Although new oil fields are being discovered, they are not very large, and for every new barrel of oil found, eight are being used at the same time.

A report from the UK Energy Research Centre published in August said that there was a ‘significant risk’ that the peak of conventional oil production would happen before 2020, and that means we will soon be staring down the barrel of the ultimate oil crisis.

Some governments and corporations are waking up to this and beginning to develop alternatives to keep the worlds transport systems moving when cheap oil runs out, such as more energy efficient – or electric cars, bio fuels (which put the world’s food supply under pressure,) and hydrogen (which is too dangerous for public use at present,) but none of these is likely to make up the shortfall in time.

Many point to the tar sands and oil shales and the trillions of barrels of oil that are locked up in them, but even if investment in them poured in and everything went well:

‘oil sands might produce 6 million barrels of oil per day in 20 years’ time, but by then we’ll need to add at least 10 times that much capacity – without allowing for any growth in demand. It’s very hard to see non-conventional (oil sources) riding to the rescue.’ (Steven Sorrel, lead author of the UKERC report.)

There is also the problem that extracting non conventional oil supplies is very environmentally destructive, and if they were fully exploited, would hugely increase CO2 emissions, before they were even burned as fuel.

We must also remember that many of the rare earth metals that are needed to develop fuel efficient technologies are only found in China, and they have decided to limit or even ban the export of these metals, leaving all the other countries that wish to expand their use of such technologies at a disadvantage.

So the only businesses that can secure energy supplies are those that invest in renewable energies now, before the oil price rises, (due to demand outstripping supply,) and before the costs of making such renewables rises too as a result of resource depletion and the constrained supply of raw materials.

Betty asks…

What would be the advantage to the USA of a thriving, high tech Renewable Energy Industry?

China’s investing in production and implementation of Renewable Energy, and is a big player in solar panel manufacture and installations, so is Japan, Germany, Spain. Why not the USA?

admin answers:

It is generally accepted that we can prevent earth’s deterioration if we achieve a renewable energy world. When we hear the word renewable energy we normally think of state-of-the art equipments and high-end technology. But, we can start today. Simple acts can help jumpstart the initiative of saving our planet.

Because renewable energy sources like solar and wind do not require the use of fossil fuels, they do not emit carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a bi-product of burning coal and gas. By reducing the amount of fossil fuels we burn, we are decreasing the amount of pollutants and chemicals being emitted into the atmosphere.

Pollution coming from power plants taints our air supply and causes asthma. Through the use of renewable energy, we could eliminate these harmful substances in the air, leading to a healthier population.

Once the solar panels are installed and the windmills are put up, renewable energy is essentially free. It costs nothing to use the suns rays, and taking advantage of a windy day is free. Furthermore, the supply of wind is not going to diminish. The sun’s rays are also prevalent and will exist for millions of years.

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Companies

Mandy asks…

What are the best three electrical energy suppliers?

[Location no object] Can anyone give me the details of three electrical energy suppliers that offer the best value for money?

And any additional details about the company…(Website etc…)


admin answers:

Ecologically speaking

the Sun
Solar energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar power technologies provide electrical generation by means of heat engines or photovoltaics. Once converted its uses are only limited by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, hot water, thermal energy for cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels, solar thermal collectors, with electrical or mechanical equipment, to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2008, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 120.8 gigawatts.[1] Although wind produces only about 1.5% of worldwide electricity use,[1] it is growing rapidly, having doubled in the three years between 2005 and 2008. In several countries it has achieved relatively high levels of penetration, accounting for approximately 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 10% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008.

and Waves,(as in ocean waves)
Ocean waves are caused by the wind as it blows across the sea. Waves are a powerful source of energy.

The problem is that it’s not easy to harness this energy and convert it into electricity in large amounts. Thus, wave power stations are rare.


Today the largest use of hydropower is for the creation of hydroelectricity, which allows low cost energy to be used at long distances from the water source. Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by hydropower, i.e., the production of power through use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy. Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, the project produces no direct waste, and has a considerably different output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuel powered energy plants. Worldwide, hydroelectricity supplied an estimated 715,000 MWe in 2005. This was approximately 19% of the world’s electricity (up from 16% in 2003), and accounted for over 63% of electricity from renewable sources.[1]

Some jurisdictions do not consider large hydro projects to be a sustainable energy source, due to the human, economic and environmental impacts of dam construction and maintenance.


Maria asks…

What is the relationship of resources and development?

Nepal is rich in natural resources like land, water, and biodiversity. Nepal should have developed through energy generation from rivers, tourism from aesthetic and panoramic view of mountains, hills, flat plains, green forests. Similarly, medicine and other products are possible from diverse flora and fauna. But it is not developed. Aren’t there any linkages on resources and development?

admin answers:

Yes, there is generally a positive relation between natural resource andowment and economic development. But this relationship holds strongly true in an environment of free movement of capital and labor and generally competitive free market system. In the absence of an autmatic and sustainable system that makes best use of the available resources, economic development cannot come about.
But Nepal, although being a small country, never had a free competitive market system. Rather, it remained feudalistc with the King and elected ministers copying Indian centrally planned system of State controls and direction and domination. Such systems talk loudly about best use of resources, high economic growth and equity but they are seldom efficient or effective in delivering the tall promises the politicians sell to the public: rather these kinds of systems are the best suited for the rapid growth of corruption and injustice together with huge misallocation of resources. On top of the low education makes productivity low. Political and economic oppression leads to frstrations and breeds insurgencyaided by foreign forces. These do not foster economic developmenrty. Education, competetive markets, desire to excel, allowing globally efficient companies to set up businesses without hindrances are all required for economic development. Nepal also has shown hatred and disrect to India, despite enjoying huge facilities from India. Such blindness has placed Nepal at a great disadvantage
It is ultimately the quality of the human resources in terms education, willingness to work harder, adopting congenial value system are the keys to taking best advantage of the natural resouirces.

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy Content

Donald asks…

Does Ireland utilize the vast amounts of peat bogs to generate electricity with by burning it?

Does this burning of the peat create additional environmental problems for the air quality in Ireland or directly affect the Global Warming, by sending large amounts of pollutions towards the Ozone Layers?

I am just trying to correctly understand some of the energy needs of the Irish people, from the people themselves, and not what the government or corporations will say.

Honest answers are appreciated, and Thank You!

admin answers:

Okay, here’s the real honest answer. Yes, Ireland does indeed have plans to use peat and lignite (which is almost indistinguishable from peat in many cases) as fuel for electric power plants. I know you didn’t ask for government reports, but to prove this I have to include them.

According to the European technical association of electricity and heat generation, known as the VGB Secretariat, this is true. They report that about 20-25% of the intended new power plant capacity in Ireland as of May, 2006, will be from peat and lignite powered electric generation plants. And, they also report that Ireland is already missing the Kyoto-targets for carbon dioxide by an excess of 22.7%. By 2008 Ireland’s target is to only exceed the Kyoto target by 13%, but obviously burning peat and lignite will not help with that.
Here is the Secretariat report:

An article in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Journal reports the following: (I quote)
“Peat has been used in Ireland for the generation of electricity for over 30 years. A general picture is given of what is involved in developing bogland and producing milled peat in Ireland for power generation. Practice in burning milled peat in Irish power stations is briefly described. Cost data are presented and a cost derived for energy exported from a 45-MWe milled peat fired power station.”

A recent newspaper article in the Belfast Telegraph reports the following: (I quote)
“Between 1984-1986, an Australian company sank 16 bore holes to estimate the quality and extent of the lignite deposits around Ballymoney.

The deposits of lignite are known to extend to the shores of Lough Neagh which is the source of much of Belfast’s water supply.

In 2002, an application was made for planning permission for a mine and a power station on the same site. The land potentially affected extends nearly 8 kilometres from the Ballymoney bypass.

Lignite is a soft, brown fuel which has characteristics similar to both peat and coal. It is found in the United States, Canada, Greece and Germany where it is generally used as a fuel for generating electricity. In Greece, for example, 50% of electricity comes from lignite power plants.”

As for the difference between peat and lignite, it is sometimes indistinguishable to the eye. By definition, peat is “an unconsolidated deposit of semicarbonized plant remains …[with] persistently high moisture content (at least 75%)” and lignite is a slightly more consolidated deposit with a calorific value less than 8300 BTU/lb. Lignite is typically of Tertiary or Mesozoic age, while peat is most often younger. Both of these, when burned as fuel are among the least efficient types of fuel when considered by the ratio of the amount of energy to carbon dioxide output. So yes, while they will not technically affect the ozone layer, they will contribute a huge amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and could contribute to global warming.
Source of definitions:
Bates, R.L, and J.A. Jackson, editors, Dictionary of Geological Terms, prepared by the American Geological Institute. Third edition, 1984, page 295 and 372

The Belfast Telegraph goes on to explain that Northern Ireland’s electricity costs are among the highest in the EU, and that the company that has proposed a new lignite-fueled power plant says ” oil was very high in price and there was huge resistance by communities to renewable energy options, such as wind and tidal power.”

Ireland currently has 866 Kw of power generated from wind farms in 19 counties. Http://
Ireland’s total electricity used was about 24 billion Kw hours in 2005, so the wind power is much less than 1% of the total demand in Ireland. The capacity of the power plants that are planned to burn peat and lignite is about 600,000 Kw in comparison. That figure is estimated by me from the Secretariat’s report.

The total numbers for Ireland’s electric generation come from the Energy Information Administration here:

David asks…

Is this Explanatory essay viable enough to be good?

By Luyang Liu
What is Geothermal energy and how does it power Australia?

Geothermal energy is a type thermal energy generated from the Earth. It’s also a form of clean and sustainable energy compared to various of other forms of energy; alternatively, it’s another form of renewable energy. Australia can thus greatly benefit from geothermal energy, due to fact that it has numerous advantages.

Geothermal energy is generated from radioactive decay of minerals within the core of the Earth, and from solar energy absorbed by the Earth. It is evident that resources of geothermal energy comes from miles underground or perhaps even deeper, amongst extreme high temperatures of molten rocks and magma. At the core of the Earth, temperatures may reach over 5000 degrees celsius (9,000 degrees Fahrenheit). Heat are withdrawn and will be generated as electricity.

Geothermal energy is low on cost, reliable and environmentally friendly, and thus geothermal energy is sustainable to our environment. It is considered sustainable because heat extract is spontaneously small compared to Earth’s contents, therefore it doesn’t not affect Earth itself.

Advantages of Geothermal Energy:
There are a wide range of advantages of harnessing geothermal energy. The main advantage of harness geothermal energy is the concept of generating less pollution. Geothermal energy have the potential to reduce reliance on fossil fuel. With skyrocketing prices of petrol, various countries are pushing companies to adopt these clean sources of energy. Geothermal energy can also be used directly and instantaneously, it is evident that people have been using this source of energy for taking bath, heating homes, preparing food and nowadays it is also used for direct heating of homes and offices. There is evidence suggest that geothermal energy also gives a significant cost saving on the economy; geothermal energy generally involves lowering running costs since it saves an amazing amount of 80% costs over fossil fuels. Furthermore, no fuel will be required to generate the power to run the Geothermal energy facilities.

How does geothermal electric plants generate electricity?
Gas that are emitted by geothermal energy is used to turn the blades of a turbine, which then is used to power a generator and produce electricity. It is evident that this process heat energy is converted into mechanical energy, and mechanical energy into electricity.

How can geothermal energy power Australia?
Geothermal energy is rarely used in Australia, nevertheless it’s gradually increasing. There are known potential locations near the center of Australia that have been indicated to contain hot granites at depth which hold optimistic potential for development of geothermal energy. Exploratory geothermal wells have been drilled for experiments for presence of high temperature geothermal reservoir rocks and such hot granites were detected. Above all, geothermal energy productions will eventuate in the upcoming years and explorations are expected to find new locations.

Above all, geothermal energy have the potential is light up Australia with it’s environmentally friendly advantages. We should definitely consider geothermal energy and utilise such renewable energy efficiently.

Geothermal energy = viable and feasible By Luyang Liu

What is geothermal energy?
Geothermal power in Australia?
Advantages of geothermal energy
I am in Yr 9.

admin answers:

Yes, the essay viable enough to be good as per my opinion if we look into the present condition of earth and its fossil fuel is going to be end soon. So finding the renewable energy is the only option we are left with. The geothermal energy is good to use because it is not using any fossil fuel and it uses the heat present in the core of earth.
Geothermal energy is not only the renewable energy we have!
We can also give promotion of other renewable energy like the Solar energy, wind energy, Biomass.
Solar energy is a very good and easy to use renewable energy, due to this its appliances are available in every corner of the world.
We can also try to conserve the natural resource by limiting our energy uses. If we concentrate on use of renewable energy the we can save our environment buy reducing the carbon emission.

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Definition

Donna asks…

How much hydrogen (gas and/or liquid) could an oil tanker covered in solar panels produce in a day?

if you take one of those big enormous oil tankers that they have today, and convert it and cover it with solar panels and park it on the equator, how much gas hydrogen could it produce in one reguarl sunny day? and how much liquid hydrogen could it produce?
thanks for the info Ecko, i was really thinking of the feasibility of a hydrogen powered commercial airplane that could travel from LA to Miami. not really cost effective, but green energy is not about making a profit, just being sustainable and beneficial

admin answers:

Not much tbh. The cost in steel and materials to build them would far far far outweigh the benefit the panels would bring in the form of electricity.

An related more interesting concept being bought up these days is solar roads .. Let me find a link.


I’m not the guy that replies here to get points so I am not worried about saying what i think as opposed to what others want to hear . That being said , the main issue is , how much energy is needed to :
Mine enough iron ore and coal , drive the stuff to the mill . The percentage of the steel mill () lets say it takes X days of mill time to make the steel , the amount of energy it took to make the mill divided by it’s lifetime multiplied by X days needs to be added), work hours and energy needs for the people that make that steel for the duration of the construction of the boat , the energy needs for sustaining the families that will construct the boat , the energy needed to keep the maintenance of such a boat to a level where it can keep working . In essence the detailed total energy cost to conjure such a boat into existence .. What is that converted in KW.

QUOTE ” not really cost effective, but green energy is not about making a profit, just being sustainable and beneficial”

Taking a zero profit margin , if that boat would have to keep running beyond it’s construction lifespan , it would by definition be a hindrance on the environment .
My impression in the reply i gave is that it can never produce in energy during it’s lifetime what it’s going to cost in energy to make.

As I said it was my impression , however , after reading this post a few times , I am now curious what the total amount of energy would be to create such a ship and keep it in operation.

Second unrelated thing. I have always wondered if geothermal energy could be exploited at feasible levels to power the globe with .. Could Iceland , or any part of the world be converted into a generator park that could be used to make in essence , energy without fuel.


I started a question myself about the total energy thing .

Maria asks…

5 ways in which sustainable development can be achieved in modern society?

admin answers:

Sustainable development does not focus solely on environmental issues. More broadly, sustainable development policies encompass three general policy areas: economic, environmental and social. In support of this, several United Nations texts, most recently the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, refer to the “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection.
Scheme of sustainable development: at the confluence of three preoccupations.

The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001) elaborates further the concept by stating that “…cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”; it becomes “one of the roots of development understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence”. In this vision, cultural diversity is the fourth policy area of sustainable development.

Green development is generally differentiated from Sustainable development in that Green development prioritizes what its proponents consider to be environmental sustainability over economic and cultural considerations. Proponents of Sustainable Development argue that it provides a context in which to improve overall sustainability where cutting edge Green development is unattainable. For example, a cutting edge treatment plant with extremely high maintenance costs may not be sustainable in regions of the world with less financial resources. An environmentally ideal plant that is shut down due to bankruptcy is obviously less sustainable than one that is maintainable by the indigenous community, even if it is somewhat less effective from an environmental standpoint.

Some research activities start from this definition to argue that the environment is a combination of nature and culture. The Network of Excellence “Sustainable Development in a Diverse World” SUS.DIV, sponsored by the European Union, works in this direction. It integrates multidisciplinary capacities and interprets cultural diversity as a key element of a new strategy for sustainable development.

The United Nations Division for Sustainable Development lists the following areas as coming within the scope of Sustainable Development:[4]

* Agriculture
* Atmosphere
* Biodiversity
* Biotechnology
* Capacity-building
* Climate Change
* Consumption and Production Patterns
* Demographics
* Desertification and Drought
* Disaster Reduction and Management

* Education and Awareness
* Energy
* Finance
* Forests
* Fresh Water
* Health
* Human Settlements
* Indicators
* Industry
* Information for Decision Making and Participation
* Integrated Decision Making

* International Law
* International Cooperation for Enabling Environment
* Institutional Arrangements
* Land management
* Major Groups
* Mountains
* National Sustainable Development Strategies
* Oceans and Seas
* Poverty
* Sanitation

* Science
* Small Islands
* Sustainable tourism
* Technology
* Toxic Chemicals
* Trade and Environment
* Transport
* Waste (Hazardous)
* Waste (Radioactive)
* Waste (Solid)
* Water

Sustainable Development is an ambiguous concept, as a wide array of views fall under its umbrella. The concept has included notions of weak sustainability, strong sustainability and deep ecology. Different conceptions also reveal a strong tension between ecocentrism and anthropocentrism. Thus, the concept remains weakly defined and contains a large amount of debate as to its precise definition.

During the last ten years, different organizations have tried to measure and monitor the proximity to what they consider sustainability by implementing what has been called sustainability metric and indices.

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy World

Mark asks…

Which renewable energy is the best source?

Which renewable energy is the best source?
I have to write a report comparing and contrasting 3 types of renewable energy sources. One of my chosen ones is already geothermal, can you give me two more renewable energy sources that are considered the best ones? Because I have to choose which one is the best and explain why it is.


By the way if you can, make sure it’s a good source for CANADA.

admin answers:

solar power
wind power

Did you know the sun produces the amount of energy the whole WORLD needs in 1 hour?

James asks…

How much of the World’s energy consumption is renewable?

I know that the World‘s Energy Consumption is 483.6 Q, and the United States energy consumption is 101.55. The United States renewable energy consumption is 6.81 Q.

I can’t find any information the world‘s renewable energy consumption. Does anybody know what it is?


admin answers:

Well since “in 2010 86,4 % of global energy use came from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and you know that the World’s Energy Consumption is 483.6 Q then you can easily calculate the share of renewables.


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Your Questions About Renewable Energy Definition

Maria asks…

If progressives are so anti corporatist then why do they support the Federal Reserve?

A bunch of PRIVATELY OWNED banks controlling the entire monetary supply of the United States?

Perhaps I am an alarmist but isn’t that the definition of fascism?
Bill Hicks-Thanks. I know many liberals are against the Reserve. In my opinion there is a huge difference between actual liberals and the progressives/leftists.

admin answers:

The word “PROGRESS” is apparently ignored when right-wing regressives try to bad-mouth the progressives within the Democratic party. The new-wave Progressives are all about seeing this nation progress towards fiscal sanity and a fully restored manufacturing jobs base in the field of renewable energy resources (see for more details).

‘Twas Republican right-wingers who decided to DEREGULATE (which means remove all oversight, all systems of checks and balances, all consumer protections), so when the Obama administration sought to set up government oversight policies to prevent abuses by financial institutions, Wall Street, or credit agencies in order to prevent any more abuses or needs for future bailouts, why did the Republicans all vote “nay” after first trying to filibuster the consumer-protecting legislations?

The word “controlling” is not technically correct, by the way. The 419 privately-owned banks that needed Bush/Cheney’s WELFARE BAILOUTS in 2007 and 2008 had been so thoroughly DEREGULATED that even with these taxpayer funds meant to be used to help home-owners refinance the bankster CEOs instead gave themselves multi-million-dollar salaries and multi-million-dollar bonuses for bankrupting their firms—BOTTOMLESS-PIT GREED and CORRUPTION for which some of them should be in prison! Check out the Dodd-Frank financial reforms that have been signed into law—a decent beginning but more reforms (and more oversight) is needed. Progressives want oversight of these corporations run amok, that’s all—and this does not make Democrats or any faction of the Democratic party “anti corporatist”! To the contrary, we Democrats favor having no more OUTSOURCING by greed-driven corporate leaders and want those jobs brought home again. We also want trillionaire and billionaire corporations to start contributing their FAIR SHARE in tax revenues (the 39% that was in place during Bill Clinton’s eight years of PROSPERITY) so that they are contributing to this nation’s recovery. That is PRO-CORPORATION in the long run. The Federal Reserve is not the villain Libertarians try to claim…but oversight and regulation is necessary to make sure this remains true.

Mary asks…

Can someone give me at least two examples of renewable, nonrenewable, and inexhaustible resources?

I know that I should already know the answer to this question, but I’m just trying to make sure that my definitions for each of these are correct.

admin answers:


Coal and Oil are nonrenewable resources. Once these are gone there will be no more available. We can’t make more oil or coal on a massive scale faster than we use them in our life times. (both formed over millions of years.)

Renewable energy being energy that can be replenished. Plants (a lot of clothing is made of cotton) for example, are renewable. We can grow more plants. Technically speaking water is a renewable resource. The problem is only 3% of water is fresh, and of that 3% only 1% is available for use. It absolutely needs to be reserved. Poisoning it would be bad for obvious reasons and we do that all the time. On the other hand, we can also treat water and reuse it, and eventually water will clean itself through the water cycle (but at the rate which we ruin it, that’s not an argument for wasting or poisoning it.)

Sunlight and Wind are some examples of Inexhaustible resources. We can use solar energy and wind energy for ever and ever and these things will not run out. (Well, if you want to get technical, we’ll have solar energy until the sun dies. You know, billions of years from now. Yeah. Doesn’t really count ^-^) These are also considered renewable resources.

Renewable resources

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Fund

William asks…

A multitude of Global Climate Change solutions have been proposed. Which do you support?

This is going to be a long, laborious process. In answering this question, feel free to go beyond token mitigation measures that attempt to staunch the bleeding, as it were, and share some of the bolder approaches that will change the business-as-usual way of life that got us into this mess. Share some of the innovative, sustainable proposals that will promote new, greener technologies. A technological revolution to mop up problems associated with the industrial revolution, perhaps?

admin answers:

I support energy conservation first over efforts to substitute other forms of energy, such as atomic or ethanol. I believe geometric reductions are possible in our use of energy without serious loss of quality of life. Ford bringing out a 2008 Thunderbird, with 300 horsepower days before the President begs Saudi Kings for cheaper oil is criminal, in my opinion. The US car fleet of SUVs and gas hogs makes us pigs in the world’s eyes.

Second, I support population control and population reduction before aggressively funding unproven technological changes to further reduce our use of polluting energy sources.

Third, I support public examination of our core values, to find ways to support all of these changes needed to protect our earth. Without an understanding of this, it’s not likely we will be able change our ways without a Police State, which is far less desirable than the enthusiastic and proactive support of the people.

After these measures are embraced, I support evolutionary changes that might involve new technologies. But what I find now is that radical technological changes are frequently proposed today, by sophisticated scientists, without the slightest thought about what their collateral effects on the earth might be. It’s like hopping from frying pan to fire. Ethanol is but one example of this, which has the potential to seriously harm the environment (and the world’s food chain). Another is to seed the oceans with iron to produce an abundance of algae that would reduce CO2. What are they thinking? Or not thinking (about ocean fisheries).

John asks…

How come global warming was not a problem during the clinton administration?

but when a republican is elected it is a big deal. I thought this problem was starting before clinton according to some people.
I mean why was there not hype about it. now days you hear global warming this global warming that.
I know you may say the AL Bore sorry i mean gore did stuff before but it was not all hyped up. I guess the demacrats will do what they do best blame bush.

admin answers:

Because Clinton was in bed with big corporations like Enron…

“Enron, however, has been at the forefront of the global-warming debate, and was an early and strong supporter of Kyoto and Kyoto’s proponents:

In January 1997, the company announced formation of the Enron Renewable Energy Corporation to offer alternatives to the “$250 billion U.S. Electricity market.” Renewable Energy CEO Tom White supported President Clinton’s $6.3 million plan to fight global warming.

Later that year, Enron CEO Kenneth Lay was named a member of President Clinton’s “Council on Sustainable Development,” joining Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, EPA Administrator Carol Browner, and Fred Krupp, executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund. The task force also included representatives from the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The National Environmental Trust, a public-relations organization heavily funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts to promote environmental policies, worked with Kenneth Lay to place pro-Kyoto editorials (under Lay’s signature) in the Houston Chronicle, the Austin-American Statesman, and the Salt Lake City Tribune.

When President Clinton called for a gradual reduction in greenhouse gases, to lay the groundwork for U.S. Backing of Kyoto, Enron executives expressed their support. In an Atlanta Constitution article, Enron Senior Vice President Terry Thorn called the announcement “a measured, appropriate action plan given what we know today about global warming. This will unleash the ingenuity of American business to find creative solutions.”

I guess it’s too bad that Enron was roped in by the Bush Justice Department. Just think of what a great supporter those wonderful people at Enron were – the environment has lost a true friend… :sniff:

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Richard asks…

Should Australia become a more liberal, progressive and modern country?

its not really liberal, modern and progressive if you think about it, no gay marriage, no seperation betwen church and state, no broadband network yet, no renewable energy, the list goes on, there are far more progressive countries out there. The Greens will take us there, the others won’t.

admin answers:

A few years ago I heard a blind man from Central Queensland on the radio telling his story of how he and his guide dog were received in Greece. After considerable difficulties thrown in his way, such as the refusal of drivers to allow the dog in a bus or taxi, incidentally all of them against Greek law, he complained to the Australian consulate. Other insults included comments passed in the street when his wife went out alone (she understood modern Greek).

That was when his troubles really began. The consulate relayed his complaint to the appropriate section of the Greek government and the local police were notified. They began to harass him and his sighted wife. What the police and the rest did not know was that both of the Australian couple understood modern Greek very well, so they knew what was being said about them.

His conclusions after they hounded him back to Australia included (a) that Greeks were terrified of dogs (b) that in Greek opinion blind people should not be allowed on the streets (c) the Greeks in his locality were at least two generations behind the (rest of the) civilised world in their attitudes to the disabled and their attitudes to women were medieval.

The story is far to long to relate here fully so I’ll leave it at that. What it illustrates is that there are ostensibly civilised countries on this planet where attitudes to the disabled and women we take for granted in Australia just do not exist.

For all the whining from various groups in this country, they don’t know they are alive. Yes, some things could be better.

Do you know why there is little or no renewable energy? It is quite simple. Renewable energy is utterly incapable of supplying the demand and on top of that it is unreliable.

How many 1 kilowatt wind generators does it take to supply the same amount of power as a 1400 MEGAwatt power station? I’ll do the calculation for you, since greens are unwilling or incapable of simple arithmetic or too damn dishonest to admit it. A mere 14,000. How many 1400 megawatt power stations are there? Dozens. Get real.

Sandy asks…

why are environmentalists voting no on CA prop 7?

i’ve read that groups like the sierra club and the environment defense fund oppose prop 7. i don’t understand — doesn’t it increase renewable energy? what’s wrong with this bill?

i support environmental causes but i want to know what the facts are before tuesday. i tried posting this in the environmental section of Y!A and didn’t get any good responses… any insight would be appreciated.

admin answers:

Outfits like the Sierra Club and EDF depend on cash donations, and tend to assume the positions of their donors. There is no reason for REAL environmentalists to vote no on 7.

In fact whenever I see the preponderance of ads on one side of an issue, I am suspicious.

Here in California our state legislature is paralyzed by conflicting special interests. But anyone can get just about any law passed if they have enough money. You pay someone to gather signatures to put it on the ballot, then buy lots of advertising time with a twisted negative message.

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