Energy

The aviation industry is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2011 aviation contributed around 3% of Australia’s emissions. Despite improvements in efficiency, global aviation emissions are expected to grow 70% by 2020 from 2005. While the industry is seeking new renewable fuel sources, growing biofuels takes up valuable land and water that could be otherwise used to grow food.

But what if you could grow biofuels on land nobody wants, using just seawater and sunlight, and produce food at the same time?

Electric vehicles are all the rage for wealthy elites but they have a more practical future benefit - mass transit, assuming the electricity source is low-emission like nuclear or solar. 

Right now, things like electric buses require more cost because of the maintenance and downtime. They take huge batteries, which means when those die off and they are placed into landfills we will replace global warming with acid rain. And to match gasoline's energy density would take a battery larger than could fit on a bus. 

The solution instead has to be much faster charging times. 
The UK’s onshore wind power industry may have been dealt a huge blow by new government policies announced last week, but this apparent setback should instead be seen as an opportunity. Elsewhere in Europe local, cooperative wind power is flourishing – could your town be next?

Nuclear power is sometimes described as being free of greenhouse gas emissions, and that’s true of the nuclear fission reactions themselves. But here is a list of all the stages of the nuclear power cycle at which greenhouse gases are emitted: uranium mining, uranium milling, conversion of uranium ore to uranium hexafluoride, uranium enrichment, fuel fabrication, reactor construction, reactor decommissioning, fuel reprocessing, nuclear waste disposal, mine site rehabilitation, and transport throughout all stages.

Like with emissions-free, white-collar astronomy jobs, it seems strange that anyone would protest emissions-free alternative energy, but in the United States it faces an uphill battle. On one side environmental groups lobby for it, while on the other, different environmentalists wait to file lawsuits and if they aren't paid off quickly, it could take years to resolve in court.

Existing popular alternative energy schemes have an ironic flaw - they make fossil fuels more profitable because they are not predictably consistent, which means expensive contracts for "instant on" traditional providers to prevent blackouts.

The big obstacle in implementing wind energy on a massive scale is the unpredictability of its driving force. Wind comes and goes, frequently shifting speed and direction, and mountainous terrain makes it even more fickle. And yet, customers depending on wind power as their primary source of electricity demand a consistent flow -- not one that dies with the wind. Thus, the success of wind energy depends, in part, on the ability to predict changes in wind flow and adjust the grid accordingly. 

Global incomes continue to rise, more people are living more comfortably, globalization has been a huge win for many developing nations and that means more people than ever can afford air conditioning.

While some policy makers live in an idealized developed world where more wind and solar power at ever higher costs will solve the emissions problem, that lacks fairness for people who are only now able to afford to live well. More people are going to need electricity and that means we need to embrace true green energy and not fudge numbers to where political winners look like viable solutions for the future. Without viable clean energy the stress on energy prices and infrastructure will mean poorer people stay shackled to the past.

Renewable electricity has nearly trebled under this government.

said Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat energy and climate change minister, during an environment debate held by the Daily Politics show.

Amid the climate of mistrust about claims made by politicians that tends to accompany election campaigns, it is reassuring to report that the evidence supports the minister’s statement.

James Hansen, a former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies who was one of the first scientists to raise concerns about global climate change, spoke at MIT Tuesday in the biennial David J. Rose Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE).

 Hansen came to prominence in the late 1980s, when he first testified before Congress about the perils of accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
A breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis has been achieved with the development of  a hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that can capture carbon dioxide emissions before they are vented into the atmosphere and then, powered by solar energy, convert that carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products, including biodegradable plastics, pharmaceutical drugs and liquid fuels. 

The system mimics the natural photosynthetic process by which plants use the energy in sunlight to synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water but this artificial photosynthetic system synthesizes the combination of carbon dioxide and water into acetate, the most common building block today for biosynthesis.