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Energy solutions & glitches - May 21

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

The Gospel of Green
(Hermannn Scheer)
The Fifth Estate, CBC (Canada)
As the world confronts the reality of global warming and the inevitable end of oil, the questions of what to do and how to sustain energy without oil or fossil fuels becomes more urgent. Bob McKeown and a fifth estate team travel to Germany to meet Hermannn Scheer, called "Europe's Al Gore," a parliamentarian who is leading the way to increase Germany's reliance on renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar power. To date, 15% of Germany's energy comes from renewable sources. Scheer estimates that if Germany continues on this course, by 2030 that will be 100%. So, if one of the world major industrialized nations can achieve this, why can't a country like Canada? The answer may lie in the fifth estate's investigation of the influence, in this country, of conventional energy industry on politicians.
(12 November 2008)
Hubbert and peak oil are mentioned at about 3:40. -BA

Jeremy Revkin: 'Distributed power' to save Earth

Jason Palmer, BBC
Economist Jeremy Rifkin galvanised the Research Connections 2009 conference in Prague with a roadmap to simultaneously solve the economic and energy crises.

He proposed a pan-European strategy of small-scale energy generation and smart energy grids that make everyone a partner in energy.

What is more, he said, the plan would create millions of jobs and foster investment that would see the end of the current economic crisis.

Mr Rifkin leads a roundtable of 100 top CEOs and government officials who have subscribed to the plan.

The roundtable is part of the Foundation on Economic Trends, which Mr Rifkin founded.

He said old economic models will not see humanity through, and the combination of the climatic, energy and economic woes of the planet created a "perfect storm" that will see in a new era for its inhabitants.
(11 May 2009)

Love Affair with Gadgets Squeezing Power Supply

Dow Jones via SmartMoney
The rapidly growing number of televisions, laptops and other electronic gadgets in households is putting a growing strain on electricity supplies and jeopardizing efforts to cut carbon emissions, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

Without new policies by governments and gadget-makers to improve the energy efficiency of electronic devices "efforts to increase energy security" will be jeopardized, the Paris-based agency said in a new study.

Electronic devices account for 15% of household electricity consumption, but that percentage is rising fast, said the IEA
(13 May 2009)

Study Sees 'Alarming' Use of Energy, Materials in Newer Manufacturing Processes

David Chandler, US News & World Report
According to a recent study, new manufacturing systems are anywhere from 1,000 to 1 million times bigger consumers of energy than more-traditional industries. In short, pound for pound, making microchips uses up considerably more energy than making manhole covers, for example.

Manufacturers have usually been more concerned about factors like price, quality, or cycle time, and not as concerned about how much energy their manufacturing processes use, said Timothy Gutowski, a professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s department of mechanical engineering, who led the analysis. If energy prices rise again or if a carbon tax is adopted, energy use will become more important as the new industries scale up, Gutowski said...
(4 May 2009)

How to save energy: plug in a new gadget

Big Gav, Peak Energy
The big news in smart grids last week (yes - I'm woefully behind on everything lately) was the UK government's announcement of a plan to roll out smart meters to the entire population. I'll start with The Independent's view ...
(19 May 2009)
Round-up on recent coverage of smart meters.

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