Coal is being replaced by renewables

India cancelling huge coal power station because it wants to focus on renewable energy

But still a long way to go.

India wants to become a solar superpower – but its plans don’t add up

Ingenious new technologies –

New solar-powered device can create water out of thin air, even in deserts

Water harvesting from air with metal-organic frameworks powered by natural sunlight

Solar Power takes off

Indian solar power prices hit record low, undercutting fossil fuels

Tim Buckley, a director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said the most important factor driving a rush of international investment in Indian renewables was the “transparency, longevity and certainty” of the country’s energy policy.

“That is absolutely critical because when you invest for 25 to 35 years, you need certainty and clarity of policy,” he said.

Can the UK catch up with its former colony?

Inverted thinking, amazing again

Instead of storing electricity in a way that can be reversed to generate electricty again later, create a freezer to use for cooling at another time. This is another way of using the ‘excess’ solar PV electricity production. Of course you could use this ‘cold’ to run an engine to generate electricity again, but using the ‘cold’ directly is the best use.

California utility augments 1,800 air conditioning units with “ice battery”

Ice Energy essentially stores electricity by drawing power from the grid at non-peak times to freeze water in a special container. Then at peak times, when the cost of electricity is high and grid operators are struggling to keep up with demand, Ice Energy’s systems kick in and use that block of ice to cool the space that the air conditioning unit normally serves.

Eliminate competition to fake news (lies)

Donald Trump is to completely shut down one of the government’s most important data services

Since this story was first published, that message has been updated to read: “The data on this Web site will continue to be available on April 28, 2017”. The EPA also tweeted to say that the website wasn’t going anywhere and that it is “open, working and not going anywhere”, though it seemed to be experiencing occasional outages.

Let’s hope the information stays available.

True wealth creation

A Himalayan problem –

Each winter, titanic shelves of ice form at high altitudes and melt throughout the spring, flowing downwards into the streams that are the veins of civilisation on the mountain. Lately, that cycle has faltered.

Solved by a true wealth creator with Himalayan imagination –

The ice stupas of Ladakh: solving water crisis in the high desert of Himalaya

The conical shape hit a sweet spot, maximising the volume of ice that can be “grown”, while minimising the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. That means it keeps melting well into the spring, releasing up to 5,000 litres of water each day by “storing it in the sky”, Wangchuk says.

It also has the benefit of resembling the Buddhist stupas – religious sites used for meditation and worship – that dot the landscape, a crucial point for 50-year-old. “Because it resembles something we have in our tradition, it is made more close to the population, to their hearts,” he says.

A horror movie that’s real

The idea of tipping points becomes graphically real.

7,000 massive methane gas bubbles under the Russian permafrost could explode anytime

Crater formed from underground methane explosion in Siberia.
Crater formed from underground methane explosion in Siberia.

CREDIT: Siberia Times

This discovery is especially worrisome for three reasons. First, methane traps 86 times as much heat as CO2 over a 20-year period. Thawing permafrost creates both CO2 and methane (CH4), but most models of thawing permafrost assume only CO2 is created. If, as it appears, a lot of methane is being generated, then we’ll see even more extra warming than scientists have projected.

Second, a recent study found global warming will defrost much more permafrost than we thought.

If you want to feel queasy: Underground methane bubbles