The Advantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy is one of the most abundant sources of energy that you can use. It is also much cleaner that some of the other sources. It is a great way for you to save money on your utility bills. Some of the things that it can be used for include providing electricity and heating up water. It can be found being used in homes as well as in the commercial industry.

There are a few different ways in which solar energy is produced. This may include it being harnessed through the following methods:

• Photovoltaics (Solar Electric)
• Solar Heating & Cooling
• Passive Solar
• Concentrating Solar Power

Passive solar buildings do not need additional electronics in order to collect and distribute the heat from the sun. However, solar heating & cooling, photovoltaics and concentrating solar power requires the use of electrical or mechanical devices in order for them to be effective.

When it comes to taking advantage of solar energy for your home, there are a few ways in which it can be done. You can opt for hiring a professional to install it for you, or you can purchase a kit and do it on your own. Before you can take advantage of solar energy, you will have to install panels that can attract the energy from the sun. It is common for the panels to be installed on the roof.

The panels are effective because of the fact that they are able to accumulate a large amount of energy from the sun during the daylight hours. You may be wondering if the energy will run out before it can reproduce in the solar panels. This is not something that you have to be concerned about.

The energy that is stored in the solar panels is usually enough to last long enough where you will not have to worry about being without electricity. It is a good investment because it can also increase the value of your home. This is great for not only your personal home, but also if you are in the real estate industry.

Reducing your carbon footprint is another advantage that you will have with solar energy. Many homes produce large amounts of carbon dioxide by the generation of electricity, but it will be lower with solar panels installed. Call a professional if you want to learn more about how you can begin taking advantage of solar energy.

New Energy Technology

For many years, technology has advanced and made life much more efficient and simple. In the near future, the American country may have to be forced to look up and develop other types of alternative energy sources. The American current use of fossil fuels is going to lead to an energy crisis sometime in the near future. In order for America to survive the potential unfortunate energy crisis, many companies and businesses in the energy technology industry are innovating and creating many new ways to extract energy from renewable and natural resources. While the rate of this extraction is developing quit slow, the public has increased its awareness about the future and growth of energy technology.

Many of the advanced technology that is being created is used to further advance many of the products and services that are already available such as;

  • Power electric hybrid cars
  • Wind Turbines
  • Fossil fuel efficiency

There are many other sources in which technology has advanced upon as well. Due to advanced technology, wind turbines have increased efficiency of their blades. A new kind of air-flow technology is going to be added along help increasing the efficiency of the wind turbines in all types of heavy wind conditions. About ten years ago electric cars were a rarity to see on the roads, however now days it is very common to see a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt. A new miraculous discovery of electric travel has revealed itself lately; the solar-electric watercraft boat. It is solar and electric powered and can seat up to eight people. It is one of the newest technologies available to the market today. Over the years there has also been many methods for reducing fossil fuel dependency for a more health concious world. The production of corn produced fossil fuels are used to cut down on the consumption of fuel. This means that many more farms and other land masses will be needed for the specific cultivation of corn. There have been many other discoveries in natural resources in other to make biofuel such as algae.

Technology is one thing that will continue to advance and create adjustments to the products and natural resources that we use everyday. It helps and aids in reducing and simplifying everyday life for people all over the world. Whether motion, solar, or fossil fuels, technology will always find ways to make life more efficient.

Wind Farm Investment

The reality of the situation in these modern times is everyone is “going green”, and for good reason. The environment shows so many signs of neglect and decline that most of us want to be able to contribute in any way we can. Wind powered energy is one of the most popular ways today to save the environment and money in regard for our need for energy and its growing demands in industry.

While there are a number of reasons to invest in the wind farm industry, there are also reasons to consider avoiding such an investment. Investors need to keep in mind such case scenarios as unreliability. The provision of wind comes directly from nature, and control of nature is forever out of our grasp. It has proven, however, that there is indeed sufficient supply as far as an investment in a wind farm as opposed to an investment involving only 2 or 3 wind units.

Not planning clearly or acting with a bit too much zeal may result in building far more wind units than are needed for for the initial investment project. Be sure to consult with experts who are aware of the best type of monetary investment as it relates to the units that will be on the wind farm, as well as what is actually needed and what may possibly be too many units.

With these points in mind, we must consider the numerous reasons why investing in wind farm technology is not only an intelligent financial move, but also why it is good for human beings as well as the environment in general.

One of the reasons wind energy and wind farm investment is a good idea is the fact that the use of wind energy is astronomically more affordable than other types of energy. We all know how expensive electricity is, and the next source of energy that is affordable as wind energy is natural gas. It is a good financial decision to take advantage of such an inexpensive resource that is can be available to everyone.

Another reason for the wisdom in wind farm investment includes the fact that this is a renewable energy source, and is clean in its use. Because of this, many environmental issues which are voice frequently today, to not begin to invest in the wind farms that will be so beneficial to our future simply makes very little sense.

The fact of the matter is that while there are some reasons wind farm investment brings trepidations to the hearts of investors, there are far more reasons and benefits, both instantaneous and long term, that allow for a better environment and economy, solving many of the current problems facing this country today.

Texas as a Major Oil Producer

Texas has always been one of the country’s leading petroleum producers, but the Lonestar State is experiencing a major oil boom at the moment. Almost 35 percent of the nation’s crude oil in 2013 came from the Texas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In fact, oil production in Texas alone was greater than production levels at all federal offshore drilling areas. Not only does Texas produce a ton of oil, 29 percent of the United States refinery capacity lies in Texas as well. In total, Texas refines over 5 million barrels of oil every day.

In the U.S. crude oil production experienced a major boom in 2013, growing an impressive 15 percent to 7.4 million barrels produced daily. In Texas, oil production growth was a whopping 29 percent in 2013 alone, and 119 percent since 2010, due in part to the prominence of hydraulic fracturing, AKA fracking.

Fracking has allowed a number of states to tap into massive oil and natural gas that was trapped in underground shale formations. Fracking involves injecting water, sand and a number of chemicals into the ground to get to the oil and gas. Of the 1.1 million oil and natural gas wells in the United States, 304,000 are in Texas.

Oil production isn’t new in Texas. Oil was first discovered in Texas in July 1543 when a Spanish explorer, Luis de Moscoso of the Desoto expedition, spied oil floating in the Galveston Bay area. It wasn’t until 300 years later that the first economically significant oil discovery of Texas occurred. Since then, oil has been a major driver of the Texas economy. In the 1980’s, oil and gas accounted for nearly 20 percent of the states GDP. Today, that number is down to a still impressive 8 percent.

It won’t be long before Texas becomes the eighth largest oil producer in the world. Texas is currently on a trajectory to surpass Iraq, Kuwait and Mexico in oil production by the end of 2014. If this boom continues, the likelihood exists that the export ban in the U.S. on oil could be tested as opportunities to export higher quality crude oil being extracted from Eagle Ford Shale, one of the most actively drilled formations for oil and gas, in exchange for cheaper, heavier crude oil arise.

Texas has a long history as a major oil producer, and the future of the oil and gas industry in Texas is bright. 2013 was the best oil producing year on record for Texas, and 2014 looks to be even better. Current projections have the United States emerging as the leading oil producer in the world in the near future, with Texas leading the way.

Wind Energy Generation Increases

Wind generated energy has been used for thousands of years. Windmills have been used for grinding grain to pumping water. The new green energy source everyone is talking about has been around longer than many civilizations. The concept lies on a large number of properly designed windmills that are able to harness the energy provided by nature. Wind is popular because it does not use nonrenewable energy resources. Fossil fuels and coal have been the main source for energy in most industrialized countries. Fossil fuels and coal are not renewable meaning once they are consumed they no longer exist. The only remnant left to show they existed is the pollution they have emitted into the environment.

Although the initial cost is expensive to build and erect windmills, depending on the size of the wind farm a power plant may be more expensive to construct. After the initial set-up, wind energy is much cheaper than burning fossil fuels or coal. Although you may think wind energy is free, wind energy still needs to be processed to produce a useable electric current for the consumer. However wind energy is still more cost effective than fossil fuels and coal and does not negatively impact the environment. Off shore wind energy farms are also feeding the increased demand for generating wind energy. Winds over the oceans are more powerful than most land winds. This allows for a wind farm to produce significantly larger amounts of energy than land based wind farms.

Over the years there has been an increase in the demand to generate wind energy. Many states are implementing laws making industries convert a certain percentage of nonrenewable energy usage to green energy. Currently many industrial plants are required to use at least 10% wind energy by 2015 and 30% wind energy by 2030. The percentage varies from state to state and deadlines vary to meet the requirements. Overall there has been a significant increase in demand for the generation of wind energy globally. It is a green energy that is renewable. This demand will lower energy costs and protect nonrenewable resources for the future.

No more oil found in Lake Michigan

On March 24, 2014, a refinery malfunction in BP’s northwestern Indiana plant created an oil spill into Lake Michigan not far from the city of Chicago. BP has been working on containing the oil from the lake. It has been estimated that 15-39 barrels of oil ended up in the lake, translating into 630-1,638 gallons.

It has been reported that all the oil has been contained and removed, and no more oil has been found. BP, the Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been inspecting the areas close to the refinery in Whiting, Indiana. Workers removed oil from a whole half a mile area close to the shoreline.

Oil spills can occur anywhere. When spills happen in or near water, cleanup and restoration is extensive and challenging. There are several things that can affect cleanups such as: temperature, the oil spilled, and if the land nearby is also affected. Land only oil spills are much easier to manage, stop and contain quickly.

Spills like the one in Lake Michigan can deeply affect the environment and negatively impact wildlife. When oil seeps into the water, it can get into the fur of mammals reducing their ability to stay warm and float. Oil can also affect an animal’s digestive tract and make them very sick as well as cause eye blindness. Spilled oil can also kill fish, shellfish and other organisms along the shoreline.

There are several methods used by crews to rectify an oil spill:

• Clean up crews use skimmers to skim the oil off the top of the water.
• Sorbents are put in the water to soak up the oil right away.
• Biological products are put in the water to try to break up the oil.
• Booms are used as large barriers to corral up the oil and scoop it off the water.
• Vacuums and shovels are used to remove the oil from beaches and shoreline areas.

In the Lake Michigan oil spill case, quick action by crews with good methods has contained the area and extricated the oil. Hopefully, the environment will be restored.

Developments in Green Energy in 2014

Green Energy has become more than a catch phrase and is being taken more seriously than some who may have simply thought it was politically correct to be considered a supporter of “green energy.” However, 2014 is bringing us to a realization point that our world’s reliance on fossil fuels is on the down swing and a once inexhaustible resource is clearly running out. Additionally, the impact of changed weather patterns is revealing that global warming is real and the costs and how it will affect our lives moving forward will be tremendous.

Recent events in the Crimea also are revealing the global dynamic energy plays in geo political affairs of the world. The uncertainty of what Russia will do and how the actions in the Crimea will affect global markets as well as energy markets has played havoc in the world’s economies.

Many expect an increased focus on green energy developments in 2014. Wind power is playing an increasing role and the auto industry is presenting more and more energy efficient and dual energy vehicles. While not a populus choice yet by the masses, the wind and auto industry has proven that the technology exits for alternative energy choices to fossil fuels.

Even major global powers, both private as well as public, recognize that the country that can fully develop green energy to the benefit of the masses of its population will be able to better withstand the resulting global upheaval from an event which would disrupt the flow of oil, gas and other fossil fuel products.

We now see green technology almost as common place in the design and construction of buildings, both residential as well as commercial. These new innovative green buildings carry with them detailed certification as to the ability of the design of the building to save and use energy efficiently. This helps to create a place in the common thought and actions of the masses as how energy efficiency in the design and use of everything that we do is important.

We are also seeing a great number of students graduating from high school and college, who are more green savvy in their day to day lives. This positive peer pressure helps influences behavioral patterns of other students who in turn embed this thinking to their everyday approach in life. 

The Employment And Economic Consequences Of Fracking Bans

The controversial process of fracking has become a major source of public concern in the last few years, with nations around the world banning the process and individual counties in many US states instigating their own bans. As the state of Colorado looks into an outright ban on fracking, researchers at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado looked into the over all cost of banning this form of oil and gas extraction.

Taxation

According to the University of Colorado the big losers in any fracking ban are the local and state governments who rely on taxes generated by fracking activities in their counties and states. In Colorado alone the estimated losses of tax revenue are estimated at $567 million per year, with taxes obtained from a variety of businesses offering their services to fracking companies and workers entering local communities. A fracking ban would be felt at its highest economic level for the first five years, with around $8 billion dollars lost to the Colorado economy during that time.

Employment

Banning fracking has far reaching effects on the employment opportunities offered to those inside and outside the industry. Local communities often see a boom in their economies as the influx of workers and large businesses arrive in their region. Banning fracking in a state the size of Colorado would see the loss of 68,000 jobs over a five year period and over 93,000 jobs over a 25 year period.

Larger Markets

The market for fracking in Colorado is relatively small, but these number show the problem of limiting the activities of fracking on a larger scale. Some reports state that the 60 year history of fracking has led to around 90 percent of the production of gas and oil in the US being obtained from fracking. Larger states decisions to ban fracking could lead to trillions of dollars lost to the US economy, which is still attempting to recover from the effects of the 2008 economic downturn.

Many countries around the world, particularly in Europe have enacted outright bans on fracking for shale gas. Countries, including France have banned such activities, which leaves a large market for gas and oil open to US exports should fracking continue as a viable option in the majority of US states.