A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables

From the November 2009 Scientific American Magazine. Download the Full Paper from paper by Jacobson and Delucchi.

Key Concepts
Supplies of wind and solar energy on accessible land dwarf the energy consumed by people around the globe.

The authors’ plan calls for 3.8 million large wind turbines, 90,000 solar plants, and numerous geothermal, tidal and rooftop photovoltaic installations worldwide.

The cost of generating and transmitting power would be less than the projected cost per kilowatt-hour for fossil-fuel and nuclear power.

Shortages of a few specialty materials, along with lack of political will, loom as the greatest obstacles.

In December leaders from around the world will meet in Copenhagen to try to agree on cutting back greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come. The most effective step to implement that goal would be a massive shift away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy sources. If leaders can have confidence that such a transformation is possible, they might commit to an historic agreement. We think they can.

5. November 2009 10:24 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Google Powers UP

From The Official Google Blog

Google PowerMeter's first device partner

Today, we're very excited to announce we have secured our first official device partner. (That means having a smart meter installed by your utility is no longer a prerequisite for using Google PowerMeter!) For the last several months, a few hundred Google employees have been testing a number of in-home electricity monitoring devices. Those of us lucky enough to have one of these devices installed in our homes experienced first-hand how access to high-resolution energy use information drives meaningful behavior change (PDF). So we set out to make that data easier for everyone to access and understand by sending the collected data to our Google PowerMeter software.

The TED 5000 from Energy Inc. is an energy monitor that measures electricity usage in real-time (TED stands for "The Energy Detective"). As of today, we're pleased to announce that anyone in North America can purchase and install the TED 5000 and see personal home energy data using our free software tool, Google PowerMeter, from anywhere you can access the web including through iGoogle for mobile phones. (If you already have a TED 5000, you can download a free firmware upgrade to enable this functionality.)
Combined with Google PowerMeter, the TED 5000 device can help you understand your electricity usage to save energy and money. Energy Inc. is just our first device partner and if you are working for a company that manufactures energy monitors, we'd like to hear from you. Stay tuned for more!
Posted by Tom Sly, New Business Development & Charles Spirakis, Software Engineer

And from the TED website:

Did you know that most households pay thousands of dollars a year for electricity? Thousands! The Energy Detective (TED) can easily help you save 10-20% on your electric bill - hundreds of dollars - and the more you save, the more you help your neighbors, the community, and protect our environment.
How exactly does TED help? It's really a simple concept - If you can measure it, you can manage it.

Prices range from $199 to about $500, depending on what is being measured.

6. October 2009 09:03 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Invasion of the network car

The dream of personal rapid transit picks up speed from boston.com

pod__1254577909_5416 But there’s one system that, according to its proponents, combines the pluses of both options, while largely jettisoning the minuses. Called personal rapid transit, or PRT, it consists of small, light, electric vehicles, known as “pod cars,” which hold just a few passengers and run along a network of elevated tracks. The pod cars are driverless and automated: Passengers select their destination and the vehicle goes directly there, bypassing all other stations. Advocates say these systems could help ease a multitude of problems: global warming, dependence on foreign oil, congestion, and diminishing available land. They would also free commuters to safely engage in the activities they often do anyway while behind the wheel.

Interest in the United States is also on the rise. A 2007 report for the New Jersey Department of Transit concluded that “PRT has the potential to help the State address certain transportation needs in a cost-effective, environmentally-responsible, traveler-responsive manner.” San Jose recently issued a “request for proposals” with the aim of building a PRT system in the vicinity of the airport. The city council of Mountain View, Calif., where Google’s headquarters are located, is also considering the idea, as are officials in Santa Cruz, Calif., and Ithaca, N.Y. And in the Boston area, a small group of transit advocates is promoting the construction of a PRT system linking local universities.

Former Massachusetts secretary of transportation Fred Salvucci, who now teaches at MIT, says, “We have a lot of low-density suburbs that are very difficult to serve with traditional rapid transit.” Although he believes the political will and funding will be all but impossible to muster in the near term, he says, “The automobile is totally unsustainable. Personal rapid transit ought to be on the table.”

For more information: PRT Strategies

4. October 2009 10:42 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Google’s Oops

GoogleBase Oops

I wonder what is going on with Google?

28. July 2009 22:22 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Creating Bootable Vista / Windows 7 USB Flash Drive

I have been wondering how to create a bootable USB drive, and here is someone named Kevin that explains it very nicely: Kevin’s Blog

This post is primarily a bookmark. – Update: Grabbing a copy in case the source goes away.


26. July 2009 22:22 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

FeaturePics has OpenSearch - Here is how to use it

Today Scott Hanselman posted about Adding Custom Search Providers, and it reminded me that FeaturePics has had this capability for a long time. But how many people know how to use it? Possibly everyone but me? I never noticed how it works with modern browsers until today after reading Scott's piece. I wrote the FeaturePics opensearch provider about a year ago for use with Amazon's A9, and then thought no more about it. It seems to work just fine in this context also.

Point your browser at https://www.featurePics.com.

20090529 FP OpenSearch1

Notice the orange drop down button to the right of the Google search box. Go ahead and click the drop down.

20090529 FP OpenSearch2


29. May 2009 20:26 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

New and Different Search Engine

Wolfram Alpha is finally available.


From the LA Times:

How long does it take to get to Saturn at, say, the speed of light?
With Wolfram Alpha, the online "computational knowledge engine" that launched Monday, the answer -- 75 minutes -- can be found in a fraction of a second.

19. May 2009 10:47 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Solar Widgets / Gadgets – The sun on your desktop

LiveOakWidget Image is the XP Html Application version.

Widget / gadget download is below.

We are involved with monitoring solar panel power generation systems in California and Galapagos. We have a web site where the monitoring results can be seen. The URL is https://rMeter.com. On the web site we show lots of details, often including the power consumption of the building on which the panels are located. People like having this information available, but a small effort is required to see the system performance on the web site.

We have also prepared widgets for Vista (Windows 7) and Mac that show at a glance what a particular solar system is doing during the course of the day. They start the display at 6:00 AM, and continue through 8:00 PM.


15. May 2009 22:22 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Reality Strikes Again - The time for climate action is now!

  Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research discussing an article in Nature, International weekly journal of science.

On the way to phasing out emissions: More than 50% reductions needed by 2050 to respect 2°C climate target


Illustrative Figure for free use:

Meinshausen_etal_SimpleFigure_big.jpg   Two possible futures: One in which no climate policies are implemented (red), and one with strong action to mitigate emissions (blue). Shown are fossil CO2 emissions (top panel) and corresponding global warming (bottom panel). The shown mitigation pathway limits fossil and land-use related CO2 emissions to 1000 billion tonnes CO2 over the first half of the 21st century with near-zero net emissions thereafter. Greenhouse gas emissions of this pathway in year 2050 are ~70% below 1990 levels. Without climate policies, global warming will cross 2°C by the middle of the century. Strong mitigation actions according to the blue route would limit the risk of exceeding 2°C to 25%.


April 30, 2009 - Less than a quarter of the proven fossil fuel reserves can be burnt and emitted between now and 2050, if global warming is to be limited to two degrees Celsius (2°C), says a new study published in the journal Nature today (1).


9. May 2009 20:43 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Hot Off the Presses: Unity Goes to Windows


Unity has announced that their Unity 2.5 IDE is now cross platform and now works Windows in addition to MacOS.

Unity rebuilt the entire Cocoa-based UI that they had previously with a Unity-powered UI. The entire UI is now built in C# using the Unity built-in APIs (all the controls, views, widgets).

This is a little bit like a compiler compiling itself. This time it is an IDE built using the IDE itself

Hot Off the Presses: Unity Goes to Windows

19. March 2009 09:58 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink


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