Archive for April, 2011

Duke Energy to Deploy Energy Storage Technology at Texas Wind Farm

April 14, 2011


Duke Energy to Deploy Energy Storage Technology at Texas Wind Farm

CHARLOTTE, N.C.April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/—Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) intends to store electricity generated at its Notrees Windpower Project in west Texas using an energy storage and power management system developed by Austin-based Xtreme Power.

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In November 2009, Duke Energy announced plans to match a $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to install large-scale batteries capable of storing electricity produced by the company’s 153-megawatt (MW) Notrees wind farm, located in Ector and Winkler counties. After due diligence, Duke Energy chose Xtreme Power ( to design, install and operate a 36 MW-capacity Dynamic Power Resource™ system at the wind farm. When complete, the battery storage system will be one of the largest of its kind in the world.

This system will store excess wind energy and discharge it whenever demand for electricity is highest – not just when wind turbine blades are turning. In addition to increasing the supply of renewable energy during periods of peak demand, Xtreme’s Dynamic Power Resource™ solution will help stabilize the frequency of electricity traveling throughout the power grid.

Duke Energy will work closely with the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to integrate the wind power and battery storage solution into the state’s independent power grid. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will advise the project team, collect data and help assess the potential for broader adoption of energy storage solutions throughout the industry. Results from the storage project at Duke Energy’s Notrees wind farm will be shared publically through the DOE’s Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse.


Read full story on Greentech Media


Australian mathematicians say some endangered species "not worth saving"

April 14, 2011

Australian mathematicians say some endangered species “not worth saving”

Some endangered species on the brink of extinction might not be worth saving, according to a new algorithm developed by researchers at the University of Adelaide and James Cook University, both in Australia.

Dubbed the SAFE (species’ ability to forestall extinction) index, the formula takes current and minimum viable population sizes into account to determine if it is too costly to save a species from extinction. The research was published online March 30 in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Co-author Corey Bradshaw, director of ecological modeling at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute, said in a prepared statement that the formula is “the best predictor yet of the vulnerability of mammal species to extinction.”

The study examined 95 mammal species, 20 percent of which are endangered and 10 of which are on what the authors call “the tipping point” where they could be at the “point of no return.” That tipping point, according to the authors, is a species with a population below 5,000 individuals.



Photo: The critically endangered kakapo (Strigops habroptila) by Brent Barrett via Flickr under Creative Commons License


Read entire story at Scientific American

YouTube – The Day — Moby and MoveOn Protest Budget Cuts on the Poor

April 12, 2011

Fracking leaks may make gas 'dirtier' than coal

April 12, 2011

Fracking leaks may make gas ‘dirtier’ than coal

April 12, 2011 By Stacey Shackford


( — Extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale could do more to aggravate global warming than mining coal, according to a Cornell study published in the May issue of Climatic Change Letters (105:5).

While natural  has been touted as a clean-burning fuel that produces less carbon dioxide than coal, ecologist Robert Howarth warns that we should be more concerned about methane leaking into the atmosphere during hydraulic fracturing.

Natural gas is mostly methane, which is a much more , especially in the short term, with 105 times more warming impact, pound for pound, than carbon dioxide (CO2), Howarth said, adding that even small leaks make a big difference. He estimated that as much as 8 percent of the methane in shale gas leaks into the air during the lifetime of a hydraulic shale gas well — up to twice what escapes from conventional gas production.

“The take-home message of our study is that if you do an integration of 20 years following the development of the gas, shale gas is worse than conventional gas and is, in fact, worse than coal and worse than oil,” Howarth said. “We are not advocating for more coal or oil, but rather to move to a truly green, renewable future as quickly as possible. We need to look at the true environmental consequences of shale gas.”


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US energy use chart shows we waste more than half of our energy

April 9, 2011

US energy use chart shows we waste more than half of our energy

April 9, 2011 by Lisa Zyga report

US energy use



This flow chart shows the amount of energy (in quads) that is produced by different energy sources and consumed by different sectors. Image credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy.

( — This flow chart of the estimated US energy use in 2009, assembled by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), paints a pretty sobering picture of our energy situation. To begin with, it shows that more than half (58%) of the total energy produced in the US is wasted due to inefficiencies, such as waste heat from power plants, vehicles, and light bulbs. In other words, the US has an energy efficiency of 42%. And, despite the numerous reports of progress in solar, wind, and geothermal energy, those three energy sources combined provide just 1.2% of our total energy production. The vast majority of our energy still comes from petroleum (37%), natural gas (25%), and coal (21%).

That percentage of oil illustrates that by far our biggest problem – or area of improvement – is transportation. As the chart shows, the transportation sector is the single biggest consumer of energy, accounting for nearly 40% of the energy consumed by the four sectors (along with residential, commercial, and industrial). In comparison, just 16% is used for residential use. And while the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors waste about 20% of their energy, the transportation sector wastes a full 75%, making it just 25% energy-efficient. Part of this waste is due to the fact that cars are an inherently inefficient way to move people around, since much of the energy must go into moving the massive car and not simply the person.

The chart emphasizes the importance of using alternative methods of transportation – walking, biking, public transportation, or anything else that moves more human and less steel. Unfortunately, due to developers building sprawling suburbs to satisfy Americans’ demands of large homes and yards, many people now find themselves miles from the nearest grocery store and have no choice but to drive everywhere. To illustrate how transportation consumption and waste dwarfs residential consumption, a blog post on Treehugger notes that “building suburbs of Energy Star houses with solar panels on top is a complete waste of time.”


Read Entire Story at PHYSORG.COM


We deserve to know it's GMO: Hawaii State Residents call for truth in labeling

April 5, 2011
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Decorah Eagles from atop their tree at the fish hatchery in Decorah, Iowa

April 5, 2011

Decorah Eagles, Ustream.TV: The Raptor Resource Project brings you the Decorah Eagles from atop their tree at the fish hatchery in Decorah, Iowa.

Please note*  the audio if buzzing is due to interference from the infrared light, the birds do not see the light.


The link
Streaming Video by Ustream.TV

Organic Farmers Flip The Script On Monsanto

April 3, 2011

Organic Farmers Flip The Script On Monsanto


A new lawsuit against Monsanto is one part of a larger effort by the organic food movement to prevent contamination of the seed supply.

A new lawsuit against Monsanto is one part of a larger effort by the organic food movement to prevent contamination of the seed supply.

A growing block of organic farmers and agricultural organizations have joined forces to sue biotech giant Monsanto.

The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), which filed on their behalf on March 30 in New York, argued that the plaintiffs must sue preemptively in order to avoid potential future patent infringement accusations by Monsanto.

Monsanto has a history of suing farmers for “patent infringement” when their crops are unwittingly and unwillingly infected by Monsanto-patented GMO seed. As Tom Laskawy explains over at Grist:

…the federal government ‘insists the food revolution will be genetically modified.’ Well, what biotech companies want more than anything is for the food revolution to be patented. Why is that? Because, unlike pharmaceuticals, patented genes will never go “generic” after some number of years. Monsanto and its biotech buddies can keep milking that transgenetic cow for decade after decade.

GMO crops have another interesting quality — you can ‘use’ a patented gene without even knowing it. When you download and share music and movies on peer-to-peer networks or plagiarize blog posts or books, let’s face it — you know what you’re doing. But if you’re a farmer, GMO seeds can literally blow in to your fields on the breeze or just the pollen from GMO crops can blow in (or buzz in via bees) and contaminate your organic or ‘conventional’ fields. And if that happens, Monsanto or Syngenta or Bayer CropLife maintain the right to sue you as if you had illegally bought their seed and knowingly planted it.

Organic farmers are not only concerned about lawsuits, but concerned about the integrity and future of their crops as GMO pollen and seed blows into their land.


Read Full Story at

Sony HXRMC50U Field Test Humpback Whale Mugging March 10, 2011

April 1, 2011
Testing the Sony HXRMC50U with 2 channel audio external microphone. Humpback Whales approach our boat and swim under in Maui Hawaii.
Production of NKO.ORG, Executive Producer Ellen M. Laura.