Showing posts with label Renewable Energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Renewable Energy. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What is Biogas & How Do We Make It? INFOGRAPHIC

Biogas systems provide economic, energy, and environmental benefits for farms, businesses, and communities. These systems enable the capture and use of methane while also addressing waste management and nutrient recovery needs, finds the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap, released by the Obama Administration.
If its full potential was realized, a cost-effective biogas industry could produce enough energy from the livestock sector to power 1 million average American homes.

Biogas is primarily a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced by the bacterial decomposition of organic materials in the absence of oxygen. Depending on the source of organic matter, biogas typically contains 50-70% methane, 30-40% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other constituents, such as hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen, nitrogen, and siloxanes.

Methane is both a potent greenhouse gas and a valuable source of energy. Today, methane accounts for nearly 9% of domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Thirty six percent of these emissions come from the agricultural sector, equivalent to over 200 million tons of carbon pollution. While methane’s lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide, it is more efficient at trapping radiation. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of methane on climate change is over 20 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.

This Biogas Opportunities Roadmap builds on progress made to date to identify voluntary actions that can be taken to reduce methane emissions through the use of biogas systems and outlines strategies to overcome barriers to a robust biogas industry in the United States. It supports the U.S. dairy industry’s voluntary 2008 goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020.

Learn more:
Check out a fact sheet about the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap.

Content Courtesy: 1sun4all

Monday, July 21, 2014

Safeguarding Our Future Water & Energy Systems-INFOGRAPHIC

As the Energy Department pursues our important mission areas of climate change, energy security and environmental responsibility, we must take into account dynamic interactions among our energy system, the population, the economy, other infrastructure systems and natural resources. One crucial interaction is that between our present-day energy and water systems, reports the DOE.

The interdependencies between our water and energy systems are clear — and becoming more prominent. Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation, and energy is required to extract, convey and deliver water, and to treat wastewaters prior to their return to the environment.

The Energy Department’s new report – The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities – examines this interaction, and lays out several technical and operational challenges at local, regional and national scales. The report notes that water scarcity, variability and uncertainty are becoming more prevalent, potentially leading to vulnerabilities within the U.S. energy system. Changes brought on by population growth, technological advances and policy developments are increasing the urgency for informed action.

When severe drought affected more than a third of the United States in 2012, limited water availability constrained the operation of some power plants and other energy production infrastructure. When Hurricane Sandy struck that same year, we saw firsthand the major problems that arise when vital water infrastructure and facilities lose power.

And the recent boom in domestic unconventional oil and gas development, brought on by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has added complexity to the national dialogue about the relationship between energy and water resources.

What’s more, the effects of climate change only amplify the need to manage our interdependent water and energy systems more mindfully. As the release of the third U.S. National Climate Assessment made clear last month, climate change is affecting every region of the United States and key sectors across our economy.

Even as the Energy Department is taking strong steps to cut carbon pollution and work with our international partners to build a more sustainable energy future, we must prepare for the effects of climate change we are already seeing.

The Energy Department’s longstanding leadership in modeling and technology research and development makes it uniquely suited to meet the national need for data-driven and empirical solutions to address these challenges. This report is just the beginning.

The Department of Energy looks forward to working with our partners, including other federal agencies, state and local governments, members of Congress, foreign governments, private industry, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and citizens, to develop and pursue a shared vision of more resilient coupled energy-water systems.

This integration and collaboration will enable more effective research, development and deployment of key technologies, harmonization of policies where warranted, shared datasets, informed decision-making, and robust public dialogue.

A key part of that dialogue is our ongoing meetings to gather public comment on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), a four-year process to identify key threats, risks and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security.

 Last week in San Francisco, Dr. John Holdren — Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy — led a discussion with regional stakeholders about the water-energy nexus and lessons learned that could be applied broadly across this issue area. Future opportunities to provide input to the QER process remain.

Content Courtesy:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Global Renewable Energy Capacity Has Nearly Doubled to 1,560 Gigawatts Since 2004

Global Renewable Energy Capacity Has Nearly Doubled to 1,560 Gigawatts Since 2004 | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 

In 2004 only 48 countries contained defined renewable energy policy targets, compared to 144 at the end of 2013. Additionally, new investment in renewables increased from US $39.5 billion in 2004 to $214.4 billion in 2013. Despite the fact that global investment in solar PV declined nearly 22 percent since 2012, new capacity installations increased by more than 27 percent. And solar hot water saw the biggest increase out of all renewables — leaping from 98 GWth to 326 GWth.

The report also shows that China is leading the world in wind power — with 16.1 GW of capacity added in 2013. The United States only added 1.1 GW of new wind capacity in 2013, but it’s still second to China in total capacity. Germany takes first place by a wide margin in solar PV capacity, despite only adding 3.3 GW in 2013 compared to China’s 11.8 GW. The U.S. is currently in fifth place behind Italy and Japan, with 4.8 GW added in 2013.

Hydropower is still the dominant renewable energy source, with global capacity reaching 1,000 GW. China is the top country for hydro with a 26 percent share, followed by Brazil at 8.6 percent and the U.S. at 7.8 percent. If you remove hydro from the mix, the statistics are even more impressive – other renewables rose from 85 GW in 2004 to 560 GW by the end of 2013

Content Courtesy: Treehugger