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106, 2017

Ethanol Explosion Kills One, Injures Others

By |June 1st, 2017|Energy, State, Wisconsin|0 Comments

Yet another ethanol explosion has happened in the past few hours and where most of these explosions have been happening during the shipment of ethanol, this one happened in a processing plant, killing one worker and injuring several others, along with knocking out power for most of the town of Cambria, Wisconsin.

“We are praying for our team,” Riley Didion, the president of Didion Milling, told WISC-TV. “There’s a lot we don’t know right now. Our prayers are with everyone.”

Ethanol is a byproduct of corn used as fuel and is highly volatile.

609, 2016

Is The Future Still Bright For Solar Energy?

By |September 6th, 2016|Energy, XPC|Comments Off on Is The Future Still Bright For Solar Energy?

One of the hottest topics of the 21st century is solar energy. It’s no secret that more homes and businesses are harnessing the power of the sun. After all; it’s a relatively free source of energy! But, is the bubble about the burst on solar energy, or is it here to stay? Well, the latter is correct.

Take the cost of solar installations. In the past five years, the cost of harnessing solar power has gone down a whopping 65%! The Department of Energy also wants 14% of America to be using solar energy by 2030.

It’s a realistic goal, surprisingly. At the bottom of this blog post is an infographic with some fascinating facts on the solar industry. For example, there has been a 19% increase in sales of solar panels from 2014-15. And there are currently one million solar installations in the U.S.

Aside from the green benefits, the cost ones also make it an attractive proposition. Last year alone, installation prices dropped 3%. It’s a trend that will continue well into the future.

Why you should go green with solar power

One of the advantages of using the sun’s power is that you’re not relying on a third-party supplier. At some point in the future, we’ll run out of fossil fuels. There’s only so much extraction and mining we can do for resources like coal and oil. Plus, nuclear energy isn’t ideal for obvious safety reasons.

With the sliding prices of installations, there is little reason to not make the switch it would seem!

Infographic produced By Semper Solaris

908, 2016

Africa Might Just Be At The Bleeding Edge Of Renewable Energy Deployment

By |August 9th, 2016|Energy, XPC|Comments Off on Africa Might Just Be At The Bleeding Edge Of Renewable Energy Deployment

Africa has been a problem continent for decades now. Ever since independence, the continent has been mired in corruption and economic stagnation. But that legacy is now playing into the continent’s hands. There’s good reason to think that Africa could, in fact, be one of the primary beneficiaries of new green energy tech future. Here’s why.

It All Comes Down To Price

One of the reasons why we haven’t seen an energy revolution just yet in the West is because fossil fuels are cheap. Until now coal has been the cheapest way for us to make electricity. And until only a few years ago, solar was an order of magnitude more expensive per kWh. In that environment, there is no market-based mechanism to make solar energy work. And because of that, coal persisted.

pixabay.com

What’s more, rich countries’ economies are based around making the price of fossil fuel energy cheaper. In developed countries, about 80 percent of people live in urban centres. And that brings down the cost of a centralised power grid. It’s just easier to deliver electricity to people when they’re all in one place. But the story in Africa is very different. Here, only about 30 percent of the population is urbanised. The rest live spread across the continent’s vast interior, many in small villages. That changes the game enormously. In that environment, centralised grids just aren’t cost-effective. It’s too expensive to run power lines to a population which is so dispersed.

The solution so far has been for people to use diesel generators. These are dirty, expensive to buy and costly to run. It is estimated that they cost anywhere between $0.30 and $0.50 per kWh. That’s way more expensive that either coal or solar right […]

605, 2016

Can We Really Become Self-Sufficient?

By |May 6th, 2016|Energy|Comments Off on Can We Really Become Self-Sufficient?

These days life is so expensive that some people are poorer than they have ever been. The global population is booming and that means that demand is outstripping supply. Energy, food, health services and even clean water cannot be provided in the quantities that we require. This contributes to the prices of these essentials rising year on year beyond what some of us can earn. Is the answer to go off the grid and become self-sufficient?

It’s not easy to live life without the help of others. Humans have always lived in communities where different skill-sets were used for different things. It’s rare for someone to choose to be independent of their neighbors. But to choose independence from services most of us take for granted is a huge leap. Can you grow your own food? Can you generate your own power? It would certainly reduce your dependence on other service providers. It could also be far less impactful on the environment.

Flickr provided the photo

The answer is yes, but not completely. When it comes to energy, we can use natural resources to generate electricity. Solar panels, wind turbines, and even waterwheels can create the energy we need. There may be shortfalls, depending on the season and our demand, though. For heat, you could potentially live off the land. Burning twigs, branches, logs and peat can create the heat you need for warmth, cooking, and hot water.

Food is another matter, though. In many places, it is illegal to kill and butcher animals without certification and a license. Even fishing requires a license in many places. Vegetables and fruits will only be available seasonally if you don’t have the right artificial environment. However, you could choose to purchase foods […]

2903, 2016

3 Industries Technology Is Impacting The Most

By |March 29th, 2016|Business, Energy, Health, Tech, Training/Resources|Comments Off on 3 Industries Technology Is Impacting The Most

Technology is sculpting modern life, but how is it impacting the business world? In today’s article, we’ll take a look at three industries that are most impacted by technology.

(Image Link: https://goo.gl/Oywbf0)
Manufacturing
Everything that you touch has been made by someone, somewhere. The manufacturing industry is massive and keeps getting bigger. There are new things that need to be made, and these new things require new technologies. Lots of manufacturing companies are using high-tech equipment to get their work done. Think about automotive manufacturing companies for a second; they use robotics to assist them. On the shop floor, there will be loads of robotic machines that work on fitting parts together. The need for humans is becoming less apparent in this industry! And, there’s the growth in 3D printing which has made it easier to make objects. In my opinion, we see some of the most advanced technology in this sector.

(Credit: https://goo.gl/Ukhuag)
Oil & Gas
The Oil & Gas industry is one of the biggest and most productive in the world. All over the globe, there are huge structures mining for oil and gas. Given that it’s such a huge business sector, there’s a need for technology to provide assistance. These days, there’s a wealth of oil and gas software for people within the sector to use. Commonly, engineers can use this software to build mining structures off-shore. But, there’s also some technology that helps the public too. There’re new and updated means of checking your gas meter, making life more convenient for you. And, some gas central heating systems can be controlled using apps on a mobile device. With regards to oil specifically, there’s a tonne of computer software to help with the drilling and mining […]

2903, 2016

3 Predictions For The Future Of Renewable Energy

By |March 29th, 2016|Energy|Comments Off on 3 Predictions For The Future Of Renewable Energy

Throughout history, there have been thinkers with remarkable foresight. Over a century ago, people were talking about globalization, space travel and digital technology. Now, some of our best minds are predicting a shift towards renewable energy, and an end to our dependence on fossil fuels. Here are a few of the most interesting predictions concerning renewable energy. I for one really hope they’re accurate! 

Image from Wikimedia

One popular prediction is that solar power will become far more prevalent. In fact, the International Energy Agency predicts that solar power will account for more than a third of the world’s energy by 2060. When you look into solar energy, it’s easy to see the logic. The sun’s rays are a flexible, inexhaustible and easily harvested source of energy. It’s also one of the easiest sources to industrialize when stacked up against other forms of renewable energy. The IEA’s predictions are spurring, but we might be looking at an even greater development. This particular agency has been known for its conservative forecasts in the past. If they say over a third, who knows how much solar energy will grow in the coming decades?

Another prediction circulated in energy journals is already pretty self-evident. This is that the EU will be at the forefront of the energy revolution. If we’re aiming to change the entire planet’s energy supply, then everyone’s involved. Gears are in motion all over the world, as seen at this Renewable Energy Conference. However, the EU and all its members have set their goals much

higher than other countries. The European Renewable Energy Council even released a prediction that the whole continent will be running on entirely renewable energy by 2050. Don’t get too excited just yet! This […]

1703, 2016

Who’s Footing The Bill As Electric Prices Threaten To Rise?

By |March 17th, 2016|Energy|Comments Off on Who’s Footing The Bill As Electric Prices Threaten To Rise?

Electric prices all over the world are changing. Some of the cause is due to environmental issues. In other parts of the world, the hikes are due to political agendas. In America, the Environmental Protection Agency is set to rise bills nationwide. This is to turn electricity providers toward non-coal resources. The Electricity Security and Affordability Act is currently in debate. It’s  set to fight more for the average citizen’s purse but there’s little denying we’ll keep seeing rising bills. What are the causes and how do we fight it? Does the answer lie in “going green” as many environmentalists will tell you? Or is it unfair to expect us to do all the work?

Source of Photo

Understanding electricity prices

The bills we pay towards electricity can be difficult to understand due to the myriad of factors going into them. By asking the right questions, you can divine some of the answers yourself. Costs of electricity are going to be a rising part of politics in the future, so be prepared to understand and form opinions. The World Resources Institute recently published ten questions that can help you do just that.

It is economic to go green?

It’s no secret that lobbyists are pushing for tighter regulations on electricity prices. However, in a bizarre twist of fate, the regulations are anti-consumer. They hike prices for the sake of an environmental agenda. Alternative power technologies could have a lot of potential, but is the technology ready to use? One of the most touted green tech solutions is LED bulbs. But are they worth the huge increase in prices? What are the savings long-term through the life of an LED bulb compared to the conventional?

Do we have to do it all […]

810, 2015

Duke Energy Delays Announcement

By |October 8th, 2015|Energy, North Carolina, South Carolina, State|Comments Off on Duke Energy Delays Announcement

Announcement of Western Carolinas plan delayed
until November as Duke Energy tries to do the right thing.
Today was going to be the day which Duke Energy announced the route to service Asheville, which could possibly impact residents across the Upstate of South Carolina, especially the Landrum area. Sources tell PNN that Duke Energy’s delay is more about them getting the power needs accomplished in a way that does “right” by property owners. It would have been easy for Duke Energy to simply announce one of the pre-planned routes but we are told the delay has a lot to do with finalizing alternative plans, some of which include “mostly” using current right-of-ways and one of which could leave the Upstate out all together.

The following is Duke Energy’s press release:

Duke Energy working through public comments on Foothills Transmission Line; project update planned for early November

More time is needed to continue to carefully consider more than 9,000 comments received on the proposed transmission line and create a solution to deliver cleaner, reliable power to Western Carolinas.
The company is looking at all options that can meet the region’s power demand over the next 10 to 15 years – including possible alternatives to the transmission line, Campobello substation and the configuration of the proposed Asheville natural gas power plant.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In order to carefully consider the thousands of comments related to the siting of the proposed 230-kilovolt Foothills Transmission Line and Campobello substation, Duke Energy is extending its review process until early November.

“Our goal is to have the best possible plan with the least impact on property owners, the environment and the communities we serve,” said Robert Sipes, general manager of delivery operations for the Western Carolinas. “Concerns about […]

2808, 2015

Duke Energy Landrum Project

By |August 28th, 2015|Energy, North Carolina, South Carolina, State|Comments Off on Duke Energy Landrum Project

Duke Energy is receiving massive push-back
from the Landrum and Campobello communities
in the Upstate of South Carolina.

If it was not clear to Duke Energy before the meeting this evening at Landrum High School, it should be crystal clear now.

We were unable to find anyone who turned out to this meeting because they were supporting the Duke Energy initiative to build a power substation in Campobello in order to run 14 story tall high voltage towers through Landrum in an effort to feed more power to the Asheville, North Carolina area.

Approximately 1100 people turned out for the meeting which was held in Landrum High School’s auditorium. The large crowd was problem considering the auditorium only has a seating capacity for 600. As the maximum capacity was reached and the doors were closed, about half of the remaining crowd outside left while nearly 300 remained, determined to be heard. Even if they couldn’t get inside, many just wanted a chance to sign the roster so Duke Energy would know they were here.

The crowd of people which gathered in Landrum this evening (inside and perhaps even more-so for those left outside) were all very passionate and carried the same message; that Duke Energy should utilize existing right-of-ways and not litter their pristine landscape with new development.

Several legislators were there to help with their constituents needs, including State Senator Tom Corbin, and Representatives Mike Burns and Doug Brannon.

Despite some individuals attempting to discourage him, Senator Tom Corbin has put forth effort in hopes of derailing this Duke Energy project. As he left this evening, he vowed he would continue to fight on behalf of the people in the Landrum area.

2204, 2015

Iran Moves Forward with Nuclear while SC Moves Backwards

By |April 22nd, 2015|Energy, Health, Politics, South Carolina, State|Comments Off on Iran Moves Forward with Nuclear while SC Moves Backwards

Iran will no doubt continue to develop in nuclear technologies. They will develop nuclear power plants, nuclear missiles, and their people will not care one bit that they stash their nuclear waste in multiple areas of their country. Will that nuclear waste do harm to the Iranians? Not one bit, as the technology has been perfected to contain nuclear waste for its lifetime.

Contrast this to our state of South Carolina, where not only can we not move forward with nuclear power in a timely manner, but things regarding nuclear could not be more screwed up. Our state’s power needs are growing and we’ve been shut down on both the coal and the nuclear front of energy development. The dangerous nuclear waste is piling up at the plants we do have because the Obama Administration will not allow the Yucca Mountain facility to open.

Perhaps the worst offense regarding nuclear in our state, is the disposal of low-level nuclear waste; this would be waste from stuff like nuclear medicine (frequently used in cancer treatments). People in our state, including Governor Nikki Haley, have become so anti-nuclear, that they are willing to shut down the ability to dispose of nuclear medical waste. The end result of such lunacy will eventually lead to people being denied necessary medical treatments. Nikki Haley has vowed to veto any legislation which would allow South Carolina to continue to dispose of nuclear medical waste at our Barnwell Plant.

If we cannot even win the fight on the disposal of nuclear medicine with a so-called Republican governor, how are we ever supposed to win the battle to provide enough energy in South Carolina?