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Things Are Good: Visualizing Energy Generated from Wind

Renewable energy debates can suffer obfuscation through abstraction and disingenuous allegations like renewable is limited in it’s generation times. For example, wind power is often argued to be useless because we cannot control the wind. We can’t control it, but we can predict it.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of wind power in the UK a new digital design company created a demonstration of using visualization to impact how people think of wind power.

We wanted to make MWh something more tangible, so we’ve taken some data* on the average energy usage of domestic products to hopefully bring those big numbers (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Floating Wind Turbine in Alaska

In Alaska they are trying something rather cool – a wind turbine that floats in the air. The turbine will be tethered to the ground and will be a test run of this new technology. if successful, the turbine can be used to power remote communities and be used in disaster response.

The helium-filled turbine will be installed over the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, and will feed energy into the grid through cables that will connect it to the ground. The team is planning to further develop the project and initially target remote areas, disaster-stricken regions and military bases.

Read (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Politics, Hockey, Fall Sitting at the BC Legislature and Local Elections-Game on!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

We are moving into autumn, our glorious climate change driven summer is wrapping up even though our confused tomato plants refuse to stop providing even more ripe tomatoes.

Last night our beloved Vancouver Canucks warmed our hockey deprived souls with a win in the season opener against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan is determined even as he is smiling.

Our BC Legislature has been a scene of activity featuring accusations and highly partisan posturing in a rare fall legislative session is in gear. NDP’s new leader John Horgan finally has the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Marine Life Drawn to Offshore Wind Farms

Renewable and sustainable energy is pretty great on its own. Now there’s one more reason to support using wind as a energy source because when the wind turbines are placed offshore marine wildlife moves in. The world’s oceans are suffering from overfishing and other human caused carnage so providing marine animals with shelter is something we should be doing.

The fact that wind turbines can provide sustainable energy while helping marine animals survive is good news indeed.

Offshore wind farms can be fertile feeding grounds for seals who choose to seek them out – concludes the study, by an international (Read more…)

cartoon life: There’s something in the wind

There are a few previous posts which were automated with IFTTT from the iPad. There isn’t quite enough precision or interaction with those. I can’t set a new title, and the shortcode to set the size, other than the default original huge size can be set only in the caption field in IFTTT for the image, so it shows in the caption.

I had thought that it might be a way to spread the sharing out. It is too constrained by the automation. It works for Twitter, because it posts the image in the tweet. Which is an improvement over (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Climate Change is Here Now

Richard Hughes-Political as hell!

Climate change is happening and has been happening for some considerable time. The Climate Deniers have gone to great lengths attempting to convince us that it is not true.

In spite of their efforts it is now a part of our consciousness and although we know that irrefutable evidence points to dramatic changes we are pretty much powerless to do much, or are we?

Armed with the ever-increasing evidence of climate change we can see it in our own lives.

Winters here in the Cowichan Valley have been warmer and drier over the last few years. (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Build Your Own Wind Turbine

Off the gird living just got a little easier thanks to inventor Daniel Connell who has put instructions on how to build a wind turbine for $30 online. It’s not the most efficient and powerful generator out there but anybody with basic knowledge of drills can build it.

Creating something that can deliver a few hundred watts–enough to pump water, say–might not be that difficult. Daniel Connell, who’s drawn up a blueprint to show you how, swears that anyone who “can cut paper and hold a drill” can manage it.

“I’m hoping the animation is such that nothing (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Inflatable Wind Turbines For Remote Areas

This wind turbine which is designed to float in the air at a high altitude is meant to provide a small amount of power. The idea behind it is to bring sustainable power to remote areas or places where conventional wind turbines can’t be built.

The BAT uses a helium-filled, inflatable shell to lift to high altitudes where winds are stronger and more consistent than those reached by traditional tower-mounted turbines. High strength tethers hold the BAT steady and send electricity down to the ground. The lifting technology is adapted from aerostats, industrial cousins of blimps, which have lifted heavy (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Wind Becomes Largest Source of Energy in Spain

Spain makes use of a plethora of energy sources and they are leaders in Europe when it comes to utilizing solar and wind energy. Energy policy is always under debate in the country and hopefully they will continue their overall trend of helping sustainable energy develop.

Wind accounted for 20.9 percent of the country’s energy last year — more than any other enough to power about 15.5 million households, with nuclear coming in a very close second at 20.8 percent. Wind energy usage was up over 13 percent from the year before, according to the report.

The (Read more…)

Things Are Good: China’s Wind Turbine Industry Booming

For years China has been trying to improve its sustainable energy production but to do so Chinese companies had to rely on patents and techniques from the rest of the world. Due to an increase in demand (and production knowledge) China is now poised to make the best, most efficient, and easiest to maintain wind turbines.

Already, the amount of wind energy outputted in China puts the rest of the planet to shame.

However, since China’s total generation is more than that of all European Union countries combined, wind’s percentage is large in absolute terms.

Liming Qiao, China director of (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Strong winds, big waves, and the interconnectedness of life

When the waves are high, from my backyard I can hear the lake, which is just a few hundred feet away. It sounds like a great, strong wind, or a freight train in the distance – or a tornado. The strange thing is, the sound of the waves does not always coincide with the […]

Things Are Good: German Coal and Gas Power Plants Closing Due to Cheap Renewable Energy

Germany has been so effective in tranisitioning from unsustianble (econmically and environemntally) energy sources to renewable ones that it is uncompetitive to burn fossil fuels for power!

“Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate,” RWE said in a statement.

“During the first half of 2013, the conventional power generation division’s operating result fell by almost two-thirds. The massive reduction in power station margins is a major factor in this development.”

On Tuesday, E.On said it had shut down or left idle 6,500 (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Global Solar and Wind Energy Production Continues to Grow

The sustainable energy market consistently needs to prove its worth despite the obvious benefits, whats worse is that the industry as a whole is up against the subsidized fossil fuel industry. Despite the artificially lowered fossil fuel prices sustainable energy solutions continue to prove their economic worth.

Global solar and wind energy capacities continued to grow even though new investments in these energy sources declined during 2012. Global investment in solar energy in 2012 was $140.4 billion, an 11 percent decline from 2011, and wind investment was down 10 percent, to $80.3 billion.But due to lower costs (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Mongolia Builds Their First Wind Farm

Mongolia is entering the sustainable energy market and the country aims to export renewable energy to its neighbours. It’s great to see countries that are not as well-off as others build the needed infrastructure for a sustainable future.

Mongolia is so windy and has such harsh winters, in fact, that the turbines at Salkhit were built specifically to be “Mongolia-proof” so they could survive the strong winds and winter freeze. Each blade is ~120 feet and the tower and blade combined are 384 ft. However, because Mongolia’s roads are still so bad, the turbines had to be transported directly over (Read more…)

cartoon life: Cat on a wire

Filed under: art Tagged: Cat, pen and ink app, spirit, Tenuous, wind, wire

Things Are Good: 2012 Was a Record Breaking Year for US Wind Industry

2012 was a very successful year for the young wind-power energy industry in the United States. Throughout last year over 6,700 were installed around the country with the industry benefiting overall from new investments into the sector.

Let’s hope this is a sign of the future of what;s to come in sustainable energy in the world’s largest economy!

Overall, America ended the year with 45,100 turbines, producing enough electricity to power around 15.2 million households. Wind power added 42% of all new capacity to the grid last year, beating other sources of energy generation. Rob Gramlich, AWEA’s Interim CEO

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: 2012 Was a Record Breaking Year for US Wind Industry

Eclectic Lip: Steven Chu’s “Time to Fix the Wiring” at four years

Former US Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s recent resignation — his farewell letter is here — is no doubt celebrated in the fuel cell quarters as passionately (or more so) than it is mourned in the rest of cleantech. Early in his term, Chu infamously argued (infamously, at least, to fuel cell enthusiasts) that fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV’s) needed four miracles for commercial success, namely:

most hydrogen comes from natural gas (so why not just use that as a fuel?) improvements in hydrogen storage were needed fuel cells needed to improve there was no distribution system in . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Steven Chu’s “Time to Fix the Wiring” at four years

cartoon life: The Weather today

Filed under: art, digital Tagged: Cat, cold, rain, weather, wind

Things Are Good: Typical Wind Farm Supports Nearly 1,100 Jobs

A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in the USA has shown that in the country wind farms generate not just energy but 1,00 jobs at a ‘typical’ site. Other countries have found that incorporating renewable energy into their electricity grid can help generate power efficiently while helping to revitalize areas that have not found economic success in the modern world.

A new 250-megawatt wind farm will create 1,079 jobs throughout the many steps of building that wind farm, according to the NRDC report “American Wind Farms: Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production.” These

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Typical Wind Farm Supports Nearly 1,100 Jobs

DeSmogBlog: Heartland Institute, ALEC and More Gearing Up to Undermine Renewable Energy


One of the environmental movement’s biggest accomplishments over the past decade has been convincing states to adopt so-called renewable portfolio standards (RPS). RPS require a state’s energy supply to diversify, gradually shifting away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources like geothermal, wind and solar.

At least 30 states now have these measures which set deadlines to ensure that a certain amount — sometimes as much as 40 percent — of energy consumed in the state comes from renewable sources. As climate change, air pollution and the broad-based political attacks on renewable sources of energy grow worse

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Heartland Institute, ALEC and More Gearing Up to Undermine Renewable Energy

Things Are Good: Getting Water from Air

With water wars becoming a concern for nations around the world a small French company has come up with a way to get water out of thin air. Well, humid air, and it’s for more than just providing peace it’s a way for many communities to get off the grid and become when more self-sufficient.

“This technology could enable rural areas to become self-sufficient in terms of water supply,” says Thibault Janin, director of marketing at Eole Water. “As the design and capabilities develop, the next step will be to create turbines that can provide water for small cities or

Things Are Good: New Windfarm for Shetland Islands to Power 175,000 Homes

The Shetland Islands will be getting what is expected to be the most productive wind farm on the planet. Wind blows across the islands almost all the time thus producing a space friendly to wind turbine efficiency.

The joint venture between energy giant SSE and Viking Energy Ltd, owned by the trust, will have 370MW capacity and is expected to generate enough energy for 175,000 homes – sixteen times the number of homes on Shetland.

One small turbine on a hill north of Lerwick, called Betsy, already holds a world record for its efficiency, reaching 59% of its potential output,

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: New Windfarm for Shetland Islands to Power 175,000 Homes

Things Are Good: Japan Develops Wind Turbine That Doubles Output

A simple addition to the standard wind turbine setup called a wind lens can double, or even triple, the power output.

Professor Prof. Yuji Ohya of the Kyushu University research institute for applied mechanics (RIAM) has been working with a team to improve the efficiency of wind turbines. Combining an inlet shroud, a diffuser, and a brim into a wind lens, power output has been improved by a factor of 2 to 5 times in several experiments. Turbine noise is also decreased.

Here’s more on the matter.

Thanks Greg!

cartoon life: 8 Panels again

Better pictures. Better white balance, though there’s just a bit too much colour in some of the white areas. But, I paint in the basement, and these are the first time I’ve seen them outside in proper light.

If you’ve seen the landscape collages, the major forms are recycled from cropped clips used in some of those compositions.

Filed under: art, painting Tagged: acrylic, art, landscapes, masonite, painting, panels, white, wind

. . . → Read More: cartoon life: 8 Panels again

cartoon life: 8 white paintings

I’ve been engaged in a protracted push, pull, following, yielding, gouging, scraping, sanding, layering since the last post and now these 8 panels are done. All are 24 by 38 inches acrylic on masonite.

Filed under: cartoonist, painting Tagged: acrylic, art, landscape, masonite, painting, seascape, water, white, wind

. . . → Read More: cartoon life: 8 white paintings