Nick Engelfried

Nick Engelfried

Posts by This Writer

8 years 2 months ago

If properly harnessed, geothermal energy systems could help China meet its growing energy needs, providing a reliable source of power that comes with negligible carbon emissions. On Friday the Shanghai Institute of Geological Engineering Exploration announced geothermal heating and cooling systems may soon be deployed in the city of Shanghai, saving residents money on energy bills in the long term.

The kind of geothermal setup the Institute has in mind utilizes an air exchange system to draw energy from about 650 feet (200 meters) beneath...


8 years 2 months ago

Companies that illegally log tropical forests in Indonesia may in future find it harder to sell their product on the international market, as the most important group of New Zealand timber importers has vowed to quickly phase out purchasing wood from Indonesia that can’t be verified as legally harvested. By September 1st of this year, members of the NZ Imported Tropical Timber Group will only buy Indonesian wood that can be verified as having been harvested legally. The move signals growing international awareness of the fact that Indonesia’s disappearing forests represent a valuable carbon sink and are a stronghold of...


8 years 2 months ago

One of the world’s biggest solar projects received a major boost this week with the announcement that Google will invest $168 million to help get it off the ground. On the same day, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $1.6 billion loan guarantee to the same project, the Ivanpah solar thermal plant. Both announcements are good news for the US solar industry, and bode well for what could be a truly ground-breaking renewable energy venture.

BrightSource Energy, developer of the Ivanpah Solar...


8 years 2 months ago

Worldwide installed wind capacity grew by 38.3 GW in 2010, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. That’s an increase of 24% in global wind capacity, and slightly higher than previous estimates of how much wind had grown last year. In February the total new installed wind capacity was estimated at 35.8 GW, significantly less than the 38.6 new GW installed in 2009. The new estimate shows wind growth last year proceeded at nearly the same level as in the preceding year, and suggests the industry...


8 years 2 months ago

As part of its latest program to reduce carbon emissions, the Ethiopian government announced last week that it plans to reforest fifteen million hectares of land by 2025. This reforestation effort, combined with a switch to clean energy sources like geothermal and hydropower, will allow the country to become carbon neutral within fourteen years. Officials believe that by preventing climate change Ethiopia will also be able to raise its citizens out of poverty, restore degraded land, and reduce the amount of money it spends on imported fuels. If these efforts are successful, Ethiopia...


8 years 2 months ago

In 2010 the United States installed more solar power capacity than in any year past, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).  Last year topped the previously held 2009 record, with the solar electric industry installing enough new megawatts to power 200,000 homes. From California to New Jersey and in almost every state in between, the solar industry is expanding to become an energy source fully capable of competing with fossil fuel and nuclear plants. While construction of new coal plants remains at a standstill and...


8 years 3 months ago

US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar likes to tout his department’s support for clean energy development on federal lands. But a decision last week to open 7,400 acres in Wyoming to increased coal mining calls into question how strong the Interior Department’s commitment to clean energy really is. If we’re serious about transforming the US economy to run on clean energy, expanding coal mining is a major step backwards. By flooding the market with dirty coal mined in Wyoming, the Interior Department risks derailing progress on renewable energy and will make it all the more difficult to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Wyoming already produces more...


8 years 3 months ago

Findings from the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado show maximum ice cover in the Arctic Ocean reached one of its lowest levels ever this winter, providing further evidence for climate change. Data collected so far suggests Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent on March 7th of this year, before it began shrinking as temperatures warmed. This is part of a natural annual cycle, in which sea ice in the Arctic builds up over the winter, reaches maximum size sometime in February or March, and then gradually retreats over the spring and summer.

What’s been different in recent years is that ice cover throughout the course of the...


8 years 3 months ago

In response to the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan, Germany has announced plans to go nuclear-free without increasing its reliance on fossil fuels. By ramping up investments in renewables, the German government plans to fight climate change while simultaneously avoiding the risks inherent in nuclear energy. If the plan is successful it could provide a model for other countries that want to shift to greener electricity grids.

In 2000 Germany passed the Nuclear Exit Law, which was supposed to end the country’s dependence on nukes by the year 2021....


8 years 3 months ago

Probably no organization has spent as much money opposing efforts to stop climate change as the US Chamber of Commerce, a national lobbying group that represents many of the biggest and worst polluters in the United States. It might seem strange that the US Chamber would oppose steps to curb carbon emissions and stimulate investment in clean energy. After all, the goal of the Chamber is supposed to be to advocate for jobs and businesses, and the green energy revolution promises to usher in a wave of economic opportunity in this country.

However the...


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