16 Apr 2014

feedEcoGeek

Ontario Completely Off Coal

The Canadian province of Ontario has officially shut down its last coal burning power plant.

Power for the province now comes from "emission-free electricity sources like wind, solar, nuclear and hydropower, along with lower-emission electricity sources like natural gas and biomass." The province had set a target of the end of 2014 to end its use of coal to generate electricity.

The Thunder Bay Generating Station was the last coal fueled power plant in the province. Now that it has burned the last of its coal supply, the plant will be converted to a biomass-fueled power plant.

image: CC 2.0 by Kyle MacKenzie

Hat tip to @TomMatzzie

16 Apr 2014 3:06am GMT

12 Apr 2014

feedEcoGeek

CETO Produces Wave Power and Freshwater

A new, grid-tied offshore wave energy project called CETO is being readied off the west coast of Australia, near Perth. Carnegie Wave Energy is installing what is called the "first operating wave energy array scheme in the world." The installation will consist of three submerged buoys 11 meters (36 feet) in diameter, which will be anchored offshore. The buoys will create high pressure water which will be pumped to an onshore generating station to produce electricity.

In addition to producing power, the CETO technology incorporates an interesting synergy - it is also used to provide fresh water. The system provides for more efficient desalination of seawater, since the water is already being pumped onshore from the buoys. Once it has powered the turbines, some of the water can be diverted into conventional desalination equipment. For regions in need of water desalination, the combination is ideal, and additional energy is not required for pumping water in from the sea.

The submerged operation of the CETO buoys helps provide storm survival capacity for the buoys and keeps the bouys out of view to minimize visual impact.

In comparison to wind turbines, the CETO system is small-scale. Each buoyant actuator has a rated capacity of 240 kW, so the installation being built will have less than 1 MW of capacity, whereas many current wind turbines have individual capacities of several mwgawatts. Nonetheless, it is another step forward for another energy generating technology. Carnegie hopes to expand commercialization of this technology and is targeting having 1000 MW of capacity installed by 2020.

12 Apr 2014 5:47pm GMT

11 Apr 2014

feedEnvironmental Law Prof Blog

Global Environmental Constitutionalism Symposium at Widener Law

On Friday, April 11, I blogged live from the Global Environmental Constitutionalism Symposium held at Widener Law in Delaware. A remarkable group of scholars from Australia, the Bahamas, Columbia, New Zealand, Canada, the Philippines, Italy, Israel, South Africa, France, Nigeria,...

11 Apr 2014 1:16pm GMT

09 Apr 2014

feedEnvironmental Law Prof Blog

Energy Law Symposium on Emerging Business and Regulatory Models

The San Diego Journal of Climate and Energy Law just announced its upcoming symposium. Here's the conference description and a call for papers: Proposals Due: Monday, April 21, 2014 On Friday, November 7, 2014, the University of San Diego School...

09 Apr 2014 8:11pm GMT

08 Apr 2014

feedEnvironmental Law Prof Blog

Why Take Environmental Law?

Across the country, law students are registering for their fall courses, and some of them are choosing whether or not to take environmental law. This, then, is a good time to make the case for enrolling in the course. The...

08 Apr 2014 5:23pm GMT

02 Apr 2014

feedEcoGeek

Nontoxic Flame Retardants from Whey

Whey is generally a waste byproduct from cheese- and yogurt-making. Producers need to find ways to dispose of it, and often it is discharged into wastewater systems. Research at the Polytechnic University of Turin is being done to explore the use of whey as a replacement for toxic compounds used as flame retardants.

Treated fabrics are kept from burning as readily because the casein from whey forms a layer of char on the surface when it is exposed to heat, which prevents the fire from spreading as readily. Tests on cotton and polyester materials often self-extinguished, and tests on cotton-polyester were also inhibited and burned more slowly.

While the tests have been promising, the process is not yet ready for commercialization because "the cheese-treated fabrics stink." But, if the compounds that cause the odor can be removed, this can be a technology to remove more harmful chemicals from common use and make use of a waste product at the same time. And, it could give the word "cheesecloth" a whole new meaning.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Oscar/Wikimedia Commons

via: Environmental Building News

02 Apr 2014 3:31pm GMT

12 Nov 2011

feedLatest Items from TreeHugger

Use Etsy to Find Local and Handcrafted Holiday Yoga Treats

My flame for the small-business and artisan supporting marketplace was re-kindled surfing the 263 items -- from mat bags, to hand-knit yoga socks, calming wall art and more -- made locally in Brooklyn alone.

12 Nov 2011 6:08pm GMT

Ringo Starr Designs Timberland Boots for Charity

Ringo Starr lends his oriiginal peace sign artwork to 75 pairs of Timberland boots to support WaterAid.

12 Nov 2011 4:41pm GMT

Turkish Photographers Capture Climate Change

Traveling exhibit in Turkey prompts audiences to put on their 'climate glasses' and see how floods, fires, and drought in the country are all connected.

12 Nov 2011 4:30pm GMT