Tag Archives: energy-ish

Ekranoplans are Back! Maybe. The Regent Seaglider

The Soviets used to build the world’s biggest and ugliest airplanes: They called them by the ugly term “ekranoplans”, or “screen effect” in Russian. They flew low over water, and got lift from the cushion of air between the wings … Continue reading

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How Re-industrialization Now Works: GO Lab and Wood Fiber Insulation

I was driving through central Maine recently, and was struck by how dreary the landscape looked. The houses and towns looked run-down, and store fronts were vacant. This is an old story about industry leaving rural areas, and can be … Continue reading

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Good News on Backstopping Renewables (3) – Eavor Advanced Geothermal

The last posts were about batteries and pumped-hydro storage, which will be used to handle excess energy from variable renewables. But what happens when there’s no sun or wind for weeks on end? There still needs to be something to … Continue reading

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Good News on Backstopping Renewables (2) – Closed-Loop Pumped Hydro

The Ambri batteries mentioned in the last post are fine for storing some energy for a couple of days, but suppose you need a lot of storage for a week or more. That’ll be necessary when all the fossil fuel … Continue reading

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Good News on Backstopping Renewables (1) – Ambri

Wind and solar at this point are cheaper than any other form of electricity, and are getting steadily cheaper still. Coal plants are getting shut down because it’s just not worth it to run them, and even natural gas is … Continue reading

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The Carboniferous and the Anti-Carboniferous Eras

Here’s a cool recent discovery – the reason the earth has so much coal is that it took fungi 60 million years to figure out how to digest lignin, the compound that gives wood its strength.  Before that the trees … Continue reading

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MIT On Climate Change

Every year MIT has a Technology Day on its alumni reunion weekend where faculty discuss what they’re working on.   These are consistently interesting, and I’ve written about them before: The Oceans Are Dissolved Information and Print Your House and … Continue reading

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Warming Harms the US More Than the Northeast

I’ve been looking at the recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment, the US government’s considered opinion on what climate change will do to the country.  This program has been running since 1990, and is protected from hostile Administrations by legislation. … Continue reading

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How Did Wind Get So Cheap?

Rather surprisingly, wind power is now the cheapest form of electricity in the US: This comes from the tree-hugging socialists at  Lazard Asset Management.  Unsubsidized wind comes in at $32 to $62 per MWh, depending on the site.   Natural gas … Continue reading

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Rebecca Leaf, Engineer Heroine from MIT

I recently came across a striking set of stories about leftist women who attended MIT.  The school has had female graduates longer than any other major US university (their first was in 1873), and they’ve done remarkable things.  It turns … Continue reading

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