This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Glimpsing the energy future

sus energy.jpg
Solar power in the US: Dark red = highest potential. Pale yellow = lowest potential

By James Dacey

At the end of last week, Hamish drew attention to David MacKay – a UK physicist who is on something of a crusade to take the “hot air” out of the sustainable energy. Mackay’s approach is to explain the potential of each renewable technology option in everyday numerical concepts.

This week, in the US, a collaboration between Google Earth and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is attempting to bring the same simplicity to the visual representation of renewable energy options.

They have launched an online interactive map of the US showing the best (and worst) regions to generate energy from the sun, wind, biomass from wood and crop waste, and biogas from animal waste at livestock and poultry farms.

“This new tool is designed to help regular people from farmers to politicians, financiers to reporters understand that renewables are here now and posed to become major players in our energy mix,” said Nathanael Greene, NRDC’s Director of Renewable Energy Policy.

Whether or not this map does have a big impact on professional stakeholders remains to be seen. Personally, I think the more important thing about the maps is their visual impact… as somebody commented on the associated blog:

“It makes a clean-energy future seem imminent, and eminently do-able”

From just glancing at the maps one thing that becomes quickly apparent is the reliance that the East may come to have on the sparsely-populated regions of the West where important sources like solar, wind and geothermal power have far more potential.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux