A third major obstacle for large scale deployment of renewable energy is NIMBY Syndrome. NIMBY, not-in-my-back-yard, refers to opposition people have for new large developments close to them. Airports and highways are great. Just don't build them in my backyard, the noise is too loud. For energy, NIMBY syndrome has blocked greater deployment of wind and nuclear power throughout the United States.
The second major obstacle for large scale deployment of solar and wind power is their intermittent nature; the sun only shines during the daytime and the wind blows sporadically. Since electricity is in demand 24/7, solar and wind cannot be relied upon for the majority of our electricity needs. Some clean energy supporters stated that developing a national high voltage electric grid would solve this issue since the wind is always blowing somewhere. This may be true on for some states but the wind blowing in one small area of the US most likely would not be sufficient for the entire country.
Almost exactly five years ago today, President Bush delivered his 2006 State of The Union Address and proclaimed that "America is addicted to oil." Like many other politicians, President Bush championed the use of domestically produced ethanol to help kick our addiction. Why import from the Middle East when you can grow in the Mid West?
To make the nation energy independent, numerous pieces of legislation were championed supporting alternatives fuels. The signature among them, and previously passed, was The Energy Policy Act of 2005. Under this law the federal government was required to pay $0.45 to ethanol producers for every gallon they produced.
Each year the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical arm of the US Department of Energy, releases data on energy cosumption in the United States. These reports detail out current consumption and production data as well as projecting what the state of energy will be 5, 10, 15 and 25 years into the futre.
According to it's latest report, in 2009 the United States consumed approx. 100 quadrillion BTU's of energy. This includes energy used for transportation, to power factories, light homes and offices, etc. Approximately 83% of that energy came from sources that are polluting and non-renewable: coal, natural gas and oil. Only 17% came from sources that are clean and renewable: biomass, hydro, nuclear, solar and wind.
It is well known that the primary foci of Pres. Obama's upcoming State of the Union Address will be the deficit and the role of government. Republican critics contend that the Obama administration has severely enlarged both the deficit and size of government. To judge the accuracy of these claims, it's useful to look at two data points: first, what are the causes of the deficit, and second how much has the size of government increased.
Cord cutting is a term now being used to describe those who cut their cable TV subscriptions. Cord cutters usually aren't luddites; they still like to watch TV, just through a different medium. Rather than pay $100 a month for a cable TV subscription they'd rather pay $10 a month for Hulu Plus and maybe another $10 for NetFlix OnDemand. These services still allow them to watch popular shows and movies on their TV screens (with a Roku box, PS3 or something else) just at a much lower cost. Most of the current discussion on cord cutting has focused on how it will impact the profitability of cable TV providers like TimeWarner, Comcast, etc. What has been left out is the effect cord cutting may have on athlete compensation.
Now that my 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid is approaching year 7, it's time to start looking at what car to buy next. Wanting to continue my march towards complete independence from all fossil fuels, the next car I purchase has to be either a plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle.
A plug-In hybrid, often referred to as a gas optional vehicle, has a traditional gas engine as well as a large electric motor. Unlike hybrids currently available (Prius, Civic, etc) plug in hybrids drive for 10-40 miles on electricity alone and then seamlessly switch to their gas engine for the remainder of the trip. A pure electric car, EV, only has an electric motor. The range of an electric vehicle (and recharge time) varies model to model.
Prior to September 14th, 2006, Heather was a typical sixteen year old living outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Though she was in foster care, Heather was very much like any other teenager: she enjoyed the usual teenage activities (swimming, volleyball, watching movies), spent time with her friends, and had a strong affection for Chinese food. As she grew older she still dreamed of the day a family would adapt her as one of their own. Heather always knew she would do well in a loving, supportive and stable family environment versus the uncertainty that came with foster care.
Many media outlets have already reported that the new House of Representatives plans to challenge recently enacted policies of the Obama Administration. One of them is the Dodd-Frank Act also known as financial reform. Most Americans are completely unaware of what Dodd-Frank actually is. They hear media sound bites calling it "job-killing", "unconstitutional" and "government intrusive" but no substance on what the bill actually does. To learn the really really behind the legality of Dodd-Frank it's useful to compare to a similar piece of legislation passed 8 years earlier: Sarbanes-Oxley.
As we enter into the year MMXI or 2011 for those who can't read Roman Numerals, it's time to make the obligatory New Years Resolutions. Having never done these in the past (losing 20lbs doesn't have much appeal to me), I've decided to give a whack at it this year.
According to UrbanDictionary.com, a New Years Resolution is an "assessment of, and often delusional attempt to correct, one's shortcomings." Wikipedia gives the more positive definition as a "commitment that an individual makes to a personal goal, project, or the reforming of a habit." Since I'm very fortunate that many of the most common resolutions don't apply well to me, I've decided to make up three of my own.