The Renewable Energy Renaissance

The real Renaissance is in renewable energy whose sources could meet 25% of the nation's energy needs by 2025. Renewable technologies can help restore political and economic stability as well as save money…and the planet.



America's First Offshore Wind Farm May Power Up a New Industry

Two of the project’s wind turbines, about three miles away, can be seen from shore on Block Island, but island residents have been largely supportive. Credit Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times As reported by Justin Gillis in the New York Times, the Block Island wind power development off of the Rhode Island coastline may be but a small beginning to what could grow into a major renewable energy industry in the U.S., as it has in Europe.

Beyond Nuclear raised offshore wind as an alternative to 20 more years of nuclear power at Seabrook, NH license extension proceeding. The Gulf of Maine has some 5,000 Megawatts-electric of offshore wind power potential, several times more than the Seabrook atomic reactor generates. But the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was not interested to hear about it. Nor did the courts require NRC to examine such alternatives when Beyond Nuclear raised a legal appeal under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Beyond Nuclear also raised offshore, and on shore, wind power as an alternative to 20 more years at Davis-Besse in Ohio (Lake Erie has significant offshore wind power potential). But again, NRC refused to examine it, despite its NEPA obligations to do so.

In both proceedings, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board panel voted to grant an evidentiary hearing on the wind power alternative to 20-year atomic reactor license extensions. But the nuclear utilities appealed those rulings to the NRC Commission itself, which then overturned the ASLB rulings, in the companies' favor. An appeal by Beyond Nuclear et al., at the Boston U.S. Court of Appeals, was rejected.


New Study Shows How Clinging to Nuclear Power Means Climate Failure

A sign held at an anti-nuclear demonstration in Germany. (Photo: Michaela/flickr/cc)An article by Andrea Germanos, subtitled "By suppressing better ways to meet climate goals, evidence suggests entrenched commitments to nuclear power may actually be counterproductive," has just been published at Common Dreams.

It reports:

The researchers found that "progress in both carbon emissions reduction and in adoption of renewables appears to be inversely related to the strength of continuing nuclear commitments." (emphasis added)

..."Looked at on its own, nuclear power is sometimes noisily propounded as an attractive response to climate change," said Andy Stirling, professor of science and technology policy at the University of Sussex, in a media statement. "Yet if alternative options are rigorously compared, questions are raised about cost-effectiveness, timeliness, safety, and security."

"Looking in detail at historic trends and current patterns in Europe, this paper substantiates further doubts," he continued. "By suppressing better ways to meet climate goals, evidence suggests entrenched commitments to nuclear power may actually be counterproductive," he said.


How wind turbines work

An interesting info-graphic from SaveOnEnergy, explains how wind turbines work, who uses them and the jobs wind energy provides.  More here.


UK solar expert, Prof. Keith Barnham, to speak in Takoma Park

At the invitation of Beyond Nuclear, Professor Keith Barnham, a U.K. solar expert, will give a talk in Takoma Park on Thursday, July 21st 7-9pm at the community center at city hall. For more information, please see our flier.

Could the rooftops of our homes generate unlimited supplies of solar fuel from sunlight and carbon dioxide?

How can the example of Takoma Park help lead a nationwide renewable energy revolution?

What can we learn from renewable energy policies and programs in Europe that could apply here?

Why will closing nuclear plants lead to more renewable energy and not more fossil fuels?

Keith Barnham, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Distinguished Research Fellow from Imperial College London, England, will discuss these questions and other ground-breaking steps toward a 100% renewable energy economy.

Learn about the “artificial leaf”; about solar cells with three times the efficiency of today’s rooftop panels (developed by Barnham’s research group); and about the GIFTS campaign (Get It From The Sun) now underway in the U.K. 

Barnham’s talk will include questions from and discussions with the audience.  Barnham is the author of The Burning Answer: the Solar Revolution, a Quest for Sustainable Power.  Copies of the book will be on sale and signed by the author. More about Barnham's work.


Solar-energized Juno to arrive at Jupiter on Independence Day

NASA Juno Spacecraft graphic, showing the three large solar panels providing it power, with Jupiter pictured in the backgroundInvestigative journalist Karl Grossman has been watch-dogging nukes in space since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

As Grossman relates in his latest article, "Solar-energized Juno to arrive at Jupiter on Independence Day":

I broke the story 30 years ago about how the next mission of NASA’s ill-fated Challenger shuttle was to involve lofting a plutonium-powered space probe and I have been reporting in articles, books and on television on the nuclear-in-space issue ever since.

Grossman conveys the breakthrough Juno's well timed arrival at Jupiter (July 4th -- America's Independence Day) represents, showing that solar can power not just satellites orbiting Earth, and Mars missions, but also deep space missions. More.