Open Engineering
Environment and Development.

Energía sin CO2 y Petroleo

Estas páginas tratan del problema de energía, las políticas sobre ello, los planes para una transición energetica, ahorro de energía y energías renovables, y posibles actividades prácticas.

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Energy without the Mess

These pages are about the energy problem, policies to deal with it, plans for an energy transition, energy saving and renewables, and possible practical activities.

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Nuclear Power

The UK government has given the go ahead for the construction of new nuclear power stations. Jump here to see:

"For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program." - Former US Vice President Al Gore.

"Nuclear power is neither the answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for climate change challenges. It requires huge amounts of initial capital, while decommissioning plants is very expensive and costs continue to be incurred long after a power station are closed." - Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet president (quoted in 'Gorbachev puts anti-nuclear case to Blair', The Guardian, Thursday June 8, 2006).

"At least 500,000 people - perhaps more - have already died out of the 2 million people who were officially classed as victims of Chernobyl [nuclear power station] in Ukraine" - Nikolai Omelyanets, deputy head of the National Commission for Radiation Protection in Ukraine. (from The Guardian, March 25, 2006)

Ex-environment minister Michael Meacher told Tony Blair it was "patently untrue" that nuclear power was needed for the UK to meet emissions targets. Mr Meacher said "steady expansion" of renewable energy could allow the UK to meet its greenhouse gases targets. Nuclear power was more expensive than coal and oil, produced dangerous waste and was a terrorist target, he said.

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Solar Power

Solar Energy Potential and Growth: Read why solar electricity generation is now the fastest-growing electricity source, doubling its output every two years, and attracting government and venture capital money on an unprecedented scale.

Google Goes Solar Google is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy technologies with the aim of making green energy sources of electricity cheaper than that produced from coal. Initially it will focus on solar thermal power, wind power and enhanced geothermal systems. Google it!

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Wind Power

Denmark aims to generate 50% of its electricity from wind by 2025. It's already almost at 25%.

Germany had about 21GW of installed wind power capacity in 2006 (generated by about 18,000 turbines); it has been adding 2GW every year since 2000. This compares to about 11GW of nuclear capacity in the UK (2008). Note that the capacity of a wind turbine is the maximum it can produce in the strongest winds it is designed to operate in - as wind speeds fluctuate, turbines typically generate about 30% of this maximum per year. Nuclear stations have a higher capacity factor because they are not capturing a fluctuating natural resource - they do however suffer breakdowns and require maintenance: typical capacity factors for nuclear are 70% to 80%. Thus actual electricity generated by Germany's wind turbines has not yet overtaken that generated by UK nuclear plants ... but it will do so in about 3 years time.

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Open Engineering

Many people will have heard of 'Open Source' software. Source Code is specification the programmer wrote from which the software package was generated; it is not normally supplied with commercial software because vendors would be giving away their design secrets. Having the source code as well as the software package allows other programmers to modify the software if they want to. Open Source software is made available free on the condition that if you improve it you publish your improvements.

Could 'DIY' technical designs and information in fields such as engineering and agriculture be made freely available and evaluated by users, in a similar way to open source software?

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Humanity's Worst Predator

Cars kill over 3 million people a year, consume almost 13 hours of our time every week and cost us a small fortune - for the UK it's about £130 billion a year. Read more about our most dangerous predator and what we could do with the money if we spent it on something else.

Cycle Freeway

A serious investment in tracks for our most environmentally friendly and efficient private vehicle, halves the travel time for typical city suburb to city centre journeys.


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