The Science of Sustainability

Tag: power

What Makes Us Conserve Energy? 6 Lessons from the Smart Grid

What Makes Us Conserve Energy? 6 Lessons from the Smart Grid

Smart meters are providing consumers with hourly and daily energy use information. But does it inspire conservation?

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Resolving Clouds in Climate Change Models

Resolving Clouds in Climate Change Models

As supercomputers grow, so does their energy appetite. Researchers are trying to solve that problem by using a smaller, more pervasive technology.

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Supercomputers Hit an Energy Wall

Supercomputers Hit an Energy Wall

As supercomputers grow, so does their energy appetite. Researchers are trying to solve that problem by using a smaller, more pervasive technology.

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Editor's Notes: Race for Renewables

Editor's Notes: Race for Renewables

Where did California go wrong? And as other states try to learn from its lessons, does the Golden State have any hope of reaching its next ambitious target – 33 percent renewable by 2020?

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Reporter's Notes: Building an Artificial Leaf

Reporter's Notes: Building an Artificial Leaf

When I began this story, it seemed pretty simple. I'd heard that scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab were working to mimic photosynthesis and create a man-made version of the process that could supply us with renewable energy.

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Top Ten Energy and Water Efficiency Tax Credits and Rebates

Top Ten Energy and Water Efficiency Tax Credits and Rebates

It's a good time to get energy efficient at home, what with a down economy and efforts by federal, state and local governments, and utilities to decrease our overall energy use and create a new, more secure, green economy.

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Is Your House Haunted by Electronic Vampires?

Is Your House Haunted by Electronic Vampires?

When it comes to climate, the inside and the outside of Bay Area homes are pretty much the same for most of the year. But there are other energy vampires beyond heating and cooling in California homes that threaten to drain your wallet.

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Producer's Notes – Climate Watch: Unlocking the Grid

Producer's Notes – Climate Watch: Unlocking the Grid

Last summer I visited the Netherlands, the original home of the windmill. Surprisingly, I saw hardly any of the quaint structures we associate with Dutch wind power. One hundred years ago Holland had about 10,000 wooden windmills dotting its landscape. Today, barely 10% remain.

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Are Power Towers the Future of Solar Energy?

Are Power Towers the Future of Solar Energy?

Southern California's Antelope Valley is famous for its desert blooms of California poppies, but has recently become the home of one of the most aesthetically striking new designs in alternative energy.

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Reporter's Notes: Do We Need Nuclear?

Reporter's Notes: Do We Need Nuclear?

More people appear to be saying "yes" these days, even if grudgingly. The question is: Is it too late?

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Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 1

Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 1

When it comes to renewable power, California has had one main message: bring on the solar power, bring on the wind turbines! California and the country are heading fast towards a clean energy future. But renewables aren't perfect.

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Reporter's Notes: Smart Grid at Home

Reporter's Notes: Smart Grid at Home

I've never paid much attention to my electric meter. For most of us, it's just that box on the side of the house with a small white disk spinning inside, keeping track of our energy use. But over the next three years, all the meters for PG&E customers will be getting a major upgrade to a new, digital SmartMeter.

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Reporter's Notes: Big Solar on the Ballot

Reporter's Notes: Big Solar on the Ballot

Proposition 7 is one of the green propositions– in more ways than one. The amount of cash that's being spent on this so-called Big Solar initiative is prodigious. It is one of the most expensive measures on the ballot.

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A fishy odyssey through the delta

A fishy odyssey through the delta

Talk about a wild ride. Every year, millions of fish make a strange and harrowing detour through the Skinner Fish Facility, part of the State Water Project's facilities in the Delta. In my last post, I wrote about my visit to the Banks Pumping Plant, whose giant pumps slurp water from the Delta to help […]

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Reporter's Notes: Who Will Revive the Electric Car?

Reporter's Notes: Who Will Revive the Electric Car?

One of the best parts of working on this story was stumbling upon a subculture of electric car fanatics, like Darell Dickey, many of whom drive incredibly rare, full-size all-electric cars that were available for a blink of an eye in the late '90s and early 2000s. There are just hundreds of these cars left […]

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Where Water Runs Uphill

Where Water Runs Uphill

Harvey O. Banks Pumping PlantI'm standing in the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant, part of the State Water Project (SWP), looking at a set of huge pumps that slurp water from the Delta and hoist it 244 feet to the mouth of the California Aqueduct. The sensation is a little akin to the how I […]

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Have sewage, will travel

Have sewage, will travel

Unless our sewage happens to end up in the Bay and in the headlines, most of us probably never give a second thought to where our wastewater is headed each time we run the tap or flush the toilet. To learn more about the travels of sewage, I took a tour of the Las Gallinas […]

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