energy

King County has been working on different recycling products for Loop, aka waste treatment biosolids. One Seattle startup thinks biofuel is the answer.
Screen shot from YouTube/Loop biosolids

A Seattle startup hopes that in the near future, every time you flush your toilet you help power your car.

Vitruvian Energy has developed technology that turns biosolids – the dirt-like material left over once sewage has been treated at a plant and the inert water returned to the watershed – into biofuel. Right now the company is crowdfunding to launch their fuel locally.

It takes about 53 pounds of biosolids to make a gallon of EEB, Vitruvian’s biofuel. The biosolids are run through a series of biological and chemical steps to go from a dirt-like material to a clear liquid that has a sweet smell.

Flickr Photo/xxxtoff (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Vaughn Palmer, columnist for the Vancouver Sun, about the return of Avian flu to British Columbia. They also discuss the legal battles of anti-oil pipeline demonstrators.

Ross Reynolds talks with Vaughn Palmer, columnist for the Vancouver Sun, about protests over oil pipelines in Canada, and international Thanksgiving travel.

Canadians Cope With Crushed Keystone XL Dreams

Nov 19, 2014
Protesters of the Keystone Pipeline in San Francisco, Calif., in November 2013.
Flickr Photo/Enviros (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Vaughn Palmer, columnist for the Vancouver Sun, about Canadians' response to the United States Senate's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and the results of the Vancouver, B.C. mayoral race.

Two IAEA experts examine recovery work on top of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in April 2013.
Flickr Photo/IAEA Imagebank (CC-BY-NC-ND)

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami crippled Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Physician and anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott calls into question reporting about that event and its aftermath. Her frank assessment of the people who control nuclear power: “Don’t believe anything the nuclear industry says, because they lie.”

What are the effects of the Fukushima meltdowns? In 2013, in response to concerns that media and policy makers were ignoring the impacts, a panel of scientists, engineers and policy experts met in New York to review the aftermath of the disaster. 

A little-known fact about Columbia River dams is that a valuable chunk of the power generated on the U.S. side goes to Canada under an international treaty.

Bats May Mistake Wind Turbines For Trees, Study Warns

Oct 3, 2014

An unprecedented number of bats are being killed by wind turbine blades. A new report has found bats may be mistaking wind turbines for trees.

Bats are often looking for a place to roost when the moon is bright and winds are low. That’s when the conditions can be the deadliest for bats flying near wind turbines.

A long-awaited tidal energy project in Puget Sound has come to halt. The project was set to generate electricity and connect it to the grid – the first project of its kind in the world. But it just got too expensive.

The Snohomish County Public Utility District had hoped to install two underwater turbines in Admiralty Inlet near Puget Sound’s Whidbey Island. The pilot turbines would have generated enough power for about 200 homes and stayed in the water up to five years.

The U.S. Department of Energy says the Bonneville Power Administration can be in charge of hiring new employees again.

Why The Northwest Is the New Frontier For Geothermal Energy

Sep 29, 2014

PORTLAND -- The Geothermal Energy Association chose to hold its annual meeting in Portland this year, and leaders say that's in part because they see the Pacific Northwest as a new frontier for the industry.

The coast has generally been considered the area of the Northwest most at risk for a catastrophic oil spill. But the rise in oil moving through the region by rail has raised the stakes for some inland areas.

A new report by public safety agencies highlights several weaknesses in Seattle's ability to respond to an oil train accident.

The report to the Seattle City Council was complied by the Seattle Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management.

At the top of the report's list of concerns: the 100 year old tunnel that runs through the middle of downtown Seattle. The report said that the lack of safety systems in the Great Northern tunnel will present significant challenges to first responders.

Flickr Photo/James St. John (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Susan Petty, president and chief technology officer at Altarock, about the prospects for geothermal energy.

Northwest Researchers Work To Boost Geothermal Power

Aug 25, 2014

There’s been a lot of hype around geothermal power, which uses heat from the below the earth’s surface to provide a steady, renewable source of energy. But the sector has been slow to take off, even though the U.S. is the world's top producer of geothermal energy.

With help from federal grants, several Northwest researchers are hoping to push the technology forward.

Courtesy of Gordon Janz

The U.S. Department of Justice has closed its four-year criminal investigation into whether environmental and worker safety laws were broken leading up to the fatal Tesoro refinery blast.

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