Word to Your Mother E

helping family relations since 2008

Do it in the dark October 29, 2008

Filed under: Renewable Energy — Katie @ 8:11 pm
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.. or rather, use less electricity at least.

UT

 Do it in the Dark is the campaign slogan for the Campus Environmental Center’s  Energy Challenge Month at the University of Texas.  The campaign will take place during the entire month of November and is asking students around campus to do their part to cut down on their electricity usage throughout the month. 

A few tips to cutting back: make sure to turn off lights when you’re not in a room, unplug electronics that aren’t in use and now that the weather’s cooler, it shouldn’t be too big a sacrifice to turn down A/C. 

Students can take the Bleed Orange, Think Green energy pledge, and by signing up, the Campus Environmental Center will email tips for green living every month. 

Dorms and cooperative housing units that cut their usage down the most compared to previous months will actually receive a cash prize.

 

Man with a Plan October 24, 2008

Filed under: Politics,Renewable Energy — Katie @ 6:39 pm
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Pickens plans to use more environmentally friendly resources.

Pickens plans to use more environmentally friendly resources.

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens has a proposition for America, and he’s looking for public support to back his Pickens Plan to decrease our dependency on foreign oil.  The man wants American private industries to invest a trillion dollars in establishing wind turbines around the country to use for power generation in our homes and businesses.  Oil currently used on power generation can then be used solely for transportation purposes.. fueling our cars, trucks, scooters, whatever. Pickens estimates that this plan could save the U.S. $300 billion that we annually spend on foreign oil, meaning the plan would pay for itself in about three and a half years, and says that, with the right leadership, we could expect this to successfully take off within a decade.  The plan has merits – wind energy and a focus on using natural gas instead of oil to fuel our vehicles would significantly decrease the amount of carbon emissions in the air.  But, it’s important to note that full carbon reduction potential isn’t Pickens’ goal… his main proposal is to decrease our dependency on foreign oil.  His plan has been endorsed by Carl Pope, the executive director of the Sierra Club, who says that “to put it plainly, Pickens is out to save America.” Presidential candidate Barack Obama has also said he supports parts of Pickens’ plan.  PIckens will need to garner enough political support for his plan to get passed in Congress before it becomes a reality.  Check out his site or watch the video below and decide for yourself.  

 

Blowin’ in the wind October 6, 2008

 

Texas is leading the United States in renewable wind energy.

Texas is leading the United States in renewable wind energy.

For centuries people have been using the power of wind to help with daily tasks, but now as alternative energies are more important than ever, it’s time to take wind to the next level. 

 

The United States has had the fastest growing wind power market in the world for the past three years, and Texas leads the country in terms of wind energy potential – the State Energy Conservation Office says our state accounts for close to one-third of the nation’s total installed wind capacity. 

While intermittent windiness may be an issue, wind energy is renewable, easily accessible, clean and reduces toxic emissions by replacing other fossil-fueled forms of generating electricity.

Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, near Taylor, TX, holds the world record for the world’s largest wind farm at just over 47,000 acres.  A wind farm is just a bunch of turbines in one location used to generate electricity, and Horse Hollow actually produces at 735.5 megawatt capacity. 

Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory estimates that wind energy could produce about 20% of the nation’s electricity needs, especially considering the wide range of U.S. states that have wind potential, and the U.S. Department of Energy predicts that world cooperation could fuel enough wind energy to surpass our demand 15 times!  

The American Wind Energy Association gives a few examples of factors that are needed for wind to reach its full potential in the U.S. – consistent policy support, nondiscriminatory access to transmission lines (between electric companies and turbines) and new transmission lines.  

Wind energy already produces 25% of the electricity in the state of Schleswig Holstein in Germany, and almost 100% of the energy in Denmark over the winter.  It’s time to stop talking about our wind potential and actually start producing.  Help spread the wind word to others, and please keep wind as an alternative energy source in mind when you vote in November.