IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ: Ecopolitology has moved to a new host and a new domain. Please adjust your bookmarks and be sure to check out the beautiful new ecopolitology 2.0 theme by pointing your browser to, or by following this link.

June 30, 2008

EIA Predicts 50% Increase in World Energy Use by 2030

World marketed energy consumption is projected to increase by 50 percent from 2005 to 2030, according to a new report from the United States Energy Information Agency. Total energy demand in non-OECD countries is projected to increase by 95 percent, while OECD countries are expected to increase consumption by 24 percent.

read more | digg story

June 28, 2008

Cooling Data Centers Could Prevent Massive Electrical Waste

It is estimated that the data storage sector consumed about 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006 (1.5 percent of the U.S. total, or more than the electricity consumed by the nation's color televisions and similar to the amount of electricity consumed by approximately 5.8 million average U.S. households. These numbers are only expected to grow.

read more | digg story

June 24, 2008

Home Depot Launches Massive Recycling Program for CFLs

Home Depot will now accept old compact fluorescent light bulbs at all 1,973 of its stores. The move will create the nation’s most widespread recycling program for CFLs, which contain small amounts of mercury.

read more | digg story

June 21, 2008

Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines: The Future of Micro Wind?

Walking the floor of WINDPOWER 2008, the annual conference and trade show for the wind energy industry, one couldn’t help but be transfixed by all of the different types of turbines - at least I couldn’t. The wind turbine has become the iconic symbol of clean, renewable energy. But the classic three-bladed turbine horizontal axis wind turbine, with it's gracefully swooping blades is hardly the only design out there. In fact, the vertical-axis wind turbine is making quite a splash in the world of small and micro wind. Requiring less space and no towers, the vertical axis turbine will undoubtedly become a regular part of clean energy landscapes in the future.

read more | digg story

June 20, 2008

Clean-Energy Tea Leaves Show Choppy Growth

Forecasts for clean-technology adoption all point upward these days, buoyed by high double digits growth rates in sectors like wind and solar power over the past several years. But economic and policy problems have placed a few potholes in front of the fast-growing clean-technology business.

read more | digg story

June 18, 2008

McCain Calls for More Offshore Drilling: When in Houston, right?

Despite the fact that he supported a moratorium on offshore drilling during his previous run for the White House and he has opposed opening up drilling in the past, McCain called for lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling yesterday in Houston. But what did you expect he would say in Houston?

read more | digg story

June 11, 2008

Republicans Block Windfall Profits Tax on Big Oil Companies

With gasoline prices topping $4 a gallon, Senate Democrats wanted the U.S. government to throttle back on the billions of dollars in profits being taken in by the major oil companies. But with the White House threatening a veto of the bill, the Senate voted 51-43 to close debate, well shy of the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.

read more | digg story

June 2, 2008

Windpower 2008: A Texas-Sized Conference

My first day at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA)** annual conference and exhibition in Houston has given me one more nugget of evidence that things are just a little bigger in Texas. WINDPOWER 2008 is expected to draw over 10,000 attendees over the course of the four-day event - up from 7,000 attendees at the 2007 event in Los Angeles.

The massive 1/4 mile long exhibition floor at the George R. Brown Convention Center includes displays from some 770 exhibitors, ranging from wind turbine, and component manufacturers, to wind energy financiers, wind farm siting professionals, and construction/maintenace equipment vendors (to name just a few). 

The activity on the floor of the exhibition hall is only a part of WINDPOWER 2008 as the conference program will feature 300 speakers and moderators, 150 poster presentations, and over 50 panel sessions. The panel topics are organized into six daily tracks: Finance, Wind Power Growth, Resource Assesment, Key Issues, Wind at the Epicenter, and my personal favorite, Policy.

It is plainly clear to myself, and anyone attending this year's event in Houston, that wind energy is big business - a far cry from the days where wind energy was seen as a fringe power source only being harness by a few rural landowners and aging off-grid hippies. 

It seems fitting that AWEA's biggest conference to date takes place in here in Texas. Why? Texas has installed more wind energy and is planning more transmission infrastructure in the U.S. than any other U.S. state. Add to that, Houston's position as a leader in the oil and gas industry, and you have what seems like a good fit. I just wish it wasn't so humid.

It is quite clear to me, and anyone else attending this year's event in Houston that wind energy is big business - a far cry from the days where it was seen as a fringe power source only being harnessed by a few rural landowners and aging off-grid hippies. Wind energy has finally come of age. 

Stay tuned to ecopolitology and Green Options for more conference updates throughout the week.

**Very special thanks to the folks at AWEA for their generous support, which has afforded me the opportunity to attend this excellent event and report back to you all about all of the goings on.