We also reported on a Stanford University study that calculated that there's enough wind near shore and over land combined to produce at least half the world's power demand by 2030, using what the researchers say is the most sophisticated climate model ever created.
As the installed base of turbines has grown, manufacturers view operation and maintenance services as an increasingly important revenue stream. That's been especially true during the industry’s current slowdown. One reason for the contract price drops has been better service performance of the turbines themselves. Another is more competitive bidding among turbine manufacturers for service contracts. It's interesting to note that the period covered by the analysis coincides approximately with the worldwide financial downturn, which put the brakes on growth in many industries and heated up competition.
One reflection of turbines' improved performance and improvements in wind farm management is the fact that the contracts' average availability guarantees reached 96.9 percent. The report noted that such guarantees for actual energy production are becoming more common.
The participants in this first Operations and Maintenance Price Index expect contract pricing to remain relatively stable until at least 2015, according to the report. The most competitive pricing of all markets occurred in the US.
In the future, the Index will be updated twice a year.
These are interesting questions, Old_Curmudgeon. As for fracking, the procedure is being used for both oil and gas. And I've also heard about the old oil wells replenishing. In looking at the stories on this, nobody seems to know why old wells have replenished.
...and also the laws of thermodynamics, that in essence state that conversion from one form to another is always less than 100% efficient. Further, entropy (the measure of all that UNRECOVERABLE heat energy lost in the conversion) MUST increase IN A CLOSED SYSTEM over time. A lot of the nonsense stated in these fora ignores these facts, especially the "closed system" one.
Mr. Dyson, my post was supposed to make all aware of some areas that have to be included in analyses IF they are intended to be rigorous and SCIENTIFIC. I was NOT stating these were invalidators of any proposals, only that you cannot afford to ignore ANYTHING in an honest evaluation of them! For centuries, the untrained have postulated all sorts of "perpetual motion" mechanisms that simply don't stand up to the rigor of the "closed system" analysis.
Fracking or fracturing and expanding the microcracks in the rock within an oil deposit using high-pressure steam has been used for years. It has also been used in expanding the cracks in water wells using dry-ice to increase yield. I'm not sure I'm in support of fracking in Washington as they already seem separated enough. Perhaps the application of some glue would help. The aspect of fracking we're hearing so much about today involves the injection of chemicals that dilute the thick oil and those chemicals might get into the water table. Luckily we no longer need deal with the NIMBY crowd as they have been replaced by the BANANA (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything) crowd, apparently they've expanded their horizons.
This information about "fracking" is not something that I researched myself. However, I DID hear a comment very recently regarding this technology, and the person making that comment stated unequivocally that it dates back approx. 60 years. Now, maybe it is that your thought is correct, when oil was $20 bbl, it was economically unfeasible to invest in that technology, BUT now that it hovers around $100/bbl., it HAS become the technology du jour! Also, I'm NOT sure about the ultimate goal of fracking ...... is it to obtain heretofore unrecoverable oil reserves, OR is it to obtain natural gas reserves?
One final thought which I also heard in the last few days regarding petroleum supplies. It seems that investigators (exactly WHO these people are I don't know) have uncapped some very old domestic wells spread throughout the Texas / Oklahoma region, which were previously declared "empty", and have found that they are now averaging about ONE HALF FULL again!! So, WHAT does that mean? Is the global oil reserves really a result of eons of decayed dinosaurs, flora, etc., OR is it a naturally replenishing resource from all the modern decayed flora & fauna? Personally I have NO opinion since I am very unknowledgeable in the minutiae of this field, BUT it may be something for the philosophers amongst us to contemplate on a deep level.
Old_Curmudgeon, I'm one of those who was under the impression that fracking was new. If it's been around so long, why has it not been used? Let me guess: when oil was $20 dollars per barrel, fracking wasn't worth the trouble.
At least YOU did see the humour in my post. I was shocked to read so many of the newer ones that kept to the main topic without comment of my sarcasm. Only one other blogger referenced my note.
To me the saddest part of this "energy problem" is that fracking has been a technology in use for the better part of SIXTY years. To read the current news reports or listen to the items on the news programs, one would think that the industry just invented this technology yesterday, which proves how the mass media's into a debate CAN & DOES influence the discussion& outcome.
Finally, ALL of these discussions of "energy" NEVER consider one very basic Law of Physics, which, if I'm NOT mistaken was authored by MADONNA (or maybe Lindsey Lohan??) .........
"ENERGY CAN NOT BE CREATED OR DESTROYED. It can only be changed from one form to another."
Often farms are being bought by investers who hope to own the land for a few years and sell it off, or by families who's parents farmed and then are waiting to sell the land when the markets at its peak. Either way people are not always ready to put windmills on the land because they fear it might decrease the value.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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