Monday, November 30, 2009

Wind Power

I came across an article that I found extremely interesting. The article went in depth of how "wind energy" is one of the largest sources of energy at this time. In 2003 wind power made up only 5% of the total U.S. electrical output. In 2003 it increased by 21%, and the DOE reports that wind could contribute 20% of the total U.S. electricity by the year 2030. Around ten years ago only a few states had the equipment for energy. At this time over 34 states have the equipment to generate wind into energy. I thought that this was very cool and it seems to be growing very rapidly at this time. The thing I like the most is that it is extremely earth friendly and a natural energy source..C.Kempton, more info can be found at www.gijobs.com....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Is PDX Going Green?

The people at Portland International Airport are concerned about the environment too. According to this article PDX is moving towards using alternative fuels. "The Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon has become a dedicated user of alternative fuel vehicles in almost every aspect of operation from baggage loading vehicles to shuttle buses, police vehicles, and street maintenance equipment". Alternative fuels like biodiesel play an important role in lowering emission and vehicle longevity.

Go to this blogger post to learn more about what PDX is doing to go green.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

cnet Green Car Buying Guide

Deciding which car to buy can be a hard decision to make. However, if you have fuel efficiency and the environment on your mind when choosing your next set of wheels, you need to check out cnet's Green Car Buying Guide. It gives the reviews of the growing number of alternative-fuel powered cars. It not only shows hybrid cars, but natural gas, fuel cell, hydrogen and concept cars that will come out in the future, just to name a few categories that are featured. This is the direction that we headed in personal transportation. Click here to view this site. -Eric M.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What can I do right now??

I was wondering what someone, who wasn't sure how to start might be able to get motivated to having an impact. While considering what to do, and how to switch to something else, one might be able to reduce impact and save money just by conserving gas. Here's a sight I found on driving tips to conserve fuel.


-Jared J.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What Drives the price for Propane?

I was thinking about Propane and was wondering exactly where it comes from, what it is made of and why is it the price it is currently. I started looking into what influences the price of Propane? It started out that products that are common such as petroleum and others that are unique to Propane. The one important thing to keep in mind is that the Propane gas is easy and for the most part, safe to transport. It serves many different types of equipment, barbecues all the way to producing "Petrochemicals." The cost of Propane in these different consumer categories is influenced by prices of other types of fuels in this market. We also need to remember that where ever this refinery is located and the distance and the quantity ordered plays into the price fluctuation as well.
Propane is produced from crude oil and oil refinery of natural gas. Most of the cost comes from refining the crude oil. But, most of the increase or decrease is based on supply and demand. If it is a colder then normal winter, the prices will rise. If it turns out being a warmer winter then normal, then price lowers. You can find more info on this topic at: EnergyInformationAdministrator or www.energyexplained.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Consumer Survey

Please take this survey and help us evaluate general energy concerns

Is Walking Fuel Free?

While comparing fuels I found an interesting comparison that I had never even considered. Is walking and bicycling truly better for the environment? Does it use less fuel? Produce fewer emissions? Of course I naturally answered yes, very quickly, but I learned I was very wrong.

I found several different websites comparing the amount of fuel used in walking, biking and driving. When walking and cycling I had not considered that the fuel used is the food that was eaten by the person traveling. Not only is this considered a fuel, but I also had to realize that, if it was meat, the animal had eaten fuel (grain and such) before the human ate the animal. There is also the processing and transportation of the animal, which uses more fuels.

“David Pimentel of Cornell University calculates that it takes nearly twice as much fossil energy to produce a typical American diet than a pure vegetarian diet.” (Michael Bluejay) Mr. Pimentel considers the typical American diet one that contains red meats and such – the average American diet. On Bicycleuniverse.info, Michel Bluejay explains that beef requires 200 times more fossil fuel to produce then veggies and grains do. This is because cattle eat 14 times more grain they produce as meat.

Chris Goodall author of ‘How to live a low-carbon life’ estimates that if a human walks 1.5 miles and replace those calories burned with 1 cups of milk the emissions are about equal to a normal car trip.

In the end meat eaters’ use about 200 more gallons of fossil fuels per year then a vegetarian does. In driving terms this equates to 14 extra miles per day.

For more information please visit:

Bicycle universe

NY Times

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hawaii is getting greener


I read an interesting article online about the energy situation in Hawaii. I agree with the author Shermakaye Bass who says that Blue Hawaii needs to go green in order to be energy self-sustaining state.
Currently, Hawaii gets 90 percent of its energy from imported oil, while its isolation makes it vulnerable to frequent power outages.
Price for electricity here is from 25 to 55 cents per kilowatt hour which is - three to five times the national average. Gas prices are the highest in the US..

On the other hand, Hawaii has some of the best wind, some of the best solar, some of the best access to the ocean to use wave power, a lot of waste-biomass, and one of the most volcanic activity to use for geo-thermal power.

All of these sources can and will be used to produce alternative energy for the island, says Kimura, solar-tech pioneer and the founder of clean-energy/eco-friendly Sopogy company. His company recently introduced a new rooftop Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) collector which are
about 30 percent cheaper than traditional solar collectors.
These new solar power collectors represent one of nearly $1 billion in clean energy projects which will be implemented in Hawaii during the next two decades.

The article says that in January 2008, during her State of the State address, Gov. Linda Lingle told constituents she would make energy a priority. Within a few days after her speech, Honolulu had signed the historic Clean Energy Initiative with the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), whereby America’s 50th state would shift from a fossil-fuel driven economy to one that buzzed with power from wind, sun, water (and biofuel and geothermal tech and hydrogen fuel…) by 2030. Specifically, the plan calls for Hawaii to get 70 percent of its power from clean energy – 40 percent from actual renewable power, 30 percent from energy efficiency and consumer conservation.


To read the rest of the article you can go to this website: http://www.greenrightnow.com/kabc/2009/10/28/blue-hawaii-getting-greener-every-day/

-Peter Y.

Small Investments Can Pay Off Big

There are many small things you can do to save money and be environmentally friendlier. These projects are inexpensive (or free) but can make a dent in your home energy bill or reduce your fuel consumption in the long term. Here are 10 of my favorite projects for the home.
These are all easy to do and the materials and instructions are available at most home improvement stores.

1. Wrap your water heater in an insulating cover.
2.Weather strip around your windows and doors.
3.Clean or replace the filters in your furnace or air conditioner as recommended.
4.Set your washing machine temperature to warm or cold.
5.Hang clothes to dry if weather permits.
6.Use a low flow shower head.
7.Run your dishwasher only when full-your washing machine too.
8. Use your microwave rather than the oven when possible.
9.Lower the temperature on your water heater.
10.Insulate your water pipes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Old energy Sources being Destroyed.

I was watching CNN yesterday and came across some interesting news. In the past we have used dams for a source of energy. It was considered the easier way to generate energy. Now, we have other methods of generating this energy such as solar panels, wind mills etc. The average price to maintain these dams per year is roughly 302 million dollars. The dams also mess with natural habitat. I would imagine over the next ten years we will see these dams be blasted with sticks of dynamite one by one. For more information on this subject go to www.cnn.com. C.Kempton

Sunday, November 15, 2009

How much do you know about being energy efficient?

After surfing the web, trying to kill time, I came upon a cool site from National Geographics, which has various quizzes you about different environmental topics and is a very fun way to learn different things about the ways you can save energy and how much energy we are unnecessarily wasting. I only got one question wrong. Go to http://www.thegreenguide.com/quizzes to test and see what you really know about the environment.
-Eric M.

Is Vegetable Oil A Cost Effective Alternative?

Although using vegetable oil as an alternative fuel source is becoming more popular it still has many draw backs and things to improve upon. In the article, "Can I really burn used vegetable oil in my car?", by Ed Grabianowski, answers the question "Is Vegetable Oil Worth the Cost"? The general consensus at this point is no, it is not cost effective. Not only is the oil itself expensive but it is also costly to convert a regular car engine.
The hope is that with more consumers looking for alternative fuel the cost will become more acceptable and cost effective. There are no perfect answers but with education and hard work bio fuels can become a household word.

To read more about cost effectiveness go to this How Stuff Works article.

BioMass: From Waste to Watts.

Chevron over the past years has been trying to find alternative fuel sources. Their goals are intended to find environmentally friendly energy sources. Their newest project is on Biomass which turns trash into biomass which then goes to bio fuel, which then can be used for fuel for transportation. In conclusion, this short and brief reading can help us to understand where the future is intended to go. This invention would take trash out of our cans and then would end up reducing landfill rise, over time. More info on this can be found at none other then www.chevron.com/deliveringenergy/ biofuels/ Author: C. Kempton

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Energy Island?

Wow, I just came across this new idea for extracting energy from alternative sources. “The Energy Island Group is a partnership of experts in marine architecture and engineering, infrastructure, project design and management, applied to all forms of energies available at sea: wind, wave and solar, with a particular interest in Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion” (www.energyisland.com)

Energy Island gathers energy from several natural resources all at once. My favorite part of this concept is that this type of station actually releases cooler temperatures as opposed to warmer ones. This is important nowadays because of the global warming issue. Humans still need to gather energy, but the way we are doing it now is adding to the global warming problem, which doesn’t really help in the future.

There are some small environmental impacts that are being addressed right now. This island draws up water from below are uses the temperatures to convert energy. When this machine draws up water all marine life is filtered out harmlessly except for phytoplankton, which are too small to get filtered. This phytoplankton can still be used for fish farming, but what are they effects of removing all these species? This is under consideration now.

Please check out this video, which explains Energy Island as well as shows some pictures that help you to understand the workings of this project.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last year best for energy efficiency

Last year, 2008, was the best year in the Northwest last year for being energy efficient. According to Northwest Power and Conservation Council, energy usage was cut by an equivalent to 148,000 houses, which is credited mainly to the switching to compact fluorescent lights in households, which contributed to about two-thirds of the reduction.
To view the full article, go to: http://www.kgw.com/environment/stories/kg_103109_green_energy_efficiency.270c78877.html.
-Eric M.

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency

Now is the time to energize your home. A tax credit of up to $1,500 in 2009 and 2010 is available for many energy efficient projects and purchases for existing homes. These tax credits are available for such items as windows, doors, roofs, and water heaters among others. In addition tax credits for 30% of the cost at no upper limit through 2016 are available for new construction and existing homes for projects such as geothermal heat pumps and solar water heaters. Other rebates may be available for the purchase of Energy Star appliance such as air conditioning units. More information will be available on the Energy Star credits in late 2009 and early 2010. In any case, save your receipts! More information is available at http://www.energy.gov/taxbreaks.htm

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ethanol vs Gasoline

There is a lot of different perspectives when it comes to Ethanol and Gasoline. Ethanol is still being looked into as far as how safe it is to our environment in the long run. Ethanol comes from corn which would seem like it would be better for the environment in a whole. Gasoline on the other hand comes from oil which starts out as a crude oil and then is refined into gasoline. The emissions departments through out the country have raised the bar on a part called an catalytic converter which supposed to cut down on the air pollution but , for the long run we do not know for sure. Just a little few for thought. C. Kempton

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What is the Best kind of Wood to Burn?

When the leaves begin to fall shortly after that the temp falls leaving us with a decision to make. How to heat the house? Many of us use wood to fuel our heat source at home. Sometimes we want that hot fire that puts out extreme heat. Other times we just want a cozy fanned fire setting. I did some research on the two types of fires and found out a few tips that I will be using and you may want to check out for your self too. The Oregon State Forrest recommends to use hard wood for those extreme hot fires. The woods in the list consist of oak, ma drone, eucalyptus or walnut. If you are looking for a wood to maintain the heat or just want that romantic fire they suggest to use lighter woods such as pine etc. I hope that this can and will help some of our readers, and remember keep an eye out fore our Web Site coming shortly....C.Kempton......

Food price spike: Is ethanol to blame?

By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: June 27, 2008: 7:46 AM EDT

A devastated corn crop is likely to exacerbate costs at the grocer. Some people are pointing a finger at the ethanol production laws.

Living in a dairy farming community and having owned a dairy farm in the past, I pay attention to the price of milk and feed that is used to produce the milk. Although feed prices have come down somewhat in the last six months, in the year before, beginning in 2008, prices spiked like crazy and it became a hardship to purchase cattle feed.

One of the reasons for the high feed costs is that the price of corn - a staple ingredient in a variety of foods from cereals to cola and the main ingredient in animal feed -was selling above $7.50 a bushel, about 119% above the price from 2007.

In 2008, the rising price of corn fueled a movement to reduce the amount of corn ethanol that was added to American gasoline.

Ethanol's primary component is corn, so demand for the crop has soared since the ethanol standard was enacted in 2005 and increased with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The government passed the legislation in an effort to support the U.S. farm and ethanol industry, to promote cleaner-burning fuels and to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. The backfire of the legislation, was the high price of corn as it became more valuable for fuel than food. Many farmers are barely hanging on as they try to cope with the high feed costs.

To read the entire article, go to http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/27/news/economy/ethanol_food_prices/index.htm

posted by Shelley H

Oil Companies Show Interest in Algae as Fuel

When the oil companies used to be only interested in pumping crude oil from the ground, they are now being heavily invested in using algae as a alternative fuel source. Such companies include Exxon Mobile, which has invested $600 million into this very new tech. Also Indian Oil is teaming up with PetroAlgae to build research facilities, and later, production facilities to harvest this new form of energy. To view the complete article go to:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10391335-54.html?tag=mncol;title.
-Eric M.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Propane VS. Natural Gas

I am sure we have all wondered about the differences between "Propane and Natural Gas?" I have done a little bit of research on the two. The biggest difference I found was one consists of a gas called "Methane" that was the biggest factor in the fundamental capabilities these two can offer you. Natural Gas is the one that consist of Methane and it will only put out 1,012 BTU per cubic foot. The brighter side is the Propane, it gets much hotter doubling the heat in an amazing 2,500 BTU per cubic foot. There is really no comparison in which one is most effective.....C.Kempton 2009.

Renewable Petroleum A Replacement for Crude Oil

I came across a very interesting concept that the company LS9 is developing in the fight for sustainability. Apparently, the acids normally excreted by industrial yeast or nonpathogenic E. coli are only a few molecular stages removed from crude oil. By altering the microorganisms DNA, a process that now only takes weeks and is relatively inexpensive, they excrete renewable petroleum, while feeding on agricultural waste. This product requires much less refining than does crude oil, which is an energy intensive process. Additionally on an environmental note, the process of manufacture is carbon negative, consuming greenhouse gasses rather than emitting them. Theoretically, this could end our dependence on foreign oil, while reducing the cost of gasoline and because the product is interchangeable with oil, a re-engineering of the global infrastructure is unnecessary. LS9 will have a scale plant operating in 2010, while designing a commercial facility to open in 2011.

Learn more about it at Times Online http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4133668.ece

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fuel For Thought

Energy Trust of Oregon in a partnership with Portland General Electric, has created a calendar of events for home owners and those curious about energy savings. Classes and workshops for residential topics are located throughout the Portland area and are generally free to PGE customers (with a small fee for those who aren’t).

This interactive calendar allows users to learn about seminars or workshops that are relevant to them. Among many others listed, the calendar boasts informative lectures on the use and savings associated with solar panels, the hidden electricity costs in one’s home and how to reduce those costs.

If you’re a home-owner, or just curious about how you can save money on electricity this is a good place to start.

http://www.energytrust.org/news-events/calendar-application/

Monday, November 2, 2009

Current Types of Fuels!

There are many types of fuels that are out at this time for one to choose from. It does not matter if you are heating your home, fueling your car, barbecuing or supplying electricity for your home. The main thing is that there is going to be a web site developed by Portland State students that will cover all of these sources in full detail. We will cover all available materials such as, charcoal, coal, corn, electricity, firewood, gasoline, kerosene, natural gas, oil #2 for heating, pellets, propane and wood 15% H20. It seems like a lot of information, but we will sort it all out for you, all you need to do is wait patiently and our site will be up and running soon. The details of this site will include comparing these fuels in there environmentally friendliness, best for your buck, which is best for you and which ones are available according to where you live. Stay tuned for more, it will get exciting!!!!! Thanks C.Kempton

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Most Efficient Ways of Transportation

There is much debate today of what is the best way to get around. We can all walk, but it is not in the cards for most of us. What I mean is, it would be hard to walk the kids to school, grocery shop,and get to work on time. If you have a long commute to work there is no possible way to have enough "energy" you get the point? For some of us, we are able to walk to get to where it is that we need to go. For the ones that this is less realistic, I have a couple of suggestions for the Eco friendly ones. The most efficient type of transportation at this time is the "Electric Car" It is basically powered mostly by electricity and is very nice to our environment! I know that these vehicles are still pretty pricey, but over time it is something that will go down in price. My second alternative for maybe after the kids get dropped off at school is the "good old fashion bicycle" it is probably the most environmentally friendly type of transportation available and it is good for your heart. C.Kempton

The Most "Effcient" Water Heater For You

In this day and age we are all concerned with where our money goes. We all try to make the best buying decisions as possible. Most of us gather our information via sales people, friends, research and our very own instinct. Water heaters come in all shapes and sizes and so due the bills if we are not careful! There are so many choices when it comes to buying anything now days. There are just as many choice when purchasing a water heater. Our questions range from water capacity, watts used, energy efficient, warranty, and Eco friendly "oh" and price. How is one able to get exactly what they are looking for? There are so many tricks and dishonest information out there that it is almost a thing most of us do not like to talk about. Well I am here to tell you that there is a web site that anyone can go to and it has all the true and current information on water heaters. They explain brands, sizes, Eco friendliness, best deals, and it is all to the best of their knowledge. The best part is it is a U.S. Department of energy site. It goes by the title "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.