Renewable Energy Page
Energy - too precious to burn!
Power to the People - when the oil "runs out" or gets very expensive corporate power and globalisation will also end!
visit Oil Depletion Protocol
Common Sources of Renewable Energy
- Biodiesel (the rest of this site is very informative, including http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_yield.html),
With the current interest in biodiesel from microalgae here is a brief introduction.
One thing to keep in mind when considering both biodiesel and ethanol (or any other renewable energy) is the energy used in processing and distribution. As each conversion and process requires energy (it is never 100% efficient) would it actually be better to use the energy in its original form (for some other purpose) rather than converting it into something convenient for transport?
- Biomass (very good links page as well), see also the National Bioenergy Atlas and a Stoves site from Nepal or a gasification/pyrolysis site. There is also WasteWatts.
- Solar (Beasley Hot Water Systems provide some comercial information or see DIY Solar Panels For Your Home | How to Build Solar Panels - DIYGreenEnergyForHomes.com)
I think biogas and producer gas are best used directly for cooking/heating, light or even absorption refrigeration rather than the complication and energy waste of trying to make electricity from gas. You can also run pumps and equipment off a gas powered engine rather than using electricity.
If you really need electricity then solar cells, wind powered generators or micro hydro units are probably much better than running a generator on biogas or using fuel cells. Remember that every energy conversion wastes energy, a typical engine is only about 20-30% efficient and electric motors/generators are typically 70-80% efficient.
For transport energy we really need liquid fuels (to avoid the energy waste of compressing gas), but we cannot grow/make enough biodiesel or ethanol to run the number of trucks/cars we do now (and using current techniques there may be more energy spent making a litre of either than the resulting litre actually contains!).
You may like to look at the "Renewable Energy Spreadsheet" .
Here are some simple (and mainly cheap!) home projects.
- Energy SA
- Australian Greenhouse Office
- Securing Australias Energy Future - Federal Government White Paper
- FACT Foundation
- Combustion and Biofuels
- Bruce Robinson Paper
- "The End of Suburbia" (documentary)
- "Waiting for the lights to go out" (essay)
- Seminar Presentation
Alan Durning - The Changing World View
Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders - Eating up the Earth: How Sustainable Food Systems Shrink our Ecological Footprint
Redefining Progress - Ecological Footprints of Nations 2002, 2004 issue
Life After the Oil Crash
Are we running out of oil? by Les Magoon
Stout, B.A., "Energy for World Agriculture", FAO Agriculture Series No. 7, 1979
Pimental, D., "Handbook of Energy Utilization in Agriculture", CRC Press, 1980
Varma, Ajit and Bassant, Behera, "Green Energy - Biomass Processing and Technology", Capital Publishing Company, 2003
Bassam, N. El, and Maegaard, P.,"Integrated Renewable Energy for Rural Communities", Elsevier, 2004
Provided as a service, this is not an endorsement!