Renewables

  • Are Biofuels Crops Sustainable? Featured Article Are Biofuels Crops Sustainable? Are Biofuels Crops Sustainable?

    A Sustained Effort New crops produce biofuels, but are they sustainable? Established in 2007, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Bioenergy Science Center (BESC)... More »

Recently Updated
Photovoltaics Last Updated on 2014-06-10 18:44:01 In recent decades the imminence of an energy crisis has become a common discussion topic. We will eventually deplete all fossil fuels that can be economically extracted.[1] Depletion is not the only issue involved in the use of fossil fuels; the combustion process releases carbon dioxide which can or is changing global climate. Fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, are the most common energy sources used today. When combusted to create energy, these fuels release large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. These emissions cause a warming effect on the planet. The exact results of this warming are not certain, but most predictions verge on the catastrophic. In order to curb this warming effect and free ourselves from fossil fuel use, we must reduce, and ultimately replace, them as an energy source. One promising renewable energy source involves capturing... More »
Bioenergy: Chances and Limits Last Updated on 2012-07-26 10:38:28 This report from the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has come to the conclusion that in quantitative terms, bioenergy plays a minor role in the transition to renewable, sustainable energy sources in Germany at the present time and probably into the future. Bioenergy – Chances and Limits The Leopoldina’s statement “Bioenergy – Chances and Limits” [Bioenergie: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen] provides a comprehensive analysis of the use of bioenergy.  It was compiled by a working group of more than 20 expert scientists established in 2010 and outlines under which conditions the utilization of bioenergy is appropriate. In recent years Germany has seen a steady rise in the number of energy crops being cultivated for the production of biofuels and biogas. Because bioenergy is so versatile and easy to store, the German... More »
Night-warming effect over large wind farms Last Updated on 2012-05-01 00:00:00 Study indicates that land surface temperatures have warmed in the vicinity of large wind farms in west-central Texas, especially at night, Scientists Find Night-Warming Effect Over Large Wind Farms in Texas Wind turbines interact with atmospheric boundary layer near the surface Large wind farms in certain areas in the United States appear to affect local land surface temperatures, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study, led by Liming Zhou, an atmospheric scientist at the State University of New York- (SUNY) Albany, provides insights about the possible effects of wind farms. The results could be important for developing efficient adaptation and management strategies to ensure long-term sustainability of wind power. "This study indicates that land surface temperatures have warmed in the vicinity of large wind farms in... More »
Are Biofuels Crops Sustainable? Last Updated on 2011-02-09 00:00:00 A Sustained Effort New crops produce biofuels, but are they sustainable? Established in 2007, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Bioenergy Science Center (BESC) could be viewed as the heir to decades of innovative environmental research at the laboratory. The first environmental studies at ORNL were conducted in the 1950s. Over the past three decades, researchers developed a comprehensive portfolio of research data from their studies of biofeedstock options and dedicated bioenergy crops. Today the center has more than 80 staff members working on diverse aspects of bioenergy, including systems biology, transportation analysis, and the impact of various bioenergy options on the environment. Their work provides a significant contribution to national and international policy debates. Among the most notable examples of these contributions is the "Billion Ton Study," a... More »