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Oregon Tech Powers Up Geothermal Plant on Campus

campusCollege students have long been at the forefront of political and environmental change. The bright young minds at the Oregon Institute of Technology are no different, demanding sustainability efforts put into place by their school.

The Oregon Tech administration finally complied, accommodating their students’ wishes by outlining a plan to build a $7.6 million geothermal power plant on campus.

The plant will become the sole power source for the school in a few years, making Oregon Tech the only university to be powered completely by geothermal energy.

Since Klamath Falls, the home of Oregon Tech, sits near a fault line, heat and energy can be easily extracted from the earth.

In addition, the city of Klamath Falls operates a geothermal heating utility, using the energy to heat buildings, melt snow on the streets, and more.

Read more from cleantechnica.com

July 13, 2009 Posted by | Alternative Energy, Clean Tech, Geothermal, renewable energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of Geothermal Energy

geothermalEverybody knows about Wind and Solar Power as alternative energy, but there is a new kid on the block: Geothermal Power.

When a historic seminary in the heart of Manhattan went searching for a way to cut its energy costs in an environmentally friendly way, it didn’t turn to the heavens for sun or wind power but sought salvation in an unlikely direction for a religious institution. It looked underground.

Tapping the energy stored in the Earth, The General Theological Seminary plans to construct the largest geothermal project on the East Coast; large enough to supply water to heat and cool the seminary’s 275,000 square feet of space.

Currently, geothermal power accounts for only half a percent of the nation’s energy generation, but that is likely to double in the next few years with 103 new plants under construction. The Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that if all the heat trapped up to 2 miles under the U.S. were tapped, it could generate enough electricity to meet all of the country’s power needs for 30,000 years.

Read more in the Chicago Tribune online.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Alternative Energy, Climate Change, Geothermal, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting the Sahara Desert to Work

csp-ed01If just 0.3% of the Sahara Desert was used as a concentrating solar plant, it would produce enough clean power to provide all of Europe with clean renewable energy. That is why 20 German companies are gathering next month to discuss plans and investments to carry out a 400 billion-Euro project proposed by the Desertec Foundation, to erect 100 GW of concentrating solar power plants throughout North Africa.

Instead of constructing the entire project in just one location, Desertec plans to scatter the plants throughout several politically stable countries. The power generated would be transported over high-voltage DC lines across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, where it would supply 15% of the energy demand.

Along with providing clean energy, this project also aims at providing fresh drinking water and farming the desolate desert region by building desalination plants that will use concentrated solar power to provide energy and waste heat to create freshwater from seawater.

Even though the project is still 10-15 years away from breaking ground, several major players are getting involved.

Read more at inhabitat.com.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Alternative Energy, Clean Tech, Climate Change, Geothermal, Innovation, Solar, Technology, Water | Leave a comment