California's leading cities are sending messages to the energy industry powers-that-be on Tuesday, and that message is "we want change." On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council finalized a much-lauded agreement to wean the city's Department of Water and Power (LADWP) off coal-fired electricity, and went on to oppose reopening of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. On that same day, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed a resolution urging the city's pension fund managers to sell off their interests in fossil fuel companies.
The notion of capturing waste heat from our technology and using it to generate electrical power isn't new: factories use it fairly often in a process called "cogeneration." But a team of scientists at UCLA has come up with a new spin on the practice, using a branch of applied physics that didn't even exist 40 years ago.
Despite reports in the press that the continuing outage of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant will cause "Enron-style" power shortages throughout Southern California this summer, one expert on the electrical grid says such fears are exaggerated.
A delegation of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, who've long suffered the effects of living next to the coal-fired Reid Gardner power plant on their reservation northeast of Las Vegas, staged a 12-mile walk to the site of a proposed solar facility Saturday to call for a coal-free future.
Solar advocates like to joke that while oil spills ruin the environment, solar spills are otherwise known as "nice days." But a "spill" from a solar project being built in the desert portion of Los Angeles County may actually have caused significant problems, including personal injury. Construction at the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch (AVSR) near Lancaster has been halted by county officials in the wake of powerful dust storms that caused multi-car pileups in April.
A deal's been in the works for some time, but the California Air Resources Board (CARB) made it official Friday: greenhouse gas emission allowances acquired as part of California's cap and trade auction program can soon be traded along with those issued under a similar program in the Canadian province of Quebec.