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Posted by Allison Bailes on December 6, 2016
Everyone knows about the impact of burning fossil fuels on global warming. Maybe not everyone believes it, but scientists first started focusing attention on increasing carbon dioxide levels way back in 1827. The impact of insulation on global warming, however, is relatively new. About a decade ago...
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Stephen Hawking
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 18, 2016
There's big news this week. No, I'm not talking about the delayed opening of ski resorts out West because of the lack of snow. And, believe it or not, it has nothing at all to do with Donald Trump. I'm talking about Stephen Hawking's prediction that we humans have only a thousand years left here on...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on November 4, 2016
You can go into just about any introductory physics classroom and you'll see that the students learn the same stuff no matter which school they attend. They study forces and motion, momentum and energy, electrostatics, and a host of other physics topics. They do lab experiments. They observe and...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on October 7, 2016
Like many energy geeks, I track my electricity usage and costs. I've been doing it for decades. (Unlike Danny Orlando, however, I haven't stayed in the same house and watched as the home energy improvements kept lowering that usage.) One thing I've noticed in the past few months is that the...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on September 29, 2016
Solar energy has sex appeal. If you want to show the world you're doing something to reduce pollution, you put photovoltaic (PV) panels on your roof to generate clean electricity. Even better, you drive a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric car and charge your car's batteries with your solar panels....
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Posted by Allison Bailes on July 14, 2016
Every day, I get updates on various energy data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Earlier this week I got one showing the graph below, indicating that energy intensity for the whole world is going down. That's a good thing, so I posted it to my social media networks. It means we'...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on June 8, 2016
Drywall installers, plumbers, HVAC technicians. All those folks and more do a lot of the dirty work in the construction, maintenance, and renovation of buildings. It's often not fun. I've done it myself, so I know. As a teenager, I worked summers with my grandfather, an electrician, HVAC contractor...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on January 11, 2016
Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist, said "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Bohr was a pretty smart guy, having been one of the folks who got the whole quantum physics thing going a century ago, and I'm not inclined to disagree with him on this matter.
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Posted by Allison Bailes on December 31, 2015
In 2005, I was deep in the throes of my peak oil obsession. I went to a couple of conferences that fall and at the big one in Denver, I met a guy who gave me a little glimpse into the future. I can't recall his name, but I think maybe he worked for the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). He told...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on November 6, 2015
You may think there's no more boring topic than electric utilities. Power plants. Transmission lines. Engineers with flat top haircuts and pocket protectors full of pens in their white short-sleeved shirts. Well, let me say two words that might help make them more interesting to you: duck curve. If...
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