Grid-Scale Storage

The wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine—and not always equally or consistently. Even in the sunniest of places, like deserts, “the amount of sunlight can vary from minute to minute.” (The Economist, 2014) On the flipside, demand itself is also irregular, and times of highest demand won’t always match with highest…… Continue reading Grid-Scale Storage

Let the Sun Shine

In February of 2014, 40 minutes outside of Las Vegas, the Ivanpah solar-thermal plant made its debut. Able to deliver 377 MW of power to 140,000 southern California homes, it’s “a sea of 347,000 mirrors, reflecting the rays of the desert sun on to boilers mounted on three 460-foot towers”. (The Economist) It’s an astoundingly…… Continue reading Let the Sun Shine

No Fracking Way

Short for hydraulic fracturing, fracking was introduced into the oil and gas industries in the late 1940s as a method of extracting petroleum or natural gas. Nowadays, it is estimated that “90% of the natural gas wells in the United States” (Dunlap, 2019, 97) employ fracking as a method of extraction. To put it simply,…… Continue reading No Fracking Way

Japan’s Solar Surge + How Solar Works

30% of Japan’s energy comes from nuclear reactors, at least it did until March 11th, 2011 when an earthquake lead to a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. 11 others shut down that day. Within a year, the countries remaining nuclear power plants all shut down in order to make upgrades and undergo…… Continue reading Japan’s Solar Surge + How Solar Works