Hydroelectric Dams Drastically Reduce Biodiversity

Posted on June 29th, 2015 in environment, hydro by Spencer R.

With their green credentials, hydroelectric dams have been built at an exceptional rate all over the world. But their true environmental and ecological costs are slowly starting to unravel, as a new study shows how this renewable energy source can drive species out and dramatically reduce biodiversity.

“Hydroelectric dams have been thought to be an environmentally friendly source of renewable power – and in recent years they have been built to supply the burgeoning energy demands of emergent tropical countries,” explained Dr. Maíra Benchimol, who led the study published in PLoS One. “Our research adds evidence that forest biodiversity also pays a heavy price when large dams are built.”


Tesla Batteries: Just The Beginning Of How Technology Will Transform The Electric Grid

Posted on April 29th, 2015 in environment, hydro, solar by Spencer R.

Tesla Motors already makes batteries for its electric cars. On Thursday, it’s expected to introduce battery systems for homes, businesses and electric utilities.

The spread of cost-effective batteries will fundamentally change the way the electric grid operates. Combined with other innovations, batteries in homes and businesses will transform how people and businesses treat electricity.

Along the way, these batteries will improve the efficiency and reliability of the grid overall.


Diverse Species Of World’s Largest Lake Threatened By Mongolian Dam And Pipeline

Posted on April 11th, 2015 in environment, hydro by Spencer R.

Mongolia is hoping a massive dam on its largest river could provide much needed power and water for the country’s booming mining industry. However environmental groups are concerned that the hydroelectric power plant and a related pipeline project will do immeasurable environmental damage to oldest and deepest freshwater body in the world: Lake Baikal.

As Baikal sits just over the border in Russia, Mongolia risks seriously annoying its northern neighbour at at time when the lake is already experiencing problems with invasive algaealong its coasts, unregulated mining and a water level which just passed a “critically low” point.


China Develops World's First Hydrogen-Powered Tram

Posted on March 18th, 2015 in environment by Spencer R.

As the world’s biggest polluter, China may have earned its reputation as the big bad wolf of greenhouse gas emissions. That being said, officials left many with their mouths open recently after their rare admission that they are aware of the negative impacts emissions have on global climate, which could threaten the country’s infrastructure projects, crop yields and environment.


New Liquid Metal Battery Will Make Renewables Competitive

Posted on September 1st, 2014 in environment by Spencer R.

Researchers have spent years developing an affordable battery that can store energy from erratic, renewable sources like wind and solar in the electrical grid. Now, an MIT team have announced a cheap, liquid-metal battery that’s suitable for the job: The molten electrolyte and liquid-metal electrodes combine a high-performance metal called antimony with low-cost lead. The findings, published in Nature this week, might finally allow intermittent renewable energy sources to compete with conventional power plants.


‘Salmon Cannon’ Allows Safe Migration Around Hydroelectric Dams

Posted on August 11th, 2014 in environment by Spencer R.

While hydroelectric dams are able to generate electricity without coal or oil, they act as obstacles for wildlife, and migrating salmon in particular. When salmon are ready to reproduce, they migrate from the sea back upstream into rivers, where they spawn on gravel beds. Swimming upstream requires the ability to fight against obstacles including rapids and up over drop-offs. Traditional ladders for fish involve jumping through a series of pools, which step up progressively, allowing the salmon to climb over the dam. Unfortunately, at a certain point, some dams are too high and ladders aren’t a practical solution.