Monthly Archives: January 2014

biogas from wastewaterThe City of Oakland, California is using unique items to produce energy.  Every day, there are trucks entering the back of the wastewater treatment plant in the city filled with waste products that can be used as energy.  These natural waste products like carcasses and cheese whey are turned into a mush that can be burned to create a methane-like gas that can be converted into energy for the city.

The treatment plant is able to produce enough energy to power itself every year and another 1250 homes in the area.  With this type of program, the city is showing that biogas and other waste fuels can be very efficient and very simple to produce.

These wastewater plants are able to use the byproducts of their treatment as well to make biogas and power themselves or other homes and businesses in the area.  As the energy sector looks at this, it is clear that there could be good things on the horizon for biogas and the value of wastewater treatment plants.

wind energy in TexasThe demand for wind energy in Texas is not expected to wane anytime soon according to a report commissioned by the Texas Clean Energy Commission.  The report was done to examine the future of natural gas and renewable energy within the next twenty years.

Experts are predicting that there will be an increase in the amount of power share for renewable energy from 10% to 43% within the next two decades.  This is as a result of the continuous demands for power which is fueling the increase of construction of wind farms in the state as well as the introduction of new transmission lines.

The wind farms that are currently being constructed are being estimated to cost over $2 billion dollars and will generate more than a 1000 megawatts of energy.  The energy generated is expected to provide electricity to over 350,000 homes across the state.

oil, wind energyAs energy demands rise, the best sources of alternative energy on the marketplace are directly at odds.  With new wind farms going up every year and nuclear power plants struggling to hold their position in the market place, the two could begin to kill each other off if they are not careful.

The two sides are also being pressured by natural gas as a much cleaner alternative to coal.  The problem is that these competing forces are causing fluctuation in the markets that are radically altering their prices.  The changes in prices have brought electricity prices down as demand goes down due to help from alternative energy.  Because of this, alternative energy prices are not soaring, either.

As the alternative energy sources cut into each other's market share, we should look out for trouble in the future as demand and production rise simultaneously in the market.


electricity storageSolar power installations have been on the rise in California since 2006, and all of that energy is making a dent in the state's power grid.  Now, the state utility companies are going to start putting in huge batteries to store excess power that is produced by its customers.  This is yet another step in the fight to make sure that the California power grid does not experience an catastrophic failure in the future.

The batteries that the utilities will use are going to be the size of 18-wheelers and will discharge power at night when there is no solar energy to use.  This backup power system will allow customers to have energy all of the power they need regardless of the conditions around them.

As a backup to traditional energy sources, these batteries can help to keep California power customers' lights on all throughout the year.