Oct 21, 2008
The crux of the global warming crisis is how to reduce energy-related carbon dioxide emissions while keeping the lights on. A new In-Depth Report by ScientificAmerican.com takes a look at future technologies that might help.
One option is to build wind farms off shore, where stronger breezes can generate more energy than sites on or near shore and turbines won't block residents' ocean views. Leasing the outer continental shelf to offshore wind farms could generate nearly 1,000 gigawatts — slightly more than the country's current electrical capacity, according to a piece by Emily Waltz.
Another possibility is geothermal power, electricity generated by the Earth's own heat. Iceland, where nearly 90 percent of homes are heated with geothermal power and residents would pay an estimated five times more if they used traditional fossil fuels, is at the leading edge of the technology, exporting its expertise to Nevada, Germany and China.
Jul 17, 2008 | 29
Former vice president Al Gore today challenged the U.S. to go from getting more than half its electrical power from greenhouse gas-spewing coal-fired power plants to getting all of it from 100 percent carbon neutral sources in a decade. In other words: eliminate fossil fuels for electricity, until the greenhouse gases can be captured and buried, in favor of nuclear, solar, wind and geothermal.
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