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Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

There are over 10 billion electrical outlets in North America

Posted by Digital Citizen on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In this 4 minute talk, John La Grou unveils an ingenious new technology at TED.com that will smarten up the electrical outlets in our homes. He uses microprocessors and RFID tags to do this. The Safeplug invention promises to prevent deadly accidents like house fires and to conserve energy.

This, my friends, could change the face of the electrical outlet that badly needs an update! This is also an example of finding the source of a problem!

John also gives a bunch of impact statistics related to the electrical outlet, like how every year in the US, 2,500 children are admitted to emergency for shock and burn injuries related to electrical receptacles.

The energy impact is amazing, not to mention home damage from fires, can be staggering. Please have a look and judge for yourselves.



Posted in Electronics, Energy, Environment, Homes, Lifestyle, Statistics, Sustainability, United States | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

If the energy efficiency of the US’ top 10 states could be achieved by the remaining states, 30% of US electricity consumption could be saved, cutting $100 billion in electricity bills, 60% of coal fired electricity, 779 million tons of CO2 to offset the Dutch and UK emissions.

Posted by Digital Citizen on Friday, February 20, 2009

Efficiency was measured by dividing each state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (total value of all goods and services produced) by the kilowatt hours of electricity it consumed. That’s basically how much money a state could put into the economy for each unit of energy consumed.

Nice stat, but I’d bet if these states made more money per unit of energy, their lifestyle would see more spending and with it, more energy. That would reduce the “efficiency”.

However, the information is still neat to look at how widely states vary for how much they make per unit of energy spent.

New York was at the top with $7.18 for each kilowatt hour of electricity (a 15W compact fluorescent light burning for 66 hours 40 minutes, 66.7 hrs), while Mississippi was at the bottom, by far, at just over $3 per kilowatt hour.

See how other states did in comparison with this really cool interactive map!

Rocky Mountain Institute (original source)
Yahoo! Green for additional statistical comparisons for context

Posted in Conversions, Economics, Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Statistics, Sustainability, United States | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Obama Looking to Go Nuclear Alternative Energy?

Posted by envirostats on Saturday, December 20, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama recently named Harvard University physicist, though from the Kennedy School of Government, Dr John Holdren (Wikipedia profile for permanent status), as:
– Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
– Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
– Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science

In other words, Energy and Climate specialist, and White House science advisor. Dr Holden has specialties in nuclear research, global warming and climate change, among his listed research interests on his Kennedy School profile.

Obama also named 1997 Nobel Prize winner Dr Stephen Chu (Wikipedia profile for same reasons above) to head the Energy Department. According to the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) page where Dr Chu served as Director, Dr Chu also has interests in nuclear physics and global climate change, although not necessarily nuclear energy towards the latter. I say not necessarily because I’m not certain whether they just did not list it or if he thought it were not feasible. However, I can’t imagine he’s never considered the fact with nuclear energy so prevalent around the world outside of the United States (posted here on Oct 26 2007).

I’ve always supported nuclear energy as our best alternative to oil and coal, combined, if you’ve read the various value added commentary to the nuclear statistics I’ve provided, as a means of giving context to the numbers that I always provide when this was an environmental statistics blog. However, it’s more the future of it from small nuclear generators like the ones on icebreakers (CBC, May 29 2008) and nuclear submarines (Quirks & Quarks blog by Bob MacDonald, Oct 12 2007). The thought still scares some people, I’m sure, given the menacing nuclear submarine image, but I bet not that many of you knew some icebreakers were nuclear powered – a slightly different image! Still, the modern nuclear plants suffer from the same image problem as air travel. It’s the safest and least damaging energy source as air travel is the safest and least damaging way to travel, but with very rare catastrophic accidents that work on our psyche of fear when any way you measure it against similar sources, it’s so safe it’s not funny. Look at all the people building new nuclear power plants (here, Sep 19 2007)! Only the US suffers from the Jane Fonda Effect (Freakonomics! blog, Sep 15 2007)when it comes to energy. Nuclear energy is also very viable.

During the presidential campaigns, Presidential candidate Obama has stated nuclear option has to be explored (Meet the Press, May 04 2008). I had also heard John McCain and Hillary Clinton express similar views. With these latest appointments, given their backgrounds in nuclear physics and climate change, President-elect Obama seems like he’s just a little bit more intent on “exploring” nuclear energy as an alternative to coal, gas and oil. It would seem his main interest for a solution, if you ask me!

And that would be just mighty fine by me, another example of his vision and why I would have voted him President if I were American.

500 words

Posted in Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Nuclear, Politics, United States | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

From Jan to Sep 2007, China’s exports of refined oil reached 12 million tons, a 31% increase over the same period last year, despite impressions given by the country’s oil monopolies that it is running out of oil, because even during the worst fuel crisis some cities ever faced in Oct 2007, China imported 30,000 tons of gasoline, while exported 6X that much to the international market.

Posted by envirostats on Thursday, January 3, 2008

I don’t need to type out what I think of the Chinese government already before this, never mind after, or how its oil monopolies are like the rest of the world’s oil giants. The numbers from their actions speak for themselves. [Envirostats author]

Worldwatch Institute, Dec 6 2007

Posted in China, Economics, Energy, Environment, Statistics | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Commentary: Sydney, Australia greens its “world’s largest” New Year’s fireworks show via other means than the fireworks

Posted by envirostats on Monday, December 31, 2007

Good effort, and some is better than none, but missing the point. Where are the stats about the perchlorate and particulate matter generated? Or about increases in both the days after such an event? 

Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for reading Envirostats. May your year be full of good health, green joy and prosperity. [Envirostats author] 


The City of Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display is regarded as the largest and most technologically advanced annual fireworks display on the planet.

* The display draws larger crowds than in New York, London, Paris or Berlin, with more than a million people watching from the Sydney Harbour foreshore.

* Fifteen months of design, planning and preparation for the Bridge Effect.

* Approximately 11,000 shells, 10,000 shooting comets, and a total of 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects will be incorporated into the display.

* 112 firing points on the Sydney Harbour Bridge itself

* More than 60,000 metres of wires and cables are required to interface with the computers to launch the display

* Fourteen 20 foot shipping containers full of pyrotechnic equating to 112,000kg of equipment.

* A pyrotechnic crew of 40.

* The fireworks on the Bridge and barges are fully digitally launched, requiring 12 computers that will shoot a total of 9,200 cues.

* The 9pm show will use four fireworks barges.

* There are seven barges for the midnight show, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

* Fireworks will be seen off eight city rooftops.

* The 2007 Bridge Effect, designed by Brian Thomson and bridge lighting display by Martin Kinnane, is approximately 36m x 36m and weighs more than 40 tonne. It is installed on the bridge in approximately 22 nights over a three month period.

* 9,000m of rope light will be used to construct the effect. It is attached to a panel and truss system which uses over 50,000 cable ties.

* Programming the effect takes a year of planning and five days on-site using over 300 individual circuits.

* More than 4km of power cable is required to power the effect which will use up to 25,000kw of green power from set up to dismantle.

* The fireworks display is designed by Sydney’s Foti International Fireworks. This is the sixth year in a row that the company has been involved in the event. The Fireworks Director for the midnight fireworks is Fortunato Foti and Tino Pangallo for the 9pm Family Fireworks.

The City is doing it’s best to ensure a greener Sydney New Year’s Eve as part of the City’s continuing commitment to a sustainable future by:

  • Using GreenPower, which will save approximately 60 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year;
  • Recovering and recycling 80 per cent of rubbish collected from the event;
  • Using recycled water collected from the City’s rainwater tanks, recycling plants and pits for street cleaning after the event;
  • Distributing personal ashtrays on the night to help reduce littering of cigarette butts;
  • Nominating WWF-Australia as the official Charity of 2007 Sydney New Year’s Eve. Their vision is to save life on Earth and create a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

New Year’s Eve is a time for everyone to think about our future and take action to fight global warming.

On the night, please consider the environment by placing your rubbish in the bins provided or taking it with you and disposing of your cigarette butts in the bin.

Please also leave the car at home and catch public transport, walk or cycle.

City of Sydney, official PDF, Dec 23 2007

Posted in Air, Australia, Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Hazardous Materials, Lifestyle, Statistics | Tagged: | 1 Comment »