Category: Current Events

February 23, 2012 • Current Events, Sustainability

Don’t Throw That Cell Phone Away in the EU

by Rose Shaver

A new law updating the 2003 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) was recently passed by the European Parliament to curb the dumping electronic goods such as mobile phones, computers and TV sets in landfills. According to EU officials, only about 33% of e-waste is disposed of properly and is often exported illegally to poorly-equipped developing countries, where e-waste recyclers are regularly exposed to health hazards. continue

January 24, 2012 • Current Events, Perspectives

The world of energy in 2012

by Jackie Cobb

Recently, I came home to find the latest issue of The Economist in my mailbox. As it turns out, this issue was the special “World in 2012” edition, which focuses exclusively on trends to expect in the coming year. As I flipped through the articles profiling different political, economic and cultural trends by country and global region, I stopped on one detailing what’s to come in the energy industry. I found it interesting, and thought you might too. As such, here are the findings from The Economist (and my associated musings…): continue

January 17, 2012 • Current Events, Energy Innovation, Natural Gas

2011: The year in energy (Part 4: Extreme Production)

by Eric Bickel

So far in this series, we’ve focused on global themes from the economy to governmental upheaval, and then circled back to how they’ve affected the U.S. In this final post, we’re going to focus on a recurring theme in the U.S. energy market and how this theme could affect the global market in years to come. And that theme is none other than U.S. natural gas production.

continue

January 11, 2012 • Current Events, Natural Gas, Perspectives

2011: The year in energy (Part 3: Revolution!)

by Eric Bickel

Last year will be remembered in the history books as the year in which people become fed up with a whole lot of governments (mostly the dictatorship kind, while there was also this). The former was likely the largest single influence on energy markets in 2012 (at least in Europe, a little less so in the U.S.). continue

January 5, 2012 • Current Events, Electricity, Energy Generation, Energy's Lighter Side, Natural Gas

2011: The year in energy (Part 2: Nature)

by Eric Bickel

Global energy markets in 2011 were plagued by something more devastating than economic malaise: nature. With weather being in the lap of the gods, and as nature takes its course, some scenarios are impossible to predict. And 2011 had its fair share of outliers. continue

January 4, 2012 • Current Events, Perspectives

2011: The year in energy (Part 1: Economics)

by Eric Bickel

“Economic malaise” became the phrase of choice in 2011 for forecasters, and not just when describing the U.S. economy. Troubles in the Eurozone have impacted growth prospects for even the strongest economies in the region (see here, here, and here for more), as debt concerns and austerity measures in the peripheral countries of Greece, Italy and Portugal hamper any and all hope for growth for the region. continue

November 2, 2011 • Current Events, Emerging Technology, Energy Innovation

A “sticky” note on tar sands

by Allie Heiniger

Tar sands (also known as oil sands) has become a topic of conversation in the energy procurement world these days. Despite its recent popularity, most people don’t understand what it is, how it is used and its awesome history. continue

October 19, 2011 • Current Events, Energy's Lighter Side, Sustainability

Driving past windmills on the way to the Windy City

by Roger Durham

My wife and I were on our way to Chicago for a long weekend. We were taking in the sites, wondering if we should stop in Lafayette on the way back to see Purdue University’s campus when we came around a bend in I-65 and saw something completely disorienting. Actually, the disorientation was not immediate.

“Look,” my wife said, “there are some windmills over there, giant windmills.” We made this trip to Chicago a

Close Encounters

couple of years earlier and didn’t see any windmills. It was like they had just appeared overnight. They were pretty cool looking, for the first couple of miles. But those few windmills become dozens and those dozens became hundreds. They were spinning slowly, majestically and some of them were very close to the interstate. continue

October 11, 2011 • Current Events, Emerging Technology, Energy Innovation, Sustainability

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8….. Light!

by Hannah Miller

The Fibonacci Spiral

Someone recently said the words “Fibonacci” and “solar panels” to me, and my ears immediately pricked up. I’ve always been intrigued by the Fibonacci sequence and my first thought was of the PBS show Square One and its segment, MathNet, where I first learned about it.

But this decade’s reference to Fibonacci isn’t fiction. A seventh grader from New York named Aidan recently won the 2011 Young Naturalist Award from the American Museum of Natural History for his work identifying how the Fibonacci sequence can help increase electricity output of solar panels. continue

September 12, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Green Buildings

A look at government spending

by Jackie Cobb

Given the recent debt crisis and the ensuing focus on government spending, I figured it would only be appropriate for the Summit Energy Watercooler blog to chime in on the topic as well.

While the debt ceiling debate finally yielded a compromise at the 11th hour, it has become clear that it certainly didn’t provide us with an end-all-be-all solution for the issue of US financial stability. (I’d argue there can’t be just one solution, but that’s for another post.) continue

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