Category: Energy Innovation

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 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

May 25, 2011 • Emerging Technology, Energy Innovation, Green Buildings

SEEing is believing: Utility shows off recent innovations

by Emily Tewell

Everyone has different learning styles; some people are very hands-on, including me. For instance, the in-store displays where someone is showing you how “this cleaning agent will be the last one you ever have to buy,” always have crowds of people swarming around. There are people who just want to hear their message, but many want to try it first-hand for themselves. What better way to put yourself out there? When it comes to having a product that you want to introduce to a broad spectrum of customers, so they not only hear about your offerings but experience them first hand, making customers active participants seems like the best idea. According to an article in the marketing magazine BtoB, this is exactly what Southern California Edison realized when they were looking for ways to show off their energy efficiency projects. continue

May 2, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Innovation, Perspectives

Thoughts on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Incident

by Wyatt Taylor

It looks like it is left to me to break the silence on The Watercooler about the Japanese Fukushima nuclear incident. First, it might be months or years before we have a full picture of the damage at the plant and its impact on the environment and population. Our prayers go out to those impacted by the radiation. This incident is a sobering reminder that processes behind nuclear power production are complicated and allow a slim margin for error.

With that said, continue

April 18, 2011 • Energy Innovation, Energy's Lighter Side, Perspectives

The Three I’d Marketer

by Kent Evans

Recently, I was talking with a college student about to enter a career in marketing. I casually mentioned a few things that I thought characterized the best marketers I’ve known. It just so happened that each of the traits started with the letter “I” and a blog post was born. continue

April 14, 2011 • Energy Innovation, Perspectives, Sustainability

Bill Gates and BipBop

by Jackie Cobb

Last night, I was browsing one of my favorite websites, TED.com (if you haven’t been there, go now…run), and I stumbled upon a talk by Bill Gates about innovation in energy.  While the 30-minute speech was filled with all sorts of interesting and inspiring nuggets, there was one line that stuck with me: “If you could pick just one thing to lower the price of–to lower poverty–by far you would pick energy.” continue

March 1, 2011 • Energy's Lighter Side, Sustainability, Travel & Leisure

Sustainable Tourism: Why It Pays to Bet on Green

by Chad Holder

Winning with sustainability

On March 16, I will be visiting Las Vegas. In an effort to encourage corporate sustainability, specifically sustainable tourism, I’ve taken it upon myself to support companies that exhibit environmental stewardship and energy efficiency. That’s why I just might seek out and congratulate a Caesars Entertainment Corporation representative for the company’s very successful corporate sustainability strategy.

At this point, it bears mentioning that the timing of my visit to Las Vegas, the location of Caesars’ Nevada headquarters and a certain college basketball tournament are all purely coincidental. Also coincidental: that I planned this trip with seven other Murray State alumni last June. continue

February 4, 2011 • Energy's Lighter Side, Perspectives

The Energy Enigma

by Hannah Miller

I love a good puzzle. When I see something in pieces and I know it should fit together into a whole, I can’t resist picking it up, turning it around in my hands, fitting the pieces up against each other and figuring out how to make it all come together. This week I rediscovered a favorite game in smartphone form called WoodEnigma and have been captivated for days.

In this game, you’re given several small, oddly shaped pieces and a large shape outline, and you have to manipulate all the small pieces to fit exactly within the large one. For a few of the puzzles, I looked at the outline and the pieces and could immediately see how they fit together. Others took days of slowly working through all the options I could see, walking away, and coming back to try again before I finally figured it out and got the validation of seeing the word “Solved!” flash across the screen.

Although it doesn’t come with the same immediate gratification as a smartphone puzzle, energy management  can pose the same kind of challenge. continue

December 8, 2010 • Energy Generation, Energy Innovation, Sustainability

Always the Sun

by Sara Hoefkens

I was going through my CD music collection last weekend and came across the Stranglers’ “Dreamtime” album. I put on the CD, and the first song  “Always the Sun” filled the room. It had been a hit throughout Europe during the late 80s. When the Stranglers, one of the longest-surviving and most successful bands from the UK punk scene, wrote this song in 1986, they probably didn’t suspect their song had a big energy sustainability message. continue

December 2, 2010 • Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability

Where in the World is … Renewable Energy?

by Hannah Miller

A favorite show of mine years ago was “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” At the beginning of every show, an eccentric thief would steal a priceless treasure and go on the run. You never knew where in the world you’d find them at the end of the show – maybe France, maybe Argentina. Maybe Egypt, if you were lucky. These days, if you look for what’s going on in the world of renewable energy, you’ll find yourself in much the same situation: You never know where in the world you’ll end up.

You could, for example, end up in Philadelphia continue

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