Archive for January, 2012

Jan 24 2012

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Distributed electricity in Haiti

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This article discusses a recent announcement by the government of Haiti of the “Give me light, give me life,’ program, which will provide funding, in the form of loans for rural Haitians to buy small solar kits. These kits may not provide large amounts of electricity, but can be used for items like computers and cell phones. Currently only 30% of Haitians have access to electricity.

http://articles.boston.com/2012-01-23/news/30656224_1_president-michel-martelly-solar-kits-electricity

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Is investing in distributed generation a good idea for the government of Haiti? It has been said that parts of the developing world are technologically “leapfrogging” in areas like communications, skipping the step of landlines in favor of mobile phones – does distributed generation offer the same opportunity for energy, or will challenges like intermittent electricity from renewables, lack of maintenance funding, and other problems be too daunting? Should governments work to provide energy services a bit at a time, or would resources be better spent developing a more extensive, more efficient grid that serves more people?

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Jan 15 2012

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Facebook migrates to clean energy

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This Post comes from Julie Paul. Julie is a graduate student at Tufts Chemical and Biological Engineering department and a member of the Tufts Energy Conference Operations Team.

The clean energy movement makes its way into the data management business. Facebook joins Greenpeace in an effort to lower the use of coal derived power and replace it with renewable energy.

www.forbes.com/sites/ericagies/2011/12/15/facebook-commits-to-green-its-energy-but-can-it-deliver/

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Jan 15 2012

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Canada developing more fracking infrastructure

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This Post comes from Julie Paul. Julie is a graduate student at Tufts Chemical and Biological Engineering department and a member of the Tufts Energy Conference Operations Team.

Canada charges ahead in the development of the fracking infrastructure. Should they look before they leap? In this time of economic hardships it is difficult to turn a blind eye to the domestic resources in a country. Canada is taking advantage of their resource of natural gas. While doing so they may be neglecting health and environmental risks. How much evidence is necessary to determine whether a profitable process is worth the other adverse side effects?

http://www.propublica.org/article/oh-canadas-become-a-home-for-record-fracking

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Jan 07 2012

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Asian countries attempt to reduce dependence on Iranian oil

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Partly as a result of U.S. pressure, a number of Asian countries have begun to attempt to reduce their dependence on Iranian oil. China, South Korea and Japan have all begun to take measures toward reducing their dependence on imports originating in Iran. Iran sees the threat to its oil industry as an economic war, and  has threatened to close the straight of Hormuz, through which about 1/5 of the world’s oil passes on the way to market.

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Should the United States be pressuring other countries to reduce their fossil fuel reliance on states that it sees as volatile or hostile? Would reductions from these Asian countries have a significant effect on Iranian oil revenue, or will flows simply shift to other countries? Can/will Iran close the strait of Hormuz, and if so, what would be an appropriate response?

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