Earth Policy Institute: Podcast

In 1904, Italy’s Prince Piero Ginori Conti became the first person to use thermal energy from within the earth to turn on the lights—five of them, to be precise. Now, more than a century after his experiment, 24 countries are using geothermal power. The 10,900 megawatts of capacity installed worldwide generate enough renewable electricity to meet the needs of more than 6 million U.S. homes. Geothermal power has grown at just 3 percent annually over the last decade, but the pace is set to pick up substantially, with close to 9,000 megawatts of new capacity projected for 2015. Some 350 projects are under development in dozens of countries. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: Geothermal_Power_Heating_Up_Worldwide.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 7:39pm EST

Turning Toward the Sun for Energy

One key component of the Plan B climate stabilization strategy is solar energy. Solar is even more ubiquitous than wind energy and can be harnessed with both solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal collectors.

Solar PV—both silicon-based and thin film—converts sunlight directly into electricity. The growth in solar cell production climbed from an annual expansion of 38 percent in 2006 to an off-the-chart 89 percent in 2008, before settling back to 51 percent in 2009. At the end of 2009, there were 23,000 megawatts of PV installations worldwide, which when operating at peak power could match the output of 23 nuclear power plants. Germany, with an installed PV power generating capacity of almost 10,000 megawatts, is far and away the world leader in installations. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: Turning_Toward_the_Sun_for_Energy.mp3
Category:Book Bytes -- posted at: 9:00am EST

A new scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and India have descended on fertile plains across the African continent, acquiring huge tracts of land to produce wheat, rice and corn for consumption back home. For full report, visit the EPI website.

Direct download: Update_97_When_the_Nile_Runs_Dry.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 8:45am EST