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Intel Leads Green Power Ranking Again; Google Not So Much

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July 26, 2012 1:48:13 PM

I don't really see how biogas makes the list. Biogas is far from green. Coal is probably more green.

Massive amounts of land have to be used (habitat destroyed) to produce the stuff compared to crude oil. Large amounts of fuel get used to fertilize, till, maintain, harvest and process the plants into fuel. I've seen estimates that range from eight gallons of gasoline are needed to produce nine gallons of ethanol to it taking many times more gas get used in producing ethanol than is reaped. Then there is the fresh water usage. We simply do not have enough to sustain production. Already we are using groundwater faster than it is being replenished.

Once all is said and done you are still pumping CO2 gases into the atmosphere. Except now it is a crap load more as you have all the gas used in production then the ethanol consumed by the end user.
July 26, 2012 2:05:05 PM

I think Biogas makes the list because its renewable. I'm with you its not "green" well except maybe in color. To me Biogas makes since for farmers and farm equipment since they could use a portion of their crops to make their own fuel. If you are going to expend the energy to harvest the crops for food anyhow it could have some saving to take a portion of the crop and turn it into Biogas . Besides that use case I just don't understand why its even an option.
July 26, 2012 2:18:42 PM

For biogas-- lets say you are making it from corn, are they using the actual corn that we eat, or can it be made from the husks, stalks and cob that we don't?
July 26, 2012 2:26:19 PM

The reason it is an option is not because it is a green tech, so much as it is simply 'not gas/coal/nuke' power. The green movement is less about saving the environment, and more about replacing current energy monopolies with their own energy monopolies.

I'm not against better power sources (specifically solar, nuclear, and fuel cell tech), but wind, bio-gas, and biomass all have some weird drawbacks and consequences which need to be considered if it is really to be labeled as a truly 'green' tech.

... If we could just find the magic key to make better batteries (which is steadily improving, but has not really 'arrived' yet) then we could all move to solar and reserve fossil fuels for air travel and military use. Solar is already available at 22% (which is enough to power even some power hungry homes when available roof space is considered), and has a pay-off of under 10 years, which means that it is almost a viable tech for home-owners like myself. Once they get the payoff to under 7 years (preferably under 5) then you will begin to see mass adoption of the tech.
July 26, 2012 2:31:35 PM

rosen380For biogas-- lets say you are making it from corn, are they using the actual corn that we eat, or can it be made from the husks, stalks and cob that we don't?

It is made from the stuff we eat, which is why when ethanol was pushed a few years back it caused corn prices to sky-rocket around the world, which made for a very crappy 2-3 years for the truly poor in the world who eat mostly corn based products. We got cheaper gas, and people literally starved to death, Ethanol is generally a bad idea for mass production; but like jamessneed mentioned, it makes perfect sense for farms where you can take damaged crops and reuse it as fuel, but just not on a mass scale.
July 26, 2012 3:34:23 PM

velocityg4I don't really see how biogas makes the list. Biogas is far from green. citation]
Many biofuels also result in acid rain, and generally aren't as energy dense as other sources.

However, Kohl's buys 101 percent of its power needs from green sources

Interesting...tell me more...
July 26, 2012 5:07:30 PM

These just tells you how much green power they buy not how much they use. So Google only buys 5% of it's power as "green" how much green power does it create on it's own? What efforts are they putting into being more environmentally friendly? What about the products they make? So Intel buys more green power, what kind of wastes are they dumping for building processors and how is their overall efficiency compared to competitors and what are they doing to improve it?

I'm all for being environmentally friendly, but lists like these ('specially from the gubernment) are more for political convenience and muddy the issue.
July 26, 2012 5:15:35 PM

The reason that 'biogas' product continues is because of the farm/corn lobby. It is actually much worse for the environment than fossil fuels but farmers like anything that raises crop prices.
July 27, 2012 4:20:30 AM

Only long term viable energy solution is nuclear. Solar / Wind are no where close to being able to provide power for the USA, much less the world. If you used every square inch of flat space in the world (killing the local populations in the process) you could get enough solar / wind to power the USA and only the USA. And that's assuming the sun is shining 24/7 at noon intensity.

Carbon based biofuels (Coal / Gas / Oil) are a bad idea for base load power, good option for swing / peak load but absolutely horrible for base. Leaves nukes as the best way forward, just got to rid of the bad taste left over from the older Generation I design's. MSR / LFTRs are the future for fission reactors, clean, passively safe and a huge advance in efficiency the older PWR / LWBRs.

July 27, 2012 5:00:52 AM

Really, the BioGas Plants that I have seen usually operate on Mammal Waste, including that of Humans. Cattle Dung is the most widely used raw material and human waste is also used in tandem. this method is way more economical and Green then Using corn or other crops... because in the end you need some place to put all that waste into.