renewable energy

Margot Gerritsen

Stanford University, Associate Professor, Energy Resources Engineering; Director, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering

Robert Howarth

Cornell University, David R Atkinson Professor in Ecology & Environmental Biology

December 6, 2012

Fossil fuels: reduce, reduce, reduce

Robert Howarth

photo: Leaflet

For the first two decades after it is released into the atmosphere, methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. In assessing impacts of hydraulic fracturing, Bob Howarth (2000) says attention should be paid to the methane released when this drilling method is used to extract natural gas. In pursuing future energy sources, he stresses the need to move away from fossil fuels, including natural gas, and toward renewable fuels such as solar and wind power. "We should focus on reducing the use of fossil fuels, not finding more of them," he says.

April 28, 2011

Natural gas harms climate more than coal

Robert Howarth

photo: Derek Ramsey

Overall greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas exceed those from coal, in part because of methane release from drilling sites and pipeline leaks, according to a new study co-authored by Bob Howarth. The study also calls for further research and better measurements of emissions, for which data is sparse. Some criticize the study for, among other reasons, the sparsity of data.


December 17, 2010

Keeping Oregon's marine reserves protected

Mark Hixon

photo: Walter Siegmund

Oregon should keep its new marine reserves free of wave energy facilities, argues Mark Hixon (1999) in an op-ed. Even though the facilities produce sustainable energy, they generate electromagnetic fields that "have the potential to affect migrating whales and other sea life, change the local ocean environment, and impact the seafloor and associated life." Hixon instead supports siting wave energy facilities elsewhere.

April 22, 2010

Natural gas: red herring for "green"?

Robert Howarth

natural gas storage facility photo: Fletcher6

In an op-ed, Robert Howarth (2000) argues for investing in alternative energy rather than drilling for gas in New York's Marcellus Shale fields as a clean energy strategy. In a preliminary assessment, he found that while burning natural gas produces fewer emissions than burning oil, overall emissions (from extraction to burning) of natural gas exceed those from oil by 60%. Additional coverage appeared in the Financial Times.

October 15, 2009

Pollution into fuel: putting algae to use

J. Emmett Duffy

Emmett Duffy (2006) is co-leading an initiative to develop algae-based biofuel; the effort aims to create energy from renewable resources while attacking pollution. With $3 million from universities and energy corporations, the researchers are seeking methods to create algal biofuel on an industrial scale. Read the DailyPress news article and watch WVEC media coverage.