Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Energy Category

Going off grid »

Yesterday, we started planning our veggie garden and started a compost bin. I'm trying to figure out what percentage of my total food intake I can grow at home. We have a relatively large yard by Japanese standards so most of this will be a matter of personal energy. I'm going to start small this year but try to increase my nutritional independence from commercial networks every year. My goal is to be able to cover nearly all of our fertilizer needs through the composting of all of our biodegradable garbage this year. Thinking through the various scenarios, I realized...

Tons of Carbon »

Sorry about the light blogging. I was participating in an interesting conference in Kyoto called Science and Technology in Society with a very interesting international mix of scientists, politicians and business people. There were lots of really interesting presentations from some really smart people. I'll try to post more later, but here are some notes from a lunch speech by Sherwood F. Rowland, Donald Bren Research Professor of Chemistry and Earth Systems, University of California at Irvine and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1995).The population of the world is about 6B now and it is expected that it will stabilize at...

Accident at Japan nuclear plant »

BBC NewsAccident at Japan nuclear plant Monday, 9 August, 2004, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK At least four people have been killed in the worst ever accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant.Ooops. Why is it that I don't trust them when they say stuff like, "In the aftermath of the accident, no evacuation order was given to residents living near the plant, and city official Nobutake Masaki denied there was any danger to the surrounding area." This is probably because they lie. At least some people are brave enough to blow the whistle....

Air travel and global warming »

Scott Mackinney criticizes me in a comment on my blog about the damage I am causing to the environment with all of my air travel. I actually have been feeling a bit guilty about that and have been wondering where aviation is going to go from here. On the one hand, in some areas, air travel is becoming cheaper and there are even people talking about small, low-cost private planes becoming more common. A Feb 2000 GAO report warns that the damage to the environment from the emissions from aviation is particularly high because it is emitted into the upper...

compelling environmental movie »

danah boydcompelling environmental movie Say whatever you want about Leonardo. But global warming movie is a really beautiful and compelling little reminder to the masses in a non-aggressive way. WATCH IT.Yup. Great movie. Watch it.

ECD Video on the hydrogen economy »

I've written about the Hydrogen Economy before, but I just uploaded a 100MB Quicktime Movie from ECD about hydrogen fuel storage technology and the hydrogen economy. Features Stanford R. Ovshinsky (CEO/founder of ECD) and Bob Stemple (Chairman of ECD and former chairman of GM). ECD invented Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries (NiMH). The basic phenomenon of NiMH is a solid material that can absorb hydrogen. It is quite stable. The battery works by storing and releasing hydrogen inside of a closed container to store and release electrical energy. Similar materials can be used to store hydrogen fuel as well as to convert hydrogen to electricity in the form of a fuel cell.The problem is fuel cells are still a ways away, storage is difficult and the infrastructure for production and distribution is not in place. ECD's solution, which I think makes the most sense is to use their solid storage system for storage and distribution, make a hybrid vehicle that uses a hydrogen combustion engine and a battery. Long term, we should switch from making hydrogen from fossil fuels and put in place a solar powered electrolysis network. The first phase looks like: fossil fuels->hydrogen->solid storage based distribution->hydrogen combustion->batteries->electricity->power. This will get us started. Eventually it should go to solar->hydrogen->solid storage based distribution->fuel cells->electricity->power.I used to work for ECD and am still involved with the company so I'm a bit biased. ;-)

How Hydrogen Can Save America »

Great article in Wired about the Hydrogen Economy by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall.

Telco Powered Products (tm) »

So I wrote earlier about the power company providing free telecom... Well, what about the telephone company providing free power? (Although probably not intentionally.) This site may be a joke, but it is VERY funny. It is a site/catalog of products that use power that the telephone company provides on their phone lines to power appliances. ;-) They are called Telco Powered Products(tm).Telco Powered ProductsOur Chief Scientist, Dr. Emil Drizzlenik PhD from the renowned Chernobyl Electrical Institute in Russia, developed this patented technology after an accident at the power plant left all of the homes and businesses in his area...

The Hydrogen Economy »

This week was an energy week for me. Stan Ovshinsky, the CEO of ECD, Bob Stempel, the Chairman (and the former chief executive of GM) and Iris Ovshinsky, the co-founder of ECD and Stan's wife were visiting Tokyo this week. We talked a lot about the relationship between energy and information and the fact that information was codified energy. The more I think about it the more it all starts to fit together into an amazing unified image. The picture above is ECD's vision of the Hydrogen Economy. Get Carbon out of the picture. Reduce the cycle to the...

Met David S. Isenberg »

(picture by Carver Mead's Foveon Camera) Thanks to Gen Kanai for introducing me to David Isenberg. David is famous for many things including his paper "The Rise of the Stupid Network" David was talking a lot about Oil. He says that "Hubbert's Peak", when oil production will begin to drop, will happen in 2003. On the other hand, world energy consumption will increase 66% (USA Today, 1/10/02) from 1999-2020. It's OBVIOUSLY time for the Hydrogen Economy that we're starting to get very excited about. David was extremely bright and gave me an interesting view into the "prosultants" (vs "consultants") who...

EnvironMission Incredible Solar Thermal Power Station »

Hirata turned me on to the EnvironMission site. EnvironMission EnviroMission owns the exclusive licence to German designed Solar Tower technology in Australia. Our first project will focus on developing this revolutionary technology into the world’s first large-scale solar thermal power station capable of generating enough electricity to supply 200,000 typical Australian homes. The technology involves a huge solar heater with a tower that takes the hot air and pulls it up through the tower and spins turbines. This SO sci-fi sexy and SO Australia... The tower will be the, "largest engineered structure ever proposed for construction." There is a...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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