Heating Oil Weekly Roundup: Weather Maps, Garbage to Fuel, and Tidal Energy
It’s cold out there. You’ve probably noticed, because it’s cold pretty much everywhere. Freezing weather has bumped up the price of heating oil and crude oil, and Morgan Downey has an impressive array of colorful maps at his blog Scarce Whales that show how much colder than normal it is not just in the US, but also in Europe and northeast Asia, which are also large markets for heating fuel.
To combat heating costs, you might be trying to make your home more energy efficient, or at least turning down the heat at night. If you do, you’re already smarter than Morgan Stanley, which until last year kept its skyscraper in Times Square at the same toasty temperature at 3:00 am as it did at 3:00 pm, reports Russell Gold at the Wall Street Journal’s Environmental Capital blog. They had to hire the energy-efficiency specialists at EnerNOC Inc. to teach them to lower the thermostat at night and turn off bathroom fans when the building was empty. Unfortunately, you probably won’t see the savings that Morgan Stanley did—energy-efficiency measures saved them $100,000.
Is it just me, or is green technology getting grosser? Wind turbines look cool, but getting energy from cow manure? Or biofuel from sewage? Awfully resourceful, but still, blech. Now ABC News has a report from the AP’s Jason Dearen on a California landfill that’s capturing the methane released by garbage and turning it into liquid natural gas. Sure, we’ve already covered the Altamont landfill’s LNG program at HeatingOil.com (ahem), but the work by the AP and ABC is still worth a read.
For a reminder that green tech can also be awesomely futuristic, Ocean Power Magazine has us covered. A company called SeaKinetics has developed the HydroWing, which converts the energy of the tides into electricity. SeaKinetics envisions a whole underwater farm of HydroWings feeding an underwater power substation. It’s not all Jules Verne, though—people still get to live on solid ground.