Posts Tagged ‘green energy’


New Zealand Coal Mine Explosion Traps Dozens – ABCNews.com

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Three Britons among the missing as New Zealand pit blast leaves 29 miners feared trapped half a mile underground

A powerful explosion in a New Zealand coal mine has trapped more than two dozen miners underground.
“There has been an explosion,” New Zealand’s Grey District mayor Tony Kikshoom said. “They don’t even know at what depth of the mine it is. It’s too early to make any calls, but it’s not good news at the moment.”

Some 27 miners are believed to be alive somewhere in the mine, and rescuers are currently assessing the best way to get to them.

“Power went out at the Pike River coal mine,” Barbara Dunn, the communications manager for the Tasman
District of New Zealand told ABC News. “An electrician initially went in to see what had happened and he discovered a loader driver had been blown off his machine from an explosion.”

That loader driver was reportedly hundreds of feet away from the explosion — an apparent sign of the blast’s strength.

Two miners who were working in a different part of the mine have stumbled out of the mine’s entrance and said three more could be behind them, a police report said.

A special rescue team, known as the West Coast Mine Rescue Team, has assembled at the mine “to assess what the requirements might be to go into the mine and effect a rescue,” New Zealand Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee said.

“So at this stage we’re trying to stay out of their way. They are the experts,” he said.

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State sues Feds in Mountaintop Removal Limits – More mountaintop removal?

West Virginia says it is filing a lawsuit against two federal agencies that seeks to reverse the stricter controls on mountain-top coal mining adopted in 2009 by the Obama administration.

Announcing the action on Wednesday against the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, Gov. Joe Manchin III said that the regulations were unlawful, usurped state rights, were based in inadequate science and harmed the state by preventing new mining projects.

He condemned what he called the administration’s “attempts to destroy our coal industry and way of life in West Virginia.”

Mr. Manchin, a conservative Democrat, is a popular governor but is in an unexpectedly close race for the Senate seat left open by the death of Robert C. Byrd. His Republican opponent, John Raese, has accused him of wavering in his dedication to the coal industry, a mainstay of the state’s economy.

Mr. Manchin has fiercely denied the charge, and the announcement on Wednesday, made with the coal association chief at his side, was an opportunity to highlight his support for coal and also distance himself from President Obama, who is unpopular with many voters in the state.

Responding to the move, the E.P.A. said that its policies on mountaintop mining were legally and scientifically sound. It added that in negotiations over the last year and a half, “state officials have not engaged in a meaningful discussion of sustainable mining practices that will create jobs while protecting the waters that Appalachian communities depend on for drinking, swimming and fishing.”

The agency’s environmental concerns were affirmed by an independent advisory panel, it added.

Mountaintop removal, in which hundreds of feet are blasted off hills to gain access to coal seams, has become a major mining method in West Virginia, Kentucky and nearby states, but also a source of bitter conflict. Producers say it saves money, but critics say it is destroying the landscape as the removed dirt and rocks are dumped in valleys and toxic chemicals are released.

Federal permits for such mining operations had been granted comparatively easily in the past. But in 2009, the E.P.A., citing evidence of environmental harm as well as a growing public outcry, began requiring more stringent environmental reviews of new proposals and taking stronger action to protect streams under the Clean Water Act.

In announcing the suit, Mr. Manchin said that of 23 mining permits that were pending in 2009, only two had so far been approved to go forward.

The E.P.A. has also said it may withdraw or drastically alter a permit that the Bush administration had approved for a large proposed mine in West Virginia known as Spruce 1. A final decision on that project will not be announced until late this year.

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The Mafia is Getting Into Green Energy? – Treehugger.com

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ROME — The seizure of a record 1.5 billion euros from a Sicilian businessman known as “Lord of the Wind” has put the spotlight on Mafia money-laundering through renewable energy ventures.
“The Mafia use clean energy to invest dirty money,” Sicilian journalist Lirio Abbate told AFP after police confiscated the assets from businessman Vito Nicastri on Tuesday.
The haul included no fewer than 43 wind and solar energy companies and around 100 properties including swank villas with swimming pools in Sicily’s western Trapani region, along with cars, a catamaran and bank accounts, the interior ministry said.

The infiltration of organised crime into the renewable energy sector is “a combination that is only now coming to light” in terms of legal action, said Abbate, a specialist in Mafia affairs who is under police protection.

“In the countryside it’s been apparent for longer because wind farms are springing up on land belonging to people with ties to the Mafia or obtained through violence,” he said.
Opposition Senator Giuseppe Lumia lamented: “The Cosa Nostra has managed to infiltrate the wind energy sector in the past few years by taking advantage of bad policies and bad bureaucracies.”

Nicastri, 54, is known nationally in the wind power sector, hence the nickname “Lord of the Wind”.
Anti-mafia investigators said Nicastri has links to Matteo Messina Denaro, considered the current supremo of the Sicilian Mafia, or Cosa Nostra.
Denaro has shifted from hypermarkets to wind energy, Abbate said.

“It’s obvious that these companies were tied to the Mafia because they have never been targeted, while construction sites in other sectors have been attacked,” he said.
This affair “confirms what we have been denouncing for a long time: infiltration in the new energy economy,” said the vice president of the national Anti-Mafia Commission, Fabio Granata.

Since Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi returned to power for a third time in 2008 elections, authorities have seized or sequestered some 16 billion euros (20 billion dollars) in assets belonging to suspected members of Italy’s crime syndicates.

The seizure of Nicastri’s assets “confims the interest that organised crime has in renewable energy, which several annual reports on environmental issues have already stressed,” said Beppe Ruggiero, an official with the anti-Mafia association Libera.

“It is very important for this sector to stay far from Mafia activities,” Ruggiero said, stressing the need for renewable energy to develop in Italy’s poorer south. “Investment in renewable energy should not be discouraged,” he said, adding that the nuclear alternative would be “a losing choice”.

The Berlusconi government in February began a process of restarting nuclear power, which was banned by a referendum held soon after the 1986 nuclear meltdown in Chernobyl, Ukraine, sent highly radioactive fallout over large areas of Europe.

Italy is ranked third in Europe, after Germany and Spain, for wind power, with a total power of nearly 5,000 megawatts at 294 farms as of the end of 2009, according to Gestore Servizi Energetici, a public company that manages incentive programmes for renewal energy.

Over the past decade, thanks to generous subsidies, wind farms have proliferated at a rate of 20 percent per year and the energy generated has risen by 34 percent per year, GSE said.
Most of that total — 98 percent — is generated in the south.

Last year wind power produced 6,543 gigawatt hours, 35 percent more than in 2008.

The Mafia interest in clean energy is explained by the fact that it is a “new sector where there is more public money and less control”, Ruggiero said.

“It allows the creation of new companies, and so the recycling of money. For organised crime, it’s a sector that was still unknown 15 years ago, but is becoming very important.
“They steal money from the state and in addition they sell them the energy they produce. They win twice,” Ruggiero said.

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The EPA’s Fred Hauchman Talks About the Fracking Study – CNN.com

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In Binghamton, New York on Wednesday, hundreds of locals filled the Broome County Theater to speak their minds, two minutes a time, to four members of the Environmental Protection Agency. They voiced opinions about a controversial process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to tap into huge reserves of shale gas thousands of feet below ground. New York sits on one of the largest known reserves of natural gas, which many people, including President Obama, have called a new, crucial resource for the country.

But residents in places where fracking occurs have raised concerns that the process isn’t regulated enough — that it leaches dangerous chemicals into groundwater and contaminates it with methane gas. Proponents believe that natural gas development can be a huge boon for the area, and drilling needs to happen as soon as possible.

Fracking, which is state regulated, isn’t legal in New York yet, and there was enough of an uproar about these issues that locals called for the EPA to step in and study the process. (Fracking involves injecting fluids into cracks in rock thousands of feet underground to increase the volume of gas collected. It’s long been legal in New York to do this along a vertical well column. But the more controversial horizontal fracking, which creates fractures on either side of a well drilled horizontally through a layer of gas-rich rock, remains illegal in New York for now.)

People on all sides are clamoring for the study, which is expected to be completed by 2012. The pro-fracking camp believes that good science will exonerate the practice. Anti-frackers want to know the process is safe before companies start drilling for shale. The EPA is under pressure.

After the hearing, Fortune spoke with Fred Hauchman, the Director of Science Policy about the task ahead of him. He offered insight about how to get good scientific results in a short timeframe, the EPA’s communication challenge and the benefit of getting face time with the people.

Why did the EPA agree to study this?

Natural gas is important to the country, but at the same time a lot of concerns have been expressed. And the public deserves to have answers to their questions.

How do you design a study that’s going to yield answers in just two years?

Unquestionably it will take resources and it will take a lot of focus and energy. I don’t think any of us have any illusions that we’ll have all the answers in two years. But we’re convinced that we can do research over this period of time that will be very informative.

What’s going to be the main focus?

We were directed by Congress to focus our efforts on drinking water. But people have said, several times, take a comprehensive look at hydraulic fracturing — you can’t just look at one part of it. We see a challenge there — obviously, we can only do so much with the resources we have and the time we have. But we need to consider those comments.

How long will it take?

We have this two-year timeframe, during which we expect to get good results, which we would characterize as preliminary. We know that there are going to continue to be questions. Any researcher will tell you we have to keep studying this. This is a big task we’ve taken on, and we anticipate that research will have to go on beyond that two-year period.

How many people in the EPA will work on this?

We’ve not fully resourced it. Right now we just know it’s going to take a sizeable effort.

It’s been identified as one of the top priorities for our Office of Research and Development. That came right out of the assistant administrator’s mouth.

Do you have an idea of the plan of attack?

We’re going to propose to the Science Advisory Board that some part of the study look at operations before they begin, in addition to testing sites during development and after drilling has started. We’re also looking retrospectively because the states have information through their regulatory activities. We’re looking at existing data that we have in hand that can help us, but we’re also looking at doing studies alongside fracturing operations.

People on both sides are so passionate about this. Is drilling for natural gas getting more scrutiny than methods of producing other kinds of fuels?

Everybody’s looking at this study. I think it’s fair to say that this administration has come in and told us from the get go that transparency is the hallmark of everything we do. I think this is a great example of that. It’s to our benefit. Venues like this with input from the public are very, very helpful.

Do you consider it the EPA’s responsibility to keep educating people once the results come out?

Sure, we’re going to need to go to great lengths to help with the interpretation of what’s likely to be a very complex study in the end. There are a lot of technical issues, and unless you’re an expert in that area, it’s difficult to get your head around it. We’re going to need to go the extra mile to translate and respond to questions.

You’ve sat through four four-hour sessions within the past two days. You must be exhausted.

Actually it’s good. It’s important for us to hear real concerns. What a great opportunity for science to really inform some very important decisions.

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Why Isn’t There a Google of Energy? – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

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New York, New York — We often wonder when the next Google of clean energy will materialize. When will the lone inventor finally emerge from his garage to change the world and solve our energy problems? What stealth company will bring the establishment to its knees? Our recent experience with IT makes these questions seem relevant. But some analysts say they ignore the realities of energy.

“It’s a dangerous distraction,” says Mark Bünger, a research director with Lux Research. “There’s such a long distance between invention and implementation in these really physical technologies.”

It’s convenient to compare solar cell manufacturing to chip manufacturing or smart meters to personal computers. But a variety of factors make these sectors very different, says Bünger.

Firstly, the regulatory barriers in energy mean that projects often take a long time to develop. This will make the transition to renewables less like the IT Revolution and more of an evolution. Secondly, while information technologies were being deployed within an entirely new framework, energy technologies are competing against well-established incumbents. And thirdly, the capital needed to roll out renewable energies is orders of magnitude greater than in IT.

There’s basically zero variable cost associated with information technologies. And that’s exactly the opposite of most renewable energy technologies,” Bünger says.

The path to commercial adoption in energy is littered with all kinds of financial, political and regulatory barriers. These make it difficult for entrepreneurs and start-up companies to bring technologies to market.

This brings us to the “Valley of Death,” the gap between venture capital and project finance. The Valley of Death is where a technology is too capital intensive for a venture capital firm to continue investing, but too risky for a bank or private equity firm to bring it to scale. This gap is particularly wide in renewable energy where many technologies are still unproven and up-front capital needs are much higher.

If a framework for financing next-generation renewables is not established, say experts, new game-changing technologies will get stuck in this lonely Valley and wither away before they reach their potential.

That’s what this week’s podcast is all about: How to cross the Valley of Death.

Listen to the podcast…

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Wonderfuel: Welcome to the age of unconventional gas

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FORGET coal, it’s too dirty. Forget nuclear power, it’s too expensive and controversial. Forget renewables, they’re too unpredictable. To meet our energy needs and cut carbon emissions we need an abundant source of clean, cheap energy, available night and day and in all weathers.

We may be in luck. Natural gas is such a fuel, and it’s sitting right under our noses in abundance. Predominantly methane, it’s the cleanest-burning of all fossil fuels (see chart), so using gas rather than coal to generate electricity could halve greenhouse gas emissions from traditional coal-fired power plants.

But hang on a minute: aren’t natural gas reserves depleting just as quickly as oil? And aren’t most reserves found in countries that might not want to share their riches with the rest of the world? Back in 2006, a political spat in Europe led Russia to temporarily cut off its supply of gas to Ukraine. All of a sudden, gas seemed to have just as many problems as other fossil fuels.

While that may have been the case four years ago, things are changing fast. New technology to extract natural gas from what’s euphemistically called “unconventional” deposits means previously gas-poor countries in the Americas, Asia and western Europe could have enough cheap gas to last for another 100 years at present rates of consumption (see diagram).

Unconventional gas tends to be trapped in impermeable hard rock or sandstone, contained within coal seams, or – most promisingly for gas producers – in shale deposits. For Vello Kuuskraa, president of Advanced Resources International, an energy industry consultancy based in Washington DC, unconventional gas “has the potential for changing the long-term outlook for natural gas in a very dramatic way”.

The world consumes around 3 trillion cubic metres of natural gas each year, and the European Union says reserves from proven and conventional sources will run out in 2068. Unconventional reserves could buy us at least an extra 60 years at current rates of consumption. According to research in the late 1990s by Hans-Holger Rogner at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, there could be 900 trillion cubic metres of unconventional gas worldwide, half of which is shale gas. Of this, the International Energy Agency estimates 180 trillion cubic metres will be recoverable.

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Gulf Coast Towns Brace as Huge Oil Slick Nears Marshes – New York Times

COCODRIE, La. — Oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico unabated Saturday, and officials conveyed little hope that the flow could be contained soon, forcing towns along the Gulf Coast to brace for what is increasingly understood to be an imminent environmental disaster.

The spill, emanating from a pipe 50 miles offshore and 5,000 feet underwater, was creeping into Louisiana’s fragile coastal wetlands as strong winds and rough waters hampered cleanup efforts. Officials said the oil could hit the shores of Mississippi and Alabama as soon as Monday.

The White House announced that President Obama would visit the region on Sunday morning.

Adm. Thad W. Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, who is overseeing the Obama administration’s response to the spill, said at a news conference Saturday evening that he could not estimate how much oil was leaking per day from the damaged underwater well.

“There’s enough oil out there that it’s logical it’s going to impact the shoreline,” Admiral Allen said.

The imperiled marshes that buffer New Orleans and the rest of the state from the worst storm surges are facing a sea of sweet crude oil, orange as rust. The most recent estimate by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20 and sank days later, was gushing as much as 210,000 gallons of crude into the gulf each day. Concern is mounting that the flow may soon grow to several times that amount.

The wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta have been losing about 24 square miles a year, deprived of sediment replenishment by levees in the river, divided by channels cut by oil companies and poisoned by farm runoff from upriver. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita took large, vicious bites.

The questions that haunt this region are how much more can the wetlands take and does their degradation spell doom for an increasingly defenseless southern Louisiana?

Many variables will dictate just how devastating this slick will ultimately be to the ecosystem, including whether it takes days or months to seal the leaking oil well and whether winds keep blowing the oil ashore. But what is terrifying everyone from bird watchers to the state officials charged with rebuilding the natural protections of this coast is that it now seems possible that a massive influx of oil could overwhelm and kill off the grasses that knit the ecosystem together.

Healthy wetlands would have some natural ability to cope with an oil slick, said Denise Reed, interim director of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences at the University of New Orleans. “The trouble with our marshes is they’re already stressed, they’re already hanging by a fingernail,” she said.

It is possible, she said, that the wetlands’ “tolerance for oil has been compromised.” If so, she said, that could be “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

To an untrained eye, the vast expanses of grass leading into Terrebonne Bay, about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans, look vigorous. Locals use boats as cars here, trawling though the marsh for shrimp or casting for plentiful redfish. Out on the water, the air smells like salt — not oil — and seabirds abound and a dolphin makes a swift appearance.

But it is what is not visible that is scary, said Alexander Kolker, a professor of coastal and wetland science at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. Piloting a craft through the inland waterways, he pointed out that islands that recently dotted the bay and are still found on local navigation maps are gone. Also gone are the freshwater alligators that gave the nearby town Cocodrie its name — French settlers thought they were crocodiles.

All evidence, he says, is that this land is quickly settling into the salt ocean.

The survival of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands is not only an environmental issue here. Since successive hurricanes have barreled up from the gulf unimpeded, causing mass devastation and loss of life, just about every resident of southern Louisiana has begun to view wetlands protection as a cause of existential importance. If the wetlands had been more robust when Hurricane Katrina’s waters pushed up from the ocean, the damage might not have been as severe.

But they were not. Levees holding back the Mississippi River have prevented natural land replenishment from floods. Navigation channels and pipeline canals have brought saltwater into fragile freshwater marshes, slowly killing them, and the sloshing of waves in boats’ wakes has eroded natural banks.

Since 1932, the state has lost an area the size of Delaware. Not all the damage is caused by humans: the hurricanes of 2005 turned about 217 square miles of marsh into water, according to a study by the United States Geological Survey.

Garret Graves, director of the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, said that since Hurricane Katrina, extraordinary efforts at restoration had been made and, to some extent, had slowed the decline. But, he said, a severe oil dousing would change that.

“The vegetation is what holds these islands together,” Mr. Graves said. “When you kill that, you just have mud, and that just gets washed away.”

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Cape Cod Wind Project is Approved but Much to Chagrin of Residents (yes, energy is complicated)

HYANNIS, Mass. — The federal government may have described the Cape Wind project as a fait accompli, but Ian Parent does not expect to see turbines in the water or run the panini maker at his restaurant with electricity generated in Nantucket Sound any time soon.

“I bet this goes on for another five years,” said Mr. Parent, the owner of La Petite France Café, as he unwrapped cheese behind the counter on Wednesday afternoon.

Word that the federal government had approved a permit on Wednesday for Cape Wind Associates to build a 130-turbine wind farm off the coast here barely caused a ripple in Hyannis, where the installation will be visible from parts of the town, including a popular beach and many houses.

After a nine-year battle over the proposal, most here thought the decision would lead to even more years of litigation and waiting.

“I don’t think it’s over yet,” said Rob MacNamee, 42, a lawyer from Barnstable, Mass. “It’s been going on for how long? All the stickers for and against have washed off the cars, and the signs have blown down.”

The fight has dragged on for so long that many find themselves on both sides of the issue. That is, they now support the development of renewable energy, but just not here.

“I’m 100 percent for alternative energy, but just not in Nantucket Sound,” Mr. Parent said. “There’s no guarantee that the electricity will be cheaper. And once you put those windmills out there you can never take them away.”

Many in Hyannis, where the wind that would one day power the turbines whipped around rain and hail on Wednesday, thought the decision was to be expected from the Obama administration, which has dedicated billions of dollars to alternative energy sources.

Allen Rencurrel, a ship captain, speculated that the administration had deliberately waited until after the death in August of Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, one of Cape Wind’s biggest opponents, to make its call.

“Now that Teddy’s gone, that’s the only way they got it approved,” Mr. Rencurrel said from the deck of the Seafox, which harvests clams in beds near the site where the turbines would rise.

Mr. Rencurrel said he worried that the turbines would interfere with the routes he takes to some of his clam beds and challenge both experienced captains and recreational boaters.

“I feel sorry for the pleasure boaters out there — they’re inexperienced and are going to be running into these things,” he said.

Yet with unemployment high and affordable housing hard to come by, some here suggest that the construction and operations jobs could well make up for what might be lost in a vista.

“There’s a desperate need for work here,” said Steven Spagnohe, 46, a musician from Hyannis. “There’s a lot of skilled laborers and mechanical people out of work, and this would help.”

Mr. Spagnohe said that people opposed to the project are “old money” who “don’t want to lose tradition” while he sees Cape Wind as a step forward for the country’s energy policy.

“We’re going to get more electricity,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for the United States, for America and for the Cape.”

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Green Energy Rush Hit by Headwinds

OFF THE COAST OF KENT, England—A phalanx of sleek white windmills, rising nearly 400 feet out of the North Sea, is just the start of one of the world’s most audacious green-energy programs.

The turbines are part of a project expected to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it is completed later this year. But only for a while, because it’s a prelude to something much bigger. In a few years, its developer, Swedish energy company Vattenfall AB, plans to start a new project farther offshore, in deeper waters, with turbines as tall as London’s 580-foot Gherkin skyscraper.

Just one problem: Vattenfall has no idea how it’s going to build it. “The equipment we need to operate in such rough waters doesn’t exist yet,” says Ole Bigum Nielsen, the project manager.

Europe is making a huge bet on wind energy. Because there is little room in its crowded countryside for sprawling wind-tower complexes, planners are increasingly looking to the sea. Europe’s current 2,000 megawatts of offshore generating capacity will grow at least 40,000 megawatts by 2020, enough to power more than 25 million households, the European Wind Energy Association predicts.

Britain is making the biggest wind wager. By offering generous incentives, the U.K. already has built more offshore wind power than any other nation. Now it is planning a wave of vast new wind farms, in some of Europe’s stormiest waters.

The U.K.’s commitment is driven by stringent European Union targets. To meet them, Britain will have to raise the share of its electricity that comes from renewable sources to about 30% by 2020. It’s just 7% now. The U.K. also adopted a “carbon budget” a year ago, committing to reduce emissions to at least 34% below 1990 levels by 2018-2022.

Some dismiss the windmills as quixotic. Wind energy needs massive subsidies to be economic. The cost to carry out Britain’s plans is estimated at $150 billion. Some predict a consumer backlash against resulting higher energy bills. And many more challenges await, judging from those the project at Kent faced, ranging from the need to protect marine worms to a design flaw that causes turbines to sink into their foundations.

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Wikipedia’s Entry on Global Energy Consumption

In 2008, total worldwide energy consumption was 474 exajoules (474×1018 J) with 80 to 90 percent derived from the combustion of fossil fuels.[1] This is equivalent to an average power consumption rate of 15 terawatts (1.504×1013 W). Not all of the world’s economies track their energy consumption with the same rigor, and the exact energy content of a barrel of oil or a ton of coal will vary with quality.

Most of the world’s energy resources are from the sun’s rays hitting earth. Some of that energy has been preserved as fossil energy, some is directly or indirectly usable; for example, via wind, hydro- or wave power. The term solar constant is the amount of incoming solar electromagnetic radiation per unit area, measured on the outer surface of Earth’s atmosphere, in a plane perpendicular to the rays. The solar constant includes all types of solar radiation, not just visible light. It is measured by satellite to be roughly 1366 watts per square meter, though it fluctuates by about 6.9% during a year—from 1412 W m−2 in early January to 1321 W m−2 in early July, due to the Earth’s varying distance from the sun, and by a few parts per thousand[clarification needed] from day to day. For the whole Earth, with a cross section of 127,400,000 km2, the total energy rate is 174 petawatts (1.740×1017 W), plus or minus 3.5%. This value is the total rate of solar energy received by the planet; about half, 89 PW, reaches the Earth’s surface.[citation needed]

The estimates of remaining non-renewable worldwide energy resources vary, with the remaining fossil fuels totaling an estimated 0.4 YJ (1 YJ = 1024J) and the available nuclear fuel such as uranium exceeding 2.5 YJ. Fossil fuels range from 0.6-3 YJ if estimates of reserves of methane clathrates are accurate and become technically extractable. Mostly thanks to the Sun, the world also has a renewable usable energy flux that exceeds 120 PW (8,000 times 2004 total usage), or 3.8 YJ/yr, dwarfing all non-renewable resources.

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