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I think nuclear power is one of the most promising technologies we have, particularly for avoiding dependence on coal or oil. But it is something we have to be very very careful with, since mistakes can be quite dangerous. Solar power (which is indirectly based on nuclear power, since the sun is a large nuclear reactor) is also really appealing to me, but that seems less likely to be adopted on a scale large enough to solve our energy needs.
While I agree with Kyler that nuclear power is thew way we will have to go eventually, I think hydroelectric power is pretty good. It is used a lot in Tasmania and it can be coupled with other forms of “green” power – for example a windmill can be used to pump water at to the top of a hill; the windmill only works when the wind is blowing, but once the water is up there it can be used any time you need it.
@bigbrain: I get pretty excited by Poo Power! 🙂 🙂 🙂
The info below is from a post I wrote for my blog, Do You Believe in Dog?
Dog poo is turning green! It’s turning green and it’s thanks to the power of science. Or perhaps it’s the science of power? It’s easy to get confused.
The important bit is that a Melbourne-based entrepreneur, Duncan Chew, received funding in 2012 from the Inspiring Australia strategy for his idea to turn dog waste into energy to light up parks around Australia. Titled Poo Power!, his project is using science to help our communities live more sustainably.
How big is this issue?
In Australia, we have one of the highest incidences of pet ownership in the world with over 60% of households owning a pet. The average dog produces 0.34 kilograms (that’s 0.75 lb) of faeces per day.
Do the maths, and that’s around 1.4 tonnes of dog poo needing to be disposed of DAILY in Australia, which adds up to a colossal 490,000 tonnes each year!
490 MILLION KG!
The USA have more than 20 times the number of dogs as Australia. Just saying.
The issue of dog waste disposal (what I like to call Poo-llution!) is an especially important issue in areas of growing urbanisation, cities with limited park spaces and in light of declining landfill site availability.
Using our love of dogs to brighten the future.
The project will see a series of biogas generators turn dog waste into energy for lighting up Melbourne parks, at the same time as engaging audiences on the issue of ‘what is waste?’, and the potential opportunities posed by reassessing waste management practices. 1kg of dog poo will give you about 25-30 litres of raw biogas.
Biogas harvesting is achieved utilising anaerobic digestion (where a bunch of microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen) to produce a renewable energy source that can be used to power lighting. Or cooking! Imagine having a coffee as your dog runs around the park, while the coffee machine was powered by your dog’s poo!
I’m not talking crap (well, I am)…
We know this can work. This kind of project has been implemented previously at ‘Park Spark’ in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near MIT.:
Munich Zoo similarly harness the energy of their animals’ faecal output to help power their operations. Imagine if shelters and other kennel facilities could use this system to reduce their power consumption and expenses? That would be awesome!
Can’t get enough of green dog poo?
Follow Poo Power! here: http://poopower.com.au/
Port Power. Got the Power to win.