Scientists ‘Tantalised’ by Draining Every Hydropower Dam in The US For Solar Panels

By CARLY CASSELLA – Re-Blogged From Science Alert

If all the hydro-power dams in the United States were removed and replaced with solar panels, it would take up a fraction of the land and produce substantially more electricity, according to a new analysis.

The idea is ambitious, and for now, it’s really just a thought experiment. Today, hydropower is a significant source of renewable energy in the US, accounting for roughly six percent of the country’s total electricity output.

Removing all 2,603 hydro dams in America would leave a huge energy void behind, but it could also provide room for greener opportunities.

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Drought Proofing a Dry Continent

By Viv Forbes – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Earth is a blue watery planet.

70% of its surface is covered by oceans of salt water, some of which are extremely deep. These oceans contain about 97% of Earth’s water. Another 2% is locked up in snow, ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% of Earth’s surface water in inland seas, lakes, rivers and dams. We have plenty of water, but not much to drink.

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Cutting the Army Corps of Engineers

By Chris Edwards – Re-Blogged From Downsizing Government

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency that constructs and maintains a wide range of infrastructure for military and civilian purposes.1 This essay concerns the civilian part of the agency, which employs about 23,000 people and will spend about $9.2 billion in fiscal 2012.2

The civilian part of the Corps—called “civil works”—builds and operates locks, channels, and other navigation infrastructure on river systems. It also builds flood control structures, dredges seaports, manages thousands of recreation sites, and owns and operates hydroelectric power plants across the country.

While the Army Corps has built some impressive infrastructure, many of its projects have been economically or environmentally dubious. The agency’s activities have often subsidized private interests at the expense of federal taxpayers. Furthermore, the Corps has a history of distorting its cost-benefit analyses in order to justify its projects.

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