Dam the Red Sea for power?

A dam could produce up to 50 gigawatts of emissions-free power. Also: updates on sustainable leadership and using baking soda to cut emissions.

A recent study shows that damming the Red Sea could provide 50 gigawatts of emissions-free hydroelectric power. This would be the largest power plant in the world. However, tens of thousands of people would have to be displaced, not to mention untold ecological damage.

Hank Green at EcoGeek writes about how this would impact the Middle East politically:

"The project would provide enough power to switch off oil-burning power plants throughout the Middle East. Political scientists are already estimating the stability such a project would bring to the region."

Sustainable leadership

"Sustainability" is now becoming a buzzword just like "eco" and "environmental." But what does it take at the corporate level to promote sustainable practices?

A recent report from Avastone Consulting examined what types of leadership and organization structure was needed to carry out such changes.

Joel Makower says:

"Their study found that it isn't a lack of systems and activities that limit a company's success, but rather the scarcity of what it calls "higher capacity leaders" and the direct relationship between leader mindset development and the realization of complex sustainability outcomes."

Baking soda solution

Jim Fraser at the Energy Blog writes about this simple but promising process:

"Sodium hydroxide, which is produced on site as a part of the SkyMine process, is used to react with the CO2 to produce the sodium carbonate. The heat to drive the process is captured from the heat in the flue gas."

For a 500-megawatt power plant, that amounts to 642,000 tons of emissions reduced each year.

Frank Ling is a postdoctoral fellow at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) at UC Berkeley. He is also a producer of the Berkeley Groks Science Show.

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About the author

    Frank blogs the weekly Best of the Cleantech Blog Blogroll. Frank has been a postdoctoral fellow at the highly regarded Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab at UC Berkeley. Frank holds a PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara, and did his undergraduate work at Caltech. He is also one of the founding producers of Berkeley Groks, the popular San Francisco Bay Area science radio show founded in 2001 and now broadcast in five states and multiple countries.

     

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