CH: Lack Of Tourists Aftr Earthquake At Pandas Breeding Center in Chengdu

Microbes in panda feces have shown some promise in making cellulosic biofuel production cheaper and more efficient. “Current methods for breaking down non-food plant material (stalks, stems and cobs) are expensive and require pretreatments that use heat and high pressure or acids…But the bacteria [Mississippi Stat Assistant professor Ashli] Brown and her team discovered do that on their own.” [US News]

A Stanford study has found that grid-scale electricity storage is viable for solar, but not for wind. “Researchers compared the energetic cost of curtailing solar and wind power, versus the energetic cost of grid-scale storage,” and “found that curtailing wind power reduces the energy return on investment by 10 percent…but storing surplus wind-generated electricity in batteries results in even greater reductions – from about 20 percent for lithium-ion batteries to more than 50 percent for lead-acid.” [Stanford University Global Climate and Energy Project]

An article in Energy in Depth suggests that Vermont Governor Peter  Shumlin is in favor of low-cost natural gas, but anti-fracking. It quotes Governor Shumlin saying that a new natural gas compressor station in the state “is critical to Vermonters who are struggling to pay their energy bills”,”will create jobs”, and “will move Vermont from dirty oil to a clean energy supply”. This is the same governor who said, after a state ban on fracking was passed, that “human beings have survived for thousands of years without oil or natural gas. We have never known humanity or life on this planet to survive without clean water”. [Energy In Depth]