Chinese province runs entirely on renewable energy for 7 days

June 27, 2017 by  
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A province in China just showed it is indeed possible to obtain all of our electricity from renewable sources . Qinghai Province recently ran solely on solar , wind , and hydropower for around a week. The province, which is home to over five million people, used up the amount of electricity that 535,000 tons of coal could have generated in those seven days – without all the air-polluting carbon emissions . The State Grid Corporation of China ran the trial in the Qinghai Province to show fossil fuels aren’t a necessary component of our energy future. So between June 17 and midnight on June 23, the province got its power from only clean energy : 72.3 percent from hydropower and the rest from other sources like solar and wind. Related: Renewables will reign supreme by 2040, latest BNEF report shows During the week the people of Qinghai consumed 1.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. The province is home to the Laxiwa hydropower station, which generates 10.2 billion kWh annually, and the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, which as of February this year was the largest solar farm in the world . ScienceAlert pointed out the figures have not been independently confirmed, and the information comes from a state-run news agency . But if the numbers are verified it will help show an electrical grid can remain stable without gas or coal for base load energy. The province already obtains a large amount of power from renewables. All told Qinghai’s power grid has an installed capacity of 23.4 million kilowatts (kW) – and 82.8 percent is found in cleaner sources like hydropower, solar, and wind – though some environmentalists will take issue with the claim that hydropower is a ‘green’ energy source. Still, plans for more renewable sources are in the works – the province aims to boost wind and solar capacity to 35 million kW by 2020 and supply 110 billion kWh of clean power yearly to areas of eastern and central China. The government will reportedly invest around $370 billion in renewable energy over the next three years, creating over 13 million jobs . Via ScienceAlert and Xinhua Images via Ken Marshall on Flickr and Pixabay

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Chinese province runs entirely on renewable energy for 7 days

Scientists discover water has not one, but two liquid phases

June 27, 2017 by  
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We know from our early science classes that water exists as a solid, liquid, and gas. But an international team of 19 scientists say that’s not the case. They discovered that liquid water actually has two phases – low and high density – and can fluctuate between them. While providing new information, the research reminds us how much we still don’t know about a substance that covers over 70 percent of the planet. There’s still a lot we don’t have a clue about when it comes to water. The substance has around 70 properties as a liquid that are utterly unique from other liquids, according to the team led by physicists at Stockholm University in Sweden, who used X-ray imaging to scrutinize water molecules in new detail to discover water fluctuates between high density and low density liquid forms. Related: Scientists figured out how to make water freeze at boiling temperatures Physicist Lars G. M. Pettersson said in a statement, “In a nutshell: water is not a complicated liquid, but two simple liquids with a complicated relationship.” He said their research supports the idea of water at room temperature being unable to decide which form it should be in, so it changes between the two distinct phases. The two phases differ in their density and structure. There have been hints of water’s second liquid phase in the past. In 2016 Oxford University researchers found liquid water could switch states between 104 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, with each state exhibiting different properties. The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America published the research online this week. Scientists at institutions in the United States, Germany, and Austria were also part of the study. Their findings are intriguing but for now, there’s still a lot about water that remains a mystery. Nature consultant editor Philip Ball once said in an article, “No one really understands water.” Via ScienceAlert Images via Mattias Karlén and Mark Doda on Unsplash

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Scientists discover water has not one, but two liquid phases

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