November has brought many thought-provoking conversations about energy innovation and ways to secure our nation’s energy future: from the White House GreenGov Symposium on products and practices that would improve energy efficiency in government operations, to the Atlantic’s Green Intelligence Forum on green building design and construction, to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s leadership forum on the promising new ways to extract natural gas from shale, to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s (ITIF) Energy Innovation conference, which surveyed the latest technological breakthroughs in clean energy.
A recent editorial in the Charleston Daily Mail explains how a new innovation in the way we extract natural gas from shale, horizontal drilling, could enable West Virginia and other states replete with shale gas reserves to capitalize on “the greatest economic opportunity they have seen since the opening of the coalfields more than a century ago,” bringing wealth and prosperity to the struggling state and the residents who live and work there. Shale gas is already reinvigorating the domestic chemistry industry.
In addition to new technologies that help us produce energy, on the other end of the spectrum you’ll find innovations that help us recover it. A new Huffington Post article by Dr. Nickolas Themelis, professor and director of the Earth Engineering Center at Columbia University, showcases the technology behind waste-to-energy conversion. Though the technology has been around for decades, as Dr. Themelis explains, a growing number of new technologies may enable us recover energy from more household waste, and then use that energy to produce enough electricity to power our cars, businesses, and, potentially, more than 16 million households annually.
We’re interested in hearing what you think about these energy innovations. Share your thoughts in the comments below!