Thursday, October 19, 2006

Kite Power To The Rescue!

Kite generator is an idea that seriously blows
The KiteGen power plant would work by letting loose a bunch of kites tethered to a central rotor. Flying over a mile high, the kites would set the rotor in motion thanks to the force of powerful winds, generating power. A radar system and winches would control the direction and angle of the kites to make sure they don't get in the way of aircraft, birds, or each other. On paper, Sequoia predicts a KiteGen plant could produce even more power than a nuclear plant at a fraction of the cost, and the company plans to build one in the next two years.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Well the Saudis are still going to pump oil so it edged down just a touch more again today. Makes me wonder how many alternative energy programs will be maintained once it goes down another $5 per barrel.

Mitsubishi to Test i-Based Electric Car
The cars will be given to two Japanese energy companies for testing. With a top speed of 80 mph, the wee runabout will be able to travel 80 to 100 miles on a charge.

The above points to this article:
Mitsubishi to Try Once More With Battery-Powered Cars
Mitsubishi said it had no plan to bring its electric car to the U.S.

But the company has been testing a pair of conventional gasoline-powered models of the minicar in Southern California for much of the last year.

Work begins on largest European wind farm
Construction has started on Europe's largest onshore wind farm -- a 140-turbine facility in Scotland, south of Glasgow.

The $560 million wind farm -- part of Scotland's stated goal of becoming the "Saudi Arabia" of renewable energy -- is being constructed on moorland and a forested area, The Independent reported.

Alternate Energy Holdings Announces Development of Lightning Into Electricity Technology
By collecting power from the ground area surrounding a lightning strike and converting it into usable electricity to be sold through existing power grids, AEHI is able to harness the natural energy delivered in a bolt of lightning. Lightning harvesting is a clean energy solution that will not only eliminate numerous environmental hazards associated with the energy industry it will also significantly reduce the costliness of power production. When amortized over 4-7 years, a lightning farm will be able to produce and sell electricity for as low as $0.005 per kilowatt hour, thus significantly undercutting the current production costs of its competing energy sources.

Environmentalists praise Xcel's progress on renewable energy
Pat Vincent, president and chief executive of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company, said the utility will generate 10 percent of its power from renewable energy sources by the end of next year.

"Nationwide, Xcel Energy is the No. 1 purchaser of wind," Vincent said. "Here in Colorado, our purchase of wind power has and will contribute to the operation of several wind farms around the state, some producing as much as 300 to 500 megawatts by capacity."

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

News of the morn

I was reading about Delek buying into the Dead Sea oil project that the Israelis have going on and of course did my usual search for clean energy projects.

It is nice reading some good news, especially from New Jersey. The one thing about growing up in that state is that when you travel to other states you hear nothing but other people making fun of it. In Maine people thought those from New Jersey were busy all of the time (never figured out why) while people from NYC would lament the lack of a busing system in South Jersey (um, it's mostly rural and not really that population dense but it is still growing).

The Price of Success: Inside the NJ Clean Energy Program
The rebates, which formerly covered up to 60 percent of an installed solar system, had been a great success. And as a result, there are now many applications sitting in a queue. Both the rebate levels and consumer demand have been very high. In an effort to temper the program and limit applications, rebates have been lowered 5 times in 15 months.

Also, to meet the strong solar goals of New Jersey's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the BPU made a large number of commitments to solar projects. However, those commitments exceeded the CEP budget through 2008, putting a 9-month halt on up to 200 projects.

And now onto what may be mankind's greatest achievement, beer power.

FuelCell Energy Helps Sierra Nevada Harness ‘Beer Power’ to Reduce its Energy Costs by 25 to 40 Percent
FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL), a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean electric power plants for commercial, industrial and government customers, today announced the upgrade of its 1 megawatt (MW) Direct Fuel Cell® (DFC®) power plant at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to use fuel created from a waste by-product of the brewing process. With this enhancement, Sierra Nevada furthers its sustainability and energy efficiency goals, while realizing substantial cost savings by offsetting its purchase of natural gas.

The brewery’s fuel cell power plant, which began running last summer and was dedicated by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, initially ran on natural gas. To boost the brewery’s energy efficiency and ecologically friendly profile, Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman sought to convert the ultra-clean fuel cells from operating solely on natural gas to a gas mixture that the brewery produced as a by-product, methane.

Sierra Nevada installed a compressor and filtration system to purify methane gas that is generated during the brewery’s water treatment process, and then feed it to the power plant for fuel. As a result, two of the plant’s four fuel cell stacks can now operate in dual fuel mode -- using any combination of natural gas and anaerobic digester gas (ADG). As Sierra Nevada increases its production and the amount of methane it generates, it also can operate the other two fuel cells on ADG.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Alternative Energy in the News

China to raise investments in alternative energy projects
Data showed that China’s dependence on foreign oil reached 43% last year. Departments concerned forecast that China’s oil consumption would hit 450 million tonnes in 2020, with 250 million tonnes to be imported from abroad.

The ministry, however, did not elaborate on the investment figures, saying only that it would earmark more funds for bio-energy, solar and wind energy projects, as well as for coal-to-liquid fuel projects over the next five years, Xinhua news agency reported.

Alternative energy research catching fire
“Virginia Farm Bureau not only supports the production of biofuels, but we also support continued research to help these important alternative energy sources become more available to the general public,” said Andrew Smith, senior assistant director of governmental relations for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “We’ve known for several years now that biodiesel and ethanol-blended gasoline are better for the environment, provide important new markets for our farmers and help reduce our nation’s dependency on foreign oil imports. But research on the best ways to produce and distribute these fuels continues to be needed.”

Alternative Energy: Solar power
Romero doesn’t have plans for future upgrades and remains content with the cash she’s saving now. Her August electricity bill, after keeping her 1,950-square-foot home comfortably cool from summer heat, came out to $70.
Since then, Romero said the solar water-heating system — which circulates water through transparent pipes on her roof and back to her pool — has helped cut her propane bills in half.

For each solar system installation, Romero turned to Energy Trust of Oregon for help. Because of the incentives Energy Trust offers, Romero paid only $6,000 for her $20,000 solar-panel system.

Monday, October 02, 2006

First Coal to Liquid Fuel Plant in the US

Mont. to Build Coal-To-Liquid Fuel Plant
DKRW and Arch Minerals are the principal developers of the previously announced Medicine Bow CTL facility in Wyoming.

The Montana plant would use what is called integrated gas combined cycle technology to gasify, rather than ignite the coal. The project calls for converting a portion of the synthetic gas into 22,000 barrels per day of diesel fuel, using the rest of the gas to generate about 300 megawatts of electricity.
General Electric will provide the technology to convert the coal into synthetic gas and Rentech technology will be used to convert the synthetic gas into a liquid.

Schweitzer said the plant would be outfitted with technology to capture carbon dioxide so it can be stored underground. The gasifier will remove mercury, sulfur and particulate matter from the coal, he said.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Ohio's Largest Solar Array, Enough for 15 Homes

I found this at Green Energy Ohio.

Oberlin College Completes Solar Parking Pavilion Largest Photovoltaic Array in Ohio
The pavilion's 8,800-square-foot roof will collect sunlight through 336 PV panels.Sunlight will be transformed into a maximum of 100 kilowatts of electrical energy, bringing the center's total rated production (based on peak theoretical output under ideal conditions) to 145 kW, equivalent to the amount of energy needed to power nearly 15 single-family homes.
A win for the College and for the City of Oberlin, which will benefit from the center's electrical energy when surplus energy is exported into the municipality's grid. Electrical energy from the PV panels is also expected to be distributed into a building next to the Lewis Center which was renovated to house eight offices and teaching and research laboratories.

What is interesting is that GreenCounsel linked to this report today about some research that has been done at the University of Albany area about how much energy could be displaced by setting up PVs at parking lots.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Test of China's new thermonuclear fusion reactor successful

Article Link
The experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (east) fusion device, nicknamed "Artificial Sun", was tested at the Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Hefei, capital city of East China's Anhui province.

East is an upgrade of China's first-generation Tokamak device and the first of its kind in operation in the world, Chinese scientists said.

Please note the word fusion and not fission. This is a big deal, if it is accurate and can be reproduced.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Egypt going nuclear?

Egypt developing nuclear energy program

In all fairness they have been working at it for awhile but it will still take them some time to get everything up and running. Is it worth the possible $2 Billion price tag?
Egypt is looking for alternative power sources because of the rising cost of oil and its increasing energy needs. The government estimates that oil reserves in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, will be depleted within 20 years unless new oil fields are discovered.

Egypt has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the cornerstone of international efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Countries that sign the treaty agree not to produce or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons. They also accept safeguards meant to prevent the diversion of spent nuclear fuel to weapons production. Egypt also has agreed to inspections by the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

NTI's overview of Egypt's nuclear programs

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Green Energy for Sale

So you wanna help the environment and just cannot afford one of those spiffy new hybrids nor can you throw up a wind farm or solar panels? As I blogged earlier, you could replace as many of your lights in the home with CFLs. Then encourage all of your neighbors to do so. Personally, I have saved quite a bit by doing this and not all of my inside lights could be replaced with CFLs.

You might also be able to contribute towards a green fund. Not sure what to buy? How about just investing in your local power company? Many energy providers offer their consumers the ability to pay a little bit extra in their bill, usually around $4 a month, with the promise that it will go towards purchasing renewable energy.

Still not enough? Then look into the New Rules Project to help the environment.

Governments can do everything from purchasing green energy to helping land owners use tools to determine if they can turn some open land into a wind farm.

As this article points out, more and more sustainability adds up.

Also check out:
Can I Buy Green Energy in My State?
National Wild Life Federation's Green Tags Program
Shop and Unshop: Economic Action to promote just and sustainable purchasing

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Signs that the US is getting serious with oil shale?

Chevron starts oil shale project with Los Alamos lab
Chevron Corp. said Monday it's started a joint oil-shale research project with Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

San Ramon-based Chevron (NYSE: CVX) has about 59,000 workers and pulled in a profit of $4.4 billion in the quarter ended June.

Oil-shale plan advances
The federal government has taken a step toward approving the reopening of an oil-shale mine in Utah, one of four experimental works on Western lands that are intended to boost domestic oil production.

In Colorado, three oil companies won environmental clearance in August for their plans to start producing shale oil by heating layers of rock using electric oven-like elements, steam injection or hot natural gas.
In Colorado, the BLM declared projects by Shell Frontier Oil and Gas Inc., Chevron USA Inc. and Midland, Texas-based EGL Resources Inc. would have no significant environmental impact.

Kohler, however, said there was little doubt approval would follow in Utah because sections of the report found little or no environmental damage would result from reopening a working mine.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Trash to Cash. Well to diesel anyway...

That's right, what if we could rid the world of sewer sludge and get some cheap (at today's prices) diesel fuel instead? Think of it, it would be completely unaffected by the home heating oil industry.

From sludge to cheap and clean diesel
Diesel for $1 a gallon.
And not from oil. Instead, it would come from sewer sludge, wood, agricultural waste, plain old trash or even plastics.

That's the promise of a new process unveiled Thursday at UC Riverside by researchers and a small company that will pay $15 million for a pilot plant to be built in the next two years.
Two-thirds of the process uses tried-and-true, off-the-shelf technology. The new trick is how they turn solids into a gas, and how efficient that new technique is.

A process that normally takes an hour can be done in six minutes, or 10-times faster, said Norbeck.

"We don't know why it happens," he said. "We can convert this faster than anyone has ever seen."

And there's little waste. Up to 85 percent of the feed material becomes useable liquid fuel at the other end.

Well all I can say is that seems pretty damn nifty. Wonder if we will actually see a plant up and running in a few years.

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New Vehicles and Tools for America's New Standards

In 2007 and then again in 2010 America will restrict vehicle emissions even more. MOF, America will be the strictest nation on the face of the planet. New technologies are needed in order to make sure that the equipment can perform and perform well.

Honda unveils diesel system to rival gasoline cars

Honda Motor Co. (7267.T) said on Monday it has developed a new and simple diesel powertrain that is as clean as gasoline-fuelled cars, unveiling plans to mount it on a car for the U.S. market by 2009.
Honda's new diesel drivetrain generates and stores ammonia within a two-layer catalytic converter to turn nitrogen oxide into harmless nitrogen.

Honda engineers said the technology is superior to a process pioneered by Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG (DCXGn.DE) because the latter requires a complex system and heavy add-ons to generate ammonia from urea-based additives.

ArvinMeritor Displays 'Clean Air Solutions' Portfolio of Commercial Vehicle Emissions Controls
In addition to its emissions research in Europe, ArvinMeritor is developing several solutions to reduce emissions from diesel engines in the United States. While no solution has been standardized within the U.S. trucking industry, ArvinMeritor continues to develop leading edge technologies to help meet the US EPA 2007 regulations.

ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a premier global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry. The company serves light vehicle, commercial truck, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers and certain aftermarkets.

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Alternative Energy News for the Day

I made sure to log on to my account late last night and take a look at the opening trades for oil. It was pretty much what I expected, $60 a barrel and below. I very much wonder what impact this is going to have on all of the alternative energy initiatives in the US and other parts of the world.

USA. $5.7 Billion committed to Clinton Global Initiative
President Clinton announced four new commitments at a plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative. The session, entitled Managing Diversity in a Globalized World, was attended by panelists President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria moderated the panel discussion.

Following the plenary session, President Clinton joined Richard Branson (CEO, Virgin Group), Klaus Kleinfeld (President and CEO, Siemens), Majora Carter (Executive Director, Sustainable South Bronx) and Barry Segal (CEO, Bradco Supply) at a press conference.

Branson announced an estimated $3 billion commitment toward bio-fuel initiatives. Over the next ten years, Virgin Group will invest all future profits from its airline and train businesses into renewable energy initiatives both within the company, as well as further investments in new bio-fuel R&D, production, distribution and other projects to tackle emissions related to global warming.

Study: Wind Power Fastest Growing Energy Source
According to the Earth Policy Institute, a private organization dedicated to providing a vision of an environmentally sustainable economy, wind is the world’s fastest-growing energy source with an average annual growth rate of 29 percent over the last 10 years.
U.S. wind energy capacity now exceeds a record 10,000 megawatts and produces enough electricity per day to power more than 2.5 million homes, the American Wind Energy Association announced last week.

“Wind power is gaining momentum as a mainstream energy source, bringing clean energy, stable energy costs, new industry and energy security,” Suzanne Williams Sloan, the association’s communications specialist, said.

Building grand hotel comes at a price
One of the most expensive hotel projects ever in Switzerland is taking shape. swissinfo got a sneak preview of the SFr420 million ($337 million) Dolder Grand in Zurich.
Even the hotel's energy concept is futuristic. Seventy geothermal probes sunk 150 metres beneath the foundation will reduce the hotel's environmental impact by providing one million:kilowatt hours of clean energy a year to meet half the building's heating needs.

Finavera Renewables Commits to Develop US$40 Million Wave Energy Project in South Africa
Finavera Renewables, through its wave energy division (former AquaEnergy
Group Ltd), plans to build a phased 20MW wave energy power plant in the
Republic of South Africa for a total investment of more than US$40 million
over five years. The project will generate more than 30 million kilowatt-hours
of electricity per month, save US$2 million per year in fuel and avoid
approximately 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions. A material percentage of the
return from the project will be used to alleviate energy poverty and will
provide economic benefits to local communities through the creation of jobs.

DATCP Provides Funds to Develop Switchgrass Biofuel
Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen announced on Friday that a cheese plant in Grant County will receive a $20,000 grant to help develop switchgrass as a biofuel. The funds will help Meister Cheese Company investigate the feasibility of growing switchgrass to remove nitrogen and other nutrients from wastewater and then using the harvested switchgrass as a supplemental fuel in a new, state-of-the art wood-fired boiler.

Solar Energy Forum Is Today
"Strictly Solar -- A Solar Energy Forum, Dollars and Sense" is today from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The free event will be at the Peggy Brown Building, 121 S. Lake Ave. in Lakeland.

The Solar Energy Forum will provide the latest information on Florida solar rebates. There will be a panel discussion, product exhibits and demonstrations on the latest solar equipment.

New 'Green House' a Showcase for Energy Efficiency
The Bennetts teamed up with Regency Homes, a North Stafford custom builder that has incorporated various "green" elements in previous homes, but never really to this extent.
Bennett estimates that the energy-saving features will add $40,000 to the cost of the house, topping it out at about $980,000. An estimated additional resale value of $150,400 eight years from now nearly quadruples the investment cost. Add to that an anticipated electricity savings of nearly $12,000, tax credits totaling $4,000, plus a county waiver on the property taxes based on property taxes on the solar roof, and building green actually becomes profitable.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Green News of the Moment

Senate Dems Propose Job-creating Alternative Energy Plan
Senate Democrats are taking the lead on funding proposals and policies related to energy independence and alternatives to fossil fuels. A report released yesterday by the non-partisan Apollo Alliance says that investments and reforms contained in the so-called Clean EDGE Act, authored by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), would help create jobs while cultivating a strong alternative energy sector.

The Clean EDGE Act, short hand for Clean Energy Development for a Growing Economy, proposes a public and private investment program of $49 billion by 2009 in alternative fuels and other energy sources. These programs would generate an estimated 530,000 jobs in immediate construction and long-term manufacturing jobs nationally. Supporters of the proposals expect that it could be a financially self-sustaining program when fully established.

Poplar Tree Genome Holds Promise Of Breakthrough In Biofuel Research
The article, highlighting the analysis of the first complete DNA sequence of a tree – the black cottonwood, or Populus trichocarpa – lays the groundwork that may lead to the development of trees as an ideal “feedstock” for a new generation of biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. The research is the result of a four-year scientific and technical effort led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and uniting the efforts of 34 institutions from around the world, including the University of British Columbia and Genome Canada; UmeĆ„ Plant Science Centre in Sweden; and Ghent University in Belgium.

EU Energy Policy: Renewed energy
Today’s energy challenges are very real. Global oil consumption has increased 20 per cent in the last 10 years. World energy consumption could rise by half within 25 years. Competition for resources is growing. Investments have to be made. Tough decisions are needed.

In Europe alone, €1 trillion is needed over the next 20 years to meet expected energy demand and replace ageing infrastructure. Globally, the figure is around $16 trillion. In the absence of a secure and transparent investment climate in the world, functioning markets and infrastructure, can such massive investments even be expected?

Garbage company releases report on social responsibility
Waste Management, the trash hauling company, which has a branch office in Simi Valley, recently published a social responsibility report entitled "It Starts with Commitment."

The report outlines the company's environmental goals and the many programs that are already helping to eliminate waste throughout the region.
Smith said 75 percent of the company truck fleet runs on an alternative fuel or "clean diesel." As a result, 247 tons of harmful air emissions have been reduced each year.

"We're ahead of the state emissions guidelines," Smith said. The company met the state's 2006 goals in early 2005.

Asia, Europe to invest US$6 trillion in energy by 2030
The amount represents more than one third of the total global investment in the energy sector estimated for 1990-2020.

In a declaration issued at the end of the 6th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Finland on Monday (September 11), the leaders of 25 European and 13 Asian nations agreed to share low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies with developing ASEM countries.

Evil Car Companies: Honda Pushes Plant Waste Bio-fuels

Honda develops new way to make biofuel that could boost environmentally friendly cars
The breakthrough comes as automakers look for alternatives to petroleum-based fuels that will not release greenhouse gases that fan global warming. Surging oil prices have also spurred companies to develop new fuels that may be cheaper and not as prone to supply disruptions.

''Expansion of biomass utilization holds enormous potential as a major step forward toward the realization of an energy sustainable society,'' Honda said.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New type of hydrogen fuel cell powers up

Within a few years, laptops and other energy-guzzling portable devices could run on long-lasting, easily recharged fuel cells based on a safe and practical new way of storing and releasing hydrogen.

Chemist Don Gervasio and colleague Sonja Tasic, both at Arizona State University in the US, set out to develop a fuel cell that would generate more electricity for its weight than the best batteries, and would also work at room temperature.

Gervasio's solution was to use the alkaline compound borohydride. A 30% solution of borohydride in water actually contains one-third more hydrogen than the same volume of liquid hydrogen.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

News: Nuclear, Oil, Gas

Well the argument on Peak Oil took a hit today when three oil companies announced a major find in the Gulf of Mexico. Chevron drilled 5.3 miles down and hit an oil field that allowed a sustainable 6,000 barrels per day on the test. Other companies in the venture were Stratoil from Norway and Oklahoma City's Devon Energy Corp.

While hopeful estimates puts the entire field output in the billions of barrel arena, the companies are quick to caution that it may be until 2010 before any significant production begins. The field was originally found in 2004 and there is another test site to be established sometime next year.

Also a Shell executive has stated that there is no gouging going on by the oil companies. Nevermind that some American investigative reporters unearthed a memo from OPEC to non-OPEC facilities on ways they could increase their profit by all agreeing to a certain production level. Two other memos that you should know about: 1 and 2.

Other interesting oil news:
Russia is now the top producer of crude
Thai oil refiner to produce biodiesel with vegetable oil

South Africa appears to be playing with nuclear power. Fortunately for the markets, it is not the "we will wipe Israel and the US off the face of the Earth" kind that Iran seems intent on moving forward with at the moment. These are Pebble Bed Modular Reactors. They are small, easy to get up and going, and since they are cooled with helium, there is no need to be near water nor is there a risk of a meltdown. Not only that but the heat that is generated can be used in a variety of useful ways: desalinating sea water, produce hydrogen from water, and turn tar sands and oil shale into petroleum.

In the Alternative Energy being used for death and mayhem :
Submarine fleet 'should go nuclear'
AUSTRALIA must consider commissioning a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, a submission to the nuclear taskforce says. The move will be necessary to deal with complex security pressures emerging within the region over the next two decades.

Warplanes Hybrid Engine Brings Silent Death
When over an area where the enemy might hear the UAV, the operator can switch to battery power. Especially at night, loud motors on UAVs often spoil the element of surprise, by letting the enemy below know that there's a UAV watching.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Of Nanodiesel and Nanotubes

Green Power Inc. Announces Successful Demonstration of Waste-to-Fuel Technology Creating NanoDiesel
“We really can convert regular household waste, medical waste, anything that is not radioactive, metal, glass or porcelain, into diesel fuel,” said Michael Spitzauer, CEO of Green Power, Inc.

The demonstration took place in Fife, Washington and was witnessed by approximately 200 onlookers, including various government officials, oil refinery, corporate representatives and media. Visitors from as far as India and Japan came to witness the demonstration.

Ramesh Kumar Jalan, an advisor for Delhi Waste Management in India, flew in for the demonstration. “I’ve been evaluating waste management for 15 years and have never seen anything like this,” said Jalan, who has a doctorate degree in waste management.

NJIT Researchers Seed, Heat and Grow Carbon Nanotubes in Long Tubing

In less than 20 minutes, researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) can now seed, heat and grow carbon nanotubes in 10-foot-long, hollow thin steel tubing.

“The work took us three years to develop and get right, but now we can essentially anchor nanotubes to a tubular wall. No one has ever done anything like this before,” said lead researcher Somenath Mitra, PhD, professor and acting chair of NJIT’s Dep’t of Chemistry and Environmental Science. Graduate and post-doctoral students who worked on the project are Mahesh Karwa, Chutarat Saridara and Roman Brukh.

The ground-breaking method will lead to improvements in cleaner gasoline, better food processing and faster, cheaper ways to clean air and water.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Article Link: Citizens Pony Up for Green Energy

The trend is upward elsewhere, too. Utilities in 36 states offer some form of green pricing, and last year 430,000 households bought green power -- up 20 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Energy Department reported.

Besides increasing the amount of clean energy being used, such programs educate consumers about renewable energy sources, said John Kelly, director of research and economics for the American Public Power Association, which represents public utilities.

"There is this continual education effort, so you have a few progressive states and utilities that kind of lead the way," he said.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Alternative Energy Stocks Continue to Decline

In the last few months, shares in the alternative energy sector have declined. In the U.S. it has been a quarter since May. For the rest of the world it is even sharper.

This seems curious since we continually read articles that suggest the entire world is going to move towards at least a small offering of alternative energy resources.

AtaHolding wants to carry out project of alternative energy sources
He said that the project on alternative energy source requires investment of $1.1bn and Azerbaijan enjoys very favorable wind and sun energy.

Bay set to power ahead with alternative energy
THE Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has announced plans to take the lead in providing alternative energy sources in the country by initiating an innovative process to provide renewable energy for residents.

Companies and projects chosen for the R9-billion initiative are Lereko Energy Consortium (wind turbines, solar heating, electricity generation from waste), Thermo-Rec (electricity generation from solid waste), and Enercon India (large-scale wind farm), being a 100% subsidiary of EIL South Africa Power Development (Pty) Ltd.

In this op-ed piece a citizen states his support for alternative energy subsidies if it would actually lead the country to getting off of the huge dependence on foreign oil. Of course we have oil we could tap, but have not. However, Cuba has now started up operations just 60 miles off of our coast. We would not touch it for environmental reasons but other countries do not have the same concerns and we might be the better choice due to technology and the fact that we have citizens who are concerned about such things.

Now for the original article that I read:
Alternative energy
The trouble is that, with much of the potential payoff in the distant future, valuations of alternative energy stocks are heavily exposed to mood swings in broader markets. During turbulence, that lends an edge to companies running other businesses too, such as Archer Daniels Midland, the leading US ethanol producer. But unless oil prices stay at current levels, fuels such as bio-diesel will continue to require US government support to be viable.

Another strategy championed by several smaller US companies is to focus on finding new, cleaner ways to extract energy from traditional sources. Converting coal into a gas for use in power plants has lately re-emerged as a favourite. It is potentially competitive with oil and gas at crude prices well below current levels. It would also benefit from the US's large coal reserves and allow carbon emissions to be captured more easily. But storing these emissions underground still looks challenging, while the economics will depend heavily on government subsidies.

It comes down to how much are we willing to sacrifice to make the change? How much is too much? What about those who cannot afford the new technology? Should it be phased in and left to chance it will be continually delayed such as other projects in the US? Will other countries make the commitment to alternative energy?

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Air Quality News: Pine Plantations Increase Carbon Dioxide Levels

The researchers estimate that some 10 million acres – roughly the size of New Hampshire and Vermont – of mainly hardwood and natural pine forests will be chopped down to make way for pine plantations by 2030 in just three Southern states. That translates into roughly 700,000 tons more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually, or 21 million tons over the 30-year period.

That number may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the 3 billion tons of carbon the United States emits annually. But Sohngen is quick to point out that the model only included Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi and that the results can apply across the southern United States, suggesting that carbon dioxide emissions could be as much as four times higher.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Interesting Article on an Electric SPORTS Car

0-60 in no time flat and incredible breaking. Most of all, no engine and a 250 mile capacity before refueling. Can the tech sector save the troubled auto industry?

Battery-Fueled Car Will Smoke You
The trick? The Tesla Roadster is powered by 6,831 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries -- the same cells that run a laptop computer. Range: 250 miles. Fuel efficiency: 1 to 2 cents per mile. Top speed: more than 130 mph. The first cars will be built at a factory in England and are slated to hit the market next summer. And Tesla Motors, Eberhard's company, is already gearing up for a four-door battery-powered sedan.

In an age when a car's electronics are worth more than its steel, it seems only natural that the tech sector would have its own car company. The question is, can Eberhard turn the digital era into horsepower, torque, and rpm?
More important, Eberhard says, the electric cars of the past -- slow, cramped, spartan -- looked like they were designed by people who thought you shouldn't be driving to begin with. Eberhard calls them "punishment cars." What he wanted to build, he told his potential investors, was a classic sports car. He wanted to have his ecofriendly ride and race it, too. Initially, the Sand Hill VCs weren't interested. Eberhard got his first bite from Elon Musk, cofounder of PayPal, who -- over the course of two years -- put in nearly $30 million of his own money and also corralled some of his wealthy entrepreneur friends to chip in. By May 2006, Tesla Motors had raised $60 million. Now Eberhard had to get the car into production.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nuclear Power Articles

Nuclear power revival looms

It may seem a mere tangle of pipes and instruments to the untrained eye. To nuclear engineer Jose Reyes, it's a sign of a coming nuclear-power plant revival in the United States with electricity produced more safely and for less money than the atomic behemoths built in the 20th century.
This jumble of technology is a one-quarter-scale model of the Westinghouse AP1000 power plant. Reyes heads a team at Oregon State University that built the model to test the AP1000's so-called passive safety systems, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse.

"We've conducted 20 tests for the AP1000," said Reyes. "We found the simple passive system could replace entire batteries of pumps that are normally used for cooling of the nuclear core."

This kind of safety system, Reyes said, would make nuclear leaks far less likely, and virtually eliminate the threat of a meltdown of the nuclear core.

China seen driving global nuclear power industry growth - Merrill Lynch
According to the China's People's Daily, the National Development and Reform Commission announced plans in 2004 to increase installed nuclear capacity to 36 mln-kilowatts by 2020, and is contemplating adding two or more reactors every year for the next 16 years.

'Despite this, there remains considerable uncertainty about the scale of future nuclear generation, and this is reflected in the relatively wide variation between different demand scenarios by the World Nuclear Association (WNA),' the note said.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Oil in 2007, Prices cooling

OPEC announced that it expects several factors to lead to the cooling of prices next year. However, they warned that the price of oil would still be subject to change due to political situations throughout the world. Right now that would be Iran, the current Israeli campaign to recover their soldiers and destroy various militants that host countries have neglected to reel in, and of course the ongoing problem in Nigeria. Apparently that is "muslim oil" there and should not go to the American "devils."

Oil prices helped by 'moderating' factors in 2007: OPEC
"The expected increase in OPEC capacity, combined with the projected decline in required OPEC crude, should help to moderate prices," the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said.

"Whether the market will benefit from the full effect of these trends will depend mainly on downstream developments and non-fundamental factors, particularly geopolitical tensions, a major factor behind the current record high oil prices," it added.

OPEC capacity is expected to increase by 1.0 million bpd to 34.3. million bpd by end-2007 but demand for the cartel's oil is set to drop to an average 28.1 million bpd, down 600,000 bpd from the estimate for 2006, due in part to high oil prices and slower economic growth, the report said.

Non-OPEC supply in 2007 is set to increase by 1.7 million bpd, to 53.1 million bpd, compared to 51.4 million bpd in 2006, mainly helped by Africa, North America and Latin America, the organisation said.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Study IDs Energy Gains and Eviro Impact of Biofuels

Specifically corn ethanol and soybean biodiesel. The report shows that they both produce more energy than what it takes to produce the fuels. This has been a sticky point since other research had shown otherwise. However, soybean biodiesel is the cleanest of the bunch, reducing greenhouse emissions by 41%. Plus soybeans do not need the same chemicals that are normally used with crops and could reduce the chance of polluting ground water.

Article: Researchers Identify Energy Gains And Environmental Impacts Of Corn Ethanol And Soybean Biodiesel
The amount of energy each returns differs greatly, however. Soybean biodiesel returns 93 percent more energy than is used to produce it, while corn grain ethanol currently provides only 25 percent more energy.

Still, the researchers caution that neither biofuel can come close to meeting the growing demand for alternatives to petroleum. Dedicating all current U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12 percent of gasoline demand and 6 percent of diesel demand. Meanwhile, global population growth and increasingly affluent societies will increase demand for corn and soybeans for food.

The authors showed that the environmental impacts of the two biofuels also differ. Soybean biodiesel produces 41 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel fuel whereas corn grain ethanol produces 12 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

An Inconvenient Car

10 years ago there were a number of electric vehicles being made but one in particular really impressed its owners and had a waiting list of those who wanted to lease it. The car was named the EV1 and was manufactured by General Motors.

The car itself was priced at $33,995 but GM never sold a single unit. The lease ran $400-$550 per month and included a bumper to bumper warranty. The lease was three years and had no option to buy.

Even with the high price tag, the car was a loser for GM and was discontinued. As the leases ended the cars either ended up in musuems, universities, or was crushed.

It would have been a great go to town and come back car. A full charge took just three hours and would take you all of 80 miles. Hmmm, that would take me a couple of days just to drive up the coast 500 miles.

Article link.
As befits its title, ``Who Killed the Electric Car?'' begins with a funeral, a mock one, held at a real cemetery. It ends with an inquiry, one that implicates oil companies, auto manufacturers, the federal government, the California Air Resources Board and, yes, even you and me for murder of an automobile that looks like a winner in these days of high gas prices.

There were several makes of electric cars, but Chris Paine's trenchant documentary focuses primarily on General Motors' EV1. Launched in 1996, the car was fast and quiet, ran without exhaust, required no gas or oil changes and was so popular that dealers kept a waiting list with tens of thousands of names.

Technical specifications of 1998 GM EV1 Gen II NiMH

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Big 3 Continue to Push Flex Fuel Vehicles

However, the biggest hurdle is the fact that most stations do not offer E85. According to the article there are only 700 stations that do offer the fuel and most of those are in the Midwest. The automakers state that if E85 was available everywhere, up to 3.5 billion gallons of gasoline would be displaced each year. The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association states that E85 blends are not energy dense enough and too expensive in most parts of the country.

Big Three promise more flex-fuel cars
The Big Three automakers have produced 5 million flexible-fuel vehicles, which can run on gasoline and fuel blends of up to 85 percent ethanol, known as E85. They are expected to produce an additional 1 million of the vehicles this year. Their commitment would lead to 2 million annually by 2010.

Initial place that I ran across the article:
Motor Co. Triumvirate to Boost Flexible Fuel Vehicle Production

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Politics and Alternative Energy

Anyone who is surprised by how much the political ring is involved with in alternative energy in the US has not been paying attention. Here are a few articles highlighting this.

US asks India to join research on alternative energy sources
As part of cooperation under the India-US Agreement on Science and Technology 2005, Washington hopes to encourage India's decision to join the FutureGen international partnership to create a zero emissions coal-fired power plant that will produce hydrogen and sequester carbon dioxide below ground.

"We especially appreciate India's agreement to participate in the FutureGen steering committee, its commitment to participate in the FutureGen Industry Alliance and its pledge of 10 million dollars to the project, 2.2 million of which has already been donated," Bodman said.

The US is also working together to bring India into the Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme and to cooperate on efforts to study methane hydrates. India's effort in this regard will make use of Department of Energy-owned technology and will include many US researchers, allowing it to accelerate commercial utilization of hydrates in the United States and around the world.

Alternative energy called key to area's economic growth
The centerpiece was a panel discussion moderated by U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York.

Clinton and U.S. Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-Clarence, Erie County, spoke at a news conference in support of the vision and said they would do what they could to get federal support.

With the right organization and focus, "we think we can create thousands of jobs," Clinton said.

The key, public and private officials said, will be for the region to work together.

HARRISON TOWNSHIP: Selfridge could land alternative energy project
Selfridge Air National Guard Base will be the home of an alternative energy project if a Department of Defense appropriations bill approved by the House of Representatives becomes law.

NextEnergy, a Detroit-based nonprofit alternative fuel cooperative, would continue research and development of a waste-to-energy project intended to make troops less reliant on conventional fuels, said Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Twp. The appropriations bill targets $2 million for the project, which would turn mess hall and other wastes into liquid fuel to run generators to provide electricity.

Kleeb pleased with developments in Monday rally
More than 60 supporters came out to hear Democrat Scott Kleeb. Kleeb's focus Monday was "Energy Independence".

He is calling for steps to break our nation's dependence on foreign oil.

He would like to see a transition to American made fuels like ethanol.

Siemens Receives Pennsylvania Grant for Clean Energy Project
Kevin Matthews, P.E., the senior facilities manager at Siemens who led the company-wide initiative to obtain the grant, explains that the system will utilize solar panels installed at a 25 degree tilt, which generates 15 percent more electricity annually than flat solar panels.

"Over the system's 30-year lifespan, we expect it to provide the equivalent environmental benefit of planting 5,057 trees or reducing the total number of vehicle miles driven by 7,586,250," said Matthews. "The energy savings for Siemens is estimated to average $14,000 to $16,000 per year for the next 25 to 30 years."

According to the Energy Information Administration and based on average U.S. household consumption, the system being installed by Siemens generates enough electricity to power all appliances, electronics, lighting and related household needs for 30 homes. While renewable energy only makes up about 7 percent of the energy used in the U.S., Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell has put in place an aggressive portfolio standard that mandates some 700 megawatts of electricity from solar photovoltaics in 15 years, attracting investments in solar technologies that will create jobs and ensure reliable, affordable electricity supplies.

"Advanced energy technology is about achieving both environmental protection and economic development - at the same time," Governor Rendell said. "In Pennsylvania, we are changing the way America produces fuel and thinks about energy - attracting investments that stimulate the economy and create jobs, putting indigenous resources to work to enhance security at home and realizing significant improvements in environmental protection."

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Nuclear Waste Issue

Utah tribe divided over nuclear waste

Bear says it is the way to riches that will mean new homes, new jobs and better health care for the 118 members of his tribe. Only about two dozen _ including children _ still live on the 18,000-acre reservation, but this project will bring many of the others back, he predicts.

The Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the lease in 1997. The deal is yet to be consummated amid lawsuits, regulatory hurdles and bitter opposition. It's close, though.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license for the dump in February. The agency rejected arguments that the dump's location is unsafe because hundreds of F-16 jet fighters fly over the reservation on the way to bombing runs over nearby government land. The chance of a crash that could result in the release of radiation is one in a million, an adequate risk, the NRC said.

Private Fuel Storage LLC of Wisconsin, the consortium that would build and run the dump, has begun looking for nuclear power plant owners to sign up for waste shipments.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Geothermal Section on House

No, not the doctor show starring the guy that used to be in Black Adder. :rolleyes

Earth as Heat Source and Sink

Geothermal systems use ground-source heat pumps to heat and cool your home or building, and to provide hot water. These systems are energy efficient because they use as a source the earth's constant temperature (about 52 degrees F). In winter, the earth's natural warmth is brought into your home, and in summer the system works in reverse to bring in natural cool.
The article mentions that a forced air system will run about $40-45K USD. With an average energy savings of 25 to 40 percent it would take me YEARs and YEARS to actually save money.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Legislating A Change

How much can you force a population to move towards an alternative form of energy? How much of a push is right and just?

California sets "clean energy" oil tax on ballot

Californians will vote in November on a ballot measure proposing a constitutional amendment that would tax oil production to fund a range of alternative energy efforts, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said on Wednesday.
Supporters are painting the vote over the ballot measure as between friendly environmentalists who want to cut energy prices versus polluting Big Oil and corporations seeking to drain consumers' wallets.

Opponents say the initiative is a sheep in wolves' clothing that if passed will create an unchecked bureaucracy and not only higher taxes but also higher fuel prices in the end.
Joint Israel-US alternative energy development bill goes to Congress

American legislation focusing on joint solutions for energy security between the United States and Israel is being discussed this week in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. HR 2730 - the United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act - is designed to "establish a grant program to fund eligible joint ventures between United States and Israeli businesses and academic persons, to establish the International Energy Advisory Board, and for other purposes." The bill calls for the creation of a $20 million annual grant program administered by the Department of Energy. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif. introduced the legislation as the sole sponsor in the last Congress and reintroduced it May 26, 2005 with Rep. John B. Shadegg, R-Ariz. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hailed the Shadegg-Sherman Bill during his address to a joint session of Congress May 24.

Energy Incentives
The "Enhanced Energy Security Act of 2006," S. 2747, is sponsored by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the ranking member of the Energy Committee. He has drawn bipartisan support for the bill in the Energy Committee and is committed to ensuring that the necessary tax incentives are supported by the Senate Finance Committee, on which he's also a member. The chances of passage should be good. The reason: This is legislation America needs.

Bingaman's bill would encourage the swift introduction of alternative energy automotive technologies by helping U.S. automakers revamp their manufacturing plants for the production of new hybrid and highly energy efficient cars and by ensuring that alternative fuels are readily available to consumers across the country. The bill would encourage the use of cellulosic ethanol and keep in place tax incentives to encourage automakers and consumers to embrace alternative energy vehicles.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Balance to the Force, the Other Side

To keep things a bit balanced on the climate change debate here is an excerpt from an article that appears on the website. Basically it attempts to attack Al Gore for the film that he was involved with and has been stomping for recently.

An Inconvenient Paranoia

After all, if the science is as conclusive as Al Gore, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and virtually every other spokesman of the Left says it is, conservatives are just as likely to be scorched and drowned and otherwise done in by global warming as liberals will. So why aren't non-leftists nearly as exercised as leftists are?Do conservatives handle heat better? Are libertarians better swimmers? Do religious people love their children less?
And it actually goes downhill from there. Why take the time to launch such an attack? Is it not better to fight fire with fire? That is to use actual science and hard data to argue one side or the other.

I put this here to highlight the problem with the issue of global warming and with the alternative fuels debate. There's a lot of heated discussion going on but very little being said. To those out there: take your time, research, and give the public the facts. Leave the name calling and the like for the school yard, where it belongs.

((And yes, I realise both sides are guilty of this. So both of you hug and make up or you will be sent to your rooms.))

BTW, Germany won today! :)

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Goodbye to the Alternator?

An Alternative to your Alternator
New thermophotovoltaic materials could replace alternators in cars and save fuel.

Appears that nanotech has made an old idea new again. This is very exciting and, if it works well and can be inexpensively built, will help us conserve even more fuel.
The technology, called thermophotovoltaics, uses gasoline to heat a light-emitting material, in this case tungsten. A photovoltaic cell then converts the light into electricity. The idea has been around since the 1960s, says John Kassakian, MIT electrical engineering and computer science professor. But until now, the light emitters for the photovoltaics produced inefficient and very costly systems. Improvements in the materials used in these latest devices -- possible in part because researchers can modify the material structure at the nanoscale -- are now making much more efficient systems, Kassakian says.

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Fuel Cells Soon To Get A Boost

More Powerful Fuel Cells Get Closer To Market
The Tufts group has designed the first sorbent system for high-temperature fuel cells. First, they use new materials: rare earth oxides, known to be stable and able to absorb hydrogen sulfide at high temperatures. And, instead of filtering gas through a thick sorbent bed, they pass it over the surface of a thin sorbent layer. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos calls the new design a "simple" solution to the sulfur problem.

Rare earth oxides are inexpensive and easy to obtain. The system could be added to a SOFC using two small boxes -- one for fresh sorbents, the other for spent ones. Sulfur-free gases generated by the fuel cell would sweep the spent sorbents clean, allowing the same sorbents to be used over and over.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Clean Energy News in the AM

Power vets want to start incubator for clean energy
Two power industry veterans, including a co-founder of Sacramento energy software firm Henwood Energy Services Inc., want to launch a local incubator for clean-energy ventures.

Gary Simon and Mark Henwood hope to bring together 15 to 20 companies with new ideas for fuel cells, hydrogen storage systems, solar power and other renewable- energy technologies. The nonprofit incubator would help the companies find funding, develop business plans and research potential markets.

Device could power the future of energy
Dolan has built a machine that creates and stores hydrogen. The device, powered by sunlight, sends electricity through water to separate hydrogen from oxygen and then pumps the hydrogen as a gas into a container, where it is stored as a renewable energy source.

"Once you have this stored hydrogen, you can take it out of here and run it into any device that uses fossil fuels," said, a 46-year-old Trumbull resident. "The only thing hydrogen won't do is it won't make plastics. That's what we need fossil fuels for."
But a problem with Dolan's prototype, from a practical standpoint, is the space needed to store hydrogen.

A pound of hydrogen may have three times the energy content of fossil fuels, but it takes 400 cubic feet to store the hydrogen equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, Dolan said.

But Dolan said his machine's storage container, 4 feet by 8 feet and capable of storing 1,000 cubic feet of hydrogen, could be larger.

Martin Ferguson and the nuclear debate
Ferguson claims that the existing policy discriminates in favour of existing uranium mining companies and against other potential uranium miners. He ignores the option of levelling the playing field by putting an end to uranium mining altogether.

In a March 20 briefing paper, which Ferguson is circulating within the ALP and to trade unions, he states: “State and Territory Labor governments which have knowingly allowed uranium exploration, will come under pressure to allow the development of discoveries within the next few years: if they reject mining applications, it will raise questions about sovereign risk for mining investors in Australia.”

But uranium exploration companies are well aware of Labor’s policy of opposition to new uranium mines. Labor state governments or a future Labor federal government face no legal risk. Further, state Labor governments could put an end to the current situation whereby they allow, and sometimes subsidise, uranium exploration.

UK and France to work more closely on N-power
France and Britain announced yesterday that they will work more closely in the civil nuclear field at a time when London is widely expected to restart the country's atomic energy programme.
"We have agreed to explore in the short term and further develop the opportunities of working together in the civil nuclear field," the two countries said in a joint statement after a summit in Paris.
"To that end we have agreed to establish a regular Franco-British Nuclear Forum, involving representatives from government, industry and technical experts."

The big question that I still ask is will this push for clean energy keep going after the price on oil crashes? Yes, I am now saying crash since the futures market has refused the let the prices come down gradually. I am not the only one thinking that although I do think it will take a bit before it happens.

BP's CEO, Lord Browne, disagrees with me though. He is saying that the price for oil will crash to $40 in the very near future.

BP CEO Lord Browne says oil price will fall to 40 usd per barrel mid-term
BP PLC chief executive Lord Browne told Der Spiegel he expects world oil prices will fall to 40 usd per barrel in the mid-term and that in the long term they could drop to 25-30 usd per barrel.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Energy Impact of the World Cup

England expects one heck of a power spike come tomorrow when England faces off against Paraguay. This article states that the spike could be as high as 1,500 megawatts. Apparently it has something to do with that country's fascination with drinking tea.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Quick Solar Power Trivia

The World Cup Soccer (Football to the rest of the world) games start soon and Germany is doing what they can to keep it green such as offering free mass transit trips and using rain water recovery systems for use with the sanitation systems.

Plus, 2,500 kilowatts will be generated by solar power during peak hours.

Green Goals for World Cup Nets
World Cup city sets green goals
Germany's 'green swathe' cup goal

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Quick Solar Power Trivia

The World Cup Soccer (Football to the rest of the world) games start soon and Germany is doing what they can to keep it green such as offering free mass transit trips and using rain water recovery systems for use with the sanitation systems.

Plus, 2,500 kilowatts will be generated by solar power during peak hours.

Green Goals for World Cup Nets
World Cup city sets green goals
Germany's 'green swathe' cup goal

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Biofuels Branch Out: News

A bunch of news postings to keep everyone up to date on what is happening around the world at the moment. Of course I cannot place everything here but here is a good grouping.

Fight over ethanol bill centers on Governor
"I certainly hope it does not increase the cost of gasoline as some have claimed," Blanco said, adding she wanted to support Louisiana's development of the alternative fuel industry. She has asked for further details on pricing of ethanol and biodiesel around the country.

Under the bill, the sale of the plant-based fuels would be required once production of the products in Louisiana meets certain benchmarks, and then a percentage of the gasoline sold would have to include the biodiesel or ethanol. The Legislature gave final approval to the measure last week, though the margin of victory was narrow in the House.

Green light for biofuel car
Two Norfolk companies are helping the environment with cars that run on biofuels.

Norwich Union, the city's biggest employer, hopes to bring green cars into its company fleet, while the chief executive of the company's insurance arm is testing out a biofuel model himself.

The company is working with carbon reduction campaigners at CRed, based at the University of East Anglia.

Meanwhile, Renewables East, the Norwich-based green energy agency for the East of England, has bought a Ford Focus that can run on either biofuel or conventional petrol.

Ethanol plants to open new market to growers
In-state facilities, like one recently announced here in far western New York, represent “another significant step in our goal of developing a strong biofuel industry in the state,” said Gov. George Pataki, “which will not only provide an economic boost to our farming community, but keep our energy dollars here in New York.”

Pataki, the first Northeast governor to join the Governors' Ethanol Coalition, promised $6 million and other incentives for the $87 million Shelby facility to be built on an old cabbage farm. It may be the first plant to get up and running, with groundbreaking expected in June and production in January 2008.

For local farmers, having a new market in their own backyard promises to pay off.

Government looks to biofuel to stave of oil crisis
Under the target the government has set for itself, it is planned that Indonesia will cut the contribution of oil to total energy consumption from the current 55 percent to only 15 percent in 2025 by developing other energy sources, such as hydropower, coal, gas and biofuels.

Will the country succeed in achieving the target? Many are optimistic that it can.

Such optimism is reflected by ministers and government officials across the archipelago.

Biofuel developed in Cuba
Rocketing oil prices have made Cuba search for less polluting energy sources as biofuels.

It has become ever more urgent the need to stop irrational hydrocarbon consumption, led by the United States, the greatest polluter worldwide. This situation and the diminishing oil reserves, will have a negative impact in national economies, above all in developing countries.

Angara bats for energy independence through utilization of biodiesel, ethanol
He noted that the Philippines imports 94 percent of its annual oil requirements, making the country vulnerable to constant world price increases.

He said that an increase of $1 in world oil prices translates into about $1.26 million in added foreign exchange requirements for the Philippines.

Bio-fuels are crop based transport fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol, Angara said, and in the Philippines, the same can be produced from coconuts and Jatropha while ethanol, from sugarcane, corn and cassava.

He pointed out that unlike petroleum-based fuels, ethanol is cleaner and emits less carbon dioxide.

Pischetsrieder's VW To Produce Flex-Fuel Models In Brazil
Now the Brazilian unit of Bernd Pischetsrieder's Volkswagen has said it will only produce vehicles that run on a mixture of traditional fuels and ethanol from this month, ending production of gasoline-only models. Other car makers also produce a large proportion of flex-fuel vehicles--that can run on ethanol, gasoline, or a blend of the two--in Brazil but none so far has switched entirely to this technology, reports AFX News.

Branching out for fuel
Kenneth Stewart, director of the Georgia Forestry Commission, says 30 companies have expressed an interest in opening biofuel plants in Georgia that use pine wood to make biofuel, a cleaner-burning fuel made from plant matter or animal fat, such as ethanol.

Ethanol is a type of alcohol, made from converting plant crops into sugars, that can be refined into fuel that burns cleaner than gasoline.

Middle and south Georgia are likely to see the benefits of such refineries, because transportation costs for logs are too high for the plants to be located far from timber supplies.

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