Sunday, March 12, 2006

News about home and abroad

Really close to home it seems that a number of local energy groups have a problem with the forcasts for future energy demand that Progress Energy and Duke Power have put forth. Normally they just submit the forcasts and plans and there are no hearings associated. While they are not opposed to the hearings, they doubt that the public will be willing to reduce energy consumption.

The groups leading the charge have no concern over the rising cost to the customers though. Matter of fact, a number of their proposals leads to a direct increase to the consumer. So use less, pay more?

Now the groups do say that the cost increases will be less than if the customers had to pay for a new power plant.

NC does have tax credits for people and businesses that invest in renewable energy. You can even sell some of your excess energy to the utilities.

Article: Groups want promotion of energy sources other than nuclear power

Oh and the opposition to modern nuclear facilities. I could go on how our plants are not like Chernobyl. Hell they are nothing like the original plants built. I could also take on the film "The China Syndrome" but it would take up way too much space and those who are strongly opposed would not listen anyway. My head does not like brick walls.

Lighting up Lady Liberty a breeze
But even its supporters might not reject that description of its latest announcement: the torch on the Statue of Liberty, perhaps the single most famous symbol of the US, is to be lit exclusively by wind power.

Knowing the luck this administration has had, it would lead to the accidental slaughter of some rare type of migratory bird.

Energy Secretary To Promote Cooperation on Four-Nation Trip
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman will promote greater international cooperation on energy security and related issues on a trip to Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Hungary during the week of March 13, the Department of Energy announced.

"This trip is a historic opportunity to achieve a more secure energy future, a cleaner environment and greater prosperity in Central Asia and Eastern Europe and in our world," Secretary Bodman said in the March 10 announcement.

Shell is planning on spending $500 million in China. The money would be used to expand their gas operations and also clean energy projects.

China aims to convert coal into ultra-clean energy resource

How committed is China to clean energy proposals? Hopefully quite a bit as "China's central government, research institutions and enterprises are pitching in a joint effort to convert the country's rich coal reserves into a clean energy resource by using clean-coal technology."

The article also stated:
"According to an ambitious national plan for China's science and technology development published in early February, China will prioritize the development of industrial energy-saving, clean and efficient use, and the multi-product production of coal in the coming 15 years.

China also plans to develop a technique for sealing up carbon dioxide generated in coal combustion to achieve near-zero emission.

For the time being, its CCT {clean coal technology} technology is not mature enough to catch up with the world level. China's CCT reserve, however, ranks among the first in the world, according to Sun."

Jordan joins world race to develop fuel cell power

AMMAN — A research team from the Centre for Applied Industrial Research (CAIR) successfully tested its first Jordanian-made hydrogen fuel cell last week.

The technology is not new in the world of energy research, but each country conducting studies on this inexpensive, clean and high-quality energy source treats its work as highly classified — leaving others to go it alone.

"We have succeeded in producing a Jordan-made fuel cell without any external help or breaking the laws of confidentiality," said team leader Professor Fateh S. Bhinder, who worked to develop the technology called the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell.

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