Monday, September 25, 2006

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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