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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