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.