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Jet Fuel from Algae?
January 29, 2015 08:52 AM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
A common algae commercially grown to make fish food holds promise as a source for both biodiesel and jet fuel, according to a new study published in the journal Energy & Fuels. The researchers, led by Greg O’Neil of Western Washington University and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, exploited an unusual and untapped class of chemical compounds in the algae to synthesize two different fuel products, in parallel, from a single algae.
Fracking has been with us for more than 60 years. It is evolving.
January 28, 2015 07:50 AM - U.S. Geological Survey
Two new U.S. Geological Survey publications that highlight historical hydraulic fracturing trends and data from 1947 to 2010 are now available.
Hydraulic fracturing is presently the primary stimulation technique for oil and gas production in unconventional resource reservoirs. Comprehensive, published, and publicly available information regarding the extent, location, and character of hydraulic fracturing in the United States is scarce.
“These national-scale data and analyses will provide a basis for making comparisons of current-day hydraulic fracturing to historical applications,” said USGS scientist and lead author Tanya Gallegos.
Effects of wood fuel burning have less of an impact on CO2 emissions than previously thought
January 26, 2015 08:36 AM - Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
The harvesting of wood to meet the heating and cooking demands for billions of people worldwide has less of an impact on global forest loss and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than previously believed, according to a new Yale-led study. Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, a team of researchers, including Prof. Robert Bailis of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), concludes that only about 27 to 34 percent of wood fuel harvested worldwide would be considered “unsustainable.” According to the assessment, “sustainability” is based on whether or not annual harvesting exceeds incremental re-growth.
Electric range-extended trucks can double fuel economy
January 26, 2015 04:54 AM - Phil Covington , Triple Pundit
When it comes to electric vehicles, we hear plenty about electric cars being launched into the consumer market but not too much about commercial vehicles. Maybe that’s because not too many people have to concern themselves with what type of delivery or garbage truck they are going to buy next. Nevertheless, such considerations matter, since the electrification of commercial fleets promises considerably larger efficiency gains than cars.
Four-year-old California company Wrightspeed, started by Tesla co-founder Ian Wright, has developed a technology that zeros in on a specific niche of the commercial fleet market, bringing both fuel savings and emissions mitigation for commercial fleet operators.
European study shows biofuel production can increase with low impacts
January 16, 2015 07:07 AM - EurActiv
EU countries could increase their production of biofuels with a minimum impact on the environment, Utrecht University scientists concluded in a study published on Tuesday (13 January).
Biofuels are the main green alternative to fossil fuels used in transport, but they compete with feed crops that share the same agricultural land.
As a consequence, forests are being turned into farmland to increase the terrestrial surface for planting more food crops, a phenomenon known as indirect land use change (ILUC).
Britain brings back the battery-powered train
January 13, 2015 08:14 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
The first battery-powered train to run on Britain’s rail network in more than half a century is to enter passenger service this week. The pioneering engine marks an important milestone in the project to demonstrate the viability of an eco-friendly battery-powered train for the twenty-first century.
Denmark Sets New Wind Power World Record
January 9, 2015 08:47 AM - Leon Kaye , Triple Pundit
Denmark has long been one of the world’s leaders in wind power. The country of 5.6 million has set a goal of generating 50 percent of its power from clean energy sources by 2020 and aims to be entirely fossil fuel-free by 2050. Those goals, especially the one for 2020, are well achievable: Denmark has announced it scored 39.1 percent of its energy from wind in 2014.
Carbon capture and the UN Economic Commission for Europe
January 9, 2015 07:32 AM - EurActiv
The only way to limit global warming to less than two degrees is to combine renewable energy and energy efficiency with a large expansion in the use of carbon capture and storage, writes Christian Friis Bach. Christian Friis Bach is executive secretary and under-secretary-general of UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
I will admit that just a few years back I was very sceptical. Today I am convinced that we must do it. We must capture the carbon dioxide emitted from burning fossil fuels.
Oil prices tumble. Coal resources are vast. Large new gas reserves have been found. Fossil fuels will be with us for many decades and will continue to underpin social and economic development around the world. We need to invest heavily in energy efficiency and in renewable energy sources, but the only way we can hope to limit global warming to less than two degrees is to combine it with a significant expansion of the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Which fossil fuels must remain in the ground to limit global warming?
January 8, 2015 08:58 AM - University College London
A third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves globally should remain in the ground and not be used before 2050 if global warming is to stay below the 2°C target agreed by policy makers, according to new research by the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources. The study funded by the UK Energy Research Centre and published in Nature today, also identifies the geographic location of existing reserves that should remain unused and so sets out the regions that stand to lose most from achieving the 2°C goal.
Wave Energy looks very favorable from a cost standpoint
January 8, 2015 06:59 AM - Ted Brekken, Oregon State University
A new analysis suggests that large-scale wave energy systems developed in the Pacific Northwest should be comparatively steady, dependable and able to be integrated into the overall energy grid at lower costs than some other forms of alternative energy, including wind power.
The findings, published in the journal Renewable Energy, confirm what scientists have expected – that wave energy will have fewer problems with variability than some energy sources and that by balancing wave energy production over a larger geographic area, the variability can be even further reduced.