Energy

France unlikely to meet CO2 emissions target: report
October 8, 2007 04:54 PM - Reuters

The report into French energy perspectives up to 2050, due to be published this week, will say the best that can be expected is a reduction by 2.1 or 2.4 times, La Tribune said in an article from its Tuesday edition issued ahead of publication.

The report comes shortly before a major meeting of representatives from government, industry, environmental associations, agriculture and the public later this month.

Futuristic car makes reversing obsolete
October 8, 2007 02:42 PM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - For all those drivers that hate parallel parking and anything else that requires the reverse gear, Nissan could one day have the car for you.

The leading Japanese carmaker recently unveiled the Pivo 2, a battery-powered concept car with a fully rotating cabin that makes going backwards obsolete, since the driver can turn to face the direction they need to go.

Its wheels also turn 90 degrees, making parking easier.

"With this easy-to-handle car, you can feel comfortable while driving," said Masahiko Tabe, senior manager of the advanced vehicle development group at Nissan Motors.

Obama blames U.S. energy woes on timid politicians
October 8, 2007 02:34 PM - Steve Holland, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday blamed America's energy problems on timid Washington politicians and said if elected he would pursue bold proposals to fight global warming.

Obama, in excerpts from a speech he was to deliver in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, later in the day, said he would lead an effort to impose Kyoto-style caps on carbon emissions and prompt U.S. automakers to build cars that use less oil if elected in November 2008.

"Now, some of these policies are difficult politically," Obama said. "They aren't easy. But being president of the United States isn't about doing what's easy. It's about doing what's hard."

Better Than Corn? Algae Set to Beat Out Other Biofuel Feedstocks
October 8, 2007 11:26 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute

Forget corn, sugar cane, and even switchgrass. Some experts believe that algae is set to eclipse all other biofuel feedstocks as the cheapest, easiest, and most environmentally friendly way to produce liquid fuel, reports Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert. “It is easy to get excited about algae,” says Worldwatch Institute biofuels expert Raya Widenoja. “It looks like such a promising fuel source, especially if it’s combined with advances in biodiesel processing.”

For Energy Consumption, There's No Place Like Home.
October 8, 2007 09:32 AM - , Private Landowner Network

According to a survey commissioned by the Johns Manville company (a leading manufacturer of an extensive line of energy-efficient building products, such as insulation materials) most Americans think that the transportation sector (cars, trucks, buses, etc) is the number one user of energy in the country. Americans are incorrect in their thinking. The family car is not the number one energy hog, it’s the family home. (Since most homes are energized by fossil fuels, American homes are also responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions.)

Ancient India tribe marches against power project
October 7, 2007 07:56 PM - Bappa Majumdar

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Thousands of Indian tribespeople protested on Saturday against the construction of hydro power projects on what they say is sacred land in the remote northwest, officials said.

The ancient Buddhist Lepchas, who say they are already marginalized by the growing population of ethnic Hindu Nepalis in the region, strongly oppose the project in Dzongu mountain, which they regard as the abode of their guardian god of the mountains.

"Dzongu is a reserved territory of the Lepchas and we will protect the land of our forefathers with the last drop of blood," said Tseten Lepcha of the Affected Citizens of Teesta.

There are plans to construct at least six hydro power projects along the Teesta river in the tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim to generate more than 3,000 MW of power.

Bird deaths stir oversight for U.S. wind power
October 5, 2007 03:30 PM - Leonard Anderson, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The growing U.S. wind power industry is drawing increased scrutiny from states and the federal government over the problem of spinning wind turbines killing birds.

The California Energy Commission last week adopted voluntary guidelines to reduce wind energy effects on wildlife, and Washington state, Montana and Texas among other states are reviewing measures.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Department of the Interior, also is developing voluntary procedures for wind projects, a spokeswoman said.

Wind power, which is expected to increase by 26 percent in power generating capacity this year, is mostly unregulated in the United States except by county boards, city councils and local planning commissions.

 

Green Blossom of Pittsburgh
October 5, 2007 12:41 PM - Greg Boulos, Ecological Home Ideas

Pittsburgh, PA - Many environmentally conscious urbanites dream of how great it would be to utilize the untapped flat rooftops that span every urban block in our nation. In Pittsburgh it narrows to one, Ernie Sota, who in the late 1970s proposed to add a biophilic space to the roof of his Victorian-era row house. After buying the building for a mere $8,000 and renovating it with his wife, Jan, Ernie stood before the zoning board and requested four variances to integrate a new type of urban yard into the roof of the building. He was granted his request. By utilizing the flat space as a garden and capturing the heating potential in a greenhouse to supplement the gas furnace, the Sotas were able to reduce their heat bills, grow some of their own food and spend time relaxing in a natural setting above the bustle of the city below.

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