Energy

Gutsy Ecuador proposes to put a lid on oil.
September 30, 2007 09:42 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Little countries can find the strength to do big things that big countries fear to do.

For the good of itself, for the good of the planet, the South American country of Ecuador has proposed to keep the lid on nearly one billion barrels of oil under its Yasuni National Park.

Nanowire generates power by harvesting energy from the environment
September 29, 2007 07:22 PM -

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — As the sizes of sensor networks and mobile devices shrink toward the microscale, and even nanoscale, there is a growing need for suitable power sources. Because even the tiniest battery is too big to be used in nanoscale devices, scientists are exploring nanosize systems that can salvage energy from the environment.

Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have shown that a single nanowire can produce power by harvesting mechanical energy. Made of piezoelectric material, the nanowire generates a voltage when mechanically deformed. To measure the voltage produced by such a tiny wire, however, the researchers first had to build an extremely sensitive and precise mechanical testing stage.

“With the development of this precision testing apparatus, we successfully demonstrated the first controlled measurement of voltage generation from an individual nanowire,” said Min-Feng Yu, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, and a researcher at the university’s Beckman Institute. “The new testing apparatus makes possible other difficult, but important, measurements, as well.”

Eggshells Help Make Hydrogen Fuel.
September 29, 2007 07:09 PM -

COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Engineers at Ohio State University have found a way to turn discarded chicken eggshells into an alternative energy resource.

The patented process uses eggshells to soak up carbon dioxide from a reaction that produces hydrogen fuel. It also includes a unique method for peeling the collagen-containing membrane from the inside of the shells, so that the collagen can be used commercially.
L.S. Fan

L.S. Fan, Distinguished University Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State, said that he and former Ohio State doctoral student, Mahesh Iyer, hit upon the idea when they were trying to improve a method of hydrogen production called the water-gas-shift reaction. With this method, fossil fuels such as coal are gasified to produce carbon monoxide gas, which then combines with water to produce carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

The eggshell plays a critical role.

UK To Airlines: Green Up Or Else
September 28, 2007 07:29 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

London, -- The United Kingdom told airlines to green up, or else, and soon. The government acted decisively today to safeguard the proposed European aviation emissions trading scheme and urged the international aviation community to take greater action to address aviation emissions. Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly, said: "We want to work with our international partners to achieve a global solution to this global problem.  If international negotiations deliver an effective solution then we will have achieved our goal through co-operation.  But I am also clear that the UK, and the environment, cannot wait for ever. That is why we are reserving the right - if an international solution is not found - to act in the wider global interest by extending the EU emissions trading scheme to all flights arriving and departing from the European Union.

Solar Parking Lot Will Deliver 1-Megawatt To Santa Rosa, California
September 28, 2007 07:20 PM -

SAN JOSE and SANTA CLARA, Calif., - SunPower Corporation, a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, and Agilent Technologies today announced they'll install a 1-megawatt solar tracking system at Agilent's Santa Rosa, Calif., campus on top of a canopy structure in the campus parking lot, providing both shade in the lot and solar electric power for the facility. A lot of power.

The SunPower Tracker, which follows the sun's movement throughout the day. Using SunPower solar panels, the highest efficiency panels on the market today, the system is expected to generate an estimated 1.8 million kilowatt-hours per year, offsetting more than 33 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to planting more than 4,700 acres of trees or removing 3,300 cars from California's roadways.

High-Tech, Solar-Powered Homes Coming to the National Mall for the Department of Energy’s 3rd Solar Decathlon
September 28, 2007 09:07 AM -

WASHINGTON, DC – Next week, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) third Solar Decathlon will bring students from 20 of the world’s leading universities to Washington, DC, to transform the National Mall into a solar village.  In preparation for a fierce competition that will take place from October 12 – 20, teams will begin on Wednesday, October 3rd, assembling highly energy efficient homes powered entirely by the sun that are likely to help shape America’s clean energy future.  The Solar Decathlon complements President Bush’s Solar America Initiative, which seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015.  This year, more than 100,000 people are expected to tour the solar village.

Britain to start phasing out high energy lightbulbs
September 27, 2007 07:10 PM - Jeremy Lovell, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will begin phasing out energy-guzzling incandescent lightbulbs early next year in favor of low energy varieties as part of its battle against climate change, the environment ministry said on Thursday.

The aim of the as yet voluntary deal with the major makers, retailers and energy utilities is to cut up to five million tonnes of climate warming carbon dioxide emissions a year by 2012 by cutting electricity demand.

"I am delighted that major companies have said they are prepared to help deliver this ambitious timetable and offer products which will help their own customers play their part in combating climate change," Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said.

PG&E And Start-up To Create Giant Solar Projects
September 27, 2007 05:20 PM - Bernie Woodall, Reuters

LONG BEACH, California (Reuters) - Two of the nation's biggest power companies are teaming up with a solar start-up to create one of the world's largest solar power projects, which they say could make electricity at a competitive price.

PG&E Corp, FPL Corp and solar thermal power generator Ausra Inc unveiled plans on Thursday for utility-scale solar plants which they claim will produce electricity at a price comparable with conventional fossil-fuel power plants.

Prius A No, No - Peugeot, Citroen And Ford Are All Greener, Says New Study
September 27, 2007 08:30 AM - Chris, Environmental Graffiti

It looks like bad news for the Toyota Prius. A joint study between Cardiff University and Clifford Thames an automotive consultancy revealed tht far from being the greenest of the bunch, the Prius lagged behind the likes of Peugeot, Citroën, Ford, Smart, and other cars in a new environmental rating system.

Jane Goodall Says Biofuel Crops Hurt Rain Forests
September 27, 2007 07:48 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK - Primate scientist Jane Goodall said on Wednesday the race to grow crops for vehicle fuels is damaging rain forests in Asia, Africa and South America and adding to the emissions blamed for global warming. "We're cutting down forests now to grow sugarcane and palm oil for biofuels and our forests are being hacked into by so many interests that it makes them more and more important to save now," Goodall said on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative, former U.S. President Bill Clinton's annual philanthropic meeting.

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