Worldwatch Perspective: The Meaning of $80 Oil
September 21, 2007 07:35 AM - Christopher Flavin, Worldwatch Institute
The price of oil hit its highest level in a quarter-century this week—and is now closing in on the inflation-adjusted record set in 1981. What’s so surprising, though, is not the high price of oil—at over $80 a barrel—but the timing of this price increase. Most economists predict that the world economy will soon cool, and autumn is usually the season when oil prices fall.
Eco-Gadget Shuts Off Electronic Gear When You Leave The Hotel Room
September 20, 2007 06:16 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
OYARZUN, SPAIN—Onity has launched Intellity, its latest innovation in energy management solutions for the lodging industry. Intellity is an intelligent energy saving device that reads the magnetic stripe on Onity hotel-specific keycards to identify and differentiate guest and staff keycards, while disconnecting electrical equipment when guests are out of the room. Because it differentiates between guest and staff cards, it also can prevent hotel housekeeping staff from using certain electrical equipment, such as the television, while cleaning the room. Onity, a leading provider of electronic locking solutions, is part of UTC Fire & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
A Hole In The Ocean To Store Energy
September 20, 2007 05:37 PM - Bruce Mulliken, Private Landowner Network
Imagine you’re looking for treasure on a small island in the middle of an ocean. The highest elevation on the island is just above sea level, which is rising because of global warming. (You’d rather not see that happen.)
The hole you’ve dug is deeper than the surface of the ocean around your little island. Should the skies turn cloudy and a storm come in, the ocean could come pouring into your hole. You’d be in deep trouble in your hole in the middle of the ocean. But you have a second revelation, you’ve invented an energy storage device.
California Utility Donates $1.2 Million in Solar Installations to Habitat for Humanity
September 20, 2007 03:17 PM -
SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced a $1.2 million partnership with Habitat for Humanity International to install solar electric systems on every Habitat-built home throughout PG&E's northern and central California service territory in 2007. The first such partnership of its kind is part of PG&E's commitment to provide affordable, renewable energy in the communities it serves.
U.S. Imposes Highest Acid Rain Fine Ever On Kentucky Coal-Fired Plant
September 20, 2007 03:12 PM -
WASHINGTON - In a landmark settlement filed today, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, a coal-fired electric utility, has agreed to pay an $11.4 million penalty to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act's acid rain program, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.
As part of today's settlement, the U.S. is seeking court-approval for the highest fine ever under the Clean Air Act's acid rain program. The Commonwealth of Kentucky joined in today's consent decree.
The settlement requires that the company take steps to reduce approximately 400 tons of harmful emissions each year and offset another approximately 20,000 tons of emissions released from its Clark County, Ky. facility without a permit.
Largest Ever Wind Turbine Deal Signed
September 20, 2007 12:05 PM - Reuters
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds has signed a preliminary agreement to buy wind turbines from Siemens for an undisclosed sum for its wind farm off the British coast, the German group said on Thursday.
Siemens said in a statement the deal, the largest ever for offshore wind turbines, was for 140 Siemens 3.6 megawatts turbines for delivery in 2009 and 2010.
The agreement is preliminary because Greater Gabbard, a joint venture between Ireland's Airtricity and U.S.-based Fluor, is still finalizing their project finance.
UK Sees Need For Global Biofuel Standards, Protections
September 20, 2007 12:02 PM - Reuters
OXFORD (Reuters) - Global standards must be developed to ensure the growth in the use of biofuels does not have damaging consequences for the environment, Britain's Climate Change Minister Phil Woolas said on Thursday.
"The global community must as a matter of urgency work towards the development of internationally recognized standards for biomass grown to produce biofuels," he told a conference organized by Britain's Renewable Energy Association.
Woolas said several studies had pointed to the dangers of deforestation and rising food prices "if we increase in the wrong way the production of energy."
Biofuels worsen Hungary's drought, expert says
September 20, 2007 08:15 AM - Andras Gergely -Reuters
Biofuel production and burning agricultural by-products in power plants contributed to Hungary's severe drought this year, an academic expert said on Thursday.
'Biopiracy' requires reasoned treatment
September 20, 2007 07:47 AM - , SciDevNet
Scientists have long been implicated, whether actively or tacitly, in developed countries' campaigns to seek out and secure natural resources to fuel industrialisation and maintain their own living standards.This was the motive behind many 'scientific' expeditions to explore and map out the centre of Africa in the nineteenth century. More recently, studying indigenous medicine has become a cost-effective way of identifying active chemical ingredients from plants that might be valuable in modern medicine.
New twist on time-tested technology: Heat Pumps.
September 20, 2007 07:28 AM - , Private Landowner Network
To be realistic, it’s hard to imagine every home, apartment building or condominium complex in the world converting to solar energy for heat, hot water and electricity (or any other onsite renewable energy for that matter). Further, given the low proportion of renewables currently on the world’s power grids, it’s hard to see every building on the planet powered by renewables for quite some time.