Energy

Algae Could One Day Be Major Hydrogen Fuel Source
April 2, 2008 09:06 AM - DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Scientists at U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are answering that call by working to chemically manipulate algae for production of the next generation of renewable fuels – hydrogen gas. “We believe there is a fundamental advantage in looking at the production of hydrogen by photosynthesis as a renewable fuel,” senior chemist David Tiede said. “Right now, ethanol is being produced from corn, but generating ethanol from corn is a thermodynamically much more inefficient process.”

Malaysia scraps coal plant plans on environment worries
April 2, 2008 06:03 AM - Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia has scrapped plans to build a 1.3 billion ringgit ($408 million) coal-fired power plant in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island due to worries it would pollute the environment, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. The 300MW-plant was to have been built near a tropical forest by a subsidiary of state-controlled utility Tenaga Nasional and a Sabah state government agency, The Star reported on its Web site.

Southern utilities apply for new nuclear licenses
March 31, 2008 07:36 PM - Reuters

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Two utility groups, including units of Southern Co and SCANA Corp, said they filed applications on Monday for separate licenses to build and operate new nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina to meet growing demand for electricity. Southern Nuclear Operating Co said it filed an application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a combined construction and operating license (COL) to build two new reactors at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Georgia, 105 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

Invention: Diamond-cooled nuclear reactor
March 31, 2008 09:37 AM - New Scientist

Nuclear plants can fail when the heat from the reactor is not removed quickly enough from the core. This can happen in pressurised water nuclear reactors if the water in the cooling system boils, because steam is a much poorer conductor of heat than liquid water. These reactors have a primary water cooling system that directly takes heat away from the reactor. It is sealed under huge pressure to prevent it boiling and conducts heat to a secondary water cooling system that is not sealed.

Shell and Virent Partner to Produce 'Biogasoline'

Royal Dutch Shell and Virent Energy Systems inc. formed a five-year partnership to produce a gasoline alternative from plant sugars that won't impact food prices or need modified gasoline engines. The deal follows a larger trend of oil companies investing in biofuel research. For instance, BP is working with several universities, such as University of California at Berkley and Arizona State University, to transform low-carbon feedstocks into biofuels.

65 Million Square Feet of Solar Rooftops: Powering 162,000 Homes
March 31, 2008 09:19 AM - , MetaEfficient

In an ambitious move, a Californian utility plans to create a massive, distributed “powerplant” by installing a total of 2 square miles of solar cells on the roofs of businesses. Southern California Edison plans to install 250 megawatts’ worth of solar power, generating enough electricity to power 162,000 homes.

Britain extends support for micro-power generation
March 31, 2008 09:13 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Monday said it had extended the timeline for support, but added no new extra money, for small-scale electricity installation using renewable energy sources, called microgeneration. Local production of electricity from the wind and sun, for example using roof-top solar panels and micro wind turbines, is attracting increasing subsidy support worldwide as governments try to curb greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.

U.S. to propose CO2 rules this spring
March 28, 2008 06:22 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration, which has resisted regulating carbon dioxide emissions, this spring will propose rules that could affect everything from vehicles to power plants and oil refineries, the top U.S. environmental official told Congress on Thursday. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson said the agency will issue proposed rules "later this spring" on "the specific effects of climate change and potential regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary and mobile sources."

Sharp to invest $729 mln in new solar cell plant
March 27, 2008 09:25 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp Corp said on Thursday it would spend 72 billion yen ($729 million) to build a new solar cell plant in Sakai, western Japan. Sharp said in July it would build the world's largest solar cell plant by March 2010, along with a 380 billion yen liquid crystal display (LCD) panel plant, but it did not disclose the size of capital investments for the solar cell factory.

Western Canada hydro-electric project dealt blow
March 27, 2008 08:22 AM - Reuters

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - British Columbia dealt a potential death blow on Wednesday to a proposed hydro-electric project that highlighted the environmental costs of going green. The government of the West Coast Canadian province will oppose a proposal to adjust a park boundary to allow Run of River Power Inc to run transmission lines to its proposed project on the scenic Pitt River near Vancouver.

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