Energy

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.

Pay-As-You-Go Solar
September 26, 2007 04:25 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

LONG BEACH, Calif. - You want solar but can't afford it? Purchase the power, not the panels.  That's what the solar energy company Sun Run Generation is doing. The company  announced a partnership with REC Solar,a company providing residential and commercial solar electric systems, to offer homeowners in California a discounted way to buy solar power. Homeowners have the option of purchasing solar energy the same way businesses have for years, by purchasing power instead of panels.

British Petroleum Teams With MIT To Improve, Green, Fuel Technologies
September 26, 2007 03:33 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

CAMBRIDGE - Today, BP and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a major research partnership focused on energy conversion technologies. The program will explore the conversion of low-value carbon feedstocks such as petcoke and coal to high-value products such as electricity, liquid fuels and chemicals while minimizing carbon dioxide emissions.

Ice-Based Airconditioning Takes Off In California
September 26, 2007 03:02 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

SAN FRANCISCO - A company that makes an ice-based air-conditioning system is teaming up with a major public utility, PG & E, in California in a $10-million dollar project. The ice-based air conditioner uses cheaper nighttime electricity to make ice and then uses that ice for daytime cooling needs. The units cooling looks almost identical to a standard AC unit. The systems lowers peak daytime demand significantly, shifting the energy load up to 95%. The California Public Utilities Commission says permanent load shifting technologies deliver a number of benefits to both utilities and energy consumers, including added protection against shortages during heat waves and reduced reliance on the construction of new generation plants.

Group Says Germany needs nuclear to meet carbon cut goal
September 26, 2007 02:47 PM - Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany can meet its target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 36 percent by 2020 only if it keeps nuclear power plants, which are being phased out, German industry group BDI said on Tuesday.

In a study co-authored by consulting firm McKinsey, the BDI found emissions could not be cut by more than 31 percent by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, without retaining atomic power or harming Germany's economy.

Even achieving the 31 percent reduction would need further investment in technology and would raise the cost of cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions up to 175 euros ($246) per CO2 tonne saved, up from the current 20 euros, the BDI said.

Carbon windfall to go to clean energy: official
September 26, 2007 10:36 AM - Reuters

The European Commission wants to back alternative energy like wind and solar with the money it raises from sales of carbon emissions permits, which could reach billions of euros, a senior EC official said on Wednesday.

Brussels is preparing changes to its carbon trading scheme, its flagship climate change policy, in time for a third trading cycle which starts in 2013.

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