Energy

Underwater turbines could turn Puget Sound's tides into electricity
November 30, 2007 04:29 PM - University of Washington, Newswire

Seattle, Washington - The UW recently signed an agreement with Snohomish County Public Utility District to study tidal currents in Puget Sound as a possible source of power. The Snohomish County consortium will investigate sites where turbines sitting beneath the water's surface might use the powerful tidal currents to generate electricity.

 

"With renewable energy, you want to go with the source that's most appropriate for your location on the planet," said Phil Malte, professor of mechanical engineering and project manager. "If you're living in Phoenix, Ariz., you want to have a strong component of solar energy in your renewable-energy mix. If you're in the Pacific Northwest, we feel it's appropriate to take a very hard look at tidal energy."

Home wind turbines in UK warming the planet: study
November 30, 2007 11:26 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Many wind turbines mounted on homes in British cities are contributing to global warming, not fighting it, according to a new study.

And although many environmentally-friendly homeowners also hope to cut their bills by generating their own power, most micro-turbines will never save as much money as the equipment costs, according to the study by the Building Research Establishment Trust.

Biogas comes to Belarus
November 30, 2007 10:00 AM - Reuters

"The Belarusian government approached us for these plants and we have had a really good cooperation with them," Michael Hauck, head of marketing at Biogas Nord, which specializes in biogas plants, told Reuters.

Does the Electricity You Use Demolish Mountains?
November 30, 2007 09:13 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute

A new Web-based tool allows U.S. residents to learn how their local electricity consumption may be linked to the destruction of landscapes in the Appalachia region of the eastern United States. With “My Connection,” a feature from North Carolina-based Appalachian Voices, users can enter their ZIP codes and use Google Earth to view the decimated mountains from which their power provider obtains coal. “When you can show people they have a direct connection to it, it makes it that much more relevant to their day-to-day life,” Mary Anne Hitt, the executive director of Appalachian Voices, told the Wall Street Journal.

France, Italy keen to sign energy deal at summit
November 30, 2007 06:26 AM - Reuters

NICE, France (Reuters) - France and Italy aim to sign an energy cooperation deal at a summit meeting on Friday that should ease some of the bitterness caused by wrangling over French utility Suez last year.

The deal with French electricity operator EDF, flagged well ahead of the meeting in the southern French city of Nice is expected to see Italy's Enel take stakes in six new-generation nuclear plans in France.

Energy-hungry India eyes role as "wind superpower"
November 30, 2007 01:58 AM - Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India might be painted as a pollution-spewing, global-warming economy of 1 billion people but it is also one of the world's biggest wind power users, part of a focus on renewable energy mostly unnoticed in the West.

Years of tax incentives have helped make India one of the fastest-growing markets for wind power, a major component of renewable energy that will be high on the agenda of the December 3-14 UN climate change meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Clean coal seen as green alternative in Florida
November 29, 2007 02:02 PM - Reuters

St. Petersburg, Florida (Reuters) - Resistance to clean coal-fired electric-generating plants ignores an environmentally viable approach to diversifying energy sources, a Florida power company executive said on Thursday.

Mark Hornick, general manager of Tampa Electric Co's Polk County Plant, said environmental opposition recently caused the power company to defer plans to expand the Polk facility with an improved version of its existing clean-coal technology.

Fire shuts key Canada-US pipeline, oil soars
November 29, 2007 07:34 AM - Reuters

HOUSTON/LONDON (Reuters) - An explosion crippled the biggest pipeline supplying Canadian crude to U.S. Midwest refineries, shutting off more than one million barrels per day of imports to the world's biggest consumer.

The cause of the explosion on Wednesday that killed two employees was not immediately known.

Sweet fuel supply : Could a fuel cell that runs on glucose save the planet?
November 28, 2007 08:35 AM - Inderscience Publishers

A new type of fuel cell powered with glucose derived from biomass is described in the latest issue of the Inderscience Publication International Journal of Global Energy Issues. The experimental device works by using sunlight to convert the glucose into hydrogen to power the cell, which produces several hundred millivolts.

The use of biological resources, such as food waste and managed high-energy crops, are gradually becoming a viable approach to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. However, imaginative ways to convert these materials into useful, electrical energy are still required. Renewable biomass resources include starch, cellulose, sucrose, and lactose. These complex sugar molecules can be readily converted to the much simpler glucose molecule with little energy cost through fermentation processes.

Energy efficiency fails to cut consumption: study
November 27, 2007 05:08 PM - Reuters

In what the study calls "the efficiency paradox," consumers have taken money saved from greater energy efficiency and spent it on more and bigger appliances and vehicles, consuming even more energy in the process.

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