Energy

Endesa nuclear plant had radioactive leak: watchdog
April 7, 2008 06:26 AM - Reuters

Spain's nuclear watchdog at the weekend said it had detected a radioactive leak at an Endesa nuclear plant in the northeast Catalonia region but said any exposure would have been well below legal maximums. The Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) was informed of the leak on Friday but said radioactive particles detected at the Asco I plant most likely came from an air filtering system that was contaminated while the reactor was being refueled in November.

Iran to boost nuclear capacity despite pressure
April 5, 2008 06:40 AM - Reuters

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it would press ahead with plans to expand its nuclear program, after diplomats in Vienna said Tehran was installing advanced centrifuges in its key uranium enrichment plant. The government spokesman also rejected any idea of halting work the United States suspects is aimed at building nuclear bombs in return for trade, technology and other benefits.

$3 Billion Solar Power Deal Signed By California Utility
April 4, 2008 09:42 AM - Via: Mercury News , MetaEfficient

Pacific Gas & Electric today will announce a deal to buy as much as 900 megawatts of electricity. It will be enough to power 540,000 California homes each year, and involve the construction of five solar power plants during the next decade. The company to build the solar-thermal power plants in the Mojave Desert is BrightSource Energy. “From what I know, this is the biggest commitment ever in the history of solar,” said John Woolard, BrightSource Energy’s chief executive officer and president. “It’s a fairly significant undertaking on both sides.”

Carbon Dioxide Emission Reduction Assumptions Overly Optimistic, Study Says
April 4, 2008 09:29 AM - National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

"In the end, there is no question whether technological innovation is necessary--it is," write the authors in the Nature commentary. "The question is, to what degree should policy focus explicitly on motivating such innovation" The IPCC plays a risky game in assuming that spontaneous advances in technological innovation will carry most of the burden of achieving future emissions reductions, rather than focusing on those conditions that are necessary and sufficient for those innovations to occur."

German minister stops biofuel blending plans
April 4, 2008 06:27 AM - Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday he had stopped government plans to raise compulsory bioethanol blending levels in fossil gasoline. Politicians and industry groups had criticized the plans to raise the level to 10 percent for some gasoline grades from five percent, fearing the increase would damage older cars.

Americans prefer energy fix to cancer cure: poll
April 3, 2008 08:41 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A nationwide survey of nearly 700 people suggests that Americans would prefer more money be invested in technology to solve the nation's energy ailments than to cure cancer or other diseases. Some 37 percent of respondents to the poll, conducted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority in Virginia, said they would rank spending to raise energy efficiency and develop alternative fuel technology a top priority for future investment. That compares with 30 percent who ranked more cash for medical breakthroughs as most important.

Texas sees higher costs to reap wind power
April 3, 2008 07:28 AM - Reuters

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The price tag to build new power lines to bring plentiful wind power to Texas' biggest cities could range from $3 billion to $9 billion, the state's electric grid operator said in a report filed with regulators on Wednesday. Following legislation passed in 2005, the Texas Public Utility Commission began working to speed up construction of high-voltage transmission lines to tap into abundant supplies of renewable power.

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.

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