Energy

It is too early to sell carbon offsets: scientists
January 11, 2008 09:07 AM - University of East Anglia

Prof Watson said: "While we do envision the possibility of iron fertilisation as an effective form of carbon offsetting, we believe larger scale experiments are needed to assess the efficiency of this method and to address possible side effects. "There remain many unknowns and potential negative impacts."

Energy Saving Program in Seattle Puts Consumer in Control
January 11, 2008 08:57 AM - , Environmental Graffiti

Today, the New York Times reports on such a pilot experiment involving 112 homes in the Seattle area. The project by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the Energy Department, showed that ‘if households have digital tools to set temperature and price preferences, the peak loads on utility grids could be trimmed by up to 15 percent a year. Over a 20-year period, this could save $70 billion on spending for power plants and infrastructure, and avoid the need to build the equivalent of 30 large coal-fired plants.’

California agency presses EPA on ship exhaust
January 10, 2008 10:35 PM - Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles-area air quality agency on Thursday petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately set tougher standards on global-warming pollutants for ocean vessels calling on U.S. ports.

Swedish commuters' body heat to warm office
January 10, 2008 10:08 AM - Reuters

Body heat already warms the station itself but the surplus, currently let out in thin air, will be redirected to provide as much as 15 percent of the heating in a planned 4,000 square meter office building, real estate firm Jernhusen said.

Ames Lab "Beefing" Up Magnets for Electric-Drive Cars
January 10, 2008 08:55 AM - Ames Laboratory

The Ames Lab senior metallurgist and Iowa State University adjunct professor of materials science and engineering is playing a major role in advancing electric drive motor technology to meet the enormous swell in consumer demand expected over the next five years. He and his Ames Lab colleagues, Bill McCallum and Matthew Kramer, have designed a high-performance permanent magnet alloy that operates with good magnetic strength at 200 degrees Celsius, or 392 degrees Fahrenheit, to help make electric drive motors more efficient and cost-effective. The work is part of the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program to develop more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that will enable America to use less petroleum.

Britain starts new push for nuclear power
January 10, 2008 08:13 AM - Reuters

Britain gave the go-ahead to a new generation of nuclear power stations on Thursday, setting no limits on nuclear expansion and adding momentum to atomic energy's worldwide renaissance. The government argues that Britain must build nuclear plants to help meet its climate change goals and to avoid overdependence on imported energy amid dwindling North Sea oil supplies.

Smarter U.S. power usage could save $120 billion: study
January 9, 2008 06:45 PM - Reuters

Technology to help Americans reduce electricity use when the grid is stressed could help utilities save $120 billion on spending for new power plants and transmission lines, government officials and researchers said on Wednesday after a study in the Pacific Northwest. A year-long "smart grid" study showed consumers saved 10 percent on power bills and cut power use 15 percent during key peak hours, the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced.

'Green' Energy Efficient Mobile Home Designed
January 9, 2008 09:45 AM - Wiley-Blackwell

But "green" is exactly what Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Endowed Professor of Architecture at Mississippi State, wants mobile homes to be. He hopes to toss traditional thinking about the structures into the recycling bin, salvaging the traditional "mobile home" perception one national award at a time. Working in the Carl Small Town Center--a part of MSU's College of Architecture, Art and Design--Berk created an award-winning, next-generation factory-built unit he calls the GreenMobile. Unlike other lower-end housing, Berk's applies sound construction methods, as well as energy-saving concepts for lower utility costs.

LED Lights may light homes in less than 3 years
January 9, 2008 09:29 AM - University of Glasgow

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), already used in electrical equipment such as computers and mobile phones, are several times more energy efficient than standard light-bulbs. However, because of their structure and material, much of the light in standard LEDs becomes trapped, reducing the brightness of the light and making them unsuitable as the main lighting source in the home.

Switchgrass fuel yields bountiful energy: study
January 8, 2008 05:45 PM - Reuters

Switchgrass, a crop touted by venture capitalists and environmentalists alike as a next-generation ethanol feedstock, yields about five times more energy than it takes to grow it, making the plant a far more efficient fuel source than corn, a new study said. In addition, the life cycle of the switchgrass ethanol -- which includes growing the crop, making the fuel, and burning it in vehicles -- emits about 94 percent less of planet-warming carbon dioxide than the life cycle of gasoline, said the study, published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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