More Cars or More Transportation Alternatives: What Will the World Choose?
October 26, 2007 09:18 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
As Tata Motors, one of Asia’s leading automakers, prepares to tap into India’s middle-class market by releasing the “world’s cheapest car” in 2008, other countries with a long history of car dependence are grappling with ways to limit the social, health, and environmental costs of motorized transport. One alternative is so-called bus rapid transit (BRT), which operates like rail transport but offers more flexibility in routes. The systems are gaining popularity in cities in the automobile-loving United States as well as in rapidly developing nations in Asia and Latin America.
Toyota to Halve Hybrid Price, Size for Next Prius
October 25, 2007 07:51 PM - Chang-Ran Kim, Reuters Asia Auto Correspondent
TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will slash the price and size of its hybrid system by around half for the next-generation Prius model, and use a nickel-metal hydride battery instead of lithium-ion, a top executive said.
"When we went from the first-generation Prius to the second-generation, we did the same thing," Executive Vice President Kazuo Okamoto, in charge of Toyota's research and development, told reporters in Tokyo.
Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, has not publicly disclosed a timeframe for the introduction of the third-generation Prius model. Some media reports have speculated the planned late-2008 launch would be delayed because of concerns over the safety of lithium-ion batteries.
Energy Consumption Reduced 60 percent, Minnesota Glimpses 'Greenest' Building
October 25, 2007 04:18 PM -
MINNEAPOLIS - It's 10 degrees below zero outside in late January and the thermometer hasn't topped the freezing mark in days, yet the thermostat at your high-rise office building is idle, your teeth aren't chattering and you don't need an ice-scraper to see your computer screen. Welcome to the frozen North's office of the future. The Canadian developers of a cutting-edge green building designed specifically for cold weather climates visited the Twin Cities today to share their visionary project with local engineers and students during the University of Minnesota's "Green Building North" event, hosted by the Center for Sustainable Building Research and the Consulate General of Canada. The 690,000 square foot 22-story Manitoba Hydro head office, now under construction in downtown Winnipeg, will be 60 percent more energy efficient than a modern conventional office building.
Kettle Chips Wins Leeds Gold with Wind, Sod and More
October 25, 2007 03:18 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Beloit, Wisconsin - Wind turbines, native prairie grasses and biodiesel conversion won for Kettle Foods the presteigeous recognition for building the greenest food manufacturing plant in the U.S.. The U.S. Green Building Council today awarded the potato chip maker Gold level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The award recognizes Kettle's committment to minimizing the environmental footprint of its new factory in Beloit, Wisconsin.
EPA Develops Regulations for Geologic CO2 Sequestration
October 25, 2007 08:28 AM - , Green Progress
The EPA announced plans to develop regulations to establish a clear path for geologic sequestration, a process of injecting captured carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, in deep rock formations for long-term storage. Once completed, the regulations will ensure there is a consistent and effective permit system under the Safe Drinking Water Act for commercial-scale geologic sequestration programs to help reduce the effects of climate change.
Hybrid Hydrogen Fuel Cell System Develops
October 25, 2007 08:24 AM - , Green Progress
Exide Technologies, a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions, announced today it has signed an agreement with Ballard Power Systems to develop an on-board hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and lead-acid battery energy system for the forklift truck (or materials handling) market. Exide plans to meet all its hydrogen fuel cell needs in the forklift truck market over the next five years exclusively with Ballard fuel cells.
China Cabinet to get Energy Law Draft by Early 2008
October 25, 2007 08:17 AM - Reuters
BEIJING - A draft energy law that may lay the groundwork for an energy ministry will be submitted to China's cabinet by late this year or early 2008, an official presentation showed, as Beijing seeks to bolster efficiency and control. China, the world's number two energy consumer, has made resource efficiency and security top priorities because of concerns about a growing reliance on foreign oil and massive pollution problems.
GE hopes to cut mercury in "green" light bulbs
October 24, 2007 05:22 PM - Timothy Gardner,
NISKAYUNA, New York (Reuters) - General Electric Co is working to cut the amount of mercury in energy-saving fluorescent lightbulbs which have soared in popularity.
Residents and businesses are buying up compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) because they reduce power bills as well as emissions of carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for global warming. CFLs use only one-fourth to one-fifth the energy of incandescent bulbs producing the same light and can last 10 years.
The corkscrew-shaped devices are made by many companies and on average contain about 5 milligrams of mercury, a toxic metallic element, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Five milligrams is tiny amount, about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen, and much less than the amount that was held in old thermometers. But with sales of CFLs hitting 150 million units last year, and more expected this year, some scientists and environmentalists are worried that most of the bulbs are ending up in landfills instead of being recycled.
Fires create electricity 'island' in San Diego
October 24, 2007 04:01 PM - Bernie Woodall
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California wildfires created an electricity "island" of San Diego County on Wednesday as one major power transmission link to the U.S. West grid was shut and the other flickering on and off, said San Diego Gas & Electric Co.
This makes the San Diego area susceptible to major blackouts unless customers conserve power, said Michael Niggli, chief operating officer of SDG&E.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders implored residents to cut power use.
"You've got to conserve today. You have no choice," Sanders said.
About 20,000 homes and businesses were without power late Wednesday morning, down from 33,000 on Tuesday, SDG&E spokeswoman Rachel Laing said.
Australia's Biggest Wind Farm Starts Moving
October 24, 2007 07:51 AM - , Green Progress
AUSTRALIA - NSW renewable energy company Epuron today announced its proposal to develop Australia’s largest wind farm near Broken Hill in western NSW. In a typical year the wind farm would be able to contribute up to 4.5% of the total energy needs of NSW and would be amongst the largest projects anywhere in the world.