Energy

World’s Largest Tidal Turbine Successfully Installed
April 8, 2008 09:42 AM - , MetaEfficient

The world’s largest tidal turbine, weighing 1000 tonnes, has been installed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. The tidal turbine is rated at 1.2 megawatts, which is enough to power a thousand local homes. It was built by Marine Current Turbines, and it will be the first commercial tidal turbine to produce energy, when it begins operation later this year. The turbine has twin rotors measuring 16 meters in diameter. The rotors will operate for up to 18-20 hours per day to produce enough clean, green electricity.

Expert foresees 10 more years of R&D to make solar energy competitive
April 8, 2008 09:38 AM - American Chemical Society

NEW ORLEANS, April 7, 2008 — Despite oil prices that hover around $100 a barrel, it may take at least 10 or more years of intensive research and development to reduce the cost of solar energy to levels competitive with petroleum, according to an authority on the topic. “Solar can potentially provide all the electricity and fuel we need to power the planet,” Harry Gray, Ph.D., scheduled to speak here today at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). His presentation, “Powering the Planet with Solar Energy,” is part of a special symposium arranged by Bruce Bursten, Ph.D., president of the ACS, the world’s largest scientific society celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Beckman Scholars Program.

Summer gasoline use down first time in 17 years
April 8, 2008 09:31 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Record gasoline prices and a contracting U.S. economy will reduce summer gasoline demand for the first time in 17 years, the government's top energy forecasting agency said Tuesday. U.S. gasoline prices will hit a monthly peak of just over $3.60 per gallon in June, helping to reduce motor fuel demand by 0.4 percent this busy driving season compared to last summer, said the federal Energy Information Administration.

Spain nuclear plant leak below legal limit: watchdog
April 8, 2008 06:38 AM - Reuters

MADRID (Reuters) - Radioactivity from a leak detected at Spain's Asco I nuclear power plant during refueling last November was below legal limits, Spain's nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday. The Nuclear Safety Commission sent inspectors to the plant after being told on Friday that a routine inspection had detected radioactive particles on the outside of buildings at Asco I, in the northeast Catalonia region.

Solar balloons to power remote areas?
April 8, 2008 05:14 AM - Reuters

HAIFA, Israel (Reuters) - Giant solar energy balloons floating high in the air may be a cheap way to provide electricity to areas lacking the land and infrastructure needed for traditional power systems, researchers in Israel say. The world is racing to find renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels, and entrepreneurs are scrambling for a slice of a clean energy market that analysts estimate was worth nearly $150 billion last year.

Dell Headquarters Powered With Green Energy
April 7, 2008 08:28 AM - , Triple Pundit

It was announced yesterday that Dell Computer’s 2.1 million-square-foot headquarters in Round Rock, Texas is now powered entirely with renewable energy. 60% of the energy is supplied by wind power generated by Energy Future Holdings Corp.’s TXU Energy and the remaining 40% from Waste Management’s landfill gas-to-energy plant. Dell, a participant in Austin Energy’s GreenChoice® power program, also announced it is increasing it’s renewable energy at its Austin Parmer Campus from 8 to 17%.

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."

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