Energy

Corn-based ethanol could worsen "dead zone"
March 11, 2008 02:01 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Growing more corn to meet the projected U.S. demand for ethanol could worsen an expanding "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico that is bad for crawfish, shrimp and local fisheries, researchers reported on Monday. The dead zone is a huge area of water -- some 7,700 square miles -- that forms above the continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico every summer. It contains very low levels of oxygen.

Colourful idea sparks renewable electricity from paint
March 10, 2008 09:29 AM - www.swan.ac.uk

Dr Dave Worsley (pictured), a Reader in the Materials Research Centre at the University's School of Engineering, is investigating ways of painting solar cells onto the flexible steel surfaces commonly used for cladding buildings. "We have been collaborating with the steel industry for decades," explains Dr Worsely, "but have tended to focus our attention on improving the long-term durability and corrosion-resistance of the steel. We haven't really paid much attention to how we can make the outside of the steel capable of doing something other than looking good.

Lufthansa ups fuel surcharges on European flights
March 10, 2008 08:37 AM - Reuters

Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa is raising surcharges on domestic and European tickets as the price of oil continues to soar. Travelers will pay an extra 17 euros each way from Thursday, up from 14 euros previously.

Work begins on California wind transmission lines
March 7, 2008 03:05 AM - Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Construction on the biggest U.S. transmission project largely for wind energy has begun, utility Southern California Edison said on Friday. The Tehachapi Renewal Transmission Project aims to take wind power produced in a remote area called Tehachapi in Southern California to power customers all over the state through the state power grid.

Oil Price Hits All-Time Record
March 6, 2008 09:35 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

It finally happened this week. The price of oil passed the all-time inflation-adjusted peak of $103.76 that was set in April 1980—and is now three times what it was just four years ago. What’s going on? This is a record that virtually none of the world’s oil experts predicted, particularly at a time when the world economy is slumping and the demand for gasoline is now dropping in the United States. Some of the blame may go to speculation and the decline of the dollar. But the roots of the problem run deeper.

EU should give more thought to biofuel policy: U.N.
March 6, 2008 06:34 AM - Reuters

She also said the United Nations needed an extra $500 million from Western governments to meet a food aid gap this year.

New Zealand to build geothermal plant
March 6, 2008 04:06 AM - Reuters

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - State-owned electricity generator Mighty River Power said on Thursday it planned to build a 132 Megawatt geothermal power station to meet growing demand. A final decision on building the plant, to be located at Rotokawa near Taupo in the North Island, would depend on completing procurement contracts, said Mighty River chairman Carole Durbin.

Chile's Congress approves renewable energy law
March 6, 2008 03:34 AM - Reuters

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile's Congress voted on Wednesday to require electric utilities to invest in and supply nonconventional energy sources (NCES) as part of the government's drive to diversify current tight energy supplies. The vote in favor of the project, which mandates that NCES account for at least 10 percent of the energy supplied by Chile's electric utilities by 2024, was unanimous.

Sweden aims for renewable sources for half its energy
March 6, 2008 02:58 AM - Reuters

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden will aim to get nearly half its energy from renewable sources by 2020 as part of an EU-wide plan, Energy and Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson said on Wednesday. Olofsson said in Washington that Sweden had been tasked with increasing its share of renewable energy to 49 percent from a current 40 percent as part of binding targets set by the European Union.

California cows start passing gas to the grid
March 5, 2008 07:10 AM - Reuters

RIVERDALE, California (Reuters) - Imagine a vat of liquid cow manure covering the area of five football fields and 33 feet deep. Meet California's most alternative new energy. On a dairy farm in the Golden State's agricultural heartland, utility PG&E Corp began on Tuesday producing natural gas derived from manure, in what it hopes will be a new way to power homes with renewable, if not entirely clean, energy.

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