Energy

The future of solar-powered houses is clear
April 10, 2008 10:15 AM - Queensland University of Technology

Transparent glass containing solar cells could capture enough energy to power a home Professor John Bell said QUT had worked with a Canberra-based company Dyesol, which is developing transparent solar cells that act as both windows and energy generators in houses or commercial buildings.

Saudi oil minister slams biofuels, favors solar energy
April 10, 2008 09:00 AM - Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's oil minister on Thursday slammed biofuels, saying they did not protect the environment or help supply security, but added solar power had to be considered one of the best clean energy sources. "Let's be realistic, ethanol and biofuels will not contribute to the protection of the global environment by reducing (carbon dioxide) emissions, they will not increase energy security, nor will they reduce dependency on fossil fuels to any appreciable degree," Ali al-Naimi told an oil conference.

New MIT Start-up Aims to Make Silicon Solar Cells Competitive With Coal
April 9, 2008 08:17 AM - , Green Progress

1366 Technologies, a new MIT start-up aiming to make silicon solar cells competitive with coal, today announced it has secured $12,4 million in a first round of financing co-led by North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners. MIT Professor, 1366 founder and CTO, Ely Sachs, noted that 1366 Technologies will be combining innovations in silicon cell architecture with manufacturing process improvements to bring multi-crystalline silicon solar cells to cost parity with coal-based electricity.

Cow stomach holds key to turning corn into biofuel
April 8, 2008 09:51 AM - Michigan State University

An enzyme from a microbe that lives inside a cow’s stomach is the key to turning corn plants into fuel, according to Michigan State University scientists. The enzyme that allows a cow to digest grasses and other plant fibers can be used to turn other plant fibers into simple sugars. These simple sugars can be used to produce ethanol to power cars and trucks.

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%.

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