Energy

Platinum-free fuel cell developed in Japan
September 14, 2007 10:56 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd said on Friday it has developed a technology to make fuel cells without platinum, the precious metal used in the electrolyte process in existing hydrogen-based fuel cells. By using alkali, instead of acid, anion exchange membranes, Daihatsu's fuel cell can work with less costly metals which are less resistant to corrosion than platinum, such as cobalt or nickel, Daihatsu said in a statement.

Green skies: Engineer's work may reduce jet travel's role in global warming
September 14, 2007 07:36 AM - Hilary Parker -Princeton U

Princeton Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Fred Dryer has a lofty goal: end the nation's reliance on oil for jet travel. With potentially major benefits for energy security and the environment riding upon his success, Dryer is advancing the fundamental knowledge of jet fuels while developing practical, innovative energy sources.

Shell lays off Alaska oil staff amid environmental fight
September 14, 2007 07:10 AM - Reuters

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has begun laying off workers in Alaska amid an ongoing legal battle that has held up the company's plans to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea, the company said in a statement. Shell had planned to drill up to four oil exploration wells on its Sivulliq prospect in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's north coast this summer.

Chrysler Sets Up New Hybrid Development Unit
September 13, 2007 08:31 PM - Kevin Krolicki, Reuters

DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler LLC said on Thursday it was creating a new unit to jump-start its development of hybrid and electric vehicles, pushing the newly private automaker into a fast-growing segment where it now lags. Chrysler, which has been hurt by its reliance on sales of trucks and sport-utility vehicles, said it was creating a new organization within the company called "Envi" -- from "environment" -- to develop more energy efficient vehicles. The new development unit will be headed by Lou Rhodes, who had previously headed Chrysler's advanced engineering and vehicle concept development teams, Chrysler said.

GM to power warehouse with solar energy
September 13, 2007 08:23 PM - Reuters

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp said on Thursday it will add one of the largest solar power installations in corporate use at a warehouse in California, generating half the electricity needed to run the 300,000-square-foot (28,000-square-meter) facility. The automaker said it has partnered with a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, which will design, build, own and operate the solar array on the roof of a GM service and parts operation warehouse in Fontana, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

BP Breaks Ground On First Wind Project in Texas
September 13, 2007 06:31 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

HOUSTON - When it's up and running in 2008 a new Texas wind power facility will see 24 2.5 megawatt wind turbine generators, the largest wind turbines built in the U.S. turning in the Texas wind. When it's finished the $100-million dollar project will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power approximately 24,000 average American homes. The project is a venture of BP and Clipper Windpower. Crews broke ground today and is the first wind project in Texas.

Chasing The X-Prize: 31 Groups Building A 100-mpg Car, Only One Is A University
September 13, 2007 06:00 PM - Cornell University News

The Automotive X Prize, which promises a multi-million-dollar award for the development of a practical, marketable 100-mpg car, has so far attracted 31 competitors, according to an announcement by the X Prize Foundation. The list includes a variety of small companies, one nonprofit organization and so far only one university: Cornell.

Dirty energy threatens health of 2 billion: study
September 13, 2007 08:22 AM - Ben Hirschler -Reuters

The health of about 2 billion of the world's poor is being damaged because they lack access to clean energy, like electricity, and face exposure to smoke from open fires, scientists said on Thursday. Dangerous levels of indoor air pollutants from badly ventilated cooking fires are a common hazard, while lack of electricity deprives many of the benefits of refrigeration.

China welcomes Iran-IAEA nuclear plan
September 13, 2007 07:23 AM - Reuters

China welcomed Iran's nuclear transparency deal with U.N. inspectors on Thursday, despite Western fears that it could be a recipe for delay. The August 21 "work plan" with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) commits Iran to answer longstanding questions about its nuclear activities over a rough timeline of a few months, leaving untouched Tehran's expanding uranium enrichment work.

Court Upholds Tough Vermont Auto Emissions Law
September 12, 2007 01:38 PM - Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) - A District Court in Vermont on Wednesday upheld a state law that calls for a 30 percent reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, emitted by cars and certain light trucks. In his decision, Judge William K. Sessions found that the Vermont law -- which regulates greenhouse gas emissions -- did not conflict with federal regulations on fuel economy.

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