Google's Goal: Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal
December 1, 2007 01:43 PM - , Green Progress

San Jose, California - Google today announced a new strategic initiative to develop electricity from renewable energy sources that will be cheaper than electricity produced from coal. The newly created initiative, known as Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies. Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal is hiring engineers and energy experts to lead its research and development work, which will begin with a significant effort on solar thermal technology, and will also investigate enhanced geothermal systems and other areas.

In 2008, Google expects to spend tens of millions on research and development and related investments in renewable energy. As part of its capital planning process, the company also anticipates investing hundreds of millions of dollars in breakthrough renewable energy projects which generate positive returns.

Siemens sees wind business up 30 percent this year: report
December 1, 2007 01:26 PM - Reuters

"We want to be in the top three in the industry by 2011," Siemens' Wind Power unit chief Andreas Nauen told German weekly Euro am Sonntag in comments released on Saturday ahead of publication on Sunday.

Honda begins solar production
December 1, 2007 12:51 PM - Bruce Mulliken, Private Landowner Network

Tokyo, Japan - Though Honda has been mass producing solar cells since October, and has begun sales of them, the opening of Honda Soltec’s production facility in Kumamoto, Japan makes it official: Honda’s in the solar business.

As you’d expect from the cutting edge car company, the product is state of the art. Honda is using thin-film, copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) cell technology - a technology still trying to gain footing against tried and true silicon solar. But Honda says that overall, in the big picture, grand scheme of things, CIGS is greener than silicon solar. The company says CIGS use 50 percent less energy to manufacture, start to finish, than conventional silicon crystal solar cells.


Alaska gets 5 applications for natural gas
December 1, 2007 02:03 AM - Reuters

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Five companies, partnerships and entities have submitted proposals to build a massive pipeline from Alaska's North Slope to bring the region's vast but long-languishing natural gas reserves to markets thousands of miles away, state officials announced late on Friday.

Texas mayors promote fluorescents as "state bulb"
November 30, 2007 07:51 PM - Reuters

To kick off a statewide campaign to get residents to replace old light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs, Texas mayors vowed to launch an effort to make the bulbs available, to encourage their use and to suggest that people give them as gifts for Christmas or other occasions.

Underwater turbines could turn Puget Sound's tides into electricity
November 30, 2007 04:29 PM - University of Washington, Newswire

Seattle, Washington - The UW recently signed an agreement with Snohomish County Public Utility District to study tidal currents in Puget Sound as a possible source of power. The Snohomish County consortium will investigate sites where turbines sitting beneath the water's surface might use the powerful tidal currents to generate electricity.


"With renewable energy, you want to go with the source that's most appropriate for your location on the planet," said Phil Malte, professor of mechanical engineering and project manager. "If you're living in Phoenix, Ariz., you want to have a strong component of solar energy in your renewable-energy mix. If you're in the Pacific Northwest, we feel it's appropriate to take a very hard look at tidal energy."

Home wind turbines in UK warming the planet: study
November 30, 2007 11:26 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Many wind turbines mounted on homes in British cities are contributing to global warming, not fighting it, according to a new study.

And although many environmentally-friendly homeowners also hope to cut their bills by generating their own power, most micro-turbines will never save as much money as the equipment costs, according to the study by the Building Research Establishment Trust.

Biogas comes to Belarus
November 30, 2007 10:00 AM - Reuters

"The Belarusian government approached us for these plants and we have had a really good cooperation with them," Michael Hauck, head of marketing at Biogas Nord, which specializes in biogas plants, told Reuters.

Does the Electricity You Use Demolish Mountains?
November 30, 2007 09:13 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute

A new Web-based tool allows U.S. residents to learn how their local electricity consumption may be linked to the destruction of landscapes in the Appalachia region of the eastern United States. With “My Connection,” a feature from North Carolina-based Appalachian Voices, users can enter their ZIP codes and use Google Earth to view the decimated mountains from which their power provider obtains coal. “When you can show people they have a direct connection to it, it makes it that much more relevant to their day-to-day life,” Mary Anne Hitt, the executive director of Appalachian Voices, told the Wall Street Journal.

France, Italy keen to sign energy deal at summit
November 30, 2007 06:26 AM - Reuters

NICE, France (Reuters) - France and Italy aim to sign an energy cooperation deal at a summit meeting on Friday that should ease some of the bitterness caused by wrangling over French utility Suez last year.

The deal with French electricity operator EDF, flagged well ahead of the meeting in the southern French city of Nice is expected to see Italy's Enel take stakes in six new-generation nuclear plans in France.

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