Energy

Invention: Diamond-cooled nuclear reactor
March 31, 2008 09:37 AM - New Scientist

Nuclear plants can fail when the heat from the reactor is not removed quickly enough from the core. This can happen in pressurised water nuclear reactors if the water in the cooling system boils, because steam is a much poorer conductor of heat than liquid water. These reactors have a primary water cooling system that directly takes heat away from the reactor. It is sealed under huge pressure to prevent it boiling and conducts heat to a secondary water cooling system that is not sealed.

Shell and Virent Partner to Produce 'Biogasoline'

Royal Dutch Shell and Virent Energy Systems inc. formed a five-year partnership to produce a gasoline alternative from plant sugars that won't impact food prices or need modified gasoline engines. The deal follows a larger trend of oil companies investing in biofuel research. For instance, BP is working with several universities, such as University of California at Berkley and Arizona State University, to transform low-carbon feedstocks into biofuels.

65 Million Square Feet of Solar Rooftops: Powering 162,000 Homes
March 31, 2008 09:19 AM - , MetaEfficient

In an ambitious move, a Californian utility plans to create a massive, distributed “powerplant” by installing a total of 2 square miles of solar cells on the roofs of businesses. Southern California Edison plans to install 250 megawatts’ worth of solar power, generating enough electricity to power 162,000 homes.

Britain extends support for micro-power generation
March 31, 2008 09:13 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Monday said it had extended the timeline for support, but added no new extra money, for small-scale electricity installation using renewable energy sources, called microgeneration. Local production of electricity from the wind and sun, for example using roof-top solar panels and micro wind turbines, is attracting increasing subsidy support worldwide as governments try to curb greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.

U.S. to propose CO2 rules this spring
March 28, 2008 06:22 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration, which has resisted regulating carbon dioxide emissions, this spring will propose rules that could affect everything from vehicles to power plants and oil refineries, the top U.S. environmental official told Congress on Thursday. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson said the agency will issue proposed rules "later this spring" on "the specific effects of climate change and potential regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary and mobile sources."

Sharp to invest $729 mln in new solar cell plant
March 27, 2008 09:25 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp Corp said on Thursday it would spend 72 billion yen ($729 million) to build a new solar cell plant in Sakai, western Japan. Sharp said in July it would build the world's largest solar cell plant by March 2010, along with a 380 billion yen liquid crystal display (LCD) panel plant, but it did not disclose the size of capital investments for the solar cell factory.

Western Canada hydro-electric project dealt blow
March 27, 2008 08:22 AM - Reuters

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - British Columbia dealt a potential death blow on Wednesday to a proposed hydro-electric project that highlighted the environmental costs of going green. The government of the West Coast Canadian province will oppose a proposal to adjust a park boundary to allow Run of River Power Inc to run transmission lines to its proposed project on the scenic Pitt River near Vancouver.

New Record: Wind Powers 40% Of Spain
March 26, 2008 09:52 AM - , MetaEfficient

Wind power is breaking new records in Spain, accounting for just over 40 percent of all electricity consumed during a brief period last weekend. As heavy winds lashed Spain on Saturday evening wind parks generated 9,862 megawatts of power which translated to 40.8 percent of total consumption. Between Friday and Sunday wind power accounted for an average of 28 percent of all electricity demand in Spain. Spain’s wind power generation equaled that of hydropower for the first time in 2007.

Tibet's Lithium
March 25, 2008 09:38 AM - , Private Landowner Network

As of the end of 2005 there were something like 2 billion cell phones in service worldwide. Certainly there are more than that now. Without lithium batteries cell phones would be a completely different animal. Bigger and heavier, you wouldn’t be stuffing one into a pant’s pocket. Now that the standard is set the cell phone industry is reliant on lithium for its existence.

Love biofuels? API turns to online matchmaking

The American Petroleum Institute launched an online marketplace yesterday that enables petroleum refiners, blenders and importers to identify sellers of renewable fuels credits. The API Credit Exchange, dubbed ACE, comes three months after President Bush signed into law an energy bill that requires the nation to consume 9 billion gallons of ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels this year. The consumption requirement revs up to 36 billion gallons a year annually by 2022 (Greenwire , Dec. 14, 2007).

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