• Carbon Dioxide Emission Reduction Assumptions Overly Optimistic, Study Says

    "In the end, there is no question whether technological innovation is necessary--it is," write the authors in the Nature commentary. "The question is, to what degree should policy focus explicitly on motivating such innovation" The IPCC plays a risky game in assuming that spontaneous advances in technological innovation will carry most of the burden of achieving future emissions reductions, rather than focusing on those conditions that are necessary and sufficient for those innovations to occur." >> Read the Full Article
  • German minister stops biofuel blending plans

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday he had stopped government plans to raise compulsory bioethanol blending levels in fossil gasoline. Politicians and industry groups had criticized the plans to raise the level to 10 percent for some gasoline grades from five percent, fearing the increase would damage older cars. >> Read the Full Article
  • Americans prefer energy fix to cancer cure: poll

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A nationwide survey of nearly 700 people suggests that Americans would prefer more money be invested in technology to solve the nation's energy ailments than to cure cancer or other diseases. Some 37 percent of respondents to the poll, conducted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority in Virginia, said they would rank spending to raise energy efficiency and develop alternative fuel technology a top priority for future investment. That compares with 30 percent who ranked more cash for medical breakthroughs as most important. >> Read the Full Article
  • Texas sees higher costs to reap wind power

    HOUSTON (Reuters) - The price tag to build new power lines to bring plentiful wind power to Texas' biggest cities could range from $3 billion to $9 billion, the state's electric grid operator said in a report filed with regulators on Wednesday. Following legislation passed in 2005, the Texas Public Utility Commission began working to speed up construction of high-voltage transmission lines to tap into abundant supplies of renewable power. >> Read the Full Article
  • Algae Could One Day Be Major Hydrogen Fuel Source

    Scientists at U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are answering that call by working to chemically manipulate algae for production of the next generation of renewable fuels – hydrogen gas. “We believe there is a fundamental advantage in looking at the production of hydrogen by photosynthesis as a renewable fuel,” senior chemist David Tiede said. “Right now, ethanol is being produced from corn, but generating ethanol from corn is a thermodynamically much more inefficient process.” >> Read the Full Article
  • Malaysia scraps coal plant plans on environment worries

    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia has scrapped plans to build a 1.3 billion ringgit ($408 million) coal-fired power plant in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island due to worries it would pollute the environment, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. The 300MW-plant was to have been built near a tropical forest by a subsidiary of state-controlled utility Tenaga Nasional and a Sabah state government agency, The Star reported on its Web site. >> Read the Full Article
  • Southern utilities apply for new nuclear licenses

    HOUSTON (Reuters) - Two utility groups, including units of Southern Co and SCANA Corp, said they filed applications on Monday for separate licenses to build and operate new nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina to meet growing demand for electricity. Southern Nuclear Operating Co said it filed an application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a combined construction and operating license (COL) to build two new reactors at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Georgia, 105 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina. >> Read the Full Article
  • Invention: Diamond-cooled nuclear reactor

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • 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. >> Read the Full Article
  • 65 Million Square Feet of Solar Rooftops: Powering 162,000 Homes

    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. >> Read the Full Article