• Ames Lab "Beefing" Up Magnets for Electric-Drive Cars

    The Ames Lab senior metallurgist and Iowa State University adjunct professor of materials science and engineering is playing a major role in advancing electric drive motor technology to meet the enormous swell in consumer demand expected over the next five years. He and his Ames Lab colleagues, Bill McCallum and Matthew Kramer, have designed a high-performance permanent magnet alloy that operates with good magnetic strength at 200 degrees Celsius, or 392 degrees Fahrenheit, to help make electric drive motors more efficient and cost-effective. The work is part of the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program to develop more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that will enable America to use less petroleum. >> Read the Full Article
  • Britain starts new push for nuclear power

    Britain gave the go-ahead to a new generation of nuclear power stations on Thursday, setting no limits on nuclear expansion and adding momentum to atomic energy's worldwide renaissance. The government argues that Britain must build nuclear plants to help meet its climate change goals and to avoid overdependence on imported energy amid dwindling North Sea oil supplies. >> Read the Full Article
  • Smarter U.S. power usage could save $120 billion: study

    Technology to help Americans reduce electricity use when the grid is stressed could help utilities save $120 billion on spending for new power plants and transmission lines, government officials and researchers said on Wednesday after a study in the Pacific Northwest. A year-long "smart grid" study showed consumers saved 10 percent on power bills and cut power use 15 percent during key peak hours, the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced. >> Read the Full Article
  • 'Green' Energy Efficient Mobile Home Designed

    But "green" is exactly what Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Endowed Professor of Architecture at Mississippi State, wants mobile homes to be. He hopes to toss traditional thinking about the structures into the recycling bin, salvaging the traditional "mobile home" perception one national award at a time. Working in the Carl Small Town Center--a part of MSU's College of Architecture, Art and Design--Berk created an award-winning, next-generation factory-built unit he calls the GreenMobile. Unlike other lower-end housing, Berk's applies sound construction methods, as well as energy-saving concepts for lower utility costs. >> Read the Full Article
  • LED Lights may light homes in less than 3 years

    Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), already used in electrical equipment such as computers and mobile phones, are several times more energy efficient than standard light-bulbs. However, because of their structure and material, much of the light in standard LEDs becomes trapped, reducing the brightness of the light and making them unsuitable as the main lighting source in the home. >> Read the Full Article
  • Switchgrass fuel yields bountiful energy: study

    Switchgrass, a crop touted by venture capitalists and environmentalists alike as a next-generation ethanol feedstock, yields about five times more energy than it takes to grow it, making the plant a far more efficient fuel source than corn, a new study said. In addition, the life cycle of the switchgrass ethanol -- which includes growing the crop, making the fuel, and burning it in vehicles -- emits about 94 percent less of planet-warming carbon dioxide than the life cycle of gasoline, said the study, published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. >> Read the Full Article
  • Renewables supply 14 pct of German power: industry

    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Renewable energy made up more than 14 percent of Germany's power consumption in 2007, up from almost 12 percent in 2006, with wind as the main contributor, the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) said on Tuesday. Energy derived from wind, solar, water, biomass and thermal heat accounted for 9 percent of Germany's total primary energy consumption last year, reducing the country's CO2 emissions by 115 million tones, the association said. >> Read the Full Article
  • Beijing Introduces Strictest Fuel Standard Yet

    On January 1, China’s capital city of Beijing introduced its toughest vehicle fuel standard yet. The rule requires that gasoline and diesel sold in the city must comply with the new China IV emission standards, equivalent to the European Union’s Euro IV standards. Under the elevated standard, motor fuels are permitted to contain only 50 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur, compared with the previous China III level of 150 ppm. >> Read the Full Article
  • NOAA: Sunspot is harbinger of new solar cycle, increasing risk for electrical systems

    A new 11-year cycle of heightened solar activity, bringing with it increased risks for power grids, critical military, civilian and airline communications, GPS signals and even cell phones and ATM transactions, showed signs it was on its way late Thursday when the cycle’s first sunspot appeared in the sun’s Northern Hemisphere, NOAA scientists said. >> Read the Full Article
  • Environmentalists Up In Arms Over New $2600 Car

    An Indian firm is selling new cars for under $2,600, a move that has been criticized as a ticking time bomb by environmental groups. The so-called “People’s Car”, the RS 1 Lakh, is manufactured by Indian giant Tata, which is reportedly in talks to buy British carmaker Jaguar from current owners Ford. Tata is marketing the car as a safer alternative to motorbikes for Indian families. Tata chairman Ratan Tata said: ‘That’s what drove me - a man on a two-wheeler with a child standing in front, his wife sitting behind, add to that the wet roads - a family in potential danger.’ >> Read the Full Article