US JOINS INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY

The United States today joined 130 other countries as members of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Ambassador Reno Harnish said: "The United States is extremely pleased to join IRENA. President Obama is committed to renewable energy to mitigate climate change, ensure energy security, create green jobs and lead a green recovery. Joining IRENA allows us to cooperate with 130 other nations to speed market adoption of renewable energy around the world."

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: THE HIDDEN, COST-SAVING, WIN-WIN STRATEGY IN HOUSE-PASSED ENERGY/CLIMATE BILL

Hidden in the voluminous American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) are cost-effective energy efficiency provisions that are the “golden keys” to addressing the nation’s most pressing economic and environmental concerns, the Alliance to Save Energy said today . The energy efficiency provisions are expected to save billions of dollars and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, greatly reducing any economic costs from other parts of the bill. According to the EPA, the energy efficiency provisions will save consumers 7 percent on their energy bills in 2020.

Exxon's Electric Car

Despite Exxon Mobil Corp.'s well-publicized stance in support of fossil fuels, the oil giant said on Tuesday that it is sponsoring a program to bring a zero-emission electric vehicle to Baltimore. The car, called the Maya 300, is a partnership between the oil company and electric-vehicle maker Electrovaya. Exxon is providing parts for the Electrovaya's lithium-ion battery. The Maya 300 is slated to be available for sale in 2011, but visitors to the Maryland Science Center can test drive it for free, beginning on Tuesday, on a track inside the building. Full story here.

Tesla Wins $465M in DOE Loans

It's official: Tesla Motors has won approval for $465 million in low-interest direct loans from the Department of Energy under the delayed Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program. Tesla, which now sells a $109,000 electric sports car, has just been awarded what the DOE calls "conditional loan commitments" to set up manufacturing in California. This represents a huge step for the startup on its at-times bumpy road to producing the long-planned electric sedan, the Model S, and accelerating its nascent battery pack supply business.

Smart Payment System for Energy

This new device will let utilities offer consumers the latest smart energy technology using the proven TaleXus smart pay-as-you-go (PAYG) platform. EnergyPOINT.net™ will allow consumers using a smart key PAYG meter the convenience of purchasing energy credit and managing payments online. Consumers will top up their smart key by inserting it into a specially designed unit that plugs into a computer's USB port. They will be able to add credit to their meter by accessing a custom webpage, via their utility's website, and will purchase energy using a debit card.

Clean Energy Jobs Grow Faster

The number of American "clean energy" jobs grew 9.1% between 1998 and 2007 , more than twice the growth rate of employment in the economy as a whole, according to a new study that claims to be the first "hard count" of the sector. The Pew Charitable Trusts found about 68,200 companies with 770,000 jobs in the clean energy sector in 2007 - roughly half a percent of today's US workforce. The study calls it "a strong start for a new economy still very much in its infancy". By comparison, fossil fuels industries, including coal, utilities, oil and gas, had about 1.27 million workers in 2007.

$25 million battery lab

General Motors took a big step toward its reinvention as the "New G.M." today when it opened what it calls the largest automotive battery laboratory in the United States , a move the struggling company believes will hasten the development of electric vehicles. GM invested $25 million in the 33,000-square-foot Global Battery Systems Lab to develop and test the drive-trains underpinning the Chevrolet Volt and other hybrid, battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The automaker believes the facility, at its sprawling Warren Technical Center campus outside Detroit, Michigan, will help make it a market leader in battery and EV technology.

Floating Wind Turbines

The world's first full-scale floating wind turbine is being towed 10 kilometers southwest of Karmřy, Norway, where it will be anchored to the seabed using a three-point mooring system to start offshore trials. To be outfitted with a 65-meter-tall 2.3-megawatt turbine, the Hywind structure, a ballasted steel jacket called a 'spar buoy', will stretch 100 meters below the sea surface.

China to Invest $14.6 Billion in Wind Power by 2010

The country's wind power capacity will rise to 30,000 megawatts from 12,000 megawatts , Shi Lishan, deputy director of renewable energy at the National Energy Administration, said in Rudong city in the eastern province of Jiangsu today. China's wind power capacity was the fourth-largest in the world last year, according to Shi. Investment in alternative energy may exceed 2 trillion yuan by 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, said in 2007. Wind power is "vital" as it is the cheapest form of renewable energy, Shi said. About 80 percent of the country's power is produced from coal.

BEYWATCH RESEARCH PROJECT

BeyWatch is a 30-month research project supported by the European Commission (DG Information Society and Media) aiming at ICT tools for environmental management and energy efficiency. BeyWatch develops an energy-aware and user-centric solution, able to provide intelligent energy monitoring/control and power demand balancing at home/building & neighbourhood level.

CAPITALIZING ON CARBON DIOXIDE

Recent technological developments in the electro-reduction of carbon dioxide to formic acid, a valuable chemical with possible application in the steel pickling process, may offer an alternative to expensive large scale carbon capture and storage operations.

GASIFICATION OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE

Waste-to-energy plants based on gasification are high-efficiency power plants that utilize municipal solid waste as their fuel rather than conventional sources of energy like coal, oil or natural gas.

GREEN JOBS PLATFORM FOR SOLAR

Over the past 10 years, Sheila Davis has played a valuable role at SVTC and in shaping environmental policy in the high-tech industry. She is one of the co-founders of the Computer TakeBack Campaign and sits on its steering committee. In 1996 she researched and developed the first electronic recycling legislation to reach the California Governor's desk and in 1999 spearheaded the first pilot programs in the country to collect and recycle electronic waste from the residential curbside.

GROWING INTEREST IN HYDROGEN

With more than 40 sessions covering everything from producers to users of hydrogen, the conference featured its most relevant content to date, presented by some of the biggest names inside and outside the industry.

LIGNIN AS ALTERNATIVE RENEWABLE FUEL

On average, it could be assumed that 15% of the world total consumption of diesel, gasoline and jet fuels can be replaced by lignin.

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