ENERGY YEAR 2008 IN A NUTSHELL

The global financial crisis dominated the news media in the second half of 2008. The crisis is certainly negatively affecting the sustainable energy market in the short term. On the other hand, the crisis has generated broad public demand for government investments that create employment and stimulate the economy.

GROWTH IN SPANISH SOLAR ENERGY MARKET

In 2007, and during the first half of 2008, all the signs for PV were positive. There was a very attractive feed-in tariff in Spain, credit lines were easy to get, oil prices were rising and economies growing rapidly. Now, the industry faces a strong head wind with oil prices very low, economies in recession, finance hard to obtain and the world's largest market regulated by a cap with a 30% lower feed-in tariff.

INDIA - A LONG RACE IN SOLAR POWER

India, the world's second-most populous country, is facing a looming energy crisis. Soaring oil prices, and continued dependence on a few countries for oil, has led to the use of renewable energy sources to secure energy.

JATROPHA FOR BIOFUELS

Does Jatropha risk a backlash from public opinion? Jatropha proponents have justifiably been promoting its benefits as a sustainable source of oil crops for years, but from the agro-business side it seems to be evolving in the opposite way: monoculture, hurting biodiversity, causing deforestation and competing for land with food crops.

PICKING THE RIGHT SOLAR INSTALLER

Federal and state rebates can save you as much as 50% on your total cost, so it is important the company is taking every advantage of available rebates.

PIT POWER TOWER

This article presents the novel combination of a Pneumatic Power Tower and Solar Power Tower in an Open Pit Mine: called a "Pit Power Tower" (PPT).

SOLAR WINDOW FILM IN NEW YORK CITY

The new generation of clear solar control window films offer different choices, featuring the ability to block solar heat without blocking the sun's natural daylight. The best among them are those offering true Infrared Reflectance, using Southwall Technology's "heat-mirror" technology to ensure that solar heat is reflected away from the window and not absorbed into the building or the window glass.

THE FUTURE OF EVACUATED TUBE TECHNOLOGY

The media, policymakers and even those in the industry have let evacuated tubes languish as a mere cousin to solar electric.

THE TRUTH ABOUT AN ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME

There has been a lot of progress made recently in improving energy efficiency, but it's important to look at the process and your house as a whole - an improvement in just one area of your home will not necessarily work.

WATER CONSERVATION

How many of us defrost frozen meat with running water instead of letting it thaw in the fridge? How many times do you use the hose to sweep off the driveway when a broom can be just as effective?

Smart Grid - The Internet for the Energy Economy

The nation's century-old energy grid might get an upgrade soon to handle alternative energy. The economic stimulus package has earmarked $11 billion to invest in smart meters and 3,000 miles of renewable-energy transmission lines. Venture capitalists and utilities also are investing in smart-grid applications at a record pace. "It's like the Internet for the energy economy," said Katherine Hamilton, head of the GridWise Alliance.

Cisco EnergyWise Partner Program

Cisco this week initiated a partner program that integrates power management with network devices to monitor and control power usage. The company estimates 30% reduction in power consumption could drive adoption. Dubbed EnergyWise, the program was announced Tuesday along with partners from Schneider Electric, makers of power distribution and automation equipment; Verdiem, which manages PC and laptop power; and SolarWinds, known for network management. The collaboration lays the groundwork for robust, automated power management, Cisco said. EnergyWise software will be available on Catalyst switches via a software upgrade to all customers with a support contract.

NIFTE Pump Technology uses Solar Energy

There is now an alternative pumping technology being developed that is simple and costs little to manufacture, yet it is highly effective and can operate using low-grade heat energy - such as waste heat or solar energy. This type of heat pump has been termed the Non-Inertive Feedback Thermofluidic Engine (NIFTE) . Given their mechanical simplicity, low energy consumption and potentially low purchase cost, NIFTE pumps could be applicable for a wide variety of tasks. These range from irrigation and pond pumps to central heating circulating pumps and power showers.

Ethanol-Powered Fuel Cells

A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Delaware and Yeshiva University, has developed a new catalyst that could make ethanol-powered fuel cells feasible . Made of platinum and rhodium atoms on carbon-supported tin dioxide nanoparticles, the research team's electrocatalyst is capable of breaking carbon bonds at room temperature and efficiently oxidizing ethanol into carbon dioxide as the main reaction product.

9000 Homes Powered by Scotch Whisky!

An award-winning scheme which will reduce the carbon footprint of the whisky industry on Speyside has moved a step closer after being granted planning permission by Moray Council. The CHP unit will use a combination of distillery co-products and wood chip from sustainable sources to generate 7.2 megawatts of electricity, enough for 9,000 homes, which can be used onsite or exported to the National Grid.

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