Solar Decathlon - Hot and Heavy Action

The Solar Decathlon , an international competition hosted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) , is showcasing solar-powered home designs created by students from around the world. Students selected to participate were given two years to design and build the prototype solar homes, which must be carbon neutral and completely powered by the sun. The projects, many costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, were on display at the National Mall in Washington through Sunday (Oct. 18) and Team Germany took top honors. The 800-square-feet homes must be completely powered by the sun. They are meant to be prototype zero-energy, zero-carbon homes.

U.S. Army to build 500 MW solar power plant

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tapped ACCIONA Solar Power, a unit of Spain's Acciona SA, and Clark Energy Group to develop the project, which launched its first phase on Thursday. The project, located at the Army's largest training range in California's Mojave Desert, could grow as large as 1 gigawatt in the future. The facility at Fort Irwin will surpass the 14-MW solar plant at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada as the U.S. Department of Defense's largest solar power plant. The new plant will have both photovoltaic solar panels and mirrors and turbines for concentrated solar power.

The hydrogen car is NOT dead!

A number of auto manufacturers are renewing their push for hydrogen, and now it is looking as though hydrogen cars will make it out of vehicular Death Valley. Last month Daimler, the German government, and several industrial companies announced a plan to build 1,000 hydrogen-fueling stations across Germany. Days later, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche showed off Mercedes-Benz's latest hydrogen-fueled effort, the F-Cell hatchback. Toyota this summer announced it would put hydrogen fuel-cell cars into production in 2015. Honda, GM, and Hyundai all have hydrogen fuel-cell programs running, and Honda actually has put vehicles -- heavily subsidized by the car maker, to be sure -- in the hands of some real customers, as opposed to its own engineers.

America's First Renewable Energy Market Hub

Superconductor Electricity Pipelines have been chosen for The Tres Amigas Project, the nation`s first renewable energy market hub. Superconductor Electricity Pipelines comprise transmission-level direct current (DC) superconductor power cables powered by AMSC high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire and high-powered voltage-source AC/DC power converters. The Tres Amigas Project, which will be announced today in Albuquerque by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, focuses on uniting America`s three power grids for the first time to enable faster adoption of renewable energy and increase the reliability of the U.S. grid.

Google Powermeter Meets TED 5000

The TED 5000 from Energy Inc. is an energy monitor that measures electricity usage in real-time (TED stands for "The Energy Detective"). Today, Google announced that anyone in North America can purchase and install the TED 5000 and see personal home energy data using their free software tool, Google PowerMeter, from anywhere you can access the web including through iGoogle for mobile phones. Combined with Google PowerMeter, the TED 5000 device can help you understand your electricity usage to save energy and money. Energy Inc. is just Google's first device partner and if you are working for a company that manufactures energy monitors, they'd like to hear from you.

A Review of "Six Degrees Could Change the World"

Six Degrees Could Change the World is the latest in a steady stream of documentaries to focus on concerns about the environment and global warming since Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Six Degrees , though, takes these concepts in a fresh, new direction and in now way, shape or form attempts to imitate Gore's film.

Dissecting the Integrated Systems that make up Traditional Green Buildings

Christy Cunningham-Saylor is an environmental specialist with St. Louis-based Vertegy, a firm which specializes in consulting services for clients seeking to develop green and sustainable facilities.

Emerging Trends in Commercial Biofuels Production

The challenges from agricultural requirements to produce food and energy can only be met if we use all options available for increasing productivity and safeguarding harvests. Innovative crop protection products and plant biotechnology provide solutions to reduce the energy consumption in agriculture while conserving natural resources and contributing to mitigate the effect of climate change.

Fuel Cells Enlist in Armed Forces

Fuel cells have the potential to dramatically change how the military carries out its missions, and how soldiers operate in the field. With the largest, most technologically advanced military in the world, the U.S. armed services use an immense amount of fuel and electricity, and any use of alternative energy would have positive effects on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, fuel cells are of particular interest to the military not for their environmental savings, but because of unique technical features that can aid soldiers in the field.

How Much Alternative Fuel do we Really Want or Use?

Not all the alternative generation of energy is really taken into account because numerous small-scale projects are inevitably overlooked. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) does make available figures on the economy, crude oil prices, and alternative resources to the best of their data collecting ability. This information is almost constantly revised as more data is available but the changes and revisions are not especially dramatic. The change in energy consumption and sources of energy is an evolutionary process and not a revolutionary process.

Installing Solar Systems in California

As a recognized solar industry pioneer, Gary is 2008 and 2009 President of CALSEIA - the California Solar Energy Association - and a board member of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility and Build It Green - using his three decades of knowledge to grow the solar industry for all companies.

Maintaining a Sustainable Energy Mix

This article deals with the present energy mix and tries to discover how the future energy mix should look in order to be sustainable and significantly reduce environmental impact, for example reduced CO2 emissions. It should be less dependent on the fossil fuels, have increased reliability, have fuel cost with reduced price fluctuations and be able to successfully meet the future demand for energy that just gets larger and larger as world energy requirements increase with the new lifestyle choices.

Offshore Wind

The US has installed over 25 gigawatts of wind, and thanks to hodge-podge of policy incentives, research and development, and private investment wind has become the poster-child of renewable energy and at the utility-scale has achieved grid-parity with conventional fossil-fuel energy. However not a single kilowatt of offshore wind has been developed, despite it being a stronger and more consistent energy source than its counterpart on land, closer to large populations where the energy is needed, and already proven commercial technology.

Solar Cities Proposition

"Buildings like trees, cities like forests." When Michael McDonough, author and sustainability architect, suggested this be the new paradigm for the future, he was referring to the creation of buildings and communities that are self-sufficient. He also reminds us that "waste is a human phenomenon", so the concept of recycling and efficiency is central to the attainment of environmental stewardship. Through integration, energy management, efficiency techniques and technologies it is now possible to create buildings that are 'greener' and more ecologically synergistic than ever before.

Summary of recent Hot News Stories

Here is a short summary of some of the hot stories reported on in the last month or so.

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