The Future of Electric Vehicles = Batteries

Mike Tinskey, manager of Ford's sustainability activities, outlined what Ford sees as essential ( controllable success factors ) for electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure, during a presentation at the Plug-in 2009 conference in Long Beach this past week. During his talk, he suggested that migrating to battery commonality would be a huge win for the industry simply because it would support a more rapid achievement of the higher production volumes required to bring prices down. According to Tinskey, The biggest issue with batteries now is not necessarily the technology, it's the volume.  If the battery manufacturers could get north of 100,000 packs, annually prices come down drastically.

Orange County Choppers Builds an EV

Orange County Choppers, known for building machines as brutish as they are loud, has produced this paradoxical bike touted as the first custom electric American chopper. Siemens, unveiled the Smart Chopper it commissioned from the renowned custom motorcycle outfit. Siemens claims the bike has a 60-mile range and a 100 mph top speed. An onboard charging unit can be plugged into any 110-volt socket to charge the bike in five hours, and Siemens says it'll charge in as little as one hour when plugged into a higher-voltage station. A single-speed, clutch-less transmission delivers the power from a 27-hp electric motor.

US, Canada, Mexico get together on climate change

At a trilateral summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, Presidents Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon of Mexico, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, committed their countries to develop policies and programmes to combat global warming . In a statement, the leaders said they supported a worldwide goal of reducing global emissions by at least 50% compared to 1990 or more recent years by 2050, with developed countries lowering emissions by at least 80% compared to that period by then. To help achieve agreed low-carbon development goals, the countries will develop comparable approaches to measuring, reporting and verifying emissions reductions, including cooperation in reporting greenhouse gas emissions throughout the region.

Tesla Turns Green into Profit

Tesla Motors turned profitable for the first time in July 2009 , when the electric car manufacturer shipped a record 109 vehicles. A surge in sales and reduced manufacturing costs of Tesla's Roadster 2 sports car helped boost the company to $1 million in earnings and $20 million in revenue. The Roadster has a range of about 244 miles per charge -- the first production electric vehicle to cross the 200-mile mark, according to the press release. The Roadster is the only highway-capable electric vehicle for sale in North America or Europe, and the company says it is faster than a Porsche and twice as energy-efficient as a Toyota Prius.

Nissan Rolls Out Electric Car

Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn drove quietly out of the Japanese automaker's soon-to-open headquarters Sunday in the first public viewing of its new zero-emission vehicle. It was the first time the external design was shown of Nissan Motor Co.'s environmentally friendly electric automobile, set to go on sale in Japan, the U.S. and Europe next year. Nissan has promised that the Leaf, which goes into mass-production as a global model in 2012, will be about the same price as a gas-engine car such as the 1.5 million yen ($15,000) Tiida, which sells abroad as the Versa, starting at about $10,000.

A Big Wind...

Each wind generator, each solar farm absolutely requires a stable grid to feed into and are not and can not be prime power sources. Meters record the amps passing thru the transformers which connect the wind units to the grid, but very little real power goes very far (see notes on AC power). They are simply dispersed, independent power producers which cannot supply any load without the base loading power of coal or natural gas. In truth, not one ounce of coal, programmed to be burned in a coal fired power system has ever been offset by the introduction of wind or solar power into the grid.

AltEnergyMag Interview - AWEA Small and Community Wind Conference & Exposition

AWEA has created their first Small & Community Wind Conference & Exhibition to bring together industry leaders, new entrants, project developers, economic development groups, municipalities, land owners and other allied organizations to formulate and enact growth strategies for small and mid-sized wind applications. Focusing on important topics such as national renewable energy legislation, technology costs, zoning requirements, utility interconnection, tax revenues and investment opportunities, this conference offers valuable information on how best to capitalize on wind technology.

AltEnergyMag Interview - Home Control and Energy Savings

Watteco, a System on Chip (SoC) manufacturer has developed a unique Power Line Communication solution for the Smart Energy Command & Control Market (Home Control and Street Lighting). This technology meets today the future market requirements in term of Low Power, Small Size and Low Bill of Material.

AltEnergyMag Interview - Waste-to-Energy

With over three decades of experience, Jack Ristau has been a driving force in developing, constructing, and operating municipal infrastructure facilities, including solid waste management and energy recovery projects, in the United States and overseas. Since joining Wheelabrator in 1984, he has developed many notable resource recovery business activities as well as directed several projects in the Far East, Mexico, Turkey, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Barbados. Currently, Ristau is director of business development and manages waste-to-energy project opportunities in the United States and Canada, supervising proposal development and customer contract negotiations. Prior to joining Wheelabrator, Ristau held project management positions at MITRE Corporation, Hayden, Harding and Buschanan Engineers, Inc., and Metcalf and Eddy, Inc. Ristau holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Penn State and a Masters of Science degree in Industrial Management from Northeastern University.

Biomass Wastes

Biomass wastes can be transformed into clean energy and/or fuels by a variety of technologies, ranging from conventional combustion process to state-of-the art thermal depolymerization technology. Besides recovery of substantial energy, these technologies can lead to a substantial reduction in the overall waste quantities requiring final disposal, which can be better managed for safe disposal in a controlled manner while meeting the pollution control standards.

Coal Ash Safety Issues

In December 2008, the 84-acre coal ash surface impoundment at the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Kingston coal-fired power plant failed and released over a billion gallons of coal combustion waste. It's estimated that this release could ultimately cost a billion dollars to remediate because 300+ acres were covered by the flood of coal ash slurry. At question is does the U.S. need more traditional coal-fired power plants and what to do with the ash slurry mess?

Fuel Cells Give New Meaning to "Green Grocer"

Some major chains have turned to fuel cell technology to help reduce their carbon footprint and their dependence on the electrical grid. Fuel cells provide clean, quiet, and reliable power to an industry that cannot afford to experience electricity outages. Stores are using fuel cells to generate heat, hot water, electricity, and even to power vehicles.

It is Time to Cool it With Wind.

The goals of the stakeholders of the wind industry are often seen as conflicting: Utilities and some customers argue that wind power is too expensive. The wind industry and environmentalists argue that the current fossil generation does not pay for the right to pollute and if they did, wind would be cheaper than other sources of power. To both it is time to cool it.

It's Time to Bring Renewable Energy Home

In a unanimous vote, the Public Service Commission (PSC) recently cleared the way for Alliant Energy's Wisconsin utility to construct a 200 megawatt (MW) windpower plant project in southern Minnesota. Once operational, the Bent Tree project, costing upwards of $450 million, will be a productive source of renewable energy that will provide lasting benefits to Minnesota's economy and environment. Since it will be Alliant's Wisconsin customers who foot the bill, however, it is reasonable to inquire whether the current utility practice of outsourcing renewable energy production to other states is a good thing for Wisconsin's economy.

Keep Cool with a Solar Attic Fan

Solar powered attic fans are cool! Having worked in attics for many years installing solar water heaters I know all too well how hot they get. I've measured 140 degrees F! Most homes have manual roof vents, which allow some nominal air movement, but they can't keep up with the sun pounding down all day.

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