Renault and Nissan partner up on sustainability strategy

Announcing a six year sustainability strategy today, French automaker Renault said it hopes to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2016. Drive the Change, which is the tagline for Renault's sustainability strategy, intends to concentrate on EVs and a new generation of low emissions engines. It aims to achieve sales of over 3m vehicles in 2013 and at least €2bn in aggregate free cash flow. Renault's operating margin target is to surpass 5pc of revenues in 2013. Renault revealed that as part of a new alliance with Nissan, it will be introducing three electric models - Fluence Z.E., Kangoo Z.E., and Twiz. The vehicles are part of an overall strategy to reduce emissions. In 2012 the group will also introduce the Zoe supermini. It is hoped that by 2015 the alliance will have achieved a production capacity of 500,000 vehicles and, by 2016, it wants to have 1.5m EVs on the road. Renault also announced that its portfolio of combustion engines will include its new 1.6 engine "Energy dCi 130", which will cut CO2 emissions by 20pc compared with the previous generation. The car manufacturer's new Energy TCe gasoline engines will reduce CO2 emissions among vehicles in the A, B and C segments by an estimated 30pc. These innovations will assist in the reduction of CO2 emissions in Europe, emitting - on average - less than 120g by 2013, and less than 100g by 2016.

Geothermal Energy Outlook

Marin Katusa is an industry leading energy investor, with a specific expertise in global resource exploration and alternative energy production, including emerging ‘green' energies. From oil and gasoline prices, to natural gas export numbers, to coal and uranium demand, Marin is a thought leader on the energy commodities markets. His in-depth market knowledge and close network of industry experts allows him to provide informed perspectives on the economic viability and investment potential of wind, solar, hydro- electricity, geothermal, and nuclear energy as well as oil, natural gas, and coal. He digs deep to spot trends before it makes it on to the radar of traditional market pundits.

Where the Solar PV Industry Needs to Go - Now!

The technical advances of cost effective PV and advanced storage along with the legislative changes must occur if the industry is to grow rapidly enough to become a significant component of the world's future energy portfolio in the next 15 to 20 years (i.e. PV supplying more than 20% of the world's electricity). Advances in any of the three areas will certainly help and will benefit the industry as a whole, but ALL three are necessary if PV is to take its place as the most flexible, cost effective and distributed form of energy and all three are necessary to accelerate the transition to a post fossil fuel economy.

Food Waste to Energy Conversion - Indian Perspectives

The anaerobic digestion technology is highly apt in dealing with the chronic problem of organic waste management in urban societies. Although the technology is commercially viable in the longer run, the high initial capital cost is a major hurdle towards its proliferation. The onus is on the governments to create awareness and promote such technologies in a sustainable manner. At the same time, entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations and environmental agencies should also take inspiration from successful food waste-to-energy projects in other countries and try to set up such facilities in Indian cities and towns.

Contractors utilize new technologies to provide Solar Installations

Many roofing contractors see the importance that solar will play in their future business but realize they don't necessarily have the expertise required to offer solar. With new construction starts and completions remaining down, it's more important than ever for the traditional roofing contractor to be able to provide solar solutions to their customers who may be inquiring about a new roof.

Super Bowl Energy Use Offset With Texas Wind Power

The electricity used at Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV on Sunday was offset 100 percent with the purchase of wind energy credits. For every megawatt-hour of electricity used to power the event and its associated facilities, an equivalent amount of wind energy will be generated at a wind farm in Texas, said green energy retailer Just Energy. All the electricity that powered the jumbo screens, TV cameras, the Black-Eyed Peas halftime show, and stadium lights, heated the food and cooled the beer will be generated by the Sweetwater Wind Farm located in Nolan County, Texas, 228 miles west of Dallas. The wind power offset is the result of an agreement between between Just Energy, the National Football League and the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. Just Energy will purchase renewable energy certificates on behalf of the Super Bowl to offset all direct and indirect carbon emissions associated with power generation at major Super Bowl XLV venues.

Wind turbine prices fall to their lowest in recent years

Increasing scale, improved efficiency and over-capacity among wind energy hardware manufacturers have combined to push the average price of onshore wind turbines below €1m ($1.36m) per megawatt. The fourth issue of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Wind Turbine Price Index shows that fierce downward pressure on prices has continued in recent months in all parts of the world. Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyzed confidential data provided by 28 major purchasers of wind turbines. The sample includes more than 150 undisclosed turbine contracts, totaling nearly 7GW of capacity in 28 markets globally – with a main focus on Europe and the Americas. Dropping turbine prices may be uncomfortable for manufacturers, but it is good news for project developers and it further improves the cost-competitiveness of wind energy compared with gas and coal. Click to view the main conclusions of the analysis.

Building a bridge to renewable energy

Bridges are generally exposed to the elements, meaning they generally get a nice dose of sunlight often coupled with some fairly strong crosswinds. For these reasons this “Solar Wind” bridge design would seem to make a lot of sense. The proposed bridge would harness solar energy through a grid of solar cells embedded in the road surface, while wind turbines integrated into the spaces between the bridge’s pillars would be used to generate electricity from the crosswinds. The brainchild of Italian designers Francesco Colarossi, Giovanna Saracino and Luisa Saracino, the Solar Wind concept was designed for the Solar Park Works – Solar Highway competition that asked entrants to modernize sections of a decommissioned elevated highway stretching between Bagnera and Scilla in Italy. The road surface would replace traditional asphalt with 20 km (12.4 miles) of “solar roadways” consisting of a dense grid of solar cells coated with a transparent and durable plastic coating providing 11.2 million kWh per year. The designers say this system, combined with the 26 wind turbines integrated underneath the bridge generating 36 million kWh per year, would provide enough electricity to power approximately 15,000 homes.

AltEnergyMag has launched a New Alternative Energy Industry Forum

San Diego, California, February 3, 2011 - AltEnergyMag.com, a leading online alternative energy publication, announced the launch of an Alternative Energy Forum. The open forum is designed to be a community for the Alternative Energy Industry to discuss a variety of topics including Solar, Wind, BioFuels and more. AltEnergyMag founder and editor Bob Hetherington says "We have set up a few of what we think are some important forum topics but this is just the beginning so we need the input and participation of our readers to make it grow into a valuable source of discussion and information for the Industry." He goes onto say "I think that the Forum at AltEnergyMag.com will be a valuable and interesting resource for our readers, and we are delighted to provide this service to the alternative energy community."

Volt sales are kicking the Leaf's butt

In January, General Motors sold 321 Chevrolet Volt cars. Meanwhile, Nissan, its fiercest electric car competitor, has sold just 87 Leaf cars in the U.S. Both cars went into production at the end of November. GM had originally planned to sell the Volt in only select areas of the country before 2012, but the automaker announced last week that it would expand sales of the Volt to all 50 states by the end of the year. Nissan has said 20,000 people have put down $99 deposits to be put on a waiting list for the car. Those people will get their cars, Al Castignetti, general manager for Nissan in the U.S., said, it just isn't certain when. "Our main goal right now is quality, not quantity," he said. So far, he said, there have been no quality issues and Nissan is working gradually to ramp up production. Nissan plans to open a U.S. plant to build the Leaf in 2012. For now, all Leafs are built in Japan. In December, just after the cars went into production, Nissan sold 19 Leafs in the U.S. while GM sold 326 Volts.

U.S. wind energy industry finishes 2010 with half the installations of 2009

America's wind industry built 5,115 megawatts of wind power last year, barely half of 2009's record pace, but entered 2011 with over 5,600 megawatts currently under construction - and with wind cost-competitive with natural gas for new electric generation, utilities are moving to lock in favorable rates. AWEA reported today that 3,195 megawatts (MW) of wind-powered electric generating capacity came online in the fourth quarter of 2010. That performance was below the 4,113 MW installed in the same period in 2009, but a leap from the third quarter of 2010, when only 670 MW were installed. The U.S. finished the year with a total of 5,115 MW of new wind power. Buoyed by a one-year extension of the 1603 Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy in the final days of the 111th Congress, the industry entered the new year with over 5,600 MW of electric power currently under construction, well above the same time a year earlier. Further projects are expected to start up in time to meet the new construction deadline for the tax credit, now set to expire at the end of 2011. The industry is likely to finish 2011 ahead of 2010 numbers, according to Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA Director of Industry Data & Analysis.

Suntech Opens Solar Manufacturing Plant in Arizona

Our local manufacturing operations will allow Suntech to meet the growing demands of customers throughout the Americas, including our dealer network with more than 400 partners. One advantage is that all modules produced at the facility are compliant for procurement in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects. Also, in the long term, regional manufacturing will help to minimize our exposure to rising oil and transportation costs.

Octopus Diagrams and Buckminster Fuller's Design Challenge

Sustainability is the Grand Unifying Theory for finding the Ultimate Answers to Life, Universe and Everything --- and the answer for Earthlings is Sunshine --- All else is Moonshine.

Optimizing Communication Networks in Renewable Energy Markets with Wireless Technologies

Each of the applications that can be performed using data radios in solar and wind power generation plants are conducted today in many thousands of other market applications. These radios are relied upon in mission critical monitoring, controlling and data acquisition situations in the harshest weather and RF conditions.

A Bean Called Castor Can Cut Carbon & Fuel the Future

Vast scope exists for exploitation of castor as a bioenergy crop although there are still some technological challenges to overcome. A combination of conventional breeding methods with biotechnological techniques provides newer routes for designing oils for biofuel purpose.

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