At a time when U.S. gasoline prices were arcing beyond $4 a gallon nationwide, Sapphire Energy said it had proven the feasibility of using algae to make "green crude" that can serve as an identical substitute for crude oil. Sapphire said its product, unlike other biofuels, could enter the pipeline at any petroleum refinery for processing into gasoline and other fuels. Sapphire's process has been used successfully to make the three most important fuels, gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, and all three products have been independently certified to meet fuel standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Sapphire's concept calls for creating enormous algae "farms" throughout the desert lands of the southwestern United States. Read more here.
Conservation Services Group expands its capabilities to the Southeast region with the newly created position of Southeast regional director. Industry veteran Bruce Teal has been named to the post, according to Stephen Cowell, CEO.
Boeing and Air New Zealand have announced that they will carry out the first flight test of "second generation" sustainable biofuel in an airliner on 3 December. The planned test will be carried out using an Air New Zealand Boeing 747 flying from Auckland. During the flight, one of the jumbo's four Rolls-Royce engines will run partly on biofuel. The juice to be used in next month's Antipodean test will be made from jatropha nuts. The hardy jatropha is said by its advocates to be capable of growing usefully in arid regions unsuitable for food crops, and in this case - according to Boeing - the nuts have been "sourced from nonarable lands in India and Southeastern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania)". Other ideas for gen-2.0 jetfuel biomass include algae farmed on water, various kinds of fungus, even domestic garbage. Read more here.
John Woolard, CEO of a private California-based solar energy company called BrightSource Energy, offers his outlook on solar energy.
"We may be at 30 percent module efficiency by the end of 2009": Sol3g
Mumbai, the financial capital of India, joins metropolises such as Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, Seoul and Los Angeles, as well as smaller communities, as the 1000th Member of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, a global association of local governments committed to sustainability
Xantrex Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Schneider Electric, announces it was awarded contracts from enXco Inc., an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company, valued at approximately US$1.5 million.
Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos, the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb. The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, contain no weapons-grade material, have no moving parts and will be nearly impossible to steal because they will be encased in concrete and buried underground. The goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world. The reactors, only a few metres in diameter, will be delivered on the back of a lorry to be buried underground. They must be refuelled every 7 to 10 years. Read More Here.
Zenergy has successfully completed testing of its first commercial HTS Fault Current Limiter, which is expected to be installed in the commercial electricity grid of Southern California Edison in Q1 2009. Zenergy's FCL represents its second groundbreaking commercial product based on HTS technology.
A new fiber-optic laser system can measure wind speed and direction up to 1000 meters in front of a wind turbine, giving the massive machines enough precious seconds to proactively adapt to gusts and sudden changes in wind direction. The device, developed by Catch the Wind, a startup based in Manassas, VA, could improve the efficiency of wind turbines and keep them from breaking down. A prototype of the new laser-based LIDAR system, shown here, can horizontally project three invisible laser beams up to 300 meters in front of a wind turbine. Small particles in the wind are detected as they cross the beams. Catch the Wind claims that its laser system can boost turbine power output by 10 percent by improving orientation accuracy. The pitch of the blades can also be adjusted in advance of the wind to reduce wear and tear on turbine gearbox components and blades, lowering repair and maintenance costs by up to 10 percent and extending the operating life of a wind farm, the company says. Read more here .
Nevada utility customers have submitted applications to NV Energy for rebates for 962 solar, wind and micro hydro projects capable of generating 10,500 kilowatts of electricity. All the applications were approved by an advisory panel to the Nevada State Energy Office of Energy.
Real estate that is taking a cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally responsible approach to heating and air conditioning.
The Renewable Energy Centre announced increased interest and traffic to its website following the Interbuild Exhibition last week.
RainTube wins recognition in Re:Construct competition as a potential design element in Re:Vision's prototype sustainable urban space
Scientists from the Australian National University (ANU), Tianjin University in China and Chromasun, a Silicon Valley company with strong Australian connections, will join forces to create roof-mounted solar trough concentrator systems that they believe will be more cost-effective and efficient than previous models. The prototype measures 1.7 x 1.5 x 0.2 meters and incorporates seven mirrors that focus sunlight onto receiver tubes. Crystalline Si micro PV cells - with an efficiency of about 20% under concentrated sunlight - will be fitted to the receivers to operate under concentrated x20 - x30 sunlight with water cooling being used to deliver heat to the hot-water tank. Read more here.
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