News stories from RETECH 2010 in Washington DC
An Economic Case Study in Energy Financing
Cooling applications represent 25% of all electricity use in the United States, consuming over 7 quadrillion BTUs of energy and generating nearly 600 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), is developing a new form of refrigeration that could be three times as efficient as existing forms. It's based on thermoacoustics, a technology that works for cooling at extremely low temperatures (such as for liquefying gases), but hasn't been used for cooling at room temperature (what you need for household refrigeration). PARC has developed a proprietary thermoacoustic refrigeration technology that can achieve double the efficiency of the best current residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Wide adoption of PARC's technology could lead to dramatic energy savings and greatly reduced CO2 emissions. PARC's approach could: Double the efficiency of air conditioning Save 4 quadrillion BTUs (13% of total U.S. electricity use) per year Reduce CO2 emissions by 311 million metric tons annually
The ESD, the acronym for the Engineering Society of Detroit, is now 115 years old and it remains an august institution in the City of Detroit. Once housed in a magnificent marble building next to the Detroit Institute of the Arts it is an encompassing institution that holds many fine conferences on Engineering developments and Issues. Their recent conference held on March 3rd on Alternative Energy was something of a rousing affair, which we do indeed need since Michigan has been hardest hit in this recent Economic turn-down.
A distributed model revolutionized the way industrial-scale computing was delivered. Is it possible that something similar could be achieved for energy production?
Energy, Food, & Transportation for the Components of our Genes, Forevermore!
Maud Olofsson, Sweden's Enterprise and Energy Minister, announced recently the addition of 2,000 wind turbines to the country's alternative energy regimen. The move, which would be rolled out over the next ten years would add 10 terawatt hours of clean energy per year to their grid. But is that enough for the Scandinavian country? Apparently not because they've also set a goal for themselves to have 50 percent (yes, half!) of their electricity come from renewable sources by 2020!
Aaron Fowles is the Specialist of Corporate Communications for SANYO North America Corporation's Regional Offices, based in San Diego. In this position, Mr. Fowles oversees all public relations activities, including media relations, strategic planning and implementation for all North American regional companies.
Renewable Energy companies need Public Relations (PR) for several reasons. The following are the top 10 things I believe every RE company should be aware of in 2010. Remember, the solar industry is still a nascent industry just at the beginning of its steep growth curve. But general awareness of solar and other renewables and their benefits is very low among the general public. The industry needs to educate and communicate with the American public so they better understand renewables and the bright future they can bring to our world.
BrightSource Energy Inc. has won a $1.4 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to build three concentrated solar power plants in the Mojave Desert, just weeks after the company scaled back plans to address concerns over the desert tortoise. The complex will generate 392 megawatts of electricity using thousands of mirrors to focus the power of the sun to create steam that drives electrical turbines. It'll produce enough power for about 140,000 homes. Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison Co. signed up to buy power from the plants, which will be built by Bechtel and create about 1,000 construction jobs and 86 permanent jobs. Construction on the first plant is expected to begin in the second half of 2010.
Valentin Technologies has given the public its first glimpse of its IngoCar, currently in development. The vehicle's estimated mileage is 170 mpg based on a mix of city and rural driving. This extraordinary fuel efficiency is achieved by a revolutionary hydraulic-fluid drive. This hybrid gasoline/hydraulic drive system can deliver acceleration from 0-60 in 4 seconds. Using a small engine, fluid is pumped into an accumulator. The fluid then drives hydraulic wheel motors for shiftless acceleration. During braking, motors are reversed and pump the entire recuperated braking energy back into the accumulator. This innovative technology and the car's light weight give an estimated range of 1,000 miles for a full 6 gallon tank of fuel.
By offering a means to install a solar power system without the initial capital, Power Purchase Agreements could be the Holy Grail for mass market adoption of solar. After being a major driver of solar installations over the last couple years, however, a number of obstacles still stand in their way. What makes these instruments so attractive?
Five to ten years from now, you could have a $3000 fuel cell power generator the size of a clock radio in your basement, turning natural gas into electrical power at twice the efficiency possible today. That's the promise of the Bloom Box , a tiny power plant that combines oxygen and natural gas, a biogas or solar energy, and creates electricity. So far, Bloom Boxes are the size of about four refrigerators, costing $700,000 to $800,000. Early adopters are companies such as eBay and Google, already saving money using these boxes.
Key trends and growth opportunities up to 2015.
Construction has begun off Oregon's coast on the first commercial U.S. wave-energy farm, planned to supply power to about 400 homes, according to a USA TODAY report. Wave power draws from the energy of ocean surface waves. A float on a buoy rises and falls with the waves, driving a plunger connected to a hydraulic pump that converts the vertical movement into electricity. The first buoy will measure 150 feet tall by 40 feet wide, weigh 200 tons and cost $4 million, according to Phil Pellegrino, spokesman for New Jersey-based developer Ocean Power Technologies, which is developing the project.
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