Thursday, December 31, 2009

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Foreign Windpower Giant Iberdrola Taps Saudi Arabia of Wind Because We Can’t

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 06:59 AM PST

Today, a European company put the finishing touches on a wind project in North Dakota which Americans have known for decades is “the Saudi Arabia of Wind.”

Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables, the parent company of Iberdrola Renewables Inc that built the project, grew in the wake of the Kyoto Accord signing (and resulting renewable energy legislation) in Europe, to become a giant global wind company.

North Dakota’s Senator Byron Dorgan still supports similar renewable energy legislation that virtually all the Democrats have supported and tried to pass many times, that would would create a nationwide Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).

But that legislation has been filibustered by the Republican Party so many times. Not only are we heading over the cliff of runaway climate change but America is also  falling steadily behind in renewable energy market dominance because of years of Republican refusal to allow movement on renewable energy policies.

Now European wind companies are the only ones capable of building the wind energy that we need.

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Algae Diet Could Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Cows

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 04:40 AM PST

Researchers at James Cook University in Australia have found that cows fed a diet of algae have lower levels of methane in their farts.Cow farts are emerging as a major source of the greenhouse gas methane, but scientists in Australia may be on to a simple way to nip that in the bud. Preliminary studies are showing that feeding “algae cakes” to cows results in a significant reduction in their methane emissions.

As reported in The Australian, a team of researchers at James Cook University anticipates a sustainable quadruple whammy from the new bovine diet: algae absorbs more carbon dioxide than other plants, it can be grown as a natural water cleanser for fish farms, it can be harvested as a biofuel crop, and the leftover “cake” produces an anti-methane effect on cattle.

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Toilets That Separate Pee For Urea-Hydrogen Fuel Harvesting Already on Market

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 04:47 PM PST

Earlier this year, our sister blog: Gas 2.0 covered the use of using pee for fuel after a breakthrough at Ohio University published this summer in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal, Chemical Communications.

Ohio University researcher Gerardine Botte had developed a catalyst that could extract hydrogen fuel from urine much more cheaply than water.

The breakthrough was important because water is increasingly scarce in many regions, and will get even more so, the worse that climate change gets.

And that means that we won’t be able to spare water to make fuel. And that’s why a specialty new waterless toilet that separates liquids from solids might just be in your future.

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FREE Solar Electric Vehicles! [PICS]

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 02:01 PM PST

There are large steps and small steps that can be made to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution. I think these solar electric vehicles are something in between, but definitely something to start using!

The Solar Electric Vehicle Company creates innovative electric shuttles (i.e. large golf carts) for universities, resorts, stadiums, governments, shopping malls, airports, arenas, medical centers, etc. that combine electric vehicle (EV) technology with solar power technology. Looks like a good combination.

Not only that, but these vehicles are FREE!

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North Carolina and Virginia Ask for $5 Billion for High-Speed Rail (but Not the Only Ones)

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 12:11 PM PST

People in North Carolina and Virginia must have seen what’s going on in China with high-speed rail and decided they wanted some of that. They are now requesting over $5 billion in funding for high-speed rail.

Actually, as a former resident of both North Carolina and Virginia professionally and personally involved in this topic, I can say they have been working on this topic and wanting better rail for quite a long time.

Now, though, with the federal government pledging $8 billion in stimulus funding for high-speed rail, they may have their chance.

However, they are not the only ones who want this money!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Copenhagen Actions and Pledges Are Not Final Till January 31st

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 08:14 AM PST

We actually won’t know the final success or failure of Copenhagen until February. That’s because the last day of January is when each nation’s final pledges and commitments are due to be “written in” to the non-binding “bottom-up” Federal style Copenhagen Accord.

While analysis vary on how important being internationally binding is for implementation of international commitments; one advantage is flexibility.

For example, Europe, Australia and Japan had all put forth conditional pledges of deeper cuts dependent on international commitments - at least from the big emitters: China, India and the US.

In the absence of a climate bill in the US it would be unlikely that these final commitments will be the higher ones, but we don’t know till January 31st. I think that two subsequent events make this at least a possibility.

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New Micro-Machine Harvests Energy from Vibrations

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 04:29 AM PST

A new micro-scaled piezoelectric device can harvest energy from vibrating surfaces and machinesHighways, train stations, and even dance floors: the world is full of vibrating surfaces that could yield a rich trove of clean, sustainable energy.  It’s called piezoelectric energy, formed by the conversion of mechanical strain into electrical current.  Now a team of researchers in Europe has developed a micro-scaled piezoelectric device that could harvest energy from machinery as well as from infrastructure and buildings.

The tiny devices are ideal for use in powering remote sensing equipment, for example to monitor bridges or machines for early signs of deterioration. In that case they could play a key role in more energy efficient maintenance for wind turbines and other renewable energy infrastructure, while lowering human risk.

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