Friday, May 29, 2009

Hydrogen Road Tour Whets Schwarzenegger's Appetite for Fuel Cell Cars

LOS ANGELES, California, May 27, 2009 (ENS) - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the 2009 Hydrogen Road Tour at Stop 6 today in West Los Angeles at the Shell hydrogen fueling station on Santa Monica Boulevard to check out the latest hydrogen vehicles and one of the newest hydrogen fueling stations in California.
"California set out to prove to the nation and world that low-carbon fuels and vehicles on our roads and highways are safe, affordable and viable,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. "This tour showcases what I envisioned five years ago when I launched the Hydrogen Highway."

"Our goal of a cleaner, greener and healthier California will require revolutionary new vehicle technologies and low-carbon fuels that will also spur the clean-tech economy," he said. More >>>

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Growth of Renewables Transforms Global Energy Picture

PARIS, France, May 13, 2009 (ENS) - In 2008 for the first time, more renewable energy than conventional power capacity was added in both the European Union and United States, showing a "fundamental transition" of the world's energy markets towards renewable energy, finds a report released today by REN21, a global renewable energy policy network based in Paris.

Global power capacity from new renewable energy sources in 2008 was up 16 percent over the world's 2007 capacity from new renewable sources, the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report shows.

"This fourth edition of REN21's renewable energy report comes in the midst of an historic and global economic crisis," says Mohamed El-Ashry, chairman of REN21. More >>>

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Alternative energy will get boost from net metering law

Thursday, May 14, 2009 - Look around your house. If you're interested in "going green," Gov. Dave Heineman just gave you an extra room.

Heineman and the Legislature just approved "net metering" for Nebraska, meaning people who generate their own electricity get full credit for the extra power they pump into the electrical grid.

The "current" system -- pardon the pun -- involves some fees and provides only partial credit for power sold to utilities.

Now, if you have your own wind turbine or solar panel, the power grid serves as your storage system, taking power you produce when you don't need it, and giving it back when you do.

Green-power purists who want to be "off the grid" will still have to invest and maintain their own batteries or other storage systems at their own expense.

Last summer, when we saw a solar-powered car plug in during a stop in McCook on an around-the-world trip, it seemed like the drivers may have been cheating.

Not so, they contended; they were simply drawing out some of the power that their home solar cells were pumping into the grid back in Europe.

Nebraska's new net metering law should give alternative energy a boost in the state -- as well as giving us extra room for something else where we might have installed our batteries. More >>>

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Water and Energy Security

The Connection: Water and Energy Security

The energy security of the United States [or any other country] is closely linked to the state of its water resources. No longer can water resources be taken for granted if the U.S. is to achieve energy security in the years and decades ahead.

At the same time, U.S. water security cannot be guaranteed without careful attention to related energy issues. The two issues are inextricably linked, as this article will discuss. 

Energy security rests on two principles – using less energy to provide needed services, and having access to technologies that provide a diverse supply of reliable, affordable and environmentally sound energy.

Many forms of energy production depend on the availability of water – e.g., the production of electricity at hydropower sites in which the kinetic energy of falling water is converted to electricity. Thermal power plants, in which fossil, nuclear and biomass fuels are used to heat water to steam to drive turbine-generators, require large quantities of water to cool their exhaust streams. The same is true of geothermal power plants. Water also plays an important role in fossil fuel production via injection into conventional oil wells to increase production, and its use in production of oil from unconventional oil resources such as oil shale and tar sands. In the future, if we move aggressively towards a hydrogen economy, large quantities of water will be required to provide the needed hydrogen via electrolysis.
More >>>

In Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) there are few choices for energy generation apart from alternative sources, solar, wind, ocean thermal and wave energy or for air-conditioning, geothermal. Without moving in this direction basic human security can be compromised. Editor.