Archive for October 2009

Team Germany Wins 2009 Solar Decathlon

Oct 18th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV, US Government

U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman today announced the winners of the 2009 Department of Energy Solar Competition on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Team Germany, the student team from Darmstadt, Germany, won top honors by designing, building, and operating the most attractive and efficient solar-powered home. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took second place followed by Team California in third place.

Biofuels Industry Starts to Take form

Oct 18th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Biofuels, Top Story

On one side of a factory here, workers dump 500-pound sacks of pine chips into a hopper. Deep inside the plant, an 8,000-degree blow torch roars like a jet engine as the chips are processed. At the far end, the workers turn a tap and out pours ethanol, ready for use as a motor fuel.

The facility, built by a company called Coskata, is not quite proof that a new era is at hand for American transportation fuels. But with the company claiming it will be able to convert wood waste into biofuel for about $1 a gallon, the plant suggests that day may be drawing nearer.

US Climate Bill Will Have Modest Economic Impact

Oct 18th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Top Story, US Government

Cutting greenhouse gases along the lines of a climate bill pending in Congress would modestly impact the US economy over the next few decades, the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Wednesday in a report. “Reducing the risk of climate change would come at some cost to the economy,” CBO director Douglas Elmendorf told a [...]

The Melody of the Mountains

Oct 18th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Poetry

You see happy people and smiling faces   laughing children in faraway places, Climbing a mountain or floating downstream   just being outdoors living your dreams. The call of nature gathers her flock   striving for heaven by scaling a rock, Losing yourself with the passage of days   giving praise to friendly sun rays. The melody of the [...]

Winners of Energy Innovation Prize Announced

Oct 16th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Latin America

Two clean energy projects from St Lucia are the first of an expected 25 awards which will be made in the 2009 IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest for Latin America and the Caribbean. The entrepreneurs have won a total of $280,000 USD to develop innovative technologies to meet the challenges of energy access and climate change. [...]

SolarAid launches micro-franchise commitment at Clinton Global Initiative

Oct 16th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Sub-Saharan Africa

SolarAid announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York its new commitment to scaling up a micro-franchise network across East Africa to reduce greenhouse gases and boost economic development. SolarAid is identifying, training and supporting a growing network of micro-franchisees under the brand name Sunnymoney. These franchisees are drawn from the poorest communities in [...]

Carbon-Capture Project Works: Emissions scrubbed at coal plant

Oct 15th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: C02 Sequestration, Climate Change

An $8 million pilot project in Wisconsin successfully showed that carbon dioxide can be captured and kept from being released from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, We Energies and two partners said Thursday. The project was the first real-life demonstration of technology that uses chilled ammonia to act as a magnet to capture the [...]

Solar Power Brings Light and Water to Ugandan Hospital

Oct 15th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Sub-Saharan Africa, US Government

Lack of electricity is a core cause of malnutrition, starvation, illiteracy and extreme poverty around the world. Moreover, lack of reliable, affordable, clean energy disproportionately harms the health, education and productivity of women and children—who make up the majority of the poor in any community. Providing electricity to poor communities can reduce the amount of [...]

Saving forests five times better than carbon capture for climate action

Oct 10th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Climate Change, Top Story

WWF Sweden is urging its government – holding the current EU Presidency – to get behind an effective international agreement on halting forest loss as a key and highly cost effective measure on climate change.

“Sweden should follow the examples set by its northern neighbors in developing systems to halt deforestation,” said WWF CEO General Lasse Gustavsson. “One Swedish krona to stem deforestation results in the same emissions reductions…

Green roofs offset global warming, study finds

Oct 7th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: C02 Sequestration, Top Story

Filling rooftops with plants and dirt can help pull a modest amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, found a new study. While green roofs certainly won’t solve the global warming problem, their ability to sop up greenhouse gases — even just a little bit — bolsters the case for planting them on [...]