News 2007:

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April 27, 2007


AEP says it won't abandon coal plans-- Challenges add 4 years to timetable

Regulatory hurdles, legal challenges and slow site work will keep American Electric Power from starting operations at two coal-fired plants along the Ohio River until the middle of the next decade.

Agency gives draft corridor status to US Southwest, Mid-Atlantic

The US Energy Department Thursday named two preliminary "national interest electric transmission corridors," a move that could pave the way for controversial eminent domain use by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Alaska gas legislation advances after legislature makes changes

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's legislation setting the framework for new natural gas pipeline proposals has cleared two additional hurdles in the state Legislature, with several changes made in the bills.

Algae Killing Birds, Sealife in California

A bloom of ocean algae that produces a toxic acid has sickened and killed hundreds of birds, sea lions and dolphins in California, environmentalists said.

Birds and animals have been washing up on shores from San Diego to San Francisco Bay.

Australia selects fourth solar city

The government of Australia will provide Aus$12.3 million to install solar PV panels on 230 buildings and 1,000 solar hot water systems in the Northern Territory town of Alice Springs.

Bolivia Takes Control Of Energy Reserves From Foreign Firms

In May 2006, after he was elected on promises to share the gas wealth with Bolivians, Morales nationalized the industry, scrapping the old contracts on the grounds that they were not enforceable under Bolivia's constitution, which prohibits the state from selling or leasing mineral wealth.

Branson Tells Canada to 'Flick Off', Save Energy

British billionaire Richard Branson promised a music festival prize on Wednesday to the Canadian community that does the most to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in an environmental challenge called Flick Off.

BSU shows support for wind power

Boise State University is showing support for renewable energy by purchasing green energy credits from a local wind farm, a small step toward easing the university's dependence on power imported from outside Idaho.

Bureaucrats undermine U.S. energy policy for renewables, industry charges

U.S. bureaucrats are undermining the renewable energy industry, according to the Geothermal Energy Association.

“It's been nearly two years since Congress passed EPAct (2005 Energy Policy Act) and rules implementing key geothermal provisions are still not completed,”...

Canada announces new climate change plan, sets sector targets

Industrial sector emissions reduction targets were announced by Canada's Conservative government Thursday after weeks of anticipation and speculation.

Canada's largest solar farm to be built in Ont.

Ontario's decision to host North America's largest solar farm is a step in the right direction, but the relatively large project is just a fraction of the total energy supply and does little to clean up the province's act, critics said Thursday.

Canada's New Government supports clean air and energy efficiency projects in Prince Edward Island

Canada's Minister of the Environment, John Baird today announced $15 million in funding for Prince Edward Island as part of a trust fund set up by Canada's New Government to support provincial and territorial projects to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.

Canadian government embraces Kyoto Protocol, backs exchange plan

Canada's Conservative government late Tuesday unexpectedly reversed its position and helped pass a House of Commons motion calling for greenhouse gas caps to meet Kyoto obligations as a prerequisite for establishing a carbon exchange in Montreal.

Canadian Rig activity falls to lowest April level since 1999

Canadian rig activity has fallen to its lowest April level since 1999, contributing to another sharp downward revision in 2007 well completion forecasts by the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.

China to Force Rain Ahead of Olympics

Chance of showers during the 2008 Beijing Olympics: 50 percent. But Chinese meteorologists have a plan to bring sunshine. The meteorologists say they can force rain in the days before the Olympics, through a process known as cloud-seeding, to clean the air and ensure clear skies.

China Will Pass U.S. As Polluter--Report

China will pass the United States as the world's biggest source of greenhouse gasses this year, an official with the International Energy Agency was quoted as saying.

Coal Power Worsening Australia Drought - Green Group

Australia's coal industry, one of the world's biggest, is aggravating the country's worst drought in centuries, which may raise questions about expanding production, the head of an environmental group said on Wednesday.

College Students Lead the U.S. towards a Greener Future

Students from Western Washington University drove from Washington State to Washington, D.C., in a car entirely powered by biodiesel fuel made from recovered landfill methane. Northwestern students built a solar powered system that provides electricity to a rural town in Panama, miles away from any electric power grid.

County supervisors sidestep power plant controversy

The Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors has balked at the chance to weigh in on a proposed coal-fired power plant on Newell Road.

Crude futures fall slightly on positive Iran-EU talks

Global crude futures Thursday surrendered part of the large gains seen Wednesday after the release of the latest US inventory data by the Energy Information Administration and the American Petroleum Institute.

Crude futures weaken, move away from influence of gasoline

Global crude futures were a touch weaker Friday in intraday trading, still underpinned by the current strength of gasoline but to a lesser degree than earlier in the week, market sources said.

Drought Threatens Australia's Hydropower Scheme

Australia's biggest renewable electricity source, the Snowy Hydro power scheme, may have to shut down major generating turbines due to the nation's crippling 10-year drought.

Emission control support rising

Passing strong climate change legislation at the state level makes good environmental and economic sense, according to the author of landmark emission control laws in California.

EPA accused of flouting Supreme Court

The government proposed a pollution standard for power plants Wednesday that critics said flouts the spirit of a Supreme Court ruling on clean air enforcement.

EPA Proposes Refined Emissions Test to Improve Safety, Reliability, and Efficiency of Existing Power Plants

EPA is proposing further options to change the emissions test used to determine if the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program would apply when an existing power plant makes a physical or operational change

Ethanol Vehicles Pose A Significant Risk To Human Health, Study Finds

Ethanol is widely touted as an eco-friendly, clean-burning fuel. But if every vehicle in the United States ran on fuel made primarily from ethanol instead of pure gasoline, the number of respiratory-related deaths and hospitalizations would likely increase, according to a new study by Stanford University atmospheric scientist Mark Z. Jacobson.

EU survey shows strong support for renewables

The study was designed to understand to what extent citizens link the way energy is produced and used to global climate change, to assess their perceptions regarding various possible actions in saving energy, and to explore the willingness of citizens to involve the EU in resolving these issues.

Governor Rendell Hails Legislative Support for Energy Independence Strategy

With legislation now introduced in the House, Governor Edward G. Rendell said today Pennsylvania is a major step closer to realizing the goals of his Energy Independence Strategy.

Green is growing

When Great River Energy CEO Michael Finley calls the company's future headquarters "a showcase," he's not just talking about the building's sleek style and setting on the south shore of Arbor Lake in Maple Grove.

Hach Launches The GuardianBlue Early Warning System

Hach Company announced it has received SAFETY Act Designation and Certification from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for GuardianBlue(TM) —the first and only early warning monitoring system designed to help cities protect their drinking water systems from terrorist contamination attacks and real-world events.

Honeywell Helps California City Go Green

Honeywell  today announced an energy and environmental conservation program for the City of Perris, Calif., located in Riverside County, that is expected to reduce the city's energy use and significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Ice Shrinks, Birds Migrate Early in Warmer Arctic

A Norwegian glacier has shrunk on an island 1,000 km (600 miles) from the North Pole, a usually frozen fjord is ice-free and snow bunting birds have migrated back early in possible signs of global warming.

Inbox 042607

It's in the air: Earth Day was April 22. And if Christmas Day is the day when we're all a little kinder, if only for a short while, Earth Day is the day when we're all a little greener -- if only for a short while.

It's STILL all about the gasoline

US gasoline stocks continued to be drawn down well below normal levels for this time of year, according to the data released this morning from the EIA. While 700,000 of the 2.8 million barrel decline was on the isolated West Coast, inventories fell in every region.

Johnson says US EPA reviewing California request to regulate CO2

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson told a Senate panel Tuesday that the agency has started the process for considering California' petition to regulate carbon dioxide from motor vehicles.

Key Points in Canada's Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases

Here are key elements of the Canadian government's plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions, which includes curbs on industrial pollution and measures to reduce energy use.

Lower Ark Valley banking on renewable energy bounce

There's an ongoing drought that is drying farm and ranch lands; two blizzards buried the area, killing about 10,000 cattle in late December; and a lethal tornado whipped the town of Holly just last month. With all the obstacles laid in front of them, area leaders and residents are looking to renewable energy to help boost the economy in the region.

Maryland Approves Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy Bills

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed 173 bills on Tuesday, including three bills to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy within the state. Senate Bill 103, the Maryland Clean Cars Act of 2007, requires the state's Department of Environment to follow California's lead in establishing a low-emissions vehicle program that will go into effect with the 2011 model year.

McGuinty Government Supports Green Energy innovation

The Ontario government is supporting leading-edge research that will increase renewable energy, create high-skill jobs and attract new investment to the province, Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty announced today.

Mine Test Seeks Capture of Powerful Greenhouse Gas

The Department of Energy (DOE) has joined in sponsoring the first U.S. test of a system that may make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Using a new application of existing technology, engineers will attempt to capture methane in underground coal mine air, and if successful could limit emission of a greenhouse gas with more than 20 times the warming potential of CO2.

Moving Forward On Renewable, Low-Carbon Energy From America's Oceans

The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans, and Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a joint oversight hearing on “Renewable Energy Opportunities and Issues on the Outer Continental Shelf.”

Nevada Urged to Find Way to Transfer Renewable Energy From Remote Areas

Nevada has enough renewable energy resources to meet the state's power demands but still needs to find a way to transmit that energy from remote areas, a federal energy official said Friday.

New Report Summarizes Ozone Layer Protection

After nearly 20 years of international treaty protection, the six-mile-high ozone layer that shields the earth from harmful solar rays is on the road to recovery, but challenges remain, EPA reports. Achievements in Stratospheric Ozone Protection: Progress Report highlights U.S. contributions toward healing the ozone layer.

New York State sets goals to encourage renewables

A plan to reduce energy costs and curb pollution will focus on renewables, as well as energy efficiency and conservation as the keys to achieving economic and environmental goals. The goals include a 15% reduction in electricity consumption from 2015 forecast levels

Northwest Debate-- Is Hydropower 'Clean'?

The power company that owns four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River says the dams provide a crucial source of so-called clean energy at a time when carbon emissions have become one of the world's foremost environmental concerns.

NRC proposes assessing aircraft impact on new reactor designs

NRC has proposed assessing aircraft crash resistance in new reactor designs. The agency is considering requiring new design applicants to "assess how the design, to the extent practicable, can have greater built-in protections to avoid or mitigate the effects of a large commercial aircraft impact," NRC said April 24.

Old proposal comes back in new form of hourly emissions rule

The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday proposed an industry-backed emissions rule for electric utilities that a host of states and environmental groups say conflicts with a Supreme Court decision handed down earlier this month.

Opinion Poll Finds Public Opinion Divided On Global Warming

Vizu Corporation, the company democratizing market research, and Green Home Inc., the premier resource for environmentally preferable products and services on the Internet, co-released a Global Warming Report today, revealing a growing divide in how the public is reacting to global warming news.

Producing Renewable Fuels From Renewable Energy

In the fall of 2008, XL Dairy Group, Inc. will begin operations at its .Vicksburg, Arizona, facility as a self-contained biorefinery designed to produce high-grade ethanol, biodiesel, milk and dairy products, and animal feed -- along with 100% of the energy required to run the plant.

Pro-offshore US drilling bills won't pass before 2009-- Barton

The ranking Republican on the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, Joe Barton, said Wednesday there is "not a prayer of a chance" for any legislation authorizing additional offshore oil and natural gas exploration and development to pass this session of Congress.

PSU Taking Wind Power for a Whirl

In one vision of the future, the roof of your office building will be a colorful garden of toplike electrical generators whirling in the wind.

Putin calls for higher share of nuclear, coal, hydro generation

Russia's president Vladimir Putin Thursday said Russia needs to increase its power generation by two thirds by 2020 and raise the share of nuclear, coal and hydropower generation.

PV manufacturer to invest US$250 million

Kyocera will expand its manufacturing capacity for solar modules to 500 MW a year by 2011, in response to global demand.

Quote of the Day 042607

"Crude oil was quick to give back the entire Nigerian premium it took the day before", said oil analysts Petromatrix. "And with continued reports of US refinery glitches it is clearly gasoline against the world. All relative values of gasoline have improved (cracks, spreads) while timespreads on crude have weakened."
On Tuesday, crude futures slumped more than a dollar a barrel after Brent slipped under the $68/barrel mark for the frist time this month, prompting a technical sell-off.

"Technically, while gasoline has a life of its own, crude oil has not been able to break the strong resistance of previous April highs.

Quote of the Day 042707

"Despite a new series of refinery problems in the US taking prompt gasoline prices to new recent highs, crude oil could not break the resistance. It is now the 14th day out of the last 19 that Brent crude oil has traded above 68.00 $/bbl without being able to settle above 69.00 $/bbl."
said oil analysts Petromatrix in their daily report.

Renewable energy emphasis means jobs, new study says

Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm's emphasis on developing an alternative energy sector will create jobs and strengthen the economy, according to a new study released Friday.

Renewable Power Key to 'Green Growth'-- Report

China can achieve economic growth without degrading the environment, by using renewable energy and raising energy efficiency, an energy investigation report has said.

Renewables cited for helping military objectives

Deploying renewable energies is one approach to securing power to U.S. military installations for critical missions, according to a report on climate change prepared by a group of retired generals and admirals.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity 042607

The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to unsettled on 27 April. A recurrent coronal hole high speed stream is expected to become geoeffective on 28 April. Expect unsettled to minor storm conditions on 28 - 29 April.

Rethink Coal Plant, Critics Urge-- Environmentalists Take a Step Toward a Legal Challenge of Duke Energy's Plans

Five environmental groups have asked state regulators to reconsider a decision allowing Duke Energy to build a coal-fired electric plant west of Charlotte.

Schwarzenegger Warns of California Suit Against EPA

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Wednesday threatened to sue the Environmental Protection Agency if it fails to act soon on a state bid to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

Scientists Demand Changes to Film by Global Warming Skeptic

A group of British climate scientists is demanding changes to a skeptical documentary about global warming, saying there are grave errors in the program billed as a response to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."

Scientists study efficient energy usage

U.S. government scientists have launched a program aimed at adapting homes and buildings to use electricity and other energy sources more efficiently.

Scientists Track Impact Of Asian Dust And Pollution On Clouds, Climate Change

Scientists using one of the nation's newest and most capable research aircraft are launching a far-reaching field project this month to study plumes of airborne dust and pollutants that originate in Asia and journey to North America.

Shedding Light on PUC Decisions

The line to distinguish lobbying for legislative purposes and judicial purposes is about to get a lot brighter. The Georgia Public Service Commission is taking up the issue in full view of the citizens -- a discussion that will pit utilities against consumer and citizen action groups.

Southern Belgium to get new biomass-fired 3.29-MW CHP July 2008

Southern Belgium is to have a new biomass-fired combined heat and power plant with a net power output of 3.29 MW due online in July 2008, contractor Wartsila Corporation said Wednesday.

Study finds alternative energy top of mind

A survey of 607 homeowners in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois found that 87 percent consider developing alternative energy products and processes to be very important to critical.

Swiss Nuclear Adviser Says Waste Management Cause for Concern

The country's nuclear power plants have never been safer, according to the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate - but there is cause for concern. The inspectorate said no serious incidents were recorded in any of the five power plants during 2006, but its expert panel says that areas including waste management leave something to be desired.

Taiwan power outage looms, some fear

China's missiles may not be the biggest danger to Taiwan. A possible power shortage could cause blackouts within three years and weaken the nation's economy.

Terry pushes hydrogen fuel cell tax credit

The United States should be moving much faster to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, and one potential solution may lie in the muggy confines of the Lied Jungle at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.

The Collective Impact of State RPS Initiatives

There are currently 21 state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) underway in the U.S., with 12 other states considering passing such laws. The collective environmental and political impact of these initiatives is significant. As state governments and utilities realize the importance of implementing a RPS, their actions are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging federal lawmakers to push for a national renewable energy standard.

U.S. energy group calls for federal RPS

The United States should adopt a federal renewable energy portfolio standard of at least 15% of electricity generated by 2020, according to a bipartisan group of top energy experts.

U.S. Government Scientists Urge Preparation for Climate Change

Leading U.S. government scientists tell Congress that, given the evidence, now is the time to provide adequate resources to prepare for the potential impact of changes in the earth's climate.

US Canal Project Raises Tensions With Mexico

Mexico - For decades, Mexican farmers and US consumers have shared water from one of the world's largest irrigation canals running along part of the parched California-Mexico border.

US Has Huge Appetite for Organic Food - Industry

US farmers are having a hard time keeping up with Americans' voracious appetite for organic foods, say industry leaders, who want federal officials to boost spending on crop research and market development.

US House leader says schedule for passing energy bill may slip

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's goal of getting an energy bill through the chamber by July 4 may be slipping because of the need to finish spending bills first, US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.

US political changes pose challenges for oil and gas producers

The Democratic takeover of Congress is posing new challenges for producers trying to access natural gas and oil reserves in the US West, current and former regulatory officials said Thursday.

US Senate considering tax breaks for carbon capture, storage

The US Senate Finance Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure on Thursday spent time grappling with how and whether to offer tax incentives for carbon capture and storage as it contemplated new climate policies to tackle global warming.

US, Japan unveil nuclear energy collaboration plan

A joint US-Japanese "action plan" on nuclear energy was presented to the two countries' leaders this week, DOE said in an April 25 statement.  The plan covers collaboration "on policies and programs that support the construction of new power plants" in both countries.

USDA Rural Development Awards Nearly $180 Million For Rural Water Systems

Agriculture Under Secretary Thomas C. Dorr celebrated the 37th anniversary of Earth Day today by announcing USDA Rural Development funding of 61 new rural water and wastewater community systems in 29 states totaling nearly $180 million.

Utilities Challenge Rail System

Legislation to curb the power of railways is clanking along. Complaints from utilities and other industries of constantly rising rail rates have resonated in Congress where legislation is pending to eliminate the antitrust exemptions given to the transport sector.

What's Moving the Oil Markets 042707

•Global crude futures were a touch weaker Friday in intraday trading, still underpinned by the current strength of gasoline but to a lesser degree than earlier in the week, market sources said.

•"Despite a new series of refinery problems in the US taking prompt gasoline prices to new recent highs, crude oil could not break the resistance," said oil analysts Petromatrix.

•The partial restart of Valero's McKee refinery April 16 held the promise of eroding an inventory overhang that caused the front of the curve to weaken, but additional refinery problems along the Gulf Coast and the Midwest may actually cause additional stock building and leaving traders unsure as to the direction of the curve.

Windmill fight goes on

Bellone sees costs, 'inaccuracies'; Kessel says plan may not be pretty, but grip on fossil fuels must loosen

Zimbabwe Faces Drought, But Rejects Devaluation

Zimbabwe's central bank on Thursday introduced a new foreign currency bond to raise money to tackle a serious drought threatening the country, but turned down demands for a general devaluation of the local currency.


April 24, 2007


A Water Constrained Future

Water in the West is becoming a constrained resource. Power plants must compete with growing populations, contend with environmental restrictions and continue to share water resources with irrigated agriculture.

Analysts have differing views on US summer gas supply, demand

Two noted natural gas analysts took a look at the same numbers and came to opposite conclusions Monday on gas supply, demand, and prices this summer.

Animal activists eye ConocoPhillips biodiesel plan

While ConocoPhillips and US meat giant Tyson Foods work out the economics of producing animal fat-based biodiesel, they may want to factor in a possible backlash by the US' millions of vegetarian drivers.

Not everyone wants to live by ExxonMobil's motto to "put a tiger in your tank."

Boxer will 'hound' Bush on emissions regulations

The decision "put the wind at our backs," the California Democrat said, vowing at the National Press Club to haul administration officials before her Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to ask them what immediate steps they will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are produced by the consumption of fossil fuels.

California ISO market monitor says wholesale prices down in 2006

Wholesale electricity prices in California fell sharply in 2006 from the previous year largely because of lower natural gas costs and an abundance of hydro capacity

Cash settlement a better way?

Although the first-second month spread in WTI is starting to snap back toward some semblance of normalcy, its big blowout leaves in its wake questions of what it might take to not have this happen again. (If one assumes that what has occurred is something to be avoided, which not everyone agrees with).

Two possible solutions, one physical, one market-oriented.

Colombian group set to produce sugar-based ethanol in US

A Colombian group has expanded its operations from the Andes to the Louisiana bayous to start up an ethanol plant using local sugar cane as the feedstock.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and U.S. Senator Ken Salazar Break Ground on 8.22-Megawatt Photovoltaic Solar Plant

An 82-acre tract in south central Colorado will be the site for one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in the United States.

Construction Advances at U.S. Geothermal's Raft River Power Project

U.S. Geothermal Inc, a renewable energy development company focused on the production of electricity from geothermal energy, announced today construction progress on its Phase One, 13-megawatt net output Raft River binary cycle geothermal power plant in southeastern Idaho.

Cost of Kyoto is recession-- Baird

The cost of meeting Canada's Kyoto commitments would be an economic downturn to rival the worst recessions of the past 60 years, spiralling energy costs and the worst unemployment in several generations, John Baird, Minister of the Environment, said yesterday.

Energy Producers Capture Speedier Wind

New technology is allowing energy producers to capture speedier wind that environmental activists say has the potential to provide 20 percent of the state's electricity within 10 years.

Extreme Poverty Drops Below a Billion

New estimates from the World Bank show a continuous decline in world poverty rates during the first four years of this century.

Eye on Spain-- Solar Tower to Help Light Up Seville

Once completed, the entire platform will provide enough electricity to meet all of Seville’s energy needs (equivalent to the consumption of some 180,000 homes) and prevent the release of more than 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Former US DOE official attacks GNEP on nuclear waste risks, cost

The US Congress should halt funding for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, at least until the Department of Energy can provide well-supported estimates on the waste the fuel-cycle initiative is expected to produce, a former official with DOE said Monday.

Global Warming Imperils Himalayan Glaciers, Experts Say

Rising temperatures fuelled by greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture have already shrunk glaciers on the mountains dividing China and South Asia, experts say.

Google draws privacy complaint to FTC

Three public-interest groups are expected to file a joint complaint on Friday with the Federal Trade Commission calling for an investigation into the potential threat to consumer privacy posed by Google's planned acquisition of DoubleClick.

UK Government backs new campaign to slash CO2 emissions

A major new campaign that aims to help individuals cut their personal CO2 emissions has today been backed by Prime Minister Tony Blair and Environment Secretary David Miliband.

Green Day in Green Valley

Driven by concerns over the country's polluted skies and waterways, an estimated 20 million Americans joined in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

While the environmental movement it helped spawn has remained robust, excitement over Earth Day itself has waxed and waned. The many events and celebrations around the Bay Area this weekend may reflect a new wave of enthusiasm in capturing and honoring that spirit of "being green,"

ICE Brent holding above $68 barrel on Nigeria unrest

Global crude futures were mixed on Tuesday, with WTI slightly marginally weaker in European morning trading but largely holding on to gains seen Monday. Ongoing unrest and lack of stability in Nigeria following chaotic elections over the weekend and ongoing refining problems in the US widely kept the petroleum complex supported, brokers said.

Idaho Power seeks 14.5 percent rate hike Not enough runoff means customers could pay about $6.41 more a month

Think it's just farmers who worry about snowpacks? If you use electricity, think again.

India to Keep Energy Demand Growth Below GDP Pace

India expects its energy demand to remain strong, but increased energy efficiency may keep the pace of consumption growth below economic expansion, a senior Indian government official said on Monday.

Italy Mulls Emergency Moves as Po Shrivels

Italy is mulling emergency measures to replenish its biggest river and curb electricity consumption as unusually hot weather raises fears of a prolonged drought and power blackouts during the summer.

Largest U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Begins Construction at Nellis Air Force Base

The Nellis solar energy system will generate in excess of 25 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity annually and supply more than 25 percent of the power used at the base. Occupying 140 acres of land leased from the Air Force at the western edge of the base, this ground-mounted solar system will employ an advanced tracking system

National Survey Reveals More than 70% of Americans Don’t Know Plastic is Made from Oil

According to a nationwide online survey released today, 72 percent of the American public does not know that conventional plastic is made from petroleum products, primarily oil.

New York mayor unveils plan to boost generation, efficiency

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying the city can no longer be "held hostage to heat waves," Sunday said he wants to increase amount of in-city generating capacity by more than 3,000 MW.

New-build power station costs up 30% as demand outstrips supply

The global boom in coal-fired generation equipment orders, rising material costs and margin improvement by suppliers have forced new-build power station costs up by as much as 30% since 2005, European power plant developers told Platts April 20.

Only 5 weeks until the 25th Aikido-Ai Memorial Weekend Retreat at Mt. Baldy

Aikido, Tai chi, Qigong and Zen

Friday-Monday, May 25-28, at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center

Come enjoy the outstanding aikido and tai chi training… Zen meditation and talks… and great good and friends.  Morning, afternoon and night, there’s something for students at all levels. Five well respected, high-ranking instructors bring you more than 150 years of combined experience.

Predictions of the Year 2000  from The Ladies Home Journal  of December 1900

In December 1900, John Watkins Jr. wrote an article for The Ladies Home Journal about "What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years".  In some areas, we are ahead, others, behind, but mostly he was pretty close.  Prediction #20 regarding energy was way off.  He envisioned far more renewable-based generation than what actually ensued. (YorkTownHistory)

Quote of the Day 042307

"Halting uranium enrichment is definitely deleted from the literature of Iran's nuclear activities. In our negotiations the halting of this activity has not been on the table and going back on time is not envisaged."
Iran foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini on Sunday rejected Western calls for a suspension of its sensitive nuclear activities just days ahead of crucial talks on its atomic drive with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Quote of the Day 042407

"Market participants are struggling to assess the situation in Nigeria following a disastrous election process. The fear of renewed supply disruption is prompting traders to buy first and ask questions later...[However] some political/oil related incident needs soon to appear, otherwise the risk will be of the market getting tired of rallying on each headline of shootings there."
Analysts in a Petromatrix report on Tuesday commenting the current bullish sentiment in crude futures, mainly driven by civil unrest surrounding the presidential election this past weekend in Nigeria

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity 042407

The geomagnetic field ranged from quiet to active with a single minor storm period at all latitudes from 23/0300 - 0600Z. The solar wind speed reached approximately 550 km/s today due to a recurrent coronal hole high speed stream

Senate bill promotes livestock-waste energy

Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., has introduced a bill that would encourage development of biogas energy from livestock waste through tax incentives and guaranteed loans for small businesses.

Senators unveil plan promoting plug-in cars

Three U.S. senators said they plan to introduce bipartisan legislation that would promote the development and sales of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles to reduce the country´s reliance on foreign energy and to address global warming concerns.

Spring 2007 Forecast- A Green Planet and Green Economy

What does it take to build a truly sustainable society that uses clean energy and renewable fuels, and still is profitable for American businesses? It requires tremendous ingenuity and innovation, and on April 24, EPA will show that America has what it takes!

What's Moving the Oil Markets 042307

• Global crude futures surged forward in intra-day trading Monday, as bullish sentiment fed off concerns over the status of elections in Nigeria, ever-present tensions over Iran's nuclear program and tightness in the US gasoline market.

• Markets awaited the outcome of historic elections in Nigeria, trying to gauge levels of stability following the first peaceful civilian-to-civilian handover since independence in 1960. Nigeria is an OPEC member and the world's sixth largest oil exporter.

• Iran Sunday rejected Western calls for a suspension of its sensitive nuclear activities just days ahead of crucial talks on its atomic drive with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. "Halting uranium enrichment is definitely deleted from the literature of Iran's nuclear activities," foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters. "In our negotiations the halting of this activity has not been on the table and going not envisaged."


April 20, 2007


2007 China International Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Investment & Trade Expo

With the constant fast development of the Chinese economy and strong increase of energy demand, changing the energy production and consumption mode and deploying clean energy with little or even no environmental hazard is an integral part of China’s sustainable development strategy. The Chinese clean energy industry will see a quite wide prospect.

Air Force Embraces Solar Power

The largest solar power plant in North America will soon be providing electricity to an Air Force base in the Nevada desert.

Al Gore's home on way to creating electricity

Al Gore got what he wanted: Permission to create electricity.

The city of Belle Meade on Tuesday said the former vice president could put 33 panels on top of his Lynnwood Boulevard home to convert sunlight into energy.

The process had been slow because the city first had to change its zoning laws to allow solar panels

Americans Report Increased Environmental Consciousness and Expected Company Responsibility

The 2007 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey released finds one-third of Americans (32%) report heightened interest in the environment compared to a year ago. In addition, they are overwhelmingly looking to companies to act: 93% of Americans believe companies have a responsibility to help preserve the environment.

An Achilles’ Heel for Nuclear Energy

It doesn’t take very much fuel to run a nuclear reactor. And that is a very good thing these days because after decades of neglect, the nuclear-energy industry may be facing a fuel shortage. According to some analysts, because no new reactors have been ordered in the United States for over 30 years, there was less perceived need for the development of new sources of uranium ore.

Another Look at Nuclear Energy

The site of what is arguably the world’s leading research program in nuclear energy lies just a short drive from the city of Marseille through the picturesque and romantic countryside of southern France.

Around the Markets-- Future for coal brighter

Coal is poised to rebound from a two-year slump as China buys more than it exports for the first time in history.

Artificial Snow Harms Alpine Water System - Scientists

Ski resort operators in the snow-deprived Alps should rethink the use of artificial snow as it saps water reserves and could leave an impact well beyond the region, scientists say.

Avista loses fight over easement-- Judge says old rules don't apply to new steel towers on farmland

Colfax farmer Martin Marler has won a legal fight with Avista Utilities, convincing a state judge that the company's massive transmission line improvements strung across his wheat fields violated a decades-old easement and will cost his farm money.

Bill that would mandate green building standards advances

After watching his bill on voluntary green building guidelines die last year, Assemblyman John Laird has introduced another one that's even tougher.

Boxer calls on EPA for immediate greenhouse gas action

The chairwoman of the Senate environment committee has called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take immediate steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that the agency has the authority to do so.

Brazil Indians Protest Lula Plans For Dams, Roads

Hundreds of tribal Indians have camped out in front of Brazil's Congress to protest infrastructure projects that they say threaten the survival of tribes already struggling with disease and land disputes.

British Gas Sees Billions in Green Energy

British Gas said on Thursday it was launching a new green energy unit, targeting a market it values in billions of pounds.

Cal Poly wins Shell Eco-Marathon with 1,902.7 mpg!

The team from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, won the 2007 Shell Eco-Marathon. The team's vehicle (shown above) recorded a best of 1,902.7 mpg to win the Grand Prize and the first in the Combustion Engine Group.

California Panel rejects bill to lift nuclear ban

An Assembly committee on Monday rejected a bill to lift California's ban on nuclear power plants, as backers of a proposed Fresno plant said they might take their case directly to the state's voters.

China Creates First Artificial Snow in Tibet

China has created artificial snow for the first time in Tibet, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday, months after experts warned of melting glaciers and drought in the Himalayan region.

China to Become Top CO2 Emitter in 2007 or '08 - IEA

China will overtake the United States as the world's biggest emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) either this year or next, the chief economist at the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, said on Wednesday.

Coal Assaults Continue

A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to do more study before it issues permits to allow coal companies to perform any surface mining that would bury vital headwater streams. While the decision may get overturned by a higher court, it does emphasize the need to balance economic and environmental concerns.

Consumers in dark over risks of new light bulbs

last month, the Prospect, Maine, resident went out and bought two dozen CFLs and began installing them in her home. One broke. A month later, her daughter's bedroom remains sealed off with plastic like the site of a hazardous materials accident...

Drought-Hit Australia to Stop Irrigating Food Bowl

Australia faced an "unprecedentedly dangerous" drought and unless rain falls within weeks irrigation will be cut to the nation's food bowl, Prime Minister John Howard said on Thursday.

EPA Publishes National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

The report indicates that overall emissions have grown by 16 percent from 1990 to 2005, while the U.S. economy has grown by 55 percent over the same period.

EPA, State, Environmental Groups Promote 'Green Infrastructure' Solutions to Water Pollution

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson celebrated Earth Day by signing a statement of intent at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with four environmental organizations to promote the use of "green infrastructure" approaches, such as rain-catching roofs and gardens, to lessen sewer overflows and runoff after storms. 

Flexible Batteries That Never Need to Be Recharged

European researchers have built prototypes that combine plastic solar cells with ultrathin, flexible batteries. But don't throw away your battery recharger just yet.

GE vs Wells Fargo, Who's Really Subprime

Business conditions are growing less hospitable for lenders and borrowers alike, thus convincing investors that banks represent good value in the near-term is not easy.

German economy, environment ministers clash on nuclear

German economy minister Michael Glos Friday said energy users should consider extending the life-span of the country's remaining nuclear power plants, but the idea was quickly shot down by environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Governor Patrick unveils $150 million solar manufacturing plant plan

Evergreen Solar Inc. will build a new $150 million manufacturing plant in Westborough that would create more than 350 new jobs and boost Massachusetts’ push to become a major alternative-energy center, Gov. Deval Patrick announced today.

Governor Richardson Enacts Four Clean Energy Bills for NM

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Bills recently signed four significant renewable energy bills: SB 994 (Advanced Energy Tax Credit); SB 489 (Biodiesel Blend Required by 2012); HB 318 (Power plant mercury emissions control); SB 463 (Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Amendments).

Green Prize Winner Urges Asia to Name and Shame Polluters

Asia's environmentally unfriendly firms should be named and shamed into cleaning up their acts, as this is more effective than government regulation in promoting green issues, a UN award winner said.

House energy bill coming in May, could align with Senate approach

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee will draft by Memorial Day an energy legislation package that would address efficiency, conservation and alternative fuels, and may possibly fix problems with the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program, committee members said Wednesday.

House likely to vote on climate change bill in September--lawmaker

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee will draft by late spring or early summer a climate change bill requiring mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, a subcommittee chief said Thursday.

Hurdles Slow Down Wind Power Industry

China's wind power industry is set to grow, but hurdles need to be cleared if it is to catch up with global players, say analysts.

Jobless Rate Could Soar on Kyoto Compliance - Canada

Canada's unemployment rate would jump by 25 percent and its economy would move into recession if the country had to implement short-term Kyoto Protocol targets immediately, the Conservative government warned on Thursday.

Kansas City Power & Light Issues Request for Proposal for Wind Energy in Missouri and Kansas

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy (NYSE: GXP), announced today it is seeking bids to develop up to 400 MW of emission-free, renewable wind generation in Missouri and/or Kansas.

Major New Desalination Plant To Be Built In Southern California

California’s future water supply is less uncertain with the recent announcement by developer Poseidon Resources Corporation to design, construct, and launch a new desalination plant in Carlsbad, California, north of San Diego.

Massive biofuels refinery slated for Alta

A site north of Innisfail, Alta., will be home to North America's largest biofuels refinery starting this summer when construction begins on a $400-million plant that will produce 300 million US gallons per year of ethanol, biodiesel and crushed canola.

Massive Water Projects Bill that Languished for Years Finally Passes House

The House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a massive water projects bill that has languished for years over its price tag and how the Army Corps of Engineers does business.

Mayors Applaud New Senate Energy Bill Backing Local Energy Efficiency Initiatives

The United States Conference of Mayors, led by President and Trenton, NJ Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, today applauded leaders in the United States Senate for introducing legislation that will help cities accelerate their energy efficiency efforts, leading to more aggressive programs to reduce greenhouse gases nationwide.

McGuinty Government To Ban Inefficient Light Bulbs By 2012

Ontario is banning the sale of inefficient light bulbs by 2012 and launching five province-wide conservation initiatives as part of the government's commitment to build a conservation culture

New Report Shows Increased Flood Risk From Global Warming

As Congress considers a massive new water projects bill, a new report released shows how flood risk is increasing because of poorly designed and managed federal flood-control projects, damage to coastal wetlands and global warming.

No US Emissions Curbs Without China, India - Envoy

The United States will not join an international regime curbing emissions blamed for global warming until it also applied to China and India, the US ambassador to the European Union said on Wednesday.

Norway Aims to be Carbon Neutral by 2050

Norway wants to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 in the world's toughest national plan for fighting global warming, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday

NRC cites low-level safety concerns at Pilgrim

Workers at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station need better plans to deal with equipment problems such as the one that led to an unplanned reactor shutdown last month, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials.

NY Seeks to Take Lead in Clean-Energy Policy

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer unveiled a new energy policy Thursday which aims to make the state the most aggressive in the nation in conservation and cut power demand by 15 percent by 2015.

Oakland's the greenest of them all

Quick, name the nation's greenest city government. Surprise — it's Oakland, although three other Bay Area cities tied for second place in a report released Monday.

On Earth Day Recycle Old Computers and Help the Environment

EPA, Dell Inc., TechTurn and the National Recycling Coalition are joining together to encourage greater-Washington, D.C., area residents and businesses to recycle unwanted computer equipment on Earth Day. Recycling electronics is something every American can do to protect the planet and to encourage the sustainable reuse of materials.

Ontario Power Authority Announces Major Electricity Conservation Initiatives

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) unveiled today a province-wide suite of five Electricity Conservation education and incentive programs which give Ontarians the tools they need to conserve electricity, save money and benefit the environment.

Oregon Senate approves renewable energy bill

After a vigorous debate, the Oregon Senators passed a bill Tuesday that would require the state's largest utilities to eventually draw 25 percent of their power from renewable sources such as wind, waves, sunlight and manure.

Prepare CO2 Capture And Storage Now For Greater Environmental Benefit Later

By capturing CO2 in industrial processes a further 16 million tonnes of CO2 per year can be avoided. Further if cars are run on hydrogen or synthetic diesel produced from fossil fuels combined with CO2 capture then this could eventually lead to a difference of more than 10 million tonnes of CO2 emission per year.

PSEG Says Energy Companies Have a Key Role in Addressing Climate Change in New Jersey

Two executives of Public Service Enterprise Group told the New Jersey Senate Environment Committee today that the state's utilities and energy companies must redefine the way they do business and play a key role in addressing growing concerns about climate change.

Quote of the Day 042007

"There will indeed be a meeting on April 25...the talks will be neither in Brussels nor in Tehran".
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will hold new talks on April 25 with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani at as an undetermined location, Solana's spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

"People are talking about the elections in Nigeria. The problem is we may not even know on Monday who's in power so it may all be a bit of an overreaction...

Rebutting the Naysayers on Global Warming, Part II

Global warming has now been examined in detail for over 25 years, and scientists are growing increasingly confident in their ability to explain the causes of past and present climate change. Predicting the future, and especially the details of ice sheet stability, sea level rise, and patterns of drought and flood, rests on a less secure basis, but climate scientists recognize these uncertainties and are working hard to address them.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity 042007

Solar activity was very low. No flares were observed during the past 24 hours, and the visible disk was spotless.  The geomagnetic field is expected to range from quiet to active for the next three days.

Report raises red flags-- Legislators, officials divided on likelihood of nightmarish threats of liquefied natural gas

A Suffolk legislator yesterday described as "something out of a science-fiction movie" several possible scenarios from a terrorist attack on a liquefied-natural-gas platform proposed for Long Island Sound.

Report says nuclear power unlikely to solve climate change

The US now has 103 operating power reactors. "Even with 20-year extensions of their planned lifespan, all existing reactors will likely need to be decommissioned by the middle of the century," the council added in a press statement.

Signs of Moderation in Inflation Causes US Mortgage Rates to Slip

Freddie Mac yesterday released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.17 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending April 18, 2007, down from last week when it averaged 6.22 percent.  Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.53 percent.

Small Engine Rule to Bring Big Emissions Cuts

"From the largest locomotives to the smallest lawn mowers, EPA's current and planned clean air regulations will continue environmental progress, keeping the air cleaner than a generation ago," said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum.

South American leaders mull energy policy at Chavez summit

The leaders of South America's 12 nations completed a two-day energy summit in Venezuela Tuesday claiming progress on plans for tighter economic integration but failing to tie down a blueprint for a regional energy policy.

Study Shows Sudden Sea Level Surges Threaten One Billion

More than one billion people live in low-lying areas where a sudden surge in sea level could prove as disastrous as the 2004 Asian tsunami, according to new research presented Thursday.

New mapping techniques show how much land would be lost and how many people affected by rapid sea level rises

Supreme Court Rulings Change the U.S. Energy Game

The Supreme Court considered the meaning of the word 'modification', and upheld EPA efforts begun during the Clinton Administration to force older coal-fired power plants to install pollution-control equipment when upgrading facilities.

In simple terms, the Court rejected arguments by many electric utilities whose power plants were grandfathered into the Clean Air Act, and then maintained that if they upgraded these power plants -- they still would not have to meet Clean Air Act standards

Taking Nature's Cue for Cheaper Solar Power

Solar cell technology developed by Massey University's Nanomaterials Research Centre in New Zealand may one day enable the country's residents to generate electricity from sunlight at a tenth of the cost of current silicon-based photovoltaic solar cells.

The Drive to Curb Carbon in High Gear

The drive to curb carbon dioxide emissions is now in full gear. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by refusing to regulate those releases, it gave Congress a new reason to take up the discussion and to enact legislation.


Americans are slowly waking up to the energy fraud foisted upon them by a dangerous, rudderless presidential administration run by Big Oil.

Top Ten U.S. Cities Ranked by Use of Renewable Energy

A newly released study conducted by SustainLane Government concludes that Oakland, California, generates the highest percentage of renewable energy out of all U.S. cities, producing 5 percent more energy than any other city surveyed.

Tough choices offer US a chance to live up to past-- Exelon CFO

The combination of climate change dynamics and national security interests means that the US faces enormous energy choices, according to Exelon CFO John Young.

Tropical Forest Felled for Biofuels, Ecologists Say

Tropical rain forest is being cut down and burned to make way for soy and palm plantations destined to provide plant-based diesel for Europe's fuel tanks, environmentalists said on Wednesday.

Tropical Forests-- Earth’s Air Conditioner

Planting and protecting trees—which trap and absorb carbon dioxide as they grow—can help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But a new study suggests that, as a way to fight global warming, the effectiveness of this strategy depends heavily on where these trees are planted.

U.S. pursues ethanol technology as key to reducing oil dependence

The sun shone brightly on the crowd gathered at the rusting old oil refinery here, as company officials showed off diagrams explaining how they planned to turn weeds and agricultural wastes into car fuel. Government officials gave optimistic speeches.

That was in October 1998, when ethanol from crop wastes seemed to be just around the corner.

U.S. reports slightly higher greenhouse gas emissions

Total emissions of six main greenhouse gases in 2005 were equivalent to 7.26 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the EPA.

UK Government to Help Homeowners Tackle Climate Change

The UK government has urged local authorities and households to work together with the government in the battle against climate change. David Miliband, UK secretary of state for the environment and rural affairs, has pledged to help homeowners to tackle the mounting issue and outlined a number of steps that consumer can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

US resolicits to purchase 4 million barrels SPR crude

The US Department of Energy was seeking to purchase crude oil for the nation's emergency stockpile Wednesday little more than a week after it rejected all offers it received as too high and not of reasonable value for taxpayers.

US Senate lawmaker unveils measure to cut energy use economy-wide

An energy efficiency bill introduced late Monday in the US Senate would expedite the setting of standards for appliances, direct the federal government to reduce its petroleum and energy consumption in buildings by 30% starting in 2015 and set an economy-wide target of a 45% cut in gasoline use by 2030, it sponsor said.

US senators to offer bills to cut GHG emissions from coal plants

Two bills are expected to be introduced in the US Senate Thursday aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants.

Water Leaders Stress Need To Rehabilitate, Replace Water Infrastructure

More than 100 water utility leaders from across the United States arrived on Capitol Hill to stress the essential need to repair and replace the nation’s aging water infrastructure.

Weather Casts Extensive Blanket

About 42,000 Quebec households are still without electricity after heavy snow...Thousands of people still will be without power today, after more than 123,000 households lost power during the heavy rains and high winds that pounded Maine...Central Vermont Public Service restoring power to 50,000 customers following severe storm...Winds gusting as high as 63 mph blew out the lights for almost 250,000 electricity customers across Virginia

What's Moving the Oil Markets 041907

•Crude futures recovered in early European Thursday trading from the selling spree seen during Wednesday, following the release of a bullish set of US inventory data by the EIA on Wednesday.

•US stock data published Wednesday by the EIA showed draws for all main stocks, with crude down 1 million barrels, while gasoline inventories declined by 2.7 million barrels, the 10th consecutive draw, fueling fears of shortages ahead of the main summer demand season.

World Needs To Axe Greenhouse Gases by 80%, Report Says

The world will have to axe greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, more deeply than planned, to have an even chance of curbing global warming in line with European Union goals, researchers said on Thursday.


April 13, 2007


11 Held for Power Station Break-In

Eleven environmental protesters were arrested yesterday after a demonstration at a power plant.

Four of the group had chained themselves to buildings and equipment after breaking into E.ON UK's Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, in Nottinghamshire, yesterday morning.

Arab states seek nuclear power

Two years ago, the leaders of Saudi Arabia told international atomic regulators that they could foresee no need for the kingdom to develop nuclear power. Today, they are scrambling to hire atomic contractors, buy nuclear hardware and build support for a regional system of reactors.

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

Australian oil industry seeks reforms to boost output

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has called for the implementation of six key policy changes that it hopes will address the nation's declining oil production and boost domestic use of its massive gas resources.

Bernanke on Financial Regulation and the Invisible Hand

Market forces determine most outcomes in our economy, a fact that helps to explain much of our nation’s success in creating wealth. Markets aggregate diffuse information more effectively and set prices more efficiently than any central planner possibly could. The result is powerful competitive incentives for businesses to produce, at the least cost, the goods and services that our citizens value most.

Britain Tells U.S. Industry To Invest in Clean-Tech

On the eve of the first U.N. Security Council debate on global warming, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett warned U.S. businesses to invest in carbon-free technology or lose out to Europeans.

Calm descends on gold market, waiting on reports and data

"It's still rather quiet at the moment with the industry waiting for reports and comments on issues such as the eurozone trade balance and US housing," said the trader.

Chinese and Japanese companies sign energy deals

Japanese and Chinese companies said they signed business deals in the energy sector on Thursday that could lead to possible joint development of oil and gas projects in the future, including in the East China Sea.

Climate change bill passes Washington state House

On a bipartisan 84-14 vote, the House of Representatives passed a climate change bill late Thursday that offers incentives to utilities for reducing their carbon emissions while keeping alive plans for a coal gasification plant in Kalama.

Coal-to-gas plant dealt a setback by judges

While not binding on regulators, the ruling is filled with warnings, from doubts that the plant will burn coal as cleanly as guaranteed to an opinion that Excelsior would not, as promised, likely deliver electricity at a lower cost than alternative energy suppliers.

Cold War Weapons Fuel Clean Energy for America

To date, 300 metric tons (MT) of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Russian nuclear warheads have been downblended to low enriched uranium (LEU) as part of this vital energy and nonproliferation program.

Colorado Senate OKs Renewable Energy Power Line Bill

After more than two months of debate, compromise, rewriting and more rewriting, a measure to help erect power transmission lines in rural Colorado from renewable energy plants won preliminary approval in the Senate on Thursday.

Crude recovers from Monday's sell off on US pipeline leak

Crude prices rose Tuesday as a leak on a Canadian pipeline that links to the US helped recover some losses made on NNPC's confirmation that Nigerian Forcados production, which has been shut in for over a year, is to resume in June.

'Deliberate misconduct' at Browns Ferry-- NRC

The Nuclear Regulatory staff has issued a "confirmatory order" to a contract foreman at TVA's Browns Ferry nuclear power plant for deliberate misconduct that exposed a worker to radiation contamination.

Earth Day Statement and Information Resources

Statement from Administrator Stephen L. Johnson:   "On Sunday, April 22, the nation will mark its 37th Earth Day – an annual reminder to all Americans that environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility. The U.S. is shifting to a 'green culture,' and this Earth Day, President Bush and I encourage our citizens to renew their personal commitment to building a healthier, brighter future."

Efficiency Push Starts At Home

Experts checked the governor's mansion for energy efficiency Friday, but Gov. Charlie Crist said his goal is much bigger.

Energy that grows back-- Burning wood considered carbon neutral

With greenhouses gases and global warming capturing everyone's attention these days, people who promote burning biomass to generate electricity note that wood is a carbon-neutral fuel, at least in the long run.

EPA moves to ease air pollution standards for ethanol plants

The Environmental Protection Agency took a major step to stimulate ethanol production by issuing a rule Thursday allowing ethanol plants to operate with fewer environmental rules and less air pollution equipment.

Ex-US Military Chiefs Warn Warming Worsens Security

Global climate change acts as a "threat multiplier" in some of the world's most volatile areas, and raises tensions even in stable regions, 11 former US military leaders warned on Monday.

FAO Urges Action To Cope With Increasing Water Scarcity

As the number-one user of water worldwide, the agriculture sector must be in the lead in addressing the rising global demand for water and its potential drain on the earth's natural resources, FAO said on the occasion of World Water Day.

French protestors swing from pylons at Flamanville nuclear plant

Protesting against the building of a nuclear reactor pilot, the European pressurized reactor, French anti-nuclear campaigners spent the weekend suspended from a 400,000 volt high tension power pylon at the Flamanville nuclear power plant, campaigners said.

Global Warming Could Spur 21st Century Conflicts

Droughts, floods and rising seas linked to global warming could spur conflicts in coming decades, experts said on Monday, the eve of a first UN Security Council debate on climate change.

Global Warming May Put U.S. in Hot Water

As the world warms, water -- either too little or too much of it -- is going to be the major problem for the United States, scientists and military experts said Monday. It will be a domestic problem, with states clashing over controls of rivers, and a national security problem as water shortages and floods worsen conflicts and terrorism elsewhere in the world, they said.

Gold climbs higher in early London trade, support seen at $680oz

It said the dollar's weakness on Friday had prompted funds to come into the market with strong bids.

'Green' startups move to city

Menlo Park, a small city known for its venture capital firms, feisty politics and abundance of trees, is also becoming a hub for alternative energy innovation.

Inbox 041707

Earth Day: What a mix of thoughts and feelings the occasion evokes. I´ve always felt ambivalent toward it. It´s a fine event; I´m glad people do it, glad they revel in it, if only for a few days. But afterward it always feels anticlimactic, unfulfilled: "OK, what now?"

Maybe that´s because I´m partial to the idea, trite as it sounds, that every day should be Earth Day.

Is 'Efficiency' the New 'Reliability'?

In a nutshell, the National Electricity Delivery Forum was all about "efficiency" while the main buzzword at the summit was "reliability." The latter's focus was understandable given that many of the provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 had recently reached milestones

Major Players in the Carbon Markets to Meet in May at North America's First Carbon Finance and Investment Summit

A major industry building event, the Carbon Finance and Investment Summit, produced by Infocast, will be held in New York City May 21 to 23, 2007.

March US Consumer Price Index rises 0.6%, led by energy costs

March US Consumer Price Index rose 0.6%, led by a 5.9% increase in energy
costs, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Petroleum-based energy costs increased 10.1% and the index for natural gas and
electricity were up 1.3%.

Melting Himalayan Glaciers Pose Security Risk, UNEP Says

Global warming will cause the Himalayan glaciers to melt, leading to mass migration and possibly conflicts over valuable resources such as agricultural land and fresh water, the U.N. Environment Programme chief said.

Nigeria to Double Power Capacity This Year

At long last, it appears that Nigeria's power sector is about to undergo a revolution. If all goes according to plan, capacity is expected to double by the end of this year and triple within the next two.

Nissan Aims To Be Number One In Electric Cars

Japan's number two automaker said it would launch its own electric vehicle powered by the lithium-ion batteries by the early part of the next decade. It will also use batteries developed by the venture in its own hybrid vehicle by 2010 and accelerate the development of hybrid plug-in technology that can use grid power to recharge batteries as well as onboard charging.

Nuclear Foes See Danger in Waste-- Harris Plant Starts Relicensing Process

The Shearon Harris nuclear plant has long drawn scrutiny over the safety of atomic power. But safety concerns are shifting to an emerging issue: the buildup of radioactive waste at the site in volumes never anticipated when the plant began operating 20 years ago

Philadelphia Eagles to Reimburse Employees for Purchasing Wind Energy

The Philadelphia Eagles will reimburse its employees living in the Philadelphia region and New Jersey who purchase wind energy, making it the first organization to pick up this type of cost for employees.

Public-Private Partnerships Will Be Keys To Solving Nation's Water Challenges

Partnerships between private water utilities and municipalities will become increasingly important in helping cities overcome the “huge burdens of infrastructure improvement and the conservation of water,” according to Donald L. Correll, President and CEO of American Water, the country’s largest privately owned water services company.

Quantum secrets of photosynthesis revealed

Through photosynthesis, green plants and cyanobacteria are able to transfer sunlight energy to molecular reaction centers for conversion into chemical energy with nearly 100-percent efficiency. Speed is the key - the transfer of the solar energy takes place almost instantaneously so little energy is wasted as heat. How photosynthesis achieves this near instantaneous energy transfer is a long-standing mystery that may have finally been solved.

Quote of the Day 041707

"The complex is moving sideways at the moment, there is no real market direction, especially for Brent...the market is waiting for some fresh impulses, possibly coming from Wednesday's US inventory data release."
A London-based broker said on Tuesday. Crude prices rose Tuesday as a leak on a Canadian pipeline that links to the US helped recover some losses made on NNPC's confirmation that Nigerian Forcados production, which has been shut in for over a year, is to resume in June.

"The partial restart of McKee will help alleviate the overage in Cushing."
Aaron Kildow, trader at Prudential Financial said. The 170,000 b/d McKee, Texas refinery suffered a fire that took the entire plant down 2 months ago and has been credited for a backup of barrels in the Midwest that has caused the front of the crude curve to collapse.

The Shifting Dynamics of Energy

For two days each year, executives, investors and regulators from around the globe join Deloitte's professionals for an in-depth analysis of key developments in the global and domestic energy markets.  Presenters come from a cross-section of the world's energy industry, and the conference topics are of keen interest to energy management and boards of directors.


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has created a new website, "TroughNet." Currently parabolic trough solar technology offers the lowest cost solar electric option for large power plant applications. TroughNet is a technical resource that offers information about the various components of a solar trough.

U.K. fuel cell developer raises $17million

Intelligent Energy (Loughborough, England) is focused on the provision of cleaner power and carbon abatement, via a range of fuel cell, fuel processing, desulphurisaiton and hydrogen generation technologies. It's business model is to work companies in the transportation, oil and gas, aerospace, defence, distributed generation and portable power markets.

Uranium price surge to continue

The price of uranium has jumped nearly 19 percent since April 2 in a rush led by supply instability, constant and planned increase in demand, and investors looking to gobble up supply before the price spikes again.

US, Canada to negotiate deal to cut particulate matter emissions

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson and Canadian Minister of the Environment Minister John Baird on Friday said the two countries plan to negotiate an annex to the US-Canada Air Quality Agreement aimed at reducing particulate matter emissions on both sides of the border.

US, Mexico team up against nuclear smuggling

The US and Mexico signed an agreement Monday under which the US will provide advanced radiation detection equipment to Mexico, which will be installed at four seaports, in an attempt to combat nuclear smuggling, the Department of Energy said.

Venezuela's Chavez seeks energy pact at South American summit

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez said Monday he is seeking to sign a South American Energy Agreement with the region's heads of state as part of plans for wider economic integration between the region's 12 countries.

Water Scarcity-- Meeting Demand

Recently, the USEPA estimated the 20-year needs for water infrastructure investment at $277 billion for drinking water systems and $388 billion for wastewater systems. Challenges faced by the water industry include everything from higher water demand and inadequate water resource supplies, to aging infrastructure and climate change

What's Moving the Oil Markets 041707

•Crude prices rose Tuesday as a leak on a Canadian pipeline that links to the US helped recover some losses made on NNPC's confirmation that Nigerian Forcados production, which has been shut in for over a year, is to resume in June.

•"Monday's selloff can be mainly contributed to US refinery restart

World Health Organization's '10 Facts About Water Scarcity'

A lack of water to meet daily needs is a reality for many people around the world and has serious health consequences. Globally, water scarcity already affects four out of every 10 people. The situation is getting worse due to population growth, urbanization and increased domestic and industrial water use.

World Oil Reserves Not Being Fully Replaced

The world is currently producing more oil annually than it is replacing with new reserves. That sobering conclusion emerges from a new survey of global liquids reserves published by Energy Intelligence.


April 13, 2007


A Nuclear Comeback?  BUSINESS OF GREEN

Could nuclear power ride to the rescue of a warming planet? Advocates say nuclear power causes virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions and, unlike wind or solar energy, creates vast and steady supplies in the same way as power plants fired by natural gas and coal.

Alaska's senators look to beef up federal office to spur gasline

Alaska's two US senators Wednesday introduced legislation to beef up and give more power to the Office of Federal Pipeline Coordinator in an effort to jumpstart consideration of a proposed pipeline that would bring natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to the lower 48 states.

Alberta begins allocating funds to spur bio-energy development

The Canadian province of Alberta said Thursday it will provide funding to 14 renewable energy projects meant to support the development and expansion of bio-energy facilities and technology.

Angola-- oil-rich but dirt-poor

Angola, which shared the stage with the world's most powerful oil-producing nations at its first OPEC meeting, is an unlikely candidate to be the darling of the global oil industry.

Australian state funds cheaper solar cells

Four research projects in Victoria will receive Aus$8 million, with one project designed to develop new solar cells.

Azerbaijan's economy, drunk on oil, is suffering rapid inflation

Azerbaijan is the world’s fastest growing economy, thanks to an oil boom, but it is already running into serious difficulty. A huge expansion in budgetary spending has pushed inflation close to double digits -- in month-on-month terms -- and there are early but ominous signs that the non-oil economy is losing competitiveness

Belarus to go ahead with building nuclear power plant

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said that Belarus is going to go ahead with plans to build a nuclear power plant. Speaking at a news conference on 12 April, he said Russian companies were ready to build the plant and that they threatened Belarus with "breaking off relations" unless they win the construction tender.

Bodman says believes gasoline supplies will meet summer demand

Gasoline supplies should be adequate to meet surging US demand during the summer driving season, US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman told reporters Tuesday, noting that the sharp increases in prices in the past several weeks was "entirely understandable" given recent market conditions.

British Energy Output Cheery Despite Shutdowns

British Energy gave investors a much-needed boost today with news that it generated more power than expected last year despite a difficult 12 months.

Bush Administration Establishes Program to Reduce Foreign Oil Dependency, Greenhouse Gases

In step with the Bush Administration’s call to increase the supply of alternative and renewable fuels nationwide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today established the nation’s first comprehensive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

California Assembly panel approves several bills on electricity

A bill that would require California to have 33% of its electricity usage come from renewable resources by 2020 is among a handful of bills that cleared the California Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee late Monday.

Canada and U.S. Move Forward to Reduce Air Pollutants

U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and the Honorable John Baird, Canada's Minister of the Environment, announced today that Canada and the United States will begin negotiation of an annex to the U.S.-Canada Air Quality Agreement aimed at reducing the cross-border flow of air pollution and its impact on the health and ecosystems of Canadians and Americans.

Climate Change Shakes King Coal's Throne

Why are so many people angry about coal? Pollution. Coal is the most carbon-rich energy source in use today, packing about 50 percent more geologic carbon than natural gas, so its combustion contributes heavily to global warming.

Climate Protection Strategies using Advanced Power Meters Part II

Of their innate nature, electronic power meters are capable of compiling and transmitting data at any time. However, this functionality is not always exploited.

Coal Fuels Climate Challenge

Some scientists take exception to the prevailing belief that the Earth is warming dangerously toward foreseeable destruction of the planet long claimed by devout world-enders.

Coal Without Combustion

Researchers want to put it into fuel cells instead of boilers, for cheaper, cleaner electricity. So it may be a shock to realize that in 1839, as the coalfired Industrial Revolution was in full swing, English scientist William Grove invented the first fuel cell. Now, many years later, scientists and engineers are working fervidly to make fuel cells a practical replacement for combustion. What's changed?  

Conservation of Energy

The principle of the conservation of energy states that  energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

Delivering a Zero-Day Payback Time for Solar

The greening of corporate America is all the rage. But ask any CFO their thoughts on going solar and you'll find that upfront cost is the single greatest obstacle to adoption today. New financial tools coupled with a change of perspective on the way we present pricing can translate intimidating system costs into predictable power bills -- and ultimately help speed the solar sale.

DOE says ethanol can mostly meet 35-billion gal renewable mandate

The Bush administration believes that ethanol will provide most of the fuel to meet its 35 billion gal renewable fuel mandate by 2017, a senior Energy Department official told a Senate panel Thursday.

DOE to provide $8.2 million for hydrogen research over four years

DOE will fund hydrogen storage research at $8.2 million over the next four years, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said in an April 12 press statement.

Durbin changes opinion about nuclear plant

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has withdrawn his support of efforts to lure a nuclear waste recycling facility in Paducah, Ky., saying that he now has concerns about safety.

Energy Harvesting Is What Fuel Cells Want to Be

The interest in energy harvesting is what most “emerging technology” companies dream about. Certain problems present certain opportunities, and right now the problems with batteries are a big market driver. Everyone is stepping up to the plate to address these problems, including the battery companies themselves (with “new” technologies like vanadium, zinc-air and others).

EPA finalizes renewable fuel requirements

The Bush administration has finalized its comprehensive Renewable Fuel Standard program that requires passenger cars to use greater amounts of cleaner-burning renewable fuels.

Focus on Carbon Market Developments 2007

2007 has become the breakthrough year in U.S. carbon consciousness. The realization that U.S. multinational companies fall under the Kyoto Protocol in 169 nations, coupled with state lead initiatives on both the East and West Coasts, have now crystallized Congressional attention on the issue of global warming.

FutureGen costs almost doubled since 2004; funding under scrutiny

Overall cost estimates for the 275-MW FutureGen power plant have almost doubled since 2004 when the project was first proposed. Originally estimated to cost roughly $950 million, now the FutureGen Alliance says the project will cost about $1.5 billion and the Department of Energy puts the cost at around $1.7 billion by project completion.

Global food prices rise as US diverts grain to ethanol

As the US diverts grain to produce ethanol to fuel cars, food prices have begun rising the world over.
A report by the Earth Policy Institute (EPI) said corn prices have doubled over the last year; wheat futures are trading at their highest level in 10 years and prices of rice are rising.

Governor Rendell Announces $31.4 Million for Clean Energy, Alternative Fuels Development

Governor Edward G. Rendell today brought Pennsylvania one step closer to energy independence by making $31.4 million available in grants to help businesses and organizations develop clean energy and alternative fuel projects. The projects will create jobs, strengthen agriculture and biofuels producers, and promote homeland security by diversifying America's energy production.

Green Grid adds members, plans summit

The Green Grid, a non-profit consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers, will hold its first technical summit April 18-19 in Denver, Colo. The summit is expected to produce detailed objectives and program plans for 2007 for the group which also announced a broader slate of members.

GreenChoice 1 in Nation--Again

For the fifth year in a row, the Austin Energy GreenChoice® program was the #1 utility sponsored green power program in America for sales. Rankings are compiled annually by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a division of the Department of Energy (DOE).

Greenhouse Gas Study-- 1 Percent From NYC

New York City produces nearly 1 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions - an amount that puts it on par with Ireland and Portugal - according to a city study.

'Hazardous Hydrogen'

Although all fuels are hazardous, hydrogen's hazards are different from and generally more easily managed than those of hydrocarbon fuels. It's 14.4 times lighter than air, four times more diffusive than natural gas, and 12 times more diffusive than gasoline—so leaking hydrogen rapidly rises away from its source. Also, it needs at least four times the concentration of gasoline fumes to ignite, it burns with a nonluminous flame that can't scorch you at a distance, and its burning emits no choking smoke or fumes—only water.

Houses powered by sun have gone mainstream

The houses that Lennar Corp. is building here look like the tract houses you might find just about anywhere in America.

But there's one major distinction: They'll get power from the sun.

Hydrogen and the ScramJet

In order to make a scramjet work, researchers must choose a fuel that can burn rapidly and generate a large amount of thrust. Hydrogen meets these criteria.

Hydro-Québec garners net income of $3,741 billion and pays $2,342 billion in dividends to the Québec government

Hydro-Québec's net income rose $1,489 million to reach $3,741 million. This increase stems mainly from gains on the disposal of foreign holdings, totalling $917 million - including $813 million on the sale of Transelec, in Chile

ICE Brent futures rise above $69 barrel to new 2007 high

Global crude prices moved higher on Friday, with ICE Brent hitting a new 2007 high above $69/barrel and WTI futures also recovering, brokers said, supported by falling oil stocks and profit-taking by traders on the unusually wide spread between Brent and WTI.

Inbox 041207

There's a man on the western edge of New Hampshire who would like to thank you.

Many of you will remember William Mitchell. The retired university professor was ankle deep in "The Recycle Game

India grapples with energy issues

India's hopes of tapping into Myanmar's gas resources might have hit a dead end, with Yangon pitching for China instead. India's problems with Myanmar follow US moves to strangle the $ 7.4 bn Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline.

International Clean-Energy Partnership Adds 20th Member-- Viet Nam

The Methane to Markets Partnership marked a major milestone this week as Viet Nam became its 20th country member.  Methane to Markets is a public-private partnership that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the cost-effective, near-term recovery and use of methane, while providing clean energy to markets around the world.

Iran and Japan discuss pricing oil in yen or euros

Iran has been in talks with at least one Japanese refiner about changing the currency used to pay for crude oil to the yen or euro from the dollar as Tehran faces growing pressure from Washington over its nuclear programme, a company source said. Currently, almost all international crude oil transactions, including all exports to Japan, are paid in dollars.

Iran asks more clients to pay for oil in non-dollar currencies

Iran is asking more clients to pay for oil in currencies other than the dollar and 60 % or more of its crude income is in other units, an official said.

Iran Says It's Making Fuel-Grade Uranium

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said Monday that his country has started to produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale, and had reached the next phase of what he described as an irreversible program that his country had a right to pursue.

Japan Seeks Stakes in Uranium Mines

Japan, one of the world's biggest generators of nuclear power, is seeking supplies of uranium from Russia and Kazakhstan as surging energy demand in China pushes uranium prices to a record. "Competition from China will intensify in the coming years," Hirofumi Kawachi, an energy analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities, said in Tokyo on Thursday.

Japan, China Agree to Expand Nuclear Power

"Both countries understand that expansion of nuclear power generation in Asia and the world helps to ease energy supply-demand tightness and stop global warming," Japanese Trade Minister Akira Amari and Ma Kai, head of China's energy policy-setting National Development and Reform Commission, said in the statement.

Kaine orders agencies to improve energy efficiency by 2010

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine ordered state agencies Monday to cut energy costs by one-fifth before he leaves office in January 2010.

Kurdish leader demands control of Iraq oil hub

The prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan raised fresh calls for a referendum to decide the future of the country's crucial oil hub of Kirkuk, warning that Kurdish patience had limits.

Map shows potential for solar PV in each region

A solar system in Malta or southern Spain will generate twice as much electricity as Scotland or northern Scandinavia.

'Nano-Manhattan' 3D solar cells boost efficiency (Update)

Unique three-dimensional solar cells that capture nearly all of the light that strikes them could boost the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) systems while reducing their size, weight and mechanical complexity.

Nevada governor seeks plan for cutting state's GHG emissions

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons has formed an advisory committee to develop a plan that will allow the state to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

Nevada Official Calls for Investigation into DOE Computer Problems Blocking Access to Yucca Mountain Information

The complex computer program being used by the U.S. Department of Energy to provide information about its application for a license to build a proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain is so rife with problems that Nevada leaders say no one outside DOE can use it.

New biodiesel producer in Singapore favors jatropha over palm oil

A Singapore-based diesel engineering group has embarked on a project to build a biodiesel plant in the island state that will break away from the conventional palm oil to use jatropha curcas feedstock and other alternatives

New pipeline to bring Russian oil to Mediterranean

Greece and Bulgaria signed an historic agreement with Moscow earlier on a long-debated pipeline linking Burgas and Alexandroupolis. Although it will increase oil supplies to Europe, some say the project will also allow Russian control over more of the continent's energy infrastructure.

New York State joins mercury fight-- Northeast states seek cut in toxic pollution from Midwest power plants

New York joined six other Northeastern states Wednesday to recommend reductions in toxic mercury that winds up in their waters, most of it spewed by coal-burning power plants in the Ohio River Valley.

Nuclear storage fees at Monticello plant revisited by Senate committee

Grumbling from local lawmakers about proposed Xcel Energy payments for dry cask storage at the Monticello nuclear power plant has one Senate committee revisiting the nuclear power issue.

Opposition party pledges 100% from renewables

The leader of the opposition party in Scotland wants all electricity to come from renewable energy sources.

“Renewable energy is potentially the biggest opportunity for Scotland since the Industrial Revolution,” says Nicol Stephen, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrat party.

Power crisis cripples Nigerian economy

Across Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, businesses and residential areas are groaning with the heavy thud of back-up power generators.
Africa’s most populous country is facing a power generation crisis

President Bush issues summer driving challenge for energy legislation

In his State of the Union Address, the President announced a "Twenty in Ten" goal to reduce US gasoline consumption by 20 % over the next 10 years. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress that furthers the President's goals. Recognizing widespread consensus on the need to increase our fuel efficiency and use of alternative fuels, the President has called on Congress to pass by the start of the summer driving season legislation supporting the "Twenty in Ten" goal.

Quote of the Day 041107

"We have been on the trail of Elliot for some time now. You know when these guys make cash from from kidnapping game they flock to drinking joints to show off their wealth. He was picked up in one of the drinking joints in Yenagoa following a tip-off."
Nigerian police has arrested Elliot Lawrenc, the leader of a rebel group behind the series of kidnapping of foreign workers in the creeks of the oil producing Niger Delta region, security sources said Wednesday.

"It's not that Brent and the US Gulf Coast are weak--it's more that WTI is basically broken right now."
The spread between front month NYMEX WTI crude and ICE Brent crude widened to over $6/barrel Wednesday, to a record discount of the US crude benchmark WTI to its European counterpart Brent. A trader reported a sense of lost confidence in WTI, as May ICE Brent futures traded at a record $6.16/b over the May NYMEX WTI contract.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity 041307

Solar activity was very low. No new regions were numbered today. The geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly quiet during the forecast period.

Silicon Valley Betting on Solar Power

Using machinery that looks like giant aluminum film developers, a company called Miasole in the heart of Silicon Valley is rolling out sheets of stainless steel coated with materials that will convert sunlight into electricity.

States in U.S. Reach Renewable Energy Milestone

The success of state renewable energy standards is helping build momentum for a federal standard of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020.

Strong March Employment Report Pushes US Mortgage Rates Upward

Freddie Mac yesterday released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.22 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending April 12, 2007, up from last week when it averaged 6.17 percent.  Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.49 percent.

Subprime Tsunami, Spreads Kill You, Not Defaults

"The unwinding of the US housing bubble is like a train wreck in slow motion. As the first wagons crumple, a picture of serenity depicts the trailing cars. However, their fate is sealed. The same is occurring in the US housing market. As the sub-prime market implodes, the situation is calm in the higher-quality segments—with prices still rising in some up-scale markets. Yet, it is only a matter of time until the damage spreads."

Supreme Court Decision to Have Major Impact, Experts Predict

Although the Bush Administration is unlikely to use this authority to implement significant controls on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, efforts by the U.S. Congress and state governments to regulate emissions are likely to be bolstered by the April 2 decision.

The five-way contest for oil sources in Asia and Africa

The quest for energy security has become the primary and most immediate strategic concern of Asia’s two rising giants, India and China. The Middle East will soon feel the full force of this growing competition.

The Nature of Hydrogen

Hydrogen is less flammable than gasoline. Hydrogen disperses quickly. Hydrogen is non-toxic. Hydrogen combustion produces only water.  Hydrogen can be stored safely.

The Power of the Tides

A pilot project in New York's East River is evaluating the use of underwater turbines to generate electricity. If the project bears fruit, the technology could have widespread applications.

TransCanada nears decision on two planned power lines in US West

TransCanada is close to having agreements in place with enough US Southwest utilities to move ahead with detailed permitting and siting for two 500-kV power lines that would run from Montana and Wyoming to southern Nevada

Turkey-Israel pipeline could shift Middle East power balance

Although regional pipelines rarely are recognized as progenitors of global power balance, the prospective agreement between Turkey and Israel to construct such a strategic connection may accomplish a seismic economic shift.

U.S. to Plant Most Corn Acreage Since World War II

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report released in late March estimates that farmers will sow 90.5 million acres (36.6 million hectares) of corn in 2007, a 15 percent increase over last year. Because of the high prices the crop can fetch, farmers “are planting wall-to-wall corn,”

US gasoline stocks adequate going into summer-- Bodman

US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Friday that US gasoline supplies will meet demand this summer, but he warned of price run-ups due to refinery constraints.

US oil imports from Canada hit record

US crude imports in January increased a slight 0.4 % from December to 9.623 mm bpd, with shipments from top supplier Canada the highest ever for January, the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

US provides energy aid to Ukraine

As Ukraine searches for ways to break its heavy dependence on Russian energy imports, the country’s nuclear industry is getting some assistance from the US.

US Senate Majority Leader aims for Democratic unity on warming

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday said he plans to meet in the next several days with committee chairman with jurisdiction over climate-change issues in an effort to reach a consensus on one or more bills addressing global warming.

US Senate to launch broad energy debate after work on two bills

Despite much in flux in the US Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to step up his schedule and have the chamber launch into a broad debate on energy after it completes work on two other bills.

US urges Turkey to seek alternative to Iranian gas

Seeking to hit Iran's oil and natural gas revenues, the United States said that it was encouraging its allies and friendly nations, including Turkey, to find alternatives to Tehran's resources, but admitted that the process to switch to new schemes was difficult in a region dependent on energy.

US-Brazil biofuels pact has broad significance

A new US-Brazil agreement on biofuels reassures small countries in Central America and the Caribbean that they can reduce their dependence on foreign oil, says the State Department’s top official for the Western Hemisphere.

Warming Could Damage Arctic, Release Frozen Waste

Global warming will damage the hunting cultures of Arctic peoples, thaw polar ice and could release toxic wastes now trapped in permafrost dumps, a UN study showed on Wednesday.

Warming Could Spark North American Water Scramble, UN Warns

Climate change could diminish North American water supplies and trigger disputes between the United States and Canada over water reserves already stressed by industry and agriculture, U.N. experts said Wednesday.

Washington is 5th among wind-powered states

"These wind-power rankings tell the story of a vibrant industry that is growing fast, competing hard, gaining market share and all the while powering a cleaner, stronger America,"

Waste Management To Unveil State-Of-The-Art Recycling Facility During Earth Day Event

Waste Management announced recently that it will unveil its new residential single-stream recycling center, located at the Davis Street Station for Materials Recycling and Transfer, during an Earth Day Event on April 14th.

What is the Percentage of Federal Subsidies Allotted for Wind Power

You are correct that the federal government subsidizes the various industries within the energy sector, but that those subsidies don't just include the renewable sources you list (i.e., solar, geothermal, hydro, and wind). Federal subsidies go to both the nuclear and fossil fuel industries as well.

What's Moving the Oil Markets 041207

•Crude prices moved higher on Thursday in response to a fall in US gasoline stock and the IEA's latest monthly Oil Market Report.

•The latest US stock data published by the US EIA on Wednesday showed a larger-than-expected draw in gasoline stocks.

•The IEA reduced its estimate of world oil demand this year to 85.78 million b/d, down 250,000 b/d

What's Moving the Oil Markets 041307

Global crude prices moved higher on Friday, with ICE Brent hitting a new 2007 high above $69/barrel and WTI futures also recovering, brokers said, supported by falling oil stocks and profit-taking by traders on the unusually wide spread between Brent and WTI.

Wind storage could increase installed capacity, according to report

An energy storage system linked with a windfarm could guarantee an uninterrupted supply of green power to the grid, improve efficiency of the energy and remove financial risk, according to a feasibility study conducted for Sustainability Energy Ireland.

World Bank Chief Says Clean Energy a Vital Issue

Clean energy, renewable energy and climate change may well become the World Bank's main focus in years to come despite the issue's absence from the lender's formal agenda at its meeting this weekend, President Paul Wolfowitz said on Thursday.

World needs coal to cover demand-- Vattenfall CEO

Global power demand cannot be met without continued use of coal, the chairman of Swedish utility Vattenfall said in an interview with German weekly newspaper "Die Zeit"

WTI-Brent arbitrage widens to record spread, over $6 barrel

The spread between front month NYMEX WTI crude and ICE Brent crude widened to over $6/barrel Wednesday, to a record discount of the US crude benchmark WTI to its European counterpart Brent.

Xcel remains atop wind-power rankings

Xcel Energy Inc. remains the largest wind power provider in the United States according to a wind-energy group, the largest provider of wind power in the U.S for the second consecutive year.


April 10, 2007


Acidic Oceans Threatening Sea Life, UN Panel Says

Rising carbon dioxide emissions are making the world's oceans more acidic, particularly closer to the poles, heralding disaster for marine life, a major UN report on climate change impacts says.

April 2007 US Economic Outlook

Last month’s data calendar contained a mixed bag of news on the housing market and the economy overall.  There were signs of a recovery in housing demand, as sales of existing single-family homes rose 4 percent in February and sales of existing condos and co-ops increased 5 percent. Offsetting this, though, new home sales dropped 4 percent. 

Australians to store CO2 underground

Australian scientists are pushing ahead with plans to store thousands of tons of carbon dioxide in an underground reservoir.

Blueberries may be key to cheaper solar power

Professor Aldo Di Carlo in the Department of Electronic Engineering at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy is a big fan of blueberries. He likes them, but not only to eat.

Brunswick prepares nuclear-fuel site

Site preparation at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant near Southport has started for the outdoor storage of spent nuclear fuel.

California Snowpack Melt Stirs Water Worries

Water content in the Sierra Nevada snowpack in California continues to drop toward its lowest level since 1990, raising concerns about the availability of water for generating hydroelectricity and irrigating the state's vast farmlands.

Children Bear Brunt of Climate Warming - Report

Children will increasingly bear the brunt of global warming, a report said on Friday, while another said the climate would continue to heat up in coming decades regardless of efforts to curb emissions of carbon gases.

Chron 200 - Selling people on solar cells

Greener pastures, finally: SunPower had a great idea and strategy, but cash was running short — until it received a $750,000 personal check from someone who saw the light

Climate Protection Strategies using Advanced Power Meters Part I

Two developments are poised to shape the 21st century in an unprecedented manner:

1. The omnipresence of electronic computers for data processing and
2. The precipitous warming of the Earth’s atmosphere by the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG).

Climate scientists predict future floods, drought

International climate change experts are highly confident that climate change will result in melting glaciers, enlarging glacier lakes, the warming of rivers and lakes in many regions of the world, and earlier arrival of spring, according to a report released April 6.

Coalition's goal-- No power lines

The group, the Prince William Energy Coalition, hopes to defeat the proposed power lines Dominion Virginia Power wants to build across 40 to 50 miles of Fauquier, Prince William and Loudoun counties. Members of the group believe that if they can get Virginians to save enough electricity, they can prove that Dominion doesn't need the proposed lines...

Crude futures rangebound, still eyeing Iran situation

Global crude futures were rangebound Tuesday with the focus remaining on
the situation in the Middle East.
The spread between front-month NYMEX WTI and ICE Brent futures widened to
$5/barrel as WTI collapsed on Monday

Deep freeze devastates W.Va. orchards

The last time Alan Gibson's orchard had early season weather damage, he found a way around it. Hail stones had left more than a dozen dings on every apple, so he dipped their "kind of ugly'' skins in chocolate and sold plenty.

"This time, we're not going to have anything to cover with chocolate,'' he said Monday.

Effort To Reduce Emissions Gets First Test

A week after the U.S. Supreme Court said vehicle carbon dioxide emissions can be regulated like other pollutants, an effort by several states, including Connecticut, to do that is about to get its first court test.

Environmentalists Fight 'Green' Plan

A push to bring green energy to Los Angeles would destroy wildlife preserves and mar scenic vistas, say California environmental activists.

First EPA Report on Environmental Impacts of Energy Use in Leading Manufacturing Sectors

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a report on energy use trends in major manufacturing sectors that highlights the environmental implications of energy use. The report concludes with a general overview of the barriers to energy efficiency and use of clean fuel technologies, and offers some possible policy options for government to help address these barriers.

Gas exporters agree to enhance cooperation; no mention of cartel

The world's leading gas exporters ended a one-day meeting Monday with a pledge to enhance cooperation to strengthen natural gas supply security and market stability in the interests of consumers and producers, but made no formal mention of creating a gas cartel along the lines of OPEC.

Geodynamics say it has 'hottest rocks on earth'

Australia may eventually get its electricity from geothermal power. The hot rocks explorer, Geodynamics, has found a geothermal resource in South Australia's Cooper Basin, which it says can generate huge amounts of electricity.

Halliburton says has completed contractual obligations in Iran

Oilfield services giant Halliburton said Monday it has completed its contractual commitments in Iran and is no longer working there, more than two years after it announced it would exit the country.

Hot commodity-- PG&E solar cash

The rush is on to get rebates on solar installations, with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. receiving applications for nearly half the cash available under a 10-year state program within its first four months.

Japan Biofuels eyes 700,000 barrels ethanol imports in 2010-2011

The ethanol imports would cover around 30% of the total ETBE volume of 840,000 kl that Japan Biofuels, a new joint venture between members of the Petroleum Association of Japan, aims to use as a gasoline additive.

Japan, China meeting unlikely to resolve East China Sea dispute

There is unlikely to be major inroads made in discussions over the disputed territory in the East China Sea when the Japanese and Chinese prime ministers meet Wednesday afternoon in Tokyo, a senior Japanese government source told Platts Monday.

La Nina May Form, But Timing and Strength Uncertain

A La Nina weather anomaly may be forming in the equatorial Pacific, but a fog of unpredictability enshrouds when it may strike and how strong it might be, according to the Climate Prediction Center of the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

Latest global warming report urges world to begin adapting

The poor may be hit the hardest by climate changes, IPCC report says; calls for stronger action

LNG too perilous for offshore site

Now our irreplaceable Southern California coast may be at risk. The world's largest mining company, BHP Billiton, has proposed building a massive Liquefied Natural Gas complex just off the Southern California coast.

Maryland Assembly passes wind-power bill

A bill to reduce environmental reviews required of wind turbine proposals in Maryland has breezed through the General Assembly, a move lauded by industry leaders pushing for renewable forms of energy in the state.

New Climate Change Report Released

Warming temperatures will cause increased drought and sea-level rises in Australia and New Zealand by 2030 and threaten ecologically rich sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, according to excerpts from a new scientific report released Tuesday.

New Sheriff On the Grid

The National Electric Reliability Council is important. Now that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission named it the Electric Reliability Organization the standards that it now sets -- with FERC's approval -- are mandatory, not voluntary.

Nuclear agency to review leak at Richland plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will meet with Areva NP staff Thursday to discuss violations discovered in October when there was a small hydrogen fluoride release at Areva's Richland facility.

NYMEX crude opens 73 cents lower as geopolitical concerns fade

May crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange opened 73 cents lower at $63.55/barrel Monday as geopolitical concerns continued to recede and trading was expected to be light with Europe closed for the Easter Monday holiday.

OPEC president says oil markets 'very balanced'

Oil markets are currently "very balanced" and the recent spike in oil prices was due to geopolitical tension over the capture of British sailors by Iran, OPEC president Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli said Monday.

Outlook for LNG in 2007

January's global LNG trade totaled 15.2 million mt, Flower said. If such a rate persists, this year's trade total would be more than 180 million mt. But since liquefaction plants typically perform better in the winter, an extrapolation on January data might be overly optimistic

PacifiCorp is Ranked No. 2 in Renewable Power Sales

PacifiCorp, parent company of Rocky Mountain Power, said Thursday it now ranks No. 2 in the nation for the third consecutive year in the number of customers buying renewable power.

Power plants ship out energy

The reasons I've heard for this new power plant are the same reasons given for the other power plants that have been built in this region. They have all been in the name of addressing the growing energy needs of Mohave County. ...transmitting their power to another region where the highest bidder is, they are using transmission capacity that may not be used to import power into Mohave County simultaneously.

Rural areas could be next power hotbed

Mike Bowman was part of a farming family in Wray, watching his and his neighbors' farms and ranches struggle against the elements of Colorado's Eastern Plains, relying on a diminishing water supply and looking for ways to maintain a way of life.

Scientists seek new environmental models

U.S. and European scientists say the U.N. climate report issued Friday highlights the need for integrated climate and human behavior models.

Senator Not Alone in Effort-- Both PNM, Udall support legislation on climate change

Jeff Bingaman is not alone among New Mexicans trying to find a compromise position to move climate change legislation forward.


Geomagnetic storms reaching the G1 (Minor) level occurred on 02 April due to high-speed solar winds from a coronal hole.

Strong-arm Tactics-- TXU's response an unfortunate step backward

It's one of the most despicable things we've heard in some time. Facing a $210 million penalty for allegedly manipulating the power market in Texas, TXU said it would be compelled to shut power plants.

Twist in climate-change fight pits corporations against each other

In the global-warming debate, the classic battle has featured environmentalists squaring off against big industry, arguing about the potential costs to the economy compared with the potential costs to the planet.

TXU Issues Apology On Plant Closing Issue

McCall: "TXU apologizes for creating any perception of threatening to shut down power plants in Texas. TXU is not permitted to unilaterally shut down power plants. Such a step can only be done after a review by ERCOT.

U.S. urged to capture the 'enormous' potential of green power

The federal and state governments in the United States should join companies and the financial community in capturing the ‘enormous’ potential and benefits of the country's ability to produce green power and green fuels.

UK budget includes millions of pounds for renewables

Funding for the residential installation of solar panels and small wind turbines received an increase of 50% in the UK budget.

US Mortgage Rates Continue Low Across the Board

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.17 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending April 5, 2007, up slightly from last week when it averaged 6.16 percent.  Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.43 percent.

US Southwest Headed for Dust Bowl Dryness - Study

The US Southwest, home to some of the fastest growing cities in the country, could be on a path toward permanent drought caused by greenhouse warming, a new study said.

Virginia's electric power play

Virginia's recently enacted electricity legislation drew widespread criticism because it increases electric rates, gives utilities some pretty hefty profit opportunities and flew through the legislature with no hearings.

What's Moving the Oil Markets 041007

•Global crude futures were rangebound Tuesday with the focus remaining on the situation in the Middle East.

•Prices fell significantly on Monday as mounting crude inventories in the US Midwest, particularly at Cushing, Oklahoma, home of the NYMEX delivery point, sparked weakness in the front-month spread.

Zeroing Out Carbon Emission in Woodstock

Michael Esposito rides his bike all the time — from cold nights when leaving his old job at a natural food store to warm days while passing shops selling yoga clothes and soy drinks. So the 67-year-old is excited about a new plan to reduce this countercultural haven's net carbon dioxide emissions to zero within a decade, an ambitious attempt to erase the town's "carbon footprint."


April 6, 2007


Acidic Oceans Threatening Sea Life, UN Panel Says

Rising carbon dioxide emissions are making the world's oceans more acidic, particularly closer to the poles, heralding disaster for marine life, a major U.N. report on climate change impacts says.

Alaska legislative committee approves amended gas pipeline bill

Palin's proposal would have Alaska solicit proposals for a gas pipeline that meets certain goals such as required periodic open seasons and rolled-in tariffs on pipeline expansions.

Alaska oil, gas producers paid $813 mil in tax to state April 1

Alaska oil and gas producers paid $813 million in lump-sum tax payments to the state of Alaska on April 1 under terms of the state's new Petroleum Profits Tax, officials said Wednesday.

As Dunes Encroach, Desert Nation Struggles To Keep Its Head Above the Sand

Throughout Mauritania, a desolate, dune-enveloped country twice the size of France, men and women wage a daily battle against the sand.

Bad-Air Warning Raises Questions

Suggestions by physicians to clean up the Wasatch Front's polluted air are receiving largely positive reactions, but officials have many questions and Rocky Mountain Power doesn't like their proposal to ban new coal-fired power plants.

Bernanke on Subprime, Watch What I Do, Not What I Say

The event on subprime lending put on last week by the DC Chapter of PRMIA and the American Enterprise Institute drew almost 200 people. The general tone of the discussion was bearish regarding the outlook for the housing market and the impact of a deflating real estate bubble on the US economy.

Bill to cut power plant emissions restored

A bill that would set strict limits on carbon- dioxide emissions from new electrical generating plants in Washington is back on track after it was derailed last week by a House committee chairman who favored a different approach to reducing greenhouse gases.

Boeing to Test an Airplane Powered Solely by a Fuel Cell

Boeing researchers and their industrial partners in Europe are preparing to conduct experimental flight tests of a manned airplane powered only by a fuel cell and lightweight batteries.

Brazil will miss half of 2007 biodiesel output target

Brazilian biodiesel producers will fall far short of meeting an earlier government projection on the country's biodiesel output capacity because the rising price of a major feedstock, soybean oil, has discouraged investors from building new plants, a government official told Platts Monday.

Bush defends greenhouse gas efforts

After the Supreme Court recently ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, President Bush told reporters that his administration already has laid out a plan to address the issue.

Carbon Capture in Sight – March 28, 2007

I have read a number of articles about carbon sequestration. One thing appears to be ignored in almost all of them. How much energy will be required to liquefy and pump the CO2 into the ground.

Carbon Trading Heats up Capitol Hill

Carbon emission constraints are creating quite a stir in Washington. Convinced that the country must act, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are seeking direction from members of the European Union on how to establish an emissions trading scheme.

CO2 ruling heats up debate on emissions

In the coming years everything from cars to dishwashers to steel mills is likely to be required to consume energy more efficiently as a result of stricter environmental regulations expected to come on line to combat greenhouse gases.

Coal Power Plant Plans Challenged As 'Too Risky'

Chesapeake Energy Corp. chief Aubrey McClendon, promoting natural gas and gas-fired power plants as the best alternative to coal and other harmful fuels, Monday challenged a new wave of proposed coal-fired power plants in the region.

Coal, conservation assessed in Texas

Two recent studies offer sharply contrasting approaches to meeting Texas' growing demand for electricity, with one calling for greater use of coal to generate power and another suggesting efficiency and conservation programs to trim new demand.

Complaints Rise Against Utilities

The number of consumer complaints against Connecticut utilities increased last year after four consecutive years of decreases, according to an annual scorecard released Monday by state regulators.

The Department of Public Utility Control investigated 3,900 customer complaints in 2006, a 27 percent increase, the agency said.

Death of the cell phone charger

How much money could you make from a technology that replaces electrical wires? A startup called Powercast, along with the more than 100 companies that have inked agreements with it, is about to start finding out.

DOE extends deadline for comments on nuclear plant

A two-month extension will allow people to incorporate comments about a Paducah siting study for a 1,000-job spent nuclear fuel recycling plant into a nationwide environmental impact statement.

Energy Costs May Explode in Switch to Nuclear Power

After painstakingly analyzing the costs of U.S. nuclear power plants built decades ago, energy experts caution that a resurrection of nuclear power could bring along some financial risk and surprisingly high electricity costs.

Entergy Nuclear Receives Early Site Permit for Possible New Nuclear Unit in Mississippi

An early site permit certifies that the site is suitable for a new nuclear unit and resolves many safety and environmental issues related to the site. The ESP remains valid for 20 years.

Environmental groups say ruling may cost utilities billions

Environmental groups predicted Monday that a Supreme Court ruling in an air pollution case could cost electric utilities billions of dollars to limit pollution from coal-fired power plants and settle several outstanding government lawsuits.

Ethanol-blend auto emissions no greener than gasoline-- study

An unpublished federal report appears to undermine the belief that commercially available ethanol-blended fuel produces cleaner emissions than regular gasoline.

EU Pins Hopes on US States to Act on Climate Change

Europe is putting enormous faith in US states to drive federal US action against climate change, the top environmental aide to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told Reuters on Wednesday.

EU Pledges to Cut Greenhouse Gases by 2020

The EU is emerging at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and boost renewable sources, EU politicians seem keener than ever to prove their green credentials.

Nine out of ten Europeans think climate change is a serious world problem.

Faced with a lack of energy options, Thailand looks to coal

As the Thai economy continues its steady growth, policymakers are drafting energy strategies with a view toward keeping the lights on for the next 15 years. To do that, planners say, Thailand must nearly double its electricity production to about 55,000 megawatts each year.

Global Warming Driving Australian Fish South - Report

Global warming is starting to have a significant impact on Australian marine life, driving fish and seabirds south and threatening coral reefs, Australia's premier science organisation said on Wednesday.

Greenhouse Gas Effect Consistent Over 420 Million Years

New calculations show that sensitivity of Earth's climate to changes in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) has been consistent for the last 420 million years, according to an article in Nature by geologists at Yale and Wesleyan Universities.

HP to Reduce its Global Energy Use 20% by 2010

To accomplish this reduction below 2005 levels, HP will deliver energy-efficient products and services to customers and institute energy-efficient operating practices in its facilities worldwide.

Hydrogen Cars Inch Forward – March 21, 2007

You correctly (and boldly) reported some key problems:
1. Inefficiency in splitting water (50% or less)
2. Expense to compress and store hydrogen.

Japan Nuclear at Full Power Despite Safety Doubts

Cover-ups at Japanese nuclear plants have dented public trust, but the government looks set to forge ahead with plans to boost reliance on nuclear power, already providing almost one-third of the country's energy needs.

Kerry, Snowe Seek Energy Star Details From EPA

Senators John Kerry (D- Mass.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) pushed the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for details on the government's Energy Star Small Business Program, including the specific steps the Bush Administration has taken to assist small businesses address the climate change crisis.

Key Cabinet Members Meet With Global Warming Experts

Experts say it was a "momentous" day -- the first time the four most powerful leaders in the state came together solely to discuss global warming.

"This issue of climate change is vastly significant to us," said Gov. Charlie Crist.

Lighting Up Montana With Wind Power is Easier Said Than Done

Stand under the towering turbines at Montana's largest wind farm, south of Judith Gap, and the near-silent rotating blades give the illusion the earth is moving.

Los Angeles to turn human waste into electricity

Construction began Thursday on a power plant near the Port of Los Angeles that is to turn human waste into enough electricity to power 3,000 homes, officials said.

Meet C,mm,n - The World’s First Open-Source Car

Behold, the world’s first open-source car. Cumbersomely dubbed “c,mm,n” (say “common”), the vehicle was introduced at AutoRAI in Amsterdam.

More work needed, but Palo Verde nuke can turn things around-- NRC

Improvements are being made at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona, but there still are instances where crews address symptoms, not the root cause, of problems and where incomplete answers are accepted, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region IV Administrator Bruce Mallett said Wednesday.

New 'Biofuel Cell' Produces Electricity From Hydrogen In Plain Air

A pioneering “biofuel cell” that produces electricity from ordinary air spiked with small amounts of hydrogen offers significant potential as an inexpensive and renewable alternative to the costly platinum-based fuel cells that have dominated discussion about the “hydrogen economy” of the future, British scientists reported.

NRC Turns Aside Harris Plant Claim

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission rejected a claim by nuclear critics that Progress Energy's Shearon Harris nuclear plant in Wake County is vulnerable to fire risk and should be shut down immediately.

Nuclear Scandal May Jolt Japan Power Cost

Japan's electricity prices may surge because safety coverups could prompt the government to order more nuclear reactors closed, Mizuho Investors Securities says.

Ontario utilities save more than 413 million kWh in 2005, 2006

A report by six of Ontario's largest electric utilities shows that during the past two years, conservation and demand-response efforts have saved more than 413 million kWh in the province.

Pollution decision could hit AEP hard

The Supreme Court yesterday dealt a blow to American Electric Power and other utilities that could force them to pay vast sums in penalties for modifying their oldest coal-fired plants without first installing air-pollution equipment.

Quote of the Day 040507

We think the high oil prices of late are due to geopolitics."
OPEC president Mohamed bin Dhaen al-Hamli said Thursday. Iran's detention of 15 UK service personnel almost two weeks ago had helped push oil prices up to six month highs, but the release of the sailors Wednesday sent oil prices down.

Record NW Hydro Generation

A rapid snow melt is sending especially large volumes of runoff into the Columbia River Basin.  The showcase facility, Grand Coulee Dam, recently averaged more than 4,000 MWHr of power generation, the highest in 5 years.

Report finds Davis-Besse crack rate growth faster than estimated

During a 2002 refueling and inspection outage, plant personnel discovered that boric acid leakage from cracks in reactor pressure vessel head nozzles had caused severe degradation of the vessel head.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity 040607

The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet levels on 06 and 07 April. The onset of a recurrent coronal hole should begin late on 08 April allowing for possible unsettled conditions to isolated active periods.

Russia's Nuclear Energy Industry Will Be Competitive By 2012

Russia's nuclear energy sector will become competitive and strong enough to support its own expansion by 2011-12, when Russia switches to competitive pricing for electricity and gas, Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) chief Sergei Kiriyenko said.

Silicon Valley's 'best brains' work on energy

Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley have been searching for the next big thing in high-tech for years, but now many have switched to greener pursuits -- finding technology to help cut global warming.

Solar Getting Limelight – March 19, 2007

I believe that we are now ready for massive programs to commercialize existing solar technologies, much more than the Bush Administration has asked for. China has a goal to achieve PV panel costs of 50 cents/watt by 2010, and I believe they will accomplish it.

Stationary Fuel Cells Getting More Attention – March 23, 2007

Lets keep in mind that one normal cubic meter of hydrogen releases only 80% of energy that it took to produce it. Stationary fuel cells make much more sense, as they are not moving. Lets forget about them in cars, not enough noble metals exist on earth to satisfy the number of automotive engines required.

Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door for Global Warming Solutions

The Supreme Court’s ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars opens the door for a concerted, nationwide approach to dealing with global warming, say two Duke University environmental experts.

Supreme Court rulings against Duke Energy, EPA could affect TVA plants

A pair of Supreme Court decisions could bring about a change in the legal and regulatory environment TVA faces involving coal-fired power plants that emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The dirty secret about clean cars

It was smiles all around as the automakers announced they would make half of America's vehicles ethanol-ready by 2012. "If you want to reduce gasoline usage—like I believe we need to do so for national-security reasons as well as for environmental concerns—the consumer has got to be in a position to make a rational choice," said a beaming Bush.

But there's a dirty secret about clean cars.

Three Affiliated Tribes and SkyPower Corp. form Joint Venture for Wind Energy Development

"This is a very significant project for the Three Affiliated Tribes in developing renewable energy resources for the Fort Berthold Reservation," said Fred Fox, TAT Natural Resources Administrator. "Mr. Terry Fredericks has put forth a great deal of diligent work into wind energy development for the Tribe."

TXU warns Texas PUC policies may lead to some plants shutting

A senior TXU executive has told the Texas Public Utility Commission that the company may be forced to shut several of its older natural gas-fired plants if the agency does not give it "an opportunity to cover the real and legitimate costs associated with owning, operating and maintaining" them.

U.S., Chinese researchers collaborate on clean coal

Scientists from China will meet with their counterparts in the United States next week to advance the science needed to use coal - the No. 1 domestic energy resource for each country – cleanly and more economically.

UK Government to Facilitate Domestic Microgeneration Devices

The UK government has launched a consultation which recommends that UK consumers will no longer need to apply for planning permission to put microgeneration devices such as solar panels on their homes.

UN Panel Issues Bleakest Warning on Climate

Top climate experts issued their bleakest forecasts yet about global warming on Friday, ranging from hunger in Africa to a thaw of Himalayan glaciers in a study that may add pressure on governments to act.

UP warns PRB recovery could last two weeks; markets see impact

Union Pacific warned that the recovery from the weather-related mine shutdowns
in the Powder River Basin could last for two weeks. But market participants
said they do not expect the weather disruptions to have a lasting impact on
coal supply

US Weather Commentary 040407

Yesterday, C.S.U./Dr. Gray issued their first Hurricane Season Forecast of 2007:

These are the same exact forecast values as they issued in their April 2006 Outlook for the 2006 Season, which ties the highest Tropical Storm/Hurricane/Intense Hurricane totals they have even predicted for a Season.

Wal-Mart encourages workers to embrace sustainability

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding its initiative to help employees incorporate sustainability principles into their daily lives, building on the company´s corporate commitment to the environment.

What's Moving the Oil Markets 040407

•"Iran will remain the key directional input in front of the upcoming long Easter weekend..

Winter Arctic Sea Ice Near Record Low

Winter Arctic sea ice this year was the second smallest area on record in a sign of greenhouse warming, U.S. climate scientists said Wednesday.

WTI-Brent Spread Approaching Strength

The most recent 30 days of the spread have been hard on traders.  After trading near parity and in a narrow range the spread collapsed with Brent going more than $2.00/bbl over WTI in March.  In early June 1998 the spread also traded in a similar narrow range and experienced a shock. Later in the month and into early July 1998 WTI gained over Brent.  


April 3, 2007


Australia Tells EU To Do More on Emissions

Australia called on the European Union on Tuesday to do more to cut its own greenhouse emissions before lecturing Kyoto sceptics Australia and the United States about climate change.

Australian government awards 12 new offshore exploration permits

The Australian government has announced the award of twelve new petroleum exploration permits in Commonwealth waters offshore Western Australia, Tasmania and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

Australia's Southwest Getting Hotter and Drier - Study

Western Australia's southwest, an important agricultural region that also contains one of Australia's largest cities, would continue to get hotter and drier because of climate change, a government-backed study said.

BLM continues to prepare Wyoming coal leases

Subsidiaries of Foundation Coal, Arch Coal, Peabody Energy and Rio Tinto Energy America hope to eventually be able to bid on a total of 827.5 million short tons of southern Powder River Basin coal after federal agencies complete a lengthy process of holding public meetings and writing volumes of reports leading to competitive bidding on the four parcels.

BP's Bet on Butanol

Forget ethanol: it's hard to transport and gives bad mileage per gallon. Another alcohol, butanol, is a much better renewable fuel, says the president of BP Biofuels.

Britons Aware but Inactive on Climate Change - Survey

The British government, which prides itself on its green credentials, will have trouble hitting its carbon-cutting targets judging by a survey highlighting the deep gap between public awareness and actions.

Building industry favours net-zero energy homes

Within 20 years, all new homes will be enviro-misers, producing as much energy as they consume.

Canada's New Government supports clean air and energy efficiency projects in Yukon

Canada's Minister of the Environment, John Baird, joined by Premier and Minister of the Environment Dennis Fentie, today announced $5 million in funding for the Yukon as part of a trust fund set up by Canada's New Government to support provincial and territorial projects to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.

Carbon Risk and Negawatts - Using Energy Efficiency Programs to Reduce Your Carbon Exposure

Global carbon regulation is arguably the largest risk and opportunity most corporations will face in the beginning of the 21st century. It has been estimated that turnover in the global carbon marketplace could exceed a trillion dollars in the next five to ten years. Voluntary and mandatory reporting protocols are emerging.

Chernobyl Radiation Equal to Everyday Risks, Study Finds

The risk of survivors of the Chernobyl accident dying early is far less than supposed, ranking about the same as exposure to air pollution or passive smoking, according to new research published on Tuesday.

Climate Change Sceptics Say Humans Not To Blame

They point to natural shifts in the sun's heat, a cooling of the planet in the mid-20th century and an apparent slowdown of temperature rises in the past decade.

Crude price rising because market 'spooked' by geopolitics-- Bush

The recent rise in world crude prices is due in large part because oil markets have been "spooked" by tensions between the west and Iran, US President George W. Bush said Tuesday.

Electric Shock in Russia

Communism, Lenin once remarked, equals Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country. Such was the thinking that gave rise to Unified Energy System, Russia's vast power concern. With annual consumption of 980 trillion kilowatt hours, Russia gobbles up more of the stuff than any country in the world, except for the U.S. and China.

EPA finalizes rule requiring states slash particle pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule outlining requirements for states developing plans to clean the air in the 39 areas of the country where particle pollution levels do not meet national air quality standards.

EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases-- US' top court

In a major victory for a number of US states and environmental groups, the Supreme Court Monday rejected the Bush administration's argument that it does not have authority to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming.

EU Slams United States, Australia on Climate Change

The European Union accused the United States and Australia on Monday of hampering international efforts to tackle climate change.

Expanding the Grid

Western states want to expand their grid to improve regional electrical reliability and make room for renewable energy resources. Altogether, eight transmission owners and operators have come together to provide a high voltage backbone transmission system between Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

Eyeing TVA

The nation's largest public power provider is making changes. But its compliance with new laws to enable it to act more like a private business is coinciding with new legislation that would put it on the road to privatization.

Hungary must invest in energy efficiency-- IEA

Hungary has a very high dependence on gas, the IEA said, but is not using it in an efficient manner.

Japan's petroleum demand seen falling 1.5% in fiscal 2007-2008

Japan's petroleum demand is forecast to dip 1.5% on the year to 218.9 million kiloliters (1.4 billion barrels) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008...

Judge rejects suit over nuclear matter in water

A federal judge has denied class-action status for a lawsuit seeking damages from Exelon Corp. for spills of radioactive tritium at a nuclear power plant in Will County.

Massachusetts offshore wind project clears environmental hurdle

The 420-MW Cape Wind project, the first offshore wind farm proposed in the US, has cleared a key hurdle after Massachusetts officials approved its final environmental impact report.

Meteoalarm-- a new pan-European service on severe weather

On World Meteorological Day, 23 March 2007, a Website will be launched that will provide a snapshot of where severe and potentially dangerous weather might occur over the following 48 hours.

MidAmerican, U.S. Reach Deal Over Property

MidAmerican Energy has reached a tentative agreement with the government over remediation of 4.7 acres of property that once held a coal gasification plant near the Cedar River. The land was designated a Superfund cleanup site because of hazardous coal tar that was allegedly released into the soil and groundwater...

Natural Gas - The New Green Standard for Transportation

Natural gas costs less than diesel—on average, as much as 25% less per gallon.

And 98% of the natural gas used in the USA comes from North America.

Navy Discovers Cold Fusion (again)

The Navy back in 2002 published two volumes (yep, count 'em, two) in support of cold fusion.

Now, the latest news is that Navy researchers from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center have published an article in the respected journal Naturwissenschaften, claiming an experiment that is highly reproducible and demonstrates nuclear reactions.

New 125-Megawatt Texas Wind Farm Providing Energy to TXU

The wind farm is expected to provide power for more than 24,000 homes -- enough to meet the annual energy needs of about 56,000 Texans. It is located approximately 25 miles southeast of Big Spring, Texas.

New Green Big-Rigs Cut Greenhouse Gases, Save Truckers Up To $11,000 Yearly

Starting this month, truck and trailer manufacturers are offering customers 2007 models certified by EPA's SmartWay program to improve fuel efficiency. By meeting EPA equipment specifications, these models provide the triple benefit of saving operators money while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollutants.

Nuke Dump Dead?-- Not to Nye County

When you say the word "oversight" after the phrase "Yucca Mountain," most Nevadans think of the state's fight against the proposed nuclear waste dump. But in Nye County, home of Yucca Mountain, "oversight" clearly has a different meaning.

NYMEX crude opens 84 cents lower as geopolitical concerns fade

May crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange opened 84 cents lower at $65.10/barrel Tuesday, on increasing expectations that Iran and the UK can diplomatically resolve the current standoff involving 15 detained British sailors. A sharp pullback in product prices added to bearish sentiment.

Once touted unlimited energy source generates little interest today

Unlimited energy brewed in a bottle sparked a worldwide sensation nearly 18 years ago. Promises that cold fusion would power the planet, however, were shot down in little more than a month.

Ontario To Explore Joining Forces With U.S. States On Climate Change Initiative

Premier McGuinty today signaled Ontario's interest in potentially joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, both state-level strategic partnerships whose mandates are to reduce greenhouse gases.

Oregon Dams Join Green Power Ranks

The largest hydroelectric project totally inside Oregon's borders is now officially generating green power, with a designation achieved by only 26 hydro plants in the United States.

Public Opinion Must Lead Climate Change Investors

A bigger shift in public opinion would drive investment banks and fund managers to put more money into tackling climate change, analysts and investors told a conference in London.

Quote of the Day 040207

"Fundamentally, the situation is unchanged since Friday...There is less tension in the market over Iran and people are relieved there was no aggression from either the US or the UK this weekend. There was a brief sell-off during the Asian window, but it is recovering from that now."
Global crude futures were mixed Monday with ICE Brent and NYMEX WTI May futures contracts diverging, although markets were generally more settled than last week with no significant developments over the weekend in the UK-Iran standoff, a London-based broker said.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity 040307

The geomagnetic field was active with periods of minor storming due to a recurrent coronal hole high speed stream. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels today.  The geomagnetic field is expected to be unsettled to active on April 3 and quiet on April 4 & 5.

Report Warns Australia of Severe Climate Impacts

Australia, slowly emerging from its worst drought in a century, will suffer killer heatwaves, bushfires and floods as global warming intensifies, a draft report by international climate scientists said on Friday.

Russia to build at least 3 nuclear units a year from 2015

Russia plans to build a minimum three nuclear power units per year from 2015 to meet its goal of raising the share of nuclear power in the country's energy balance to 25% by 2025 from 16% at present, the head of Russia's federal atomic agency Sergei Kiriyenko said Tuesday.

Seafood Poisoning on the Rise as Oceans Become Warmer, More Polluted

Bowls of piping hot barracuda soup were the much-anticipated treat when the Roa family gathered for a casual and relaxing Sunday meal.

Within hours, all six fell deathly ill. So did two dozen others from the same neighborhood.

Senate bill aims to trim federal building energy use

The Senate environment committee has approved a bill that would require the federal government to improve energy efficiency at many of the more than 8,000 buildings it owns or leases across the country.

Supreme Court vacates circuit court ruling in Duke case

The Supreme Court Monday said the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it ruled in favor of Duke Energy in a lawsuit the government brought against the utility charging it violated the Clean Air Act when it modified a number of aging coal-fired power plants without also installing additional pollution controls.

The Greenhouse Problem - Let's Get Serious

The most readily available sources of the energy that is essential for human advancement involve the emission of enormous quantities of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as waste, and there is concern that these may cause harmful changes in the world’s climate. This article shows that most of the energy that is needed can, to the extent that is judged to be necessary, be provided without emission of carbon dioxide

The stormy Sun affecting the human life and the technology

The origins and fate of life on Earth are intimately connected to the way the Earth responds to the Sun's variations.

The TXU Deal-- Twists, Turns and a Potential Clean-Tech Tipping Point

Texas is also the focus of much excitement in clean tech right now – and more than a little intrigue. What will happen with the proposed $45 billion leveraged buyout of TXU – arguably the most significant deal in the history of the U.S. utility industry? Significant not just because of its record size, but because of its vast implications for the future of clean energy.

Tokyo Electric covered up 1984 emergency shutdown at nuclear plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday that it concealed the emergency shutdown of a reactor at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in 1984.

US and China Increase Efforts to Protect China's Water Resources

The U.S. and China signed an agreement March 27 to expand the cooperative program that provides U.S. technical assistance to help improve and protect water quality and access to safe and sustainable water resources in China. Increasing water conservation and efficiency in China will also help reduce energy consumption and air pollution locally and globally.

US could add 23,000 MW of hydro capacity by 2025

The study reviewed the possible contributions of waterpower technologies to US renewable energy supplies by 2010 and 2025 and found potential for generation expansion at existing facilities, at dams without powerhouses, at new small and low-power developments and from new technologies such as ocean and hydro kinetic power

US lawmaker urges White House to thwart creation of gas cartel

The top-ranking Republican on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee
Monday, in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, urged the Bush
administration to prevent the creation of an OPEC-like natural gas cartel.

Vietnam Hunts Foreign Source of Mystery Oil Spills

Vietnam's prime minister has ordered an international investigation into mysterious oil spills that have blackened some of the country's most popular beaches after ruling out the country's oil rigs.

What's Moving the Oil Markets 040207

•Global crude futures were mixed Monday with ICE Brent and NYMEX WTI May futures contracts diverging,

•"Fundamentally, the situation is unchanged since Friday," said one London-based broker. "There is less tension in the market over Iran and people are relieved there was no aggression from either the US or the UK this weekend.

Wind farm meeting moved due to crowd

The town of Lyme's debate on a wind power moratorium Saturday drew enough residents to be moved, physically.

Yucca Mountain Workers Laid Off; More Cuts Ahead

Three dozen Yucca Mountain workers lost their jobs last week, and a Department of Energy official warned Wednesday that several hundred others may face layoffs in the months ahead.


March 30, 2007


America's Iraq oil grab is a done deal

"By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 mm bpd. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies."
-- US Vice President Dick Cheney, then Halliburton chief executive officer, London, autumn 1999.

Appetite for 'green' power will not be satisfied

UK businesses will attempt to purchase some 34 TWh of 'green' electricity in 2007. With the volume of accredited renewable power reaching only 12 TWh in 2006, it is clear that internal company targets will be very difficult to meet. Ultimately, increasing demand for green energy is not being met by new capacity.

Basra crude-- The great game of Iraq’s southern oil

Concepts like “Shiite oil” and “Kurdish oil” complicate the debate about Iraq’s energy resources. This paper starts from the proposition that it would be better to call a thing by its name: in terms of the size of reserves, Iraqi oil is first and foremost Basra oil.

Beijing's Water Thirst Causes Neighbor Problems

The northern Chinese province of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing and supplies most of its water, has over-exploited its resources so badly it is suffering subsidence and saline contamination, Xinhua news agency said.

Bills seek a prepaid coal plant

Tampa Electric wants customers to start paying for a proposed "clean coal" plant in Polk County years before it cranks out the first watt of power.

Brent crude holds above $65 b on the back of geopolitical tension

Global crude futures retreated slightly from six-months highs seen on Wednesday during early trading in Europe Thursday. But support for the whole petroleum futures complex is still strong on the back of ongoing tensions surrounding Iran, which is putting a healthy risk premium on crude futures prices, analysts said.

Britain Gives US$98 Mln to Protect Congo Forests

The British government has donated 50 million pounds (US$98 million) to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Congo Basin, the world's second largest rainforest, a British diplomat said on Wednesday.

California Eyes Joining EU Emissions Trading Scheme

California hopes to link its planned emissions trading system to the European Union's market, boosting efforts to build a global mechanism to fight climate change, aides to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Thursday.

California regulator approves transmission projects for wind power

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved two projects to construct transmission to reach areas with high potential for green power resources.

Canada Scales Back Seal Hunt Because of Poor Ice

The number of young harp seals that Canadian hunters can kill off the east coast this year will be cut by a quarter, mainly because of poor ice conditions where the animals give birth, officials said Thursday.

Canadian Government Says Key Environment Bill in Trouble

Canada's minority Conservative government is unhappy that opposition parliamentarians have totally rewritten its draft clean air legislation and will now consider what to do with the bill, Environment Minister John Baird said Thursday.

Carbon Capture in Sight

American Electric Power says it is not waiting around for the feds to mandate carbon controls on all power plants. On its own accord, it is setting the process in motion to capture carbon dioxide emissions that are tied to climate change.

Cherry Blossom Peepers Recycle On the Go

For the second year in a row, families can enjoy spending time with nature and help the environment, too. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service are teaming up again to collect recyclables at this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival.

China Drought Threatens Water Supply for Millions

A prolonged drought over a wide swathe of China is threatening drinking water supplies for 13.4 million people and 12 million cattle, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.

China’s crude oil import growth may slow down

China's oil imports may rise 10 % this year, a slower pace than last year's 14 %, as government policies to boost energy conservation cuts fuel consumption.

Chinese Air Pollution Crosses Pacific, Reaches Western United States

Climate-altering pollution from China is traveling across the Pacific Ocean and ending up on the West Coast of the United States, according to a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Chinese Biofuels Expansion Threatens Ecological Balance

The recent agreement between China's top forestry authority and one of the nation's biggest energy giants to develop biofuels plantations in the southwest reflects rising Chinese attention to non-fossil energy sources. But the excitement may come at great environmental loss to the region's forests and biological diversity, suggesting significant trade offs associated with the renewable fuels.

Chinese farmers have access to renewable and clean energy

Millions of farmers can now use renewable and clean energy in Guizhou.
By the end of 2006, 980,000 methane pits have been built in Guizhou province, about 20 times than that in 2000.

Clean Coal Would Cost Billions-- Energy Department Puts $4 Billion Annual Price Tag on Cleansing Process

It could cost $4 billion annually to eliminate the carbon dioxide generated by power plants in the Carolinas.

The immense cost for cleaning up coal would be equivalent to building two nuclear power plants every year

Coal shipments on inland waterways expected to pick up

Harsh February winter weather reduced coal shipments on the nation's inland water system, but industry analysts are expecting coal shipments to pick up this spring as utilities seek to add to their stockpiles ahead of the summer peak coal-burning season.

Concentrating solar has potential in U.S., concludes report to Congress

Concentrating solar power could generate cost-competitive electricity within ten years, but it would require federal incentives of US$2 billion, according to a report prepared for the U.S. Congress.

Conflicting Information Keeps US Mortgage Rates Low

Freddie Mac yesterday released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.16 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending March 29, 2007, unchanged from last week when it averaged 6.16 percent.  Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.35 percent.

Connecticut Deal Powers FuelCell Shares

FuelCell Energy (FCEL) said Mar. 27 that it won more than $200 million of business providing the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund with six power projects totaling around 68 megawatts, in the latest example of how alternative energy businesses continue growing.

Dominion Resources answers questions on power plants

Dominion Resources officials spoke at length Monday night about clean-coal technology at a planned power plant on the Clinch River, but rebuffed questions on environmental issues.

EC energy chief welcomes EU-US energy cooperation

EU energy commissioner Andris Pieblags Tuesday welcomed increased cooperation in the field of energy supply and security between the European Union and United States and offered the US support in the field of energy efficiency.

EPA Rule Will Help States Control Fine Particle Air Pollution

EPA today finalized a rule outlining requirements for state plans to clean the air in 39 areas of the country where particle pollution levels do not meet national air quality standards. These state plans will lead to improved air quality for millions of Americans.

EPA To Hold Public Meetings on Managing Non-Federal Mercury Supplies

EPA and its federal partners are establishing a stakeholder panel process to provide the U.S. government with a range of options for better managing non-federal mercury supplies.

EU agrees on renewable energy

"We have agreed that we need a target for renewable energy supply and that it will be binding, but it will follow a discussion on what that means for each member state," Reinfeldt said after the first session of the European summit.

EU anxious to shake off energy dependence on Russia

An EU summit which opened in Brussels will focus on energy security issues in countries neighbouring Russia.

Federal judge sends Massey permits back for reconsideration

A federal judge ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers' Huntington District issued four permits dealing with valley fills in West Virginia without fully determining if the permits would hurt the environment.

Finland Feels the Heat as Early Spring Hits Loggers

Finland, renowned for its harsh Arctic winters, is struggling to collect enough timber from its forests to feed the country's paper mills as an early spring thaw makes the ground too soft for logging trucks.

GE Invests, Delivers One of World's Largest Solar Power Plants, Harnessing Portugal's Sunshine, PowerLight's Technology

Spread across a hillside pasture amid olive trees, 52,000 shimmering photovoltaic modules in one of the world's largest solar power plants have begun generating enough electricity for 8,000 homes, GE, PowerLight Corp. and Catavento SA announced today.

Georgia Power, state regulatory staff agree on mercury cuts

The proposed rule would require Georgia Power to invest about $4 billion in emission-control projects at six of its 10 coal-fired plants by 2015, EPD staff said. According to some estimates, the projects will reduce mercury emissions by as much as 90%.

Government Official Faulted for Science Meddling, Leaks of Private Information

A government official broke federal rules and should face punishment for leaking information about endangered species to private groups, the Interior Department's watchdog said.

Hong Kong May Face Legal Challenge Over Dirty Skies

The Hong Kong government may face its first legal battle over worsening air pollution after a green group asked for a review of its air quality laws on Thursday, arguing clean-up efforts were inadequate.

Imagine a world where nothing is plugged in-- Columbia might get glimpse into future when it becomes Hydrogen City

There still are plenty of scientific and technical hurdles that need to be overcome. But hydrogen and fuel cell technology could reverberate through our lives and our economy.

Imported Pollution Adds to China’s Environmental Woes

Seemingly a winner in the global balance of trade, China is in fact struggling against an undercurrent of imported waste. The country, already laden with domestic pollution, is rapidly becoming the planet’s largest garbage dump, facing a huge influx of foreign garbage.

Inbox 032907

Too much of China´s electronics recycling is done in ways that aren´t good for the people doing it or for the environment. Groups like the Basel Action Network and Greenpeace have documented how recycling plants will burn plastic openly to get at more valuable materials, or how farmers will run primitive backyard recycling operations to melt circuit boards.

Indiana Town Takes Major Step to Becoming 'BioTown, USA'

Can an agricultural town use farm and animal wastes to meet all of its energy needs? The Indiana State Department of Agriculture believes it's possible, and has taken the first major step towards converting Reynolds, Indiana, into "BioTown, USA."

Indonesia Sticks to Building Nuclear Power Plant

The Indonesian government will continue its efforts to build a nuclear power plant, despite mounting opposition from environmental groups,

Iran shows significant increases in gasoline imports

Iran's government spent almost $ 4 bn on gasoline imports during March 2006-January 2007, recording a significant increase from the same period the previous year.

Iran takes early steps to resolve gas crisis

The recent approval in Iran's Majlis (Parliament) of a mechanism to ration gasoline may be a key step towards addressing what is widely believed to be Iran's most pressing current economic challenge.

Isolation of Texas Power Grid Questioned-- Proposal to Connect With Neighboring Regions Jolts State Officials

Texas' isolated power grid has been a source of pride and envy for decades.

The state enjoys its independence as the only electricity grid in the continental U.S. largely free from federal oversight.

Japan adopts new basic energy policy

A new basic long-term energy policy which calls for promoting self-dependent petroleum development and expanding nuclear power generation was approved by the Japanese government.

London can use wind and biomass to generate power

The city of London could generate power from wind turbines at 25 possible locations, and supply 116,000 homes with electricity while displacing 147,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Lutz says GM wants Volt on the road by 2010

General Motors Corp. hopes to begin producing an all-electric vehicle inspired by its Chevrolet Volt concept vehicle by 2010, according to Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.

Nation Eyes Fresno's Clean and Green

The City of Fresno released today an overview of several initiatives that position the City as a leader in the areas of renewable energy and clean air vehicles. Fresno has earned national recognition from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency for its aggressive approach to clean and green initiatives.

New research blows away myths on wind farms

A new report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Oxford Brookes University has blown away another myth about wind farms - their impact on house prices. The research found no clear relationship between the proximity of wind farms and property prices, and suggested that this may be an urban myth with apparent changes in value disappearing when examined closely.

NGOs Call for Renewable Energy Tariff in Quebec

With "Quebeckers" heading to the election polls today, three groups representing municipalities in the Canadian province of Quebec are calling on the next government to vigorously lead the development of renewable energy in North America.

NRC Urged to Look Closely at Spent-Fuel Storage Pools; Petition Seeks Rule Change to Require Pilgrim to File Environmental- Impact Study

The entire Massachusetts congressional delegation and a number of South Shore state legislators are urging federal regulators to force the Pilgrim nuclear power plant to address concerns about the safety of its waste-storage pool.

One in 10 at Risk From Rising Seas, Storms - Study

One in 10 people in the world, mostly in Asia, live in coastal areas at risk from rising seas and more powerful storms that may be caused by global warming, an international study showed on Wednesday.

Oregon lawmakers see edge in energy tax credit

State officials want to take Oregon's biggest business income tax break and make it bigger.

Paper industry criticizes burning wood only for energy

Wood should be used as a resource for paper products before it is burned for energy, according to the paper industry in Europe.

Portland Leads the Way in Preparing for Peak Oil

Earlier this month, Portland, Oregon, became the first city in the United States to publish an official strategy for coping with a future in which oil is no longer economical.

Power of wood - biomass plan to tackle climate change-- UK

A plan to boost the supply of environment-friendly woodfuel to cut greenhouse gases and produce enough energy to power 250,000 homes was unveiled today.

Powerful New Tool To Track Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide By Source

Scientists from NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory have announced a new tool to monitor changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by region and source. The tool, called CarbonTracker, will enable its users to evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts to reduce or store carbon emissions.

PSE Encourages Customers to Go Green

Washington-based Puget Sound Energy is making it easier and more affordable for residential and business customers to choose to be more "green" in their electricity usage when they sign up for the company's Green Power Program, which supports the development of additional renewable energy resources in the Pacific Northwest.

Quote of the Day 032807

"We're not anticipating launching any military activity. We have been following, for the better part of two years now, a diplomatic course with Iran...While obviously our president retains the option to conduct whatever policy he needs to, we are very much on a diplomatic path...We think that the nuclear issue can be resolved through 'quiet diplomacy' if we could just get the Iranians to the negotiating table. But right now, the Iranians are refusing to do that."
The US will continue to pursue the diplomatic route to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear ambitions, US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said Wednesday. He downplayed the prospect of any military activity in the wake of the capture of 15 British service personnel.

Quote of the Day 032907

"It has not been widely publicized but we understand that the US Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and its strike group will depart San Diego coming Monday and head to the Persian Gulf...having three US aircraft carrier strike groups in the Gulf will be a major escalation. The strike risk will be at its peak in the next 60 days. We believe that the oil market will keep the risk premium when it soon realizes that a third carrier is being sent to the Gulf."
Olivier Jakob said in a Petromatrix report that support for global crude futures is still strong during early trading in Europe Thursday on the back of ongoing tensions surrounding Iran, which is putting a healthy risk premium on crude futures prices.

"The United States is in Iraq at the request of the Iraqis and under a United Nations mandate. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong."
The White House insisted Wednesday that Saudi King Abdullah, a key US ally among Arab states, was wrong to say the US military presence in Iraq is an "illegitimate foreign occupation."

Quote of the Day 033007

"We will send a signal of solidarity on this issue and we will try to find the language which conveys this."
EU foreign ministers, meeting in Germany, will send a message of solidarity with Britain over Iran's detention of 15 British naval personnel, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday.

"I do not think anyone will go home short this weekend given the current situation with Iran."
Aaron Kildow, trader at Prudential Financial, commenting on the influence of increased tension over the standoff between Iran and the UK regarding the detention of 15 British service personnel on petroleum prices.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity 033007

Solar activity was very low. Solar X-rays remained below B-level during the past 24 hours.  The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet for the next two days (30-31 March). An increase to unsettled levels with a chance for active periods is expected sometime late on the third day (1 April) due to a recurrent high speed stream from a favorably positioned coronal hole.

San Francisco requires use of recycled plastic bags

The City of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance March 27 requiring the use of compostable plastic, recyclable paper and/or reusable checkout bags by stores located in the City and County of San Francisco, according to a Board of Supervisors meeting agenda.

Scientists Say Antarctic Ice Sheet is Thinning

A Texas-sized piece of the Antarctic ice sheet is thinning, possibly due to global warming, and could cause the world's oceans to rise significantly, polar ice experts said on Wednesday.

Scottish city needs more solar roofs than it has roofs

The city of Glasgow would need to install 1,344 wind turbines or 4.2 million solar PV roofs if it wants to sustain current consumption levels of electricity while reducing CO2 emissions by 60%.

Sen. Hutchison Introduces Renewable Energy Legislation

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, today will introduce the Creating Renewable Energy through Science and Technology (CREST) Act. The legislation will provide a comprehensive, coordinated national research effort to spur the development of renewable energy.


Energy, the theme of, is vitally important to us all. Like most European countries, Hungary imports the majority of its fuel from abroad. A continuous supply is indispensable for ensuring the functioning of the economy – for transportation and haulage, for providing heat and light, and for living a normal life in general. Is Hungary’s energy policy capable of guaranteeing this supply? Is it capable of reducing the current high level of dependence? How can we save energy, and improve the efficiency of its usage?

Summer 2007-- Solar Energy Hits the Major League

Although modest in terms of its size, the logistics of designing and overseeing a 120-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) solar array for a Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium are a bit trickier than one might think.

The Canadian Electricity Association Advocates Canada-US Cooperation on Energy Security

In a paper released today, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) recommends a cooperative focus on energy security by Canada and the United States.

The Cuban oil rush

Sometime later this year, less than 70 miles from Florida, a consortium of Spanish, Indian and Norwegian companies will likely start drilling for oil. It could mark the beginning of a Cuban oil rush -- one that American oil companies won't be able to join, despite their proximity to the action.

'The Roll to Coal' Threatens CO2 Targets

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the power sector are shooting up because of an increasing switch from burning high-priced gas to cheaper, but more carbon-intensive, coal, says the report, commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Turkey, Iraq and US to meet on Iraq oil

Turkey's energy minister said Ankara was asked for help developing oil in northern Iraq and will meet with US and Iraq officials this month.
But Hilmi Guler said the negotiations will be with the central Iraqi government, not the Kurdish leaders that control the oil rich north and are at odds with Turkey.

U.S. department offers US$188 million for renewables

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide US$176.5 million in loan guarantees and $11.4 million in grants to support investments in renewables and energy efficiency improvements by agricultural producers and small businesses.

U.S. Solar Cell Market Increased 33% in 2006

The installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) devices in the United States increased by about 33 percent in 2006 over the previous year, according to a new report from Solarbuzz, LLC. Worldwide PV installations totaled 1,744 megawatts (MW) in 2006, a new record and a growth of 19 percent over 2005.

U.S. urged to capture the 'enormous' potential of green power

The federal and state governments in the United States should join companies and the financial community in capturing the ‘enormous’ potential and benefits of the country's ability to produce green power and green fuels.

UK budget includes millions of pounds for renewables

Funding for the residential installation of solar panels and small wind turbines received an increase of 50% in the UK budget.

UK-- Connecting offshore wind to the National Grid

The development of the UK's pioneering offshore wind energy sector continues apace as details were announced today of the licensing regime for would-be electricity transmission owners.

UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Up in 2006

Britain's greenhouse gas emissions rose last year, the government said on Thursday, despite the country's claims to be a world leader in the fight against climate change.

Union Pacific removes embargo on new PRB business

Union Pacific removed the embargo Tuesday on new coal business out of the southern Powder River Basin in a move that shippers and industry experts said reflects the railroad's confidence that it has enough capacity to add new customers without overwhelming the Joint Line, which it operates with competitor BNSF Railway.

US corn plantings in 2007 to be highest since 1944

Corn growers intend to plant 90.5 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2007, up 15% from 2006 and 11% higher than 2005, the US Department of Agriculture reported on Friday.

US Department of Energy invests $ 385 mm in cellulosic ethanol

US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced that DOE will invest up to $ 385 mm for six bio refinery projects over the next four years. When fully operational, the bio refineries are expected to produce more than 130 mm gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.

US DOE Lauds NRC Approval Of Entergy Plant Site Permit

The U.S. Energy Department on Tuesday applauded nuclear energy regulators for approving an early site permit for Entergy Corp.'s Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Mississippi.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval marks the second time this month the agency has signed off on an early site permit.

US EIA to begin monthly ethanol, biofuel surveys

The US Energy Information Administration plans this year to begin development of monthly ethanol and biofuels data surveys to reflect the growing importance of the fuels in the market, EIA administrator Guy Caruso said Wednesday.

US ethanol spot prices fall as market eyes hike in imports

Ethanol spot prices in the US fell Wednesday, driven down in part by the anticipation of increased imports from Brazil.

US expected to emit almost one-fifth more greenhouse gases

By 2020, the United States will emit almost one-fifth more gases that lead to global warming than it did in 2000, increasing the risks of drought and scarce water supplies. That projection comes from an internal draft report from the Bush administration that is more than a year overdue at the United Nations.
The United States already is responsible for roughly one-quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases that scientists blame for global warming.

US refinery crude inputs in need of sustained rise-- EIA

While inputs of crude oil into US refineries have started to rise recently, they will "have to be sustained well above 15 million b/d this spring and summer to help keep gasoline production sufficiently high to meet expected demand increases," the US Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

US senators offer biofuels bill; calls for 36 bil gal yr by 2022

Two US senators plan to unveil a biofuels bill Tuesday to require the production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel annually by 2022, including 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels that year.

US to plant enough corn in 2007 for 8.8 bil gal of ethanol

US agriculture officials said Wednesday that US farmers will plant 87 million acres of corn in the farm year running from September 2007 to August 2008, 9 million acres more than last year and the highest corn acreage since 1945.

US Weather Commentary 033007

Spring temperatures pervade Nation as March heads out like a Lamb

However, Winter should make a Northern encore with some anomalous HDD's, wind, and even Snow & Ice, during first-half of April.

Utah firm retracts request for radioactive waste expansion

Radioactive waste disposal firm EnergySolutions LLC is withdrawing its request to increase radioactive waste capacity at its Utah site.

What's Moving the Oil Markets 032807

•The initial talk of Iran firing on US warships encouraged a flurry of buying activity pushing May ICE Brent to $69/b and NYMEX WTI to $68.09/b within 20 minutes.

What's Moving the Oil Markets 032907

•Global crude futures retreated slightly from six-months highs seen on Wednesday during early trading in Europe Thursday. But support for the whole petroleum futures complex is still strong on the back of ongoing tensions surrounding Iran, which is putting a healthy risk premium on crude futures prices, analysts said.

•The weekly US stocks data showed an unexpected draw in crude stock of 900,000 barrels.

What's Moving the Oil Markets 033007

•Despite underlying support coming from the geopolitical tensions with Iran, Brent futures were higher after a bullish physical market and rumors of longer than planned field maintenance, brokers said. At 1155 London time (1055GMT) the May ICE Brent futures contract changed hands at $68.37/barrel, up 49 cents.

•There is also a disconnection between Brent futures and WTI futures.

Wind turbines whip up debate-- Ohio landowners say it's their right to erect the structures, despite criticism

Brown, a 55-year-old assistant to the city engineer, says he has the right to do with it what he wants.

If that includes erecting a towering wind turbine that consumes only a 15-foot circle of land yet nets him thousands of dollars each year, he says it is nobody's business.

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