On the island of Java in Indonesia, tofu is being used to produce energy. Tofu businesses in Kalisari village are converting wastewater from their production floors into a clean-burning biogas. The gas is piped directly to household stoves where it is used for cooking. At a third of the cost, tofu biogas has become a substitute for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) which can be intermittent in the area because of bad roads and logistical problems. Given that there are thousands of tofu producers throughout Indonesia, this process has a potential of becoming an important energy source for the country.

In Australia, fruit and vegetable scraps, meat off-cuts, old bread and other food waste is used by Sydney Water to power one of its sewage treatment plants. The waste from local businesses is liquefied ibefore being trucked to a wastewater treatment plant. The waste is then converted to methane gas by an anerobic digester. The methane gas is then used to produce electricity and is providing 60% of the plant’s energy requirements.

Zion Research finds the global waste-to-energy market was valued at $24 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $36 billion by 2020. Waste-to-energy is a waste treatment process that generates energy in the form of electricity, heat or fuels from both organic and inorganic wastes. Advanced waste to energy technologies can be used to produce biogas, syngas, and liquid biofuels. These fuels can then be converted into electricity. Waste feedstock includes agricultural waste, municipal solid waste and industrial waste. Energy can be recovered from waste by various technologies such as biological and thermal technology which convert waste matter into different forms of fuel that can be used to supply energy. Europe dominated the global waste-to-energy market in 2014 with over 45.0% share in total revenue and was followed closely by Asia-Pacific.

Daimler AG announced plans to develop and market an energy storage system based on lithium-ion battery technology. Each stationary battery module will store 2.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy and can be combined with up to seven other modules to store 20 kWh. The 2.5 KWh units will cost $9,000 to $10,000, including the inverter and installation.  A subsidiary, Deutsche Accumotive GmbH, will manufacture the stationary energy storage systems, but marketing and sales of the units will be handled by Mercedes-Benz Energy, a new business entity. In addition to Germany, there are plans to begin marketing the Accumotive energy storage systems in other markets around the world.

The South Korean island of Jeju hopes to be off of fossil fuels by 203o. To achieve this goal, the island is testing a pilot model where the residents have replaced electricity poles with underground cables, and have also installed two wind power generators and solar panels on top of their houses. The wind and solar produces enough electricity to meet most of the community’s needs and virtually eliminates the need for diesel. A battery grid is used to store excess electricity for periods when solar and wind are unable to generate energy.

Other than large hydroelectric plants in Russia, all other forms of renewable energy account for less than 1% of that country’s electric power generation capacity. Presently there are only four functioning wind power plants with a combined capacity of 15 megawatts (MW). Russian geothermal production capacity has tripled over the last decade to 82 MW.  The country currently has 220 gigawatts of installed electric generation capacity and 68% of this capacity comes from crude oil, natural gas, and coal.

Ford Motor Company announced its 2017 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid will have a 610 mile range. Changes to the car’s hybrid powertrain software and regenerative braking, which recycles energy to the battery otherwise lost when drivers hit the brakes, means the vehicle can travel up to 610 miles on a full tank of gas and battery charge. The all-electric range is 21 miles; after that, the gasoline engine kicks in.

The number of US oil and gas bankruptcies due to the collapse in world oil prices has reached 60 with more to come. According to Reuters data, the law firm Haynes & Boone and bankruptcydata.com, the number of firms going out of business is approaching the level of the 2002-2003 dot.com collapse in that country.

The government of Scotland voted to ban fracking in the country.  Hydraulic fracking is a technology used to drill for shale oil and gas.


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