Green Car Reports informed us that the US now uses more corn for fuel ethanol than any other use. “Recent statistics show that, for the first time in history, America is using more corn to fill gas tanks than to fill the bellies of either humans or livestock.” 40% of US corn production (5.05 billion bushels) is used for fuel.

Bioenergy Insight mentioned that biodiesel could replace fossil heating oils, such as kerosene.  This according to a report by the UK Government and written by the UK’s National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials. Kerosene currently heats 1 million homes in the UK. The largest potential market for bioliquids was with existing domestic cooking oil users, primarily those off the gas-grid with a smaller secondary market potential in industrial heat plants. Biodiesel will soon become a popular bioliquid due to its higher and more consistent quality than vegetable oil or used cooking oils.

autobloggreen brought our attention to a study that said that more than 1 million fuel cell cars will be on the road by 2020. “Pike Research’s analysis indicates that, from 2010 to 2014, approximately 10,000 FCVs take to the streets. Then, in 2015, the firm forecasts that 57,000 FCVs will be sold around the globe, with sales soaring to 390,000 vehicles annually by 2020.”  The major markets will be the United States (primarily California and New York City), Germany, Scandinavia, Japan, South Korea and Shanghai, China.

autobloggreen also told us that Renault is selling 15,600 electric vehicles to the French government. 10,000 will go to the French postal service and the remainder to other government departments and agencies.

Despite Fukushima, China is not backing off nuclear power said UPI Energy Resources.  China aims to have 50 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2015 and has 26 reactors under construction. China accounts for about half of the nuclear reactors being built around the world according to the World Nuclear Association.  As of August China had 14 active reactors with a combined capacity of 11.9 GW.  Chinese officials say that nuclear power is essential because of the country’s rapidly rising consumption of electricity.

The Washington Post reported that the Czech Republic plans to heavily invest in nuclear power. The Czech’s view nuclear energy as a clean and cost efficient source.  the country currently relies on six nuclear reactors — four 440 MW reactors and two 1 GW reactors — for one-third of its total electricity. The government hopes to at least double that output. “We consider increasing electricity production in nuclear plants from some 30 percent to about 60 percent by 2050,” Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Tomas Huner told the Associated Press.

AMEinfo said that the Persian Gulf states will spend $45 (US) billion to create 32 GW of power capacity.  The decision is driven by projected population and electricity consumption increases.  Demand is expected to grow at between 7% and 8% annually over the coming years. Alternative energy sources such as solar power, natural gas, and nuclear energy will replace oil.  Included in the expenditures is a $1.4 billion (US) power grid aimed at meeting rapidly increasing power demand and avoiding shortages. As soon as it is completed, the grid will provide electricity across the GCC. The second phase (out of three) became operational in April 2011.

Clean Energy revealed that a German solar plant is now the largest PV array in the world. The 166-megawatt Senftenberg solar power plant is the first photovoltaic project to break the 100-megawatt barrier. Senftenberg is nearly double the size of the previous record holders in Sarnia, Canada and Lazio, Italy.

iStockAnalyst tells us that the Columbus, Ohio Zoo and Aquarium is planning a solar-panel project that it hopes will provide a third or more of its annual electricity requirements of 15 million kWh.  It joins a number of other US zoos that have installed solar arrays, including the zoos in Cincinnati and Toledo. The zoo expects to have about 16,000 solar panels cover a parking area for 2000 cars.


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