The Guardian wrote about why the world is burning more coal.  It states: “The inconvenient truth is that coal remains a cheap and dirty fuel — and the idea of ‘clean’ coal remains a distant dream.”  A decade ago, 25 % of the world’s primary energy came from coal. The figure now is almost 40 %.  As a result C02 levels are rising and the world is becoming more carbon dependent to obtain electricity.  China, India, Japan and South Africa are mentioned as prime examples of countries dependent on coal to produce the vast majority of their electrical power.  Now that Germany has decided to phase out nuclear power, it is expected to join the list.

Kosrae, a small island in Micronesia in the South Pacific with a population of 8,000. is the first island in the world to be powered entirely by renewable energy. Renewable Energy Magazine told how a 1.5-MW wave power converter system will replace more expensive fossil fuels to generate electricity for the island and reduce carbon emissions by over 2,500 tonnes per annum.

From RSC we learned that urine-powered fuel cells could generate electricity according to UK scientists. The development could make wastewater treatment easier and cheaper, and provide an abundant source of locally generated power. The lack of solids – which could clog up the fuel cells – in urine compared to more general wastewater gives this system a significant advantage.

Fuel Fix reported that a Chinese-US partnership successfully flew an Air China Boeing 747-400 powered by oily nuts. The nuts were from the jatropha tree and the test flight lasted 2 hours.  The fuel mixture was half biofuel and half standard aviation fuel. The fuel was developed by Boeing Co., Honeywell UOP, Chinese oil company PetroChina Ltd. and Air China Ltd. They say a commercial biofuel should be available in three to five years.  OIL PRICE also commented on this story and in particular the economic and environmental issues surrounding the use of jatropha.

Global wind power capacity will reach 1,750 GW by 2030 said REVE. A new report from Transparency Market Research found that global wind farm capacity will rise from 197 GW in 2010 to 1,750 GW by 2030.  China is expected to surpass Europe as the region with the largest amount of wind capacity in the future.  Wind power is the fastest growing renewable energy source with 95% of wind investment in off-shore installations.

edieEnergy reported that the UK’s first hydrogen fuelling network will soon open in London. As part of the Hydrogen Transport for European Cities (HyTEC) scheme, 15 hydrogen-powered black-cabs and five hydrogen-powered Suzuki Bergmann scooters will take to the streets of London.

Brisbane, Australia will soon have electric buses according to the Brisbane Times. Within two years there will electric buses roaming the streets of the city with the ability to recharge in 10 minutes.

The GreenCar said that Scotland will have the world’s first hybrid ferries. A contract has been awarded to build two diesel-electric ferries. The ferries will have room for 150 passenger and 23 cars and use a diesel generator to charge batteries with in turn provide the power to the vessel’s propellers. 2013 should see the ferries on the short-crossing routes around the Clyde and Hebrides.

Ward’s Auto let us know that France is increasing its gas-guzzler penalty while reducing green incentives.  Next year France will reduce its consumer incentives for buying fuel-efficient cars but increase the penalties for purchasing gas hogs. The penalties on low mileage vehicles were not raising enough revenue to offset the subsidies being paid out to those who buy high mileage vehicles.  So a rebalancing will take place to reach a more sustainable equilibrium. The article goes into detail as to who the subsidies and penalties change with the amount of carbon emissions from the engine.

auto-types told us about a company in New York state near Buffalo that has built an electric car charging station for its employees.  This will enable the company’s workers to charge their car while they are working.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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