Senate on Monday is to debate a Democratic-backed bill to dramatically cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.The bill uses a “cap-and-trade” system wherein the government would cap the amount of pollution a company is allowed to emit — which would be lowered each year — but would also give companies some flexibility by allowing them to buy pollution credits from companies whose emissions fall below their caps. Under the bill, the government would auction off the credits and use some of the proceeds to help consumers who are expected get hit by higher energy costs. The defense thinks these higher temperatures are going to cause terrible problems all over the world — more extreme weather events, vectors that we haven’t seen before. The military people say that it’s going to be a cause of wars in the future. But many Republicans say the bill’s costs are too high. Speaking at a White House event Monday, President Bush warned the additional costs associated with the bill, which he estimated at $6 trillion, would be too much of a burden on the American economy.
A lot of the plastic bottles we consume either end up in land fills or are sadly disposed off into the sea. But since most of us live inland we are unaware of the magnitude at which bottles are disposed of into the sea. A raft build from over 15,000 plastic bottles set sail from Long Beach, CA on Sunday with the intended destination of Hawaii. The trip is expected to last 6 weeks, and was planned to raise awareness around plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean, a problem that has recently surfaced in the media. Due to ocean currents, a large area of plastic waste (twice the size of the United States) has collected in the Pacific.
Carbon trading is sometimes seen as a better approach than a direct carbon tax or direct regulation. By solely aiming at the cap it avoids the consequences and compromises that often accompany those other methods. It can be cheaper and politically preferable for existing industries because the initial allocation of allowances is often allocated with a grandfathering provision where rights are issued in proportion to historical emissions. Germany is on its way to earn more than $1.55 billion this year in the sale of carbon rights to 12,000 utilities and energy-intensive plants across the continent.
The options we have now-a- days for alternate energy seem to be expanding at a fierce pace. A typical home solar installation can generate between two and four kilowatts, while Google’s solar array at its corporate headquarters–considered the largest in the U.S.–is 1.6 megawatts. Now a company called ElectraTherm has developed a 50-kilowatt machine that uses industrial waste heat as its “fuel.”The machine uses an organic Rankine cycle to heat liquids which are turned into a vapor that turns a turbine to make electricity. The thermoelectric effect has been known since the early 19th century. But the idea of making electricity from heat appears to be getting more attention.
No one knows lighting like the Italians, its no wonder that the best chandeliers are from Italy. The countries energy requirements are rising, like the rest of the world, but it hasn’t been able to get on the solar power bandwagon yet. The hindrance has so far been the confusion over prices and maintenance cost involved. However the mayor in a small town in Milan has managed to light up a cemetery with a photovoltaic plant composed of 18 solar panels, providing the cemetery with free lighting and saving 20% on the billing cost. Enel SpA, Italy’s largest utility, and Sharp Corp., a leader in solar power technologies have joined hands to set up joint solar power generation plants in Italy, which are expected to have an output capacity of more than 160 megawatts by the end of 2011 and supply 81.500 Italian families with energy.
State-controlled Norwegian oil company StatoilHydro has decided to build the world’s first full scale floating wind turbine, Hywind, and test it over a two-year period offshore Karmøy. StatoilHydro has developed HyWind based on floating concrete constructions familiar from North Sea oil installations. The rotor blades on the floating wind turbine will have a diameter of 80 metres, and the nacelle will tower some 65 metres above the sea surface. The floatation element will have a draft of some 100 metres below the sea surface, and will be moored to the seabed using three anchor points. The wind turbine can be located in waters with depths ranging from 120 to 700 metres.
Environmentalists today want giant corporations to look for alternative energy resources in trash. Until now, looking for bio fuel meant that precious food crops could become scarce since corporations would want to make the most from it. The best alternative suggested is in converting garbage into bio-fuel, taking care that agricultural waste is only used. Startups like US based Mascoma and Coskata and in Brazil by Brenco and KiOR have already set up refineries that refine waste products like corn stover and sugarcane bagassedo. Coskata’s first biorefineries will use currently available feedstock — wood chips, sugarcane waste and municipal trash. The company estimates that municipal waste could be used to produce 8-10 billion gallons of fuel annually. Industrial waste gases off of steel mills could provide another 10 billion gallons, those gases are exactly what Coskata’s microbes could eat. They’re burning bug food. Coskata is actively approaching steel producers to turn those gases into fuel.
Not everyone knows about the massive amount of energy that is needed to keep websites online and active. In 2006 U.S. Servers and Data Centers Gobbled Up 61 billion kWh, now that’s a lot considering that most users that time didn’t go beyond checking their emails and maybe watch a few YouTube videos. Today however YouTube isn’t a recent discovery, it now has many competitors diving for attention. Microsoft Research’s Networked Embedded Computing group is working on a very promising concept: A combination of physical sensors in the server room and software algorithms to make individual computers sleep or wake up depending on demand.
David Murray from north Texas has been doing something that most of us could easily envy. The self-described computer geek from Kennedale bought a 1993 Eagle Talon from a junkyard for just $750. He then converted it into an all electric vehicle, spent about $4,000 more to convert the gas-guzzler to run on electricity alone, doing all the work himself in his garage at home.
Until now the electric cars presented to u have been rather crude in design, both in looks and functionality. So only the Toyota Prius has made it to the popularity list that too not as a fully electric, rather as a hybrid which is powered by the petrol engine for the vast majority of normal driving, with an electric motor kicking in at low speeds or to provide extra power for acceleration. Two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, who struck up a deal with internet tycoon Elon Musk – founder of the internet payment system PayPal – to design and produce the world’s first ‘green’ sports car. We are guessing they even contributed their cash via PayPal for goodwill. Their first production model, the Tesla Roadster, is based on the design of the Lotus Elise, and is assembled at the Lotus production line in Norwich, using parts from all over the world. But what make the car so special are the lithium-ion batteries that power it. These batteries are essentially a giant version of the sort you can find in your mobile phone have never been used in electric vehicles before, and are what give the Tesla its astonishingly zippy performance.