BTC Oil Enters Georgia

Staff, Civil Georgia
British Petroleum plc, which operates the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, said on August 10 that the first barrels of oil flowing through the pipeline reached Georgia. This comes after the filling of the Azerbaijani section with roughly 2.3 million barrels of oil.

A total of 10 million barrels is needed to fill the 1,769 km long pipe, which will carry Azeri oil to Turkey and ultimately to western markets via Georgia. The pumping of oil through one of the world’s largest pipelines was launched on May 25.
(12 August 2005)

China to Build Offshore Wind Power Complex

China plans to construct its first offshore wind power complex next year in
hopes of easing chronic electricity shortages, the official Xinhua News Agency
reported Monday.

The complex, to be built in the Bohai Sea off the northern province of Hebei, is
designed to have a generating capacity of 1 million kilowatts when completed in
2020, Xinhua said.

An initial phase to begin construction late next year will generate 50,000
kilowatts, it said, citing Gao Xihai, a vice manager of the Huanghua Port
Development Zone which is promoting the project.
(15 August 2005)

Shortages Stifle a Boom Time for the Solar Industry

Chris Dixon, New York Times via Climate Ark
With a bill in California that aims to put solar power in half of new homes within 13 years, and with installation incentives in the federal energy legislation passed last week, the future of solar energy in the United States would seem all the brighter. But the future may have to wait, if only a little while.

American suppliers for the solar energy industry say that burgeoning demand both domestically and overseas, a weak dollar and shortages of raw material have created back orders of several months on electricity-generating photovoltaic, or PV, panels. …

Until early 2004, Mr. Lugar said, the price of solar panels was dropping as
technology advanced. Since then, manufacturers’ prices have risen as much as 15 percent, he said, adding that the purified silicon at the heart of solar panels
and computer semiconductors alike had also been in extremely short supply.
(6 August 2005)

Zero-energy homes
Cheryl Glaser talks to Dawn Stover of Popular Science magazine about houses where the electrical meters run backward.

Being enviromentally conscious now means giving back to the grid, instead of leaving it.
(18 August 2005)
The the page for Aug 18 programs will probably change, but the links to the individual segments should remain the same. Mentioned by Andy Brett on Gristmill.

Tar sand companies try balancing oil gains, environmental pains

Mary O’Driscoll, Greenwire via Energy Resources
Nobody said sucking 175 million barrels of oil out of sand was going to be easy
or tidy.

And it isn’t. Environmental challenges posed by massive operations that strip-mine forests and extract bitumen embedded in sand beneath are proving as vast as Alberta’s tar sands region, an area the size of Florida.

Questions about environmental protections abound. Can companies limit greenhouse gases and other air emissions from their tar sands operations? Can they separate oil from sand without using large slugs of water from the Athabasca River and massive amounts of natural gas? And can they restore the ravaged landscape to something approximating natural conditions?

“Environmental management is a huge growth area” for the tar sands companies, says Janet Annisely of Shell Oil Co., majority owner of the Albian Sands Inc. project here. Syncrude, which operates the world’s largest tar sands production facility, for example, boasts of spending more than $30 million a year on science and technology and calls its 4,000 on-site employees “environmental managers.” …

“When [the companies] talk about how well they’re doing, it’s in the context of
the filthiest industry one can imagine,” said Stephen Hazell of the Sierra Club
of Canada. “I can’t think of another industry that causes so much damage.” …

Citing the greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, water use and other problems, Hazell added, “It all has to be put within that context. Yes, they’re improving their performance, but what is the baseline they’re starting from? You have to sort of go back to the 19th century to find parallels.”
(17 August 2005)

Humourous graphic on the real drivers behind various alternative fuels

The Onion (US)

(17 August 2005)