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Renewables - Sept 24

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Silicon Valley explores solar technology

Terence Chea, Associated Press via Yahoo!News
SAN JOSE, Calif. - As demand for clean energy rises around the world, the nation's high-tech hub is looking to squeeze more money out of silicon.

Engineers and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are taking advantage of their expertise in computer chips to design and manufacture electricity-generating solar cells that they hope will be increasingly competitive with traditional energy sources such as coal and natural gas. Most solar cells and chips are made from the same raw material from which the valley gets its name.

"We're in the very early stages of a long build-out in solar technology," said Erik Straser, who heads the "cleantech" practice at the Menlo Park venture capital firm Mohr Davidow Ventures. "The potential is really enormous."

Despite technological advances since the first photovoltaic cells were invented 50 years ago, solar is still two to three times more expensive than fossil fuels in the U.S. and relies on government subsidies to compete.
(22 Sep 2006)


Philippines has highest wind energy potential in Southeast Asia, new study reveals

Katherine Adraneda, Philippines Star
The Philippines has the highest potential for harnessing wind energy in Southeast Asia, a recent industry study on renewable energy showed.

The study, conducted by the United States-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory, says the Philippines’ wind energy potential of 70,000 megawatts can meet the country’s existing energy demands seven times over.

The report titled "Global Energy Outlook 2006" by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International said one-third of the world’s electricity can be supplied using wind power, the worldwide use of which may be the key to stopping climate change. ..

The country’s peak energy demand is almost 9,000 megawatts a day, Greenpeace-Southeast Asia climate and energy change campaigner Jasper Inventor said, adding that only one wind farm of 25 megawatts is installed in the country in Banguil, Ilocos Norte. ..
(23 Sept 2006)

US Sees Delay in Big Rise in Alternative Motor Fuels
Tom Doggett, Reuters/Planet Ark
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration says the United States needs an extra 20 years to meet Congress' goal of having almost a third of US motor fuel supply come from energy sources other than gasoline.

Congress passed energy legislation in 1992 mandating that 30 percent of the fuel used to run US cars and trucks by 2010 come from ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen, electricity or other replacement fuels.

The Energy Department said that goal won't be met, as replacement fuels now supply only 2.5 percent of total motor fuel used, and is proposing to extend the deadline to 2030.

"The amount of replacement fuel used, as a percent of total motor fuel consumed, has essentially been flat for the past decade despite an increase in use of alternative and replacement motor fuels," the DOE said in a notice published on Tuesday in the Federal Register.

"The amount of replacement fuel used, as a percent of total motor fuel consumed, has essentially been flat for the past decade despite an increase in use of alternative and replacement motor fuels," the DOE said in a notice published on Tuesday in the Federal Register.
(21 Sept 2006)


Clinton debuts $1B renewable-energy fund

Nahal Toosi, Associated Press via Yahoo!News
President Clinton announced the launch of an investment fund expected to raise more than $1 billion for renewable energy on Friday, the final day of his global issues conference.

The Green Fund would focus on reducing dependence on fossil fuels, creating jobs, lessening pollution and helping to reduce global warming, all while making a profit, Clinton said.
(22 Sep 2006)


Renewable Energy Reaching a Positive Tipping Point

Stephen Lacey, RenewableEnergyAccess.com audio
History will judge 2006 as the start of a major paradigm shift for the world's energy infrastructure, according to a leading environmental thinker.

Speaking on RenewableEnergyAccess.com's Inside Renewable Energy podcast, Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin said, "While much more needs to be done, I think we will look back and say, 'this was the moment.'"

Flavin said the tipping point toward renewable energy is forming now. The growing momentum will soon force the political realm and the business sector to change one another, drastically transforming the energy economy.

Want to hear more of what Flavin had to say? Check out this week's episode of Inside Renewable Energy.
(22 Sept 2006)
Podcast 10Mb total, also in the podcast: Saving money on your winter heating bills.

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