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Renewables - Oct 17

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Leading Experts In Organic Solar Cells Say The Field Is Being Damaged By Questionable Reports

Science Daily
In the latest issue of Elsevier's Materials Today Dr. Gilles Dennler of Konarka Austria GmbH and twenty other experts warn that an unseemly race to report organic solar cells (OSCs) with world record efficiencies is leading to a significant number of published papers claiming unrealistic and scientifically questionable results and performances.

"World record efficiencies are popping up almost every month, leading the OSC community into an endless and dangerous tendency to outbid the last report," stated Dennler et al. in the article. "The current outbidding phenomenon does a severe disservice to the whole community, damaging its reputation. Solar cells and especially OSCs face enough difficulties in convincing people of their benefit over other energy sources."

OSCs are potentially cheap and easy to fabricate. This makes them very attractive in comparison to the familiar silicon solar cells, which struggle to compete in cost with other energy sources. The promise of OSCs means the field is burgeoning. However, OSCs still show relatively low efficiencies that will need to improve significantly before they become a success.
(16 October 2007)

Human waste can help save planet: Indian expert

A cheap system to recycle human waste into biogas and fertiliser may allow 2.6 billion people in the world access to toilets and reduce global warming, an Indian environmental expert said Tuesday.

Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, said his group plans to push the system at the seventh annual World Toilet Summit, to be held in New Delhi at the end of October.

The organisation is dedicated to providing toilets to nearly 730 million people in India who lack them.

...He said India's contribution would be a toilet system that organically breaks down faeces into trapped biogas that can be burned to provide cooking fuel and electricity, and convert urine into fertiliser.
(16 October 2007)

California fuels expert Alex Farrell makes case for low carbon fuel standard
(video and transcript)
Monica Trauzzi, E&E TV
How does a biofuels mandate compare to a low carbon fuel standard? Which provides most security for investors and which will be best for consumers?

During today's OnPoint, Alex Farrell, author of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard and director of the UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center, discusses his state's rule on low carbon fuels and how the federal government should be approaching biofuels.

Farrell explains the role he believes California should be playing in federal climate discussions and also discusses the effects of a low carbon fuel standard on U.S. automakers.
(17 October 2007)

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