Arnold tries for 10% Decrease in Carbon Emissions

January 15, 2007

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In his state address last week, Schwarzenegger proposed California’s newest efforts on their already strict emissions standards. This time, he wants to cut the carbon content of fuels by at least 10% by the year 2020. This new effort is a part of a plan to achieve levels of greenhouse gases as low as they were in 1990. The plan of action isn’t cleaner fuel, though. It’s simply burning less of it. With biodiesel, ethanol, and natural gas coming as promising alternatives, this shouldn’t be a problem.

“Energy companies could hit the governor’s target,” said Bob Epstein, co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs, “by dedicating 800,000 acres of farmland in the San Joaquin and Imperial valleys to sugar cane, sugar beets, sorghum grass and other ethanol sources. That could displace 80 percent of the alfalfa grown in California, but it’s only 3 percent of the state’s 26.4 million acres of farmland.”

[ Oroville Mercury Register ]

Sustainable Biodiesel Summit: San Antonio

January 15, 2007

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The 2007 SBS is coming up on February 4th in San Antonio. The SBS provides a wealth of information for those interested in the biodiesel market both in how it’s distributed and how to produce it yourself.

“One of the goals of the SBS is to foster the environmental sustainability of the biodiesel industry. Initiatives include supporting smaller, local production using regional feedstocks, encouraging local ownership of production and distribution, increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in production, and diversifying feedstocks.”

Pre-paid tickets are going for $100 per person, which includes all the seminars and organic food you can handle.

BioWillie on PBS: Home Grown

January 15, 2007

biowillie1.jpgThe legendary Willie Nelson, widely known for his work as a musician, is now also becoming very widely known for his biodiesel production company, BioWillie. Willie displays not only his concern for the enviroment and renewable fuel sources, but also for the American farmers and their economic security. His interview with PBS is really just a small stepping stone considering the amount of national attention he’s recieving from not only farmers and enviromentalists, but also from the giant energy corporations.

“There’s other places in the world [that] have already made it happen, and you say, duh, why can’t we do it here?” Nelson tells NOW. “Anywhere things can be grown that you can turn into fuel, do it.”

[ Watch at PBS ]

Invenergy Wind Farm to Double

January 14, 2007

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The Chicago-based Invenergy recently outlined their $1.6 billion dollar plan to have up to 532 wind turbines, making them the soon-to-be the largest wind farm in the world. The project would be done gradually, adding 66 to 100 extra turbines every year on land leased from residents for $4000-$8000 per year. The combined 800 megawatts of power is planned to be rerouted through utility companies and given to Chicago residents and businesses. Open land, adequate wind and a transmission infrastructure are attracting projects in this area of the state, while the wind industry’s growth is largely fueled by a federal tax credit, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

[ Invenergy ]

$53 Million Biomass Plant Opening in Arizona

January 14, 2007

Paper Mill

In a move that has been seen both as questionable and beneficial by the locals, Arizona has allowed the building of a renewable energy power-plant, fueled mostly by wood, and is expecting it to be completed by December of 2007. Arizona Corporation Commission has begun enforcing stricter guidelines for utility companies in order to attain its goal of having 15% of the state’s energy being produced from renewable resources by 2025. The obvious downside of such a plant would be the emissions, a point of concern shared by many Arizonians. “We certainly wouldn’t want to see Arizona put all its eggs in the biomass basket,” said Sandy Bahr, conservation outreach director of the Sierra Club. “I don’t think that biomass plants are really a good energy solution per se because clearly there are still issues with emissions.”

The plant plans to use scrap wood, small eucalyptus trees, and recycled paper. The problem arises, however, when this limited supply of fuel runs out. Bahr shared this sentiment by saying, “Do they start looking at, ‘Well maybe we should take the last of some of these big trees?'”

[ The Associated Press ]

EU wants Renewable Energy in Europe by 2020

January 13, 2007

EU Building

In a draft paper seen by the Associated Press, the European Union outlines the necessity to reduce foreign oil dependency and green house gases through out Europe. The EU is looking for more focus on solar, wind, and biofuels and predicts that the majority of European nations could be run largely on these alternatives by 2020. The additional focus was perhaps sparked by delays in oil shipments due to disputes inside their Russian suppliers. The paper also highlights a series of economic benefits, saying that market problems are causing governments to cap power prices, leading to less investment in the sector that could cause future supply crunches. “This situation cannot continue,” it warns, saying it believes a series of measures need to be taken to create a competitive market within three years.

[ Today.Az ]

GM, Ford, Toyota, etc. at Detroit Auto Show: We Need Alternative Fuels

January 13, 2007

detroitautoshow.jpgThe newest AIADA newsletter reported that a panel of automotive and environmental experts met yesterday in Detroit before a crowd of several hundred guests to outline the need for increased investment in alternative fuel solutions, reported The Detroit News. Representatives from companies including GM, Ford, smart USA, Tesla Motors and Toyota, spoke about the challenges of increasing alternative energy technologies in mainstream production vehicles.

All the speakers emphasized the need for advances in the use of alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, ethanol and electricity. They also pointed out the economic imperatives for automakers to make environmentally friendly vehicles.

A recent U.S. hybrid vehicle forecast conducted by J.D. Power and Associates predicts hybrid sales in 2007 will account for 2.1 percent of the light-vehicle market—up from 1.5 percent in 2006, with totals reaching a possible 346,000 units in 2007, up 91,000 units, from the estimated 255,000 units sold in 2006.

[ http://www.aiada.org/ ]

North Dakota Energy Survey Press Release

January 13, 2007

Soy Bean Bus

The University of North Dakota and North Dakota Renewable Energy Partnership recently polled a large variety of North Dakota citizens in how they felt about renewable energy sources. More than 90% of the 600 person survey group felt that renewable energy legislation should be a priority, and around 80% marked some level of concern about the current fuel situtation.

Mike Clemens, Wimbledon, was elected at the NDREP’s recent annual meeting in Jamestown.

“The partnership’s immediate priority is preparing proposals for the upcoming legislative session,” Clemens said. “We will also be focusing on getting more producers involved in renewable energy.”

Terry Goerger, Mantador, was elected vice chairman, and Mike Williams, Fargo, was elected secretary-treasurer. Goerger is a farmer and a member of the National Biodiesel Board; Williams is director of auxiliary services for Greenfields Energy LLC., Cando.

The NDREP promotes ethanol, biodiesel, wind and biomass energy production in North Dakota through development and expansion of markets for renewable energy and through support of state and federal legislation enhancing the industry.

The coalition grew out of “A Vision for the Future” the state’s first-ever renewable energy summit. The 2003 conference was organized by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA), the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association and the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center.

[ http://www.ndrep.org/ ]