Waste from winemaking could make cheap biofuel

Leftover solid grape waste from winemaking could be used to produce competitive alternative fuel. Researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, are investigating the potential of transforming waste that is left over from the winemaking industry into biofuel. The researchers showed that as much as 400 liters of bioethanol could be generated by fermentation of a ton of the solid grape waste annually, which would be beneficial on many levels, including to wineries in Australia, which currently must pay for the disposal of an estimated several hundred thousand tons of…

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Researchers study the impact of electric vehicles

Hydrogen Fuel Cells - New Research

Electric vehicles expected to have significant impact on energy grid Electric vehicles are becoming more common in the world of transportation, especially as consumers become more concerned for  the environment. As more of these vehicles begin to hit the streets, understanding what impact they will have on an energy grid is becoming more important. The impact that electric vehicles have on an energy grid is a subject that gets little attention, but researchers from the University of Notre Dame have announced that they are attempting to get a better grasp…

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PEM fuel cell used to produce renewable liquid fuel

fuel cell catalyst - fuel cell research

PEM fuel cell unlocks new process of fuel production A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the U.S., as well as from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, have developed a new way to produce renewable liquid fuels. The process utilizes electricity generated from a PEM fuel cell, making the process clean and sustainable. The team has been experimenting with the process extensively and believe that it is commercially viable and an effective way to produce fuel for…

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New biofuel production method could make process more affordable

Solar Energy Market - Research

Microbiologist discovers a way to streamline biofuel production Biofuel is becoming more popular around the world, especially in countries eager to break their reliance on fossil-fuels. Biofuel production can be a costly endeavor, however, and the expensive nature of the process has kept the fuel out of the reach of many. Not only in the biofuel production process expensive, it also requires a significant amount of fossil-fuel-generated power to deliver results, making biofuel a less clean form of energy than it is intended to be. A microbiologist from the Missouri…

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United Kingdom launches Marine Energy Array Demonstrator project to fund development of wave energy

Wave Energy Alternative Power Source

Alternative wave energy project moves forward. The United Kingdom has launched a new funding program for wave energy called the Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD). The project will fund two initiatives that are focused on developing wave energy systems and technologies that will harness the power of tides. These initiatives will split $31 million in funding and will be tasked with developing systems that will generate at least 7 gigawatts of electricity each year. MEAD receives funding from the Department of Energy and Climate change, which is currently pursuing alternatives…

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Geothermal Energy Association reports on growth seen in the U.S.

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy being tapped in the United States Geothermal energy is experiencing strong growth in the U.S. according to the Geothermal Energy Association. Geothermal energy has been growing in popularity in the U.S. recently as an alternative to fossil-fuels. The country is focused on an “all-of-the-above” energy plan which has it pursuing various renewable fuels. Geothermal power is common in Japan, where the energy is used to heat homes throughout the country. The association has released a new report showing the growth of the geothermal industry in 2011. According to…

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San Francisco named as North America’s Cleantech Capital by the Cleantech Group

Alternative Energy News San Francisco

San Francisco, California, has claimed the title as “Cleantech Capital” of North America this week. The title is awarded by the Cleantech Group, a market intelligence firm focused on alternative energy and sustainability. San Francisco was chosen because of its exemplary commitment to alternative energies like solar, hydrogen and wind power. Cleantech noted that the city is also quite attractive to renewable energy groups looking to expand and attract investors. The Cleantech Group notes that San Francisco is home to more than 200 alternative energy companies and investment groups. These…

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2011 natural disasters spur renewed enthusiasm for alternative energy

Japan Earthquake

The Munich Reinsurance Company, a reinsurance and ratings firm serving the global insurance industry, has released a new report concerning the economic losses of natural disasters in 2011. The report notes that last year saw more than 820 natural disasters, many of which were man-made. These catastrophes resulted in 27,000 deaths and more than $380 billion in losses around the world. In terms of casualties, 2011 was more lenient than 2010, but was much more damaging to the global economy. The report notes that one of the worst disasters of…

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Bill Gates trumps the importance of clean and accessible energy for developing countries

bill gates

Bill Gates is well known around the world as the founder of Microsoft, the technology company of gargantuan influence. In recent years, Gates has been playing a larger role in the world of philanthropy, using his position as one of the world’s wealthiest men to help developing countries liberate themselves from poverty. Gates has long been a proponent of ending poverty and has been focusing his efforts on helping impoverished countries through the use of alternative energy. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics forum this week, Gates expressed the…

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Obama administration launches Green Button Initiative to make America more aware of its energy consumption

US Renewable Energy

Last week, the Obama administration launched a new program it is calling the Green Button Initiative. Simply put, the Initiative is a website featuring a large green button. Clicking on the button allows U.S. residents to submit their energy consumption data, which will be converted into an easy to understand format. This data is meant to help people understand how they use energy and suggest ways to help them be more efficient about their consumption. The Green Button Initiative aims to provide consumers with access to their energy data on…

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Energy Information Administration report shows oil imports are at their lowest point since 1999

Renewable Energy Report

A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a branch of the Department of Energy, shows that imports of crude oil have fallen since 2005. Several factors have contributed to the drop in imports over the years, including political tension with the Middle East and a new focus on alternative energy and efficiency. The report indicates that in 2011, oil imports hit the lowest point they have been since 1999. According to the report, oil imports have dropped by 12% since 2005. In recent years – 2009 and…

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New Zealand on track to become an alternative energy powerhouse

New Zealand - Renewable Energy

Alternative energy is on the rise in New Zealand, according to Industrial Info, a market intelligence firm specializing in renewable fuel. The firm has been tracking the progress of alternative energy projects in the country for some time and notes that the country could be on the verge of becoming one of the world’s alternative energy powerhouses. New Zealand has been home to very ambitious sustainability projects, including wind and solar farms as well as hydrogen power installations. This year, the country will see several new energy projects taking root,…

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OriginOil looks to build urban algae farm to treat wastewater and generate heat for homes

Alternative Energy News

Algae are getting more attention from the world of science for its possible uses as a source of alternative energy. These simple organisms are very easy to manage and have shown strong resilience to a variety of environments that would be somewhat hostile to other life forms. As such, Algae have become a popular subject for use as a form of organic power. OriginOil, a company that converts algae into fuel, is looking to show off the uses for the organism in a new pilot project that will be launched…

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MIT study indicates that the U.S. can store a century of carbon dioxide emission in underground aquifers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Hydrogen Fuel Research

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have released a new study that suggests the U.S. can store a massive quantity of its CO2 emissions in underground saline aquifers. Carbon capture and storage is a technological pursuit which attempts to prevent the release of harmful emissions generated by fossil-fuel power plants. This method has been gaining popularity in the realms of alternative energy and environmentalism due to its implications in mitigating or halting the progress of climate change. According to the study, the U.S. has the…

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Tensions with the Middle East spark a bright future for alternative energy

Gas Prices

Alternative energy is getting more attention from the U.S. government now than it ever has in the past. While some believe that this newfound interest in sustainable energy is spurred by belief in climate change, the reality of the matter may be that the country is looking to protect itself in the event of military conflict in the Middle East. Tensions between Iran and Israel are mounting and while neither side has openly attacked the other, threats abound. The U.S. is also in the throes of potential conflict with Iran…

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory nanoscience researchers experiment with organic electronics, with successful results

Example of organic electronics

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been working at the Department of Energy’s nanoscience laboratory, the Molecular Foundry. These researchers have been experimenting with molecules and other organic material to determine how they can be used for electronic devices. This week, the team succeeded in providing the first ever experimental determination regarding electric charge transfer from molecule-to-molecule. Researchers believe that this development could be used to improve the performance of electronics. Organic electronics typically refers to the use of carbon-based materials in electrical devices. These can be anything…

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