Saab may be revived as a maker of electric vehicles

Electric cars

Defunct automaker Saab may soon be revived as a maker of electric vehicles if new investors have their way. Saab closed its doors in January 2012 after more than 65 years of business. The company had struggled financially for several years before it was closed down and hosted a sleuth of complicated, and sometimes tense, relationship with other automakers. General Motors purchased the company in 1990, but Saab was unable to live up to the larger automaker’s expectations. Saab closed its doors in January this year after a Chinese consortium…

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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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U.S. ethanol exports expected to fall as demand for the fuel plummets

Ethanol Pump in Brazil

As the U.S. grows more interested in alternative energies like solar, wind and hydrogen, the question of the role ethanol is playing has arisen. In the past three years, U.S. ethanol exports have risen dramatically. This is largely due to a tax credit that exists to promote the fuel. This tax credit is augmented by taxpayer money, essentially meaning that U.S. citizens are subsidizing exports to other countries when ethanol could be used to lower gas prices back at home. There are indications that the demand for ethanol is dropping…

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New legislation coming to Congress could put the U.S. on track to achieve sustainability

Senator Jeff Bingaman

The U.S. Congress is being inundated with new energy legislations, some of which are not exactly beneficial for the environment. Each bill is steeped in some amount of controversy while others are being ignored entirely, still more legislations are missing the mark in terms of energy efficiency and are not garnering enough support from voters. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is looking to change that by introducing a bill of his own, called the Clean Energy Standard Act. The legislation seeks to raise the level of low-carbon power production in the…

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European companies ally to tackle the challenge of sustainability

Report - Renewable Energy Supported by Country

Nowhere in the world is alternative energy a bigger subject than it is in Europe. The majority of countries in the region have been working to adopt alternative energy for several years now. Only recently, however, has the European Union been throwing its support behind the effort. While the EU has made significant progress in promoting clean fuel and sustainability, many European countries are saying that it is too little too late. These companies have now banded together to tackle the challenge themselves. The new coalition has been formed by…

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MIT report shows the sluggish growth in efficiency from automakers due to consumer response

Alternative Fuel

The auto industry is making a major push to adopt alternative energy, but continue to make improvements to current internal combustion engines in order to make them more efficient. A new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that engine efficiency has grown by 60% over the past two decades. While automakers are working to be more efficient overall, consumers are pushing back progress, according to the report. They are doing this by purchasing heavy, energy hungry vehicles rather than lightweight, efficient cars. The report notes that vehicles need…

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Imperial College of London discovers a way to power buses on recycled paper

Biofuel made out of wrapping paper

A new study from the Imperial College of London shows that if all the discarded wrapping paper in the UK were collected and fermented, there would be enough biofuel to send a double-decker bus to the moon and back 20 times. Researchers from the Imperial College conducted several experiments to show how old paper can be converted into high-grade biofuel with the help of microorganisms. The biofuel produced in this way could be used to power vehicles, or other machinery, if their engines were tweaked to use the fuel. Researchers…

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Federal report shows that consumptions of alternative fuels is growing

Alternative Fuel Survey

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released a new report documenting the use of alternative fuels in 2009. Analysis of the report was recently finished and now its results can be offered to the public. The government has been growing increasingly interested in alternative energy for several reasons. Chief among these is the dwindling reserves of oil, which the country has been reliant on for centuries. Climate change is also playing a role in determining the pursuance of alternative energy. According to the report, alternative fuel consumption in 2009…

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China: Winning the hydrogen race

China Hydrogen Fuel Production

Support for hydrogen fuel may be waning in the U.S. but that is not the case in China. China is quickly establishing itself as a leader in the race toward alternative fuels. Spurred on by severe pollution issues and a mounting energy crisis, the government has taken steps in ensuring that making the transition away from fossil-fuels is a priority. Eco-friendly technology has become fundamental to the economic and development plans for the country. Recently, the Chinese government instituted a plan which calls for 11% of the nation’s energy coming…

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