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August 30, 2006

Ethanol Biofuel Pumps: Michigan Invests ...




Governor Jennifer Granholm invests in an increase of ethanol biofuel pumps throughout Michigan in order to reduce foreign oil dependency

...   "Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced that the state of Michigan will work to have 1,000 biofuel pumps by 2008 to make ethanol and biodiesel fuel more accessible to Michigan motorists.  To reach that goal, the governor announced a $250,000 grant program to help service station owners defray the costs of installing Michigan Governor Invests in Biofuel Pumps ...or converting infrastructure at public service stations to provide ethanol and biodiesel fuel to Michigan consumers.  This is the second round in a series of grants being made available by the state. 

Five ethanol plants are already in production in Michigan, with two more under construction.  Two biodiesel plants are also beginning production, with another plant in the works.  In addition, the legislative package signed by the governor in July cut the gas tax by 36 percent for the purchase of ethanol and 20 percent for biodiesel.  Granholm said that Michigan's investment in alternative energy production and use will benefit consumers in the long-run as increased use of ethanol and biodiesel helps reduce the demand for foreign oil.  In the short-term, Granholm said the state is doing everything in its power to protect consumers at the pump, including doubling the number of inspections this year to ensure that consumers are receiving the quantity and quality of gasoline they are paying for.  The governor said that President Bush could provide short-term relief, as well, by capping outrageous oil company profits. "  ...

Via Michigan Office of the Governor: Granholm Announces Goal of 1,000 BioFuel Pumps by 2008; Announces $250,000 Grant Program ...

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August 29, 2006

Soy Biodiesel DuPont Plans ...




DuPont plans collaborative effort to explore the potential of soy for biodiesel production.  ...

...   "DuPont and Bunge yesterday announced the expansion of the companies' soy collaboration beyond food and nutrition products to include industrial applications, biofuels and other opportunities.

Carl Hausmann, president and CEO, Bunge North America: We are excited about the potential of new soy products that will build on this success in the food sector and enable us to better serve feed and industrial customers including the growing soy biodiesel industry.  Soy Lubricant

DuPont has a significant effort to deliver new technologies to the growing biofuels market, which includes improving biofuel production through improved seed and crop protection products; developing new technologies to allow conversion of cellulose to biofuels; and developing next generation biofuels, including biobutanol.  In addition to developing corn hybrids for ethanol, DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., is characterizing Pioneer brand soybean varieties for oil content to determine impact on biodiesel production. "   ...

Soy Biodiesel DuPont Plans: Via DuPont: DuPont and Bunge Broaden Soy Collaboration to Industrial Applications, Biofuels

Via Agriculture Online: Soy biodiesel gives bigger energy bang than ethanol: "Jeff Stroburg quoted USDA statistics that say biodiesel has a stronger energy balance than either ethanol or straight petroleum fuel. "

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August 28, 2006

Alternative Fuel Automobiles Increasing ...




American consumers are increasing their consumption of automobiles that leverage alternative-fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol,  according to latest industry trends.  ...

...   "The number of alternative fuel automobiles on U.S. roads has reached 9 million, according to new figures released by R.L. Polk & Co.  The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said that there were approximately 8.3 million alternative fuel autos on the road at the close of 2005, and over 700,000 hybrids, diesel and ethanol vehicles have been purchased in the first half of 2006, putting automakers on track to reach their goal of sales of a million. Automakers have set a goal of selling 1 million hybrids, diesel and ethanol vehicles in 2006, and 2 million by 2008.

Automakers are now selling 46 models of alternative fuel autos, including ethanol vehicles capable of running on 85 percent ethanol (or E85 vehicles), clean diesel autos and hybrid electric vehicles.  Another 35 models of alternative fuel autos are in development for future introduction. "   ...

Alternative Fuel Automobiles Increasing: Via Auto Alliance: 9 million Alternative Fuel Autos on US roads ...

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August 27, 2006

BioFuel: GM Trees Yield Cellulosic Ethanol ...




DOE OBER funds research at Purdue University on increasing the yield of ethanol from genetically modified poplar trees.  This method of cellulosic ethanol can offer a balanced approach, in addition to ethanol from corn.  The opportunity is huge: 80% of the fossil fuel used for transportation can be offset through the use of ethanol.  ...

...   "The Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research is funding a $1.4 million, three-year study by Purdue faculty members Clint Chapple, Richard Meilan and Michael Ladisch to determine ways to alter lignin and test whether the genetic changes affect the quality of plants used to produce biofuels. A hybrid poplar tree is the basis for the research that is part of the DOE's goal to replace 30 With funding from the Department of Energy, Clint Chapple, from left, and Rick Meilan are using genetic tools to find ways to convert trees into ethanol as a replacement for fossil fuels. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)percent of the fossil fuel used annually in the United States for transportation with biofuels by 2030.  In 2005 ethanol accounted for only 4 billion gallons of the 140 billion gallons of U.S. transportation fuel used — less than 3 percent. About 13 percent of the nation's corn crop was used for that production. Purdue scientists and experts at the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Energy say corn can only be part of the solution to the problem of replacing fossil fuel.

Corn can be grown only in a few areas of the world and only during a relatively short growing season. Besides needing potential fuel-source crops that can be grown year-round and in many geographical locations, experts also want to increase the per acre tonnage yield of crops and the gallons of ethanol per ton.  Researchers believe that using the hybrid poplar in its present form could produce about 70 gallons of fuel per ton of wood. Approximately 10 tons of poplar could be grown per acre annually, representing 700 gallons of ethanol. Corn currently produces about 4.5 tons per acre per year with a yield of about 400 gallons of ethanol. Changing the lignin composition could increase the annual yield to 1,000 gallons of ethanol per acre, according to experts. Planted on 110 million acres of unused farmland, this could replace 80 percent of the transportation fossil fuel consumed in the United States each year. "   ...

BioFuel: GM Trees Yield Cellulosic Ethanol: Via Purdue University: Fast-growing trees could take root as future energy source ...

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August 26, 2006

Ethanol E85 Sales Grow in Minnesota ...




Star-Tribune reports on the growth record being seen in Minnesota for Ethanol E85 as a alternative to 100% petrol-based fuel.  This growth is being fueled in part by the growing awareness of E85 as an alternative and GM's promotion of flex-fuel vehicles.  ...

...   "Statewide retail sales of ethanol fuel set a record in July as gas prices hovered around $3 a gallon. The state's 288 stations pumped 2.1 million gallons of E85, which is made with 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. That's nearly three times the E85 sold last July ... "   ...

Ethanol E85 Sales Grow in Minnesota: Via Minneapolis St. Paul Star-Tribune: Motorists get pumped up over ethanol

GM's promotion of flex-fuel vehicles ...

General Motors Promotes Greater E85 Consumer Awareness, Use in Minnesota: "General Motors today announced the immediate availability of VE85 refueling pumps to Minneapolis-St. Paul area service stations through a collaborative partnership with VeraSun Energy Corp. The collaboration is part of a broader, national GM campaign to boost the use and awareness of ethanol-based E85 fuel in the United States.  VeraSun announced plans to add 10 new VE85 fueling outlets to the Twin Cities area by summer and announced the following four Minnesota locations that are now offering branded VeraSun E85 fuel including: Freedom Valu Center 4852 at Highway 61 in White Bear Lake; Freedom/SuperAmerica Franchise at 1015 Geneva Ave., N., in Oakdale; Freedom Valu Center at 3810 Silver Lake Rd. N.E., in St. Anthony; and Freedom Valu Center at 1100 Highway 15 S. in Hutchinson.  Minnesota leads the nation in per capita use of renewable fuels like ethanol, and we have been excited to work with General Motors to promote E85 capable vehicles across the state, said Tim Gerlach, director of outdoor air programs for the American Lung Association of Minnesota (ALAMN).  We commend GM's promotion of flexible fuel vehicles and cleaner, renewable-based E85, which together help reduce tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions. "

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August 22, 2006

Renewable Fuel Efficient Vehicles: Minnesota Go-Greener Plan ...




Minnesota Governor Pawlenty is expanding the state's use of renewable fuels and increasing the number of cleaner, fuel efficient vehicles in the state fleet.  ...

...   "Over the next five years, Metro Transit will replace 314 buses with 150 next-generation hybrid electric buses that deliver 22 percent better fuel mileage and half the exhaust of existing buses. The other 164 new buses will incorporate the latest engine technology that will burn diesel fuel more efficiently, reduce emissions and improve fuel economy.  Metro Transit also intends to double the biodiesel content of its fuel supply from 5 percent – the standard implemented by Metro Transit on July 1, 2006 – to 10 percent in mid-2007. The State of Minnesota requires a 2 percent bio-additive in diesel fuel sold in the state.  Metro Transit consumes and supplies about 10 million gallons of diesel fuel each year. The collective benefit of the Go Greener action plan will: Reduce emissions by 168 tons each year by replacing these buses with cleaner operating buses.  Replace 1.23 million gallons a year of non-renewable fossil fuel with sustainable soy-based biodiesel and hybrid technology.  Result in annual fuel savings of $652,000.   Minnesota Governor implements Go Greener Plan ...

E-85 for Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport ground fleet: The Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) has stocked up on the gasoline alternative E-85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and just 15 percent gasoline. MAC installed an E-85 fuel tank at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport, making it the first airport in the U.S. to adopt a biofuel standard for its ground transportation vehicles.  The 6,000 gallon tank will ensure that airport flex-fuel ground transportation vehicles are fueled exclusively with the cleaner burning, homegrown ethanol blend. About 2,000 gallons have been pumped since the tank was installed in June.  MAC purchased its first flex-fuel vehicle for its fleet in 2005 and has added seven more vehicles that run on E-85 this year. Their goal is to add three to five E-85 vehicles annually to replace aging vehicles in its fleet. 

E85 Logo  E-85 usage in state vehicles has increased by 53% from last year. In the first six months of 2006, state vehicles have used more than 77,000 gallons of E-85 compared to 41,000 gallons in 2005. There are 1,171 flex fuel vehicles in the state fleet.  These reductions in the use of petroleum-based fuels are being achieved through a combination of increased use of agricultural fuels, increased fuel efficiency of the state fleet by purchase of hybrid and more fuel efficient vehicles. When fully implemented, it is estimated that the state will increase the amount of E-85 gasoline used to 1.7 million gallons. "   ...

Renewable Fuel Efficient Vehicles: Minnesota Go-Greener Plan: Via State Of Minnesota: GOVERNOR PAWLENTY ANNOUNCES MORE HYBRID ELECTRIC BUSES, MORE RENEWABLE FUEL USE IN STATE GOVERNMENT ...

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August 21, 2006

California Solar-Roof Energy Plan ...




California's solar roof plan expands its reach to customers of California public and private utilities.  It empowers homeowners to gain financial credit for excess energy sold back to the power grid.  Housing developers will be required to offer solar roofs as a standard item on larger developments.  When fully implemented, the California solar roof initiative will reach a goal of 3,000 megawatts of energy, saving the construction of a number of electrical power plants.  Governor Schwarzenegger's address can be seen in this web video.  ...

...   "Concluding a two-year effort to help make California the nation’s leader in solar energy, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB 1 by Senator Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles), putting the finishing touches on the Governor's Million Solar Roofs Plan. Governor Schwarzenegger Annouces Signing of the Solar Roof Energy Plan ...

Said Governor Schwarzenegger: My Million Solar Roofs Plan will provide 3,000 megawatts of additional clean energy and reduce the output of greenhouse gasses by 3 million tons which is like taking one million cars off the road. I want to thank Sen. Kevin Murray for his hard work in helping me make California the leader on solar power again.

Last year, the Governor asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to implement his Million Solar Roofs plan. Dubbed the California Solar Initiative by the CPUC, the plan will lead to one million solar roofs in California by 2018. "   ...

California Solar-Roof Energy Plan: Via State of California Governor's Office: Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation to Complete Million Solar Roofs Plan

Vote Solar: California: "On January 12, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the California Solar Initiative by a 3-1 margin. With the previously approved 2006 budget, that a total of $3.2 billion in incentives over 11 years, enough for 3,000 megawatts of solar across the state. "


PUC CREATES GROUNDBREAKING SOLAR ENERGY PROGRAM: "California has long been a leader on environmentally-sound approaches to the provision of energy. We adopted formalized policies on renewable power and energy efficiency in our Energy Action Plans, said PUC President Michael R. Peevey. The California Solar Initiative continues that tradition with an aggressive new program to promote solar development.  The California Solar Initiative is the largest solar program in the country and I hope it will be a model for other states, said Commissioner Dian M. Grueneich.  The program will be a major source of dependable and environmentally friendly electricity, and is a major tool in the State's promise to address climate change and meet the Governor's goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "

The California Solar Initiative: A monumental step to a million solar roofs: "Environment California staff worked closely with policy makers and allies, especially State Senator Kevin Murray (D-LA), the Schwarzenegger Administration, and the Public Utilities Commission to develop the program. "

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August 20, 2006

Clean Free Energy: Needs Scientific Validation ...




Steorn has leveraged its work on efficient micro generators to create a configuration that generates free energy.  This technology produces free, zero-emission, and constant energy.  The device needs validation by the scientific community.  ...

...   "Steorn's technology is based on the interaction of magnetic fields and allows the production of clean, free and constant energy. The technology can be applied to virtually all devices requiring energy, from cellular phones to cars.  Steorn has placed an advertisement in The Economist this week to attract the attention of the world's Steorn CEO demos energy creation ...leading scientists working in the field of experimental physics. From all the scientists who accept Steorn's challenge, twelve will be invited to take part in a rigorous testing exercise to prove that Steorn's technology creates free energy. The results will be published worldwide.

Following the validation process, Steorn intends to license its technology to organisations within the energy sector. It will allow use of its technology royalty-free for certain purposes including water and rural electrification projects in third world countries, details to be announced later. "   ...

Emission Free Energy: Steorn develops free energy technology and issues challenge to the global scientific community ...

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August 16, 2006

Biofuel Ethanol Investment: Illinois Pacesetter ...




Illinois Governor Blagojevich invests in biofuel production to lower state dependence on foreign oil and to spur economic growth through new plant construction, operations, and maintenance.  A number of companies will benefit from this investment in biofuels: Central Illinois Energy, Illinois River Energy, Center Ethanol Co., Biofuels Company of America, and Stepan Company.  The governor has demonstrated his committment to a sustainable future through his support for biodiesel tax exemptions.  Illinois has established itself as a pacesetter in biofuel investments.    ...

...   "Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced more than $25 million in new Opportunity Returns grants and additional support to help build five new ethanol and biodiesel production facilities across Illinois. The new plants will spur about $334 million in private investment, produce 225 million gallons of biofuels each year, create almost 150 new jobs and reduce Illinois' dependence on foreign oil.    Central Illinois Energy ...

Central Illinois Energy (CIE) will build this 37 million gallon per year ethanol production facility and an associated coal-fired, combined heat and power plant (CHP). The plant will use about 13.1 million bushels of corn annually and produce about 111,000 tons of livestock feed (distillers dried grains) each year. Because the facility uses CHP technology, the plant will be very clean and energy efficient.

Gov. Blagojevich also announced today that Illinois River Energy LLC in Ogle County has received a $5.5 million Opportunity Returns grant to build its new 50 million gallon per year ethanol production facility on Illinois River Energy ethanol plant ...an 81-acre site near Rochelle. This project will boost demand for Illinois corn by almost 18 million bushels a year, produce about 160,000 tons of livestock feed (distillers dried grains) each year and create about 45 new jobs. The total cost of the facility is approximately $80 million.

Center Ethanol Co., LLC in St. Clair County is receiving nearly $5.7 million in Opportunity Returns support to build a new $100 million ethanol production facility. The new biorefinery, which will be built near Sauget, will create about 35 new permanent jobs, as well as 250,000 worker-hours of construction jobs. The state's support is coming from a variety of DCEO's business development programs, including a Renewable Fuels Development Program grant, Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credits (based on job creation projections over a ten-year period), Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds to help enhance the skills of its workforce, and additional financial benefits, such as sales tax exemptions and tax credits for job creation resulting from the company being located within an Enterprise Zone.  The facility will produce a 54 million gallons of ethanol per year ethanol, use more than 19 million bushels of corn annually and produce about 160,000 tons of livestock feed (distillers dried grains) each year.

Gov. Blagojevich also announced today that Biofuels Company of America, LLC in Vermilion County is receiving about $4.8 million Opportunity Returns grants to construct a new $30 million biodiesel production facility in Danville. This project will create about 15 new jobs. Additionally, operation of this facility will help secure up to 100 existing jobs at an adjacent soybean crushing plant. This project is commonly known in the area by the name of one of its major investors, Bunge North America.  This new plant, developed by Biofuels Company of America, LLC, as a partnership between Bunge North America and Biodiesel Investment Group, LLC, will be a 45 million gallon per year biodiesel production facility. In addition to the biodiesel fuel produced, the soybean oil the plant will use as feedstock is equivalent to about 30 million bushels of beans annually.    Illinois Governor ...

The Governor announced that the Stepan Company in Will County is a receiving a $3 million Opportunity Returns grant for a nearly $24 million expansion of its existing biodiesel production facility near Elwood. Current production at the facility is about 10 million gallons per year, and this expansion will more than quadruple production to 49 million gallons per year. This project will create six to eight new jobs. In addition to the biodiesel fuel produced, the plant will use about 35 million bushels of soybeans annually.

Gov. Blagojevich signed into law a complete state sales tax exemption for biodiesel blends of 11 percent or higher, as well as for the high-ethanol blend known as E-85. When diesel fuel costs $3 per gallon, the value of the exemption, at 6.25 percent, is 18.75 cents per gallon. Consumers have saved more than $200 million as a result of these exemptions on B-11 and E-85 since 2003. This valuable tax exemption has multiplied the size of the biodiesel market by 30 times since 2003 - making the biodiesel market 30 times larger than it was before. This demand is now creating the demand for new ethanol and biodiesel plants. "   ...

Via State of Illinois: GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES A NEW $25 MILLION INVESTMENT TO HELP BUILD FIVE STATE-OF-THE-ART ETHANOL AND BIODIESEL PLANTS ACROSS ILLINOIS: Grants Will Spur About $334 Million in Private Investment, Produce 225 Million Gallons of Biofuels Each Year, Create About 150 New Jobs and Lessen Illinois' Dependence on Foreign Oil ...

Central Illinois Energy is a cooperative ethanol production facility located in the Buckheart township of Fulton County, Illinois. It processes approximately 13-million bushels of its members' corn annually, producing 37-million gallons of ethanol, 125,000 tons of distiller grains and other useful byproducts.

Illinois River Energy, LLC is building a dry mill, corn-based processing facility that will produce ethanol, three forms of distillers grains, and carbon dioxide (CO2).  The ethanol plant is located in Rochelle, Illinois and will process in excess of 18 million bushels of corn per year.  Upon completion, the ethanol plant will produce 50 million gallons per year of denatured fuel grade ethanol, 160,000 tons of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) and 120,000 tons of CO2.  Illinois River Energy, LLC was founded in 2002 by a group of farmers to develop a fuel grade ethanol facility utilizing Illinois corn in the production of ethanol.  Sixteen sites were evaluated by IRE with Rochelle chosen as the site due to its' economic advantages and excellent infrastructure.  The IRE facility will have a positive economic effect on the entire community due to the increased value of corn, real estate taxes, and 32 new jobs created with an annual payroll of approximately $1.5 million.

Stepan Company is a global manufacturer of specialty and intermediate chemicals used in consumer products and industrial application. Stepan is a leading merchant producer of surfactants, which are the key ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning compounds. Manufacturers of detergents, shampoos, lotions, toothpastes and cosmetics depend on surfactants to achieve the foaming and cleaning qualities of their products.

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich was sworn in as the 40th Governor of Illinois on January 13, 2003. As Illinois' chief executive officer, Gov. Blagojevich is working aggressively to create jobs, build stronger communities, provide Illinois families the tools they need to improve their lives, and restore the people's confidence in state government.

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August 15, 2006

Computer Equipment Recycling Programs ...




Dell supports drop-off program for recycling of unwanted computers by local residents.  ...

...   "Reconnect San Antonio takes advantage of the existing donation and retail Electronic Recycling Program in San Antonio ...infrastructure of Goodwill and the recycling experience and resources of Dell to offer a proactive, community-based solution to environmentally responsible electronics disposal.  The goal of the pilot program is to divert nearly two million pounds of used computers and computer equipment from landfills over one year and to provide consumer education on the importance of proper computer disposal, while creating job opportunities for individuals with disabilities and other employment barriers throughout the San Antonio region. "   ...

Via Dell: Dell and Goodwill Industries of San Antonio Launch Convenient, No-Charge Computer Recycling Service for Consumers: Reconnect San Antonio Plans to Divert Almost 2 Million Pounds Annually from Landfills ...

RECONNECT is a comprehensive electronics recovery, reuse and environmentally responsible recycling opportunity for consumers in participating communities.

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Ethanol E85 Performance Car Sets Speed Record ...




E85 ethanol powers performance car to best its land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats ...Ecotec Engine Performs on E85

...   "The Ecotec-powered Bonneville Student Project Cobalt SS, which runs on E85 ethanol, upped its land speed record to 163.608 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/FCC class (G Class/Unblown Fuel Competition Coupe).  Only one day after setting the first-ever record at Bonneville using E85 alone, the Student Cobalt bested its record by more than 7 mph using E85 in conjunction with nitrous oxide.  GM GM E85 car sets speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats ...Performance Division engineer and driver Mark Dickens had another strong day as he drove the Student Cobalt to the new speed record and then scorched the salt with a 246.680 mph qualifying run in the Chevy So-Cal Cobalt.  The 246+ mph run beats his own personal best speed of 243.127 mph in the Chevy So-Cal Cobalt during the 2004 Speed Week event, which earned the car the nickname 243 Cobalt."   ...

Ethanol E85 Performance Car Sets Speed Record: GM Performance Division Continues Record-Setting Week at Bonneville Salt Flats: Chevy So-Cal Cobalt SS Scorches the Salt at 246 MPH during Qualifying ...

GM Performance Division Sets Two Land Speed Records at Bonneville Salt Flats: The Bonneville Student Project Chevrolet Cobalt SS, based off a naturally-aspirated Cobalt SS and converted to run on E85 ethanol for 2006, set a 156.073 mph record in the G/FCC class (G Class/Unblown Fuel Competition Coupe), while the Chevy So-Cal Cobalt SS set a 218.392 mph record in the G/BFALT class (G Class/Blown Fuel Altered Coupe).  Three female student interns - 19-year-old Heather Chemistruck from Virginia Tech University, 21-year-old Lauren Zimmer from Purdue University and 21-year-old Sandra Saldivar of New Mexico State University - were among the many excited Chevy Cobalt E85 Vehicle at Salt Flats for GM ...Bonneville team members as they helped convert the Student Project Cobalt to run on E85 for 2006 and are also part of the car's pit crew.

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August 09, 2006

GM LEED Green Auto Assembly Site ...




General Motors' Lansing Delta Township plant achieves LEED gold rating for green building.  The facility has designed energy efficiency into its systems, is built using local materials with low construction waste disposed into landfills, and manages water use and stormwater in a sustainable manner.  ...

...   "General Motors' new Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant has received a gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The building is the only automotive manufacturing plant in the world – as well as the largest facility and the most complex manufacturing site -- to ever receive any level of LEED certification.  LEED certification is the building industry’s well-respected recognition of superior energy Saturn Engine ...and environmental design and construction. A gold certification recognizes a high level of performance.  Over the first ten years of operations, the facility is expected to save over 40 million gallons of water and 30 million kwh of electricity.  Lansing Delta Township is one of just 550 buildings worldwide that are LEED certified at any level – of these buildings, only a third are certified at the gold level.  The plant will produce GM’s new crossover vehicles -- the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave– and will start production during the fourth quarter of 2006.  Commenting on the certification, U.S. Green Building Council President S. Richard Fedrizzi noted that the acceptance of green buildings has been slower within the manufacturing sector than for other commercial uses. "   ...

GM LEED Green Auto Assembly Site: Via General Motors: GM Opens First-Ever LEED-Gold Certified Automobile Manufacturing Facility ...

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August 08, 2006

Hybrid Solar Lighting Enables Green Buildings ...




Oak Ridge National Laboratory is seeing growing interest in its innovative approach to indirect lighting that leverages sunlight and optical fibers to save energy consumption.  The solar technology is in beta testing phase and requires additional engineering to lower the unit cost.  It is green technology in many ways:  saves energy and reduces energy requirements during peak loads.  ...

...   "With five hybrid solar lighting systems already in place and another 20 scheduled to be installed in the next couple of months, the forecast is looking sunny for a technology developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  Preliminary data from field units, which collect sunlight and pipe it into buildings using bundles of small optical fibers, show potentially significant energy savings in lighting and maintenance costs. An added benefit is that, for most uses, natural light is vastly superior to artificial light.

The hybrid solar lighting technology uses a rooftop-mounted 48-inch diameter Hybrid Solar Lighting ...collector and secondary mirror that track the sun throughout the day. The collector system focuses the sunlight into 127 optical fibers connected to hybrid light fixtures equipped with diffusion rods visually similar to fluorescent light bulbs. These rods spread light in all directions. One collector powers eight to 12 hybrid light fixtures, which can illuminate about 1,000 square feet. During times of little or no sunlight, a sensor controls the intensity of the artificial lamps to maintain a constant level of illumination.  Over the next several months, researchers in ORNL's Solar Technologies Program will continue to perform beta testing of the units, installed or being installed at various locations around the nation.

If market projections prove accurate, within five years 5,000 hybrid solar lighting systems could be installed in regions of the nation where solar availability and electricity rates make this technology cost effective, saving 50 million kilowatt hours per year.  "   ...

Hybrid Solar Lighting Enables Green Buildings: ORNL hybrid lighting technology gaining momentum around nation ...

Solar Technologies at ORNL: "HSL technology uses rooftop, 4-ft-wide mirrored dishes that track the sun with the help of a GPS receiver. "

ORNL solar technology is recognized for its innovation ...

ORNL wins six R&D 100 Awards, pushing total to lab-leading 128: "Hybrid Solar Lighting System, developed by Jeff Muhs, David Beshears, Duncan Earl, Curt Maxey, Melissa Lapsa, Wes Wysor, Christina Ward and Randall Lind of the Engineering Science and Technology Division, John Jordan of ORNL Creative Media and Sunlight Direct of Oak Ridge.  This system uses a roof-mounted solar collector and small fiber optics to transfer sunlight to top-floor hybrid fixtures that contain electric lamps. With a control system, the two light sources work in tandem by dimming the electric lights when the sunlight is bright and turning them up as clouds move in or as the sun sets. The result is a dramatic improvement over conventional approaches to bringing sunlight into buildings. "

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August 07, 2006

Wind Turbine Power Generation ...




SKF makes improvements to bearings that improve the efficiency and extends the life of wind turbines.  ...

...   "To solve the problem with passage of electrical current through the generator Bearing designs ...bearings, causing expensive repair and downtime, SKF has developed a range of large hybrid bearings especially for wind turbine generator applications that do not allow the passage of electrical currents. Such currents would lead to electrical erosion of the raceways and eventual bearing and generator failure. They also tend to break down the structure of the lubricant, which also heavily affects bearing performance. "   ...

Wind Turbine Power Generation: SKF launches several new solutions and announces a new order at Wind Energy Fair ...

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August 06, 2006

Biomass Power from Palm Oil Waste ...




Chubu Electric invests in green power through participation in biomass power generation in Malaysia.  Waste oil palm will be used as the raw material for the biomass generator.  ...

...   "Our participation in a Malaysian project to generate power from oil palm empty fruit bunch biomass:  Finally, I'd like to tell you about Chubu Electric's overseas energy business.  During the five-year period through FY2010, Chubu Electric is getting more heavily involved in overseas energy projects, and we are being Chubu Electric invests in green technology ...proactive in this area right now.  This overseas energy business will be developed in two major directions: one is power generation, which seeks to meet our goal of securing stable revenue over the long term, and the other direction is environmental projects, which seek to secure both revenue and CO2 emission rights.  Under the category of environmental projects, we have recently decided to take part in Malaysian project to generate power from oil palm empty fruit bunch biomass.  Oil palm empty fruit bunches are what is left after the fruit, which is the raw material for oil, is removed.  Ordinarily, most empty fruit bunches are disposed of as waste and ends up releasing the greenhouse gas methane to the atmosphere.  The project we are joining uses the empty fruit bunches as fuel. Two power stations, each with 10,000 kW of output, will be developed.  This is expected to result in better environmental protection in the region and CO2 emission rights for Chubu Electric.  The project has already received the approval of the United Nations CDM Executive Board as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project and is forecast to earn CO2 emission rights worth about two million tons.  With operations targeted to commence in March 2008, construction is set to begin very soon on one of the power stations. "   ...

Biomass Power from Palm Oil: Via Chubu Electric: Key Point of President's Regular Press Conference

Sustainable practices for palm oil production ...

Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil:  "RSPO is an association created by organisations carrying out their activities in and around the entire supply chain for palm oil to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through co-operation within the supply chain and open dialogue with its stakeholders. "

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August 03, 2006

E85 Biofuel Get Boost Through Legislation ...




New York legislation will enable gas stations to more easily offer alternative biofuels, such as E85, to their customers.  The existence of exclusive contracts with distributors made it impossible for gas station owners to offer biofuels.  Before long, owners of flex-fuel vehicles in New York will be able to fill up with E85 biofuel.  ...

...   "Governor George E. Pataki has signed legislation that will prohibit the use of exclusivity contracts between fuel distributors and gas stations that have limited the availability of renewable fuels for consumer use in their vehicles.  The new law will exempt renewable fuels from the provisions of any future motor fuel franchise agreements between fuel providers and retail service stations. Under these Pataki on E85 biofuels ...agreements, service stations are not allowed to purchase or sell fuels from a source other than the main distributor. Since most major petroleum fuel distributors do not offer E85 or other renewable fuels in New York State, many service stations are contractually prohibited from offering renewable fuels to their customers. With the Governor's signing of this bill into law, future contracts cannot prohibit or discourage a service station from selling alternative fuels.

The new law applies to E85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline), biodiesel fuel, hydrogen, and compressed natural gas (CNG). Distributors who violate the law by entering into exclusivity contracts will be subject to a penalty of $1,000. If the distributor does offer renewable fuels, they are allowed, under franchise agreements, to require the stations to use their brands. The law takes effect immediately and applies to all subsequent franchise agreements.  There are an estimated 200,000 flex fuel vehicles registered in New York State, and automakers have announced their intentions to dramatically increase their production of these vehicles, which can run on E85 or gasoline. However, at the present time there are only a few services stations in the State where drivers can purchase renewable fuels. "   ...

E85 Biofuel Get Boost Through Legislation: Via NY Governor George Pataki: GOVERNOR SIGNS LEGISLATION TO PROHIBIT EXCLUSIVITY FUEL CONTRACTS THAT PREVENT SERVICE STATIONS FROM SELLING RENEWABLE FUELS ...

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August 02, 2006

FlexFuel Cars: Tax Accelerates Energy Independence ...




Proposed tax would accelerate production of flex-fuel vehicles and penalize non-flex cars in order to accelerate the country towards energy independence.  ...

...   "Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) today introduced H.R. 5959, the TEAM (To Lofgren promotes tax to accelerate flex-fuel vehicles ...Encourage Alternatively fueled vehicle Manufacturing) Up for Energy Independence Act of 2006, which will encourage the production of alternatively fueled vehicles by phasing in a tax penalty on the manufacture or import of new, non-flex fuel cars, light trucks, and SUVs.  H.R. 5959 phases in a tax penalty on the manufacture or import of new, non-flex fuel vehicles.  Any revenues generated by this tax will then be used to help independent gas station owners install alternative fuel equipment.  Since the cost of producing flex fuel vehicles is minimal at the time of manufacturing, these tax penalties can be easily avoided and will provide a needed incentive to move this emerging alternative energy technology forward. "   ...

Via Zoe Lofgren: Lofgren Introduces Flex Fuel Bill to Combat Climate Change: Team Up for Energy Independence Act Promotes Alternatively Fueled Vehicles ...

Additional resources on flex-fuel approach to energy independence ...

COLEMAN OUTLINES PLAN TO ACHIEVE GREATER ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: "The Energy Policy Act of 2005 Congress passed this summer included important provisions to expand energy conservation and renewable energy production, particularly through the creation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). However, many of these provisions only support the current rate of growth for the renewable industry. If America is going to replicate Brazil's energy success, stronger, bolder policies are necessary.  I believe we need a national energy policy that increases availability of flex fuel vehicles, invests heavily in E-85 infrastructure, includes a sugar-to ethanol program, and sets a national mandate for ethanol that matches our energy independence ambitions.  Key elements of such a renewable energy policy are present in the Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act referenced earlier. VFCASA will increase the availability of flex fuel vehicles by setting a reasonable requirement that 10 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. are alternative vehicles, such as flex fuel vehicles, by 2012 and 50 percent by 2016. This requirement would be coupled with a new tax credit for manufacturers for upgrades necessary to begin or expand production of advanced technology vehicles -- helping industry meet this requirement. "

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August 01, 2006

Green Business Computing: Energy Smart IBM Servers ...




IBM's new Opteron processor-based servers can transform the data center by increasing performance while efficiently using power.  IBM has delivered a portfolio of technologies, called Cool Blue, to dramatically improve power utilization and reduce energy costs through tools for accurate planning and monitoring of power consumption to meet business expectations.  ...

...   "The new servers will deliver energy-smart business performance computing solutions that optimize power consumption at the chip, systems and software levels, and address clients' growing appetite for more powerful yet energy-efficient computing resources.  The portfolio of five new IBM systems and blades introduced is based on the next generation of AMD Opteron processors and is targeted to business performance computing -- a new compute model that leverages high performance computing capability to more effectively meet general business needs, such as business intelligence, enterprise resource planning and more.  The new systems join IBM's current line of AMD Opteron processor-based systems targeted for high-performance computing, first introduced to the market by IBM in April 2003, and can deliver up to 21 percent greater performance within the same power envelope as previous generations.   IBM Blade servers are energy efficient ...

IBM's industry-first, breakthrough software technology, IBM PowerExecutive. The software, available across IBM BladeCenter and System x servers at no additional charge, allows clients to meter actual power usage and heat emissions, and cap the amount of power used by a single server or group of servers at any given time.  IBM Director and Virtualization Engine can help provide a reduction in energy usage across systems through server consolidation and systems management virtualization technologies. By pooling, managing and optimizing IT resources across servers, virtualized systems can improve the economics and operations of under-utilized IT assets, effectively decreasing energy needs and usage by up to 40 percent. "   ...

Green Business Computing: Energy Smart IBM Servers: Via IBM: IBM DELIVERS BREAKTHROUGH ENERGY-SMART BUSINESS COMPUTING SYSTEMS WITH AMD OPTERON PROCESSORS TO EXTEND IBM's ADVANTAGE IN THE WORLDWIDE SERVER INDUSTRY

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