Another Path to Biofuels

SEE Algae Technology of Austria, is building a 2.5-acre factory on a sugar plantation near Recife, Brazil, that will use genetically modified algae that can eat carbon dioxide from the sugar. Adding urea and some nutrients, the algae excrete ethanol.

The path to profitability, according to the company, is raising the amount of algae produced per unit of area. Algae grows in ponds, but that turns out to require a lot of space: sunlight does not penetrate more than a couple of inches, so the ponds must have big surfaces. The problem is that the carbon dioxide injected to promote algae growth tends to escape from a big surface.

SEE Algae’s solution is a silo that is 16 feet tall and has a volume of 177 cubic feet. Sunlight is directed all over the inside of the silo by optical fiber technology.  Rest of this NY Times article

$3.3bn Dubai solar park

US-based First Solar has won a contract from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) to construct the first phase of the $3.3bn Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Under the terms of the agreement, First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the 13 megawatt solar plant.

The Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is expected to eventually cover 48 sq km and produce 1,000MW of clean energy, First Solar said in a statement.

“The PV plant installation is a key step in the implementation of the energy diversification strategy adopted by the Supreme Council of Energy, in which solar energy is set to become part of Dubai’s energy portfolio,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA.   Rest

Masdar and GGGI

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 16 September, 2012 – A new public private partnership will pilot a cutting-edge micro-grid powered by 100% renewable electricity in Abu Dhabi. Global Green Growth Institute (Chairman, Lars Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark), an intergovernmental organization committed to promoting Green Growth in the developing world, today announced it is joining hands with Masdar Institute (MI) and the Research Institute for Industrial Science and Technology (RIST) in Pohang of South Korea to design a robust and cost-efficient micro-grid operating on 100% renewable energy. The project is supported by approximately US$1 million from GGGI and POSCO, the world’s fourth largest steel producer.   Rest

Get It Right on Gas

Thomas Friedman –

WE are in the midst of a natural gas revolution in America that is a potential game changer for the economy, environment and our national security — if we do it right.

The enormous stores of natural gas that have been locked away in shale deposits across America that we’ve now been able to tap into, thanks to breakthroughs in seismic imaging, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” are enabling us to replace much dirtier coal with cleaner gas as the largest source of electricity generation in America. And natural gas may soon be powering cars, trucks and ships as well. This is helping to lower our carbon emissions faster than expected and make us more energy secure. And, if prices stay low, it may enable America to bring back manufacturing that migrated overseas. But, as the energy and climate expert Hal Harvey puts it, there is just one big, hugely important question to be asked about this natural gas bounty: “Will it be a transition to a clean energy future, or does it defer a clean energy future?”  rest

Inglis and Laffer have a message!

Regardless of your political leaning, you should watch this video from Bob Inglis and Art Laffer.  Bob was the Keynote speaker yesterday at the SC Clean Energy Summit and this video is sort of a summary version of the his excellent presentation.

Clean Energy Summit Powered by Renewables

COLUMBIA, SC – June 28, 2012 –  When the first-ever SC Clean Energy Summit takes place in Columbia on July 18, it will be powered entirely by renewable energy.

South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance (SCCEBA), which is organizing the summit, is working with Palmetto Clean Energy to purchase about 2250 kilowatt hours of electricity, an amount equivalent to what’s needed to power the one-day event. Palmetto Clean Energy or “PaCE” is a non-profit organization that allows customers of South Carolina’s investor-owned utilities (Duke Energy, Progress Energy and SCE&G) to buy tax-deductible blocks of green, renewable energy. PaCE contributions are used to fund locally-produced renewable energy.

According to Program Manager Andrew Epting, SCCEBA has chosen to power its event with SC-generated clean energy to “put its money where its mouth is.”  Rest


The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a.k.a. Rio +20 Summit, kicks off this week and, along with population growth, urbanism is expected to be a main topic of study and conversation.

The event is massive and complex. Aside from the main event — a meeting of heads of state that will span June 20 to 22 and likely include marathon talks in an effort to scratch out actionable international agreements — there are more than 500 side events taking place in Rio.

In his Monday morning email to readers, executive editor Joel Makower wrote:

Jay Carson, executive director of C40, the sustainable cities initiative started by Michael Bloomberg and Bill Clinton, told me by phone from Rio over the weekend: “The vast majority of the conversation here is around cities” — a big change from two years ago in Copenhagen, when cities were barely on the agenda.

Building better cities, in fact, is the topic of a presentation Makower will give during the World Green Summit, an event sponsored by Phillips and a number of other blue chip firms.  Rest