Alternative energy

  • EnergyPrice of wind energy in U.S. at an all-time low, spurring demand

    Wind energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy. The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged under 2.5¢/kWh for projects negotiating contracts in 2014, spurring demand for wind energy.

  • EnergyWater shortage hobbles expansion of shale gas drilling

    Many point to the large reserves of shale gas as promising U.S. energy independence in the near future. Extracting shale gas, however, requires huge amounts of water, and growing water shortages have already led to conflicts over water use between shale gas developers and farmers. Such conflicts are only going to intensify.

  • EnergyResearchers use electricity to generate alternative fuel

    Scientists show that we can use electricity to power our cars — even if these cars are not electric vehicles; the researchers demonstrated a method for converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuel isobutanol using electricity

  • WaterStudy: No direct link between fracking, groundwater contamination

    Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) involves the high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals into a shale seam, which causes the rock to shatter, releasing natural gas; preliminary findings from a study on the use of hydraulic fracturing in shale gas development suggest no direct link to reports of groundwater contamination

  • In the trenchesAutonomous multi-target, multi-user tracking capability

    An autonomous multi-sensor motion-tracking and interrogation system reduces the workload for analysts by automatically finding moving objects, then presenting high-resolution images of those objects with no human input

  • Google invests $168 million in world’s largest solar tower

    Google recently announced that it will invest $168 million to help fund a massive solar power project in California’s Mojave Desert; when completed the solar tower will be the world’s generating 392 megawatts of energy and powering 140,000 homes; the solar facility will be built by BrightSource Energy and has been dubbed the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System; BrightSource has already raised roughly $1.6 billion dollars including loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy and a $300 million investment from NRG Energy Inc.; the tower is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400,000 tons per year and is scheduled to be completed in 2013

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  • Energy futuresU.S. gives $2 billion to solar energy companies

    The Obama administration awarded nearly $2 billion to two solar energy companies for three large solar energy projects — in Arizona, Indiana, and Colorado; the projects will create more than 3,000 jobs, power 70,000 homes, and produce millions of solar panels each year

  • Energy futureOil production to peak before 2030

    New reports says that oil will become increasingly expensive and harder to find, extract, and produce; significant new discoveries, such as the one announced recently in the Gulf of Mexico, are only expected to delay the peak by a matter of days and weeks; to maintain global oil production at today’s level will require the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia every three years

  • Nuclear mattersNuclear power may be considered for carbon credits

    Te 2001 Kyoto protocol excluded nuclear power from clean energy technology schemes; now, more and more countries appear to support the idea that developing countries should be given carbon credits if they build nuclear power stations; carbon credits could cut the capital cost of building new nuclear stations by up to 40 percent

  • More than 950 billion barrels of crude have been extracted since 1850

    How much crude oils has been extracted around the world since 1850, the year the first commercial oil-wells were sunk in? Until now, experts calculated that number to be 944 billion barrels; new study suggests a figure that is 35 percent higher than that

  • Land down underAussie company receives $250 million to prove wave power concept

    Investec Bank gives West Perth-based energy developer Carnegie Corporation $250 million to demonstrate the viability of its wave technology

  • Space-based solar powerSpace-based solar power coming to California

    Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California’s largest utility company, will purchase from Solaren 200 megawatts of electricity when Solaren’s system is in place, which is expected to be 2016

  • Nuclear mattersEleven sites on final list for new U.K. nuclear power station sit

    The government published the list of eleven sites which could be potential hosts to new nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom

  • Nuclear fusionU.K. consortium to build nuclear fusion reactor

    U.K. companies have formed a consortium to bid for construction of the main reactor vacuum vessel of the €5 billion (£4.6 billion) International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER) nuclear fusion reactor

  • Nuclear fusionCold fusion is enjoying a rebirth

    Researchers presented new evidence for the existence of this promising — and controversial — energy source’ papers discussed last week at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society