Alternative energy

  • Iberdrola Renewables to launch six wind farms off Spanish coast

    Spain is generating more and more of its energy from wind — and Spanish company applies for permits to open six off-shore wind farms which, in the aggregate, will generate 3,000 MW

  • Sugars to be converted directly into gasoline

    Shell, Virent in effort to convert plant sugars directly into gasoline and gasoline blend components; sugars can be sourced from non-food sources such as corn stover, switch grass, wheat straw, and sugarcane pulp, in addition to conventional biofuel feedstock like wheat, corn, and sugarcane

  • Nottingham to test greener buses

    The City of Nottingham bought three ethanol-powered buses from Swedish company Scania for an 18 month trial; the waste-based ethanol will also come from Sweden, and will be tested against British-made sugar-based ethanol

  • Southern California utility to push solar power

    Southern California Edison, largest utility in California, will place 250 MW of photovoltaic generators on 65 million square feet of roofs of Southern California commercial buildings

  • New generator for wind turbines

    To connect to the National Grid, large turbines often use a doubly fed induction generator (DFIG) system comprising brushes and slip rings; these require regular maintenance which can be difficult to carry out, particularly offshore or in poor weather conditions; U.K. researchers offer solution

  • ORECon raises $24 million

    Innovative U.K. wave energy company raises $24 million in VC investment

  • Fuel cell joint venture formed

    In an effort to accelerate the development of fuel cells, two companies form a JV to target the light industrial, commercial, and residential markets in the United Kingdom and Ireland

  • Invention turns trash into ethanol

    Two University of Maryland researchers develop a process which turns trash into ethanol; the researchers found that a Chesapeake Bay marsh grass bacterium has an enzyme that could quickly break down plant materials into sugar, which can then be converted to biofuel

  • Measuring the size of waves

    Surfers — and wave energy converters — benefit from a having more accurate sense of the size and intensity of waves; Scottish researchers developed a technique to make the exploitation of wave energy more efficient with a device that measures the size of each wave approaching the converter

  • Pursuit Dynamics to install ethanol reactor tower in Oregon

    British specialist’s bioethanol system yields 14 percent more ethanol, while reducing overall fermentation time by more than 20 percent; system will be tested in Oregon

  • Solution offered to wind farm-radar conflict in U.K.

    The blades of turbines at U.K. wind farms interfere with the working of both military radar stations and civilian air-traffic control; a consulting firm offers a solution based on fill-in radar sensors sited at the wind farms themselves to cover the shadowed zone

  • Where the wind is

    Seattle company issues the world’s first global wind map, showing where wind is powerful enough to justify building wind energy farms; more than 40 percent of the world’s land mass has wind speeds at more than 6 meter per second (the minimum for effective generation), even though some of that land is not accessible for commercial development

  • Chevron, Weyerhaeuser to develop fuels from non-food sources

    Using food crops such as corn to produce fuel may not be such a good idea after all, as the contribution to pushing up the price of corn-based fuel would likely be greater than the contribution to reduce oil dependence or clean up the environment; two companies offer a way out

  • VCs invest $3 billion in clean tech in 2007

    VCs investment in clean tech in 2007 increased 43 percent over similar investments in 2006; U.S.-based companies received $2.52 billion, or 83 percent of the total, in 159 clean-tech deals

  • Storing wind energy in batteries

    Integrating variable wind and solar power production with the needs of the power grid is a major problem of these two alternative sources of energy; a Minnesota company will test technology to to store wind energy and move it to the electricity grid when needed