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Alternative Energy

  • Private Sector Driving U.S. Wind Market Forward

    The onshore wind energy sector is booming in the United States, where there's enough of the renewable resource on hand to meet the annual demands for 15 million homes.  It may take one of the biggest retailers in the world, however, to usher in the necessary change in energy consumption. The American Wind Energy Association said wind energy in the United States accounted for more than 4 percent of all the electricity generated in the country last year and the trend was on pace to continue.  America, the AWEA said, is increasingly powered by wind. Now Swedish home-furnishing company IKEA says it's…

  • Nigeria Planning Country’s First Nuclear Power Plant

    Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and is currently the world’s 12th largest oil producer, pumping 2.25 million barrels per day. Nigeria in 2012 was also the world's fourth leading exporter of LNG.  According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, “Nigeria has one of the lowest net electricity generation per capita rates in the world. Electricity generation falls short of demand, resulting in load shedding, blackouts, and a reliance on private generators. Nigeria is in the process of privatizing the state-owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in hopes that it will lead to greater investment and…

  • Abe Government Moves Towards Upgrading Japan’s Nuclear Facilities

    Three years after the nuclear catastrophe that struck TEPCO's Fukushima complex, the Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzuo Abe is slowly sidling back towards restarting Japan’s idled NPPs. On 25 February Abe announced Japan’s new Basic Energy Plan, which sees nuclear power as an important base load energy source and overturns a promise made by a previous government to phase out the country’s 50 operable nuclear reactors. Abe has been promising to add nuclear power back into Japan’s energy mix since soon after he took office in late 2012. On 11 March 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast…

  • Photonics Breakthrough Taking Solar Power to a whole New Level

    Researchers at the University at Buffalo are developing a technology of slowing and absorbing certain wavelengths of light offering new possibilities in solar power, thermal energy recycling and stealth technology more efficient photovoltaic cells and improved radar and stealth technology.That’s a big bite, but also add a new way to recycle waste heat generated by machines into energy.  All from a breakthrough in photonics research. The image shows a “multilayered waveguide taper array.” The different wavelengths, or colors, are absorbed by the waveguide tapers (thimble-shaped structures) that together form an array.The work was published March 28 in the journal Scientific Reports. …

  • Obama Administration Committed to U.S. Nuclear Energy Exports

    Despite the March 2011 destruction by a tsunami of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s six reactor Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power and its ongoing pollution problems, the nuclear energy in the U.S. has weathered the storm, so to speak. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates the international marketplace for civil nuclear technology at $500 to $740 billion over the next ten years, with the potential to generate more than $100 billion in U.S. exports and thousands of new jobs.  The International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Technology Review projects significant growth in the use of nuclear energy worldwide, between 35% and 100% by 2030.…

  • Amazon, Twitter Fail Greenpeace Report Card

    Amazon and Twitter have received “Fs” on their renewable energy report cards issued by Greenpeace, for inadequate commitment to renewable energy as a large percentage of Internet traffic remains powered by dirty energy.According to a Greenpeace report released on Wednesday, only 15% of Amazon’s massive Internet traffic is powered by green energy, while Twitter, which doesn’t use energy hungry data centers, has a long way to go in making its micro-blogging service more efficient and energy transparent.Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. caught the flip side of the report, with Greenpeace noting that these companies had made significant progress…

  • Breakthrough in Fusion Research Brings New Nuclear Power Source Closer

    Nuclear fusion has similarities to conventionally produced nuclear power in that it produces zero carbon electric power, but its big advantage over fission nuclear power is that it generates no nuclear waste, the bane of fission nuclear power plants. Recent research breakthroughs are bringing closer the day that power generation from fusion reactors will become a reality.While research to develop commercially viable nuclear fusion has been underway for decades, advances have been slow due to the immense technological complexities involved and modest funding. That said, recent technological breakthroughs may hasten progress.On 19 March the University of Michigan announced that a…

  • By Embracing Renewable Energy Indonesia Avoids Offshore Disputes

    Indonesia, formerly a net oil exporter in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is shifting its energy production from serving primarily export markets to meet the needs of its growing domestic market. Indonesia is the most populous country in Southeast Asia and the fourth most populous country in the world, behind China, India, and the United States. Indonesia is now the world's third most populous democracy with over 250 million inhabitants, the world's largest archipelagic state (17,508 islands, 6,000 inhabited) and the world's largest Muslim-majority nation. Indonesia’s economy grew more than 6% annually in 2010-12, but the government faces ongoing challenges…

  • Geothermal Gains Traction in Post-Fukushima Japan

    Japan’s Chuo Electric Power Co. is preparing to launch the country’s first new geothermal power project in 15 years at a time when Tokyo is grappling with energy alternatives to its deactivated nuclear reactors. The new geothermal plant on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu will take advantage of the area’s natural hot springs and volcanic activity and will be one of the first to go online since 1999, boosting the nation’s geothermal power-generation potential which currently represents only 2%. Chuo Electric has said it plans to open five more geothermal power-generation plants in the next five years. Related Article: Three…

  • How Will Crimea Influence Iran Talks?

    Talks are resuming in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear program between Iran and the P5+1 – China, France, Russia, the U.K., the U.S. and Germany. The interim deal agreed to last November between these parties removed some sanctions from Iran, amounting to about $7 billion in economic relief. Iran has capitalized on the loosening grip of the West, and it has boosted its exports of oil as a result. February data suggests that Iran has breached the 1 million barrel-per-day limit imposed upon it for the fourth month in a row. It raised oil exports by 16% to 1.16 million barrels…