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Latest Energy News | World News

  • Solar Could Be The Largest Source Of Energy By 2050

    Published: 30 September 2014

    Solar energy could be the world’s largest source of power by 2050, providing more than a quarter of the Earth’s energy, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).A report from the Paris-based agency forecasts that photovoltaic (PV) plants could generate up to 16 percent of the Earth’s electricity,  while another report says solar thermal electricity (STE), which concentrates sunlight with mirrors to produce steam energy, could provide 11 percent.The total would push solar energy beyond all other sources of electricity, including fossil fuels, hydropower and nuclear energy. It seems possible because of the “rapid cost decrease” of solar energy hardware,…

  • Bacon Fat: A Recipe For Renewable Fuel

    Published: 30 September 2014

    Bacon has become so popular that it’s pretty much everywhere you look – in chocolate, ice-cream, potato chips, syrup, salt, even toothpaste –  so why not bacon fuel, too?It’s not as farfetched as it sounds. Hormel Foods, based in Austin, MN teamed up with Bio-Blend Fuels of Manitowoc, WI, to create a motorcycle that runs on bacon grease, which is technically a biofuel, even if it’s not from a plant. Hormel and Bio-Blend Fuels converted a rare diesel motorcycle, the 2011 Track T-800 CDI, to run on rendered bacon fat, which is renewable, sustainable and non-polluting – and to many…

  • Exxon Found Oil Trove In Russian Arctic Before Halting Work

    Published: 29 September 2014

    Last week, the largest U.S. energy company, ExxonMobil, bowed to Western sanctions against Russia and withdrew from a joint venture with the Kremlin-owned oil giant Rosneft in the Russian Arctic, but not before it discovered what may be a vast amount of oil.Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said Sept. 27 that the finding shows the Arctic Ocean’s Kara Sea north of Russia could become one of the world’s richest sources of crude oil. Before Exxon was forced to withdraw, he said a well containing around 1 billion barrels of oil was found. He added that neighboring geological formations may contain more…

  • China Rethinks Coal Relationship With New Tax Overhaul

    Published: 29 September 2014

    The Chinese government announced Monday a major overhaul of its current resource tax, adding that a new and simpler levy beginning Dec. 1.The country’s Cabinet also said it would cancel a series of existing charges, including an environmental compensation levy, in a move aimed to help struggling coal producers."The implementation of coal resource tax reform … will not only be of benefit to resource-rich regions but will also promote coordinated regional development and the rational exploitation of resources," the statement said, as translated by Reuters.Related: Why King Coal Will Keep Its CrownTwo weeks ago China, the world's biggest consumer of…

  • World Bank: Russia Could Be On The Brink Of Recession

    Published: 26 September 2014

    A deal to ensure a steady flow of Russian gas to Ukraine this winter may keep Ukrainian homes warm and factories churning out products as long as Kiev pays past bills for gas and remains current on new deliveries.But even if the tentative agreement leads to a further easing of tensions between the two countries and a resultant end to Western sanctions against Moscow, the Russian economy will remain at risk, according to the World Bank.Guenther Oettinger, the European Community's energy commissioner, said Sept. 26 in Berlin that under the deal, Ukraine would pay $3.1 billion to the Kremlin-run gas…

  • Cutting Carbon City By City Could Have A Huge Impact On Climate Change

    Published: 26 September 2014

    Cities could put a massive dent in global warming if they got serious about cutting their carbon emissions, with or without the help of national governments.That’s the word from a new report put out Tuesday by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), a network of major cities around the world, along with the Stockholm Environment Institute and Michael Bloomberg, the United Nation’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. The top line number from the paper is that city governments could cut the world’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 3.7 billion tons in 2030 and 8 billion tons in…

  • Could The Human Gut Provide The Next Biofuel Breakthrough?

    Published: 25 September 2014

    Scientists searching the animal world for microbes that can help produce the next generation of biofuels need have looked no farther than their own bellies for some of the best specimens.In their research, scientists at the University of Illinois had been examining the rumens, or first stomachs, of cows and the alimentary canals of termites, looking for microbes that can efficiently digest the cell walls of plants.The cows deserve some credit for the research, according to Isaac Cann, a University of Illinois professor of animal sciences at the Institute for Genomic Biology, who led the study.Related: New Cellulosic Ethanol Plant…

  • DOE To Explore Offshore Heights With Onshore Construction Techniques

    Published: 25 September 2014

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investing $2 million to explore ways to build taller wind turbines that can access stronger and more consistent high-altitude winds.What’s known as the Taller Hub Heights opportunity for federal funding will help wind farms in Iowa and Massachusetts get access to the stronger winds and, using longer rotor blades, reap more wind energy than they can today.The two projects will help reduce the cost of harnessing wind energy and expand the number of regions where turbines can be successfully situated at relatively low cost, David Danielson, the assistant U.S. secretary for energy efficiency…

  • U.S. Defense Department Invests In Smart Pants For Soldiers

    Published: 24 September 2014

    The U.S. Defense Department is spending millions to develop wearable tights that fit under trousers and could help ease the strain on soldiers who have to walk long distances and carry heavy loads.Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a kind of robot clothing it calls a Soft Exosuit.The DARPA money -- part of what could become a two-phase contract -- gives the Wyss Institute an opportunity to build upon earlier work that already demonstrated the viability of its new approach to designing wearable robot…

  • Valemax Ban 'Effectively' Lifted

    Published: 24 September 2014

    Brazil's Vale's first of 35 mega-carriers capable of carrying 400,000 tonnes of dry bulk cargo embarked on its maiden voyage to Dalian, China in May 2011, but the 362-metre-long and 65 metre wide Valemax class which can carry more than twice as much as the next size dry bulk vessel only made it halfway there.Then Chinese officials, egged on by the country's shipping firms and steel industry, decided to ban the giant vessels – 30 of which have been christened – from the country's ports over fears of the impact on supply and prices.Related: Are Promising Mining Changes Here Falling…