Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Effect of Ending Green Energy Credits

Here's a short opinion piece from Green Energy News. The article quotes a joint statement of the National Hydropower Association, Geothermal Energy Association, Solar Energy Industries Association, and American Wind Energy Association, reporting that 6000 Megawatts of renewable energy came on line in 2007, and that the industry created many many good jobs for Americans. However, the statement then points out that the number of new project starts is declining now because federal credits for renewable energy expire at the end of the year. The article urges action by the federal government now to renew those credits.

I'm led to wonder to what extent individual states will try and pick up some of the slack. For example, here's a report the other day from the Associated Press that Massachusetts will be implementing a program to support residential solar panel use. The article points out the Massachusetts will be basing its plan on those in New Jersey and California.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Exploring Alternate Solar Possibilities

This article reports on a new invention -- the Johnson Thermoelectric Energy Conversion System or JTECS -- that the inventor claims will convert solar energy to electric at 60% efficiency. It's an unusual system that works with heat differentials and a type of hydrogen cell to produce the electricity. It works as a closed system with no waste, input or output of any kind, other than the heat produced by the sun. The article also says this system, which is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, could potentially be used to produce electricity from waste heat produced by internal combustion engines, and perhaps any other source.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Compressed Air Car

This new car runs on compressed air, with no pollution or emissions other than air. It fuels in minutes for a couple dollars, and it will be marketed for about $7000 in France and India perhaps by the end of the year. There is an associated video with the story, all of which can be found here.