France’s La Poste manages 180,000 PCs that sat mostly idle, yet still used as much electricity as if they were fully engaged in a difficult computing problem.
“The AVOB solution does what other solutions do by automatically putting the PC into low energy mode when inactive after a specified amount of time,” Charpentier explained. “That saved La Poste 50 percent on average. What AVOB does differently is to also automatically adapt power consumption of the PC depending on the task to save an additional 10 to 20 percent on the …
Joule Unlimited, pioneer of Liquid Fuel from the Sun™, today supported the high-productivity potential of its production process with the publication of a detailed analysis and model of its breakthrough solar-to-fuels platform.
Published by Photosynthesis Research, the peer-reviewed article examines Joule’s critical advances in solar capture and conversion, direct product synthesis and continuous product secretion, which collectively form a platform for renewable fuel and chemical production with yields up to 50X greater than the maximum potential of any process requiring biomass. In addition, the analysis counters prior assumptions about …
Waste Management, announced financial results for its fourth quarter and for the year ended December 31, 2010. Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2010 were $3.19 billion compared with $3.01 billion for the same 2009 period. Net income for the quarter was $281 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, compared with $315 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009. The Company noted several items that impacted results in the 2010 and 2009 fourth quarters. Excluding these items, net income would have been $287 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with $257 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase in earnings per diluted share of over 15%.
For the full year 2010, the Company reported revenues of $12.52 billion compared with $11.79 billion for 2009. Earnings per diluted share were $1.98 for the full year 2010 compared with …
Two today on peak oil and how the big oil companies are finally publicly (if quietly) coming around to what peak oil researchers have been saying for a while: It’s here, or will be shortly.
First, Wall Street Journal highlights how ExxonMobil is having a hard time finding new oil and has had a hard time for a while now. For the past 10 years for every 100 barrels it’s extracted it’s only been able to find 95 more. Natural gas exploration on the other hand has been very successful–enter, fracking.
Second, Raw Story sums up a report by Shell that at best …
Member States of the European Union have agreed on targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by cutting energy consumption by 20% and increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix to 20% by 2020. The ‘Europe’s Energy’ project gives users a set of visual tools to put these targets into context and to understand and compare how progress is being made towards them in different countries.
The survey asked 106 utility executives – the people that arguably know more about the energy supply and demand challenges our nation faces than anyone else – a range of questions on the smart grid, energy efficiency and related topics and issues.
We issued a press release today with some of the highlights, but to help put this week’s news into context, we also wanted to share a full breakdown of the results. Nothing earth shattering, but worth keeping in mind as the week progresses…
The annual smart grid event Distributech kicked off in San Diego Tuesday morning and — as expected — unleashed a whole series of news from smart grid-focused firms. From new home energy management products, to plug-in car software, to distribution automation gear, this is a list of trends and news from the show.
US venture capital (VC) investment in cleantech companies increased by 8% to $3.98 billion in 2010 from $3.7 billion in 2009 and deal total increased by 7% to 278, according to an Ernst & Young LLP analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource. VC investment in cleantech in Q4 2010 reached $979 million with 72 financing rounds. VC investment in cleantech in Q4 2010 reached $979 million with 72 financing rounds, flat in terms of deals and down 14% in terms of capital invested compared to Q4 2009…
“There’ve been multiple gigawatts of solar thermal power plants planned for various places in the California desert for some time, but finally some more of them are getting the approvals need so that construction can start: The US Bureau of Land Management has issued a final environmental impact statement for the 1,000 MW Blythe Solar Power Project; and the 250 MW Beacon Solar Energy project has received final California state approval as well.
The smaller of the two first: Renewable Energy World reports NextEra Energy Resources has been given the green light by the California Energy Commission to begin construction on the 250 MW Beacon Solar Energy project.
Researchers at Columbia University have demonstrated that a layer of plants and earth can cut the rate of heat absorption through the roof of a building in summer by 84%
Perhaps the greatest overall benefit of green roofs comes in tackling the “urban heat island” effect, which Gaffin suggests is responsible for two-thirds of New York’s localized warming over the last century. The conventional black rooftops that he calls “tar beaches” are major contributors to this phenomenon, absorbing and re-radiating the sun’s energy as heat. “We’re going to want to cool regional climate down, especially where people are living,” Gaffin noted. “So we’re going to have to confront the urban heat island effect.”
While conventional roofs can reach temperatures of 80 °C at 1.00 p.m. even outside of high summer, green roofs always stay closer to ambient temperatures. “These [conventional roofs] are almost dangerously hot spaces,” Gaffin told environmentalresearchweb. “That’s a huge heat load that we can get rid of.”
Plants in green roofs regulate their temperatures through evapotranspiration. “They evaporate copious amounts of water,” Gaffin explained. “That takes a lot of energy and means it’s a great way to stay cool.”
Energy efficiency is THE core climate solution. It’s the biggest low-carbon resource by far. “Efficiency Works” [PDF], a major new report by Bracken Hendricks, Bill Campbell, and Pen Goodale, finds that a straightforward set of policies aimed at upgrading just 40 percent of the residential and commercial building stock in the United States would:
Create 625,000 sustained full-time jobs over a decade.
Spark $500 billion in new investments to upgrade 50 million homes and office buildings.
Generate as much as $64 billion a year in cost savings for U.S. ratepayers, freeing consumers to spend their money in more productive ways.
Cisco this morning announced its intent to acquire privately-held Arch Rock, which specializes in IP-based wireless sensor network technology with a focus on energy and environmental monitoring and Smart Grid applications.
Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
ONE of the curiosities of carbon markets is that they do not just trade in carbon. Other greenhouse gases can be given a value, too—sometimes a very high one. Claims that these prices promote scammery are now prompting some searching questions.
The gas at the centre of the controversy is HFC-23, a greenhouse gas which, on a weight-for-weight basis, is 14,800 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. HFC-23 is produced as a by-product of the manufacture of HCFC-22, an ozone-destroying refrigerant. HCFC-22 is banned in developed countries, but developing countries can keep making it until 2030.
The acronyms do not end there. Under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations HCFC-22 producers in developing countries that destroy, rather than release, their HFC-23 can be eligible for Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits, which can then be traded in the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme. This allows companies to buy extra emissions reductions to meet their cap-and-trade obligations, and in so doing to transfer money to schemes reducing emissions in developing countries.
Inside GE, Ecomagination is deemed a success, so much so that it has spawned a sister initiative (if you can spawn a sister) called Healthymagination, focused on profitably creating better health for more people. GE says that it expects Ecomagination product revenues to grow at twice the rate of GE’s overall revenue between now and 2015.
The logic behind both initiatives is simple, Bob noted. Big global problems demand big solutions from big companies. GE prides itself on “tackling the world’s most complex and pressing problems,” as chief executive Jeff Immelt writes in the report.
The trouble is, the payoff for GE’s shareholders have been disappointing. I didn’t realize just how disappointing until I put together this chart comparing GE’s stock-price performance to the S&P500 and to a couple of its conglomerate competitors, Siemens and United Technologies.
The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) has added a power efficiency metric, TPC-Energy, to its ongoing roundups of speedy transactional processing systems. Hewlett-Packard is the first participant to use the new TPC-Energy specification, submitting benchmark results of four of its systems.
“Energy is an increasing factor in the total cost of ownership” for many organisations, said Karl Huppler, chairman of the TPC. The new benchmark will allow an organisation to judge how energy efficient systems are, as judged by watts per performance.
A new report by the Green Scissors Campaign details some $200 billion worth of yearly US government subsidies that the coalition says are “wasteful to taxpayers, harmful to the environment and bad for consumers.” Green Scissors 2010 [PDF] covers four broad areas in which these subsidies occur– energy, agriculture and biofuels, infrastructure, and public lands.
Raw materials are an essential part of both high tech products and every-day consumer products, such as mobile phones, thin layer photovoltaics, Lithium-ion batteries, fibre optic cable, synthetic fuels, among others. But their availability is increasingly under pressure according to a report published today by an expert group chaired by the European Commission. In this first ever overview on the state of access to raw materials in the EU, the experts label a selection of 14 raw materials as “critical” out of 41 minerals and metals analysed. The growing demand for raw materials is driven by the growth of developing economies and new emerging technologies. The list was established in the framework of the 2008 EU Raw Materials Initiative1 in close cooperation with Member States and stakeholders. The results of the report will be used for the drafting of a forthcoming communication on strategies to ensure access to raw materials which the Commission will publish in autumn 2010.
The Spanish plan centres on giving preferential access to the wholesale electricity market for power plants that run on domestic coal, and was announced by the government in February, after months of behind-the-scenes tussling with Brussels.
At the same time, the Spanish government wants to retroactively cut previously agreed tariffs for its €20bn photovoltaic solar energy sector by 30 per cent. As FTfm reports, such a move could be devastating for investors in highly-leveraged solar photovoltaic projects.
Millions of householders will face a hosepipe ban from Friday, a utility company has confirmed.
United Utilities, which supplies water to north-west England, said the measure will help “safeguard essential supplies”.
Water levels in many reservoirs and lakes have plummeted to less than half their capacity due to the region’s driest start to the year since 1929.
Australia is no stranger to tight water supplies, and fortunately that means smart water conservation strategies are being devised all the time. Australia is leading the way in everything from strategies to combat desertification to using renewable energy for desalination plants, and now it is putting that knowledge to work on six new infrastructure projects that can save 1.3 billion gallons of water.
There’s some interesting new data out on recent shifts in electricity demand and consumption, courtesy of the DOE/EIA.
In 2008, total U.S. power generation was 4.1 million GWh. In 2009, that fell by 4 percent, to 3.9 million. That’s a 4 percent reduction — clearly the result of the economic slowdown. Nothing surprising there.
What’s interesting, though, is how generation shifted by fuel type. Over the same year, coal-fired power generation fell by 11 percent, from almost 2 million GWh to just under 1.8 million.
Just how important is turning off computers at the end of the day in an office building? Very, if a company wants to save big bucks on electricity bills. According to UC San Diego researchers, 50-80% of a modern building’s electricity use goes to IT equipment, particularly desktop computers. A report last year showed that not shutting down PCs equated to $2.8 billion in wasted electricity. Still, many offices don’t encourage their employees to hit shut-down on their PCs for a variety of reasons, including updating software while everyone is out or being able to keep the computer attached to the network so information on the machine can be accessed at any time. However, Microsoft’s new Sleep Proxy system claims it can help cut energy consumption by 60-80%, without getting in the way of office systems.
At a presentation at the Oxford Energy Futures conference on June 11th, Andy Duff, non-executive chair of RWE npower, made some controversial assertions about the future of electricity in the UK. He focused on three propositions.
a) The UK cannot meet its carbon targets without new nuclear
b) Electricity demand will grow at 1% less than GDP growth
City experts believe the agreement hammered out between BP and President Obama should help it to rebuild its relationships in Washington, and protect the company’s future. But with three quarterly dividend payments axed, investors will bear the pain for many months.
Green activists using helicopters, divers and rotten butter yesterday confronted Libyan and Italian fishermen to release hundreds of threatened bluefin tuna which they strongly suspect were illegally caught off the Libyan coast.
The Green Party’s Energy Minister Eamon Ryan has hailed major progress in green power generation, with Ireland already exceeding its 2010 target. He welcomed a report by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland – Renewable Energy in Ireland – which shows that Ireland generated 14.5% of its electricity from renewable sources. The target for 2010 was 15%.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has just launched a new five-year strategic plan with a mission of transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices, and a vision of making Ireland a recognised global leader in sustainable energy.
Scientists in China have succeeded in teleporting information between photons further than ever before. They transported quantum information over a free space distance of 16 km (10 miles), much further than the few hundred meters previously achieved, which brings us closer to transmitting information over long distances without the need for a traditional signal.
More than one in four shareholders of Exxon Mobil Corp. supported a resolution Wednesday demanding more disclosure about the energy giant’s oil sands holdings, the largest protest to date over the amount of information available regarding the multi-billion dollar energy projects.
About 26.4% of investors at Exxon’s annual general meeting in Dallas voted in favour of shareholder motion asking the company to produce a report detailing the financial risks associated with the oil sands projects. The board recommended investors shoot down the proposal.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster is likely to cost BP $23bn (£15bn) and its shares can be expected to lag behind those of its competitors by 5% for the “lasting” future, analysts warned today.
More than $9bn will come from reputational damage as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill while the total costs are likely to drive up its net equity to debt ratio to 35%, much higher than its peers, according to Barclays Capital.
But this whole Gulf of Mexico fiasco sounds a bit like a trailer mash-up between a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie and Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Unfortunately, this isn’t Hollywood and we’ve have 5,000 barrels of crude oil bubbling into our ocean every single day–though some are reporting it’s closer to 26,000 barrels a day!
British tax authorities have arrested 21 people after raiding homes and offices across Europe as part of a crackdown on alleged carbon-trading fraud, HM Revenue & Customs confirmed today .
Some 450 staff took part in raids on Wednesday as tax authorities across the continent intensified an ongoing investigation into alleged carbon-trading fraud, which is estimated to have cost €5bn in unpaid taxes.
Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday vowed to realize the country’s green goal to cut energy intensity by 20 percent between 2006 and 2010, amid the strong economic recovery.
In a nationwide video and teleconference, Wen told governments at all levels to work with an “iron hand” to eliminate inefficient enterprises.
To that effect, he laid out new targets to shut down the outdated 10 GW capacity of small thermal power plants, 25 million tons of iron smelting, 6 million tons of steel production, 50 million tons of cement, 330,000 tons of aluminum, 6 million containers of glass sheets and 530,000 tons of paper production within this year.
Homes are responsible for more than 20% of energy consumption in the United States. But how do you pinpoint the sources of all that CO2? An impressive new data-visualization tool from GE and Pentagram’s Lisa Strausfeld, who knows from information design, helps determine precisely which household electronics do the most damage.