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
c)?????? The UK will not have enough electricity capacity by the latter part of this decade unless UK society accepts a doubling of wholesale electricity prices, which is the minimum required to free the capital investment required to 1) meet demand and 2) decarbonise sufficiently fast.
In summary, we need nuclear and we all need to accept a substantial rise in electricity prices to pay for it.
Chinese consumers are becoming as cynical as those in the West about the way companies communicate about their social and environmental performance, according to the latest wave of GlobeScan’s annual global tracking research on public views of corporate social responsibility.\n\nThe study, which interviewed over 30,000 people across 34 countries, finds that while in 2005 more than 80 per cent of Chinese consumers felt that companies communicated ‘honestly and truthfully’ about their social and environmental performance, this has now fallen sharply, with only 40 per cent feeling this way in this year’s study.
Today, the chief executives of the five big oil companies ? including BP?s Tony Hayward ? are going to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. According to an e-mail released by that Committee yesterday, a BP drilling engineer warned that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was a ?nightmare well? that had caused the company problems in the past. The e-mail came just six days before the well exploded:
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.
BP CEO Tony Hayward is the captain of a foundering ship who just doesn’t know anything about ships. He was not party to any important decisions. He cannot recall important moments. He managed to get through nearly three decades of working in the oil business without actually learning anything about it.
And given the opportunity to prepare for specific questions in advance, what do you think he did? Nothing.
Fossil fuels including oil, natural gas and coal received more than twice the level of subsidies that renewable energy sources got from the U.S. government in fiscal 2002 through 2008, the Environmental Law Institute said.
Government spending and tax breaks amounted to $72.5 billion for fossil fuels and $29 billion for renewable energy, according to a report by the institute today.
A government panel on Thursday essentially doubled its estimate of how much oil has been spewing from the out-of-control BP well, with the new calculation suggesting that an amount equivalent to the Exxon Valdez disaster could be flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every 8 to 10 days.
The new estimate is 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil a day. That range, still preliminary, is far above the previous estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day.
India overtook China to top the world in road fatalities in 2006 and has continued to pull steadily ahead, despite a heavily agrarian population, fewer people than China and far fewer cars than many Western countries.
The oil industry’s decommissioning costs will dwarf those of nuclear power. The money being made now should be put aside to meet them.
Has BP ever made a profit? The question looks daft. The oil company posted profits of $26bn last year(1). There?s no doubt that BP has been pumping money into the pockets of its shareholders. The question is whether this money is what the company says it is. BP calls it profit. I call it the provision the firm should be making against future liabilities
Silicon Valley solar company Solexant has raised $41.5 million to pursue technology it says can slice the costs of solar power with a printing-like manufacturing process.\n\nThe company’s technology, which was developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, takes raw semiconductor material and creates nanoparticles which, once dissolved in a solvent, creates an ink that can be printed.
Efforts to stop leak, clean-up costs and compensation costing tens of millions a day
? BP shares rise 2.7% this morning on hopes for success and dividend pledge
? Chief executive vows to spend ‘what it takes’ to fix spill
Ditching ?hardcopy? software packages in favour of direct downloads could reduce the carbon footprint of the global software industry by 80 per cent*, according to Softwareload.co.uk, Deutsche Telekom?s UK software download portal
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 concept of peak oil, where the inaccessibility of remaining deposits ensures that extraction rates start an irreversible decline, has been the subject of regular debate for decades. Although that argument still hasn’t been settled?estimates range from the peak already having passed us to its arrival being 30 years in the future?having a better sense of when we’re likely to hit it could prove invaluable when it comes to planning our energy economy.
After a string of suicides in Foxconn’s China factories, home to some 400,000 workers who manufacture electronic devices for giants such as HP, Dell, and Apple, the management announced it plans to raise workers’ salaries by 20%.\n\nTaiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry, the anchor of Foxconn Technology Group, claims the salary increase has been planned for some time, but doesn’t say when the raise will be implemented.
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.