Archives for July, 2011

Australia, with the highest per capita greenhouse emissions of any large developed country, will soon take on one of the most ambitious schemes to tackle climate change, with a new carbon-trading system. The planned carbon tax will start in 2012 and apply first to the 500 worst polluting companies responsible for about 60 percent of…

The Future Is Low Carbon

Moving from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy entails replacing the global energy and industrial high-carbon infrastructure over the next decades. UN’s recent Economic and Social Survey 2011 – The Great Green Technological Transformation estimates replacement costs at $15-$20 trillion, or between one quarter and one third of global income. This is a herculean task.…

The U.S. government’s Energy Star program – which says it helped save Americans $18 billion on their energy bills last year – has created a new category to guide consumers to the top tier of energy-efficient models for such common appliances as TVs and refrigerators. The program, run by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department…

Within hours of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s announcement that he wanted to phase out nuclear energy, a special government task force in the United States charted a path forward for nuclear power in the United States Wednesday. The Japan task force of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission suggested gradual improvements for the 104 U.S.…

One of the big debates in energy today is about the hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” of natural gas deposits. Various groups have already taken entrenched positions and the crossfire of arguments pro and con has begun. For the casual observer the arguments and facts must be confusing as they try to form their own informed…

Comments Off on 5 Ideas for Biofuels That Will Change the Energy Conversation

Some Girl Scouts say palm oil in their cookies are leading to deforestation. Cookies, schmookies, the real question is: should we could we put palm oil in our gas tanks? What about algae-based oil? Or the old standby, corn? (Related: “A Rain Forest Advocate Taps the Energy of the Sugar Palm“) Planet Forward brings you…

Comments Off on Corn Cob Ethanol: The Fuel of the 21st Century?

Ethanol has had its highs and lows. Which way is it headed now? Fermentation. What would we do without it? It’s a little trick that microbes figured out billions of years ago as a way of getting energy from carbohydrates. Then way back in prehistoric times, we humans figured out how to hijack that microbial…

This weekend marked the beginning of an important new chapter of nation-building, with the celebration and formal launch of the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan.   United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and a host of dignitaries were on hand.  The decades-long civil war with the north ended in 2005, and the World…

The rhetoric about energy can get a little apocalyptic, and the latest debate over ethanol subsidies is no exception. According to the Iowa Corn Growers Association, going through with the Senate’s tentative moves to end ethanol subsidies last week would be a huge mistake. Here’s their forecast: “Cutting the legs out from under the corn…

Comments Off on Worldwide Energy Shortages Triggered by Drought, Subsidies

As the summer heats up, energy shortages are striking around the world—including the oil-rich Middle East. Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), stopped supplying gasoline to the other emirates, because the government can’t afford to continue subsidizing gasoline, which it currently sells at far below global market rates. Now a UAE company has…