Archives for May, 2014

Comments Off on Regional Skirmishes Could Complicate China’s Deepening Ties to Central Asia

In an effort to cut dependence on coal and to reduce pollution, Chinese authorities have been encouraging use of more natural gas. China relies overwhelmingly on countries in Central Asia to procure that gas. But as China deepens its energy ties with Central Asia, it may face a predicament that it has not faced yet:…

Comments Off on Eco-marathon Winners Could Drive Around the World for 22 Euros

The weather gods looked kindly on Rotterdam this past week and decided not to interfere with 3,000 students racing for fuel efficiency records in 2014’s Shell* Eco-marathon Europe. Bathed in sunlight, the competitors drove their self-built cars to record-breaking efficiency. As expected, students of Lycee Saint-Joseph la Joliverie from France prolonged their title in the…

Comments Off on Is the Future of Car Manufacturing in 3D Printing?

It looks like an oversized Lego construction, weighs a mere 81 kilograms (178 pounds) and is assembled from scratch in under two hours. Students of the Aalborg University in Denmark 3D-printed hundreds of parts holding together their car for the Shell Eco-marathon competition in Rotterdam. Is this the future of car manufacturing? (See related post:…

Comments Off on It’s Not About Speed as 30th Eco-marathon Europe Begins

More than 3,000 students from 27 countries compete this weekend in what is without a doubt the slowest racing competition in the world. Speed is nothing to brag about in the 30th edition of the Shell Eco-marathon Europe: It’s all about fuel efficiency. Slowly but surely, 198 student teams drive their self-built cars over a…

Comments Off on Can the World’s Cities Become ‘Smarter by Friction’?

Our world is facing an unprecedented growth in population, from seven to nine billion people by 2050, of whom 75 percent will live in cities. Mass urbanization, with expanding cities in China, India, the United States, and sub-Saharan Africa, is leading to much greater energy demand, air pollution problems, and climate change. There is no…

Natural gas emits significantly less carbon dioxide than either coal or gasoline when burned, but its ability to help reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions has been questioned. In the latest contribution to the debate, a study published this week by Duke University researchers concludes that switching to abundant shale gas as an energy source is…

Comments Off on U.S. Efficiency Bill Dies Again in Congress

Wrangling in the U.S. Senate over unrelated amendments has derailed the bipartisan Shaheen-Portman energy bill for a second time. The stalemate left the bill’s supporters unable to gain the 60 votes needed to end debate over the bill and move to a final vote Monday. There seems to be little disagreement in Congress over the…

Working in various areas of Southern Africa, we have met incredible people. One of them is Lloyd Maanyina, the star of our short film, Amazing Grace, which recently won an award at the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. Lloyd is a Zambian man living in the village of Livingstone. He used to be a charcoal burner…

Projects in three states will lead the way as the United States attempts to leap ahead on offshore wind power by deploying cutting-edge technologies. The Obama administration announced on Wednesday it would grant  awards of up to $47 million apiece to three renewable energy projects. The U.S. Department of Energy selected projects in Oregon, New…

The big waves that crash ashore near Yakutat, Alaska, earned the tiny Gulf of Alaska town a spot on a National Geographic Traveler “bucket list” as a surfing destination – but nobody believes chilly hordes toting boards can cure Yakutat’s ailing economy. Waves, however, might still hold the key, by delivering it from sky-high electricity prices.…

Comments Off on Following the Money: Energy Dollars Hard at Work on Capitol Hill

Is the alternative energy industry losing the influence-peddling war to fossil fuels? Perhaps you caught the editorial in Sunday’s New York Times taking “the Koch Brothers and their conservative allies” to task for “spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy.” The editorial noted that such efforts are being spearheaded by the American Legislative Exchange Council…