Archive for November 20th, 2010

Top US envoy on North Korea to visit Asia
Stephen Bosworth’s trip comes as new satellite images show construction under way at North Korea’s main atomic complex. That, combined with reports from two American experts who recently traveled to the Yongbyon complex, appear to show that Pyongyang is making good on its pledge to build a nuclear power reactor.
Visit the original post at: TMCnet-News

UPS to hire about 50,000 for holiday season
United Parcel Service said Tuesday that it expects to deliver 430 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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Oil slips toward $81 as traders eye Ireland, China
Benchmark oil for December delivery was down 31 cents to $81.54 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.41 to settle at $81.85 on Thursday.
Visit the original post at: TMCnet-News

Industrial production flat in Oct.; factories hum
Overall production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities was unchanged last month – but that was only because of a sharp drop in utility output due to warmer-than-normal weather, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.
Visit the original post at: TMCnet-News

Industrial production flat in Oct.; factories hum
Overall production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities was unchanged last month – but that was only because of a sharp drop in utility output due to warmer-than-normal weather, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.
Visit the original post at: TMCnet-News

Rise in factory production lifts hopes for economy
Factories boosted their output in October by the most since July, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. Its report follows several other positive readings on the economy, including data released Monday that showed retail sales rose in October by the most in seven months.
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Wal-Mart 3Q profit rises; pressure still on in US
The improvements came despite weakness at its U.S. business. Total revenue at U.S. Walmart stores fell as fewer customers visited and spent less when they did. Revenue at stores open at least a year also fell, for the sixth quarter in a row, underscoring the challenges its U.S. operations face as many customers struggle economically.
Visit the original post at: TMCnet-News

Vows of EU support but no bailout yet for Ireland
Ireland has taken over three banks and is expected to take over more in a bailout that has already reached euro45 billion ($61 billion) and likely will push the nation’s 2010 deficit to a staggering 32 percent of GDP. The government in Dublin insists that it doesn’t need a bailout from Europe, but growing doubts about Ireland’s ability to pay its bills have sent interest rates soaring on Irish bonds.
Visit the original post at: TMCnet-News

Irish leader slams EU aid rumors as ‘ill-informed’
Ireland has denied persistent rumors in recent days that it is negotiating terms of an euro80 billion bailout from the European Union. Other eurozone members have seen their own borrowing costs rise amid investor fears of an Irish debt default and have called on Ireland to accept aid.
Visit the original post at: TMCnet-News

The mysterious minds of wind-energy opponents

How can a homeowner protest wind turbines (in the distance) and seem to have no problem with the communication tower only a few feet away?

Visit the original post at: Energy News

Houston Getting Extensive EV Charging Network

NRG Energy, a New Jersey-based utility company is building the nation’s first privately-funded network of electric vehicle charging stations in Houston.  EV drivers can subscribe to the service, giving them access to both private, home-based and public charging stations around the city

The network is called evGo and will put everyone in Houston within five miles of a charging station by the end of 2011.

There will be two levels of subscriptions.  For $49 a month customers will be provided with their own private charging station.  For $89 a month, customers will have access to a network of 50 to 150 charging stations located in public parking lots across the city,   The stations will mainly be in retail locations like Best Buy and Walgreens.  The network will include quick-chargers that can fully charge a battery in 25 minutes.

If the the $10-million charging network is successful in Houston, the company plans to expand the idea to other major cities, with New York and Dallas at the top of the list.  NRG plans to focus on states where the electricity industry is deregulated, like Texas.

The other reason Houston is attractive to EV charging network builders is that it’s been chosen as a launch city for upcoming electric vehicle releases, specifically the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt and Ford Focus Electric.

via Wired Autopia

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Using Bacteria to Heal Cracked Concrete


University of Newcastle building scientists have developed a means of repairing damaged or deteriorated concrete using a genetically engineered strain of a common soil bacteria. Nicknamed “BacillaFilla,” the bacteria have been modified so that they migrate into the deepest parts of cracks where they then begin to produce calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate binds with concrete and can repair small fractures and restore broken concrete to its original strength.

This is not unlike an earlier EcoGeek story about bendable, self-healing concrete which also uses calcium carbonate to heal small cracks in concrete. But where that method called for the introduction of the calcium carbonate into the concrete when it was produced. The bacterial method allows the same process to be applied to old concrete that was not made with calcium carbonate.

A number of safeguards have been incorporated into the bacteria to ensure that they work only where it is wanted. The researchers have tweaked its genetic properties such that it only begins to germinate when it comes in contact with the highly-specific pH of concrete. Once the cells germinate, they are programmed to crawl as deep as they can into cracks in the concrete, where quorum sensing lets them know when enough bacteria have accumulated. This enables the bacteria to target the weak points of damaged concrete and to work in a useful and organized fashion only where the repair is needed. In addition, the bacteria also contains a self-destruct gene, so that it will not propogate beyond where it is intended to go.

As we noted earlier, “[Concrete] is not the most beloved green building material, [but] it has properties that make it eminently useful for engineers and architects for a number of purposes. Given that there is not going to be a sudden moratorium on using the stuff, it’s better to have improvements that can keep from having it go from useful building material to landfill.”

image: CC 2.0 by ShaireProductions

via: Archinect and BoingBoing

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Eagles to Soar on Wind, Solar Power

Eagles to Soar on Wind, Solar Power

Right now, the Philadelphia Eagles are sitting atop their division in the NFL and have to have what’s considered one of the better feel-good stories in pro football with the comeback of Michael Vick (we can debate his merits and whether he was deserving of another chance in some other venue). But the Eagles might be putting up their biggest win of the season with their announcement that onsite wind and solar power generation will play a major role in powering Lincoln Financial Field, becoming the world’s first major sports stadium to convert to self-generated renewable energy:

The Eagles have contracted with Orlando FL-based SolarBlue, a renewable energy and energy conservation company, to install approximately 80 20-foot spiral-shaped wind turbines [shown on right] on the top rim of the stadium, affix 2,500 solar panels on the stadium’s façade, build a 7.6 megawatt onsite dual-fuel cogeneration plant and implement sophisticated monitoring and switching technology to operate the system.

Over the next year, SolarBlue will invest in excess of $30 million to build out the system, with a completion goal of September 2011. SolarBlue will maintain and operate the stadium’s power system for the next 20 years at a fixed percent annual price increase in electricity, saving the Eagles an estimated $60 million in energy costs.

The Eagles and SolarBlue estimate that over the 20-year horizon, the on-site energy sources at Lincoln Financial Field will provide 1.039 billion kilowatt hours of electricity — more than enough to supply the stadium’s power needs — enabling an estimated four megawatts of excess energy off-peak to be sold back to the local electric grid.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are proud to take this vital step towards energy independence from fossil fuels by powering Lincoln Financial Field with wind, solar and dual-fuel energy sources,” said team owner and chief executive officer, Jeffrey Lurie. “This commitment builds upon our comprehensive environmental sustainability program, which includes energy and water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, composting, toxic chemical avoidance and reforestation. It underscores our strong belief that environmentally sensitive policies are consistent with sound business practices.”

Team officials say the amount of renewable energy generated each year will be equal to what 26,000 homes go through in electricity annually and remove the same amount of carbon from the air equaling 41,000 cars.

Visit the original post at: Biofuel News

USDA Loan Guarantee Funds Hawaiian Biodiesel Turbine

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has guaranteed a $110 million loan for a Hawaiian utility cooperative that has biodiesel as part of its power generation efforts.

BusinessWeek reports the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative received the federal guarantee:

[T]he guarantee includes nearly $73 million for hydroelectric plant improvements and a 10-megawatt naphtha/biodiesel fueled combustion turbine.

[Hawaii's Sen. Daniel] Inouye says the funds will help Kauai further harness the power of water and biofuel as part of the effort to lessen Kauai County’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

[Sen. Daniel] Akaka says the homegrown energy sources keep dollars in Hawaii while reducing air, land and water pollution.

Visit the original post at: Biofuel News

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