World’s largest tidal turbine successfully installed in Scotland

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The AK1000 tidal turbine (Photo: Atlantis Resources Corporation).

On 24th August, Atlantis Resources Corporation successfully deployed its brand new AK1000 tidal turbine – the world’s largest rotor diameter tidal turbine – on its subsea berth, under 35 meters of water at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland.

The turbine was unveiled two weeks before in Invergordon, an event attended by officials and dignitaries from seven different countries. After the unveiling, Atlantis mobilised the 22.5 meter tall, 1300-ton structure on to the DOF vessel, to be taken to Orkney. It took just seven days to install the gravity base structure, over 1000 tons of ballast blocks, finally topped up with the turbine body, complete with its twin set of 18 meter diameter rotors.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Water | 3 Comments

Electric cars to boast 500-mile range by 2020, says VW

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Electric cars will drive over 500 miles on a single charge by 2020. These are the insightful projections of Martin Eberhard, electric vehicle engineering Director at Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Palo Alto, California.

Mr Eberhard, who joined VW in early 2009, co-founded the Tesla electric sports car company in July 2003, and was ousted from control of the company in 2007.  In an interview with british magazine Autocar about the future of electric vehicles (EVs)  and VW’s strategy, he provides very interesting updates on the stage of development of the industry.

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Posted in Green Cars, Power Storage, Smart Grid | 1 Comment

Nuclear Vs Solar: Clash of the Numbers

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A very interesting and controversial study emerged recently, comparing nuclear and solar costs no less.

The study, “Solar and Nuclear Costs – The Historic Crossover“, was prepared by John O. Blackburn and Sam Cunningham for NC Warn, a climate change nonprofit watchdog. The paper, focused on the costs of electricity in North Carolina (US), describes the solar photovoltaics (PV) business, summarising its history of sharply declining prices, along with the very different path taken in recent years by nuclear power, whose costs have been steadily rising.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Gotta Be Kidding, Nuclear Energy | 10 Comments

Biggest ice island in years breaks off Greenland’s glacier

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Satellite image courtesy of Prof. Andreas Muenchow, University of Delaware.

The biggest block of arctic freshwater ice since 1962 has broken off Petermann glacier, in Greenland. Andreas Muenchow, a researcher from University of Delaware, reported that an “ice island” four times the size of Manhattan was born in the early morning hours of 5 August 2010.

The huge block, with a surface of at least 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) and a thickness up to half the height of the Empire State Building (reaching 443m high with its antenna), is now afloat in the high latitude waters off Greenland’s North-western coast. Satellite imagery of this remote area, about 620 miles (1,000 km) south of the North Pole, reveals that Petermann Glacier lost a staggering one-quarter of its 43-mile long (70 km) floating ice-shelf. Petermann Glacier is one of the two largest remaining glaciers in Greenland that terminate in floating shelves. The glacier connects the great Greenland ice sheet directly with the ocean. Continue reading

Posted in Clean Energy, Environment, Fossil Energy, Water | Leave a comment

Oil: the pulse of our society

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Photo: Barbara Doduk on Flickr

All hail oil!

Make no mistake, whatever progress humanity has managed to pull in the last 50 years or so is due to the abundance and widespread availability of black gold. No such things as mass transport, building, Information Technology, medicine, agriculture and so on would have developed in the way they have, if not thanks to oil and its derivates. Renewable energy itself wouldn’t haven’t gone this far, without the oil-driven staggering pace of human technological development.

World population has since increased exponentially. Modern human growth was first triggered by coal during the Industrial Revolution, but oil has pushed this trend to the next level. An energy-dense and easy-to-transport liquid, oil boasts those unique features that have empowered mankind to the point of radically reshaping our territories, as well as our culture. A once vast and unexplored universe, Earth has been easily conquered to our needs and pleasures. Human genius has achieved in 50 years what it didn’t in the previous 200,000 years, when humans made their first steps on our planet. Continue reading

Posted in Clean Energy, Environment, Fossil Energy, How hard can it be? | 3 Comments

BP posts $17bn loss, CEO Tony Hayward quits

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Tony Hayward, Chief Executive Officer of BP is to be replaced by Bob Dudley, the U.S. executive managing the company’s response to the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I believe that it is not possible for the company to move on in the United States with me remaining as the face to BP,” Hayward told reporters on a conference call. “So I think that for the good of BP, and particularly for the good of BP in the United States, it is right for me to… step down.”

In a move aimed at softening U.S. criticism towards the British company, Mr Hayward, 52, is expected to negotiate a leaving package under basic contractual terms. That means one-year’s pay of £1m and a pension pot of more than £10m, capable of paying out more than £500,000 a year when Hayward reaches 60. The change of face was confirmed upon announcement by BP of one of the largest losses in British corporate history because of the cost of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Posted in Environment, Fossil Energy, Gotta Be Kidding, Water | 2 Comments

Vestas wins record 570MW bid on massive California wind project

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Giant wind turbine producer Vestas received its largest order ever of wind turbines for a single site.

190 V90-3.0 MW turbines will be delivered to Terra-Gen’s Alta Wind Energy Center near Tehachapi, California, USA. The order – to be delivered in late 2010 and commissioned within the first half of 2011 – will top up the existing installed capacity at the site, and help reaching the target 320-turbine 800MW capacity of the Alta-Oak Creek Mojave Project. Terra-Gen Power is a developer of renewable energy focused on wind, geothermal, and solar generation. In total, Terra-Gen owns 831 megawatts (MW) representing 21 operating renewable energy projects across the western United States.

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Italy: breakthrough CSP “Archimede” plant unveiled by Enel in World’s First

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On 14 July 2010 the Italian utility Enel unveiled “Archimede”, the first Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant in the World to use molten salts for heat transfer and storage, and the first to be fully integrated to an existing combined-cycle power plant. Archimede is a 5 MW plant located in Priolo Gargallo (Sicily), within Europe’s largest petrochemical district. The breakthrough project was co-developed by Enel, one of World’s largest utilities, and ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Power Storage | 16 Comments

Home – A must-see documentary by Yann-Arthus Bertrand

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A masterpiece in its kind, “Home” by Yann-Arthus Bertrand was released on June 5th, 2009 for Earth Day.

Play the full movie on youtube: << Home >>

Posted in Clean Energy, Environment, Photography, Water | Leave a comment

This year’s Geneva Motor Show – what it means for the car industry in the 2010s (part 2/2)

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The evidence is mounting: electric cars are no more the impossible dream of a few forward-thinkers, they are instead set to become mainstream. The automotive industry is heading full throttle towards hybrid and eventually full electric propulsion, and there is no turning back. What was shown in Geneva highlighted the car industry’s increasing desire and necessity to catch consumers’ attention through style and sustainability, in the attempt –made by every carmaker – to move ahead of their old and new competitors in this looming, unprecedented rush to the automobile revolution. Car 2.0 is coming, and it’s the real thing, a world-changing game. Continue reading

Posted in Green Cars | Leave a comment