Renewables and Clean Tech in NYC

Piper Jaffray & Co.Options for alternative energy are on the rise and the third annual Piper Jaffray Clean Technology and Renewables Conference aims to explore the leading innovations of this rapidly growing sector of U.S. energy.

Piper Jaffray & Co. will host its third annual Clean Technology and Renewables Conference Feb. 20, 2008 in New York City. The conference will provide insight on upcoming technological advancements and cost improvements from leading solar, biofuels and other clean technology companies operating across the globe.

“Piper Jaffray, as a leader in the renewable energy and clean technology space, connects growth companies to capital and expertise around the world,” said Lois Quam, head of alternative investments at Piper Jaffray. “We will take this to a new level at our upcoming conference.”

Investors will also hear a keynote address by Steve Creamer, chairman and CEO of EnergySolutions, Inc. Additionally, the conference will feature company presentations from senior management, as well as one-on-one and group meetings.

More than 75 companies are scheduled to participate in the conference.

Abu Dhabi Breaks Ground on Carbon-Neutral City

Masdar InitiativeThe world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city goes not to the renewable fuel-crazed U.S., but to Abu Dhabi. The capital of the United Arab Emeriates broke ground on Masdar City earlier this month. If this city actually functions as its supposed to, I think it will be rather impressive. When is the U.S. breaking ground on it’s own carbon-neutral playground?

Masdar CEO Dr. Sultan Al Jaber announced a total development budget for the city of $22 billion. Of that investment total, Masdar (“the source” in Arabic) will contribute $4 billion to develop the city’s infrastructure. The remaining $18 billion will come through direct investments and the creation of various financial instruments to raise needed capital. An essential driver for the development of the city is carbon finance. Carbon emissions reduced by Masdar City will be monetized under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

In addition to full-time residents, Masdar City will seek to attract and encourage collaboration between experts in sustainable transportation; waste management; water and wastewater conservation; green construction, buildings and industrial materials; recycling; biodiversity; climate change, renewable energy and green financial institutions. Masdar will maximize the benefits of sustainable technologies, such as photovoltaic cells and concentrated solar power, through an integrated planning and design approach.

By implementing these technologies, Masdar City will save the equivalent of more than US $2 billion in oil over the next 25 years, based on today’s energy prices. The city will also create more than 70,000 jobs and will add more than two percent to Abu Dhabi’s annual GDP. Continue reading

Get Schooled in Coal-To-Liquid

The Shaw GroupEngineers wanting to learn more about coal-to-liquid clean fuel projects have some new options for getting the education. Fuel Frontiers, Inc. has developed a CTL engineering program with Shaw, Stone and Webster.

Fuel Frontiers, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nuclear Solutions, Inc., has announced that it has transferred funds to Shaw Stone & Webster (Shaw), a division of The Shaw Group Inc., to launch the engineering program that will provide a technical basis for a 400 Tonne per day Coal-To-Liquid (CTL) Ultra-Clean Diesel fuel production facility in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

Nuclear SolutionsFFI is planning to employ a commercially proven plasma gasification system designed by Westinghouse Plasma Corporation (WPC) coupled to commercially available Fischer-Tropsch (FT) gas-to-liquids (GTL) diesel fuel production systems, to be designed and constructed by Shaw Stone & Webster (SS&W) for its coal to ultra-clean diesel production facilities.

Solar Power Saves Energy for San Diego School

HoneywellHoneywell won the bid to outfit the Poway Unified School District in San Diego, CA with more solar power capabilities. The new solar hardware is expected to reduce the school district’s utility costs and offer a district-wide education tool to students.

Honeywell has announced that Poway Unified School District in San Diego, Calif. has awarded the company a solar project that is expected to save the district more than $1 million in energy costs over the next 20 years. Under the agreement, Honeywell will install solar arrays at four of the district’s schools and sell the electricity the panels produce to the district.

Honeywell will install the solar arrays on the roofs at Poway High School, Westview High School, Oak Valley Middle School and Chaparral Elementary School. The arrays are expected to generate a collective 578 kilowatts of power and more than 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually — enough energy to power 90 homes per year. They also will cut energy costs during peak consumption when utilities typically charge a premium.

In addition to reducing costs, the solar arrays are expected to provide an educational tool that faculty can use to teach students about energy conservation and alternative energy sources. Through a Web-based portal, teachers and students will be able to see the real-time electrical output from the solar technology and learn how the systems operate.

The new arrays will deliver substantial environmental benefits as well, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1.1 million pounds per year. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing more than 100 cars from the road or planting 400 acres of trees.

Honeywell expects that the school will start benefiting from the solar arrays by October of this year.

Work Trucks Work Out Alternatives

The Work Truck ShowAlternative fuels and hybrid automobiles are being featured at this year’s Work Truck Show. The Show is sponsored by the National Truck Equipment Association.

Work trucks — those vocational vehicles that labor every day to deliver packages, clear snow, build roads, repair utility lines and otherwise keep the country running — are getting greener. The rising cost of fuel, new emissions regulations and environmental concerns are making hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles increasingly attractive to a wide range of companies and government agencies.

In response, manufacturers are developing a host of new products, including vehicles that run on electricity, biodiesel, hydrogen, CNG, LPG and propane. There are hydraulic hybrids, diesel electric hybrids and even solar-powered options in development.

Many of these new products will be exhibited at The Work Truck Show(R) 2008 and 44th Annual National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Convention, North America’s largest vocational truck event. To help attendees sort through it all, the show will feature a full-day “Hybrid Truck and Alternative Fuels Summit,” as well as a ride and drive.

The Work Truck Show 2008 runs Feb. 26-28, 2008, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, with the Convention and educational sessions starting Feb. 25. The Summit is from 9am to 4:30pm on Feb. 25.

The U.S. Deparment of Energy under secretary, Clarence H. “Bud” Albright, Jr., will offer the keynote address at this year’s Summit. Industry experts will then follow with presentations on the latest developments in hybrid and alternative fuel technologies. Attendees will also have the chance to test drive hybrid and alternative fuel commercial vehicles as part of the Hybrid Truck and Alternative Fuels Ride-and-Drive.

Racing Fever

indyethanol.jpgChomping at the bit for the 2008 Indy racing season to get underway? You’re not the only one. A fellow photog that covers the Indy Racing League sent me this all too appropriate IndyCard. I think it’s safe to say that the smell of burning ethanol has quickly evolved into one of the distinct smells of Indy races. That and burning rubber!

Does the smell of ethanol get you excited about racing? Tell others about your obsession with the authentic IndyCard.

And don’t miss the Homestead season opener on March 29 at Miami Speedway. Even if you can’t make it to the track to “smell ethanol,” you can catch the race at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

England Co. Gathers Biogas from Animal Waste

McCain FoodsMcCain Foods Great Britain is enlisting Eco-Tec for its new venture in capturing biogas from anaerobic digester lagoons. The project is the latest effort meant to promote energy efficiency from McCain Foods.

As part of its energy efficiency projects, McCain Foods in Great Britain implemented a waste process that includes the capture of biogas from anaerobic digester lagoons, and purifying the gas to produce electricity. McCain Foods hired Black & Veatch to conduct an evaluation of available technology and manage the integration into the planned process.

Compared to competing technologies, Eco-Tec’s patented biogas purification system, BgPur(TM), was designed to accommodate McCain’s specific requirements regarding flow rate variations, changes in pressure, and the system’s overall flexibility. With simple operation and lower operating costs, Eco-Tec’s biogas purification technology was selected.

Georgia Power Fires Up Wood Biomass Plant

Georgia PowerWood-burning isn’t just great for pizza. It’s great for power. Georgia Power is using energy from wood biomass as part of its commitment to use independent renewable power producers.

Georgia Power and Yellow Pine Energy Company, LLC, a biomass-fired facility to be located near Fort Gaines, Ga., recently signed a 20-year contract for electricity that will be generated from environmentally-friendly wood waste. The material will come from timber harvesting residuals and collection of non-commercial tree species, tree-thinnings, lumber scraps and wood waste reclaimed from landfills.

The Yellow Pine facility is scheduled to go into operation in 2010 and will produce 110 megawatts of renewable energy. Under the contract, Georgia Power will purchase almost half of the plant’s capacity, or about 50 megawatts. One megawatt is enough energy to supply a Wal-Mart shopping center or 250 Georgia residences.

Georgia Power provides energy for 2.3 million consumers throughout the state.

Virgin Atlantic 747 Soars on Biofuel

Virgin AtlanticIt will be a first-ever feat in commercial air travel… Virgin Atlantic is planning to fly one of its Boeing 747s on biofuel next month.

The Virgin Atlantic 747 will fly from London Heathrow to Amsterdam on a demonstration flight, with no passengers on board, using a truly sustainable type of biofuel that doesn’t compete with food and fresh water resources. The flight, in conjunction with Boeing and engine maker GE Aviation, is part of Virgin Atlantic’s drive to reduce its environmental impact wherever possible. The demonstration forms part of Virgin Atlantic’s vision for what the aviation industry can achieve by using clean-fuel technology to reduce carbon emissions.

Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic, said:

“This breakthrough will help Virgin Atlantic to fly its planes using clean fuel sooner than expected. The demonstration flight next month will give us crucial knowledge that we can use to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Virgin Group pledged to invest all its profits from its transportation companies towards developing clean energy and with this breakthrough we are well down the path to achieving our goals.”

Virgin Atlantic has not set an exact date for the flight, but expects to conduct the biofuel run in February.

BioGold From the USA to the UK and Beyond

BioGold FuelsBioGold Fuels is extending the reach of its operations throughout the Western World. The company has entered into a joint venture with a company in the United Kingdom to establish waste to energy plants throughout Europe.

BioGold Fuels Corporation in a joint venture with Jack Allen Holdings Limited, has formed BioGold Fuels U.K. Limited and BioGold Fuels Europe Limited. The companies will work together to build plants throughout Europe that will convert waste into biodiesel, fuels, and energy, including fuel cells.

“BioGold is excited to be expanding our operations into the European market,” said BioGold’s CEO, Steve Racoosin. “Our collaboration with Jack Allen Holdings Limited, with their local expertise in the UK and throughout Europe, will strengthen BioGold’s success in producing biodiesel and energy throughout Europe. Our initial focus is on the United Kingdom with future plans to expand and build plants throughout Europe.”