Officials with the government of Abu Dhabi say they will build a $350 million solar power plant… a first for the oil-producing region. ArabianBusiness.com reports the 500 megawatt plant is expected to be up and running by 2009 in an attempt by the United Arab Emirate member to cut its own dependence on, ironically enough, oil:
“We … do not want to be 100 per cent dependent on (hydrocarbon power), [Sultan al-Jaber, chief executive of state-owned Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co.] said.
“We have an economic development programme dedicated to establishing an entirely new economic sector focused on alternative energy and sustainable technologies,” he said.
Officials with Independent Natural Resources, Inc., a company based in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, say they have successfuly tested a wave-powered pumping system that will move ocean water to a hydroelectric plant and desalination facility. The Star Tribune reports the company has been working on the project for five years and has tested in off the coast of Freeport, Texas:
Mark Thomas, CEO of Independent Natural Resources Inc., said Friday from Texas that he views the test as a big step forward in the search for what has been an elusive form of alternative energy that one day could generate lots of cheap, clean power for coastal cities.
An engineering team from Texas A&M University at Galveston, which also has done laboratory testing of early stages of the wave-powered “Seadog” pump, plans to visit the Gulf of Mexico site off Freeport to review the project.
The company believes a one-square-mile field of Seadog pumps (see a demo of it here) could produce up to 1,500 megawatts of hydroelectricity.
Another Seadog test site is planned off the coast of California.
The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition has a number of great promo items to show your support for domestically-produced ethanol, including five brand new additions.
Among them are two bumper stickers with the statements “This vehicle is CornFed, E85” and “Ethanol Guzzler,” available in small and large sizes.
The round “I Drive E85, the future of Clean Air” magent is big enough to make a statement, yet small enough to fit tastefully over the outside of a vehicle’s fuel door.
There are also coffee mugs, hats, clings, key rings and more available to order on-line here.
But my personal favorite has to be the Calvin decal. That just says it all.
Being a Floridian at heart, if not by birth, I can honestly say I have never been in weather as cold as last weekend in Ely, Minnesota when I had the opportunity to attend Ely’s Winter Festival and visit with the community’s favorite son, arctic exporer Will Steger.
Fortunately I did dress for the part, but I still had to wear fairly thin gloves to take pictures and there was one point that my hands went numb and it took 15 minutes of warming over a pot-bellied stove to get them to stop hurting.
It is a little difficult to operate a camera in sub-zero temperatures. Each of my two digital cameras froze up once on me during the picture taking at the Steger homestead.
The official low Saturday night was 32 below zero, but it had warmed up to a balmy 25 below when we left Ely on Sunday morning to catch a plane out of Duluth.
It was a beautiful place and an interesting experience. Maybe I can go back there in the summertime!
I think that I’ve mentioned that many of my interviews and some other audio files like general session presentations are available as a podcast. It’s the National Biodiesel Conference Podcast in fact. You can find the link and instructions on how to subscribe here.
One of the interviews in the podcast series is one I did today with the chairman of the National Biodiesel Board, Darryl Brinkmann, seen here on the left during a rehearsal session yesterday with Larry Hagman and Daryl Hannah.
I spoke with Darryl today about how this conference is growing and what he sees as challenges facing the biodiesel business even in light of all the growth that’s taking place. Darryl says that there are two things to consider, one is quality and the other is public policy.
Listen to my interview with Darryl here: Darryl Brinkmann Interview (4 min MP3)
Domestic Fuel coverage of the
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I started out wandering around and getting my bearings here at the Biodiesel Conference and just like last year, one of the first persons I ran into was Daryl Hannah. Daryl has been to every National Biodiesel Conference and can’t believe how much it has grown. She’s pictured here with Jenna Higgins, Communications Director for the National Biodiesel Board during rehearsals for tomorrow’s opening general session.
I spoke with Daryl about the conference and what she thinks about the work the National Biodiesel Board is doing. Daryl says that we need to make sure that what we’re using as a renewable fuel is sustainable and that we need to get off our dependence on fossil fuels.
You can listen to my interview with Daryl here: Daryl Hannah Interview (4 min MP3)
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St. Louis-based Farmergy… a provider of technology to help farmers and ranchers “get off the grid”… has bought Missouri Valley Renewable Energy, a company touted as a leader in Missouri for renewable energy sources. MOVRE was founded in 2000 by Henry Rentz, after an extended power outage left his farm and home without the capability to pump water or provide refrigeration. According to a Farmergy press release, Rentz, the former CEO of MOVRE, now will join Farmergy as a part of its management team:
“A critical component of our success at Farmergy will be our ability to effectively install a vast array of clean energy solutions for farmers and ranchers across the country,” says Mark Green, Farmergy president and chief executive officer. “Henry’s intimate knowledge of both agriculture and the renewable energy industry will be invaluable to us as he designs and implements our national certified installer program.”
The release goes on to say that Farmergy-certified installers will make sure that customers get the best installation for whatever energy source they choose.
Domestic Fuel is now on a new server, so we are having to re-post some stories that were done during the changeover. It may take a day or two before everything is operational on the site, so please bear with us.
Domestic Fuel welcomes our newest blogger, John Davis.
John is a 20 years+ veteran of traditional news and is getting his first taste of this “new media.” We’ve known John since Chuck hired him to work at the Brownfield Network in January, 2000 after he served an 11 year stint in the U.S. Air Force as a broadcast journalist. He’s getting out on his own now after working for Learfield Communications for almost six years as a network broadcaster.
John lives in Jefferson City, Missouri with his wife, two sons, two dogs, a cat, a mouse, and a fish! You can read more about him and his thoughts at his own website John C. Davis Online.
Welcome aboard, John!
The ZimmComm offices have been closed for the holidays. Spent quite a bit of time on the road seeing relatives the last week and it has been wonderful, but we are back in production again, cranking out Domestic Fuel news.
Hope your holidays have been glorious so far!
The friendly folks at the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council would like to wish everyone “Gallons of Good Tidings” for the holiday season and the new year.
EPIC is a nonprofit alliance of ethanol industry leaders who have come together to grow consumer demand for ethanol energy through targeted marketing. Like the rest of the ethanol industry, EPIC has experienced tremendous growth over the last year and is looking at a bright future.
Over 120 ethanol producing companies, industry partners and affiliates are currently members of the alliance and more are joining every day.
EPIC is our original and ongoing sponsor and they’ve made it possible for us to bring you the best and latest news and information on the renewable fuels industry. We at ZimmComm would like to thank them and all of you who have made Domestic Fuel a great resource and so much fun to do. We also wish you a happy holiday season and are going to take a break until next Tuesday before we post again. Posting will be light through January 2 and then it’s pedal to the metal in 2007.
General Motors won the Green Car design contest at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week with the “Hummer O2.”
According to CNN, this fuel-cell powered Hummer would produce oxygen. Agae-filled body panels could break down C02, a greenhouse gas, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. When parked, body panels would fan out to catch more light, speeding the process. The 02 would be constructed from 100-percent post-consumer recycled aluminum.
Check out all the entries in the Green Car Contest here.
I apologize for the light posting this week. I have been doing a “virtual press room” for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture ID INFO EXPO 2006 this week in Kansas City, so that has been keeping me busier than normal and out of the office. But, as you can see from the previous post, I did still manage to get in a Domestic Fuel moment.
Unlike my prolific poster husband, I just don’t have the stamina to multi-task the way he does at a meeting. I have to focus on the business at hand. So, I don’t even have a picture of me hard at work in the news room to post – or even one of me interviewing the Secretary of Agriculture. His personal photog got a pic that I might be able to get some time in the future, but I unfortunately did not get one with my own camera.
Be that as it may, here I am at 10 pm, sitting on the floor of the upper meeting room area of the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City doing my posting. Please allow me to vent – that’s what blogs are really for! I’m staying in this classy four-star hotel that has wireless access in the lobby and just about anywhere else OUTSIDE of your hotel room. So, if you don’t get a room, you have all the access you want, 24 hours a day.
However, if you pay $200 a night to stay in the place, you have to pay another $10 a day for internet access in your room! If I was in a Motel 6, I’d get it for free with my $75 room, along with a free breakfast in the morning. What is wrong with this picture?
So, that’s why I’m sitting on the floor posting right now. The first night I did pay the extra $10 for the access in my room, which is by ethernet. But last night I somehow screwed something up so I couldn’t get it to connect, which is actually saving money in the long run, but still is annoying.
OK – I’m done venting. Now I am packing up my computer and going to bed.
All the complaining about high ethanol prices may soon come to an end. Reports are that ethanol prices appear to be leveling out and should start falling. An article in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier today quotes Tami Foster, an energy data analyst with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Foster said high ethanol demand on the east and west coasts has stabilized. At the same time more ethanol production capacity is coming on line in Iowa and elsewhere.
That means several months of rising ethanol prices may be at an end, Foster said. And she predicts in a week or so ethanol’s price at the pump will fall back below regular unleaded.
DuPont research scientists outlined the company’s biofuels strategy at the third annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing held in Toronto. According to a release, DuPont biofuels research manager William Provine said the three-part strategy entails: (1) improving existing ethanol production through differentiated agricultural seed products and crop protection chemicals; (2) developing and supplying new technologies to allow conversion of cellulose to biofuels; and (3) developing and supplying next generation biofuels with improved performance.