Tag-Archive for » energias renovaveis «

segunda-feira, janeiro 25th, 2010 | Author: admin

Dirigentes das quatro principais instituições finlandesas de pesquisa e desenvolvimento visitaram a Embrapa – Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária – com o objetivo de conhecer as políticas do Governo Federal nos campos da energia e encontrar assuntos de interesse comum que possam ser objeto de projetos conjuntos.
Academia da Finlândia (AKA), o Fundo Finlandês para Inovação (SITRA), o Centro de Pesquisa Tecnológica da Finlândia (VTT) e a Agência Finlandesa de Financiamento de Tecnologia e Inovação (TEKES) formam o Fórum de Pesquisa e Tecnologia que é o colegiado mais importante da implementação da política de Ciência e Tecnologia naquele país.
José Manuel Cabral, Chefe de Comunicação e Negócios da Embrapa Agroenergia, fez uma explanação geral da matriz energética brasileira em comparação a do mundo. Em geral, 88% da energia utilizada no mundo, no ano de 2008, era proveniente de fontes não-renováveis, sendo que 35% vieram do petróleo, 25% do carvão e 21% do gás natural. No Brasil, como resultado de diversos programas governamentais, 46% de toda a energia consumida no ano passado foi gerada por fontes renováveis, com 31,5% provenientes de biomassa, sendo 16% derivados da cana-de-açúcar e 15% da energia hidráulica.
Cabral destacou os aspectos econômicos, sociais e a produção regional de culturas energéticas no Brasil. Quanto ao biodiesel, citou as matérias-primas mais utilizadas (soja, algodão e gordura animal) e as que estão em domesticação (pinhão-manso, macaúba, inajá). Atualmente, no País, todo o óleo diesel recebe 4% de biodesel, porcentual que subirá, a partir de janeiro de 2010, para 5%.
Cabral expôs ainda as pesquisas que estão em andamento na empresa para atender o Plano Nacional de Agroenergia, em especial as florestas energéticas, uma das ações de interesse dos finlandeses.
Com 76 % da sua superfície coberta por florestas, a Finlândia é o país com a maior percentagem de área florestal na Europa. A silvicultura privada desempenha um papel muito importante na Finlândia, pois entre 80 e 90 % da madeira utilizada na indústria vem das florestas privadas. Por causa do número elevado de proprietários de floresta, as propriedades são relativamente pequenas, sendo o tamanho médio de uma propriedade de apenas 26 hectares.
O Brasil é um dos maiores parceiros comerciais da Finlândia na América Latina. Em 2008, cerca de 70% das exportações finlandesas para o Brasil foram de maquinaria e equipamentos de transporte, enquanto o Brasil exportou, principalmente, celulose e resíduos de papel para aquele país.
Cerca de 5,3 milhões de pessoas vivem na Finlândia, sendo que a maior parte da população está concentrada no sul do país. É o oitavo país da Europa em termos de área, com 338.145 km² e o país menos povoado da União Européia.
De acordo com o Presidente da VTT, Erkki Leppävuori, eles têm a meta de redução em 20% das emissões de gases do efeito estufa, de 20% do uso de combustíveis fósseis e também de 20% do consumo per capita de energia até 2020.
Leppävuori, também mostrou dados da utilização de energia na Finlândia, declarando que cerca de 25% da energia consumida naquele país derivam de fontes renováveis, principalmente da madeira e seus resíduos.  A expectativa para 2020 é aumentar o consumo de bioenergia em 50%, de modo a atingir cerca de 38% de energia renovável.
Nos pontos específicos para cooperação, o Diretor Geral da Academia da Finlândia, Markku Mattilla, esclareceu que existe um acordo entre a Academia e o Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) que está financiando a execução de 6 projetos bi-nacionais em assuntos ligados ao estudo das mudanças climáticas e da melhoria das rotas tecnológicas na conversão de energia de biomassa.  Em relação à cooperação com a Embrapa, foram identificados como possíveis temas:  a elaboração de aspectos conceituais e práticos de biorrefinarias para aproveitamento integral das matérias-primas e da energia de diversos tipos de biomassas, a otimização de processos termoquímicos como a pirólise e a gaseificação de madeira e derivados, o aproveitamento de resíduos com finalidades energéticas e o desenvolvimento de instrumentos e processos para utilização de satélites em zoneamentos agro-climáticos, levantamento e quantificação da ocorrência de espécies nativas e plantadas, avaliação de riscos climáticos, entre outros.

Embrapa Agroenergia

domingo, dezembro 27th, 2009 | Author: admin

Here’s some more good news about our renewable energy future. Another nation has reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while not taking an economic hit. Canada’s top 10 industrial greenhouse gas emitters reduced their emissions by 9% in a year, while the economy grew in the meantime by 0.5%.

Syncrude Canada alone accounted for a startling 18% reduction, among the top ten, by simply investing in efficiency technologies to reduce the heat required to extract oil. The US Department of Energy this year demonstrated a similar technology to the oil industry here. Ormat co-produces electrical power on oil-fields by tapping into the waste heat fluids to produce a temporary man-made “geothermal” power.

This is further indication of a historical trend showing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions doesn’t have to damage economies. While Canada did no worse than before while switching to more renewable energy – some economies that adopt more renewable energy are actually thriving:

Europe’s results, for example, as tallied by the greenhouse gas registry at the European Comission show that Europe is on track to not just meet but to exceed its Kyoto goals to get 8% reductions below 1990 levels by 2012. The first fifteen signatories (EU-15) will meet and exceed their 8% target and 10 of the remaining 12 member states will meet and exceed their 6% target below 1990 levels by 2012.

Total EU-27 emissions are now estimated to be 13.6% lower than the base year level 1990, yet Europe’s economy grew 44% from 1990 to 2007.

A New Energy Finance study has some interesting insight into Europe’s success. Within just five years of the introduction of its greenhouse gas emissions-trading system; the cost of greenhouse gases is now a factor in investment decisions within the fossil industry.Dirtier energy plants are beginning to be closed down, and replaced with cleaner energy sources. ”By 2020 the European generating fleet will be materially cleaner than it is today,” said Guy Turner, the research firm’s director of carbon market research.

And China is now investing $9 billion every month on clean energy. It is about to host a tradeshow in the largest solar powered building on the planet. China initially invested $30 billion in renewable energy last year… and its economy had rebounded at 8% by mid 2009. Since this is happening even as exports drop sharply to a recession hit world, one can only assume that internal renewable energy infrastructure is accounting for some of this growth.

CleanTechnica, Susan Kraemer

sexta-feira, dezembro 04th, 2009 | Author: admin

The US is falling behind in the clean energy race, Steven Chu told a Clemson University symposium, while visiting South Carolina on Monday. The University has just won a Department of Energy grant for wind testing at a world-class level, and will be testing wind turbines larger than ever before seen in this country.
The Department of Energy award to Clemson University is one of many that the US Department of Energy has invested this year in renewable energy, reversing years of neglect of the “braintrust” infrastructure of research and development that drives renewable energy innovation.
Both China and Europe wind increasingly look to each other for renewable energy infrastructure, while the US is being left behind by both continents. Since signing Kyoto in 1997; agreeing to carbon constraints that forced it to forge ahead and develop new renewable low carbon energy, Europe has raced ahead in wind and solar power, and now dominates the world market.
“America has the opportunity to lead the world in a new industrial revolution,” Mr. Chu told business leaders, political leaders and engineers at a Clemson University symposium. But, he said: “The world is passing us by. We are falling behind in the clean energy race … China is spending $9 billion a month on clean energy … China has now passed the United States and Europe in high-tech manufacturing. There is no reason the United States should cede high-tech manufacturing to anyone.”
“This is going to be a very competitive business and we want to help the United States get a leadership position in wind generation technology,” Mr. Chu said.
“This is high-tech manufacturing. This means quality jobs for Americans, this means better exports and balance of trade, it means better consumption at home, it further drives down the price of wind, it betters our exports, it creates jobs in America. We see all good things.”

Susan Kraemer

domingo, novembro 22nd, 2009 | Author: admin

“Sequestro de carbono”, emissão reduzida de gases para a atmosfera, contribuição à redução do efeito estufa e do desmatamento pelo uso racional de áreas cultivadas, por exemplo, em integração lavoura pecuária. Essa é uma das principais vantagens que o agricultor pode esperar da adubação verde, segundo boletim técnico lançado recentemente pela Coordenadoria de Assistência Técnica Integral (Cati) em parceria com a Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (Apta), ambas da Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento de São Paulo.
A publicação Adubação Verde no Estado de São Paulo foi proposta pela Comissão Técnica de Agricultura Ecológica da Secretaria e o texto é de autoria dos pesquisadores Elaine Bahia Wutke, do Instituto Agronômico (IAC), Paulo Espíndola Trani (IAC), Edmilson José Ambrosano, do Pólo Apta Centro Sul e do engenheiro agrônomo Mário Ivo Drugowich da Divisão de Extensão Rural (Dextru) da Cati. Segundo os autores, a adubação verde foi incluída, a partir de 2000, em projetos específicos em microbacias hidrográficas, viabilizados pela Cati com recursos do Banco Mundial (Bird) e do Tesouro do Estado.
A técnica “foi incentivada como estratégia de aumento da cobertura do solo, de controle do escoamento superficial, de proteção ao ambiente e de otimização da produtividade agrícola sustentável. Outra evolução constatada foi a utilização de mistura ou ‘coquetel’ de gramíneas com leguminosas, objetivando mais durabilidade do material orgânico no solo e liberação dos nutrientes de forma mais sincronizada para as plantas em sucessão.”
Em 2005/2006, foi iniciado em São Paulo o convênio entre o Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (MAPA), IAC e a Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa Agrícola (Fundag). O trabalho é executado em pólos regionais para a produção orgânica de sementes de crotalária júncea (Crotalaria juncea L.), cv IAC-1, guandu [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] cv IAC-Fava Larga e mucuna-preta (Mucuna aterrima) cv Comum, que seriam distribuídas aos agricultores em todo o País.
Os técnicos da Apta e da Cati esperam que a utilização constante da adubação pelo menos mantenha “elevada produtividade por unidade de área, com conseqüentes melhorias no ambiente e na qualidade de vida, com manutenção e valorização dos empregos no meio rural, com contribuição efetiva na otimização do retorno econômico ao agricultor e com garantia da sustentabilidade e da biodiversidade na propriedade agrícola.”
Também prevêem “utilização adequada dos adubos verdes em aspectos de biorremediação dos solos cultivados, de caracterização e avaliação de qualidades tecnológicas e nutricionais utilizáveis na medicina, fitoterapia, fabricação de cosméticos e até como possíveis fontes energéticas renováveis.”
Outras vantagens gerais da adubação verde para o agricultor são a otimização da produtividade e do lucro na propriedade; preservação e conservação dos recursos naturais e da biodiversidade; proteção, recuperação e manutenção dos solos cultivados; ciclagem dos nutrientes, adição de nitrogênio pelas leguminosas e manutenção da matéria orgânica do solo; aproveitamento mais adequado e racional dos insumos; utilização de algumas espécies na alimentação humana e animal; efeitos de quebra-ventos ou de arborização em culturas perenes em formação; utilização como possíveis fontes energéticas renováveis, como de biodiesel, possibilitando a redução de pressão por novas áreas de produção; e utilização no controle de nematóides do solo e de plantas daninhas.

Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios

domingo, setembro 27th, 2009 | Author: admin

The EU’s bid for leadership in green technologies will focus on developing a network of “smart cities” to demonstrate renewable and other low-carbon energies in Europe, according to draft European Commission proposals. The recommendations are featured in a draft communication setting out funding for the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan).
The EU executive is concerned that Europe is investing four times less in energy research and technology development than it did in the 1980s when faced with the oil crisis. It hopes that long-awaited funding proposals for the SET Plan will speed up the market uptake of low-carbon technologies that already exist, but are still too expensive to compete with fossil fuels.
The Commission argues that billions will need to be invested in basic research over the next decade to get the Union back up to speed with the US, which has dedicated around €555 million to energy research for the next five years.  “Without a similar effort, Europe will eventually fall behind as new discoveries overtake current technologies,” the communication says.
One of the biggest investments that the Commission wants to make is to select 25 to 30 European cities to pioneer green technologies by 2020.
“These ‘Smart Cities’ will be the nuclei from which smart networks, a new generation of buildings and alternative transport means, will develop into Europe-wide realities that will transform our energy system,” the document states.
The cities would become champions of energy efficiency and renewable energy, where electric cars are fuelled with renewables produced in the buildings for their electricity needs. The Commission hopes to start with “low-carbon zones” and move onto low-carbon cities and regions.
Moreover, the proposal foresees large-scale development of other low-carbon technologies.
The EU should build 5-10 new testing facilities for new wind turbine components and up to 10 demonstration projects of next generation turbines, the draft states. This would aid the necessary move to offshore wind energy production, helping the bloc to produce up to a fifth of its electricity needs from wind in 2020, it says.
To tap into unlimited solar energy resources, the Commission foresees five pilot photovoltaic plants and 10 “first-of-a-kind” concentrated solar power plants to bring down costs and improve efficiencies.
Moreover, the plan foresees large-scale demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, up to 30 bioenergy plants and deployment of new generation of nuclear reactors in Europe.
The publication of the funding plan has been postponed several times (EurActiv 09/07/09), but sources expect it to be unveiled around the SET Plan summit organised by the Swedish EU Presidency on 21-22 October in Stockholm.

Source of funding

Officials in the Commission’s transport and energy DG are still discussing exact figures, but the draft estimates that additional money needed to pay for the programme would be above €50 billion over the next decade. This would require almost tripling annual investment from the current €3 billion.
The Commission foresees splitting the costs between the public and private sectors. Action at EU level could be particularly relevant for long-term programmes where risks and costs are high.
The draft communication presents an array of existing Community funding instruments for research that could be beefed up to provide additional funding.
Member states could tap into the revenues from the EU’s emissions trading scheme (EU ETS; see EurActiv LinksDossier) to re-invest them in clean technology development, the Commission says. It adds that 300 million EU allowances have been set aside to support CCS and innovative renewables.
Moreover, the Commission proposes to use any unspent funds from the money allocated to energy projects under the recovery programme to pay for the initial costs of the Smart Cities initiative in 2011-2013 and to support other renewable energy technologies.
The European Parliament lobbied hard to have these included in a list of recovery projects funded last spring. It eventually received the concession that money left from priority CCS and grid connection projects would be directed to renewables and urban energy-efficiency schemes.

EurActiv

domingo, setembro 27th, 2009 | Author: admin

China could achieve ’safe’ levels of carbon emissions by 2050 but only by funding a massive clean technology effort, according to a new assessment.
China estimates will need to invest an extra 1–1.5 trillion Chinese yuan (US$220 billion) a year to build a low-carbon economy and keep carbon emissions similar to those in 2005.
The report ‘China’s Low-Carbon Development Pathways by 2050′ was recently published by the Energy Research Institute in China, which is affiliated to the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.
The report warns that if no strong measures are adopted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ‘the total demand for energy and carbon emissions by 2050 will grow and multiply as China fulfils the existing goals set for the development of the economy’.
It sets out three scenarios of low-carbon development: energy-saving, low-carbon and enhanced low-carbon. The study compares the energy demand and carbon emission figures of the three scenarios with baseline figures from 2005.
Under energy-saving, China would continue with current commitments to cut air and water pollution but would take no further action. Total carbon dioxide emissions would increase from 5.2 billion tonnes to 12.2 billion per year by 2050.
In the low-carbon scenario, China would optimise its energy structure and introduce effective low-carbon technologies. Carbon dioxide emissions would increase to 8.7 billion tonnes per year.
The enhanced low-carbon scenario relies on using technologies such as clean coal and carbon capture and storage to slash emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions would be cut to 5.1 billion tonnes — lower than 2005’s 5.2 billion.
Technology development is a top priority. The researchers identify 22 major low-carbon technologies covering construction, transport, industry and energy supply that could help China achieve the low- and enhanced low-carbon scenarios.
They recommend that, by 2050, China should shift its energy structure to a balanced mix of one-third renewable energy, one-third petroleum and natural gas, and one-third conventional coal.
But they admit there are obstacles to overcome.
‘There are uncertainties in China’s development of a low-carbon economy,’ says Hu Xiulian, co-author of the report. ‘For example, carbon capture and storage must be applied if China is to turn to the enhanced low carbon scenario around 2035, but it is both expensive and immature at the moment.’
Funding is also uncertain. ‘We hope that the government will spare no efforts in developing core technologies, as it is usually very hard for them to be transferred from developed countries,’ adds Xiulian.

SciDev.net, Yidong Gong

domingo, setembro 27th, 2009 | Author: admin

The recession has had little impact on humanity’s over-consumption of resources, says a report.

The New Economics Foundation (Nef) calculates the day each year when the world goes into “ecological debt.”  This is the date by which humanity has used the quantity of natural resources that ought to last an entire year if used at a sustainable rate. This year, “ecological debt day” has been 25 September - just one day later than in 2008.
According to Nef, this means that the biggest recession for nearly a century has made very little difference to global consumption.
The report, entitled The Consumption Explosion: the Third UK Interpendence Day Report, asserts that the overall trend of our collective ecological footprint is deeply negative, with humanity still environmentally over-extending itself to a dangerous degree.

Debt-fuelled

Andrew Simms, Nef policy director and co-author of the report, said: “Debt-fuelled over-consumption not only brought the financial system to the edge of collapse, it is pushing many of our natural life support systems toward a precipice.
“Politicians tell us to get back to business as usual; but if we bankrupt critical ecosystems, no amount of government spending will bring them back. We need a radically different approach to rich world consumption.”
Calling for an end to the consumption explosion, he said that while billions in poorer countries subsist, “we (in the rich West) consume vastly more, and yet with little or nothing to show for it in terms of greater life satisfaction.”
The report calls for an end in particular to what it calls “boomerang trade”, where countries simultaneously import and export similar goods. For example, the report says the UK imports 22,000 tonnes of potatoes from Egypt and exports 27,000 tonnes back the other way.
While 5,000 tonnes of toilet paper heads to Germany from the UK, more than 4,000 tonnes is imported back.
The report calls for us to pay the full environmental cost of transport, and calls for more investment in renewable energy.
It also rejects suggestions that reducing the size of the Earth’s human population would help the environment, claiming this focus is a critical distraction from tackling over-consumption in wealthy countries.
It points out that one person in the US will, by 4am on the morning of 2 January, already have been responsible for emitting as much carbon as someone living in Tanzania would generate in an entire year. It says that a UK citizen would reach the same position by 7pm on 4 January.

Nef used figures from the Global Footprint Network to make its calculations.

BBC News, Judith Burns, Science and environment reporter

domingo, setembro 27th, 2009 | Author: admin

The US Treasury gave another $550 million in stimulus funds for renewable energy this week. This brings the total to over $1 billion.

The announcement about the new disbursements came earlier this week. The money comes from the Department of Energy (DOE). The funds were given to 25 projects as part of the government’s 1603 program. Under this program, “renewable energy projects can apply for direct cash assistance towards up to 30 per cent of the cost of a project in the understanding that they will not then receive existing renewable energy tax credits.”
Some of the top renewable energy developers who received awards (up to $102 million in this group) were First Wind, Horizon Wind and Sun Edison.
The announcement regarding the new funding awards was made on the same day that Obama addressed the United Nations (UN) and said that the US was “fully committed to tackling climate change.”
Leaders from Tony Blair of the UK to major think tanks from nine leading countries are telling us all that a green economy (in environmental terms) equals a green economy (in economic terms). This landmark in renewable energy funding is a sign of hope and leadership in both environmental and economic ways.

terça-feira, setembro 22nd, 2009 | Author: admin

Going on a diet can be good for you. And maybe a gasoline “diet” of traditional fuel blended with increased levels of ethanol will be good for the environment and economy without hurting conventional cars and small engines. NREL researchers are trying to find out, because these new ethanol blends could play a significant role as America tries to wean itself off petroleum based fuels.
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 is one force behind the quest for higher ethanol blends. The 2007 law requires that the U.S. use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. But, a leaner benchmark is just around the corner, with 15 billion gallons required by 2012. “We’re pushed right now to find ways to get more ethanol into the fuel stream,” said Keith Knoll, senior project leader for NREL’s Fuels Performance Group. Download Adobe Reader.
Currently, ethanol is the most widely used and readily available renewable fuel. As a result, it is a likely candidate to make up a significant chunk of the 36 billion gallons required under EISA. Ethanol as a motor fuel is commonly found in E85, a fuel intended for use only in Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). Ethanol also is widely used as a 10 percent blend in standard gasoline (E10) to reduce carbon monoxide emissions and smog. But, increasing ethanol from the current 10 percent blend to a proposed blend of E15 or even E20, brings up a whole host of questions and issues.
For instance, E20 is currently not allowed for use in conventional automobiles under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Act. This is where research from NREL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will play a pivotal role in understanding how blends like E15 and E20 affect vehicles currently in the market. The research is examining whether using higher ethanol blends will have an adverse impact on tailpipe emissions, exhaust temperatures, catalytic converters and engine performance and durability.
While NREL and ORNL will be studying mid-level ethanol blends for some time, data from initial tests on small engines and cars was released in October 2008 and updated in February 2009. Follow-up reports addressing other vehicle effects will be issued over the coming year.
Generally, the tests have shown no big surprises or short term effects when using greater blends of ethanol in existing cars. Download Adobe Reader. “So far nothing has jumped out at us and vehicles don’t show a significant impact with ethanol blends of 15 and 20 percent,” Knoll said.
The automobiles used in NREL’s test were meant to represent a cross section of cars currently in use. The 16 vehicles ranged from model years 1999 through 2007 with odometers reading from 10,000 to 100,000 miles.
All vehicles in the test experienced some loss in fuel economy, which is expected because ethanol has a lower energy density than gasoline. At the E20 blend level, the average reduction in miles per gallon was 7.7 percent when compared to gasoline only. “Another issue we looked at was whether there would be any unintended consequences on air quality when using the higher blends,” Knoll said.
Study results so far have shown that as ethanol increased, tailpipe emissions stayed largely the same. There was no significant change in nitrogen oxides or non-methane organic gas emissions. Carbon monoxide emissions declined for all of the ethanol blends. There were increases in ethanol and acetaldehyde emissions, but these were balanced with reductions in other hydrocarbon air-toxic emissions.
When it came to how catalytic converters reacted to increased ethanol, results depended on how the engine control system regulated the fuel-to-air ratio during high power operation such as heavy accelerations or long hill climbs. Cars that adapted to the increased ethanol during these activities showed no change in catalyst operation — in fact some even ran cooler at higher ethanol blend levels. Seven of the 16 vehicles tested were found to not adapt to higher ethanol blends during high-power operation. For these vehicles, catalyst temperatures increased during power-enrichment, running about 29–35 degrees C (Celsius) higher on E20 compared to gasoline only. The long-term effects of this temperature increase are being investigated in other, ongoing experiments also funded by DOE.
“While these initial results are interesting, the next step is going to be a larger study, with more vehicles, that will look at the long-term effect that ethanol has on catalytic converters and numerous other issues like drivability and engine durability,” Knoll said.
While car engines seem to take the higher ethanol blends in stride, the same can’t be said for small non-road engines (SNRE). An April 2009 Chicago Tribune article on this subject painted an eerie picture, “Picture a chain saw calmly idling. But then it suddenly starts spinning on its own as if someone had goosed the throttle.”
The Chicago Times article was a creative, but exaggerated take on what was found in the lab. For instance, it was the hand-held trimmers that got a little excited in the lab, however, “small non-road engines may have trouble with higher blends of ethanol,” said Knoll. “This is an area where we need more research.”
For this phase of the testing NREL and ORNL used 28 SNREs. Small engines don’t have the same feedback control system as cars, nor do they have exhaust oxygen sensors. This means the engines can’t automatically compensate for the added ethanol. So, small engines using higher ethanol blends tended to run leaner and hotter. The temperatures of the exhaust components, cylinder heads, and cylinders increased. Exhaust temperatures rose by 10 - 50 degrees C when moving from gasoline only to E15 and 20 - 70 degrees C from gasoline only to E20.
Back to those lawn trimmers. When running on a higher ethanol blend, three trimmers did show higher idle speeds and sometimes the clutch engaged on its own. However, Knoll thinks this is easily overcome. “Small engines can be designed to handle differences in fuel. While these engines may not handle a 20 percent change in ethanol, most currently run on E10. Future designs could be engineered to operate with whatever ethanol standard we move to.”
Don’t read too much into the initial tests for both auto and small engines cautioned Knoll, “Although we’ve got good data, this was a very small sample that is part of a much larger program.”

Future Tests and Decisions

The focus for all of this testing is to help policymakers like the EPA evaluate and understand the impact that new ethanol mixes will have on the existing cars that Americans drive every day.
The ethanol industry is currently seeking a waiver from EPA that would allow for widespread use of E15 in all automobile types. Right now, most gas stations across the country already sell blends using 10 percent ethanol.
“I think that for a long-term solution our focus for consumers is on E85,” Knoll said. “Right now E85 use is limited because of the few fueling stations that are available and the limited number of flex-fuel vehicles that are on the road. Our research will give policymakers sound technical advice to help them decide the potential that blends like E15 and E20 will have in the marketplace.”
Future mid-level ethanol blend studies will take a further look at issues like:
* Emission control
* Fuel system compatibility
* Engine durability
* Evaporative emissions
* Drivability
This research is co-led and co-funded by U.S. Department of Energy’s Biomass Program and the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Program with technical support from NREL and ORNL. The team is working closely with representatives from the EPA, U.S. auto manufacturers, engine companies, oil companies and Battelle Memorial Institute to develop and conduct a robust test program.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory - NREL, Heather Lammers

domingo, setembro 13th, 2009 | Author: admin

Australia’s parliament has ruled that 20% of the country’s electricity production must come from renewable sources by 2020. The bill quadruples the renewable energy target set by the previous government in 2001. The new target matches that of the European Union, the world’s leader in green power technology.
The target would provide enough clean electricity to power the households of all 21 million Australians. Currently, 8% of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources, according to the Private Clean Energy Council.
The bill was passed by the Australian Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday 25 August after the government reached a deal with the main opposition party to increase government assistance to energy intensive industries, notably aluminium production and coal mining.
Matthew Warren, CEO of Australia’s Clean Energy Council welcomed the move, saying, ‘This is to date the most significant piece of climate change legislation in Australian history.’
However critics are arguing that the new target will make electricity more expensive in coal-rich Australia without curbing the amount of climate-warming greenhouse gases that the nation emits, as overall electricity consumption rises.
The new law comes just days after parliament rejected a separate, even more ambitious, climate change bill based on emissions trading. The government-backed bill proposed a tax on industries’ carbon emissions, slashing the country’s emissions by up to 25% below 2000 levels by 2020. An amended carbon bill will be resubmitted later this year.