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Thursday, September 11, 2014

61
votes
OPEC Says World Will Need Less of Its Oil Next Year

NASDAQ -- OPEC said demand for its crude oil will be lower than expected next year, amid slowing demand and ample supply which have already pushed global oil prices lower.

In its monthly oil-market report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it had revised estimated demand for its crude down by 200,000 barrels a day for 2015 and by the same amount for this year. As a result, markets will need 300,000 barrels a day less of OPEC crude next year, it said.

OPEC's statement comes after the Brent oil contract--the most widely traded international benchmark-- fell below $ 100 a barrel on Tuesday for the first time in 16 months.

The group attributed lackluster appetite for its oil to mounting competition from rival producers and sluggish demand in industrialized nations.

 (read more)

Submitted Sep 11, 2014 By:
1069 Comments

60
votes
7 tech-loaded cars for under $20,000

CBS -- For the latest in gee-whiz automotive technology, shoppers until recently had to consider luxury models if they could afford them. But now, even lower-priced cars come with a wide array of tech features.

"Many inexpensive new cars now feature technology that was unavailable at any price just a few years ago," says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "Today budget-conscious buyers can purchase an affordable sedan with amenities like a rearview camera, Pandora radio integration and full infotainment systems."

To assist shoppers, Nerad and other analysts at kbb.com have produced a list of cars that are loaded with tech features and that start at under $20,000 on Kelley's "fair purchase price," or average selling price.  (read more)

Submitted Sep 11, 2014 By:
1363 Comments

60
votes
How To Get Renewable Energy Into The Grid - Without Losing Power

science20.com -- There are numerous methods for maintaining electricity supply when renewables are in the grid.

The recent review of the Australian Renewable Energy Target has once again raised the issue of the “unreliability” of some renewable power sources such as wind and solar power.

Their variability, which arises from the weather or daily and seasonal cycles, leads some to conclude that they will only ever be able to supply a minority fraction of Australia’s electricity.

But for the most part we have the technology available to ensure a steady supply of power, and where we don’t, technology is rapidly advancing.

South Australia is at the forefront of integrating renewables into the existing grid. With more installed  (read more)

Submitted Sep 11, 2014 By:
472 Comments

56
votes
Annual ground zero ceremony to honor 9/11 victims

ABC News -- NEW YORK --
Still-mourning family members will again gather at ground zero on the morning of Thursday, September 11, as has become the grim annual tradition, to mark the 13th anniversary of the terror attacks that rocked the nation and changed the way we live our daily lives.

>> WATCH LIVE STREAM HERE TOMORROW AT 8AM

Moments of silence will again mark each significant moment of the day, with bells tolling on six separate occasions, to mark the moments each plane hit the towers, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, as well as when both towers fell.

Memorial organizers are taking over primary responsibility for the ceremony from the city for the first time, and they plan to continue concentrating the event on victims' loved ones, even as the museum creates a new, broader framework f  (read more)

Submitted Sep 11, 2014 By:
959 Comments

49
votes
Higher County Gas Prices Tied To Signage Change Ordinance

WPEC West Palm Beach Fla -- Drivers in Palm Beach Gardens may have to pay a bit more for gasoline and it's not tied to higher oil prices.

Station owners say customers will get hit because Palm Beach County Commissioners want new posted advertising signs that they say reflect accurate pricing.

CBS 12 investigative reports have discovered a lot commuters complaining that they drive by a gas station and see one posted price. But when they pull up to the pump, folks find out they're paying more then what's advertised.

"Before I did not know that I was paying more," said Palm Beach County resident Lucille Stewart, "I thought I was paying what was, you know, what was advertised."

But thanks to the CBS 12 investigative reports, Stewart says she now pays closer attention to how gas stations post their prices.

"Every pen  (read more)

Submitted Sep 11, 2014 By:
57 Comments

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

69
votes
If Tesla’s Gigafactory can run on 100% renewable energy, why can’t others?

computerworld.com -- Tesla's Gigafactory, the world's largest lithium-ion battery factory, is expected to generate as much renewable energy as it needs to operate -- and then some.

Last week, Tesla announced it would build the world's largest lithium-ion battery factory outside of Reno, Nevada.

Using what Gigafactoy cals conservative estimates, a trifecta of renewable energy sources could generate more than 2,900MWh of renewable electricity daily, which amounts to 20% more than it needs, according to Tom Lombardo, a professor of engineering and technology at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill.

"These are conservative estimates on production and worst-case estimates on consumption, and it's clear that there's enough renewable energy to run the plant with some to spare," Lombardo wrote in a recent  (read more)

Submitted Sep 10, 2014 By:
756 Comments

65
votes
Maine environmental agency OKs permit for state’s largest wind farm in Bingham

BDN -- PORTLAND, Maine — A subsidiary of Boston-based First Wind gained final approval Monday to build the largest wind farm yet approved by state regulators.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection was expected to grant the permit for the company’s proposed wind farm in Bingham after it issued a draft order approving the 62-turbine, 186-megawatt project on Aug. 27.

The $398 million project by Blue Sky West LLC and Blue Sky West II LLC has been a focal point for wind supporters and opponents.

Chris O’Neil, public affairs director of the anti-wind group Friends of Maine Mountains, said in August that he expected the project to receive final approval despite his group’s concerns that the DEP had underestimated the amount of money it would require First Wind to have available for decommi  (read more)

Submitted Sep 10, 2014 By:
559 Comments

65
votes
Buffett’s Renewables Bet Emboldens Companies to Pursue Wind and Solar

renewableenergyworld.com -- Vaisala Oyj, a Finnish maker of meteorological equipment, plans to make the most of growing interest in renewables as investors including Warren Buffett put billions of dollars into the area.

The company is harnessing its weather-forecasting expertise to boost growth by helping renewable energy producers prepare for calm and storms alike.

“Energy is a natural fit for us, especially renewable energy,” Chief Executive Officer Kjell Forsen said in an interview. “What we sell is risk mitigation.”

Vaisala is betting increasing demand for wind and solar power will provide opportunities to expand beyond its traditional strong points in meteorology, land and air traffic weather systems. The company wants to grow its energy business more than 10 percent annually through 2018, ...  (read more)

Submitted Sep 10, 2014 By:
521 Comments

62
votes
Recognizing The Golden Age Of Texas Oil And Gas While We're In It

Forbes -- James Lebas, former chief revenue estimator for the Texas Comptroller’s office, made news recently when he told the state’s House Committee on Energy Resources that, working with the Comptroller’s office, he had determined that output from the oil and natural gas industry now accounts for fully one-third of the entire Texas economy. Given that the Texas economy would rank 12th among all nations on earth, that’s an amazing amount of economic activity for one industry to provide.

Yet, it should not surprise anyone who has really been paying attention to the phenomenal boom the industry has undergone in Texas since 2010. As Lebas, who now works as a tax and fiscal consultant in Austin, told me when I spoke with him last week, “It’s best to recognize you are in a golden age while you’re in  (read more)

Submitted Sep 10, 2014 By:
743 Comments

60
votes
For the Birds: How Speculation Trumped Fact at Ivanpah

renewableenergyworld.com -- With its claim of 28,000 dead birds from Ivanpah, the Associated Press syndicated a story on every front page in America, spreading alarm about concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, which was not grounded in facts, but on one opponent's speculation.

In CSP power tower technology, sunlight is reflected off mirrors that are focused on a receiver atop a tower. This sunlight heats a fluid that can then be used to generate electricity via turbines and stored for later use, making CSP valuable as more renewables come online.

This reflected sunlight known as solar flux actually singed 133 birds over six months, according to rigorous reporting.
 (read more)

Submitted Sep 10, 2014 By:
674 Comments

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

77
votes
U.S. oil surplus eases prices in global crises

The Washington Times -- The growing oil surplus in fact, may have forced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hand, since it has made usually volatile global oil markets extraordinarily placid in the face of multiple threats ranging from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine to the terrorist takeover of northern Iraq war in Israel, multiyear disruptions in Libyan oil output and lingering sanctions on Iran.

“Putin created an artificial price lift. He’s already short on the price he needs for his budgets, [so he] created a conflict that sustains the price of oil in an era when prices should be coming down,” he said.Still, despite Mr. Putin’s efforts, oil prices have fallen to about 15 percent below Russia’s break-even point, in the process doing more to push Russia’s economy into recession than the series of U.S. and...  (read more)

Submitted Sep 09, 2014 By:
856 Comments

74
votes
Inside The Eye-Popping Deal Nevada Offered To Land Tesla's $5 Billion Gigafactory

Forbes -- Everybody always knew that Tesla Motors' TSLA +1.68% $5 billion gigafactory would be an expensive proposition for the state that won the deal. Until Thursday, it looked like the price tag would be $500 million, or 10 percent of the total expense.

Instead, it looks like Nevada is promising incentives of more than twice that much. The overall value of the package offered Tesla is estimated at $1.25 billion over the next 20 years.

The Reno Gazette-Journal called the offer “unprecedented in size and scope for the state of Nevada and is one of the largest in the country.” If approved, the package would be the 10th-largest offered by a state to convince a company to invest.

The paper broke the news this summer that permits had been granted for what turns out to be the foundation of Tesla’s mo  (read more)

Submitted Sep 09, 2014 By:
559 Comments

73
votes
Saudi Arabia is Investing Heavily in Solar Power; Is This the End for Big Oil?

Inhabitat -- When the country with the largest oil reserves in the world decides to start investing in renewable energy, it may well be a sign that the age of big oil is coming to an end. While the US is still focused on fossil fuels – whether drilling, importing, or otherwise – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has realized that relying on a finite energy resource is not the smartest move, and it has begun to implement more solar systems into its electrical grid instead of older diesel generators.  (read more)

Submitted Sep 09, 2014 By:
1311 Comments

72
votes
GM to offer car that will almost drive itself

The Fresno Bee -- DETROIT — General Motors says that in two years it will offer cars that talk to each other and can almost drive themselves at freeway speeds.

The company announced Sunday that the semi-autonomous freeway system called "Super Cruise" will be an option on a new Cadillac that goes on sale in the summer of 2016. The company also plans to put vehicle-to-vehicle transmitters and receivers on all Cadillac CTS models during the same time frame.

The announcements were made at the start of an intelligent vehicle conference in Detroit.

GM CEO Mary Barra says the system would allow you to drive long distances with the car doing much of the work. But GM says it's working on a system to make sure that drivers still pay attention.  (read more)

Submitted Sep 09, 2014 By:
1557 Comments

60
votes
Polizei-spec Volkswagen e-Golf ready for silent service

Autoweek.com -- At the upcoming General Police Equipment Exhibition and Conference (GPEC) in Leipzig, Germany, Volkswagen will be showing off its police-spec e-Golf. Every year the Leipzig event hosts hundreds of specialty manufacturers showcasing just about every piece of security equipment imaginable, from pepper spray to armored cars, and a number of European automakers also use the event to woo state and municipal police forces.  (read more)

Submitted Sep 09, 2014 By:
33 Comments

Monday, September 08, 2014

63
votes
Aircraft Emissions May Be Next for U.S. Climate Rules

Bloomberg -- Aircraft may be next in line for U.S. regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions, as President Barack Obama’s administration broadens its climate-change efforts beyond automobiles and power plants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it would study the health dangers of that pollution -- the first step in the regulatory process -- and release its findings by next April. If it deems aircraft emissions a risk, it said it will begin the process of crafting rules. Advocates say that won’t be a high hurdle.

“There is no choice but to craft and adopt emissions standards for aircraft,” Vera Pardee, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed a lawsuit pressing the EPA to take this action, said yesterday. “And once the U.S. acts, the world will have to follow.”  (read more)

Submitted Sep 08, 2014 By:
1097 Comments

61
votes
Advanced Biofuels Power Up Amid Resistance

Scientific American -- Like most everyone in the Corn Belt, Eric Woodford heard for years that stalks, husks, and cobs someday would not be discarded as field waste, but valued as the stuff that makes fuel.

Rather than wait for that day, he set out to hasten its arrival.

In the late 1990s, Woodford was running a custom farming operation in Minnesota, collecting corn waste for livestock, feed, and stable bedding. He tinkered for a decade on the equipment to make it do the job faster. In 2008, he patented a device – the powered windguard – that baled husks at the rapid pace he suspected would be necessary to make farm-waste-to-ethanol a real industry.

"We've been excited about cellulosic for a long time," Woodford said. "It's always been a few years away."

Wednesday the wait ends for Woodford ...  (read more)

Submitted Sep 08, 2014 By:
1351 Comments

57
votes
EV Battery Use Trumps Hybrid Battery Use

Clean Technology -- Plug-in electric cars are still a very small percentage of the market compared to conventional hybrid cars, but their battery capacity is not so small. With plug-in car sales growing in leaps and bounds, their annual battery use already trump the annual battery use of hybrids, but what about all time use?

According to one Green Car Reports calculation, “electric cars to date have used as much battery capacity as every hybrid built in the past 17 years.”

Green Car Reports asked two of its contributors to estimate the relative battery capacity total for electric-car versus hybrid sales. One of them tackled 2013 sales while the other one tackled total cumulative sales.  (read more)

Submitted Sep 08, 2014 By:
1415 Comments

55
votes
Salt water powered car gets European thumbs up

GasBuddy Blog -- A new salt water powered supercar recently obtained approval by the District Government of Upper Palatinate Bavaria for use on public roads after in-depth testing by its manufacturer, SGS-TUV Saar. The car can race from 0-100km (62mph) in just 2.8 seconds and boasts a top speed of 217.5mph and torque ratings of 2139lb-ft.
Nunzio La Vecchia, chief technical officer at nanoFLOWCELL AG, was handed the official registration plate with number ROD-Q-2014 in Munich. After in-depth inspection by SGS-TÜV Saar this means that the vehicle with its nanoFLOWCELL® has now been officially approved for use on public roads in Germany and Europe as a whole.  ...  (read more)

Submitted Sep 08, 2014 By:
1080 Comments

53
votes
Plans to expand NE gas lines bring ire from all over

The Berkshire Eagle -- A new fight has emerged over efforts to shift New England from oil and coal to lower cost natural gas.

Anthony Buxton, a Portland, Maine, lawyer who represents the Industrial Energy Consumer Group and two labor union organizations, has taken his complaint about the Conservation Law Foundation to Maine utility regulators.

"CLF’s energy hypocrisy in promoting the construction of more than 20 natural gas plants and then preventing them from getting the gas they need is very dangerous," he said.  (read more)

Submitted Sep 08, 2014 By:
49 Comments

Sunday, September 07, 2014

85
votes
Three-year study reveals U.S. offshore wind potential

fierceenergy.com -- The three-year "National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study" (NOWEGIS) has concluded -- with promising results.

(snip)

They found that the United States has sufficient offshore wind energy resources to consider having at least 54 GW of offshore wind. While the study focused on the ability to integrate up to 54 GW of offshore wind into the U.S. grid by 2030, it found that resources are available for significantly larger amounts. The study estimates that the 54 GW of offshore wind could reduce national annual electricity production costs by approximately $7.68 billion, which corresponds to approximately $41/MWh of offshore wind added to the grid -- a savings that can help justify the high initial investment costs.  (read more)

Submitted Sep 07, 2014 By:
877 Comments

80
votes
Scotland leads calls for crackdown on trade in smuggled oil by Islamic State

HeraldScotland -- The Sunni militia is believed to be earning up to £1.8 million a day from the rich energy resources that have fallen into its hands as its fundamentalist caliphate has spread from Syria into northern Iraq.

Now Alyn Smith, the only Scot on the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, is seeking action to stop "conflict oil", which sells for as little as £7 to £8 a barrel compared to market prices of around £60, being smuggled into Europe through Turkey.

The EU's representative in Iraq, Jana Hybáaková, has warned of wholesale sanctions-busting, involving EU states, which is allowing the trade to flourish.

Smith, a nationalist MSP, said: "The suspicion voiced by our representative that some EU states are not looking hard enough at where oil is coming from is a wake-up call.

 (read more)

Submitted Sep 07, 2014 By:
1287 Comments

78
votes
Energy efficiency, renewable energy rules favored by voters, poll finds

cleveland.com -- Ohio voters favor the state's renewable energy and energy efficiency mandates that Republican lawmakers just put on ice for two years, a new poll suggests.

Commissioned by a coalition of environmental groups and conducted jointly by two national polling companies, one which works for Republican candidates and the other for Democratic candidates, the poll interviewed 405 registered Ohio voters and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

The survey found that voters would favor political candidates by a two-to-one margin who favor more wind and solar energy development over those who think the state's reliance on coal, gas and nuclear power is adequate. A total of 64 percent favored the green candidates while only 31 percent said they would be more likely to vote for candidates supporting t
 (read more)

Submitted Sep 07, 2014 By:
390 Comments

74
votes
Europe Needs A New Source of Oil and Gas, Fast

Oil Price.com -- Summer is over and many Europeans may have to keep warm this coming winter by thinking about their summer holidays while wrapped in blankets, praying for a short winter or for the world to come to its senses. It both cases, they may well be disappointed.

The never-ending conflicts in the Middle East, mayhem in Libya, uncertainty in the Gulf and a war in Ukraine are all going to take a toll on the energy supplies this winter.Select the reports you are interested in:Who Will be the Big Winners in the Coming LNG Bonanza

How to Play the Coming Boom in Advanced Fracking Technology

Why the Subsea Processing Sector will See Huge Gains in the Near Future

Investment Opportunities in Geothermal Power Generation

Machine to Machine Technology – A $1 Trillion Opportunity!

Our Top Water Tech  (read more)

Submitted Sep 07, 2014 By:
675 Comments

69
votes
Michelin shines in Consumer Reports’ latest tire ratings

MSN -- Michelin finds its way to or near the top in our latest truck tire Ratings, but there are a number of other brands that compete well and can be recommended.

This year we tested 19 models of all-season truck tires, 14 all-terrain models, and 11 winter tire models. These tires are well suited for many pickups and SUVs, including many crossover vehicles.

By design, all-season models typically deliver all-weather performance, comfortable ride, and long tread life. All-terrain models offer similar performance features as all-season tires, but they compromise some quietness for some off-road grip. Winter tires are engineered for optimum grip on icy and snow covered roads.
 (read more)

Submitted Sep 07, 2014 By:
125 Comments