Biden visits an electric vehicle battery manufacturer to promote electric vehicles, NASA’S first solar sail orbits Earth and Just Energy to make Super Bowl XLV greenest Super Bowl ever.
Vice President Biden Encourages EV
President Obama has set a new clean energy goal for the United States. He wants to be the first country in the world to have one million advanced technology vehicles driving on the roads by 2015. The initiative is a part of the government’s plan to invest in green jobs and create a clean energy infrastructure for the future. Vice President Joe Biden visited Ener1 Inc. in Greenfield, Indiana to promote the plan. The plant manufactures advanced batteries for electric vehicles and was supported in part by a $118.5 million grant from the DOE. Biden announced the government’s plan to support EV manufacturing through new consumer rebates, investments in research and development and a new program to encourage communities to invest in EV infrastructure, such as charging stations.
Wave and Tidal Energy Investments Increasing
Marine energy devices have been on blueprints for over a century, though with limited success. The wave and tidal energy sectors now foresee $1.2 billion in investment over the next five years, according to a report published by Douglas-Westwood, an analysis firm. A number of companies such as Ocean Power Technologies and Pelamis have been developing and researching various technologies, however none have been outspoken about the results of their work. The report names several challenges to the sector such as reliability of the technology, environmental issues and the availability of funding. Douglas-Westwood predicts the UK, Canada and the US will be the top three markets for ocean energy for the next five years because of the strong tidal resources and government-supported research and development.
NASA’S First Solar Sail Orbits Earth
NASA’s NanoSail-D is the first solar sail spacecraft orbiting the Earth. A NASA team attempted to release the craft in late 2010, but it was stuck. A few days ago, the tiny spacecraft ejected itself from the satellite and began sailing around the planet on its own. NASA plans to use the spacecraft to study how it can bring old satellites and space junk out of orbit. Japan is exploring similar technology. Its space program, JAXA, is using solar sails to explore further into space. In fact, last year, JAXA launched their IKAROS solar sail spacecraft that sailed by Venus. The agency has planned a follow-up mission to go by Jupiter in the future.
Just Energy Working to make Super Bowl XLV
Just Energy created a green energy program to ensure that the 2011 Super Bowl is the greenest NFL championship in history. The company aims to offset all direct and indirect CO2 emissions associated with Super Bowl venues including the electricity used at NFL Super Bowl headquarters, the Super Bowl Media Center, the team hotels and the power used at the NFL Experience Football Theme Park, the largest public event at the Bowl. Just Energy will buy renewable energy certificates on behalf of Super Bowl XLV for every megawatt of electricity used, one megawatt of renewable energy will be generated.
California Assisted Living Facility Goes Solar
San Clemente Villas by the Sea, an assisted living facility in California, houses the largest PV system on such a building in the United States. Solar Electrical Systems just completed a 288kW solar installation for the assisted living center. Three installations have been made: one on the rooftop, one on a solar carport, and one on a nearby hillside. The last system was the biggest challenge because of the steepness of the hill and lack of freeway access. Rebates and tax incentives provided the funding for 87 percent of the project, which is expected to save the owners over $16 million in the next three decades. Moreover, the system will pay for itself in energy savings by the end of 2015.
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