Cheap U.S. Corn Deters Buyers in Sugar-for-Ethanol Program
An oversupply of corn has abated interests by biofuel makers in a U.S. government program to sell surplus sugar for ethanol, potentially decreasing its effectiveness in boosting sugar prices. The price of corn has dropped 43 % from last year’s price. Bids to the government were due last Aug. 28 for sugar traders in which the Department of Agriculture will match companies that want to rid themselves of surplus sugar with businesses interested in converting the sweetener into biofuel. Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, anticipates that the impact of the program will be minimal.
Tepco Amasses Largest Pool of Radioactive Water; 132 Olympic Pools Worth
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has accumulated the largest pool of irradiated water in the history of nuclear accidents. More than 330,000 metric tons of water with varying levels of toxicity is stored in hundreds of tanks at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant. The utility is now faced with the daunting challenge of how to dispose 132 Olympic pools worth of contaminated water. Former nuclear engineer Michael Friedlander says that there are only a few ways to get rid of it, either to dump in the ocean, evaporate into the air, or both.
Study Says Fracking Fluid Caused FishKill in Kentucky Stream
Hydraulic fracturing fluids that spilled from natural gas wells in 2007 probably caused the widespread death of fish in a Kentucky stream, the U.S. Interior Department said recently. A joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Fish & Wildlife Service found that chemicals that entered the Acorn Forkcreek, polluted water supplies and resulted in significant fatality of fish species including the federally threatened Blackside dace. Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to gain access to fuel. It is the most common form of gas-well development in Kentucky, according to the study.
Grid Congestion for Clean Energy May Extend to South Japan
Power grids in southern Japan are close to capacity for solar and wind projects as the nation pushes to add stations that derive power from renewable sources. According to estimates by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Chugoku Electric Power Co and Kyushu Electric Power Co. each have less than 1 GW of available grid capacity for wind and solar after deducting existing and approved capacity. Reform of the power market could improve the country’s grid, and such legislation is expected to be submitted to parliament in autumn.