DOE and USDA Fund Biofuel Projects
The Departments of Agriculture and Energy announced $47 million in funding for eight biofuel research and development projects. Biofuels are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50 percent compared to fossil fuels. Grant recipients must contribute at least 20 percent of matching funds for research projects and 50 percent of matching funds for demo projects. All projects must focus on feedstocks development, biofuel product development, or biofuel analysis. The largest award, $7 million, went to Domtar Paper Company to build a demonstration plant using technology that converts wastes from paper mills into sugar, oil and lignin products for biofuel. Other recipients include the University of Florida, Cellana Inc., Metabolix Inc. and the University of Kentucky.
ADB Funds Biofuel Conversion in Vietnam
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting thousands of rural Vietnamese families as they install biogas systems in their communities. The goal of the project is to create a cleaner environment by changing the daily practices of individual households. The biogas used comes from animal wastes and replaces older energy sources such as charcoal, wood chips and pressurized cooking gas. Using biogas, families can save up to $15 per month, according to Nguyen Doan Due, a technical officer who oversees facilities. Before the biogas initiative, much of the animal waste products in the area were disposed of improperly. Now, farmers can use the waste from their livestock as a source of renewable fuel. The ADP predicts that the project can reduce CO2 emissions by 40,000 tons.
GA Power is a Leading Pledger for Energy Efficiency
The EPA recognized Georgia Power among the nation’s top five pledge leaders for striving toward energy efficiency awareness under the EPA’s “Change the World, Start with Energy Star” campaign. This year, Georgia Power collected 102,429 pledges from consumers saying they would be more conscious of their energy usage. The utility has participated in the annual pledge campaign since 2006, and according to the EPA’s website, the campaign has saved $118 million by reducing 744,255,554-kilowatt hours of energy usage. Consumers can take the pledge online. Other leaders include Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Nissan. The other utility that boasts a high pledge count is Ameren Illinois.
Recyclebank and Lunera Join for Energy Challenge
Recyclebank launched its Green Schools Energy Challenge with Lunera Lighting, an LED manufacturer based in Silicon Valley. The contest aims to retrofit classrooms with energy efficient lighting and benefit schools nationwide. Teachers and administrators can enter by submitting a video depicting classrooms that show a commitment to sustainability and those with the most inventive and active programs can win the makeover, valued at $5,000. Five classrooms will be selected, after the May 20 deadline for videos, for the LED retrofit that will not only save money, but it will create a brighter learning environment for students.
Website Shows Consumers Benefits of Vehicle Technology
Johnson Controls, a worldwide supplier of lithium-ion batteries, kicked off its new Demo Drive website to help consumers realize the benefits of fuel-efficient cars and new vehicle technology such as a Start-stop car. The website will let users choose one of six driving styles that they identify with, such as “countryside commuter” or “motorway maven.” They can follow their virtual routes while discovering how the vehicle’s performance varies along the way such as fuel efficiency, CO2 emissions and more. Consumers can learn how using advanced vehicle technologies can help them save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
By: Krishna Patel
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