DOE Unveils Plan for Long-Term Hydroelectric Power Development
The U.S. Department of Energy recently unveiled the “Hydropower Vision Plan” – an ambitious multi-year plan designed for the development of the nation’s uncultivated hydroelectric resources. DOE Wind and Water Power Program manager Jose Zayas said that they are asking for the collaboration of industry members to move toward a roadmap for the industry. The plan, which builds on a previous DOE study that identified 12,000 MW of capacity at the country’s existing non-powered dams, further emphasizes hydropower’s room for growth. Another DOE report notes that an additional 65,000 MW of hydroelectric capacity exists across more than three million rivers and streams in the country.
Coal Plant Investors Brush-Off Supreme Court Rule on EPA Air Mandates
Saying that time is on their side, investors in coal-fed utilities are brushing off a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that gave federal regulators more power to control air pollution. It will be years more before utilities feel the squeeze of the new rules as companies, regulators and lawyers squabble over how to apply restrictions and fresh legal challenges work their way through lower courts. Improvements already made to comply with previous pollution limits mean new standards will be met with relative ease by the time they are implemented, said Hugh Wynnne, an analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
Oil Refiners in California Doubles Crude-by-Rail Volumes
California, the country’s biggest gasoline market, more than doubled the volume of oil received via train in the first quarter as shipments from Canada spiked. The third-biggest oil-refining state acquired 1.41 million barrels in Q1, up from 693,457 barrels a year ago. Delivers from Canada made up half of the total while supplies from New Mexico jumped 71 percent to 173,081 barrels. Though rail shipments still account for a small fraction of the Golden State’s oil demand, the surging flows of domestic oil reflect a continuing improvement in crude-by-rail receiving facilities in the area, says David Hackett, president of energy consultant firm Stillwater Associates.
Tubular GoSun Solar Cooker Heats up to 550 Degrees in Minutes
Solar cooking just got even better with the new fuss-free GoSun solar stove. Without the use of any sort of fuel, the tube stove can bake, boil or fry in just 20 minutes. The design of the fold-out aluminum envelope attracts the sun at any angle, accounting for an uncomplicated set up. The sun’s heat is transferred to an evacuated glass tube where it is amplified to reach temperatures of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The stove retains up to 90 percent of the sunlight it catches, amplifying its power with parabolic reflection that bounces the heat back and forth inside the tube without any thermal loss.