German Car Manufacturers Pushes for Clean Diesel in the U.S.
Mercedes-Benz is one of six German car makers that have joined a campaign that outlines the advantages of diesel engines in passenger cars over gasoline engines in terms of cleanliness, consumption and performance. The campaign, which was jointly developed by the German Association of the Automotive Industry, is named “Clean Diesel, Clearly Better”. The main goal of the campaign is to create a platform for clean diesels in the in the United States and to show the advantages of diesel technologies. A website, www.clearlybetterdiesel.com was created to explain the facts about the advantages of diesel engines in fuel consumption, refueling costs, low noise and CO2 emissions.
Test Centers for U.S. Solar Power
The Sandia National laboratory is building regional testing centers in Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Orlando and Burlington (VT) to field-test hardware for solar companies before their multimillion-dollar solar systems are installed in buildings. The test facilities will provide monitoring and performance prediction capabilities for new technologies being introduced to the market and will have detailed weather stations and measuring and monitoring equipment such as simulators, performance curve tracers and infrared and digital cameras. They will help develop standard procedures to assess performance of large-scale systems that other labs, utilities and investors can use in future projects.
Apps to Aid in the Study of Global Warming and Climate Change
If you’re wondering what to make of the unpredictably crazy weather of the past few years, you may want to check out some of the apps you can use to study climate change and global warming. By making the things visual, some of these apps let the nonprofessional see historic trends without the hassle of going through thousands of spreadsheets and databases. Here are a few climate apps for Apple and Android: Climate Mobile (iOS); Just Science (iOS); EarthObserver (iOS); Climate Eyes (Android); MyClimate (Android); Global Warming (Android).
Mixed Review for 2012’s Biomass and Biofuel Industry
The U.S. biomass industry suffered a frustrating year in 2012. Several coal plants – which could have been candidates for biomass conversions – were closed due to the abundance of natural gas from shale gas fracking. Inversely, a number of major biomass projects made significant headway in 2012. Southern Company’s 100 MW plant in Texas began commercial operations in July, making it the USA’s largest dedicated biomass facility. It was also a mixed year for biofuels. An October report by the Energy Information Administration said that bioethanol accounted for some 10% of US gasoline consumption last year, up from 1% in 2001, but the year started badly with the expiration of federal tax credit for ethanol. A terrible drought has also hit corn starch ethanol production and investment in biofuels has seen its lowest level in nearly a decade.