The Pope looking for a solar powered car, the US and Russia discuss smart grid partnerships and when you will be able to travel to Ellis Island on a renewable energy-powered ferry.
Popemobile Going Solar
The Vatican has long embraced renewable energy and alternative power. The Pope now announced that he wishes to replace his current gas-fueled Popemobile with a solar powered vehicle. The current Popemobile is a bulletproof Mercedes Benz; the Vatican awaits a car company that will step up and construct a solar-powered version complete with security features for the Pope. The Vatican has already expressed their enthusiasm for renewables. The main auditorium is covered with a solar rooftop array and the cafeteria uses a solar cooling unit. Also planned is a 100-MW solar facility on Vatican lands just outside Rome.
U.S./Russia Energy Deal
Russia and the United States are extending their relations into the realm of alternative energy. Today the United States Agency for International Development, the U.S. Energy Association, and the Russian Energy Agency conducted a workshop to discuss smart grid development. Presidents Obama and Medvedev met earlier this year to begin negotiations for a new nuclear non-proliferation agreement and also agreed to collaborate on energy efficiency technologies. As per the Protocol of Intent both nations signed in July 2010, Russia and the United States wish to advance smart grid technology.
Yacht Powered by Renewables
The U.S. Navy is not alone in looking for alternative fuels to power its ships. Statue Cruises has announced a hydrogen hybrid ship to provide ferry services to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The New York Hornblower Hybrid is the world’s first ferry to run on hydrogen, wind, and solar power. It is 1400-horsepower and can carry up to 600 passengers. The vessel will have a proton exchange membrane fuel cell on board to turn hydrogen into electricity. There will also be solar panels, wind turbines, and Tier 2 diesel engines for any other energy needs.
Designers are beginning to personalize renewable energy systems to custom-fit the needs of homeowners. With rising energy costs, homeowners everywhere welcome the opportunity to lower their electricity bills. Designers Liao-Hsun Chen and Wen-Chih Chang have conceptualized a wind energy system, the Wind Cube, to generate electricity for individual homes. Each “mini-turbine” has blades, a generator, a telescopic shaft, electric power plug and a switch. Homeowners merely install the turbines and wait for them to generate electricity. Designers claim each Wind Cube will be capable of generating 21.6 kilowatt-hours of electricity. This means about 15 of them could be sufficient for the energy needs of a family of four.
Solar Panels in Maryland Schools
Standard Solar and Perpetual Energy Systems plan to install a large scale solar electric system to support St.Mary’s County Public School System in Maryland. The school system received a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration for solar projects on public buildings in the state. The installation will include a 503-kW system on the George Washington Carver Elementary School in Great Mills, MD. The array has over 2,200 solar panels. Upon completion, the system at George Washington Carver will generate 677,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. That is 80 percent of the school’s energy needs.
Tags: custom solutions, daily energy news, daily energy report, energy news, energy report, maryland, Pope, popemobile, school systems, solar power, U.S./Russia, Vatican City, Wind Cube, wind energy, yacht