Biofuel Production Increasing Worldwide
Biofuel production in leading and emerging countries is expected to grow by 46 percent by 2016, according to a research report released by MarketsandMarkets. The countries studied include the U.S., Brazil, France, Spain, India, Colombia, Thailand, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, among the top biofuel producers worldwide. The United States and Brazil lead production at 45 percent and 29 percent respectively. The use of biofuels has gained importance due to the low carbon emissions, government subsidies and the push for clean energy. However, the increase in crops aimed for biofuel harvesting has caused a significant rise to food prices and some worry the trend will lead to further hunger and poverty in developing nations.
DOE Teams up with Qatar for Clean Energy
The DOE is working together with the Qatar Science and Technology Park under an agreement to promote clean energy. Both countries will exchange innovations and take part in joint research initiatives to garner economic growth. The collaboration will focus on five areas: advanced cooling technologies, renewable power generation, energy storage, carbon capture and water treatment systems.
Amendment to Suspend Greenhouse Gas Regulations Defeated
The Senate voted against the proposed amendment to suspend the EPA’s greenhouse gas permitting regulations for “stationary sources.” The amendment, proposed by Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, was an attempt to help save jobs in certain sectors that do not meet the regulation’s standards. Backlash was voiced by groups such as the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association. “[The regulations] jeopardize our companies’ nearly 10,000 West Virginia jobs, along with thousands of others in downstream industries,” said Karen Price, president of WVMA.
Wind Farm Under Construction in Hawaii
A 21-MW wind energy project is underway in the Ulupalakua Ranch region of Maui, Hawaii. Dubbed the Auwahi project, it is expected to come online early 2012 creating jobs as well as clean energy. The project is currently under intense environmental review by Maui agencies. It will generate enough electricity to power 10,000 Maui homes, helping Hawaii reach its energy goal of 40 percent renewable source generated electricity by 2030.
DOE Provides Additional Funding for SunShot Initiative
The DOE has issued $112 million in funding over the next five years to support the SunShot Initiative, an effort to encourage solar manufacturing in the U.S. The solar manufacturing sector has been steadily declining in the face of economic pressures. SunShot aims to boost production and create more green jobs. Funding was awarded to both university and industry applicants with the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (Albany, NY and Palm Bay, FL) taking the biggest chunk of the pie, $62.5 million, for industry-focused development. Bay Area PV Consortium (Stanford, CA) and STC Technologies (San Jose, CA) each received $25 million.
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