The Vatican City Named Greenest Nation

Posted on December 10th, 2010 by

The Vatican City is named the greenest nation, a new GE battery technology for buses, DOE approves three certifications for industrial plants.

Vatican City Named Most Energy Efficient State

Vatican City may be the smallest state in the world with the smallest population, with only 800 people within its borders, but it has now been declared the world’s most environmentally friendly state. Their recent installation of solar panels helped the Vatican reach their record high solar energy production per capita level of 200 watts per inhabitant. Officials say the installation of the panels on the Vatican’s conference hall has saved the nation almost 90 tons of oil equivalent.

General Electric uses Two Batteries

General Electric has outgrown the traditional idea of using one large battery for power production. Instead, they have created a new hybrid electric bus using two different types of batteries that work in unison to maximize energy storage and delivery. The bus was built by the Federal Transit Authority Hybrid Transit Bus team, which features several GE researchers. The vehicle runs on one lithium and one sodium battery. The lithium battery provides the power while the latter is responsible for energy storage. The bus can hit speeds up to 50 miles per hour and drive for a maximum of 80 miles depending on road conditions.

DOE Awards Manufacturing Companies for Efficiency

The Department of Energy announced their first industrial plants to be certified under the Superior Energy Performance Program. The companies that received the certification were Cook Composites and Polymers of Houston, TX; Freescale Semiconductor Inc. of Austin, TX; and Owens Corning of Waxahachie, TX.  The new program is a market-based industrial energy efficiency initiative that will serve as a roadmap for industrial facilities to become more sustainable. In the U.S., industrial and manufacturing sectors make up about one-third of energy use. By reducing the energy used in their industrial processes, companies can save money and energy while creating more clean energy jobs.

Indian States Plans Solar Farm

The Indian state of Gujarat, known for its trade ports and increasing industrialization, has planned to build the Gujarat Solar Park in Charanaka, a villege in the Patan district in the northern part of the state. The solar park will span 3,000 acres and will require an initial investment of $1.78 billion. The plant is expected to produce 1,000-MW of clean solar power. The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. Utility is in the process of forming agreements with solar power investors that will set up their facilities at the park. The basic infrastructure for the project is scheduled to be in place by December.

Israel Tests Railroad Pads for Electricity Generation

Israel’s Innowattech has already tested their piezoelectric energy generators to produce renewable energy from cars on the highway. Now they are researching the same idea using trains. The company is now testing IPEG PADs, an innovative new rail pad that can capture energy from passing trains. The test replaced the 32 existing railway pads with the new IPEG models, which feature piezoelectric generators that can produce electricity. The pads harvest mechanical energy and convert it to electrical power. The company has stated that up to 20 ten-car trains pass the tracks every hour. This can produce up to 120-kilowatt hours of renewable energy hourly.

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