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World Willing to Pay More for Green Energy
Wolfgang Kerler, IPS
A new poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a global network of research centres, finds that a majority of people in 21 nations support greater use of alternative energies like wind and solar and modifications to make buildings more energy efficient, even if costs more in the short term.
"People perceive that oil is running out and that it is necessary to take steps right away to replace it as a source of energy," Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org, told IPS. "They really think in the long run."
An average of 77 percent of respondents thought policy-makers should require utilities to invest more in alternative energy, with country results ranging from 50 percent support in Russia to 89 percent in South Korea.
With an average agreement of 74 percent, almost the same enthusiasm was shown for greater efforts to make buildings more energy efficient. The lowest support, 54 percent, was found in the Palestinian Territories, while an overwhelming 89 percent of French and British want to see stronger commitments by their governments.
In contrast, fewer than half of the nations polled favour more emphasis on nuclear energy, coal or oil to meet energy demands in the future.
(19 November 2008)
The original article at World Public Opinion: World Publics Strongly Favor Requiring More Wind and Solar Energy, More Efficiency, Even If It Increases Costs.
Britain's water mills given role in clean energy generation
Alok Jha, The Guardian
Britain's iconic water mills, some of which date back to the 11th century, are to become a major force in the fight against climate change.
Mill owners around the UK have started to refurbish their old buildings and install turbines in order to show that they can be used as a source of clean electricity.
Government figures suggest that if the resource is fully tapped, small-scale hydropower from the old mills and weirs could provide up to 10,000GWh per year - 3% of the UK's electricity needs...
(16 November 2008)
New System Proposed To Optimize Combined Energy Use
Engineers from the University of Zaragoza have developed an algorithm that can optimise hybrid electricity generation systems through combined use of renewable energies, such as photovoltaic and wind power, and non-renewables, such as diesel. Their study, published online in the magazine Renewable Energy, envisions storing the energy in batteries or hydrogen tanks.
“The objective of this project is to minimise both the costs and polluting emissions generated by energy production within isolated systems in the electric network, as well as reducing the amounts of unprovided energy (energy required by appliances and devices, but which cannot be supplied)” Rodolfo Dufo, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the Higher Polytechnic Centre of the University of Zaragoza, told SINC.
The engineers looked at isolated installations, which are provided with electric energy from photovoltaic solar panels, aerogenerators – sometimes known as windmills – and diesel generators, which use electrochemical (normally lead acid) batteries or hydrogen (by means of electrolysers, hydrogen tanks and fuel batteries) for storage. They have also looked into the possibility of redirecting the hydrogen for external uses, such as powering a vehicle, for example. “The optimisation of all these systems is a very complex process, and classic optimisation techniques are not usually appropriate in these cases due to the high computational costs they incur,” said Dufo.
(19 November 2008)