May 31, 2007
During a speech today focusing on the US international development agenda, President Bush announced that the US will work with other nations “to establish a new framework on greenhouse gas emissions for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.”
The President proposed convening a series of meetings of the US and the other nations that produce the most greenhouse gases—including India and China—to develop by the end of 2008 a long-term global goal for greenhouse gas reduction. The end of 2008 is also the Administration’s current target for developing federal regulations that will reduce gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. (Earlier post.)
Mazda Develops New Naturally-Aspirated MZR 1.3-liter Miller-cycle Engine; 20% Improvement in Fuel Economy
|The new engine will power the new Mazda2 (Demio).|
Mazda Motor Corporation has developed a new, naturally aspirated MZR 1.3-liter Miller-cycle gasoline engine, which will power the all-new Demio (Mazda2 in non-Japanese markets) when it goes on sale in Japan in July 2007.
In combination with Mazda’s first continuously variable transmission (CVT), the engine enables the new Demio to offer a 10-15 mode fuel economy of 23.0 km/liter (4.3 l/100km or 54 mpg US), an improvement of approximately 20% over the 19.2 km/liter (5.2 l/100km, 45 mpg US) rating of the current 1.3-liter engine model.
Business Journal. Startup algae biofuels company LiveFuels received $10 million in a first round of funding led by David Gelbaum of the Quercus Trust, which donates to conservation advocacy and environmental organizations.
Air Liquide to Supply Portable Hydrogen Fueling Systems to GM in the US; Linde Opens Hamburg Hydrogen Station
Air Liquide Advanced Technologies US, LLC will supply five, 700-bar, portable fast-fill hydrogen fueling systems to General Motors (GM) in the US. GM will also have an option to acquire two additional systems. The systems will be built in North America, with proprietary engineering designs from Air Liquide’s Advanced Technologies teams, and should be operational by the end of 2007.
The Air Liquide refueling stations are designed to allow vehicles to refuel in less than three minutes to cover a range of several hundred kilometers. The company has already designed, built and commissioned a number of hydrogen stations over the past five years, including in Madrid (bus fleet); Kawasaki; Luxembourg; Shanghai (a mobile station for the Michelin Challenge Bibendum); Singapore; and one for a European automobile manufacturer. Air Liquide has a permanent demonstration station in Sassenage (France).
The EPA yesterday held its second and final public hearing on California’s request for a federal waiver that would allow the state to proceed with implementing its law restricting emissions of greenhouse gases from light-duty vehicles starting in 2009. The eleven other states that have adopted California's measure will also be affected by the waiver decision.
More than 50 supporters of the waiver testified at the hearing, including politicians, Air Resource Board staff, scientists and representatives from big business (Sempra Energy and PG&E). Only two—both representatives of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers—argued against it.
Mitsubishi Electric announced it has achieved a photoelectric conversion efficiency rate of 18.0% in a 150mm square practical use multi-crystalline silicon solar cell, an improvement of 1.2% over previous models and the world’s highest rate to date. The company plans to present its technology at the Fukuoka 17th International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference in December 2007.
To achieve the 18% rate, Mitsubishi added a low reflectivity surface texture on the multi-crystalline silicon, developed a process to print electrodes on the surface of the silicon (metallization) and reduced shade loss of the front grid electrodes. In the same surface area as previous products, the company achieved a 7% greater electric output, making the new cells suitable for small installations such as narrow roofs.
Ynetnews. Executives from Renault and Toyota have been speaking to officials from Israel and Jordan in an attempt to launch a joint venture for a factory specializing in environmentally-friendly electric cars. According to the plan, the location of this factory would be near the border between Israel and Jordan, in an area called Peace Valley.
Neste Oil officially inaugurated its new €100 million (US$135 million) renewable diesel NExBTL (Next Generation Biomass to Liquid) plant that has been under construction for the last 18 months at its Porvoo refinery in Finland. (Earlier post.)
May 30, 2007
California Governor and Ontario Premier Sign MoU on Climate Change; Coordinating on Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on climate change. Under the accord, Ontario and California will partner to fight global warming by coordinating policies on low-carbon fuel standards. Ontario will require producers to reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels by 10% by 2020.
In January 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger established by Executive Order a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that requires, as an initial goal, a 10% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) intensity of all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California by 2020. (Earlier post.)
Sandia National Laboratories and Boeing are collaborating on a project to look at the feasibility of using a hydrogen-powered fuel cell to provide backup power in aircraft.
Commercial and military aircraft use a variety of techniques to provide backup electrical power to critical subsystems during emergency scenarios. Depending on the aircraft, these may include dedicated battery power, in-flight operation of the auxiliary power unit, a ram air turbine, or other technologies.