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Creating Energy on the Farm

By Tracy Crawford ecomii.com
April 2, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Energy Sources, Waste Reduction

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The Renewable Energy Summit was held in Milwaukee the last week in March. It was nice to see a mix of people that included students, business owners, and of course, out-of-work professionals interested in network and exploring the green industry possibilities.

Everyone was interested in learning what hot renewable energy innovations and technologies are out there today.

Attendees learned that solar energy provides the latest in innovation, with wind far behind when it comes to private and residential services. It’s just too costly for an individual homeowner to have a wind turbine by their home, not to mention zoning and neighbor issues.

But here in the Midwest, people are very excited about biofuels. With large dairy farms in abundance in Wisconsin, there is a lot of research and innovation going into using cow manure to produce energy. …read more of Creating Energy on the Farm here

 
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Biomass: A Renewable Resource and Green Solution

By Loretta White ecomii.com
March 23, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Carbon Emissions, Energy Sources, Green Economy, Heating Sources, Research and Development, Reusable Energy, Waste Reduction

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When I think of biomass, I think of the silver DeLorean in “Back to the Future” where the professor was able to turn garbage into fuel for his time machine.

When that movie came out, the idea of using banana peels to power your engine was probably thought of as ridiculous. But today, humans can use all sorts of natural, renewable vegetation and substances.

 
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Branding Biofuels

By Dayanti Karunaratne
February 5, 2009
File under: Biofuel

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It’s a big news week for biofuels. Following the announcement of up to $25 million in federal funds for the research and development of biofuels came the news that the U.S. Air Force plans to use biofuels in it’s fleet by 2013. It now seems clear that – regardless of the price tag on a barrel of oil – federal agencies are banking on biofuels to help soften the energy crunch.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that luxury automaker Bentley is hopping on the bandwagon. Making good on their promise to have a biofuel car on the road by 2012, Bentley will debut this new vehicle at the Geneva Auto Show on March 3, 2009. At this point, the model lacks an exact price or a name, but it’s reported to be more powerful – and pricey – than the Continental GT Speed, which is priced at $203,000.

While the price clearly puts the car out of reach for most, it’s worth noting that such upscale items do serve a certain purpose in the green economy. Like runway designs, just because we can’t afford them doesn’t mean they don’t influence our sensibility. …read more of Branding Biofuels here

 
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Getting Started

By B. Adrian White
February 2, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Energy Sources, Research and Development

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A funny thing about people is we don’t like change. And we sometimes feel guilty about not liking change. A lot of younger people say they love change. Can’t get enough of it. But try making veggie burgers instead of turkey for Christmas dinner and the kids may not love change as much as they think. Often, change means moving away from something we are good at and being good at something makes us feel comfortable.

Moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources can elicit the same feelings of moving away from something we are good at to something we might need to learn how to do. For instance, most of us know how to keep the lights on. Pay the electric bill. We aren’t born knowing how to pay bills but we learned. Putting solar panels on your roof and generating your own electricity means learning a new set of skills.

If you live in the north east it might mean figuring out how to get snow off the panels after a foot of the white stuff falls during one of our winter storms. It might mean figuring out how to put them on the roof without creating leaks. And there are other details that we know we would have to learn to run our own solar power plant. …read more of Getting Started here

 
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Is Biodiesel Really Green?

By Cherl Petso ecomii.com
November 21, 2008
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel

 Is Biodiesel Really Green?

Biodiesel yields three times the energy it takes to produce.  Pretty impressive.  It’s an entirely domestic fuel that doesn’t come with strings attached.  There’s no war to fight over it, no importation, and it’s grown right here in the U.S.  With the focus on alternative fuels renewed with recent sky-high gas prices, biodiesel is at the forefront of an alternative fuel revolution.  It’s hard to imagine that anything is wrong with this simple fuel, but is it really so environmentally friendly?

Here’s the scoop.

Biodiesel is made from soybeans, corn, canola, cottonseed, sunflower, beef tallow, pork lard and used cooking …read more of Is Biodiesel Really Green? here

 
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