Tidewater Current | Summer 2012

Transmitting news and infomation about sustainable endeavors in Coastal Virginia and beyond. Updated Weekly.


For more illustrated news including the most up to date clips, visit the TidewaterCurrent Snip.it collection.

Sailing Into a Sustainable Future - tidewatercurrent.com. Several posts on how renewable technologies are being integrated into the shipping/watercraft industry. Biofuels, kites, wind are among the technologies highlighted as well as port, shipping and eco industry initiatives.

Alternative Fueling Station Locator and 2012 Vehicle Buyer's Guide - Tidewater Current. If your interested in an alternative fuel vehicle, check out the link to the Clean Cities Buyer's Guide. There is also a link to an interactive DOE map of alternative fueling locations.

9.20.12 - Transportation fuel derived from sunlight, waste CO2 working with Audi - ecoseed.org. "According to Joule's press release, unlike the costly, multi-step production of biofuels from agricultural feedstocks, Joule's Helioculture platform directly and continuously converts sunlight and waste CO2 into fuels, including ethanol and hydrocarbons that serve as the essential chemical building blocks for diesel."

9.19.12 - Lufthansa, Algae Tec to Build Algae-based Biofuels Plant - Environmental Leader - The biofuel facility will be sited near an industrial source that will provide a feedstock of carbon dioxide to fuel algae growth. And, in flight trials with algae derived fuel, carbon dioxide emissions were reduced 50%,

9.14.12 - USU students build race car, set land speed record using biofuel - standard.net. The biofuel was developed using a process using yeast to convert dairy waste created during the cheese making process. The students are also looking at algae biofuel.

9.13.12 - NRDC Poll: Americans Want More Public Transport - revmodo.com. "Fifty-five percent of Americans want to drive less, but 74 percent say they have no other choice to get from point A to point B."

9.13.12 - Bicycling Renaissance Underway in U.S. - cleantechnica.com. "Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to make Chicago "the bike friendliest city in the country". There is also the Boston bike-share program, DC biking programs, NYC's huge bike-sharing program and growth in bicycling, and the East Coast Greenway running the eastern seaboard north to south."

9.12.12 - Electric Airplane Maker Unveils Solar-Charging Trailer | Autopia | Wired.com - PC Aero of Germany unveils solar powered airplane with it's solar charging trailer at the Berlin Air Show. The company claims the plane has a range of 600 miles at a cruise speed of 90 mph.

9.11.12 - Check Out This Great Bike-Sharing 'How To' Guide for U.S. Cities! - treehugger.com. Federal Highway Administration developed the Bike Sharing How to Guide.

9.11.12 - Transit Creates 31-84% More Jobs than Building Highways (Per $1 Spent) - cleantechnica.com. Transit-oriented development creates jobs, cleaner air and benefits the economy and national security (as less foreign oil is imported).

9.9.12 - N.C. officials envision Outer Banks as cycling mecca - hamptonroads.com. "Currituck, Dare and Outer Banks towns have spent $6.7 million on bike paths. A regional planning organization wants to work with local government and the state to build more bike lanes on the Outer Banks and in inland towns like Elizabeth City and Edenton."

9.6.12 - Is London Serious About Building a Network of Elevated Bike Lanes? - theatlanticcities.com. SkyCycle paths (a cycling highway) envisioned by Sam Martin of Exterior Architecture has received attention from the Mayor of London and meetings are moving forward with the company that owns the city's overground infrastructure.

9.4.12 - People-Powered Buses Help DNC Delegates Travel In Style - earthtechling.com. Freewheelin offers human powered transport in Charlotte for the DNC. They also offered their 20 eight seaters pedal carts at the RNC in Tampa saving some 600 tons in carbon emissions.

9.4.12 - Resurgence of Airships Taking Flight - revmodo.com. Airships will likely deliver cargo to remote locations and potentially function like cruise ships for inland eco tours.

9.3.12 - South Korean Researchers Create Clean Biodiesel from Sewage Sludge - inhabitat.com. With a high lipid content, the biodiesel from sewage sludge could be produced for pennies per gallon. According to a researcher from Mississippi State, the research is promising.

9.1.12 - Va. high-speed rail project assessments released - dailypress.com. Final environmental impact statements for routes connecting the Hampton Roads area to Richmond via Petersburg and the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor have been completed.

8.31.12 - Gov McDonnell Announces Amtrak to Norfolk to Start 12/12/12 | AltDaily

8.28.12 - Sapphire Energy harvests 81 tons of algae biomass in New Mexico - ecoseed.org. "By 2018, Sapphire aims to produce 10,000 barrels a day of algae biofuel or around 1 million gallons per year at the farm."

8.27.12 - Cargo Ship Designers Turn to Wind to Cut Cost and Emissions- www.nytimes.com. Wind power is returning to the high seas. From kites to new sail systems, wind is beginning to propel vessels once again. The pictured conceptual cargo carrier is underdevelopment by B9 Energy.

8.22.12 - Plastic-powered plane to fly from Sydney to London - businessgreen.com. Not scheduled to make the trip until later this year. Flying Doctors pilot plans to make the 10,000 mile trip using clean burning diesel fuel derived from plastic bottles and developed by Cynar Plc of Ireland.

8.17.12 - Boeing to Refine Waste Cooking Oil into Biofuel in China - waste-management-world.com. China has a fast growing aviation industry and currently uses more cooking oil than jet fuel, so recycling the oil makes great sense both economically and environmentally. See more clips in Eco Transport.

8.17.12 - Impress all your air-breathing friends with a car that runs on air - grist.org. Tata's Air Pod costs $1.50 to full up with compressed air and can go 125 miles at a top speed of 43 mph. It's in the second phase of testing and is expected to cost about $10,000. No word on this but a wind powered compression pump would be the way to go.

8.17.12 - Wireless Car Charging In Action - treehugger.com. Inductive wireless charging is touted to be just as efficient as regular plug in efficiency. Nissan Leaf 2.0 drivers look to be the first to enjoy this option.

8.16.12 - Ridejoy to Launch Ride-Sharing App - cleantechnica.com.

8.16.12 - EPA to Approve Sorghum As New Source of Biofuel - revmodo.com. Western Plains Energy looks to be the first producing sorghum biofuel (which is not a food crop). They are investing $30-$40 million and expect to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol a year. If so, the pay back for the project is 2-3 years.

8.15.12 - GM's electric Spark: It's all about the batteries - mnn.com. "General Motors is preparing to unveil its first all-electric car since the EV1. And speculation is growing about the breakthrough battery company that GM has invested in. Are 300-mile, $20,000 EVs in our near future?"

8.14.12 - GE unveils charge point for wind-powered cars - businessgreen.com. Urban Green Energy and GE have teamed up and are planning to deploy wind powered electric vehicle charging stations in the US and Australia later this year. See more snips in the Eco Transport collection.

8.13.12 - Navy partners with local company in quest for new energy sources - vcstar.com. Algae for biodiesel is produced on Naval Base in Port Hueneme.

8.13.12 - 100 MPH Passenger Train to Link Miami and Orlando—With No Government Funds - treehugger.com. Florida East Coast Industries rail project will create 6000 construction jobs and 1000 permanent jobs and will likely remove 3 million cars from the road every year easing congestion and air pollution. Anticipating a profit, the project is entirely privately funded.

8.12.12 - GM increases solar energy commitment with new investment- examiner.com. The largest solar rooftop installation in the world is on a GM plant in Spain and the company has a number of other projects in place in the US and several planned, including one on a Baltimore, MD facility. They recently partnered with Sunlogics to expand solar energy production at their facilities with the intent to build solar canopy electric car charging stations.

8.9.12 - MIT's Folding Hiriko City Car Set to Hit the Market Next Year for $16,000 - inhabitat.com.

8.7.12 - Norfolk making strides to make city bike-friendly | wavy.com - Several bikeways are to be completed by the end of the year.

8.6.12 - Converting Household Trash Into Ethanol - huffingtonpost.com. Free and plentiful, waste that would otherwise go to landfills will be transformed into ethanol at a Nevada Plant. Fulcrum Bio Energy has received a bank loan for the project along with a federal guarantee for the loan.

8.5.12 - ADOT grants promote biking, walking to school - azcentral.com. This Arizona program should be expanded nationally. The grants are provided to support infrastructure so that kids can ride and walk safely to school. There are obvious health and environmental benefits as well as economic benefits. Think of how much money school districts can save in avoided bus fuel costs.

8.3.12 - Port of Los Angeles seeing benefits of pollution-reduction strategies - porttechnology.org. "Harmful emissions down 76 percent since introduction of Clean Air Action Plan in 2005"

8.3.12 - Plug-in Kit Turns Cars into Hybrids - revmodo.com. Middle Tennessee State team designs retrofit system. $3,000 product if developed.

8.2.12 - Virginia Tech Students Build Winner Of An Electric Motorcycle - earthtechling.com. The VT Bolt which can reach speeds of 98 mph was the fastest finisher in it's class in a recent race of the TTXGP eGrandPrix. The Team's success will allow them to participate in a world champion race at Daytona in the fall.

8.1.12 - Shoalhaven One Launch Tomorrow: Algae.Tec Invests $4m in Region - algaetec.com.au. Non GMO algae biodiesel plant opens in New South Wales, Australia. Designers recycled 5 shipping containers to grow and harvest algae in. CO2 produced at an adjacent ethanol plant will be pumped into the algae tanks to fuel growth. Video links included. More on biofuels in Eco Transport Snip it collection.

7.31.12 - First Dual-Power Electric/Diesel Locomotive Completes Run - revmodo.com. NJ Transit trials first of it's kind locomotive.

7.30.12 - Could this app end traffic jams? | SmartPlanet - App to find the most fuel efficient route in traffic.

2012 Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Festival - ourcommunityplace - The 21st Annual Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Festival–Saturday, July 28th, 2012.

7.27.12 - This Little Green Plant Could Be The Biofuel Of The Future - businessinsider.com. Great Photo Essay on biofuel production from algae program at University of California San Diego.

7.26.12 - Ford Has Big Plans To Remake Its Best-Selling F-150 Truck In Aluminum - businessinsider.com. The switch will reduce its weight by 700 pounds and increase fuel efficiency by 25%.

7.26.12 - Evergreen Christens First Fuel-Efficient L-type Containership - shipandbunker.com. Optimized hull and electronic fuel injection engine enables energy efficient propulsion.

7.25.12 - The $9 Cardboard Bike From Israel (PHOTOS) - greenprophet.com.

7.25.12 - Solar Impulse Airplane Returns Home After World's First Solar-Powered Intercontinental Flight - inhabitat. Flying from Switzerland to Morocco and back, organizers are are planning round the world flight in 2014.

7.24.12 - 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi is the Most Affordable Plug-in Hybrid Available in America - inhabitat.com. $29,995 after tax credit.

7.24.12 - Rolls-Royce to Power New Cruise Ferries - marinelink. LNG based power and propulsion systems will be included in two new ships being built in Norway.

7.23.12 - Cuba tests biofuel vehicle successfully - newstrackindia.com. The inedible Jatropha plant was used in a blend to fuel a Toyota Hilux. The1500 test run indicated the fuel burned more efficiently than non blended fuel The recently opened jatropha fuel plant can produce 100 tonnes of fuel a year. More info in the Eco Transport collection.

7.21.12- Navy's new ship sails the seas on half the gas - news.cnet.com. In addition to gas turbines, the USS Makin Island was outfitted with an electric drive which saved some $15 million in fuel costs during it's first deployment. The ship also boasts a reverse osmosis system to convert seawater into potable water without the use of chemicals.

7.19.12 -- Worldwide Cycle Superhighways: Copenhagen, London, New York - sustainablecitiescollective.com.

7.18.12 - Electric vehicle chargers go wireless - www.ecoseed.org. The Commonwealth of Virginia, Google and the Apollo Launch Program are supporting a program to test wireless electric vehicle charges. Nisan Leafs will be equipped with technology to accept wireless charging. Evatran the developer of the system is accepting partners with Nissan Leafs or Chevy Volts in their fleet for its second phase of testing.

7.18.12 - Elon Musk's 'Hyperloop' Train Could Travel From Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 Minutes Flat - inhabitat.com. Not much info provided, except that the train expected to be solar powered.

7.17.12 - High-Speed Rail Investment in U.S. Would Result in $26.4 Billion Net Benefits by 2040 - cleantechnica.com. American Public Transportation Association reports that the cost of high speed rail may be high, but failure to develop it will be more costly.

7.17.12 - Great infographic on benefits of public transportation - switchboard.nrdc.org.

7.17.12 - EcoMotors fires up efficient engine plans with $32.5m funding injection - businessgreen.com. EcoMotors has developed a new type of engine that is 50% more fuel efficient and produces 50% less emissions than a traditional engine. Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures are investors.

7.16.12 - 10 Electric Cars You Can Buy This Year! - cleantechnica.com. This is a link to a Car Answers and EV Fact Page that that will be updated with current info as it becomes available.

7.16.12 - Push in Congress to ban biofuels in military has big long-term costs - csmonitor.com. Great editorial by a retired US Air Force Commander supporting the need for Military use/ investment in biofuels. More on biofuels can be found in TidewaterCurrent "Eco Transport" and "Transportation-Fuel/Vehicles" collections .

7.15.12 - Maersk Ships Save US$ 90-million on Energy Using KPI - marinelink.com.

7.13.12 - Washington to New York City in 60 minutes by train - washingtonpost.com

7.11.12 - New biofuel process offers vast efficiency boost - tgdaily.com. Michigan State researchers increase energy recovery to 73% from agricultural wastes.

7.10.12 - The Triple Bottom Line of Green Cycling: Good for You, Good for Community, Good for the Economy - blog.cleantechies.com. Includes links to some great articles.

7.10.12 - The 2,500 mph VacTrain: One Possible Future for Mass Transportation - treehugger.com. New York to London in an hour. Transport of the future - maybe?

7.10.12 - Japanese Students Unveil Electric Roadway that Wirelessly Charges Electric Vehicles - inhabitat.com. Fascinating idea: Recharge your car as you drive. Who pays for it? Is it toll road? How expensive are they to build and maintain?

7.9.12 - City of Sydney, Australia Builds Separate Bike Lane, Bike Usage Explodes by 82% - cleantechnica.com. To increase cycling in the city, bike lanes are being built, vehicular traffic speed slowed and priority is given to bike lanes over vehicular traffic.

7.9.12 - The Firefly is a 100% Solar-Powered Boat That Only Costs $2900! - inhabitat.com.

7.7.12 - East Coast High-Speed Rail Network in the Works - cleantechnica.com. Project planned for the NE.

7.7.12 - Orange You Glad I Said Biofuel?Transportation-Fuel - cleantechnica.com. Orange Peel Exploitation Company (OPEC) organized to create a zero waste biorefinery project for discarded orange peel from the juice industry. An OPEC refinery is planned for NY. So it could just be a matter of time before orange biofuel can be pumped into our gas tanks.

7.7.12 - Green Light for California High-Speed Rail Network - cleantechnica.com. Line planned from SF to LA.

7.6.12 - Va. Beach light rail supporters form PAC - newsleader.com. Town Bank makes $25,000 donation.

7.5.12 - U.S. Navy moves ahead on biofuels despite congressional ire - reuters.com. Navy Biorefinery effort to provide some $210 million in matching funds to aid private investment in biofuel production. According to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus the push "enhances our national security." Congress has banned the Navy from spending more on biofuel than conventional fuel in the future, but there simply isn't support to block this new initiative.

7.4.12 - Driving a Solar-Powered EV (Interview) - cleantechnica.com. Nissan Leaf Owner interviewed. Good Info.

7.3.12 - Danish EV With Fuel Cells Has 500 Mile Driving Range « earthtechling. A biomethanol synthetic fuel alternative employed as a range extender.

6.30.12 - The beginning of personal rapid transit | SmartPlanet - First system opened at Heathrow. Much less expensive to develop than light rail, more systems are expected elsewhere including the U.S.

6.30.12 - Algae Biofuel Plays in Peoria - cleantechnica.com. Solazyme opens plant in Illinois and is expected to produce about 2 million liters of fuel annually. http://cleantechnica.com/2012/06/30/solazyme-opens-algae-biofuel-refinery-in-peoria/

6.29.12 - Local transportation, bike projects funded - dailyprogress.com. UVA receives $350,000 for a bike sharing program on campus.

6.29.12 - Congress passes terrible transportation bill, hits the road - grist.org. Important provisions supporting public transit, walking and biking infrastructure were dropped from the bill.

6.29.12 - The US Navy's biofueled Green Fleet to highlight this year's RIMPAC War Games - biofuelsdigest.com. Banned from buying any fuel more expensive than conventional oil, the Navy will use Biofuels already purchased during the Rim of the Pacific exercises this summer. These exercises are with international fleets representing some 20 countries. US Ships using the biofuels are attracting a lot of interest from participating fleets, as they too are looking to develop biofuels. The author suggests that like in the arms race, the drive to develop biofuels globally, may move congress to continue to support the US Navy's leadership in biofuels.

6.28.12 - London's Emirates Air Line cable car service launches - Telegraph - Cable cars can transport 2500 people per hour, the same number it would take 30 busses to move at the same cost as the underground.

6.27.12 - The Emerald Ace—Japan's Prius of the Sea - gizmodo.com. Hybrid ship. When at dock, the ship operates on solar power with a battery backup. At sea, solar power is used for navigation equipment, lighting and air conditioning.

6.27.12 - Turning Sea Trash into Boat Fuel - .nbcbayarea.com. Mining our landfills and oceans for plastic could make sense. Rendering plastic into its oil base via pyrolysis has been feasible for years, but expensive. Now that we are wasting so much landfill space on it and our oceans are full of it, the benefits attained by removing it from the ocean and reducing demand on increasingly expensive landfill space, could outweigh the costs.

6.24.12 - Solar-Powered Biodiesel Station Opens in Atlanta - cleantechnica.com. Solar power is used to process used food service oils into biofuel.

6.23.12 - It's a Biofuel, It's a Rubber Glove…No, It's Guayule! - cleantechnica.com. DOE provides $5.7 million in funding for Guayule biofuel research and development. Already used to make rubber gloves, it has great potential for fuel.

6.22.12 - Virgin Airlines To Invest in Biofuels - wire.kapitall.com.Richard Branson and Virgin have founded an new organization called the Carbon War Room and hired a previous president of Costa Rica to run the group which will look to reduce carbon emissions globally. Virgin is very interested in algae and isobutanol based fuel. Author notes that 1500 flights on biofuels have been reported. Great list of producers and price points included.

6.22.12 - B9 Shipping developing 100 percent fossil fuel-free cargo sailing ships - gizmag. Dyna-rig sail propulsion system combined with an engine that runs on fuel derived from municipal waste.

6.21.12 - Sailing Into a Sustainable Future - TidewaterCurrent.com.Several posts on how renewable technologies are being integrated into the shipping/watercraft industry. Biofuels, kites, wind are among the technologies highlighted as well as port, shipping and eco industry initiatives.

6.21.12 - Everett-based Coast Guard ship testing biofuel - seattletimes.nwsource.com. The Henry Blake began testing algae biofuel this week. Testing will continue through the summer. Three of the ships in the Navy's Nimmitz strike group an more will also test the fuel this summer as part the of the Great Green Fleet.

6.12.12 - Don't Scuttle The U.S. Navy's Biofuels Program - Forbes - This plea to the Senate to support the DoDs current biofuels program published in Forbes indicates the enormous interest in this topic. The author recognizes that costs for biofuels aren't competitive with conventional fuel, but notes that costs for biofuel production have been halved over the last couple of years and that military investments in the past have created giant industries that support our economy. The Green Fleet program this summer will test biofuels and although more may have spent more for the fuel, all the money comes back into the US economy.

6.9.12 -Navy's green fleet runs into fiscal storm - utsandiego.com. Insightful article covering the dilemma of biofuel development in the military. Biofuels are not competitive with petroleum and Congress is banning the Dod from purchasing fuels more expensive than petroleum. As we all know, new technologies are expensive and with commercialization, prices fall. Just look at the price drops in the electronics industry - personal computers and cell phones. As the single largest consumer of fuel in the US, the DoD should lead the way to a secure and environmentally sound fuel supply. Of course, jobs would also be created in the development of the industry.

6.8.12 - Hydrogen powered ferry wins award - bairdmaritime. Bristol harbor to be home of a hydrogen powered ferry beginning September.

6.7.12 - Airline group says biofuels need govt support - Businessweek. International Air Transportation Association just had a meeting in Beijing and they are calling for government support for biofuels. The industry only responsible for 3% carbon emission but is the fastest growing source. Commercialization of biofuels for airlines easier than cars as it would less complicated getting the fuel to 3800 airports worldwide than millions of gas stations.


6.6.12 - An Ultra-Cheap Compressed Air Car Moves Closer To Reality - fastcoexist. The concept, of course, is brilliant. And despite years of effort to bring the concept to reality, Tata Motors is not giving up. Concerns are over tank safety (its under extremely high pressure), energy source to compress the air and the time it takes to charge the tank.

6.6.12 - Energy-dense biofuel from cellulose close to being economical - agprofessional. Biofuel from switch grass or corn stover can be produced in new process developed at Purdue for about $100/barrel - competitive when gas prices climb.

6.6.12 - 118 MPGe 2013 Honda Fit EV Awarded Highest EPA Fuel-Efficiency Rating - inhabitat. Recharged in less than 3 hours the Honda Fit EV has a range of 82 miles and has a retail price of $36,625 or can be leased at $389/month.

6.1.12 Norfolk Amrak link should be complete by year's end, mayor says - articles.dailypress.



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