Tag Archives: Renewable Energy

BMW ActiveE Electric Vehicle


BMW will display its first all-electric vehicle, the ActiveE, at the IEEE International Electric Vehicle Conference
The ActiveE is the first one hundred percent electric BMW to be placed in customer hands. With output of 170hp and maximum torque of 184lb-ft from a standstill, the BMW ActiveE accelerates from 0–60mph in under nine seconds. 

Newly developed lithium-ion batteries facilitate a driving range of up to 100 miles on a full charge.

“This presentation shows how BMW has prepared for years to ensure this challenge will eventually become a success story in sustainable mobility,” said Lee Stogner, Chair, IEEE Electric Vehicle Initiative. “Showcasing their new technology and being a part of the inaugural IEVC is a great way to show the world the innovations taking place at BMW.”

The BMW ActiveE is the BMW Group’s second step in the company’s three-phase development plan leading to an emission-free, electric BMW in series production – the BMW i3, which will be released in late 2013.

Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!

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Masdar City Models A Sustainable Globe

“Environmental problems are business opportunities,” is the Globe Foundation’s approach and that which underlies its ginormous Globe 2010 Conference, now in its 20th year, which just concluded on Friday in Vancouver.

Certainly one of the sexiest stories – and sponsors – to make its showing at Globe 2010 is Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. It takes the Globe approach even further by applying it to design and infrastructure as well as business opportunities.

Masdar City aims to be the world’s first clean-technology cluster located in a zero-carbon, zero-waste and 100% renewable-energy-powered city. The city will be home to academics, companies, and inhabitants from across the globe where current and future technologies in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability will be funded, researched, developed, tested and commercialized.

This special economic zone of Abu Dhabi, a $22 billion economic zone, seeks to become a global center for innovation, research, product development and light manufacturing for renewable energy and environmental technologies.

Frank Wouters, Chief Executive of Masdar Power, introduced Globe 2010 attendees to the concept of Masdar City at the Opening Plenary speech, alongside John D. Wiebe, President and CEO, Globe Foundation, and James Suciu, President Global Sales Marketing, GE Energy, also a sponsor of Globe and an anchor partner of Masdar City where they will build its first EcoMagination Center. The Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, rounded out the opening statements.

The Globe Foundation was established in 1993 in Vancouver to promote the business case for sustainable development. This year, the conference boasted its most prominent speakers to date, with a total number of 200, and played host to 10,000 participants which included 2,000 conference delegates and 400 exhibitors including a range of countries such as Japan, Korea, Germany and Russia.

The Globe Foundation has three guiding principles:

  • Environmental problems are business opportunities.
  • Companies that can provide clean technologies and solutions will prosper.
  • Proactive organizations that embrace environmental sustainability will be more competitive.

One of the Globe Foundation’s projects it is championing is its Endless Energy project which is an exploration of the implications of energy self-sufficiency for British Columbia by 2025, based on indigenous renewable and clean energy sources and conservation measures.

This year’s conference was organized around theme clusters: Corporate Sustainability Toolkit, Climate Change + Carbon Management, the Future of Energy, Financing the Low Carbon Economy, and the Urban Infrastructure Revolution.

Masdar City does a brilliant job of integrating all of these themes into one very handsome package.

The Arabic word, “masdar,” means source. Wouters pointed out that the former King of the UAE was, in fact, an environmentalist.

“We cherish our environment because it is an integral part of our country, our history and our heritage. On land and in the sea, our forefathers lived and survived in the environment. They were able to do so because they recognized the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live and to preserve it for succeeding generations.”  –  Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, 1918-2004

Masdar City, a six-kilometer-square city, will be home to leading multinational companies in the cleantech sector as well as small- to medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurial startups. It is anchored by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an advanced research and educational facility, developed in collaboration with M.I.T. (Mass. Institute of Technology) which is focused entirely on education and research in alternative energy and sustainability. Its first 100 students began its curriculum this past September and will move into the city proper for the next year’s term. They will be Masdar City’s first official residents.

“At Masdar we have the intention all along the value chain for clean and renewable energy,” said Wouters who also quoted Bloomberg’s projection for a $200 Billion worldwide investment in renewables for 2010, up from $155 Billion in 2008. For green building, there is a $1.4 trillion investment forecast by 2014. He emphasized that Masdar’s philosophy is one of inclusivity. “We approach partnerships like a Catholic marriage: a long courtship and then once a partner is chosen, we are very loyal. In addition, because of the cultural heritage, we are not limited to one partner.”

Masdar’s David Bonn, who works on the capital investment side, explained that Masdar seeks to be an exporter of renewable energy and education. He reiterated the rhetorical question about CleanTech heard often at the conference: Is it the new space race? He also mentioned that Masdar tends to invest in companies that can demonstrate proof of concept. Masdar City offers zero percent taxes on companies and individuals, illustrating that it definitely has “friend with benefits” characteristics.

Masdar City will be the world’s largest test bed for new technologies by setting sustainability targets not attempted by any other project.

“A new era is upon us, challenging us to venture beyond the achievements of the past and meet the needs of the future. Masdar aims to become a source of energy, knowledge and innovation in order to maintain Abu Dhabi’s position as a global energy leader.” – Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman, Masdar

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Greening California, SB X8 34, And Our Renewable Energy Revolution

SB X8 34 is not the latest robotics model. It is a new bill from California.

SB X8 34 authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, will help further streamline and speed up the permitting and siting process for large-scale renewable energy projects. These are the projects that will provide Californians with jobs and greater energy independence and attract investment to the Golden State.

Today, at the world’s largest operating solar plant, the NextEra Harper Lake Solar Electric Generating System (SEGS) facility in Hinkley, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to announce a new joint program to make it easier to conserve land for endangered species and for developers to build renewable energy projects in California.

Mojave Desert Photo Courtesy Data.gov

“I cannot think of a more appropriate place to underscore that renewable energy is not ‘pie in the sky’ than here at the edge of the Mojave Desert where the largest solar plant in the world is generating clean, cost-efficient renewable energy for California communities,” Secretary Salazar said during a tour of the facility.

There are more than 240 proposed renewable energy projects in California that could produce nearly 70,000 MW of clean energy annually.

These proposed projects throughout the state include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small hydro facilities.

In addition to touring the NextEra Harper Lake facility today in Hinkley, the Governor and Secretary Salazar toured a 250 megawatt (MW) proposed solar facility, the Abengoa Mojave Solar project. The proposed Abengoa site is seeking funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) and will create over $1 billion of capital investment and more than 1,200 jobs in the local region. The Governor’s action today will help the Abengoa project and other renewable energy projects seeking Recovery Act funding.

“Our bold and innovative vision for California has made us a pioneer in renewable energy, green jobs and environmental protection and, as a result, we are seeing an energy revolution in California,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “California now has more than 240 proposed renewable projects looking to build and create jobs. Today’s action will help speed up the process for some of these large projects to break ground this year and qualify for federal stimulus funding. By working together, we can increase renewable energy development, create thousands of jobs and preserve our state’s cherished natural resources”

To better coordinate the state’s efforts to increase renewable energy and create jobs, the Governor’s Administration will hold The Governor’s Renewable Energy Policy Conference at the University of California, Riverside on Wednesday, March 24.

Solar Farming

SBX8 34 will ensure state regulatory agencies have the resources necessary to focus on the state’s stringent environmental review process and permit renewable energy facilities. The bill creates further efficiencies by:

  • Establishing the Renewable Energy Development Fee Trust, a revolving fund that renewable energy developers can pay into through project-assessed fees determined by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The fees will be used for the state and its federal partners to implement project mitigation measures including purchasing private lands related to habitat restoration, and monitoring and transaction costs connected to offset impacts to biological resources from construction.
  • Ensuring the needed environmental reviews occur in a timely manner by authorizing the CEC and DFG to assess application fees on projects at an amount that would fully fund dedicated staff to work exclusively on applications.
  • Speeding up CEC review by allowing for the free flow of information in a more timely manner by removing communication barriers between outside state agencies and CEC commissioners.

The Governor urged the legislature to continue working to help streamline the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects throughout the state in a signing message attached to SBX8 34.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan was also formed to create a science-based, stakeholder driven process to identify geographic areas designated for renewable energy development, and conservation and declining species management. This plan is currently scheduled to be completed in 2012 and is meant to provide a long-term road map to development and conservation in the California desert.

The following excerpt by: David Danelski, The Press-Enterprise

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his aides gathered at the graffiti-scarred ruins of an old feed and farm supply store as they waited for U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to arrive for a tour of the future solar energy site.

The crumbling building and more than 1,700 acres around it, mostly former alfalfa fields, have been acquired by Abengoa Solar, which is seeking approval to build a 250 megawatt thermal generation plant about nine miles northwest of the San Bernardino County town of Hinkley.

“It will go as far the eye can see along those transmission lines,” Scott Frier, Abengoa’s chief operating officer, said to Schwarzenegger and Salazar as he showed them a map of project site.

The governor and Salazar also visited the control center for the nearby 160 megawatt solar plant, NextEra Harper Lake Solar Electric Generating System, the largest operating solar plant in the world.

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