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China to unveil plan for 'new energy' by year-end

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
Coal-dependent China will unveil a plan to foster the development of "new energy" sources, including wind, solar and nuclear, by the end of this year, state media on Monday quoted a senior energy policy official as saying.

Sun Qin, vice head of the National Energy Administration (NEA), told a forum in southern Guangzhou city that a guide for developing energy technologies would also be released, but gave no further details.

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China starts building first 10-GW mega wind farm

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
China started construction of the country's first 10-gigawa wind power base in Jiuquan of northwest Gansu province on Saturday as Beijing seeks more clean power to fuel its fast economic growth.

China, the world's second-largest energy user, has said it would bring its total wind power capacity to 100 GW by 2020 from the current 12 GW, part of a broad energy target to generate 3 percent of total electricity from non-hydro renewable energy.

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Solar industry : "We are within 5-15 years of full competitiveness"

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
Last week, solar-industry experts at a symposium of the National Academies in Washington DC on the topic of scaling up the solar industry complained that the emphasis on finding new technologies was misplaced. Prof. Ken Zweibel, director of Solar Institute at the George Washington University, answers Scitizen's questions.
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Portable solar power systems: Growing supply chain props up industry

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
China’s portable solar power systems segment is benefiting heavily from substantial investment in PV cells and related products. The latter is driven by the rapid growth of the worldwide solar power industry, which has registered more than 40 percent CAGR in the past 10 years.

More importantly, it has resulted in a bustling support chain that supplies a range of modules, main controllers, batteries and inverters, enabling most manufacturers to purchase the key components domestically. The country’s output of PV cells in 2008 surpassed 2000MW, accounting for 37 percent of global production.

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Horn River Basin has natural gas producers envisioning another Barnett Shale

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
A spot in the Canadian wilderness is drawing comparisons to North Texas — because of what lies beneath the surface

The Dallas-Fort Worth area and Canada’s remote Horn River Basin are more than 2,300 miles apart, but there’s nevertheless a significant new link between the two highly diverse regions.

Horn River, in a heavily forested area of northeast British Columbia where subzero temperatures are commonplace, is now drawing comparisons to North Texas’ Barnett Shale, a hotbed of drilling activity recently cited as the biggest natural gas-producing field in the United States.

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Crisis and climate force supply chain shift

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
Manufacturers are abandoning global supply chains for regional ones in a big shift brought about by the financial crisis and climate change concerns, according to executives and analysts.

Companies are increasingly looking closer to home for their components, meaning that for their US or European operations they are more likely to use Mexico and eastern Europe than China, as previously.

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Kurdish faultline threatens to spark new war

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
The only thing keeping Arabs and Kurds from fighting is the glue of US occupation

It is called the "trigger line", a 300-mile long swathe of disputed territory in northern Iraq where Arab and Kurdish soldiers confront each other, and which risks turning into a battlefield. As the world has focused on the US troop withdrawal from Iraq, and the intensifying war in Afghanistan, Arabs and Kurds in Iraq have been getting closer to an all out war over control of the oil-rich lands stretching from the borders of Syria in the west to Iran in the east.

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Why commodity inflation won't go away in a hurry

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
... We are staring at Hubberts Peak (declining oil prices) here onwards. The Society of Petroleum Engineers (www.spe.org) endorses that view. So does the Association for study of peak oil (www.peakoil.net) and these are men and women who brave the elements to hunt for oil. Many myths have been floated by investment analysts -- primary one being technology making it cheaper to drill for black gold. Schlumberger (global leader in drilling equipment manufacturer) doesn't seem to endorse that view. Drilling equipment and other costs continue to zoom.

New discoveries are elusive and well pressures are falling. Lukoil, the erstwhile Soviet Union's heavyweight producer (Russia has one of the highest proven reserves in the world), has officially confirmed a 15% decline in oil well pressure. Mexican wells have reported even steeper fall in pressure --- up to 40%. Alternate sources of oil like oil sands of Alberta and Sasol have been touted as alternatives.

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Blurring the urban-rural line in Damascus (Oregon)

Peak Oil News (RSS Feed) - 10 August 2009 - 9:27am
...The region's growth regulators seeded the new city of Damascus on Thompson's 77-acre farm. In Thompson's vision, the city can be a place where urban development and agriculture entwine like his graceful marionberry canes.

Part of the farm could be developed for housing, he suggests, while he continues to farm the better soil. The farm's crops could supply an "eco-restaurant" at the top slope of the property. Along the road below could be a fruit and produce stand. Next to it could be a community kitchen and education center where customers could preserve the berries they just bought or learn how to improve their home gardens.

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