Two Tales of Ocean Energy: Major events in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico laid out the U.S.’s energy choices in stark contrast. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill made landfall in Louisiana, a week after the offshore rig caught fire and sank. Oyster beds and wildlife are at risk, and the spill may grow to be one of the largest in U.S. history. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar gave the green light to the Cape Wind installation, the first offshore wind farm to be approved in U.S. waters. Its 130 turbines, projected to be up and running by 2012, will provide 75 percent of the electricity needed on Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket Sound.
Climate Bill Stalls: The U.S. Senate’s version of a climate bill was yanked at the last moment when Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican co-sponsor of the legislation, withdrew his support to protest the Democrats’ sudden crusade for immigration reform. No definite plans for a new bill have emerged.
Biofuel Ignites: After years of steady but slow progress, biofuel companies burst forth with grand plans and raked in some serious cash. Ethanol producer POET startled the industry when it claimed it will produce 3.5 billion gallons of ethanol from cellulosic ethanol by 2022, one-quarter of the U.S. government’s target for alternative biofuels. Codexis debuted on the NASDAQ and raised $78 million; just days earlier, California-based Amyris Biotechnologies issued its own IPO. Joule Biotechnologies changed its name to Joule Unlimited and announced it had successfully raised $30 million.
Also, the Navy’s first biofuel jet, an F/A-18 Super Hornet with a camelina-based fuel in the tank, broke the sound barrier.
Is China the Epicenter of Electric?: Almost 100 electric or alt-fuel vehicles appeared at the Beijing Auto Show, far more than are on display at U.S. shows, leading us to wonder: Is America already an afterthought for the next generation of cars?
G.E. and Nissan Splice Together on Smart Charging: One month after Ford and Microsoft announced their partnership to develop home-energy management for the electric auto, General Electric and Nissan struck their own deal. The world’s largest conglomerate and Japan’s third-largest automaker will focus first on integrating charging with homes and buildings, then on how to interface cars with the larger grid.
Leaf, Megacity, Minivan: Early adopters pounced on the pre-sale of the all-electric Nissan Leaf and ordered by the thousands. BMW announced that its first electric model, the Megacity, will debut in 2013, and General Motors confirmed that it is, in fact, making a Chevy Volt minivan.
Article by David Ferris appearing courtesy Matter Network.