Posts tagged ‘consumption’

White House finalizing rules to cut car emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department sent the final rules this week to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, according to a notice posted on the OMB website.

The higher mileage requirements will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 900 million metric tons and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of vehicles built during the 2012-2016 model years, according to the EPA.

The projected savings over the life of the plan amounts to about four months of current fuel consumption in the United States, the biggest petroleum consumer, with demand at close to 19 million barrels per day.

The rules would aid the Obama administration’s efforts to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, especially if Congress fails to pass legislation to fight global warming.

The vehicle emissions standards will be phased in starting with the 2012 model year, raising fuel economy to an average 35.5 miles per gallon by the time the 2016 models are ready — up 42 percent from the current 25 miles per gallon.

Lower U.S. gasoline consumption could make more crude supplies available in the world market, which in turn could put downward pressure on oil prices.

Phil Flynn, an analyst with PFGBest Research in Chicago, said the new standards will definitely lower U.S. oil demand, but that could be offset with higher fuel use in other countries.

“We can save it here, but are these cars going to be marketable in China, where all the demand growth is going to come from?” he asked.

The rules follow an EPA finding that greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles contribute to air pollution, a danger to public health.

The EPA has come under attack from many U.S. lawmakers and industries for working independently on regulations that would slash greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, oil refineries and factories. Legislation is pending in Congress to stop the EPA from issuing broader emissions-cutting regulations.

Many accuse the EPA to trying to get around Congress, where legislation that would cap and then slowly reduce U.S. emissions blamed for global warming has been bogged down. As lawmakers deal with a massive healthcare bill and financial reform, it becomes more unlikely Congress will be able to approve a final climate change bill this year.

But automakers support the separate vehicle regulations because it would create the first national standard for controlling car and truck emissions, instead of having state-by-state regulation.

Many new vehicles, especially hybrid cars, already meet or exceed the planned standards.

The government must notify automakers by March 31 of the higher fuel efficiency for the 2012 model years.

To meet the new standard, the sticker price on a car or truck would rise by an average $1,300 in 2016 compared to current vehicle costs, the EPA said. However, a driver would save about $2,800 over the life of a vehicle through fuel costs.

For Article click HERE

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March 12, 2010 at 10:23 AM Leave a comment

Renewables To Supply One-Third Of China’s Energy By 2050

China’s renewable energy strategy through 2050 envisions renewable energy making up one-third of its energy consumption by then, the China Daily said, as the upcoming Copenhagen conference on climate change highlights the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Coal-dependent China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, last month said it would cut the amount of carbon dioxide produced for each yuan of national income by 40-45 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.

Depending on economic growth projections, total emissions will still rise.

By 2020, renewable energy should account for 15 percent of national primary energy consumption, supplying the equivalent of 600 million metric tons of coal, the China Daily said this weekend.

It cited a renewable energy blueprint laid out by Han Wenke, director-general of the Energy Research Institute under top planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission.

By 2030, renewable energy’s share should rise to 20 percent of the national energy mix, displacing 1 billion metric tons of coal, Han said, and by 2050, it would supply one-third of China’s energy, displacing two billion metric tons of coal, the paper said.

China’s drive for renewable energy to mitigate the health and environmental costs of coal has brought its own challenges.

Wind power generating capacity has surged so fast that policy planners now warn of severe overcapacity in the sector, and dam after dam piled on Chinese rivers distorts water flow, endangers fish and poses a potential earthquake hazard.

China’s installed wind power capacity is now 12.17 million kilowatts, up from 350,000 kw in 2000, and large-scale solar energy facilities are planned, the paper said.

China is focusing on non-grain bioethanol and biodiesel, to avoid diverting grains from food and feed supply.

December 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM Leave a comment

The Rookie Chevy Volt Versus the Veteran Toyota Prius

General Motors has been inundated in recent years with nothing but bad news. After filing for bankruptcy and receiving a controversial government bailout, the ailing car maker is trying to revolutionize the auto industry and breathe life back into its deflated sails with the introduction of the Chevy Volt. Considered to be an “extended-range electric vehicle” or E-REV, the Volt is set to go on sale late next year and is unlike today’s hybrids. A lithium-ion battery powers the Volt for the first 40 miles of a trip and then the gas engine kicks in to create more electricity to keep the car rolling. If recharged every 40 miles, the Volt’s owner may never need to go to the pump again. The Volt is slated to receive a 230 mpg rating (through a bit of creative math), which is impressive, but we wanted to know how it stacks up against the current hybrid front runner, the Toyota Prius.

Prius Vs. Volt

First off, let’s take a look at Chevy Volt’s stats. The Volt does 0-60 in 8 seconds and runs on electricity for the first 40 miles, then the gas engine kicks in and recharges the battery. Once the batteries are depleted and the generator kicks in, the car has an additional 260 miles of driving range. If the Volt is driven farther than 40 miles without recharging, it will get roughly 40 mpg while running on the generator. The wheels, however, are always driven by the electric system. The Volt has to be plugged in and takes 6.5 hours to charge using a standard 100 volt home outlet. For those curious about the Volt’s electrical consumption, GM says the car, under normal driving, will consume about 2,520 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The company figures the car will cost 1 to 3 cents a mile to operate. Given these estimates and based on an electricity price of 11 cents per kWh, the Chevy Volt would cost around $275 a year to charge. This is just in electricity costs and doesn’t factor in the cost of gas, if needed. The Chevy Volt, however, is expected to have a price tag around $40,000. Though it is eligible for the $7,500 Federal tax credit, which was enacted to help offset the high cost of the batteries used in the Volt, it is considerably more expensive than the Toyota Prius.

The 2010 Toyota Prius, which is a gas-electric hybrid that uses both sources of energy, relies on the gas engine primarily and the electric motor is supplemental. The new Prius will come with a revised Hybrid Synergy Drive System, which will deliver even better gas mileage. The Prius can do 0-60 mph in 10 seconds and averages about 51 mpg. The Prius does not have to be plugged in because it automatically recharges using regenerative braking, or by running the on board generator. If driven 15,000 miles each year, the Toyota Prius would cost around $750 in gas. The Toyota Prius starts at only $21,000 and fully loaded, costs $32,500, which is still considerably less than the Chevy Volt.

For more click HERE

November 25, 2009 at 10:30 AM Leave a comment


University of San Francisco: unplugged

USFUNPLUGGED is brought to you by the Environmental Safety Community Outreach Liaison’s of USF. Here to educate, assist and encourage, we want you to get involved with the GREEN movement taking place on campus!

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