News and Events by CCRES September 13, 2012

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events September 13, 2012

Report: U.S. Solar Market Spiked in Second Quarter of 2012

Photo of solar panels on a rooftop.

The U.S. solar industry notched its second-best quarter in history with 742 megawatts of solar panels installed in the second quarter of 2012.
Credit: Social Security Administration
The U.S. solar industry notched its second-best quarter in history, installing 742 megawatts of solar power in the second quarter of 2012, according to a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). A record 477 MW of utility-scale installations helped the U.S. solar market expand by 45% over the first quarter of 2012, and 116% over the same period in 2011.
Eight states registered utility installations of 10 megawatts or greater: Arizona, California, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Texas. For the fourth consecutive quarter, the U.S. residential solar market grew incrementally, installing 98.2 MW. California, Arizona, and New Jersey led residential installations nationally.
According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from the industry group and GTM Research, the United States now has 5,700 MW of installed solar capacity—enough to power more than 940,000 households. The report notes that the market will remain strong through the last two quarters of 2012, and forecasts a total of 3,200 MW of PV will be installed this year—up 71% over 2011 totals. See the SEIA press release.

USDA Has Reached Its $250 Million Smart Grid Funding Goal

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on September 7 announced that the department has reached its $250 million goal to finance smart grid technologies, and also announced nine rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 10 states that will receive more than $27 million in smart grid loans. The funding will go to making improvements to generation and transmission facilities and implementing smart grid technologies.
As part of President Obama’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, the administration has outlined a framework for modernized electric systems that will benefit all Americans. This framework lays out a number of public and private initiatives, including a goal of $250 million in loans for smart-grid technology deployment as part of the USDA’s Rural Utility Service, which is focused on upgrading the electric grid in rural America. See the USDA press release.

California Efficiency Measures a Success

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on September 4 reported that its groundbreaking energy efficiency programs resulted in savings of 5,900 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2010-2011, enough to power more than 600,000 households for a year—the equivalent of two major power plants. In addition, the estimated savings cut carbon dioxide emissions by 3.8 million tons, the equivalent of removing more than 700,000 cars from the roads. The findings were based on utility-reported estimates.
In its 2010-2011 Energy Efficiency Annual Progress Evaluation Report, the CPUC summarized investor-owned utility implementation thus far in CPUC’s $3.1 billion 2010-2012 energy efficiency program. The report details progress toward meeting multiple statewide energy and climate policy objectives. It states that 89% of estimated energy savings reported through 2011 occurred in the commercial (55%) and residential (34%) sectors. The agricultural and industrial sectors combine to make up the remaining 12% of electric savings. Through 2011, the majority of estimated electric savings was achieved through lighting (59%), followed by process improvements (13%) and HVAC (10%). See the CPUC press release PDF.

EPA, Green Sports Alliance Partner for Conservation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on September 6 it had signed an agreement with the Green Sports Alliance to work together to address environmental challenges faced by sports venues, organizations, and teams. The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding that facilitates collaboration between them on issues such as energy conservation and sustainability.
The EPA has also agreed to share tools like the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an energy management tool that allows building owners to track and assess energy and water consumption, in order to help Alliance members improve their environmental performance.
Green Sports Alliance is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help sports teams, venues, and leagues enhance their environmental performance. Alliance members represent more than 100 sports teams and venues from 13 different sports leagues. See the EPA press release and the EPA’s Partnership programs website.


  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

The Bright Lights in New York Could Be Solar

The big city glow of New York could be coming from more than the bright lights on Broadway. The Big Apple also is increasingly aglow with solar power, particularly from rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar.
Earlier this year, the city unveiled the New York City Solar Map, a collaborative tool which gives an estimate of solar photovoltaic potential for the one million buildings in the five city boroughs. The interactive map, hosted by The City University of New York (CUNY), is based on information from flights over the city by an airplane equipped with an aerial laser system. The device, known as Lidar for “light image detection and ranging,” gathered information on the shape, angle, size, and shade of rooftops along with the surface elevations of ground, buildings, and trees. Analysis of the data showed that the city has a solar potential of 5,800 megawatts peak output—more that 40% of the city’s electrical demand at peak times if all the rooftops were fully outfitted with solar. About two-thirds of the city’s structures are suitable to house solar panels.
CUNY’s work on the NYC Solar Map was funded through the Energy Department in 2007 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.

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News and Events by CCRES September 06, 2012

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events September 06, 2012

Energy Department Backs Collaborative Solar Energy Projects

The Energy Department on August 29 announced a $4.4 million investment in five new research projects to accelerate innovations that could lower the cost of photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power technologies. These investments will enable teams from industry, universities, and the Energy Department’s national laboratories to collaborate at the department’s Scientific User Facilities, a national network of unique facilities that provide over 10,000 scientists and engineers each year with open access to some of the best instruments and tools in the world, including x-ray sources, accelerators, supercomputers, and nanoscale research centers.
The five research projects selected fall under two levels: establishing Scientific User Facility research partnerships and developing a new Scientific User Facility instrument. Under the first level, two projects have been awarded a total of $900,000 to establish research partnerships and carry out research using existing tools. Based in Berkeley, California, PLANT PV will partner with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Molecular Foundry to develop 3D mapping tools for higher performing thin film solar material. And the University of Colorado will use tools at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to research high-temperature inexpensive materials for concentrating solar power technologies.
Also, three projects totaling a $2.6 million investment have been selected to establish full research programs at a Scientific User Facility. These programs will result in new tool development, expanding the capability of each facility to conduct advanced solar energy research. Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories will partner with the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies in New Mexico to improve the efficiency of thin film PV materials, while Arizona State University will use x-ray technologies at Argonne National Laboratory to address solar cell material performance. Additionally, Stanford University will partner with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to research inexpensive ways to print solar cells. See the Energy Department press release and the complete list of projects PDF.

Administration Finalizes Higher Fuel Efficiency Standards

The Obama Administration on August 28 finalized standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025. When combined with previous standards set by this administration, this action will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on the road. The move to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.
The program also includes targeted incentives to encourage early adoption and introduction of advanced technologies to dramatically improve vehicle performance. The program includes incentives for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cells vehicles, as well as incentives for hybrid and other technologies that can improve the fuel economy of large pickups. The new standards issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) build on the success of the administration’s standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2011-2016. Those standards, which raised average fuel efficiency by 2016 to the equivalent of 35.5 mpg, are already saving families money at the pump.
Achieving the new fuel efficiency standards will encourage innovation and investment in advanced technologies that increase our economic competitiveness and support high-quality domestic jobs in the auto industry. The final standards were developed by DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the EPA, following extensive engagement with automakers, the United Auto Workers, consumer groups, environmental and energy experts, states, and the public. Last year, 13 major automakers, which together account for more than 90% of all vehicles sold in the United States, announced their support for the new standards. See the White House press release and the NHTSA CAFE fuel standards website.

Executive Order Promotes Industrial Energy Efficiency

President Obama on August 30 signed an Executive Order to facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency that will strengthen U.S. manufacturing and help create jobs. These efforts to boost industrial energy efficiency, including combined heat and power systems, can save manufacturers as much as $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade. Such efficiency measures will reduce energy consumption and harmful emissions.
While manufacturing facilities have become more energy efficient over time, there is an opportunity to accelerate and expand on this trend with investments that reduce energy use through more efficient manufacturing technologies and processes, including expanding use of efficient, on-site heat and power generation, known as combined heat and power. The order also establishes a new national goal of 40 gigawatts of new combined heat and power capacity by 2020, a 50% increase from today.
This Executive Order builds on steps the administration has taken to scale up private sector investments in energy efficiency in our homes, buildings, and factories with efforts like the Better Buildings Initiative and investments upgrading homes around the United States.
In addition, the Executive Order directs the EPA and the Departments of Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture to coordinate actions at the federal level while providing policy and technical assistance to states to promote investments in industrial energy efficiency. The Executive Order also directs agencies to foster a national dialogue through ongoing regional workshops to encourage the adoption of best practice policies and investment models. See the White House press release.

Federal Electronics Stewardship Efforts Honored

The Energy Department received one-third of the 33 Federal Electronics Challenge Awards announced on August 13 by the EPA and the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive. Federal facilities from 10 different federal agencies were honored for activities that fostered greenhouse gas emissions reductions equivalent to taking 6,000 passenger cars off the road for a year. The 2012 winners completed a variety of electronics stewardship activities in fiscal year 2011, including purchasing more than 105,000 green electronics and enabling power saving sleep features on more than 97% of their computers and monitors.
Three of the ten Platinum Awards, the highest level, went to Energy Department facilities: the Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon; the East Tennessee Technology Park, Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado. Two of the five Gold Awards, the second-place honors, went to Energy Department facilities: the National Nuclear Security Administration, Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the department’s Richland Operations Office, Richland, Washington. Six of the 18 total winners in the Silver and Bronze award categories were also from the Energy Department. See the EPA press release and the complete list of winners.


  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

Shedding Light on the Solar Decathlon 2013 Teams

While many students are getting ready for school, teams of university and college students around the globe have been hard at work this summer creating solar-powered houses as part of the Energy Department’s 6th biennial Solar Decathlon.
In January, we announced the 20 teams for the 2013 competition. More than six months later, the teams are in full swing designing and building energy-efficient solar houses that will compete in 10 contests to gauge their energy consumption, affordability, and ease of living. For most contests, we will have to wait for the judging in October 2013 to learn how teams are doing. But the Communications Contest provides an inside look at how teams are progressing. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

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Free radicals

Free radicals

In the body, free radicals are produced when oxygen combines with complex
metabolic molecules. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules ready to
react with anything they can. When they react, the result is called “oxidation.”
Once the oxidation process begins, it can produce a chain reaction that generates
more free radicals.

Oxidation in the human body is the same thing that happens to metal when
it rusts. The rusting or oxidation can destroy a strong piece of metal in just a few
years. By painting the metal or putting on a rust-inhibiting product you can prevent
rusting. This is the same thing that antioxidants are doing to the “rusting”
in our bodies—preventing oxidation and keeping them strong. Like the rust
inhibiting product which prevents the metal’s cells from oxidizing and degrading,
antioxidants prevent our body’s cells from oxidizing and degrading. Fortunately
for our bodies (and our health), antioxidants are capable of joining with oxidizing
free radicals, thus rendering them harmless.
There is a very easy and interesting experiment you can do in your home
that shows what oxidation is all about: Take an apple and cut it in half. Now take
a lemon and cut it in half and drip the lemon juice on one half of the apple. Drip
it all over the cut side of the apple, and leave the other apple half as is with no
lemon juice. Keep the two halves at room temperature for an hour or two, then
look at both halves: The half with the lemon juice will look pretty much the same
as it did when it was cut; the half without the lemon juice will probably be turning
brown and “going bad.” If you leave them out longer, the difference will
become more pronounced. This is oxidation and antioxidant protection happening
before your eyes. The unprotected half is oxidizing quickly. The half with
lemon juice is oxidizing very slowly or not at all because of the antioxidants present
in the lemon juice. Lemons have Vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids.
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News and Events by CCRES August 30, 2012

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events August 30, 2012

Universities to Lead Energy Department-Funded CSP Projects

The Energy Department announced on August 28 new investments totaling $10 million for two university-led projects to advance innovative concentrating solar power (CSP) system technologies. The five-year projects are under the Department’s SunShot Initiative, a collaborative national effort to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.
CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat that can be used to produce electricity. Heat transfer fluids are a key component of CSP systems that transfer heat from a receiver to the point where the heat is needed to drive a turbine. The investments will improve heat transfer fluids to increase efficiency and lower costs for CSP systems.
Two university teams were selected to develop new heat transfer fluids. The University of California–Los Angeles will lead a team with researchers from Yale University and the University of California–Berkeley to investigate liquid metals as potential heat transfer fluids with the ability to withstand higher temperatures. And the University of Arizona, the second awardee, is teaming with researchers from Arizona State University and Georgia Tech to develop and demonstrate new, molten salt-based fluids as possible alternatives to traditional heat transfer fluids.
The projects will focus on making dramatic improvements to fluids that gather thermal energy from the sun and transport it to the power block, where the energy is used to drive a turbine that generates electricity. Today’s state-of the-art heat transfer fluids are capable of operating at temperatures up to about 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures in excess of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit are needed to reach efficiencies greater than 50%, which allow CSP plants to capture more energy from solar power. The selected projects are working to develop heat transfer fluids that can operate at temperatures up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit, while simultaneously maintaining high levels of performance. See the Energy Department press release.

Energy Department Announces University Appliance-Design Winners

The Energy Department on August 23 announced that a University of Maryland team has won the Department’s first Max Tech and Beyond Appliance Design Competition. The student challenge, which involved nine teams, aims to inspire students to pursue energy efficiency improvements in home and commercial appliances, helping to develop innovative ultra-efficient products.
The University of Maryland team chose to simplify the design of a standard wall-mounted air conditioner by separating the systems that remove humidity and provide cooling. After the students tested a fully functional prototype, they found that the design reduced energy use by 30% compared with typical wall-mounted air conditioners already on the market. Because the current largest consumer of electricity in most homes nationwide is the air conditioning system, this innovative design has the potential to substantially decrease residential energy use and save consumers money.
The runner-up team from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, developed a prototype of a natural gas-fired combination water heater and clothes dryer that can use the waste heat from the clothes dryer to heat water for the next washing load. The team demonstrated that with this approach, they could get a 10% dryer efficiency improvement compared to the best comparable products on the market.
The nine faculty-led student design teams were competitively selected and funded with up to $20,000 by the Energy Department to design, build, and test their prototypes during the 2011-2012 academic year. A panel of Energy Department experts along with those from the Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory judged each team’s prototype based on its demonstrated ability to reduce energy use by 10% or more compared to best on-market products, or based on the prototype’s ability to reduce production costs compared with typical high efficiency products already on the market by 20% or more. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the Max Tech website.

EPA Awards $9 Million to 13 Universities for Climate Change Impacts Research

The EPA announced on August 22 that it awarded $9 million in grants to fund 13 universities for technologies that can help predict and prepare for the impacts of extreme weather triggered by climate change may have on air and water quality.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was awarded $749,931 to examine the ability of models to represent the presence of extreme air pollution and the weather conditions. The project at MIT, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will use advanced statistical techniques to identify the drivers and occurrence of historical and future extreme air quality events in the United States from observations and models. The project combines the work of statisticians and atmospheric scientists. The other 13 grants were awarded to researchers at Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Mississippi State University, Ohio State University, Oregon State University, University of South Florida (two grants), Public Policy Institute of California, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Washington. See the EPA press release and the list of projects.

New York Offers $107 Million for Large Solar Power Projects

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on August 9 announced that $107 million is available for a major solar power incentive program that will increase the amount of electricity generated by photovoltaic (PV) systems throughout New York. The NY-Sun Competitive PV Program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, seeks proposals for PV systems greater than 50 kilowatts to be installed at larger commercial and industrial customer sites.
The newly established NY-Sun Competitive PV Program will make $36.4 million available in 2012 and $70.5 million in 2013. This phase of the program is available through the end of 2013 for PV projects in New York City and upstate New York at eligible customer sites. This is an expansion of a two-year-old program that previously focused on large PV systems for the commercial, industrial, and municipal sectors exclusively in New York City, Westchester County, and the lower Hudson Valley. All projects will require co-funding to best leverage state resources with funding capped at $3 million per project. See the New York press release and the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program initiative website.
The governor also signed a series of bills on August 17 as part of the NY-Sun initiative that will make solar energy more affordable for homeowners and businesses. The new laws include statewide tax credits for the lease of solar equipment and power purchase agreements, statewide sales tax exemptions for commercial solar equipment, and an extension of the real property tax abatement in New York City for solar installations. See the New York press release.

National Solar Tour Kicks Off in September

Photo of a house with solar panels and visitors enetering.

Local tours of solar houses are being offered throughout the United States starting in mid-September, with most on or around October 6.
Credit: MSB Energy Associates
The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) National Solar Tour officially takes place on October 6, but several events kick off as early as mid-September, and some offer weeklong action. Now in its seventeenth year, the annual showcase allows participants the opportunity to see innovative green homes and buildings that use solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies. ASES estimates that more than 165,000 participants will visit some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the United States.
Kicking off the nationwide series of tours, the Michiana Solar Tour is scheduled to take place on September 15 at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. The following day, the BRING Home & Garden Tour bus will take ticketholders to a variety of sustainable sites in Eugene, Oregon. Most tours will take place on or around October 6, but there are events scheduled through October 27. See the ASES National Solar Tour website and the list of tours.


  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

Energy Efficiency Upgrades Part of a Winning Formula for Oregon School District

A while ago, we wrote about the quiet, rural community of Vernonia, Oregon, which had been through its share of hard economic times. After two “500-year floods” in an 11-year period devastated the area, damaging its schools and the community core, the town finally started to rebuild its school last April. More than a year later, residents of Vernonia had reason to celebrate when Former Governor Ted Kulongoski joined United States Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and several other federal- and state-elected officials last week for the ribbon cutting of a new energy efficient K-12 school and community center.
The “barn raising” mentality of the Vernonia community helped make the new school and community center a success. The energy efficiency upgrades were made possible using a combination of state, federal, private sector, and non-profit funds—paired with a $13.6 million municipal bond measure passed by the town’s voters.
A $1 million grant from the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program helped the school district incorporate energy efficiency measures, including an energy efficient integrated heating and cooling system. This feature, along with upgrades to the building envelope and lighting, are estimated to reduce the school district’s annual energy usage by 43%—saving taxpayers more than $62,000 per year for the 135,000 square-foot school. The energy efficient upgrades provide not only a healthier learning environment for students and faculty but bolster the school district’s application for LEED Platinum designation. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

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CCRES Algae Project Q&A


CCRES Algae Project

See answers to common questions about growing algae for biofuel production.

Algae’s potential
What makes algae a better alternative fuel feedstock than cellulosic feedstocks, such as switchgrass or miscanthus?
What transportation fuels can algae produce?
How much fuel can algae produce?
Where could this type of algae grow?
What can you do with material derived from algae production not used for fuel?

How much would a gallon of algae-based transportation fuel cost if it were available at a service station today?
What can accelerate the commercial availability of algae biofuel?

How will algae-based transportation fuels impact greenhouse gas emissions?
Is the process capable of being replicated at the local level to increase energy efficiency and promote low-energy overhead?

Can algae-based fuels be used in developing countries to help them bypass fossil fuel dependence?

Q: What makes algae a better alternative fuel feedstock than cellulosic feedstocks, such as switchgrass or miscanthus?

A: Large-scale production of resource-intensive plants, like switchgrass or miscanthus, requires a substantial amount of fertile land, fresh water, and petroleum-based fertilizer to grow. The fuel derived is ethanol, a lower-energy fuel not compatible with the infrastructure now used to transport, refine, and deliver liquid fuels, like gasoline and diesel.

Conversely, algae can produce hydrocarbons capable of being converted directly into actual gasoline or diesel fuel, which can be transported and delivered to market using the existing refinery infrastructure.

Q: What transportation fuels can algae produce?
A: Algae produce a variety of fuel and fuel precursor molecules, including triglycerides and fatty acids that can be converted to biodiesel, as well as lipids and isoprenoids that can be directly converted to actual gasoline and traditional diesel fuel. Algae can also be used to produce hydrogen or biomass, which can then be digested into methane.

Q: How much fuel can algae produce?

A: The United States consumes 140 billion gallons per year of liquid fuel. Algae can produce 3,000 gallons of liquid fuel per acre in a year, so it would take 45 million acres of algae to provide 100% of our liquid fuel requirements.

For comparison, in 2008 the United States had 90 million acres of corn and 67 million acres of soybeans in production. So growing 45 million acres of algae, while challenging, is certainly possible.

Q: Where could this type of algae grow?

A: Algae perform best under consistent warm temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees. Climates with plenty of sunshine offer optimal conditions. Ideal Croatian locations include many of the southern and southwestern areas, such as Dalmatia,(including Dalmatian hinterland ).

Q: What can you do with material derived from algae production not used for fuel?

A: Production of 140 billion gallons of fuel from algae would also yield about 1 trillion pounds of protein. Since algae-produced protein is very high quality, this protein could be used to feed livestock, chicken, or fish. Presently, all livestock in this country consume about 770 billion pounds of protein per year.

Q: How much would a gallon of algae-based transportation fuel cost if it were available at a service station today?

A: Today, the cost would be relatively expensive. Additional investment in research is needed to further refine and enhance the algae strains that generate such fuels. Also, more infrastructure needs to be developed to achieve the necessary economies of scale that will come with large-scale commercial production. Once overall efficiency increases, the cost of producing a gallon of gasoline from algae will dramatically reduce.

Q: What can accelerate the commercial availability of algae biofuel?

A: As viable and potentially transformational as algae-based transportation fuels have already proven, we need a much better knowledge base on algae at the microbial level. We also need to build on this platform to develop the tools and train the next generation of scientists that will help usher in the age of accessible, affordable, and sustainable fuels made from algae. That is a central component of the Croatian Center for Algae Biofuels (CCRES Algae Project).

Q: How will algae-based transportation fuels impact greenhouse gas emissions?

A: Production of alternative transportation fuels from algae will help reduce the amount of CO2 in the environment. Algae provide a carbon-neutral fuel because they consume more CO2 than is ultimately released into the atmosphere when algae-based fuel burns. The amount of carbon removed from the environment will depend on the number of algae farms built and the efficiency with which algae can be modified to convert CO2 to fuel products. Eventually, algae farms will likely be located adjacent to CO2 producing facilities, like power plants, resulting in potentially significant CO2 sequestration benefits.

Q: Is the process capable of being replicated at the local level to increase energy efficiency and promote low-energy overhead?

A: Absolutely. There are huge advantages to locating algae farms near urban centers. The algae consume industrial waste and contaminants, which are usually found in higher concentrations near cities. A perfect location is near a power plant, where the algae can consume flue gas and other waste, or near a wastewater treatment plant where the algae could consume significant amounts of nitrates and phosphates from the waste stream. This could result in cleaner effluent discharge, and perhaps eventually create “new” sources of non-potable water for industrial or agricultural use.

Q: Could algae-based fuels be used in developing countries to help them bypass fossil fuel dependence?

A: Algae-based fuels (and the protein byproducts derived from their production) definitely have the potential to positively impact developing countries. The requirements for farming algae are fairly straightforward and can be done almost anywhere in the world with an adequate supply of sunshine. In Africa, for example, millions of algae acres could be farmed in its less-populated regions, resulting in a reduced dependence on foreign oil and a reliable and sustainable energy supply.

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News and Events by CCRES June 28, 2012

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events June 28, 2012

Efficiency, Renewable Energy Projects Win 12 R&D 100 Awards

Photo of two men testing equipment in a laboratory.

NREL engineers Jason Woods, left, and Eric Kozubal conduct research on a prototype of DEVAP, which earned an R&D100 award.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL
Energy efficiency and renewable energy projects from DOE national laboratories have won 12 of the 100 awards given out this year by R&D Magazine. The awards are presented annually to recognize exceptional new products, processes, materials, and software developed throughout the world and introduced into the market the previous year. Overall, DOE won 36 awards, including those funded by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Scientists and engineers from DOE’s national laboratories and facilities received the honors from an independent panel of judges.
There were eight DOE winners for energy efficiency. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) was cited for four projects: NanoSHIELD, a protective coating that can extend the life of costly cutting and boring tools by more than 20%; the robotic hand, which costs approximately 10 times less than similar devices while commanding 10 times more power than other electric systems; the asymmetric rolling mill, which provides a way to efficiently process sheet and plate materials, accelerating the production and availability of low-cost magnesium; and the low-frequency RF plasma source, a low-cost plasma generator for research, development, and production of nanometer scale materials at lower temperatures, faster rates, and with enhanced properties. In addition, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) earned honors for its ultra-fast, large-scale efficient boriding—a thermo-chemical surface hardening process in which boron atoms are diffused into a surface—that can drastically reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve the performance and reliability of machine components. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) won for its desiccant-enhanced evaporative air-conditioning (DEVAP) systems, which cool commercial buildings using a small fraction of the energy used by traditional coolers. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) won for co-developing graphene nanostructures for lithium batteries, in which small quantities of graphene can dramatically improve the performance and power of lithium-ion batteries so batteries last longer and recharge quickly. And, Sandia National Laboratories was honored for the Sandia cooler, technology that significantly reduces the energy needed to cool the processor chips in data centers and large-scale computing environments. See the press releases from ORNL, ANL, NREL, PNNL, and Sandia.
In renewable energy categories, there were four R&D 100 award picks. ANL and several partners developed a novel high-energy and high-power cathode material that is especially suited for use in lithium-ion batteries used in plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) was recognized for its platinum monolayer electrocatalysts for fuel cell cathodes, which have high activity, stability, and durability, while containing only about one-tenth the platinum of conventional catalysts used in fuel cells, significantly reducing overall costs. NREL was tapped for its SJ3 solar cell, which achieves a world-record conversion efficiency of 43.5% with the potential to reach 50% by using a three-layered SJ3 cell to capture different light frequencies, ensuring the best conversion of the energy from photons to electrons. And, Sandia’s microsystems enabled photovoltaics were recognized because the glitter-sized PV cells created using microdesign and microfabrication techniques can be released into a solution and “printed” onto a low-cost substrate. See the press releases from ANL, BNL, NREL, and Sandia.
Since 1963, when R&D Magazine’s annual competition began, DOE has received more than 800 R&D 100 awards in areas such as energy and basic scientific applications. See the DOE Progress Alert, the DOE press release and the complete list of R&D 100 winners.

U.S. and Canada Set Next Phase of Clean Energy Dialogue

The Energy Department and Environment Canada released on June 21 the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue Action Plan II, outlining the next phase of activities the two countries will undertake to jointly advance clean energy technologies. The new action plan renews U.S. and Canadian commitment to work together to build smart electrical grids, and advance clean energy research and development. Action Plan II places a greater emphasis on energy efficiency to take advantage of the approaches and tools in each country to help facilitate the uptake of energy efficient technologies and practices.
Among the initiatives under Action Plan II will be an initiative to clarify U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities for deployment of offshore renewable energy and technologies. The plan also calls for new investigations of the potential of power storage technologies. Also, the plan calls for discussions among key Canadian federal departments and provincial governments, the Energy Department, and U.S. national labs regarding options to harmonize data gathering related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure for North America.
President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper established the Clean Energy Dialogue in 2009 to encourage the development of clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change in both countries. See the DOE press release and the complete planPDF.

Energy Department, Park Service Announce Clean Cities Partnership

Photo of three park vehicles with signage.

New alternative fuel vehicles at Mammoth Cave National Park display decals acknowledging the Department of Energy-Clean Cities/National Park Service Initiative that provided the vehicles to the park.
Credit: Victor Peek Photography
The Energy Department and the National Park Service announced on June 19 that five national parks around the country will deploy fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles as part of an expanded partnership, helping to protect some of the nation’s most prized natural environments. The Energy Department is providing $1.1 million for the park projects. Each of these national parks is collaborating with at least one of the Energy Department’s Clean Cities coalitions to choose the best clean energy options for its fleet. The parks include Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California; Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado; San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Texas; and Shenandoah National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.
Some of the alternative fuel vehicles are multi-passenger rides devoted to park visitors, and that means even greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The new projects build upon the success of the program launched last year at Grand Teton, Wyoming; Mammoth Cave, Kentucky; and Yellowstone, Wyoming. The parks predict their combined projects will save more than 13,000 equivalent gallons of gasoline, avoid the emission of about 100 tons of greenhouse gases annually, and reach 6.5 million visitors each year. The Energy Department has been working with the National Park Service since 1999 to support the use of clean, renewable and alternative fuels, electric vehicles, and other energy-saving practices to help preserve air quality and promote the use of domestic energy resources in the parks. See the Energy Department press release, the Clean Cities website, and the National Park Service’s Green Parks Plan website.

DOI OKs First Commercial Solar Project on Indian Trust Lands

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) approved on June 21 a 350-megawatt (MW) solar energy project on tribal trust lands of the Moapa Band (Tribe) of Paiute Indians in Clark County, Nevada. The project marks a milestone as the first utility-scale solar project approved for development on tribal lands. The record of decision approves the construction, operation, and maintenance of a low-impact photovoltaic (PV) facility and associated infrastructure on about 2,000 acres of the Tribe’s reservation, located 30 miles north of Las Vegas. The project is expected to generate about 400 jobs at peak construction and 15-20 permanent jobs.
Proposed by K Road Moapa Solar LLC, the project would be built in three phases of 100-150 megawatts each. In addition to PV panel arrays, major project components include a 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line to deliver power to the grid and a 12-kV transmission line to the existing Moapa Travel Plaza after Phase 1 is complete. About 12 acres of U.S. public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management would be required for the 500-kV transmission line. The project will generate lease income for the tribe, create new jobs and employment opportunities for tribal members, and connect the existing tribally owned travel plaza to the electrical grid, decreasing its dependence on a diesel-powered generator. To minimize and mitigate potential environmental impacts, a Desert Tortoise translocation plan, a bird and bat Conservation strategy, and a weed management plan will be implemented, and biologists will conduct natural resources monitoring during all surface disturbing activities. See the Interior Department press release.

FERC Approves Final Rule to Integrate Variable Energy Resources

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued on June 21 a final rule that requires transmission providers to offer customers the option of scheduling transmission service at 15-minute intervals instead of one-hour intervals. The rule also requires generators using variable energy resources, such as wind and solar, to provide transmission owners with certain data to support power production forecasting. According to FERC, the ruling will promote more efficient operation of the transmission system amid increasing integration of variable renewable energy resources on the grid. The ruling also benefits electric consumers by ensuring that services are provided at reasonable rates.
The final rule finds that while power production forecasts help transmission providers manage reserves more efficiently, forecasts are only as good as the data on which they rely. By requiring new interconnection customers whose variable energy resources to provide meteorological and operational data to transmission providers forecasting power production, FERC finds that transmission providers will better be able to manage resource variability. The final rule takes effect 12 months after publication in the Federal Register. See the FERC press release.


  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

Making the Impossible Possible: From Kennedy’s Moonshot to Solar’s SunShot

By Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Director, SunShot Initiative & Solar Energy Technologies Program
In my two years as the director of the Energy Department’s Solar Energy Technologies Program, I have often been accused of being an eternal optimist. I see our nation’s energy challenges as an incredible opportunity—one that has the potential to revolutionize our economy, environment, and national security.
That’s why, back in 2010, we established the SunShot Initiative to decrease the total installed price of solar energy by 75% by 2020. We took our inspiration from President Kennedy’s 1962 “moon shot” speech that set the country on a path to regain the lead in the space race and land a man on the moon. Many thought a manned lunar mission was beyond NASA’s capabilities, but this bold move ultimately united the country when it proved successful.
There were plenty of naysayers when we launched the SunShot Initiative—even within the industry—who said that subsidy-free, cost-competitive solar couldn’t happen in this decade. But we didn’t listen to them. And now—as the price of solar panels decreases and America’s solar energy industry explodes—many of those same naysayers are changing their tune. See the complete post on the Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

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Chinampa Aquaponics

Chinampa Aquaponics



The Chinampas of Mexico

Chinampa is a method of ancient Mesoamerican agriculture which used small, rectangle-shaped areas of fertile arable land to grow crops on the shallow lake beds in the Valley of Mexico.


Foto via Anthony Morgan and his blog at: bcr-8history.blogspot.com

Mexico City, a thriving metropolis of 20 million, is built on and around the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.  Founded in 1325, this city was at its greatest a sophisticated and technologically-advanced city of 200,000 inhabitants nestled in the valley of Mexico and surrounded by a series of connected lakes.
The market district, Tlateloco was estimated by Spanish explorer Bernal Diaz del Castillo to be twice the size of Seville and bustling with over 60,000 shoppers and traders. The produce and goods for this market and several others in the city came mostly from the intricate and efficiently irrigated gardens created by the Aztecs in the shallow lakes surrounding the city.  These gardens, called chinampas , were artificial island plots of 30 x 2.5-3 meters.  These “floating gardens”  produced 3 crops a year and grew at least a half to two-thirds of the food consumed by the 200,000 residents of Tenochtitlan.
Foto via Anthony Morgan and his blog at: bcr-8history.blogspot.com
 The earliest fields that have been securely dated are from the Middle Postclassic period, 1150 – 1350 CE. Chinampas were used primarily in Lakes Xochimilco and Chalco near the springs that lined the south shore of those lakes. The Aztecs not only conducted military campaigns to obtain control over these regions but, according to some researchers, undertook significant state-led efforts to increase their extent.[4] Chinampa farms also ringed Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital, which was considerably enlarged over time. Smaller-scale farms have also been identified near the island-city of Xaltocan and on the east side of Lake Texcoco. With the destruction of the dams and sluice gates during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, many chinampas fields were abandoned, although remnants are still in use today in what remains of Lake Xochimilco.

Among the crops grown on chinampas were maize, beans, squash, amaranth, tomatoes, chili peppers, and flowers.[5] It is estimated that food provided by chinampas made up one-half to two-thirds of the food consumed by the city of Tenochtitlán. Chinampas were fertilized using lake sediments as well as human excrement.

 Irrigated by the surrounding lake water, the chinampas were fertilized by digging up the nutrient-rich mud from the bottom of the canals and also by using human waste from the city itself.  In this way, Tenochtitlan was able to better fertilize its crops while treating its wastewater― creating a healthier living environment for all. Crops were easily transported to market along the many canals and lakes surrounding the chinampas.  When the Spaniards arrived it did not take them long to dimantle the complex system and put in place traditional monocropping.  Today, some chinampas survive in the Xochimilo area close to Mexico City.  They are cared for in the traditional way and create both food and an opportunity for a healthy tourist industry.  Mexico city is currently trying to create a waste-water treatment system incorporating the use of chinampas similar to the ones used by the Aztecs so long ago.
  Foto via Wikipedia
 CCRES special thanks to Anthony Morgan and his blog at: bcr-8history.blogspot.com.
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Biodiesel Experts in EU

Growing global demand for energy to power economic development and growth demands the development of cost-effective technologies for a more sustainable energy economy for Europe (and world-wide) to ensure that European industry can compete successfully on the global stage.
Energy is a vital part of our daily lives in Europe and has been for centuries. But the days of secure, cheap energy are over. We are already facing the consequences of climate change, increasing import dependence and higher energy prices.
Consequently, the EU has been developing its climate and energy policy as an integrated approach that pursues the three key objectives of:
  • security of supply: to better coordinate the EU’s supply of and demand for energy within an international context;
  • competitiveness: to ensure the competitiveness of European economies and the availability of affordable energy;
  • sustainability: to combat climate change by promoting renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
Click to enlarge EU primary energy requirements by fuel Source: European Energy and Transport, Trends to 2030 
Click to enlarge Import dependency of the EU (in %) Source: European Energy and Transport, Trends to 2030 
These objectives have been translated into binding targets. By 2020, the EU has committed itself to:
  • reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions by 20% (or even 30% in case an international agreement is reached that commits other countries in a similar way);
  • increasing the share of renewable energies to 20% of total EU energy consumption;
  • increasing the share of renewable energies in transport to 10%;
  • improving energy efficiency by 20%.
Achieving these goals will require major breakthroughs in the research and development of new technologies. The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) – the technology pillar of the European energy and climate policy – outlines long-term energy research priorities for the horizon of 2020 to 2050. It lays the foundations for a European policy for energy technology and establishes a framework that brings together the diverse activities in the field of energy research. For more information please visit the SET-Plan section of this website.

Biodiesel Experts in EU

NOVAOL AUSTRIA GmbH Industriegelande West 3
A-2460 Bruck/Leitha

OLEON Assenedestraat 2
9940 Ertvelde
Bioro Moervaartkaai 1
B-9042 Gent
NEOCHIM Parc Industriel, zone A
7181 Feluy
Proviron Fine Chemicals nv G.Gilliotstraat 60 – zone 2
B-2620 Hemiksem
FEDIOL 168, avenue de Tervuren
(bte 12) – 1st floor
B – 1150 – Bruxelles

Rapid Oil Industry Co. Ltd. 81A, Nikola Gabrovski st.
5000 Veliko Tarnovo

Agropodnik Dobronin 315
588 13 Polna
PREOL a.s. Lovosice,
Terezinska 47
PSC 41017

Ambrosia Oils (1976) LTD Larnaka Industrial Estate,
P.O.Box 40433, 6304 Larnaka

Daka Biodiesel Bragesvej 18
DK 4100 Ringsted

Neste Renewable Fuels Oy P.O. Box 726

75008 Paris
INEOS Enterprises France SAS Z.I. Baleycourt – BP 10095
F – 55103 VERDUN Cedex
SCA Pétrole et Dérivés 7, Allée des Mousquetaires
Parc de Tréville
91078 Bondoufle Cedex
France Ester
France Ester Route d’Alençon
61400 Saint Langis les Mortagne
Nord Ester Rue Van Cauwenberghe
Zone Industrielle de Petite-Synthe
59640 Dunkerque
Veolia / SARP Industries SARP Industries
427, route du Hazay
F-78520 Limay
Centre Ouest Céreales B.P. 10036
86131 Jaunay-clan Cedex

Nippoldstrasse. 117
D-21107 Hamburg
GmbH & Co. KG
Saegemuehlenstrasse. 45
D-26789 Leer (Ostfriesland)
ADM Soya Mainz GmbH Dammweg 2
55130 Mainz
Ruedeckenstrasse 51 / Am Hafen
D-38239 Salzgitter-Beddingen
VERBIO Diesel Bitterfeld GmbH & Co. KG
Areal B Chemiepark Bitterfeld-Wolfen, OT Greppin, Stickstoffstrasse
D-6749 Bitterfeld-Wolfen
Industrie Strasse 34
41460 Neuss
Fürst-von-Salm-Straße 18
46313 Borken-Burlo
BIOPETROL Industries AG Baarerstrasse 53/55,
CH-6304 Zug
EcoMotion GmbH Brunnenstr. 138
D-44536 Lünen
Mannheim Bio Fuel GmbH Inselstrasse 10
D-68169 Mannheim
Vesta Biofuels Brunsbüttel GmbH
Fahrstrasse 51
D-25541 Brunsbuttel
Rheinische Bio Ester GmbH & Co. KG Duisburger Strasse 15/19
41460 Neuss
Am Weidendamm 1a
D-10117 Berlin

33 Pigon Str., 145 64 Kifissia
AGROINVEST S.A. 9th km Thessaloniki-Thermi
Thermi II Building
57001 Thessaloniki
GF Energy 56 Kifisias Av. & Delfon st.,
6th floor, 151 25 Marousi,

Öko-line Hungary Kft. Városligeti fasor 47-49
H-1071 Budapest

Green Biofuels Ireland Ltd Wexford Farmers Co-op
Blackstoops, Enniscorthy Co. Wexford

ECO FOX S.r.L. Via Senigallia 29
I=61100 Pesaro
NOVAOL ITALY Via G: Spqdolini 5
20141 Milano
ITAL BI OIL S.r.l. Ital Bi Oil S.r.l.
Via Baione 222 – 224
70043 – Monopoli (BA)
OIL. B srl OIL.B srl
Via Sabotino, 2
24121 Bergamo
OXEM Strada Provinciale Km 2,6 – 27030
Mezzana Bigli (Pv)
Mythen Via Lanzone ,31
20123 MILANO
PFP S.p.A Via Scaglia Est 134
41126 Modena
Unione Produttori Biodiesel
Via di Vigna Murata 40
00143 Roma

BioVenta 66 Dzintaru
Ventspils, LV-3600

Biovalue Holding BV Westlob 6
NL-9979XG Eemshaven

Croatian Center of RES Medarska 24
10000 Zagreb

IBEROL NUTASA Av. Frei Miguel Contreiras, 54A – 3º
1700-213 Lisboa
Torrejana Casal da Amendoeira
Apartado 2
2354-908 Riachos
Sovena Oil Seeds Portugal R. General Ferreira Martins 6, 8º
1495-137 Algés

Prio Strada Stelea Spatarul
nr 12, Sector 3, Bucuresti
Expur 45 Tudor Vladimirescu Bvd. District 5
050881 Bucharest
Procera Biofuels Muncii street, No.11 Fundulea city
Calarasi County, 915200

BIONET EUROPA Poligon Agro-Reus
Adria Gual 4
43206 Reus
ACCIONA Biocombustibles, S.A Av. Ciudad de la Innovación, 5
31621 Sarriguren (Navarra)
Biocombustiblies Ctra. de Valencia Km. 202
Pol. Sepes – Parcelas 145-146
16004 Cuenca
Green Fuel Avda. San Francisco Javier, 24, Ed. Sevilla I
41018 Sevilla
Stocks del Valles
Stocks Del Valles SA Pol. Ind. El Pedregar
C/. Progres, 19-21
E-08160 Montmelo Barcelona
Bio-Oils Energy, S.L. C/ Almagro 2, 4º Dcha.
28010 Madrid
BioArag Ctra A- 1240, Km 0,900 – 22540
Altorricon (Huesca)
BioNorte S.A. Poligono de la Florida 71
33958 San Martin Del Rey Aurelio
APPA Muntaner 269
08021 Barcelona

Ecobränsle i Karlshamn AB Västra Kajen 8B
SE-374 31 Karlshamn
Norups Biorefinery AB Box 109
289 21 Knislinge
Perstorp Prastgatan 12
SE-252 24 Helsingborg

Argent Energy 5th Floor, 9 Hatton Street
London NW8 8PL
Harvest Energy 2 Cavendish Square
London, W1G 0PU
Agri Energy Northampton Road, Blisworth
Northampton, NN7 3DR

Expert Groups 

alt Prof Thierry CHOPIN University of New Brunswick Canada
alt Dr Alan CRITCHLEY Acadian Seaplants Ltd Canada
alt Dr Amir NEORI
Israel Oceanographic & Limnological
Research Ltd
(Chief executive Ireland)
Alternative energy Resources Limited LTD
(biofuels production and supply company)
Prof Klaus LUNING Sylt Algae Farm Germany
altalt Prof Masahiro NOTOYA Tokyo University Marine Science and
Technology International Seaweed Association
alt Dr Paolo GUALTIERI CNR- Istituto di Biofisica di Pisa Italy
alt Ms Simonetta ZARRILLI United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD)
alt Ms Sofia SEQUEIRA Galp Portugal
alt Mr Jeff TSCHIRLEY UN Food and Agricoltural Organisation
alt Mr Michael. B. LAKEMAN
Mr Andrew BRAFF
Algal Biomass Organisation USA
alt Mr Frédéric MONOT Institute Français du Petrol, Biotechnology
and Biomass Chemistry
alt Mr. Guido DEJONGH CEN – European Committee for Standardisation
(New Standardization Opportunities)


Prof. Spiros AGATHOS Louvain University
Ms. Maria BARBOSA WURFood & BioBased
The Netherlands
Dr. Kateřina BIŠOVÁ Czech Institute of Microbiology
Czech Republic
Mr. Jonas DAHL Danish Technological Institute
Dr. Maeve EDWARDS Irish Seaweed Centre
Mr. Cameron EDWARDS VESTA Biofuels Brunsbüttel
Prof. Jose FERNANDEZ SEVILLA University of Almeria
Dr. Imogen FOUBERT K.U.Leuven University
Dr. Sridharan GOVINDACHARY Queen’s University
Prof. Patricia J. HARVEY University of Greenwich
Mr. Sven JACOBS Howest
Mr. Remy MARCHAL Institut Français du Pétrole
Mr. Riccardo MARCHETTI Oxem S.p.a
Dr. Laura MARTINELLI Studio Martinelli
Ms. Roberta MODOLO Studio Martinelli
Mr. Benoit QUEGUINEUR Irish Seaweed Centre
Ms. Jessica RATCLIFF Irish Seaweed Centre
Mr. Jean-François ROUS Diester Industrie
Mr. Philippe SCHILD European Commission (DR Research)
Mr. Johannes SKARKA Karlsruher Institute of Technology
Ms. Andrea SONNLEITNER Bioenergy 2020
Prof. Laurenz THOMSEN Jacobs University Bremen
Dr. Wolfgang TRUNK European Commission (DG Health)
Mr. Dries VANDAMME K.U.Leuven University
Mr. Peter VAN DEN DORPEL AlgaeLink N.V.
The Netherlands
Dr. Koen VANHOUTTE Navicula
Mr. Ignacio VASQUEZ- L European Commission (DG Climate)
Dr. Milada VITOVÁ Czech Institute of Microbiology
Czech Republic
Dr. Wim VYVERMAN Ghent University
Ms. Annika WEISS KIT
Mr. Zeljko Serdar Croatian Center of RES

Prof. Gabriel ACIEN FERNANDEZ Almeria University
Dr. Dina BACOVSKY Bioenergy 2020+ GmbH
Dr. Natascia BIONDI University of Florence
Prof. Sammy BOUSSIBA Ben‐Gurion University
Mr. Marco BROCKEN Evodos The Netherlands
Ms. Griet CASTELEYN Ghent University Belgium
Mr. Nuno COELHO AlgaFuel Portugal
Dr. Guillermo GARCIA-B.REINA University of Las Palmas Gan Canaria Spain
Mr. Guido DE JONGH CEN Belgium
Mr. Alessandro FLAMMINI FAO Aquatic Biofuels Italy
Mr. Clayton JEFFRYES Louvain University Belgium
Dr. Bert LEMMENS VITO Belgium
Dr. Stefan LEU Ben‐Gurion University Israel
Mr. Philippe MORAND CNRS France
Mr. Josche MUTH EREC Belgium
Ms. Liliana RODOLFI Fotosintetica & Microbiologica S.r.l Italy
Dr. Robin SHIELDS Swansea University UK
Dr. Raphael SLADE Imperial College London UK
Mr. Mario R. TREDICI University of Florence Italy
Ms. Sofie VAN DEN HENDE Ghent University Belgium
Mr. Ron VAN ERCK European Commission(DG Energy) Belgium
Prof. Rene WIJFFELS Wageningen Universiteit The Netherlands
Mr. Philippe WILLEMS Orineo BVBA Belgium
Dr. Attila WOOTSCH MFKK Hungary Hungary
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Algae, the Source of Biofuels, and Aquaponics
Algae can be used as important types of biomass materials from which the biofuels can be obtained. Algae absorb the energy from the sun in the presence of carbon dioxide and store it. A number of processes can be carried out on algae to convert it into biofuels like alcohol, biodiesel and even biogas. The biodiesel obtained from algae can be mixed with petroleum diesel and it can be used for running of trucks, cars and many types of engines that use diesel. Biodiesel can also be used as the fuel in the jets, airplanes, refineries and pipelines. The biomass obtained from algae can be used as the renewable sources of energy since it is available in abundant quantities and will be available for unlimited period of time.
One of the important advantages of algae is that it can grow in any type of water like salt, fresh, and even contaminated water. It can be grown in vast sea and river water, small rain water ponds and even commercial or domestic manmade made ponds. Algae has the potential to yield 30 times more energy than the crops grown on land, which are currently being used to produce the biofuels. This could encourage the use of algae for producing biofuels instead of the land that can be used for producing food crops. The harvesting cycle of algae is 1 to 10 days, which permits several harvests in short period of time and using the resources more effectively.

Algae and Aquaponics
As described earlier, algae can be grown in any type of water and in type of water storage system. Besides the naturally occurring seas, rivers, and ponds, it can also grow in manmade ponds. The manmade ponds can be at homes for domestic purpose or in large lands made for commercial production of algae. For the better growth of algae some nutrients may be added to water. Besides using these ponds for algae growth they can also be used for the growth of fishes and other aquatic animals.
Aquaponics is the system where one can grow the fishes and plants like algae in one integrated system. The waste given by the fishes act as important nutrients for the plants, while the cover of plants provides the natural filter for the fishes in the living areas. Aquaponics is the combination of words aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture is the cultivation of fish or other water based animals, while hydroponics is the growth of plants in water. In aquaponics one can grow the water animals as well the plants at the same time. Thus the manmade small or big pond can be effectively used for growing fishes as well plants like algae.
The plants usually prefer warm-water so the water in aquaponics is also warm. The fishes grown in aquaponics are of warm-water type and not of cold-water type. The fishes grown in aquaponics can be consumed by the owner, they can be given to the friend, can be sold in the market to earn money or they can be kept as the pets. The harvesting period of fishes ranges from 7 to 9 months. When aquaponics is combined with a controlled environment greenhouse, high quality crops can be grown throughout the year and in any part of the world.
Aquaponics comprises of the water tank where the fishes are raised and fed. There is a chamber, where the uneaten foods and other particles and solids are collected. The bio-filter converts ammonia into nitrates, which act as the nutrients for the plants. There is also a portion for the growth of the plants. The lowest part of tank is a sump from where fresh water is supplied to the tank and old water is removed.
The concept of aquaponics can be extended for the growth of algae. Instead of the plants, one can grow algae, which has the harvest cycle of one to ten days. At the same time the fishes can also be grown. In the period of about nine months, while the fishes will harvest once, algae will be harvested several times. The large quantities of algae collected this way can be used as the biomass for producing the biofuels like biodiesel.
The advantages of using aquaponics for the growth of algae is that in a single place harvesting of both, the algae as well as fishes can be done. This would increase the profitability for the owner if they already have aquaculture or hydroponics. While earlier they would get only a single product from the infrastructure, they could now get two products. Since harvesting time of algae is short, it would keep the owner busy and this could become a continuous source of income for them.
The major limitations of aquaponics are the high initial costs required for housing, tank, plumbing, pumps and bedding. One should also do thorough research for the chances of success of such project. The system also has number of points of failure and requires intensive maintenance.
special thanks to   
Escapeartist, Inc
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