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[en] A brief report is given of wind power activities in Europe in the year leading up to the 1991 British Wind Energy Association Conference. The major changes have been in the U.K., Germany and Spain. The way in which wind energy is being encouraged to expand is, however, quite different with the utilities taking the lead in the Netherlands, Italy, Greence and Spain and private investments being encouraged in Denmark, Germany and the U.K. (U.K.)
[en] Historically, the use of biomass as an energy source has been subsidized by generous tax incentives. These tax incentives took the form of tax-exempt financing, the energy tax credit, the investment tax credit, and short depreciation lives. Common with tax incentives in other areas, the tax incentives for biomass projects have been curtailed in recent years. Given the appetite of Congress for revenue, it is not likely that the recent trend will reverse. If changes do occur, they are likely to involve liberalization of some oof the rules for tax-exempt debt. But even under current law, there are still tax advantages available for biomass energy projects, of which potential developers should be aware
[en] An overview is presented of methanol fuel developments, with particular reference to infrastructure, supply and marketing. Methanol offers reduced emissions, easy handling, is cost effective, can be produced from natural gas, coal, wood, or municipal waste, is a high performance fuel, is safer than gasoline, and contributes to energy security. Methanol supply, environmental benefits, safety/health issues, economics, passenger car economics, status of passenger car technology, buses, methanol and the prosperity initiative, challenges to implementation, and the role of government and original equipment manufacturers are discussed. Governments must assist in the provision of methanol refuelling infrastructure, and in providing an encouraging regulatory atmosphere. Discriminatory and inequitable taxing methods must be addressed, and an air quality agenda must be defined to allow the alternative fuel industry to respond in a timely manner
[en] Advantages and problems connected with the solar energy utilization in Bulgaria are discussed. The possible applications mainly in households are described. Solar energy is considered to be an useful additional energy source both in ecological and economic aspects
[en] This paper presents a review of bio-diesel development and economic potentials. The basics of biodiesel and its production technology are described. Attention is given to development potential, challenges and prospests of bio-diesel in Nigeria with ground facts on bio-diesel production feasibility in Nigeria highlighted.
[en] A fusion power plant would rely on practically unlimited supplies of primary materials, and possess very favourable environmental and safety properties. Exploiting the nuclear fusion reaction for continuous power production requires, however, the solution of some of the most demanding physics and technology issues. At the same time the final proof of principle of a self-sustaining fusion reaction can only be delivered in a device with a thermal power rating in the 1 GW range, as the power production by fusion reactions increases much stronger with volume than the energy losses from a hot plasma. A range of well conceived tokamak devices have generated during the last couple of decades the experimental basis and the physics understanding for proceeding now to the construction of such a demonstration device: ITER. This device will also incorporate, partly in the form of test modules, nearly all the critical technologies required for the operation of a commercial power plant. A notable exception to this are materials, where the much lower neutron fluence of ITER allows to work with readily available, conventional steels, whereas power plants will have to use radiation resistant, low-activation materials now under development. The presentation summarizes briefly the development path that has led to the ITER design, and the physics criteria determining its layout. Seven technologies were identified by the international design team (constituted by engineers and scientists from Japan, the European Union, the Russian Federation, and the USA) as critical, and made subject to seven large R and D projects, successfully carried out with an investment of about 400 Million $. The roadmap for the development beyond ITER foresees as subsequent step a power plant (DEMO) that will already be largely identical to the first generation of commercial installations. The physics of this device will be completely verified by the beginning of its planning by the operating experience of ITER. Two, material related issues are, however, also on the critical path: development of heat and plasma particle flux resistant materials for contact with the plasma, and neutron fluence tolerant materials for structural functions and the breeding blanket. The further development of the former will proceed on ITER itself, as their performance tests require a plasma environment. ITER will, however, not have sufficient fluence to carry out conclusive nuclear tests, which require the availability of a dedicated test facility with a suitable neutron energy spectrum ( IFMIF). Based on these scenarios we should have the critical physics and technology information for a fusion power plant fully available in 2020
[en] The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 to assist central and eastern European countries in making the transition from command economies to market economies. The Bank provides loans, equity investments, guarantees, advice, and technical cooperation to qualified applicants through its merchant banking and development banking operations. In the energy sector, the Bank recognizes that the energy resources of eastern Europe are enormous but so are the problems associated with their development. Since its foundation, most of the Bank's energy-related lending has been in the oil and gas sector in Russia and the Baltic countries. The Bank has approved eight projects in that sector with total capital costs of ca US$1.7 billion. Major problem areas to be overcome include uneconomic domestic pricing, high energy intensity and pollution, inadequate legal frameworks, inappropriate tax structures, and institutional complexity. Canadian firms have been actively involed in Bank-financed projects in the Russian oil and gas sector, and two such projects are briefly described. They comprise joint ventures with Russian enterprises or associations and include rehabilitation of Siberian oil fields and drilling new wells in the Komi (Arctic) region. A common feature of these projects is that they were well under way before the Bank got involved, but the Bank brings the benefits of additional financing and providing moral support and expertise which can be useful in overcoming administrative and regulatory difficulties
[en] World energy use is predicted to double in the next 40 years. Today, 80% is provided by burning fossil fuels, but this is not sustainable indefinitely because (i) it is driving climate change, and (ii) fossil fuels will eventually be exhausted (starting with oil). The resulting potential energy crisis requires increased investment in energy research and development (which is currently very small on the scale of the $3 trillion p.a. energy market, and falling). The wide portfolio of energy work that should be supported must include fusion, which is one of very few options that are capable in principle of supplying a large fraction of need in an environmentally responsible manner. The case for fusion has been strengthened by recent advances in plasma physics and fusion technology and by studies of fusion power plants that address safety and cost issues. The big questions are, 'How can we deliver fusion power as fast as possible?' and 'How long is it likely to take?' I will review progress in fusion, and argue for a focused fast-track program that could deliver a working prototype power station in less than 30 years.