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    Mongabay, a leading resource for news and perspectives on environmental and conservation issues related to the tropics, has launched Tropical Conservation Science - a new, open access academic e-journal. It will cover a wide variety of scientific and social studies on tropical ecosystems, their biodiversity and the threats posed to them. Tropical Conservation Science - March 8, 2008.

    At the 148th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the oil exporting cartel decided to leave its production level unchanged, sending crude prices spiralling to new records (above $104). OPEC "observed that the market is well-supplied, with current commercial oil stocks standing above their five-year average. The Conference further noted, with concern, that the current price environment does not reflect market fundamentals, as crude oil prices are being strongly influenced by the weakness in the US dollar, rising inflation and significant flow of funds into the commodities market." OPEC - March 5, 2008.

    Kyushu University (Japan) is establishing what it says will be the world’s first graduate program in hydrogen energy technologies. The new master’s program for hydrogen engineering is to be offered at the university’s new Ito campus in Fukuoka Prefecture. Lectures will cover such topics as hydrogen energy and developing the fuel cells needed to convert hydrogen into heat or electricity. Of all the renewable pathways to produce hydrogen, bio-hydrogen based on the gasification of biomass is by far both the most efficient, cost-effective and cleanest. Fuel Cell Works - March 3, 2008.

    An entrepreneur in Ivory Coast has developed a project to establish a network of Miscanthus giganteus farms aimed at producing biomass for use in power generation. In a first phase, the goal is to grow the crop on 200 hectares, after which expansion will start. The project is in an advanced stage, but the entrepreneur still seeks partners and investors. The plantation is to be located in an agro-ecological zone qualified as highly suitable for the grass species. Contact us - March 3, 2008.

    A 7.1MW biomass power plant to be built on the Haiwaiian island of Kaua‘i has received approval from the local Planning Commission. The plant, owned and operated by Green Energy Hawaii, will use albizia trees, a hardy species that grows in poor soil on rainfall alone. The renewable power plant will meet 10 percent of the island's energy needs. Kauai World - February 27, 2008.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Duke Energy and AREVA to jointly develop baseload biomass power plants in the U.S.

Two of the world's largest energy conglomerates, France's AREVA and Duke Energy, yesterday announced at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, that they will jointly develop biomass power plants in the United States. The joint venture will be called ADAGE Biopower, which will facilitate the development of biopower plants that will use wood waste and other biomass to produce electricity. The project comes at a time when Americans face soaring energy costs, when climate change is becoming a tangible problem, and when other renewables find it difficult to deliver power in a reliable manner.

The AREVA/Duke agreement is one of the first biomass-to-electricity partnerships in the United States between major energy companies. Biomass is already the largest renewables sector in the EU, but now it seems the green baseload power solution is crossing the pond in earnest (less than a week ago, America's largest cooperative power supplier announced a $1.5 billion investment in biomass).

According to the agreement, AREVA will design and build biomass power plants. Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS), a commercial power business unit of Duke Energy that owns and develops renewable energy, will manage operations. For each project, ADAGE will negotiate power purchase agreements and fuel contracts, and secure suitable sites. Hence, ADAGE will provide customers a fully integrated solution.
This project comes at exactly the right time as Americans face soaring energy prices and look to meet rising electricity demand with green energy sources. The ADAGE biopower facilities will respond to our nation's need for new baseload energy alternatives. - Jim Rogers, Duke Energy CEO
AREVA is developing a 50 megawatt (MW) design for ADAGE, with the intent of maximizing standardization wherever possible and take advantage of a fleet approach. A 50 MW ADAGE biomass plant would provide electricity for approximately 40,000 households and would avoid 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year compared to coal.
AREVA has extensive experience in the biomass sector, having designed and built more than 100 biopower facilities in Europe, Asia and South America with capacity of more than 2,500 megawatts. We are delighted to partner with Duke Energy, which has a growing portfolio of renewable assets throughout the U.S. market, and tremendous experience in operating power plants. - Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA
According to the companies, biopower has great potential in the United States. Federal and state environmental agencies consider biopower carbon neutral, a significant advantage over traditional power facilities. The impact of biopower facilities on America's economy is just as important; these facilities will create hundreds of new, green-collar jobs. In addition, the utilization of biomass as an abundant domestic resource reduces America's reliance on imported fuels.
Based on the strengths and experiences of Duke Energy and AREVA, ADAGE is well positioned to win a significant portion of the rapidly expanding U.S. biomass market. Biomass provides an alternative baseload power source for states concerned with CO2 emissions. We are committed to partnering with fuel suppliers, power companies and state and local communities to develop mutually beneficial projects. - Reed Wills, President of ADAGE
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates the total installed capacity of wood biomass power generation to be 6,000 megawatts. EIA and several energy consulting firms predict that this figure may double over the next 10 years:
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ADAGE will be headquartered in Chadds Ford, Pa. near Philadelphia. The environmental commitments outlined in the ADAGE strategic plan were featured at the Clinton Global Initiative 2008 Annual Meeting in New York.

AREVA is the leading U.S. nuclear vendor and a key player in the electricity transmission and distribution sector. AREVA Inc.'s 5,300 U.S. energy employees are committed to serving the nation and paving the way for the future of the electricity market. With 45 locations across the American nation and nearly $2 billion in energy revenues in 2007, AREVA Inc., through its subsidiaries, combines access to worldwide expertise and a proven track record of performance. In the U.S. and in more than 100 countries around the world, AREVA is engaged in the 21st century's greatest challenges: making energy available to all, protecting the planet, and acting responsibly toward future generations. AREVA Inc. is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 4 million U.S. customers in its regulated jurisdictions. The company has approximately 35,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky. In addition, Duke Energy has more than 4,000 megawatts of electric generation in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U.S. real estate company. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.


ADAGE Biopower: Renewables: AREVA, Duke Energy to Jointly Develop Biomass Power Plants in the United States - September 24, 2008.


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