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Zeljko Serdar's Comments

October 14, 2014

New Report Sheds Light on the Old "Food Vs. Fuel" Bioenergy Debate

Given the right conditions, algae can double its volume overnight. Microalgae are the earth’s most productive plants –– 10 to 15 times more prolific in biomass than the fastest growing land plant exploited for biofuel production. While soy produces some 50 gallons of oil per acre per year; canola, 150 gallons; and palm, 650 gallons, algae can produce up to 15,000 gallons per acre per year. In addition, up to 50 percent (or more) of algae biomass (dry weight) is comprised of oil, whereas oil-palm trees—currently the most efficient large-scale source of feedstock oil to make biofuels—yield approximately 20 percent of their weight in oil,” says Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES

April 01, 2014

Algae May be a Potential Source of Biofuels and Biochemicals Even in Cool Climate

”Given the right conditions, algae can double its volume overnight. Microalgae are the earth’s most productive plants –– 10 to 15 times more prolific in biomass than the fastest growing land plant exploited for biofuel production. While soy produces some 50 gallons of oil per acre per year; canola, 150 gallons; and palm, 650 gallons, algae can produce up to 15,000 gallons per acre per year. In addition, up to 50 percent (or more) of algae biomass (dry weight) is comprised of oil, whereas oil-palm trees—currently the most efficient large-scale source of feedstock oil to make biofuels—yield approximately 20 percent of their weight in oil,” says Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES

November 11, 2013

Clean Energy Leaders of the Future

Creation

Created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon is an international competition open to universities and institutions of higher education worldwide, giving them an opportunity to compete in meeting a challenge: “Design and build a solar house that is energy independent”.

It is held biennially in the United States, in odd-numbered years, at the prestigious National Mall in Washington, D.C. Since 2010, the Solar Decathlon has also been organized in Europe in even-numbered years.

Each new competition is an opportunity to refine the requirements that the projects must meet.

The scientific goal of the Solar Decathlon is to improve the transmission of knowledge, research work and experimentation in the field of renewable energy, and notably solar energy.

This competition is also an opportunity to increase public awareness of the houses of tomorrow and to present the materials, products and technologies that will be used in building them.

After an open call for candidacies which includes the general rules of the competition, 20 teams are selected. The selection is made based on the project presented and only those teams presenting a house that meets the requirements laid down in the rules, which are the specifications for the competition, are accepted.

Once the teams have been selected, they have approximately 18 months to work on the engineering and architecture, and to develop the processes and materials to equip the solar house.

This work is based on the general rules of the competition, prepared and drawn up by a technical and scientific committee (engineers, architects, urban planners, researchers, etc.), which the schools will use to design and produce their houses in compliance with the technical specifications.

Beyond the competitive aspect, the interest of Solar Decathlon lies in creating synergy between the work carried out by universities, students, professors, researchers, construction professionals, the business world and industrialists who seek to develop research, innovation and understanding of renewable energy as applied to the building sector and to invent and test new processes and materials to equip the house of tomorrow.


An international competition

Since its creation, Solar Decathlon has been open only to universities and institutions of higher education worldwide. This international dimension makes it possible to compare, assess and analyze how each participating team imagines, designs, adapts and builds an energy-independent housing unit for the solar energy available in their countries.

The houses proposed are not just concepts. They must be marketable in whole or in part and they must fit into the environment of their country of origin. The procedures invented and applied to the solar house must be transposable to industrial production.

Even though the candidate teams can only be universities or institutions of higher education, Solar Decathlon gives rise to partnerships and creates productive synergy between the teams and industrial groups specialized in the field of the environment, energy, innovative materials, energy suppliers, institutions of higher education and the world of research.

This exchange of ideas and expertise enables Solar Decathlon to contribute to the entire construction sector through the research and knowledge it develops, from the design phase to the completion phase, via the maintenance, upkeep and recycling phases.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

November 11, 2013

Clean Energy Leaders of the Future

The competition, which takes place over a period of 15 days, is open to the public and to professionals and physically hosts each of the 20 teams and their solar houses in the same exhibition space.

Each house is rated for 10 contests (decathlon) by a jury comprising construction professionals, technicians and scientists. The house’s performances are assessed with measurement devices and then rated using predefined criteria.

The team with the most points wins the competition.

Rated on a total basis of 1,000 points, the Solar Decathlon is broken down into ten contests, as its name implies, each rated on a 100-point scale:

1 – Architecture

2 – Engineering and construction

3 – Solar installations

4 – Electric energy balance

5 – Comfort

6 – Equipment and operations

7 – Communication and social awareness

8 – Industrialization and market viability

9 – Innovation

10 – Sustainability

It should be pointed out that the contests change somewhat at each Solar Decathlon to take into account new technologies, new discoveries and new environmental concerns.

Generally, the rules for the competition and the different contests progressively aim to go beyond solar energy to take an interest in other renewable energy sources.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

June 25, 2013

From the Sea to the Pump: Is Kelp a Viable Biofuel?

”Given the right conditions, algae can double its volume overnight. Microalgae are the earth’s most productive plants –– 10 to 15 times more prolific in biomass than the fastest growing land plant exploited for biofuel production. While soy produces some 50 gallons of oil per acre per year; canola, 150 gallons; and palm, 650 gallons, algae can produce up to 15,000 gallons per acre per year. In addition, up to 50 percent (or more) of algae biomass (dry weight) is comprised of oil, whereas oil-palm trees—currently the most efficient large-scale source of feedstock oil to make biofuels—yield approximately 20 percent of their weight in oil,” says Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES

April 19, 2013

News and Events by CCRES April 18, 2013

The first quarter of 2013 has been a rather depressing one for clean energy and climate change: Global investment in clean energy is at its lowest since 2009; there is talk of ending fuel subsidies to level the playing field; and the European Union's vote against a backloading proposal that would have boost its languishing emissions trading scheme will send the once-promising carbon market into a downward spiral.

Global investment in clean energy in this quarter was lower than at any quarter since 2009, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The research company says global investment in Q1 2013 was down 22% from Q1 2012 at $40.6 billion for renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy-smart technologies. From the last quarter of 2012, global investment in clean energy plummeted 38%. The largest drops were seen in asset finance of utility-scale projects like wind farms and solar parks.

Why? Policy uncertainty in the US and Germany, plus lower financing in key clean energy markets like China and Brazil. Also playing a role has been sharp declines in technology costs (solar most notably). But we're also coming to the end of government support programs that were put in place amid the financial crisis.

In the US, Q1 2013 has seen a 54% year-on-year drop in clean energy investment to $4.5 billion. In Europe, the quarter has seen a 25% drop for the same period, and a 15% drop in China. However, Japanese clean energy investment actually soared this past quarter to $8.2 billion, and other Asian countries (excluding India and China) saw a 47% overall increase in clean energy investment in Q1 2013.

April 19, 2013

News and Events by CCRES April 18, 2013

In the US, uncertainty over the fate of a Production Tax Credit that was set to expire at the end of 2012 guided the market, though the tax was actually extended. Bloomberg predicts that there will be little by way of new wind projects for this year in the US, while in Europe talk of retroactive tariffs for renewable energy projects has led to mounting investor uncertainty, though the overall consensus is that they will not likely be pushed through.

At the same time, and also in light of the low investment figures for clean energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is talking about phasing out fuel subsidies to work towards a system in which prices reflect the true cost of energy. The reasoning behind this is that the level of carbon emitted in global energy supplies has remained relatively unchanged over the past two decades despite the focus on renewable energy and despite the Kyoto Protocol.

February 22, 2013

EU Should Phase Out Support for Land-Based Biofuels, Lobbies Say

"Given the right conditions, algae can double its volume overnight. Microalgae are the earth's most productive plants –– 10 to 15 times more prolific in biomass than the fastest growing land plant exploited for biofuel production. While soy produces some 50 gallons of oil per acre per year; canola, 150 gallons; and palm, 650 gallons, algae can produce up to 15,000 gallons per acre per year. In addition, up to 50 percent (or more) of algae biomass (dry weight) is comprised of oil, whereas oil-palm trees—currently the most efficient large-scale source of feedstock oil to make biofuels—yield approximately 20 percent of their weight in oil," says Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES

February 24, 2013

EU Should Phase Out Support for Land-Based Biofuels, Lobbies Say

THIRD GENERATION BIOFUELS FROM ALGAE
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES) have a new technology with major potential to contribute to the fight against climate change.As with all new technologies, careful consideration of potential impacts on the environment and human health is important.
The international community has acknowledges that global warming needs to be kept below 2?C (3,6?F) compared with the pre industrial temperature in order to prevent dangerous climate change.This will require significant reductions in the world´s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) over the coming decades.CCRES have one of the technologies that can help to achieve this.
The EU, which is responsible for around 11% of global GHG emissions today, has put in place binding legislation to reduce its emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020.Europe is also offering to scale up this reduction to 30% if other major economies in the developed and developing world´s agree to undertake their fair share of a global reduction effort.

February 22, 2013

Top 10 Biofuels Predictions for 2013

"Given the right conditions, algae can double its volume overnight. Microalgae are the earth's most productive plants –– 10 to 15 times more prolific in biomass than the fastest growing land plant exploited for biofuel production. While soy produces some 50 gallons of oil per acre per year; canola, 150 gallons; and palm, 650 gallons, algae can produce up to 15,000 gallons per acre per year. In addition, up to 50 percent (or more) of algae biomass (dry weight) is comprised of oil, whereas oil-palm trees—currently the most efficient large-scale source of feedstock oil to make biofuels—yield approximately 20 percent of their weight in oil," says Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES

December 07, 2011

Bridging the Gap Between Coal and Solar

Coal is one of the world's fastest growing energy sources. It fuels almost 40% of electricity worldwide, with even higher percentages in several countries. However, coal is also the most unclean energy source in the world. Upon burning, coal releases a number of problem pollutants such as mercury, sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. These pollutants are not only harmful to breathe in, but are also avid greenhouse gases and contribute significantly to global warming.

Clean Coal Technologies (CCTs) are defined as "technologies that enhance both the efficiency and the environmental acceptability of coal extraction, preparation and use". CCTs reduce emissions and waste, and increase the amount of energy gained from each ton of coal. CCTs can reduce greenhouse emissions from any industrial or mining process involving coal, but the international priority is reducing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-based electricity generation.

There are two basic strategies to achieve this:

- Increasing the efficiency of electricity generation plants (a one percent improvement in thermal efficiency can yield two to three percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions).

This approach will not work in isolation because a short-term reduction in emissions will be counteracted by the increasing demand for electricity;

- Capturing emissions and storing them underground (sequestration). This strategy is the mostimportant in terms of achieving large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from coalbased power generation. Sequestration is supported by coal gasification technologies, which can deliver a relatively pure stream of carbon dioxide, lending itself to capture and storage.

Clean Coal Technologies - the products of research and development conducted over the past 20 years - have resulted in more than twenty new, lower-cost, more efficient and environmentally compatible technologies for electric utilities, steel mills, cement plants and other industries.

Zeljko Serdar

Zeljko Serdar

CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES) • was founded in 1988 as the non-profit European Association for Renewable Energy that conducts its work independently of political parties, institutions, commercial enterprises and interest...

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