Worldwide Renewable Energy NewsBriefly Noted…Renewable Energy – The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) will hold its 2002 conference next March at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa. The conference will focus on rater business development and the latest trends in the residential energy efficiency financing and home energy rating industry. – Turning a liability into an asset, Shell Chemicals will sell 60 percent of excess carbon dioxide produced at one of its plants in Canada, to soft drink manufacturers. Shell previously vented the CO2 from its Scotford plant in Alberta, and was criticized for contributing to global warming. – As part of the effort to support President Bush’s energy plan, the Environmental Protection Agency has awarded US$60,000 to the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington, DC, to provide states with information on how to design and implement State Public Benefit Charge programs in order to maximize air emission reductions. A Public Benefit Charge is a surcharge on certain customers, in order to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Currently, 21 states require surcharges. – Under a US$7 million program to show how fuel cells can generate reliable electricity, the Long Island Power Authority has installed 55 fuel cells from Plug Power at LIPA’s West Babylon substation. The project is part of LIPA’s Clean Energy Initiative, first proposed by Governor George Pataki to promote new energy technologies and energy conservation projects. A total of 75 fuel cells will be installed at the substation. – Ballard Power Systems has reached agreement with Osaka Gas to collaborate in the development of stationary proton exchange membrane fuel cell cogeneration power generators for the Japanese residential market. EBARA Ballard will design a cogen generator that can provide electric power for Japanese homes, as well as heat for space heating and hot water. The generator will incorporate Ballard fuel cells with a compact fuel processing subsystem developed by Osaka Gas. The proposed unit operates at low temperatures and is designed for continuous operation. Osaka Gas is a utility serving six million customers. – The city of Carpinteria, California has marked the first anniversary of its all-electric shuttle bus service, in which each bus logged 24,000 miles without battery swapping. The city has purchased eight more electric shuttle buses and says the original units had fewer manufacturing defects or warranty claims than diesel buses. The units have a 288 V, 280 Ahr pack of NiCd batteries and are supplied by Ebus Inc of Downey, California. – The Power Workers’ Union says the lease of the six Bruce nuclear reactors in Ontario to a private consortium led by British Energy, offers environmental advantages and economic value in the provision of thousands of jobs for 18 years. – The U.S. House of Representatives likely will renew a law that limits financial liability of nuclear reactors in the event of accident or terrorist attack. A Committee has approved extending the law that expires next year. The nuclear industry claims that liability limits are needed to allow nuclear operators to obtain insurance and financing for reactors. The extending legislation must go before the full House and the Senate.