Hybrid and electric cars to help Japan fight way back into Chinese market

Japan is fighting to regain market share in China’s automobile sector with hybrid and electric cars being in the forefront of the effort. Nissan Motor has launched a demonstration test of its 300 electric vehicles in three Chinese cities ahead of the release of the EVs in China this autumn. And, in a research development, 3-D printing is coming to the electric car business. According to a report in China Daily, Japanese carmakers jointly held a market share of 19.4% in 2011. At their peak in 2008, they had more than…

Suddenly, it’s blue skies for nuclear — but the price-setters haven’t noticed

Three pieces of good news in a week for nuclear power. When was the last time that happened? Yet those who influence the uranium price do not seem to have factored this in to their calculations, with the spot price remaining this week at $28.35/lb, down in the basement at the same level as it has been since May. On several occasions I have made the point (not an original one — a few of the more perspicacious analysts put the thought into my head) that we are heading for a…

China’s mandate for 30% electric cars and hybridising with lithium

It’s easy to get fatigue with the “China demand” story which has been trotted out for just about every mineral category in the last decade. Some however have run their course (e.g. iron ore) with linkages between certain products and large scale construction and infrastructure projects, while others may have been promoted too soon while still not having begun to see their potential come into play. The prime candidate in the latter group is lithium (though we might also say something similar about uranium in the Chinese context). In the case…

As information continues to bombard us every day, there’s a need to keep some perspective

In the mining business there’s always the risk of over-reach. Back in mid-2011, Citigroup Global Markets added up the 400 largest greenfield mining projects around the world and the capital commitment through to 2020 for those totalled close to $500 billion — or half a trillion, to put that figure in more dramatic terms. But the analysts also calculated that some twenty-four per cent of those projects were unlikely to be delivered. We await Citigroup someday going back to do an update. I bet the situation compared to their forecasts could…

Seair’s water technology the ultimate water app for the resource sector

Seair’s water technology: the ultimate water app for oil and gas, mining, water desalination, pulp and paper industries Seair Inc. (TSXV: SDS) is an Alberta cleantech company with its technology in operation in various sectors and with proven and commercialized technologies for gas-based water treatment: the technology put gases into liquids more effectively and with lower costs than other system in the marketplace. What does this mean? If Seair’s technology were an app for smartphones, kids would beg parents recklessly to download it. There would be knock offs by Chinese manufacturers.  Smartphones…

Electric car materials jet fuel market and uranium gains a pulse

InvestorIntelReport, June 2014: The InvestorIntel Gold, Base & Precious Metals members lead for the month of June 2014, up +19.01%; driven by gold and graphite player -- Triton Minerals ASX: TON +171.43%. Congratulations Triton as shareholders responded favorably to their June 23rd news release: Significant High-Grade Graphite Intersected at Nicanda Hill and catapulted them to #3 market cap in the graphite sector overnight. Also, please allow me to formally introduce InvestorIntel client Ron Tremblay, President & CEO for Levon Resources – as OTCQX: LVNF lifted +28% and TSX: LVN was up…

From Cannabis to ‘Cannabiz’: the New Wave of Marijuana Entrepreneurship

Several entrepreneurs in North America have jumped on the opportunities to produce cannabis in response to many States and Provinces having legalized marijuana for medical and even recreational use. The new sector has also opened the market for hemp, a very strong natural fiber with a multitude of applications that include food. Nevertheless, the new wave of marijuana entrepreneurship has been lifted by the recognition that this weed can address a variety of medical needs. While, the United States and Canada have not technically approved dried marijuana as a drug in…

Star Minerals says that rare earths, manganese, lithium and batteries are the keys to its future

June 24, 2014 -- Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher for InvestorIntel, speaks with Jim Engdahl, Director, President and CEO for Star Minerals (‘Star’, TSXV: SUV) about its critical metals exploration and acquisition activities in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. From 2006 until 2012, Jim was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Western Minerals Group (GWMG), which has primarily engaged in developing rare earth minerals in South Africa while also producing earths based alloys and other related value added products. Tracy asks Jim if Star will be focusing ever more on…

Harley launches the Livewire: an electric ‘hog’

Harley Davidson has recently unveiled a new model, one that is bound to generate waves and controversy. It would appear as a contradiction, but Harley Davidson is planning to launch its first electric motorcycle: The ‘Livewire’. This new ‘hog’ is called – is a prototype, which Harley-Davidson (‘Harley’) has launched to gauge reactions of its traditional customers with a view to mass production. The Livewire is driven by a 74 hp three-phase motor producing 70 Nm of torque, capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in less than four seconds…

Mark Smith to turn NioCorp into one of the top niobium producers in the world

June 23, 2014 -- Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of InvestorIntel speaks to Mark A. Smith, CEO and Director for NioCorp (TSXV: NB | OTCQX: NIOBF) about the company’s Elk Creek project in southeastern Nebraska. NioCorp recently announced some very favorable drilling results. NioCorp’s Elk Creek deposit is rich in barium, rare earth element mineralization and especially high grade concentrations of niobium, which will be the main focus of the project. NioCorp announced that it has a second drill rig on site; while that may not appear to be ‘big news’,…
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SunEdison to Provide Solar Electricity to Southern Nevada Water

July 22, 2014 (Source: Bloomberg) -- SunEdison Inc. (SUNE), the best-performing solar company this year, agreed to provide electricity to Southern Nevada Water Authority under a 20-year power-purchase contract. As part of the deal, SunEdison will build and operate a 14-megawatt solar plant in Clark County, Nevada, the St. Peters, Missouri-based company said today in a statement. Terms weren’t disclosed. When the solar…

Big Ideas: Solar panels already appearing on city-owned buildings

July 22, 2014 (Source: Toronto Star) -- It’s easy to think on sunny days like these that solar panels could power the world. That was the motivation behind a suggestion to put them on all municipal buildings across the city — one of the ideas submitted to the Star’s Big Ideas Project and voted into the top 35 recently. Reader Scott Fairweather suggested that…

Self-Cooling Solar Cells Boost Power, Last Longer

July 22, 2014 (Source: The Optical Society) -- Scientists may have overcome one of the major hurdles in developing high-efficiency, long-lasting solar cells—keeping them cool, even in the blistering heat of the noonday Sun. By adding a specially patterned layer of silica glass to the surface of ordinary solar cells, a team of researchers led by Shanhui Fan, an electrical engineering professor at…

Highly Efficient Nanoparticles Could Bring Down the Cost of Fuel Cells

July 22, 2014 (Source: SLAC) -- Fuel cells are a promising, non-polluting way to power cars, but their platinum catalysts are so expensive that there’s no way current technology could be economically scaled up for widespread use. Now scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Technical University of Denmark have developed an alternative that would use just…

Green energy is the way forward, says economist Adrian Blundell-Wignall

July 22, 2014 (Source: SMH) -- Australia’s public and private sectors should be teaming up in renewable energy projects to drive the diversification away from mining exports, according to Australian economist Adrian Blundell-Wignall. Mr Blundell-Wignall, who is special advisor on financial markets to the Secretary-General of the OECD, said the end of the country’s mining investment boom and softening commodity prices…

Renewable Energy is Ready to Supply All of Australia’s Electricity

July 22, 2014 (Source: The Conversation) -- In a recent article on The Conversation, University of Melbourne Professor Emeritus Frank Larkins wrote that Australia’s targets to increase renewable energy will make electricity more expensive, thanks to problems with consistency and storage. But Professor Larkins is several years behind developments in renewable energy and its integration into electricity grids. In fact, we already…

Environmental Waste International Announces Lawsuit

July 21, 2014 (Source: Marketwired) -- Environmental Waste International Inc. ("EWS") (TSX VENTURE:EWS) (the "Company"), a company specializing in eco-friendly systems with proven patented technology for the breakdown of organic materials, today announced that a lawsuit has been commenced against it by Environmental Waste International limited Partnership ("EWI LP") for, among other things, injunctive relief to prevent EWS from interfering with certain…

New Spongelike Structure Converts Solar Energy into Steam

July 21, 2014 (Source: MIT) -- A new material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the…

DONG Energy to sell 50% interest in German offshore wind farm

July 18, 2014 (Source: Wind Energy Business Review) -- DONG Energy has signed an agreement to sell 50% of the 252MW Gode Wind 2 offshore wind farm project in Germany to a consortium of Danish pension funds, for approximately €600m. The consortium of Danish pension funds, which comprises PKA, Industriens Pension, Lærernes Pension and Lægernes Pensionskasse, will pay the total…

India-US solar issue: WTO sets up dispute panel

July 18, 2014 (Source: Economic Times) -- The WTO has set up a dispute settlement panel to examine a complaint by the US against India's domestic content requirements under the country's solar power programme, Parliament was informed today. "Since the consultations could not result into satisfactory outcome, on the request of the US, the Dispute Settlement Body established the WTO…

Improving the Cost and Efficiency of Renewable Energy Storage

July 17, 2014 (Source: Phys.org) -- A major challenge in renewable energy is storage. A common approach is a reaction that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen, and uses the hydrogen as a fuel to store energy. The efficiency of 'water splitting' depends heavily on a solid substance called a catalyst. However, only the surface of the catalyst acts on the reaction,…

After hybrid Success, Toyota Gambles on Fuel Cell

July 17, 2014 (Source: BusinessWeek) -- Rocket science long dismissed as too impractical and expensive for everyday cars is getting a push into the mainstream by Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker. Buoyed by its success with electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, Toyota is betting that drivers will embrace hydrogen fuel cells, an even cleaner technology that runs on the energy created by an electrochemical…

Geothermal energy project receives approval in Costa Rica

July 16, 2014 (Source: Hydrogen Fuel News) -- A new geothermal energy project has been approved in Costa Rica. The country’s Legislative Assembly approved the project late last week and this approval has opened the way for new funding to reach the project and be put to use. The Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the European Investment Bank are two potential investment…

Fuel Cells for Powering Homes

July 16, 2014 (Source: University of the Basque Country) -- The UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country is exploring the suitability of materials to improve fuel cells as an alternative to the electrical grid Fuel cells are similar to batteries, but they differ from them mainly in that they are continually resupplied by the reagents consumed, typically oxygen and hydrogen. "After the…

EDF Buys Illinois Wind Farm With Microsoft Power Contract

July 15, 2014 (Source: Bloomberg) -- A U.S. unit of French utility Electricite de France SA bought most of an Illinois wind farm that will sell power to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) for 20 years. EDF Renewable Energy bought a 96 percent stake in the 175-megawatt Pilot Hill Wind Project from Orion Energy Group LLC and Vision Energy LLC that’s under construction 60 miles (97…

UPDATE 1 – WTO rules against U.S. import tariffs on China steel, solar panels

July 14, 2014 (Source: Reuters) -- World Trade Organisation judges found on Monday that the United States had violated global trade rules by imposing punitive import duties on a range of Chinese steel products, solar panels and other goods that Washington said enjoyed government subsidies. But the three-member panel also rejected some of the Chinese arguments against the U.S. countervailing…
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