Energy

Green Fuel Feeds Virginia's Rural Economy

Jan 13, 2016
Virginia Tech

Every year, Virginia spends a billion dollars on energy from somewhere else – fuel oil, propane or kerosene to heat homes.  Now, farmers in Virginia are growing an alternative fuel – a clean, sustainable grass that promises to keep the cash here in the Commonwealth.  Sandy Hausman has that story.

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With so many cars on the road this holiday season, it’s easy to see why automobiles account for almost half of the country’s fuel consumption.  But what if cars could recover some of that energy for other uses? An engineering professor at Virginia Tech is working on a way to give cars exactly that kind of ‘energy bump.’

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Lei Zuo and his team are working on a new kind of shock absorber that would not only enhance a car’s ride, but also create energy just from driving on the road.

WMRA

The world is watching as political leaders meet in France, seeking ways to address climate change.  In Virginia, Appalachian Power, which services just under a million people here, has announced its plan for fuel sources going forward.  For the first time, it includes solar power.  While clean energy advocates applaud the change, they’re concerned it doesn’t go far enough.

Dominion Power is starting a new project… one that will make its power lines safer to large birds. Crews have begun an effort across the state to slowly change the way power lines are structured.

About 25 times a year, a large bird, like an eagle,owl, or osprey, will perch on the cross-arms of an electrical pole and spread their long wing-span out…. touching one tip of each wing to an electrical wire.

“If one wing touches one and one the other that’s a potential for an electrocution right there. It’s more than likely going to be a fatal event to the bird.”

AP Photo/Ralph Wilson

Opponents to natural gas pipelines in Virginia are calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive review of all four of the proposed projects. 

Thirty organizations in Virginia are calling on FERC to take a bird’s eye view of the natural gas infrastructure to determine if 4 new pipelines, currently in the planning stages, are really necessary. The pipelines would bring fracked natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia into North Carolina. Opponents say they are a threat to the region’s water, scenic beauty and public safety.

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