Energy News Recap: Morocco Continues Big Wind Power Push, Plus Better Biofuels Though Zoo Poo

A bit less dramatic energy news coming down the pike this morning, but pretty interesting none the less: More warning against Canada's other tar sands pipeline (the Northern Gateway pipeline), Morocco ups its wind power ambitions while Sempra and BP make good on theirs, plus making better biofuel from animal waste. Let's lead with the sensational...

Animal Waste From Zoos Provides Clue To Better Biofuels
Not poo power per se... New York Times brings the news about Dr David Mullin of the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and how giraffe, zebra and other animal droppings are further the quest to find microbes that break down cellulose well and open the door to better cellulosic ethanol production.

Dr Mullins' lab machines these days gently jiggling a dozen small glass containers filled with cellulose and TU-103, a bacterium he found in the droppings of an African zebra. To date, his microbe has thrived on cotton waste, a pure cellulose composed of fibers, twigs and seeds; on bagasse, the mulchlike residue of squeezed sugar cane; and on chopped up copies of the city's main newspaper.

Canada's Aboriginal Leaders Protest Proposed Tar Sands Pipeline
Adding their voice to the growing chorus of opposition to Canada's plans to continue and increase exploiting their substantial (and substantially environmentally damaging) tar sands reserves are leaders of various First Nations:

As hearings into Enbridge Inc's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline opened with drumming and native singing, hereditary chiefs and elders of the Haisla First Nation told the regulatory panel their greatest fear was the potential impact of oil spills on their community of 1,500. At stake, they said, are salmon, halibut and crab fishing and fur trapping that have sustained the Haisla for generations. (Reuters)

Sempra & BP Plan 560MW Worth of New Wind Farms
Once completed, two planned wind farms by Sempra Energy and BP, in Kansas and Pennsylvania, will set new size records for each state. The 141 MW Mehoopany Wind Farm in Pennsylvania and the 419 MW Flat Ridge 2 project outside of Wichita, Kansas will cost a total of $1 billion.

Morocco Plans For 850 MW New Wind Power
Morocco continues to push forward with its ambitious renewable energy plans. Green Prophet reports that Morocco's state-run electric utility has just open bids on five new wind power projects totaling 850 MW. These would more than double the nation's existing wind power capacity, and allow it to nearly reach its 2020 wind power target of 2,000 MW. Read more.

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