Nissan’s First Green Vessel to Ship Green Cars

Japanese automaker Nissan has unveiled its eco-friendly transport ship: the 21,000-ton City of St. Petersburg. Thanks to its unusual design, which features a semispherical prow that’s claimed to reduce wind resistance by up to 50 percent compared to a conventional vessel, the City of St. Petersburg is expected to cut annual fuel usage by 800 tons, which will reduce CO2 emissions by 2,500 tons.

nissan eco-friendly ship
The ship has room to haul up to 2,000 vehicles and will hit the waterways to transport cars and trucks to Northern Europe and Russia from the automaker’s factories in the United Kingdom and Spain. In a fitting move, starting in 2013, the City of St. Petersburg will transport battery-powered Leafs from the Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, UK. Hop the jump to catch a pair of videos that showcase Nissan’s City of St. Petersburg.

Nissan Motors is making headlines not for its environmentally-friendly electric cars, but for a massive ship that will transport them.

The transport car carrier called “The City of St. Petersburg” weighs 21,000 tons. It is the first carrier of its kind to incorporate a unique design, cutting air resistance by nearly 50 percent.

[Satoshi Yako, Senior Mgr., Supply Chain Management, Nissan Motors]:
“You can say that the ship’s spherical prow design is the world’s first. Thanks to this aerodynamic design we expect to see a substantial reduction in the ship’s fuel consumption.”

The car manufacturer hopes to cut down fuel consumption by 800 tons – the equivalent of 2,500 tons a year of CO2 emissions.

The ship is heading to Europe, where it hopes to be the most effective.

[Satoshi Yako, Senior Mgr., Supply Chain Management, Nissan Motors]:
“This ship will be mainly put in use in European coastal waters, especially in the North Sea where there are strong winds. We hope that northern Europe is where the aerodynamic design is especially effective.”




Texas Activists Encouraging All Residents to Stop Energy Rates from Rising

AUSTIN — Citizens are calling on the City Council to prevent Austin Energy rates  from raising.

“We cannot keep raising electric rates. People have to live. We have to look out for people in Austin who don’t make $100,000 a year,’ said Bill Oakey.

The activists say Austin Energy want to collect $126 million more a year from all of its customers. They call it a corporate welfare program. They say the proposed rates discourage conservation and the proposal does not include a plan for low-income and fixed-income residents.

Austin Energy submitted its final energy rates increase proposal to City Council on Dec. 14 of last year. The proposal was recommended by the Electric Utility Commission on a split 4 to 3 vote.

Environmental activist Paul Robbins passed out a list of Austin Energy Executive Salaries, ranging from $100,069 to $177,757.

“The entire energy rate case is flawed by lack of process,” Robbins said. “How can people eat and pay rent? It’s just unjust.”

Activists are encouraging all residents to attend a hearing this Thursday at 6 p.m.

“We need to ask City Council to say ‘no’ to this increase,’ said Robbins.

Austin Energy released a statement on Tuesday.

“Austin Energy has not raised based electric rates in 17 years,” said Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. “At the same time, we’ve continued to increase programs and services for customers and absorbed large increases in the cost of materials. We’ve done a good job of holding the line all these years but we’ve been operating in a deficit the past three years and cannot continue along this path. I want to emphasize that any customer can practically eliminate the increase by taking advantage of our comprehensive energy efficiency programs.”


Green Batteries, Where Can I Get One?

The move from disposable to rechargeable batteries isn’t going as well as it might. Maybe it’s because the effort, on an individual basis, seems to have such a small impact. But the hundreds of thousands of discarded batteries sent to landfills every year are threatening the environment with toxic heavy metals.

green battery manufacturers

Environmentally friendly

A major issue with today’s batteries is the negative effect they have on the environment once thrown away. Non-rechargeable lithium batteries are considered an environmental hazard because they contain metals that can infiltrate the soil and reach water sources. Lithium-ion batteries are typically not considered as dangerous, though the European Union advises vendors to recycle them. However, at the moment the recycling process is slow and inefficient because of the costs involved.

An Alternative to Conventional Batteries

NiMH batteries are green batteries which are less harmful to the environment than conventional batteries because they do not contain toxic substances. In addition, they are recyclable and easy to procure.

By purchasing NiMH batteries instead of NiCD batteries you can contribute to the preservation of the planet. Now the question is where can one buy this kind of green battery? Please comment if you knew a green battery manufacturer in your place.

Which rechargeable green batteries are the most effective? Will quick charging really harm a battery? What is the best battery charger? If lithium-ion rechargeable batteries hold the best charge, why can’t you buy them in AA or AAA sizes?

Simple Things to Do to Cut Down Electricity Costs

The increase in electricity costs worldwide are at an all time high and its only going to get worse.

What can we do?

Look for the alternatives so you can save money and use it somewhere else. In order to cut down on electricity cost, you can take various measures which will not only cut down the bills but also increase the life of the appliances.

electricity costs

Lamps & Bulbs

Use recommended compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s) / energy saving bulbs, so that you can save on electricity costs. These bulbs use one third of the energy used by the regular bulbs. This is the reason why it is useful to get CFL’s for various parts of your home. One of the important factors is that they are less expensive than other energy options. So, you will be able to cut down on your electricity costs. Common mistakes people make is to never turn lights off when not in use, or use a computer or work station with a fully lit room when in fact you only need light were you are sat. Try 60 watts instead of 100 watts, sounds simple but its a 40% save on electricity costs.

Turn Off

Take some small actions in your daily routine by turning off or unplugging unused appliances.

TV’s in stand-by keep drawing the power all the time. They come to the end of their life quicker than when they are unplugged. Chargers of cell phone and game systems left plugged in will constantly consume electricity. This is one of the effective methods to save electric usage. If you are not using the computer, you must switch it off. You must switch off the monitor as well. This will save the electricity costs as well. Natural light use it, its free., don’t switch on the lights till its dark and you will save again on electricity costs.

Furthermore you will be making a huge positive step to protecting the environment by reducing your carbon footprint and this will certainly impress your children and probably your neighbors and friends. So why not join the Clean and Green brigade and become a local eco-warrior and save on electricity costs.

Basic Information about Electricity Cost

Electricity Cost principles involve looking at how much electricity consumption and we have to understand how it’s measured. Electricity Cost is determined at any moment and is measured in watts consumed.

For example:

  • A 100-watt light bulb uses 100 watts
  • A typical desktop computer uses 65 watts
  • A central air conditioner uses about 3500 watts

electricity rates

To know the Electricity Cost and how much energy you’re using you have to consider how long you run your appliances. When you use 1000 watts for an hour, that’s a kilowatt-hour.

For example:

  • Ten 100-watt light bulbs on for an hour, is 1 kWh
  • Ten 100-watt light bulbs on for 1/2 an hour, is 0.5 kWh
  • Ten 50-watt light bulbs on for an hour, is 0.5 kWh
  • One 60-watt light bulb on for an hour, is 0.06 kWh (60/1000)
  • Running a 3500-watt air conditioner for an hour is 3.5 kWh.

The average U.S. household used 10,654 kWh a year in 2001, or 888 kWh/mo. (Dept. of Energy) The U.S. as a whole used 3,883 billion kWh in 2003, or 13,868 kwH per person based on a population of 280 million. (Dept. of Energy)


For smaller items we use the term watt-hours instead of kilowatt-hours. For example, we say a 60-watt light bulb uses 60 watt-hours of electricity, not 0.060 kWh. Note that the “-hours” part is important. Without it we’d have no idea what period of time we were talking about. If you ever see a reference without the amount of time specified, it’s almost certainly per hour. If your device lists amps instead of watts, then just multiply the amps times the voltage to get the watts.

For example:

2.5 amps x 120 volts = 300 watts

How much does electricity cost?

Electricity Rates  depends on where you live, how much you use, and possibly when you use it. There are also fixed charges that you pay every month no matter how much electricity you use. For example, I pay $6/mo. for the privilege of being a customer of the electric company, no matter how much energy I use.

Check your utility bill for the rates in your area. If it’s not on your bill then look it up on the utility’s website.

The electric company measures how much electricity you use in kilowatt-hours. The abbreviation for killowatt-hour is kWh. Note that on your bill there can be multiple charges per kWh (e.g., one for the “base rate”, another for “fuel”) and you have to add them all up to get the total cost per kWh.

Most utility companies charge a higher rate when you use more than a certain amount of energy, and they also charge more during summer months when electric use is higher.

For more information about electricity consumption and how get good electricity rates and packages, check your local full-service Retail Electricity Provider (REP) for residential and commercial customers nearest you.

Now, lets pause and think for a while. Electricity cost is getting higher as years goes by. In my opinion in the long run shifting to renewable energy will save a lot of dollars and may prolong the life of our planet.



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