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Wednesday, Jul 23rd

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Aptera 2e

Better yet, the 2e is scheduled to begin rolling off the Vista, California, assembly line this October for an as-yet-to-be-determined price between $25,000 and $40,000. Charge it overnight from your 110-volt home outlet, and it's claimed to have a range of 100 miles...in the carpool lane, if you wish.

Pie in the sky? Nope. The business model looks sound; nearly 4000 deposits have been placed (Robin Williams among the clientele), enthusiastic investors are locked in, and co-founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony have assembled a team that balances Detroit low-volume niche-production experience with California "anything is possible" attitude.

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A Wind Turbine for Every Rooftop?

These days, there are more and more options for those of you who want a small wind turbine out in the yard or on your roof. They range from the standard to the somewhat bizarre, and come in sizes that can power several major appliances all the way up to your whole house and beyond. In the right conditions, wind power can be much more economical than other renewable energy options such as solar or geothermal.

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Citgo to suspend heating oil aid for U.S. poor

Houston-based Citgo Petroleum Corp., the U.S. fuels and refining unit of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, plans to suspend its program to provide discounted heating oil to poor U.S. communities, according to Citizens Energy, a nonprofit which helps Citgo distribute the heating oil.

Citizens Energy chairman Joseph Kennedy said in a statement Monday that Citgo was calling off its heating oil aid programs in the United States due to "falling oil prices and the world economic crisis."

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Report: Toyota developing solar powered green car

Toyota Motor Corp. is secretly developing a vehicle that will be powered solely by solar energy in an effort to turn around its struggling business with a futuristic ecological car, a top business daily reported Thursday.

The Nikkei newspaper, however, said it will be years before the planned vehicle will be available on the market.

According to The Nikkei, Toyota is working on an electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle, and that can be recharged with electricity generated from solar panels on the roofs of homes. The automaker later hopes to develop a model totally powered by solar cells on the vehicle, the newspaper said without citing sources.

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Duke Energy to Rent Rooftops

Putting solar panels on the roof can cost a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars up front. That’s a lot of cash in a tight market, even if the goal is clean, renewable energy.

A few utilities are trying another tack: renting the rooftops of homeowners or businesses, and handling the installation and maintenance of the solar panels themselves.

Duke Energy, a major utility serving the Carolinas and parts of the Midwest, aims to rent roof or land space from 425 sites in North Carolina. Final permission from the regulator is forthcoming, but Duke hopes that they will all start producing solar power by 2010.

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How to unplug from the grid

With enough solar panels it is possible to cover all your electricity needs with PV, year round; the downside is that it requires a significant investment up front. Installing 8 square metres of PV panels, enough to sustain a family of four in the UK, plus storage batteries and accessories such as inverters to convert DC into alternating current, can cost tens of thousands of pounds and will take up more space than is available to most urban households. Until the cost comes down substantially, switching to a grid supplier that gets its energy from renewables may be a more realistic alternative - although it will not free you from the risk of supply interruptions.

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Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists

A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim.

The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot - about one mile an hour - meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds around the globe.

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