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Mountain News: Vail not interested in downhill biking

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"It's so much bigger than 10 X 10," says Koelfgen. "It's about taking an entire community and maximizing efficiency - going for deep efficiencies. We're not just talking about replacing lightbulbs here."

As part of that challenge, a non-profit organization called Climate Solutions has prepared a three-year plan that would provide the framework for improving efficiency of energy use and instituting more renewable energy.

Vail seeks federal aid

VAIL, Colo. - Working with Vail town officials, a Connecticut company has put together a plan for a biomass plant that would create heat and electricity by burning dead trees from the surrounding forests.

An application for a $30 million grant has been filed with the U.S. Department of Energy, reports the Vail Daily .

Colorado Biz Magazine, in a story published in June, noted that federal aid will be critical if the plans are to move forward.

Stan Zemler, the Vail town manager, told the Daily much the same thing. Many details must be figured out before the project can become viable, he said.

The town government proposes to invest no money of its own in the project, but instead would provide three acres of land for the burner and then purchase hot water for its street snowmelt system.

Durango ideal for making algae fuel

DURANGO, Colo. - Will algae eventually replace oil as our transportation fuel? Early results look promising, and some airlines have even been experimenting with algae as a replacement for petroleum, because of its carbon emissions.

But much more research is needed. Some of that research, reports the Durango Telegraph, is now occurring nearby on property owned by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.

A firm called Solix Biofuels, created as the result of work at Colorado State University, is conducting the test. Company officials expect the demonstration facility to produce the equivalent of 3,000 gallons of algal oil per acre by late this year. The Durango area was chosen for the testing because of its climate, which is optimal for production of algae.

The ultimate in recycling

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - A speaker in Steamboat Springs called the preservation of historic buildings the "ultimate form of recycling."

Donovan D. Rypkema, a principal with PlaceEconomics, a consulting firm, said that preserving old buildings ultimately saves money. Older buildings tended to use brick, plaster, concrete and timber. When those buildings are razed and replaced, the new buildings typically have much more plastic, steel, and vinyl, all of which require more energy to manufacture.