Thursday, August 12

To Cut Carbon, China to Switch Off Polluting Factories


On its way to reduce its carbon emissions per unit of economic output 40 percent by 2020, China’s current plan requires it to use 20 percent less energy per unit of economic output than in 2005.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Chinese government has tried the usual carrot and stick approach of governments in Europe and the US, but to no avail. Now it is literally closing the door on the dirtiest, most unprofessional and least efficient factories, the New York Times is reporting, leaving only the ones that have put energy efficiency measures in place to keep producing.

To reduce energy waste, 2,087 highly inefficient factories have been placed on a list by The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to be closed by the end of September. Read the rest of this entry »

Just as here, their inefficient and polluting cement companies, steel mills and paper mills have resisted installing energy efficiency technology and have roped in local officials to help them delay and resist action.

But unlike here, there is no polluter-funded Chamber of Commerce to champion pollution in China. Here, dirty industries can spend fortunes they said they didn’t have to install efficiency measures, to lobby the government to weaken pollution rules. That is made possible because we grandfathered-in polluters – exempting the worst of them from action.

But the Chinese government is tough. All those years of delays are over. After September 30 these 2,087 biggest polluters will be unable to get bank loans, export credits, business licenses or land. And if necessary, the government will simply switch off their power.

Image: Think or Thwim
Susan Kraemer@Twitter

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Thursday, July 8

May

First US EV Fast Charger Gets Installed in… Vacaville!
Lake Erie Non Profit LEEDCo Wins GE Turbines
ExxonMobil Shareholders Demand Natural Gas Fracking Risk Assessment
House/Senate Jump for Electric Vehicle Legislation in Climate Bill
Inventor Uses Biomimicry to Create Dew
First US State to Codify Law for Carbon Sequestration is Wyoming
Peak Day Pricing Begins for Large Commercial PG&E Customers
Republicans Having Second Thoughts About Dirty Energy

More Wind Farms Mean Cheaper Energy
Gamesa and Cannon Build One of The Largest Wind Farms In North America
Climate Change to Rob Your Grandchildren of Nutrients in Pies, Bread, Pizza or Spaghetti
53 Megawatt Ice Energy Storage Project Begins In Glendale, California
DOE Finalizes Environmental Review for Abengoa Solana Project in Arizona
Massive Offshore Waves Sink Australia’s Oceanlinx Wavepower Pilot
We’re No. 11! USA! USA! USA!
Tesla and Toyota to Collaborate on Building the Affordable Electric Car
The Key Votes We Need to Pass the Climate Bill
Border Dispute between Arizona and California Could Shut Down Power to LA
Top Utilities Added 66% More Solar in 2009
Why AB32 Goes After the Cement Industry
Oklahoma Sets a Renewable Energy Standard!
Coal Plant Troubles Free Up Proposed Transmission for South Dakota Wind
French Policy Expert to Advise California on Feed-in Tariff Design
1 in 5 to Take Foot off Gas After Gulf Gusher
Clever Photosynthetic Breathing Building “Skin” to Cut Need for Energy
Humans Won’t Survive on Half of Earth by 2300
Why California Has Nearly Quadrupled Solar Installations Since Last Year
California’s Early Actors on Clean Energy to Benefit Under Today’s Unveiled Fed Climate Bill
Bleeding Gulf Appears Unquenchable in Leaked Video
What Really Matters in Climate Policy
Unlikely California Electricity Hog Could Green the Grid in November
Mapping the Scale of the Oil Gushing From the Gulf Coast Ocean FloorListening to Rush Raises Your Utility Bills
Solé Power Tile to be CEC-Approved For California Roofs
Reagan’s Shultz Protecting California’s Clean Energy Law From Texas Oil Companies
Is BP’s Spill Like The ‘69 Santa Barbara Spill? Read more...

Wednesday, May 26

April

1 California Utilities Grab Out-of-State Wind in Scramble to Meet 2010 Requirement

2 Xcel Energy Cuts Colorado Coal Use by 30%

3 Morocco to Solar-Power Nearly Half its Kingdom

4 Calfinders Referrals for Independent Solar Contractors Hits 10 Thousand

5 Foreign Wars Turn Red-State Vets Green

6 John Deere Takes Hit for Support for Farming

7 Improbable Senate Alliance Could Create an American Waste Biomass Energy Industry

8 Carbon Caps Would Cost Iran $100 Million a Day

9 Could Huge Solar Blimps Haul Cargo Fast and Clean at 30,000 Feet?

10 Ship Shortage Could Slow Wind Power

11 1As Icecaps Melt, More Volcanic Activity in Our Future, Say Scientists

12 3M Competes to Make Solar Thermal Cheaper With a Thin Film

13 Texas Oil Companies Double Spending to Make California Voters Kill Their Climate Bill

14 Oil Industry Uses PBS Nova to Scare Voters About the “Risk” of Clean Energy

15 How Southern Company Keeps Solar Competition Out of Georgia

16 Poll and Glass of Water Show it is the Chinese Who Live in the Land of the Free, Not Americans

17 Planet Needs, Gets New Name: Eaarth

18 Republican Who Gets It on Clean Energy Could Derail Humanity’s Future

19 31 Major Environmental Groups Urge Senate to Finish Climate Bill

20 Majority Leader Reid Reveals Energy Bill is Next

21 Greenpeace, 350.Org Endanger Climate Bill

22 Neighbor to Neighbor Car Rentals

23 Obama Administration Approves First Ever Off-Shore Wind Farm for USA

24 Oil Disaster Could Clean Up Climate Bill

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Friday, February 19

Senator Inhofe Gets DOE Funds to Change his Mind

Recovery Act stimulus funding for a technology that will make geothermal power available in every state is being invested in Senator Inhofe’s Oklahoma by the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program, in a $3 million R&D program to increase the volume of hot rock from which heat can be extracted.

Solutions will be found to:
1. Reduce costs for drilling and well completion and
2. Increase the volume of hot rock from which heat can be extracted.

The Recovery Act stimulus funds is providing $2,399,999 to the Oklahoma project, and a company from out of state; Impact Technologies will put up the other $600,000 of the funding, and a patent-pending system for drilling and completing micro-holes into deep 300°C geothermal reservoir rocks..

The idea is to develop a cost-effective micro-hole drilling optimized to maximize the efficiency of fluid circulation and heat removal for Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), which is a form of deep geothermal that is just being developed. They will test and fine tune the company’s patent-pending technology to solve the technical problems of EGS.

Why invest the stimulus funds in Oklahoma? Because solving these two problems makes EGS a 50 state solution for renewable energy. EGS holds the promise of being available everywhere, even in states that have been led to fear that they have no renewable resources.

Demonstrating that they do have resources, and that they can be a part of the new renewable energy economy is key to getting Senate support for renewable energy legislation that is crucial to saving the world from a climate catastrophe that is completely unprecedented in at least 200,000 years of human history.

Technology is only half the obstacle. The other half is the fear and resistance by those with no experience in renewable energies, who fear that without fossil fuels, the US would have no energy supplies.

If Oklahoma could make cheap renewable electricity, we might be able to continue world civilization a few more centuries, rather than succumb to a new dark ages.

For that reason, investing in Oklahoma, the home of Senator Inhofe, the leader of the anti renewable energy forces in the Senate, will help to reduce the fear and hatred of change. Thus, the Oklahoma effort is as much an education program for Senator Inhofe, as it is a R&D program to solve a few mere technical issues.

The choice of a geothermal project rather than a solar or wind project is some clever strategery on the part of the Obama administration. That’s because Senator Inhofe once showed a glimmering of support for geothermal ground heat exchange pumps that reduce home electricity use, renewably. Not to the extent of actually voting for the final bill (homeowners installing geothermal heat exchange systems also qualify for the 30% tax credit like home solar and wind), but at least issuing press releases in support of it.

To help with the education effort is the Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Rock Mechanics & Explosives Research Laboratory, Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Inhofe’s opinion of the Recovery Act stimulus that will provide the funds was that “We need to stop the job killing agenda.

Image: Flikr user gamene
Source: EERE

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Saturday, October 17

How Fort Irwin Just Signed The Largest Solar Farm in Dept of Defense History: 1,000 MW


In a win-wIn move for the US Army and the USA, a mutually beneficial financing arrangement was signed this week between the US Army and a new partnership (”Irwin Energy Security Partners LLC”) comprising Clark Energy Group and multinational solar power giant Acciona. By using Enhanced Use Leasing they can now not only finance the solar project for Fort Irwin, but double the size to 1,000 megawatts.

The solution they came to this week provides a model for how to get around the difficulties encountered by utility scale solar companies in getting past NIMBY opposition and other roadblocks to developing big solar in the desert.

Read more at cleantechnica.... Read more...

60% of US States Could Supply 100% of Their Own Power From Renewable Energy, New Rules Project Shows

Using just the resources that are currently commercially deployable; 31 of our 51 states, or 60% of US states could get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources in-state, and another 14 percent could generate 75 percent of their electricity in-state, according to a paper published by New Rules Project that focuses on the potential for local production.

In some ways, very local; which actually makes this a conservative estimate. For example:



Solar. The New Rules Project study looked only rooftop solar potential, and not the obviously far larger utility-scale solar potential as the idea was to see what could be done with existing resources only in each state, and not adding transmission lines.

(Strangely; the authors inexplicably omit waste biomass or waste fueled electricity, like from landfill gas, cow power and sewage sludge as sources for producing electricity, that has tremendous potential. There is no peak poop, after all. )

But it still has a wealth of detailed data (2007), well presented in these graphs showing the relative resource for each state for

Pg 2 Wind
Pg 3 Off-shore Wind
Pg 4 Micro Hydro
Pg 5 Combined Heat & Power
Pg 6 Geothermal
Pg 7 EGS
Pg 8 Negawatts
Pg 9 Transmission Potential (my notes)
Pg 10 Relative Costs

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Monday, June 8

Bugs Will Fly You to Europe By 2030 Says Boeing












September 2008:
Bugs won't be piloting the plane, obviously, because bugs can't get pilot licenses. I hope I didn't give you that impression. But they will be fueling it. Microbes will be fueling aircraft, says Boeing and algae will be the dominant aircraft fuel by 2023.

Darrin Morgan, who handles Boeing's biofuels strategy says Boeing has now established feasibility, and commercial production will soon begin. Boeing conducted the first commercial aviation non-algae biodiesel test flight in February with Virgin Atlantic and GE Aviation, and they now plan the first algae-based biodiesel flight from Auckland to San Francisco this month.

Before you say that this is just green-washing, let me tell you that Europe won't even let our planes land after 2012 if they can't meet the kind of emissions standards that can be devised by lobbyist-free government, such as they are blessed with in all those other countries.

Oh, wait, I see that that harsh rule has been modified recently, after airline industry howls of protest. Now they must just pay a little more to pollute, but they can at least land. Thank goodness for lobbies. But meeting these low CO2 requirements as hardly hurt Boeing sales, and their fuel efficent Dreamliner has even caused runups in worldwide carbonfiber prices.

New Zealand has set a similar standard to the EU requirement: new regulations increasing biofuel use by 2012. The prime minister there has committed to getting New Zealand 90% renewably powered by 2020 - she has made it to seventy percent so far - and that means planes will have to meet those standards too, when they refuel in those nations. So as you can imagine, the New Zealand startup Aquaflow supplying the bugs fueling Boeing's test flight, announced in March that they are gearing up for major production.

Even tiny Island nations like New Zealand could supply behemoths like Boeing all the algae they need to get us to Europe. That's because, with the exponential doubling growth rate of microbes, algae does not need a lot of space to manufacture enough algae to power our planes.

If we keep siphoning it off, of course. Which, no doubt we will.

Photo: algae tanks at Arizona's Greenfuel Technologies

For Matternetwork
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Wednesday, May 6

Ancient Tiles to Solar Power Your Home

solepowertile1
These gorgeous Solé Power Tiles are designed to capture and convert sunlight into cost-saving electricity without compromising aesthetics. They incorporate UNI-SOLAR thinfilm flexible solar cells shaped into exaggerated traditional clay tile shapes.

The flexible “triple-junction” solar cells absorb a comparatively broader range of the sun’s rays than conventional modules, allowing them to generate electricity for a longer period of time each day. They "wake up earlier and stay up later", than other solar cell devices.

They are actually pretty effective, too:--
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