- Oil peak panic - trillion$... no answer
- Afghanistan - billion$... no answer
- Solar across America - dead after billion$ of Carter ERA cash
- Fusion Since 50's trillions... no answer
- Iran - Billions... no answer
- Korea - Billions... no answer
- Preventing market, debt, credit crashes of the 80's - trillions... no answer
- Nuclear waste - billion$... no answer
- Now Three Mile Island ???
Feb 26, 2009
Feb 24, 2009
For eight years politics have kept geothermal power under funded and hidden from view in the US. Meanwhile, in California geothermal power has quietly grown to where in 2007 it produced 2.3 times as many killowatt hours as wind and 23 times as many as solar power! Since geothermal plants produce power continuously, a megawatt plant produces as many kilowatt-hours as 3 MW of wind or 5 MW of solar power.
Now that California has shown the way, many other western states are drilling geothermal wells at a rapid pace. But until recently federal support was totally lacking. The Senate has been a big stumbling block with many states in the pocket of coal and oil interests. Also, Eastern states feel left out because drilling expense is much higher there because the hot rocks are deeper. With better drilling technology Enhanced Geothermal Systems can work virtually anywhere.
Google just invested $10 million in EGS Geothermal, including $4 million to Potter Drilling who have a new technique that can drill hard rock five times faster. Drilling costs currently grow exponentially with depth because drill bits must be periodically brought to the surface to be replaced. Drilling technology development has been driven by the needs of the oil industry, which uses smaller bore wells, often in soft sedimentary rock.
We have already drilled a lot of holes to pump oil out of the earth. In Texas alone they have drilled over 600,000! Many of those wells are so deep that the oil comes up hot enough to be useful for power generation. Water flooding is used in many of the wells to push oil out from cracks in the rocks. In the Gulf States alone over fifty billion barrels of hot water a day are produced this way. This water is considered a nuisance because it must be separated from the oil and disposed of or reinjected. Much of this water is hot enough that it could be used to generate electricity — just like water from a geothermal well. In fact, similar water injection can make geothermal power practical anywhere because there are hot rocks underfoot everywhere on the planet.
The oil and gas industry has made great progress in recent years with drilling technology. There has been a gold rush to retrieve natural gas from shale deposits, which were previously considered uneconomical. They now routinely drill very deep wells that turn horizontal for several thousand feet. They then fracture the rocks all along the horizontal run to let the gas out of the shale. This fracturing of the shale used to take months of work but new techniques allow fracturing five zones in 30 hours. (To see an amazing movie of how this works click on "Excape" here.)
All of these tricks are perfect for EGS geothermal, where you need to run water over a large area of hot rocks deep underground to extract the heat. Rocks aren’t very good conductors, so if you want to pull a lot of energy out of them you must do it over a large area or they will just cool down. The moving water moves the heat like a conveyor belt up to a turbine above ground.
To generate significant amounts of geothermal power we will have to extract heat from a very large area. This means an incredibly large number of holes will have to be drilled — many more than the 600,000 oil wells in Texas. Oil carries much more energy than hot water: In a typical oil-fired power plant, one gallon of oil can generate about 40 kilowatt-hours. It takes about 350 gallons of 350° F water to generate the same amount in a geothermal plant. Clearly, we will need to drill a lot more holes it we’re going to power the world with geothermal power instead of oil.
If we can learn to drill larger boreholes and run them horizontally with fracturing we may be able to draw heat from a large area of hot rocks with much fewer holes. This would be a major breakthrough, building on the innovations already developed for extracting gas from shale. Some of these deep, hot shale deposits are in coal country: The Marcellus shale in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York could provide clean geothermal power without having to ruin the countryside. Politically, this could be very important, as the coal states have often blocked green energy legislation.
There are also high heat flow areas in other states such as Illinois and New Hamshire. The Haynesville shale in Texas and Louisiana is very deep with bottomhole temperatures averaging over 300° F. Even North and South Dakota have hot aquifers that may be usable for geothermal power. The problem is that because of political deadlock we haven’t even been looking for geothermal resources outside of California until recently. Germany and Australia started looking a few years ago and have found rich resources. We need to get our oil and gas exploration companies busy working on geothermal. They don’t do it now because the billions in subsidies that apply to oil and gas don’t apply to geothermal development. We desperately need new laws that will level the playing field and recognize the staggering hidden costs of fossil fuels.
Please read full by jcwinnie
Feb 23, 2009
100's of studies from our government, leading universities and organizations have documented that a future built on 'current' nuclear technologies is a economic, ecological and sustainable nightmare. Other than 'fear and greed marketing propaganda', why else would MSN 'pick' this to be a headline story? Summary from:www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29258035
The should really 'read up more' on the subject before making three more decades of mistakes... DOE, MIT, Haase - Are we wrong or is it 'special interest propaganda'?
Feb 20, 2009
From David Schaller - A Japanese Town of 8,000 Generates 161% of Energy Needs From Renewables. The Japanese town of Kuzumaki, population 8,000, has over the past decade transformed itself into a model of energy self-sufficiency no longer dependent on oil. With 21 MW of wind turbines on nearby hills, photovoltaic panels on school roofs, dairy cows producing biomass waste for energy conversion, and wood pellets for heating stoves, the town now generates 161% of its annual electricity demand. The town sells the surplus to neighboring communities via the grid. Read more from Time Magazine
In 2006, EPA significantly raised the threshold for detailed reporting on toxic pollution. The threshold went from 500 pounds to 5,000 pounds with an additional requirement that only 2,000 pounds of that pollution be released directly to the environment. The new rules also created an unprecedented exemption for reporting low-level disposals of persistent bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs), including lead and mercury, which have been proven to be dangerous in even the smallest quantities. The agency made these changes despite overwhelming opposition from the American people, scientists, academics, public interest groups, and many others.
Currently, New York and twelve other states are suing the EPA to restore the old reporting thresholds. OMB Watch and U.S. PIRG are gathering signatures on a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. In the letter, we urge Administrator Jackson to take the necessary steps to settle the TRI lawsuit and restore the TRI program.
With a new administration settling into the White House and a new administrator taking charge at EPA, we now have an excellent opportunity to restore and improve the TRI program. The more voices we have calling for this move, the better our chances of quickly restoring the public's right to know.
Please take a moment to add your name or your organization to the letter.
Feb 19, 2009
Dandelions are beautiful.
Nature is wild and wonderful.
You can make practical yard care choices that won't harm people, pets, plants, wildlife and our natural resources.
plan for a greater harmony with your natural surroundings
be conservative and resourceful rather than wasteful
Find out more at yardscaping.org
Scottish Power Renewables last Friday released data showing that it had doubled its installed base of renewable power, from 382 MW to 665 MW in 2008. Renewable power generation more than doubled, rising 118% to 1,227 Gwh year-to-year.
The company erected more than 100 turbines at the Whitelee wind farm project near Glasgow and expects to have another 38 up and running this summer. If a second, recently filed expansion is approved by the Scottish government what's already the largest wind farm project in Europe will grow to include 221 turbines with a rated capacity of 614 MW, some 55,800 MW more than is required to supply all of Glasgow's 340,000 households, according to the company.
Following close on the heels of that announcement, management announced that it had been granted an “exclusivity agreement” by the Crown Estate to assess the potential for an offshore wind farm to be built west of Argyll and the island of Tiree. The site's potential wind power resources have been estimated to be anywhere from 500 MW to 1,800 MW, enough to run the lights, appliances and electrical equipment at 270,000 to 1,000,000 homes, according to a news report.
“Offshore wind power has massive potential, and the UK Government has already outlined ambitions to generate up to 33,000 MW of power off the UK coastline,” ScottishPower Renewables' director Keith Anderson said. "Scotland has the best onshore wind resources in Europe, and now it is taking its first steps towards harnessing its offshore potential, which will play a major role in helping to achieve renewable energy targets.”
Scottish Power Renewables was one of nine companies selected by the Scottish Crown Estate to assess and develop 10 offshore wind power projects. It's estimated that these could generate as much as 6 gigawatts of electrical power.
Overall, the Scottish government has set an interim target of renewable sources accounting for 31% of total electricity demand by 2011 and 50% by 2020.
Read more by Andrew Burger on Triplepundit
Spain's Iberdrola is well set to take advantage of the renewable energy and clean technology incentives and support included in the US's latest economic stimulus package. It's already the second-largest operator of wind farms in the States. More than 40% of the projects it's looking to develop are located here. PPM Energy, its US energy subsidiary, commissioned the 223.6-megawatt Klondike III wind farm Oregon this past March. Another five wind farms capable of generating as much as 460-megawatts of electrical power came on-line in December alone.
Iberdrola invested 3,803 billion euros in renewable power projects last year, increasing installed capacity by 2,204 megawatts to 9,302 MW. Net profits more than tripled to 390.2 million euros. What's more, the company's producing assets are throwing off a healthy, positive cash flow—earnings before interest and taxes rose 104.5% to 709.6 million euros. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA doubled to 1,185 billion euros. With a debt ratio of 22.4%, the company is keeping its balance sheet healthy and its financing powder dry during the most uncertain and problematic financial times seen since the Great Depression.
Iberdrola can boast of the renewable power industry's largest installed base and project pipeline. With renewable power plants now up and running in 23 countries, power generation increased 71.1% to 17,000 gigawatt-hours last year, avoiding 7.5 million metric tons worth of carbon dioxide emissions, according to company calculations.
Kicking off 2009, it anticipates commissioning initial capacity at the Whitelee wind farm in Scotland—expected to be the largest in Europe—a solar thermal plant in Puertollano, and a biomass plant in Corduentes (Guadalajara).
Management's increasingly looking at the US, other EU and overseas markets as growth engines. Forty-one percent of projects in its pipeline are in the US, 24.6% are in Spain, 9.6% are in the UK with the remaining 24.7% spread out around the rest of the world.
Read more by Andrew Burger on Triplepundit
Feb 18, 2009
Sperling also claimed that we'd need "tens of billions" of dollars in government aid to make the large-scale shift to plug-ins and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Stewart, for his part, said that the automakers represent the past, and he wondered why we don't just let them fiddle with the deck chairs while others get fuel cell and electric vehicles on the road. Watch the full interview at The Daily Show
The world will never be able to produce more than 89m barrels a day of oil, the head of Europe’s third largest energy group has warned, citing high costs in areas such as Canada and political restrictions in countries like Iran and Iraq.
Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total, the French oil and gas company, said he had revised his forecast for 2015 oil production downward by at least 4m barrels a day because of the current economic crisis and the collapse in oil prices.
He noted that national oil companies, which control the vast majority of the world’s oil, and independent producers, which play a key role in finding new sources, were “substantially limited in their ability to fund investments in the current [financial] environment”.
Oil prices have fallen from a record $147 a barrel in July to about $35 a barrel on Monday, with the world consuming 84m barrels of oil a day. This year oil consumption is expected to fall from 2008 levels.
Meanwhile, Mr de Margerie now expects a faster decline in production at older fields, such as those in the North Sea. At lower price levels, companies will find it harder to justify the greater cost of keeping such fields pumping.
Feb 17, 2009
Last month the DOE released its 2008 Annual Progress Report for the Energy Storage Research and Development Vehicle Technologies Program. This report is a frank and relatively upbeat assessment of the current status of Li-ion battery research and development that also provides a stark wake-up call for investors in energy storage stocks.
The reality check has been done and the DOE’s verdict is clear: Lithium-ion batteries are not ready for prime time.
And like all the Billions thrown into fleeting bad vehicle ideas we have just put $2 billion in loans to manufacture these batteries....
In its description of ongoing research efforts to develop high-power batteries for HEVs, the DOE said: “High-power energy storage devices are among the critical technologies essential for the development and commercialization of HEVs. This effort is focused on overcoming the technical barriers associated with commercialization of high-power batteries, namely:
Cost, Performance, Abuse Tolerance, Life.... ouch.
I’m a simple-minded creature and I believe that little things like costs and benefits matter, particularly in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930s. When the Annual Progress Report from the DOE group responsible for supporting Li-ion battery research and guiding national policy concludes that:
- Li-ion batteries will not be a cost-effective solution for HEVs unless and until somebody finds a way to slash manufacturing costs by 50%; and
- Li-ion batteries will not be a cost-effective solution for PHEVs unless and until somebody finds a way to slash manufacturing costs by 67% to 80%;"
America’s energy problems are too urgent to overlook and its economy is too stressed to invest billions in technologies that may never become cost effective. Our only rational choice is to go to work today with the tools we have and be ready to embrace newer and better tools when they prove to be cost effective.
"Post correction" While it sounds as if I am 'poo, pooing' Li-ion batteries... I would much rather see 40 billion of my tax dollars 'invested' in this area than 'burned by G.M. and other automakers'. The DOE and I have 'optimistic hope' in a viable future with Li-ion batteries, I am not sure we would say the same for G.M.
Only 'investing' in America will bring back America.
Feb 16, 2009
January: Collect last year's fuel, waste, VOC, solvent, raw material consumption and other operating data needed to prepare annual inventories, reports and registrations noted below. Note any changes to the quantities and types of equipment used since the year before last(source).
February: Surface coater annual registrations
February: Automobile refinishers annual registrations
March: Biennial hazardous waste generator reports
March: "Tier II" hazardous chemical inventories
March: Waste recycling reports for commercial businesses
April: Earliest deadline for major air pollution source annual reports to EPA
April: air emissions inventories due
May 1: Annual underground tank precision testing where required (pipes and leak monitoring devices also)
May 1: Begin DEM May-October asphalt plant records
June: Annual US DOT registration fee for anyone offering hazardous materials for transportation
June: Underground Storage Tank Environmental Results Program (ERP) Checklists Due 2005, 2007, 2009, etc.
July: EPA "Form R" Toxic Release Inventories due
July: US EPA polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) annual document logs
Varies: Title V operating fees due (source)
October: Complete May-October DEM asphalt plant records
November: Annual DEM underground storage tank registration renewal and fee (date may vary)
November: Annual nitrogen oxide emissions testing for affected major sources
December(or sooner): Annual hazardous waste generator training
December(or sooner): (or sooner): 3-Year Underground Tank Corrosion Surveys
December(or sooner): Annual OSHA Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) employee training
December(or sooner): Annual DEM tank inspection reports
Varies: Annual Title V Operating Permit compliance certification submittals
Germany's renewable energy companies are a tremendous success story. Roughly 15 percent of the country's electricity comes from solar, wind or biomass facilities, almost 250,000 jobs have been created and the net worth of the business is 35 billion per year. Despite the boom in solar and wind energy, CO2 emissions haven't been reduced by even a single gram. Now, even the Green Party is taking a new look at the issue
Feb 14, 2009
Feb 13, 2009
Archive posts on nuclear subsidies.
New Generation of Nuclear Power Plants More Expensive than ...
Britain Approves Construction of Nuclear Power Reactors, Public ...
Gorbachev Sounds Off on Nuclear vs Renewables
Nuclear Energy - Screwing US Taxpayers Behind The Scenes
Feb 11, 2009
BG , recently announced that their mass-produced electric vehicle the C100 has just been approved by the Department of Transportation! Perfect for commuting and daily urban driving, the sprightly vehicle gets an impressive 60-120 miles per charge and will be available for less than $20,000. (read more from inhabitat)
Status - Not ready for primetime...
From joule-counting energy jars to twittering power monitors we’ve got power meters on the brain as of late, what with the upcoming Greener Gadgets Conference and Design Competition. Proving that great minds really do think alike, we’re excited to hear that Google is getting into the energy-saving act with their recently debuted PowerMeter. The application will collect information from utility meters and energy monitors and provide easy access to energy statistics right from your iGoogle homepage.(more…from Inhabitat)
Feb 10, 2009
Total global emissions have risen by a cumulative 25% since the beginning of the decade. But only a small fraction of those emissions came from North America, Western Europe and OECD economies. In fact, emissions in the most advanced economies of the world have grown by a paltry 5%, one-tenth the 50% increase seen of the developing world. This completey removes the aurguemnt of cap and trade measures being 'the most effective way to control greenhouse gases is through a cap and trade mechanism'.