Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.


  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Way To Grow EVs
  • QUICK NEWS, April 25: Private Sector Takes Over The Climate Fight; How Sea Level Rise Would Change The Map; Wind Jobs Top 100,000 As Wind Energy Booms

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Risk Of Natural Gas Vs. The Risk Of Wind
  • QUICK NEWS, April 24: The Health Impacts Of Climate Change; New Energy Is Everywhere; Study Shows LA Does Not Need Aliso Canyon

  • Weekend Video: How To Win Friends For New Energy
  • Weekend Video: The Electric Vehicle Highway
  • Weekend Video: Wind And The Economy

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-A Deeper Look At The Heat
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Wind Gets Market Tough
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-UK Gets Utility-Led Solar Plus Storage
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Germany’s VW Talking Its EV To China


  • TTTA Thursday-U.S. Military Affirms Climate Change-War Link
  • TTTA Thursday-Solar Plus Hydro Drive Wholesale Power Cost Sub-Zero
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind Boom Goes On Growing Midwest Wealth
  • TTTA Thursday-More Kentucky Jobs In New Energy Than In Coal

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Rocky Mountain compromise: Inside Xcel's landmark Colorado solar settlement
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Fixed charge battle looms in Texas as regulators tackle rate design reform
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: No time to think: How utilities are handling the deluge of grid data



    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews


    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns


    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart




      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, April 26:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Mixed-ownership models spur utility investment in microgrids
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How the wind industry can continue its boom into the 2020s
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Rhode Island targets a common perspective on DER values

    Friday, September 21, 2007


    It's not science fiction, it's Scientific American.

    Sunny Outlook: Can Sunshine Provide All U.S. Electricity? Large amounts of solar-thermal electric supply may become a reality if steam storage technology works – and new transmission infrastructure is built
    David Biello, September 19, 2007 (Scientific American)

    French physicist Augustin Fresnel; Ausra (David Mills, CSO; John O'Donnell, VP); Mark Mehos, concentrating solar power program manager, and Nate Blair, senior analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

    Schematic of a solar thermal system: oil, being heated, runs in the tube to heat water in a steam generator. (click to enlarge)

    Fresnel’s reflecting and concentrating concept is being incorporated into potent concentrating solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems which hold the promise of capturing the immense solar resource rendered daily. The light is captured by parabolic mirrors which focus its power narrowly, concentrate it on super efficient photovoltaics or heat oil which transfers its heat to water, turning it to steam to power a generator or be stored. The designers also have plans for storage and transmission of the electricity generated.

    The ideas were presented September 19 in a paper for the Solar Energy Society World Congress in Beijing.

    Some German versions of the concept. (click to enlarge)

    - Ausra is based in Palo Alto, CA. NREL is in Golden, Colo.
    - Varieties of compact linear Fresnel reflector systems (CLFRSs) are now in use in California’s Mojave Desert and in the Nevada desert south of Las Vegas.

    - Ausura projects an electricity cost of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, competitive with natural gas generating plants.
    - The CLFRS develops temperatures of 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees C).
    - The Ausura/Mills CLFRS design covers the ground more efficiently less wight and more durability. It works at 535 degrees F (280 degrees C) and higher pressure (50 bars, or 50 times atmospheric pressure) and the steam turns the same low-temperature turbines as ones turned by nuclear reactors. But it has not been proven on a commercial scale yet.
    - Ausura also has a (still unproven) concept for storing the steam under pressure. IF AND WHEN it is proven, it could reduce the cost of electricity from solar to 8 cents/kilowatt hour. One thing that makes the storage concept seem more practical is that they plan to store heat as steam under pressure, which is widely thought to be more practical than trying to store electricity in a battery.
    - If the storage concept proves out, the ability to generate enough electricity to serve large states or the entire country become within reach, even if vehicular transportation goes electric and becomes grid dependent.
    - Transmission is not considered a problem. Mills/Ausra assert that transmission lines are available and grid control mechanisms to manage the intermittency of wind energy already exist so it would remain only to build out capacity.

    - Mills, Ausra: "Within 18 months, with storage, we will not only reduce [the] cost of [solar-thermal] electricity but also satisfy the requirements for a modern society…Supplying [electricity] 24 hours a day and effectively replacing the function of coal or gas…We would be able to build these in Florida in the hurricane zone."
    - O’Donnell, Ausra: "We're moving from 80- to 100-megawatt designs to 700 megawatts and above…"

    A hypothetical solar thermal power plant with storage potential, capable of putting electricity into the grid and sending it wherever electricity can go. The clouds are emission-free steam. The only fuel needed is imported from the sky. (click to enlarge)

    - Mehos, NREL: "The issue of the linear Fresnel concept is proof of performance of a large system, not just a prototype system in the field…[Ausura and other companies] are making large claims without testing in the field."
    - Mills, Ausra: "The maximum you can get into the grid is about 25 percent from solar…once you have storage, it changes from this niche thing to something that could be the big gorilla on the grid equivalent to coal."
    - Blair, NREL: "To do it in the East would drive up the cost because the solar resource isn't as good…Or you could build some kind of massive transmission system to try and get that power up to the East."
    - O’Donnell, Ausra: "There's no new technology on the transmission side, there are megavolt transmission lines around the world today…It is the cost of building electricity transmission compared to the cost and liability of nuclear waste disposal or cost and liability of long-term carbon sequestration….We have the ability to transition to a zero-carbon electricity future without moving the electricity price around…That hasn't been part of anybody's conventional wisdom."


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