NewEnergyNews: NEW ENERGY INSIGHT FROM CARBON ALLEY GURU

NewEnergyNews

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

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: ARE NATURAL GAS AND RENEWABLES THE FUTURE OF TEXAS' POWER GRID?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: COULD FERC PUT A PRICE ON CARBON?
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN GEOTHERMAL REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS IN THE WEST?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT THE E3 STUDY OF NEVADA NET ENERGY METERING REALLY SAYS
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE ROLE OF RENEWABLES IN THE NEW EPA EMISSIONS RULE
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: SMART INVERTERS: THE SECRET TO INTEGRATING DISTRIBUTED ENERGY ONTO THE GRID?
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    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

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    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

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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  • Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    NEW ENERGY INSIGHT FROM CARBON ALLEY GURU

    Nobel laureate physicist Steven Chu’s advice to young scientists: “The single most important problem science and technology has to solve is this energy issue. Getting carbon-neutral energy in a cost-effective way, it's really scary.”

    Energy Goes High-Tech
    Josh Wolfe, October 18, 2007 (Forbes)

    WHO
    1997 Nobel physics laureate Dr. Stephen Chu, director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and professor of physics & molecular/cellular biology, University of California at Berkeley (UCB)

    Nobel laureate Dr. Steven Chu calls the energy issue "the most important problem science and technology has to solve..."

    WHAT
    Dr. Chu offers his insights on where New Energy is and where it is going.

    WHEN
    On energy efficiency: 1975 to 2005 California’s per capita energy consumption went up 10% while its GDP grew 90%. In the same time period the US per capita energy consumption grew 60% because the rest of the US did not stress efficiency and perhaps missed out on growth opportunities as well.

    WHERE
    Carbon Alley is the nickname being used to describe a corridor of New Energy innovation and expansion currently developing around the UCB campus analogous to the Silicon Valley expansion around Stanford in the 1990s.

    In every area of New Energy research is driving cost down. (click to enlarge)

    WHY
    - Chu sees energy and environmental concerns affecting 3 major considerations: (1) energy dependency is reshaping world politics, (2) energy security is affecting nations’ competitiveness and (3) companies that confront these questions (he mentions Goldman Sachs) are becoming more economically successful.
    - On controlling emissions, Chu says if the world cannot keep the temperature from rising 2 degrees, it will reach a tipping point unleashing major changes. Greenland would melt and Bangladesh, New Orleans and part of Florida would be submerged.
    - On solar energy, Chu sees the major breakthroughs coming from nanotechnology. Improving the costs 2-3 times would get every big business to use solar; improving it 3-4 times would make it practical for homes. He does not expect these breakthroughs in 2007-08.
    - On biofuel development, Chu says the major work is in finding ways to get lignin separated from sugars in crop materials without using acids that cause nitrate problems and without depending on scarce water resources.
    - Chu asserts that the $2 trillion energy industry must spend at least a fraction as much on R & D as tech companies. Just 1%, $20 billion, spent on nanotech solar and transmission technologies would create the breakthroughs necessary to keep the world’s temperature rise below the catastrophic 2 degrees.
    - Chu sees nuclear fusion, nuclear fuel recycling and after burning carbon sequestration in coal plants as long term research subjects.

    In the very important area of water consumption for energy generation that Dr. Chu raises, renewables perform well. (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    - Chu: “…cleaning up the environment weighs very heavily on my mind. The earth is warming up faster than we thought, and the ice caps are melting faster than we thought…”
    - Chu: “…nearly all of our work [at LBNL] in photovoltaics is on new applications of nanotechnology. And as you look at emerging approaches like using biology to assemble or pattern nanostructures, because this area is moving so rapidly, the probability of having a big breakthrough is much higher than just trying to get silicon on a thin-film…”
    - Chu: “…wind doesn't need more research; you just need mechanism for long-distance transmission lines…”

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