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

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.


  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Big Bonus From Plugging Cars In
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: What About Nuclear?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Renewables Mandate To Beat The Peak

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Global New Energy Now
  • QUICK NEWS, June 20: What Power Mix Will Beat Climate Change (Part 1)?; What Power Mix Will Beat Climate Change (Part 2)?; New Energy Is NO Threat To U.S, Grid

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Why The U.S. Needs A Western Energy Market
  • QUICK NEWS, June 19: More Artists Join The Climate Fight; U.S. Power Just Hit 10% Wind And Solar; The Dangers Of Oil And Gas Drilling, Detailed

  • Weekend Video: Bill Maher Talks Jobs In Coal And The Real Problem
  • Weekend Video: A Farmer Defends WindPower
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  • TTTA Thursday-Climate Change Stops Climate Study
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  • TTTA Thursday-Drinking Water From The Sun
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  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Wind And Solar Sidestep Politics
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  • --------------------------


    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


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  • ---------------

  • What Does Exxon’s Carbon Tax Mean?
  • The Rump Flails Factlessly At Wind
  • New Energy To Get Bigger And Cheaper
  • EVs To Be Cost-Competitive By 2025

    Monday, February 04, 2008


    While the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) just backed out of a “clean” coal pilot project, it is moving forward on R&D of cellulosic ethanol production. It is funding 6 biorefinery plants around the country and research projects into swtichgrass and biomass efficiency. Its goal is to produce 130 million gallons of biomass ethanol yearly.

    It has widely been claimed that switchgrass-derived ethanol has a positive EROEI while corn-derived ethanol’s EROEI is at best very low and likely negative. EROEI is “Energy Returned on Energy Invested.” The higher the EROEI, the better the raw material for fuel production. In the heyday of oil production, its EROEI was 100 or more (100 units of energy for every 1 expended in production). Oil now is down around 10 or less.
    (Much more on this is available at The Oil Drum)

    This study validates the switchgrass side of the equation but, due to limitations of refining technology, the switchgrass only matched but did not surpass corn ethanol.

    The study found switch grass had 93% more biomass per acre and net energy yield than had been found in a previous Minnesota study. Switchgrass and other perennial bioenergy crops therefore require less land. They also require less water.

    The study, done on marginal farm fields rather than developed farmland, showed switchgrass producing 300 gallons of ethanol/acre. Corn on developed farmland produces 350 gallons/acre (in the 3 states where the study was done). The researchers therefore presently recommend switchgrass only for marginal lands and corn for developed farmlands.

    The 3 major sources of ethanol currently under development. (From a lecture presentation by CalTech's Prof. Arnold - click to enlarge)

    Study reports major net energy gain from switchgrass-based ethanol
    January 18, 2008 (Tri-State Neighbor/S.Dakota Farm Newspaper)

    Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) (Ken Vogel, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Research Service(ARS)/UNL agronomy and horticulture department geneticist; Richard Perrin, UNL agricultural economist; Marty Schmer, USDA-ARS agricultural science research technician/UNL doctoral student; Robert Mitchell, USDA-ARS/UNL agronomist)

    New research calculations has switchgrass ethanol producing 540% more energy than is used in growing, harvesting and processing it.

    The new study moves switchgrass up a notch. (click to enlarge)

    - The study was conducted over 5 years.
    - Reported in January 7-11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The study was done on 10 15 to 20 acre marginal farm fields in 3 states (Nebraska – 4 near Atkinson, Crofton, Lawrence and Douglas; South Dakota – 4 near Highmore, Bristol, Huron and Ethan; North Dakota – 2 near Streeter and Munich)

    Switchgrass is one of many natural grasses that need to be studied. (click to enlarge)

    - This is the largest study to date on net energy output, greenhouse gas emissions, biomass yields, agricultural inputs and estimated cellulosic ethanol production from switchgrass grown and managed for biomass fuel.
    - This was considered a “base-line” study. Larger yields are expected from future studies.
    - Future research will be into how to better manage crops to improve yields.
    - Biorefinery technology is presently being developed to break corn, switchgrass and other biomass down to sugars that can be used to make fuels.
    - The researchers believe cellulosic substances from switchgrass to waste biomass could generate up to 30% of U.S. liquid fuel needs.

    Switchgrass is an energy source superior to corn from its roots up. (click to enlarge)

    - Vogel, USDA/UNL: “This clearly demonstrates that switchgrass is not only energy efficient, but can be used in a renewable biofuel economy to reduce reliance of fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance rural economies…”
    - Vogel, USDA/UNL: “…caution should be used in making direct ethanol yield comparisons with cellulosic sources and corn grains because corn grain conversion technology is mature, whereas cellulosic conversion efficiency technology is based on an estimated value…”
    - Vogel, USDA/UNL: “UNL and the USDA-ARS have been pioneers in switchgrass research since the 1930s, domesticating it as a pasture grass…”


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