NewEnergyNews: 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010/


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.



  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The IRA And The New Energy Boom
  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The IRA And the EV Revolution

  • Weekend Video: Coming Ocean Current Collapse Could Up Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: Impacts Of The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current Collapse
  • Weekend Video: More Facts On The AMOC

    WEEKEND VIDEOS, July 15-16:

  • Weekend Video: The Truth About China And The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: Florida Insurance At The Climate Crisis Storm’s Eye
  • Weekend Video: The 9-1-1 On Rooftop Solar

    WEEKEND VIDEOS, July 8-9:

  • Weekend Video: Bill Nye Science Guy On The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: The Changes Causing The Crisis
  • Weekend Video: A “Massive Global Solar Boom” Now

    WEEKEND VIDEOS, July 1-2:

  • The Global New Energy Boom Accelerates
  • Ukraine Faces The Climate Crisis While Fighting To Survive
  • Texas Heat And Politics Of Denial
  • --------------------------


    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



    WEEKEND VIDEOS, June 17-18

  • Fixing The Power System
  • The Energy Storage Solution
  • New Energy Equity With Community Solar
  • Weekend Video: The Way Wind Can Help Win Wars
  • Weekend Video: New Support For Hydropower
  • 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.

  • ---------------
  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, August 24-26:
  • Happy One-Year Birthday, Inflation Reduction Act
  • The Virtual Power Plant Boom, Part 1
  • The Virtual Power Plant Boom, Part 2

    Monday, May 31, 2010

    A Hero Fell Today

    Coming back from WindPower 2010, NewEnergyNews passed some soldiers in fatigues at an airport and went over to thank them for their service. At the “excuse me” they looked up. At “thank you for your service” their faces lit up. Their youth and innocence was so striking. They were kids, clearly thrilled and grateful to be acknowledged for what they were giving to their country. It is an awesome thing, asking such fine young people to go to war. It is a humbling thing to know such fine young people are going to war for the country they believe in. For those that gave, are giving or will give their last full measure of devotion, gratitude is an inadequate word, though the closest one we have. From BrettBoyett via YouTube


    This post explains how a compreshensive assessment of losses in Iraq points the way to saving lives in Afghanistan. It shows ways the military can use New Energy and live without oil. Doing so will cut down on fuel transports and reduce exposure to the devastating roadside explosives that are the biggest cause of deaths in Afghanistan. Living without oil is something the entire nation should be thinking hard about right now and the military can show the way. It is a matter of life and death in war - and in peace. Just ask a Gulf of Mexico fisherman. (November 11, 2009: NEW ENERGY WILL SAVE MILITARY LIVES – STUDY)

    Energy Security – America’s Best Defense; A study of increasing dependence on fossil fuels in wartime, and its contribution to ever higher casualty rates
    November 9, 2009 (Deloitte)
    Pentagon could save lives by cutting fuel use-study
    Andrea Shalal-Esa, November 10, 2009 (Reuters)

    Commanders in Iraq have been saying for several years now that the military's dependence on oil is a crippling weakness that is getting U.S. troops killed.

    Energy Security – America’s Best Defense; A study of increasing dependence on fossil fuels in wartime, and its contribution to ever higher casualty rates, by General Charles F. Wald (USAF Ret) and Tom Captain (Deloitte Vice Chair), documents the 175% increase in fuel consumption by the military in the decades since the Vietnam War, at a rate of 2.6% per year. It demonstrates how implementing New Energy and Energy Efficiency can reduce the numbers of convoys needed to deliver to fuel in battle theaters and other dangerous places and thereby reduce the lives lost and bodies maimed in service to feeding this nation's unnecessary oil addiction.

    A key conclusion of the study is that the effort in Afghanistan could see a 124% increase in U.S. casualties through 2014 if the military does not move to New Energy and Energy Efficiency.

    click to enlarge

    The Deloitte study examined energy use by the military from World War II to the current wars in Middle Asia. The 2.6% increase in consumption per year and 175% increase since the Vietnam War has resulted in the military’s present use of 22 gallons of fuel per day per soldier due to:
    1-increased mechanization of war technology,
    2-increased expeditionary operations using mobility over long distances, and
    3-irregular operations in rugged terrain.

    The military has adopted more efficient internal combustion and jet engines and for its armored vehicles, tanks and planes, as well as nuclear power for aircraft carriers and submarines but the sheer multiplying of vehicle and operation numbers has outstripped the advances in old technologies.

    click to enlarge

    Convoys must often traverse long distances over treacherously hostile IED- and roadside bomb-compromised ground to deliver vital fuel. Only the introduction of methods to reduce dependence on these convoys will prevent casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq from increasing 17.5% per year for a cumulative increase of 124% through 2014.

    But New Energy and Energy Efficiency technologies offer the opportunity to change the game in the military’s favor. The report mentions wind and solar energies, alternative fuels from algae and biomass, the use of battery electric vehicles and experimental concepts such as fission, fusion and fuel cells. Such technologies offer the opportunity not only to save lives but to help move the world to emissions-free energy and improve the economics of the military equation as well.

    click to enlarge

    From statistics on the military’s use of oil, the study moves to the world’s increasing dependence on oil, citing International Energy Agency predictions that world oil use will rise from today’s 85 million barrels per day to 94.4 million barrels per day in 2015 and 106.4 million barrels per day in 2030. This dependence is leading to the exhaustion of economically extractable oil reserves and driving the cost of fuel to unaffordable levels.

    With its consumption of nearly 20 million barrels per day, the U.S. makes itself dependent on countries that are largely “unstable or prone to conflict” and expends enormous reserves of its blood and treasure protecting its supply. As the single biggest user of oil in the U.S., the Department of Defense (DoD) is the most vulnerable of all to the costs. In 2008, DoD spent $16 billion for 120 million barrels of oil, a million barrels every 3 days.

    click to enlarge

    The Air Force uses the most. Weapons and war tools use an ever bigger portion. In 2008, 2.1 million barrels of fuel per month (90 million gallons) went to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Dependence on oil makes the U.S. and the U.S. military vulnerable along a specific set of “lines of communication (LOC)” at a specific set of “chokepoints:”
    1-the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf (the most important chokepoint in the world because it sees 17 million barrels of oil go through every day),
    2-the Strait of Malacca near Indonesia in the Indian Ocean,
    3-the Suez Canal leading from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea,
    4-the Panama Canal connecting the Pacific Ocean, through the Caribbean Sea, to the Atlantic Ocean,
    5-Bab el-Mandeb on the West Coast of Africa, and
    6-the Bosporus/Turkish Straits connecting the Mediterranean to Central Asia and Russia.

    click to enlarge

    2008 costs due to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), enemy attacks, rough weather, traffic accidents and pilferage: 44 trucks, 220,000 gallons of fuel. IEDs caused 43% of U.S. deaths in Iraq from July 2003 to May 2009. For much of the 2005 to 2008 period, IEDs caused more than half of all U.S. deaths in Iraq.

    From 2005 to 2009, IEDs caused 38% of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and the numbers are climbing with the level of activity. In July and August 2009, numbers were 50% higher than all of 2007.

    The military is paying between $2 and $3 per gallon for fuel but when the cost of getting it to in-theater destinations is included, the cost is about $15 per gallon and when the cost of protecting it is included, the cost is about $45 per gallon.

    click to enlarge

    The 2008 Energy Security Strategic Plan from DoD’s Energy Security Task Force set 4 goals:
    1-Maintain/enhance operational effectiveness while cutting total energy demand,
    2-Increase strategic resilience with alternative and assured fuels and energy,
    3-Enhanced operational/business effectiveness with institutional energy policies and solutions in DoD planning and business practices, and
    4-Implement DoD-wide metrics with electric metering by 2012 and natural gas and steam metering by 2016.

    click to enlarge

    The Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on DoD Energy Strategy, subtitled “More Fight – Less Fuel,” made 5 recommendations:
    1-Increase efficiency and use the full fuel cost to make every decision,
    2-Reduce the risk of power interruptions on critical missions and in national infrastructure,
    3-Establish DoD-wide metrics and goals,
    4-Spend on New Energies and Energy Efficiencies at levels matching their high value,
    5-Set policies and incentives to achieve near-term opportunities.

    click to enlarge


    For Mobility
    1-Turbine engine efficiency
    2-UAV and generator efficiency
    3-Vehicle efficiency

    For Facilities
    3-Other New Energies (such as ocean energies)

    click to enlarge

    Alternative fuels, power generation and energy strorage
    1-Synfuels, limited by the 2007 energy law to those with lower greenhouse gas emissions (GhGs) than oil,
    3-algae fuels, especially those that can be refined into jet fuels,
    4-tactical power systems and generators, including hybrid engines,
    5-fuel cell technologies,
    6-nuclear fission technologies, and
    7-batteries and other energy storage technologies.

    click to enlarge

    Using stimulus fund money and other financial resources, DoD has almost $2 billion invested in over 2,300 projects.

    The Deloitte study recommendations, based on opportunities for accelerated deployment:
    1-Common biofuels for aircraft and big engines, including plant and algae biofuels.
    2-Hybrid electric/biofuel engines for ground transport, with built-in multiuse generators.
    3-Solar technologies that are lightweight and durable for permanent and tent-like structures.
    4-Engine/propulsion technologies that require the highest level of innovation.

    click to enlarge

    - Tom Captain, vice chair/Global and U.S. Aerospace & Defense (A&D) leader, Deloitte LLP/report co-author: “It is clear that our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels puts our fighting men and women at risk…We need to find ways to incorporate renewable energy sources to improve conservation and develop new fuels so that our soldiers are as safe as possible.”
    - General Charles Wald (USAF Ret), director/senior advisor to the Aerospace & Defense Industry, Deloitte LLP/ co-author: “If the military can reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, it will help solve the strategic vulnerability that results from having such an oil-intense force…Many people in various sectors of the economy are realizing that energy efficiency, conservation and the use of alternative fuels are not just good for the environment, but good for business as well. In this case, it’s the business of protecting American lives.”

    click to enlarge

    - From the report’s conclusion: “As has been the case throughout history, all of these technologies will be applicable far beyond military use. The entire nation is on course for a new energy future, and the DoD is committed to working with existing and new partners to lead the way…First and foremost, energy security is essential to reduce wartime casualties. With the significant numbers of U.S. soldiers supporting the transport, logistics, and deployment of fossil fuel to the front lines, there is a call to action to reduce dependence on oil in war. Energy security is America’s best defense.”


    Cartoonist Mike Luckovich via Climate Progress

    Sunday, May 30, 2010


    Applied Materials Sees Bright Future in China
    Shai Oster (w/Alex Pevzner), May 28, 2010 (Wall Street Journal)

    "Applied Materials Inc., the world's biggest supplier of machines that make solar panels and computer chips, said China remains a bright spot for the company, even as parts of Europe remain difficult…In a measure of how important China is to the firm, [Mark Pinto, chief technology officer at Applied Materials] relocated to Beijing in January and the company has built its newest research lab in the western Chinese city of Xian.

    "Earlier this month, Applied Materials said it swung to a profit in the second fiscal quarter ended May 2 after revenue doubled when stronger demand for products like cell phones, and personal computers outweighed weakness in the solar panel market…The solar industry has been recovering from a slowdown last year after Spain, one of the world's biggest markets for the alternative energy, abruptly cut generous subsidies it could no longer afford amid the global financial crisis."

    click to enlarge

    "Now, Applied Materials is planning for a big boost for solar power demand in China…[It signed an agreement] to sell equipment to manufacture thin-film solar panels to China's ENN Solar Energy Co. for a new big solar power farm in Inner Mongolia to be built by China Energy Conservation & Environmental Protection Group, a leading state-owned alternative-energy project developer…Applied Materials [also] signed a preliminary agreement to work with China Energy to monitor the performance of the solar panels.

    "Such projects underscore a major shift in China. Until recently, China has moved slowly in developing large solar power farms because government officials worried that they were too expensive. Chinese companies are among the world's biggest suppliers of solar panels, but they have exported most of their products because of a lack of government support for the domestic market, while some markets overseas were booming because of subsidies…[With] government support for wind power means China has the world's biggest installed capacity for wind turbines. Growth is so fast that some 30% of wind power capacity isn't hooked up to the electricity grid and the government has warned that there's overcapacity in turbine manufacturers…"

    "Broadly speaking there are two types of photovoltaic cells: crystalline and thin film. Most Chinese solar panel makers manufacture crystalline panels which use more silicone but tend to be more efficient. The newer technology thin-film panels can perform just as well or better in some conditions but are harder to make. Mr. Pinto said thin-film panels are easier to install in big-scale projects like the huge solar power farms China is planning, while the crystalline models are better for rooftops where space is a premium…

    "…[T]here is the potential for a glut of solar panel makers in China…Despite gloomy projections, sales have remained surprisingly strong in [some] parts of Europe, especially Germany, and continue apace in Japan and California because panel prices have fallen…Analysts say pressure from low cost Chinese manufacturers has helped push down global prices…"


    Huge Potential for British Offshore Energy; A new report on renewable energy estimates that by 2050, Britain could harness wind, tidal, and wave power to generate six times its current energy consumption
    Nick Clark, May 21, 2010 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

    "The offshore renewable energy industry could generate the same amount of electricity a year by 2050 as one billion barrels of oil, using less than a third of the available space…The Offshore Valuation Group (OVG) published a full economic study of the UK's offshore renewable resources for the first time…[It] found that harnessing 29 per cent of the UK's practical wind, wave and tidal resources would match the electricity generated by North Sea oil and gas production. The move would be a huge boost in cutting emissions…

    "The report said harnessing the full potential for offshore renewables would generate enough for the UK to power itself six times over at current levels of demand, making it a net energy exporter to continental Europe…The comparison with the North Sea reserves was important as OVG pointed out that the stock of hydrocarbon reserves is running out….The study estimated that it would cost £443bn to harness 29 per cent of the offshore resources, but that the scheme would generate £62bn in annual exports. Lifting the investment to £993bn – or 76 per cent of available resources – would generate £164bn."

    click to enlarge

    "Currently the lion's share of renewable capacity is allocated to fixed wind turbines, with small amounts allocated to tidal stream and wave power. The study predicts that floating wind turbines have the most potential, possibly being able to generate 1,533 terawatt hours a year; 2,100 terawatt hours would have been enough to power the UK six times over in 2009."

    click to enlarge

    "In 2007, the UK signed up to the EU target to generate 15 per cent of its energy supply from renewables by 2020. The next year the government pushed through the Climate Change Act, which pledged an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050…[The new] report added that the UK's existing electricity generating plants are ageing, with 80 per cent needing to be replaced by 2030. This includes 8.5GW of coal power facing closure in seven years time.

    "…RenewableUK said building offshore was quicker than onshore, [but] there are huge challenges to hit the levels outlined in the report. There are issues of capacity in the industry for the big builds, especially with some of the projects further offshore, at a time when finance is tough to come by…"


    EDP Expects 10% Annual Brazil Growth With New Plants
    Fabiola Moura and Joao Lima (w/Jessica Brice and Stephen Cunningham), May 27, 2010 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

    "EDP-Energias de Portugal SA, the European nation’s largest power company, expects its Brazilian earnings to grow about 10 percent in each of the next three years as it invests in thermal, wind and hydro power projects…The company’s $100 million Tramandai wind farm in the state of Rio Grande do Sul will be finished by the end of this year…

    "Lisbon-based EDP is in a better position than other European utilities to expand in Brazil, where energy projects are more attractive than in the U.S., [EDP Chief Executive Officer Antonio] Mexia said. About 18 percent of EDP’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, come from Brazil, a higher percentage than its rivals in Europe…"

    Plenty of potential (click to enlarge)

    "U.S. projects face “lower demand, a lower price of energy and sluggish regulation,” Mexia said. EDP bought Horizon Wind Energy LLC of Texas from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2007 and says it’s now the world’s third-biggest wind-park operator…U.S. companies added 539 megawatts of wind turbines to the grid in the first quarter, the slowest growth since 2007…

    "EDP on May 20 said it will cut annual investment starting next year to 2.4 billion euros ($2.95 billion) in 2011 and 2012 from 3 billion euros in 2010 as it slows wind energy developments in the U.S. and pays lower prices for wind turbines. EDP forecasts its profit will rise at an average annual rate of 6 percent to 8 percent between 2009 and 2012…The Portuguese government owns 20 percent of EDP and state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos SA holds 5 percent."

    Room for growth (click to enlarge)

    "In Brazil, EDP’s Tramandai project will have the capacity to generate 70 megawatts. EDP also plans medium-sized hydroelectric plants able to produce 150 to 400 megawatts of power…In the long-term, EDP is discussing buying natural gas from companies such as Brazilian state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which would allow the Portuguese utility to build gas-powered plants. The company’s main focus is on generation rather than distribution…

    "EDP forecasts total installed capacity will increase 20 percent to 24.6 gigawatts in 2012, with wind projects and hydropower plants accounting for 66 percent. At the end of the first quarter, it had total installed capacity of 20.7 gigawatts, of which hydropower accounted for 33 percent, wind turbines 27 percent, and gas-fired units 16 percent."


    New Report on the Icelandic geothermal energy market
    2 April 2010 (Islandsbanki)

    "… Íslandsbanki released a new report on the Icelandic geothermal energy market…[that] looks at the energy market in Iceland, the political and legal framework in the country and the investment needs for currently planned geothermal power projects.

    "The report highlights the fact that the aluminium sector represents…more than 75% of all electricity generated in Iceland…Other industrial activities…consume around 11% of all electricity, while general residential use only represents 5%… 25% of the electricity generated in Iceland comes from geothermal power plants, but more importantly around 90% of all homes are heated by geothermal energy. Use of geothermal energy for electricity generation and heating represents about 85% of all geothermal use…"

    click to enlarge

    "According to the report, the geothermal energy market is well advanced and many [privately ownd] companies are servicing the sector, e.g. with engineering, consulting and drilling services…Iceland is also a very active member of the international geothermal energy sector through its research and development abroad…Icelandic companies are also working internationally and their services and expertise is in demand globally…

    "The report also addresses the current political debate on the issue of energy and the utilisation of natural resources…[I]t is clear that energy and energy intensive industries will play a key role in Iceland's efforts to strengthen its economy…[O]wnership and [repsonsible] usage rights for the natural resources…[must be resolved]…"

    click to enlarge

    "A large number of companies in the energy-intensive industrial sector are looking at establishing operations in Iceland. The energy companies are planning a large number of new power plants and extensions to existing installations. Governments and their agencies and organisations have played a major role in research and development…

    "…[T]he risk profile of early stage geothermal explorations and development has always been an obstacle in attracting private money…For all the projects that are currently planned in Iceland, about USD 2,400 million of financing is needed, therefore capital from sources outside the current ownership group is needed for increased development of energy projects in Iceland…Iceland also competes with other countries for financing for geothermal projects. While the nation is competitive in terms of development cost, electricity pricing is considered low."


    Ingeteam Expands its U.S. Footprint with New Wind Facility; Spanish Engineering Firm to Open Manufacturing Plant in Wisconsin
    May 25, 2010 (Ingeteam)

    "…Ingeteam, a Spanish company specializing in highly engineered renewable energy equipment and services, unveiled plans for its new $15 million wind manufacturing facility in Wisconsin. At full capacity, the Milwaukee plant will employee 275 people and supply equipment capable of producing 7,500 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity each year for the U. S. renewable energy market.

    "Ingeteam currently holds between 12-15 percent of the global market share for wind power components and expects to expand its global market share by opening its new plant, which will start production in January 2011. This new facility will strengthen Ingeteam’s current U.S. presence…that provides operations and maintenance services for U.S. wind turbine farms…[and supplies] solar photovoltaic inverters…"

    click to enlarge

    "Slated for completion in December 2010, the 100,000-square-foot production facility and office complex will be located in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley. The factory…will manufacture Indar wind power generators, which currently represent an 11 percent share of the world market and Ingeteam converters and solar power inverters.

    "The Milwaukee plant will produce generators and converters for 1.5 to 5 MW wind turbines and solar power inverters that range from 2.5 kW units for residential use, up to 500 kilowatt (kW) units for utility-scale installations…"

    Artist's rendering of the Milwaukee plant. (click to enlarge)

    "Ingeteam Inc., headquartered in Bilbao, Spain, is a business group specializing in electrical engineering and the development of electronic technology for the energy, industry, marine and railway sectors. Its brands include Ingeteam, Indar, and Pine…[It] is made up of 28 companies with more than 3,500 employees and locations on four continents…In 2009, Ingeteam allocated more than three percent of its total sales revenue to research, development and innovation…"

    [Aitor Sotes, CEO, Ingeteam Inc.:] “We believe the North American market represents a strategic opportunity because of expectations for growth in wind and solar power…[H]aving a U.S. facility will better enable us to serve customers in the U.S. who are already using our equipment on wind farms…We selected Milwaukee for its close proximity to distribution channels, its experienced engineering labor pool and the persuasiveness of the local government officials, who highlighted the virtues of Wisconsin…We look forward to delivering high quality renewable energy components and becoming part of the Milwaukee community.”

    Saturday, May 29, 2010

    24 Miles Of Plaquemines Parish – Dead

    There really is no way to introduce this video. Believe one thing: NewEnergyNews wishes it did not have to report this. From Nesnatae via YouTube

    As The Rotor Turns

    Though it borrows its title from one, this is no soap opera. It’s a love story, and everybody loves a love story, especially a love story with a happy ending. From BLMCALIFORNIA via YouTube.

    Dressed In Black – A Folk Song

    There is a long tradition of folk songs expressing what folks are feeling at crucial moments in history. This guy ain’t Dylan but his song is permeated with the sadness everybody feels about the oil spill and suggests there is a better way. There is. From michaelkernssongs

    Friday, May 28, 2010


    George Bush: Wind Advocate or Blowhard? W gives the keynote at WindPower 2010.
    Herman K. Trabish, May 25, 2010 (Greentech Media)

    "With former president George W. Bush giving the keynote address at WindPower 2010, the curious co-dependence and competition between the wind energy industry and oil & gas has never been more obvious.

    "Today's wind industry faces many challenges, but none is more threatening than the historic low natural gas price and the new shale gas discoveries that suggest gas will continue to beat wind, its only real rival, in winning the limited financing available for new generation. Megawatt for megawatt, new natural gas plants are cheaper to build than wind projects. They can become more expensive because of the cost of fuel, which wind projects do not incur. But not when the cost of natural gas is below $6-to-$7 per MMBTU -- and right now it is hovering around $4 per MMBTU."

    wind and natural gas are competitive. (click to enlarge)

    "Nonetheless, wind is the biggest direct competitor with natural gas to capture the bulk of what money is now being spent to build new electricity generation….[W]hen does crossover occur? President Bush, whose governorship of Texas oversaw the policy advances that grew the Texas wind industry into the nation's foremost, has been thinking about questions like that…One of the anecdotes he will tell, he suggested, is how he saw the opportunity in wind energy in the 1990s…

    "So what will grow wind for the nation? Mr. Bush did not endorse the Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) for which all previous WindPower speakers and the entire wind industry continue to push…New technology, Mr. Bush said, is the way to break the [U.S.] addiction [to oil]…Risking being "a blowhard at a wind convention," the former President listed six things he learned as Texas governor that will grow wind…(1) Good sound law…Allowing entrepreneurs to get a "reasonable return" for investment risks…(3)…[low] taxes…(4) Reasonable permitting…(5) Access to transmission…(6) Giving consumers the option to choose wind energy…"

    Natural gas is a renewable, Mr. President? Really? (click to enlarge)

    "…[The former President ended by envisioning] his grandchildren "…driving electric cars powered primarily by renewable sources of energy, be it natural gas…whether it be nuclear power or whether it be solar and wind energy."

    "So there in Mr. Bush's inimitable words lies the answer: When natural gas becomes a renewable energy, it will certainly eliminate wind from the marketplace but, until that happens, count on wind to sooner or later regain its footing."


    Obama cites Gulf oil spill in alternative energy push
    May 26, 2010 (CNN)

    "President Barack Obama used the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to renew his pitch for alternative energy [during a visit to a solar panel manufacturing facility]…arguing that the unfolding environmental disaster ‘gives you a sense of where we're going’ without comprehensive reform… A failure to enact comprehensive energy reform, he argued, would pose a threat to national security and the economy, as well as the environment…"

    [President Obama:] "[The federal government is] going to bring every resource necessary to put a stop [to the spill]…We will not rest until this well is shut, the environment is repaired, and the cleanup is complete…[But] a lot of damage has been done already. The spill in the Gulf, which is just heartbreaking, only underscores the necessity [of renewable energy]…"

    "Obama's remarks came two weeks after Sens. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, and Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, introduced a sweeping energy and climate change bill intended to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions while reshaping the energy sector.

    "The House passed its own energy bill last year, and Obama has said he backs the efforts by Kerry and Lieberman to move the issue forward in the Senate. The president asked for Senate GOP cooperation on the issue during a closed-door meeting…with Republicans on Capitol Hill…Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has indicated he wants immigration reform to take priority, and the politics of midterm congressional elections in November raises questions about the the possibility of gaining final approval this year of such major legislation as energy reform…"

    click thru for much much more info on the spill

    "The proposal addresses a range of energy issues, including expanded nuclear power production, incentives for the coal industry to seek cleaner methods, money to develop alternative energy sources and programs to help U.S. industry in the transition to a low-carbon system…On climate change, the measure seeks escalating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades that match the levels set as goals by the Obama administration and contained in the House bill. Among other things, the proposal calls for emissions reductions from 2005 levels of 17 percent by 2020, 42 percent by 2030 and 83 percent by 2050.

    "The Senate proposal includes expanded offshore oil drilling as part of a strategy to increase domestic production. However, provisions strengthening the ability of states to prevent more drilling off their coasts were added in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill."


    WFC Grades North American Feed-in Tariff Programs; Ontario and Vermont Pass-California & Oregon Fail
    Paul Gipe, May 26, 2010 (Wind-Works)

    "The World Future Council has issued a report grading North American feed-in tariffs for renewable energy. Only Ontario and Vermont make a passing grade. All other programs in the US and Canada failed to pass.

    "The report,
    [Grading North American Feed-in Tariffs--How do existing North American feed-in tariff programs stand up to best practices worldwide? What programs are world-class?] by renewable energy industry analyst Paul Gipe, compares North American programs to successful policies in Europe."

    click to enlarge

    "Gipe evaluated the programs using ten criteria that have been found critical in creating successful renewable energy policy…Subsequently, Gipe compared the programs found in Germany, France, and Spain. Worldwide, the policies in these countries are considered the gold standard of feed-in tariff design. These programs are top in their class and are known to work well.

    "… France and Germany each earned 90 points and were both awarded an "A". Spain's program earned slightly less, 80 points, and was awarded an "A-"(A minus)…In the American system of grading "A" is excellent; "B" and "C" are good; "D" is poor, but passing; and "F" is for failing, or unacceptable performance…"

    click to enlarge

    "Ontario, which has a sophisticated program modeled after those in Europe, ranked the highest with a total score of 84 points for a grade of "A-". Oregon ranked the lowest with a score of 16 winning it a very solid "D"…Vermont was the only program in the US to pass… with a score of 54 a "D" for effort…Onetime trendsetter California pulls up the rear with only 28 points. At last count the Golden State's feed-in tariff resulted in the installation of only 14 MW…

    "The report also examined proposed legislation in Indiana and California using the same criteria. Indiana's AB 1190…qualified for an "A-" with 82 points. California's AB 1106…earned only 54 points giving the proposal a "D" grade…"


    California ISO board approves two ways to green the grid
    May 18, 2010 (California ISO)

    "The California ISO Board of Governors today approved two key changes that will help integrate renewable generating resources like wind, solar and geothermal onto the power grid faster and more efficiently. As California adds more renewable generation, these resources will replace some of the conventional generation that California has relied on for decades. The shift promises significant environmental benefits, but it also poses challenges because renewable resources are often located in remote areas…[and] produce energy intermittently.

    "The Board first approved a proposal to apply to renewable resources some of the same performance standards conventional generators must meet. The new requirements make intermittent resources more reliable for real-time operations, and are key to meeting the state’s renewable energy goals. The ISO believes implementing these new requirements now will preserve grid reliability and avoid having to apply them retroactively."

    click to enlarge

    "The second vote modified the current ISO grid planning process that only allows approval of transmission projects based on the reliability or economic benefits they provide. To help achieve California’s ambitious goal of meeting electricity demand with 33 percent renewable energy by the year 2020, the ISO revised grid planning process will enable the ISO to approve transmission projects that support state policies. It also allows qualified independent transmission developers to build and own some projects."

    click to enlarge

    "Both new policies require approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission."

    [Keith Casey, Vice President of Market and Infrastructure Development, CAL ISO:] “Both actions taken today reflect compromises reached through in-depth stakeholder processes…Fundamentally they strike a delicate balance between moving renewable power forward while maintaining reliable grid operations.”


    Company suggests solar farm at landfill
    Patrick McArdle, May 24, 2010 (Rutland Herald)

    "Representatives of a Burlington company will…seek preliminary approval of a project to build a solar farm at the town's former dump site…

    "Chad Farrell, of Encore Redevelopment, and consultant Dan Smith, with the Stowe-based Arno Group, will present a proposal to put solar panels on town-owned land in what was once a Superfund site…Superfund is a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which started about 30 years ago to clean up land that had been discovered to be toxic, usually through industrial dumping that left the land unusable."

    From Brockton, Mass. (click to enlarge)

    "…[ Encore Redevelopment ] founded almost three years ago, finds ways to redevelop land that may be otherwise unusable because of environmental restrictions. For the site in Bennington, for instance, there is a prohibition against piercing the cap over the land…

    "Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd said Encore's proposal could restore some idle municipal property to active use…The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA recommended the Bennington site to Encore…Encore's proposal is to place 750 solar panels for a net-metered capacity of 150 kilowatts on the site at the company's own cost. The company would pay for the equipment and its installation and would be responsible for obtaining permits…[T]he project would likely need approval at the municipal, state and federal level…"

    From Brockton, Mass. (click to enlarge)

    "The town would be asked to enter a 10-year contract to buy electricity generated by the solar panels but the electricity would be discounted by 10 percent…[T]he agreement would also be a way for the town to reduce its carbon footprint…The town would have a chance to buy the solar panel farm [at a discounted rate] after 10 years..The farm would be expected to last another 15 to 20 years.

    "…Scott Murphy, Bennington's economic and community director, said Encore had a July 15 deadline to apply for permits for the project and would be required to install it by the end of the year…[and] must be met for Encore to take advantage of tax credits which will drop at the end of the year from 30 percent of the cost of the project to about 7 percent of the cost…Encore has not yet installed any of the solar farms it is proposing but the company is in active talks with a number of Vermont municipalities including Waitsfield, St. Albans, Winooski, St. Johnsbury and Windsor."

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    No lead post today because…

    No lead post today because NewEnergyNews is on assignment at WindPower 2010, the American Wind Energy Association’s annual conclave and said to be the biggest of any U.S. energy event.

    The latest update:
    George Bush: Wind Advocate or Blowhard? W gives the keynote at WindPower 2010
    Herman K. Trabish, May 25, 2010 (Greentech Media)


    The Great Lakes Gear Up for Offshore Wind; It’s near the big one they call Kitchigummi.
    Herman K. Trabish, May 26, 2010 (Greentech Media)

    "The next frontier for offshore wind could be the Midwest…The first offshore wind project on the Great lakes moved a step closer to reality with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between GE Energy (GE) and the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEED).

    "The MOU was announced by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland at the opening session of WindPower 2010, the annual conclave put on by the American Wind Energy Association and thought to be the biggest U.S. energy event. The MOU commits GE to providing five of its 4-megawatt (MW) state-of-the-art direct-drive offshore turbines, along with maintenance services, for a 20-megawatt installation just off Cleveland's shores in Lake Erie. Governor Strickland described it as 'a first step.'"

    Artist's rendering of what turbines off Cleveland's shores would look like. (click to enlarge)

    "Offshore industry sources confided that while GE's 4MW turbine is an impressive machine, it has yet to prove itself in the rugged offshore environment and will be especially hard-pressed to perform up to expectations in the brutal and frigid waters of Lake Erie. But savor the irony: the pollution on the once-flammable waters of Lake Erie helped prompt the birth of Earth Day and the modern environmental movement."

    There are other Great Lakes and other great opportunities. (click to enlarge)

    "LEED President Larry Wagner stressed that 11 of GE's 3MW turbines have been successfully operating in a nearby and similar onshore environment close to the shoreline for five years...If successful, LEED hopes to proceed with the development of 1,000 megawatts of offshore capacity in the same Lake Erie waters. According to Wagner, a rigorous seven-layer GIS analysis conducted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has identified…[10-to-20 thousand megawatts of] potential…in sectors of the lake unencumbered by environmental, commercial, recreational or military considerations…

    "LEED plans for the 20MW GE installation to go online in 2012, preparing the way for the fulfillment of the 1,000MW goal by 2020. Michigan, Iowa, Ontario and Pennsylvania, among other regional states and provinces, are actively courting green energy and manufacturing facilities, as well…One industry source who cautioned the GE turbines were unproven speculated that the project was small enough that GE Energy might be able to arrange financing but would be unlikely to obtain money to go ahead with a large-scale project until the money people see the turbines perform to expectations for two years."

    Technology and desert biomes: Location is everything; A solution tailored to specific desert conditions could enhance plant efficiency, and mitigate operations and maintenance costs of a CSP plant.
    Rajeesh Chhabara, 20 May 2010 (CSP Today)

    "Desert climates may drastically differ from region to region. For example, the United Nations classifies deserts as hyper arid, arid, semiarid and dry-sub humid. There are real deserts such as in the Middle East, India and Australia. Then there are the ‘desert-like’ areas, as in the southwest United States and Spain.

    "Diverse meteorological stress conditions may exist in different regions or within the same regions. In the US, hot and humid in Miami (Florida) contrasts with hot and dry in Phoenix (Arizona). In California…warm and humid in Sacramento gives way to hot and dry in Dagget…[It is] hot and mild in Almeria (Spain) and hot and dry in Thar desert (India)…"

    click to enlarge

    "…Higher radiation level found in actual deserts could impact the plant design in terms of… the size of the storage and the size of the solar field…[but higher radiation] is not limited to actual deserts…Typical real deserts [also] lack naturally available cooling water. Operators then need to rely on dry cooling [which is more expensive because]…dry cooling towers rely on electrically driven ventilation systems…[and] is also relatively less efficient…[C]ompanies that deliver innovative technologies to reduce costs of cooling systems for dry deserts will be winners…

    "Higher soiling of mirrors in a desert due to sand storms is another point of difference. More dust and sand means more frequent cleaning, and an additional effort in maintenance…[though the loss is usually offset by higher] radiation…"

    click to enlarge

    "…[D]iverse climatic stress conditions may offer innovative opportunities for component manufactures to tailor products…[N]iche manufacturers…[may emerge with] specific products or applications suited to the specific climatic condition…However, key players in the mirror and the receiver technology sectors have not yet made attempts to develop such niche products, or to differentiate their products based on climatic conditions…[Instead,] standardisation of mirrors and receiver tubes is currently taking place…

    "[T]his situation may change over time…[but the issue of site-specific customisation is not on the industry agenda at present…Solar Millennium, which has CSP projects in various stages in diverse desert regions such as the Middle East, China, Spain, the US, India and North Africa, currently deploys the same equipment across all projects…[E]fforts are more directed toward improving the overall efficiency of products…[like] anti-soiling coatings and low-to-no water cleaning…"

    Carbon Fraud Guide Details Dangers of Carbon Markets That Are Contaminated By Offsets
    May 18, 2010 (Friends of the Earth)

    "A new “guide” for would-be carbon crooks and schemers…[from] Friends of the Earth serves as a warning about the fraud, corruption and gaming abuses that are inherent to carbon trading systems contaminated with offset credits.

    American Power Act proposed by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) last week would create just such a system."

    click to enlarge

    "The guide, Ten Ways to Game the Carbon Market, outlines ten different ways in which fraudsters can game carbon trading systems. Nine methods have already been successfully carried out. Some tricks are variations of classic scams such as Ponzi schemes, phishing and tax fraud. But other cons are more particular to carbon trading."

    {Michelle Chan, senior policy analyst/report author, Friends of the Earth:] “Carbon offsets are especially prone to corruption and fraud. Every offset deal requires a story indicating that the emissions reduction would not have been possible without offset revenues, or that emissions would have been higher without the project. Because of this, the offsets market is inherently rife with opportunities for truth stretching—and outright lies…[M]uch of the corruption that we have seen in the carbon markets involves bribes…The ‘American Power Act’ allows for some two billion tons of offsets…”

    E.ON unveils Pelamis-built wave energy hydropower device in UK
    May 18, 2010 (HydroWorld)

    "…Pelamis Wave Power Ltd. [a UK subsidiary of German utility E.ON AG] developed and constructed the… P2 750-kilowatt wave energy device…The machine will be towed to the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland, where it will be installed and tested…

    "The installation of the Pelamis wave energy converter at EMEC is the first time the P2 machine has been tested anywhere in the world and also represents the UK's first commercial supply contract within the marine energy sector…"

    click to enlarge

    [Tom Delay, chief executive, Pelamis-funder the UK Carbon Trust:] "This…shows the UK's marine energy industry is rapidly coming of age. We have a clear lead in this sector and must now capitalize on this to secure maximum benefit in creating new jobs and revenue for the UK. Having supported Pelamis with funding from the Marine Renewables Proving Fund, we look forward to…bringing it a step closer to commercial deployment."

    click thru for complete info on the EMEC

    "The device is 180 meters long and weighs approximately 1,500 tons…[C]alled the "Vagr Atferd" (Norse for wave power), [it] was named by Matthew Rendall of Stromness Primary School in Orkney, following a competition…

    "Recently, Pelamis, Marine Current Turbines and other firms were named successful bidders for wave and tidal energy farm development leases in UK waters…[as part of the Crown Estate-run] world's first commercial wave and tidal leasing round."

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    No lead post today because…

    No lead post today because NewEnergyNews is on assignment at WindPower 2010, the American Wind Energy Association’s annual conclave and said to be the biggest of any U.S. energy event.

    The latest update: As Wind Soars, Will U.S. Fall Behind? At least the states have their act together, policymakers at WindPower 2010 say.


    Pathfinder Selects GE as Technology Partner in Wyoming; Pact to supply Pathfinder's wind power needs for TransCanada's Zephyr Power Transmission Project

    "GE…and Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, LLC (Pathfinder)…[concluded] an agreement naming GE as the wind turbine supplier and technology partner for Pathfinder's Wyoming wind power projects…at the AWEA Windpower 2010 Conference in Dallas. Pathfinder, a Wyoming wind energy developer, is one of three wind developers to be allocated transmission capacity on TransCanada's 3,000 megawatt Zephyr Power Transmission project. Pathfinder's allocation is 2100 megawatts…

    "GE is the largest U.S. supplier of wind turbines and the workhorse of the industry, with more than 13,500 units now installed worldwide. The proposed Zephyr project is a 1,000 mile, 500 kilovolt, high voltage direct current line designed to move 3,000 MW of wind-generated electricity from Wyoming to power markets in the southwest U.S…"

    click to enlarge

    "Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, LLC…owns and operates Wyoming's historic Pathfinder Ranch…[and] is advancing the development of new wind generation assets and expanded power transmission for markets in the southwest. Pathfinder and its partnering ranchers are leaders in enhancing wildlife habitat while preserving America's ranching heritage…meeting the nation's desire for green energy…[and developing wind while protecting] Wyoming's rural economies, communities, wildlife, scenic viewsheds and cultural resources…"

    [Jeff Meyer, managing partner, Pathfinder:] "Pathfinder approaches the development of Wyoming's wind resources from the perspective of a ranching landowner…We've found the GE team to be responsive and creative in supporting Pathfinder's unique vision for wind energy development in the Western US."

    Green coalition blasts Senate climate bill
    Jim Snyder, May 17, 2010 (The Hill)

    "The new Senate climate change bill has some green groups seeing red.

    "Fifteen organizations, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Friends Committee on National Legislation, which is a Quaker lobbying group, have formed the Climate Reality Check coalition to oppose the legislation, released last week by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)…"

    click to enlarge

    "A number of other environmental organizations have praised the bill, even as they noted problems with some provisions, such as the measure's support for nuclear power and offshore drilling. The climate reality coalition…[wants] sharper pollution reductions; the EPA to retain the authority to regulate greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act; and…[eliminate] offsets and other loopholes that prevent pollution reductions…"

    [Climate Reality Check coalition statement:] “The well-being of our nation and the world are being sacrificed for the interests of big polluters, which continue to rake in record profits at the expense of the environment and the public...”

    New Jersey firm floats plan for offshore wind turbines
    Tom Wrobleski, May 23, 2010 (Staten Island Live)

    "Staten Island could be home to some of the first offshore power-generating wind turbines in the nation by 2013.

    "Deepwater Wind, which has offices in Hoboken, N.J., is pitching a plan to build eight wind turbines in the water about three miles off Great Kills Harbor in Lower New York Bay…Deepwater reps have been talking to elected officials, fishing and recreation groups and others here…[Deepwater will] look for another location away from the Island if support is lacking…[It] is involved in similar turbine projects in Rhode Island and elsewhere."

    click to enlarge

    "The 450-foot-high turbines, which would have half-a-mile of space between them…would generate 30 megawatts of electricity each, enough to power about 14,000 borough homes…[The] site was chosen because it was clear of shipping lanes, commercial fishing areas, and other obstacles…[and] there would be ‘tremendous’ environmental and other reviews that would have to be completed before the project could go forward…

    "…[T]he electricity would be brought to the power substation…via armored underground cables…An operation and maintenance facility for the turbines could be built [locally] as part of the project, and one or two support vessels could be homeported there…The turbines would cost around $200 million to build and would have a 20- to 25-year lifespan. They would be made to withstand hurricane-force winds and would be shut down if winds reach 56 miles per hour."

    click to enlarge

    "While some find offshore turbines to be an eyesore…[others say they are majestic]… [T]urbine areas in places like Denmark have become tourist attractions…[T]he support bases of the turbines attract mollusks that draw fish, making the turbine areas appealing for anglers…But Guy Ahearn, president of the Staten Island Tuna Club, objects to building the turbines…[for aesthetic reasons and because] "no-fishing" buffer zones…around the turbines [might not be enforced]…Ahearn said he is willing to meet with Deepwater again…

    "Rep. Michael McMahon (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn) said that the turbines should be examined and discussed as a way to help ease American dependence on foreign oil…Borough President James P. Molinaro, who has advocated for building wind turbines at the old Fresh Kills landfill, said he would back the plan as long as it doesn't disturb the offshore environment or fishing grounds…"

    Geothermal energy widens its reach to 52 million people: report
    Nagesh Narayana, May 21, 2010 (International Business Times)

    "Geothermal power is widening its reach fast with over 10,000 MW already installed and reaching more than 52 million people now, said a report by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA)…

    "Nearly 24 countries increased power online by 20 percent in the last five years and 94 countries are currently developing geothermal energy, the report said…Seventy nations currently have projects underway, a 52% increase from the last report that was compiled by GEA in 2007. Nearly 24 countries in Europe and 11 countries in Africa account for most of the projects…"

    click to enlarge

    "In 1999 GEA identified 39 nations that could provide 100 percent of their energy needs from geothermal, fully powering their countries but only nine of them had geothermal power online.

    "…The US leads in geothermal energy with 3,086 MW capacity from 77 plants…The Philippines, the second highest producer of geothermal power in the world, produces 1,904 MW, which is 18% of the country's electricity generation…Germany has 150 geothermal power plant projects and [will] produce 280 MW by 2020…"

    click to enlarge

    "…Geothermal power plants provide 26 percent of the electricity in El Salvador…Kenya plans to produce 490 MW by 2012 and about 4,000 MW within 20 years…Turkey aims to produce 550 MW by 2013…Indonesia's National Energy Blueprint aims to produce 9,500 MW, or [an] 800% increase…Iceland gets 25 percent of its electricity and 90 percent of its heating from geothermal resources."

    [Karl Gawell, Executive Director, GEA:] "The colossal growth of the international market is only a small fraction of the geothermal power potential we could be utilizing…The development potential here is very obviously tremendous. It's as if we discovered a huge deposit of oil underneath our feet, enough to put gas in our cars forever, and didn't use it; except this is a totally clean, renewable, and constant energy source…"

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    No lead post today because…

    No lead post today because NewEnergyNews is on assignment at WindPower 2010, the American Wind Energy Association’s annual conclave and said to be the biggest of any U.S. energy event.

    The latest update: Small Wind Coming on Strong; But don’t confuse small wind with turbines on a rooftop. It’s wind week at WindPower 2010.


    Tax policies could add jobs, MWs of new solar-SEIA; Industry group wants grant program, tax credits extended
    Dana Ford (w/Gerald E. McCormick), May 19, 2010 (Reuters)

    "Tax credits and a two-year extension to a federal grant program for U.S. solar projects would add roughly 200,000 jobs and almost 10,000 megawatts of new solar installations…[according to] research done by EuPD Research…[T]he Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) urged the U.S. government to extend [the] grant program, set to expire this year, through 2012.

    "The program, established in 2009 under the U.S. Recovery Act, was meant to help fill the financing void left by shrinking tax equity markets…Historically, banks have used tax equity markets to fund solar projects by buying government tax credits from the project owners…[The bank capital covered] the costs of development…But as the credit crisis hit the financial markets, banks' appetite for those tax credits disappeared…"

    click to enlarge

    "SEIA is also calling on the government to allow solar manufacturing costs to be claimed as an investment tax credit…Combining a possible grant extension with the ability to apply for tax credits would create some 200,000 jobs and lead to nearly 10,000 MW of new installations in the United States by 2016…[O]ne megawatt is enough to power some 250 average U.S. homes.

    "Installed solar capacity in the United States jumped 37 percent last year as state and federal incentive programs helped to prop up demand during a downturn…It was the fourth straight year of growth, but without changes to current policy…[SEIA] said the U.S. solar industry could grind to a halt."

    click to enlarge

    "Several of the big solar players, including industry heavyweight First Solar Inc, have plans to develop large-scale projects under the grant program, and have been working to meet the year-end 2010 deadline…Many projects are at risk of missing the cutoff because of permitting and other scheduling delays…"

    [Rhone Resch, President, SEIA:] "Our policies are on again, off again. What we need is some stability…"

    Wind turbine parts maker to build Arkansas plant
    Chuck Bartels, May 20, 2010 (AP )

    "German manufacturer Beckmann Volmer…plans to build a $10 million plant in Osceola to produce steel components for wind turbines that will employ up to 500 people.

    "The company said it will initially hire 300 people to work at the plant, and will later spend an additional $7.5 million more to expand and hire another 200 workers. The factory will pay an average wage of $18 per hour."

    Put another dot in Arkansas - if there's room left on the map. (click to enlarge)

    "…[The main component produced by Beckmann Volmer in Osceola will be turbine main frames, which support the turbine's structure. They] will be used about 60 miles away at a turbine manufacturing plant being built by Nordex USA Inc., a factory that is to have 100 workers by the end of 2010 and 240 workers when it reaches full production in 2012. Ultimately, the plant could have 700 workers.

    "The state offered an incentive package to Beckmann Volmer that included $1.5 million from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund and $2.5 million from a community development block grant. The company will get a cash rebate equal to 5 percent of payroll for 10 years and an abatement of state corporate taxes for 14 1/2 years…The state also is to provide training assistance and a refund of some state and local sales and use taxes."

    click to enlarge

    "A consultant on the site selection, Florian A. Stamm at Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP of Atlanta, said Arkansas had the business elements Beckmann Volmer was seeking…[including a qualified] workforce, low transportation costs and a pro-business environment]…When Nordex, also a German company, broke ground in 2009, company Vice President Joe Brenner said the firm wanted to have local suppliers…

    "Gov. Mike Beebe met with Beckmann Volmer executives during a 2009 trade mission to Europe…Beebe alluded to other companies that have picked Arkansas for wind energy-related factories. Japan-based Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas pledged to start construction in the fall in Fort Smith on a turbine plant that could employ up to 500 workers…Denmark-based LM Wind Power, formerly LM Glasfiber, has two plants in Little Rock churning out windmill blades…Polymarin Composites, a Netherlands-based blade maker, planned a 2009 opening of a Little Rock plant and expected to have 630 workers…[but] has put its plans on hold [due to the recession, credit crunch and resultant slowed production]."

    Preliminary Assessment of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Natural Gas obtained by Hydraulic Fracturing
    Robert W. Howarth, 17 March 2010 (Cornell University)

    "Natural gas is being widely advertised and promoted as a clean burning fuel that produces less greenhouse gas emissions [GhGs] than coal when burned. While it is true that less carbon dioxide is emitted from burning natural gas than from burning coal per unit of energy generated, the combustion emissions are only part of story and the comparison is quite misleading. A complete consideration of all emissions from using natural gas seems likely to make natural gas far less attractive…

    "There is an urgent need for a comprehensive assessment of the full range of emission of greenhouse gases from using natural gas obtained by high-volume, slick water hydraulic fracturing (HVSWHF, or “hydrofracking”)…Some information suggests that one or more assessments may have been conducted by industry groups, but if so these are available only to industry…If such assessments exist, they have not been subjected to external, unbiased scientific review."

    click to enlarge

    "A first attempt at comparing the total emissions of greenhouse gas emissions from HVWWHF obtained natural gas suggests that they are 2.4-fold greater than are the emissions just from the combustion of the natural gas. This estimate is highly uncertain, but is likely conservative, with true emissions being even greater…[Based on total GhGs] HVSWHF-obtained natural gas and coal from mountain-top removal probably have similar releases, and in fact the natural gas may be worse…[GhGs] from HVSWHF-obtained natural gas are estimated to be 60% more than for diesel fuel and gasoline. These numbers should be treated with caution. Nonetheless, until better estimates are generated and rigorously reviewed, society should be wary of claims that natural gas is a [more] desirable fuel…Far better would be to rapidly move towards an economy based on renewable fuels…[A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030> and other] studies indicate the U.S. and the world could rely 100% on such green energy sources within 20 years if we dedicate ourselves to that course…

    the release during combustion alone, greenhouse gas emissions from burning natural gas average 13.7 g C of CO2 per million joules of energy compared to 18.6 for gasoline, 18.9 for diesel fuel, and 24.0 for bituminous coal…Additional emissions…occur during the development, processing, and transport of natural gas…"

    click to enlarge

    "…[T]he greenhouse gas emissions obtaining, processing, and transporting diesel fuel and gasoline are in the range of 8% …or perhaps 1.5 g C of CO2 per million joules of energy…[A]s fossil fuel energy resources become more diffuse and difficult to obtain (as is gas in the Marcellus Shale), the energy needed to extract them and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with this effort go up substantially.

    "The leakage of methane gas during production, transport, processing, and use of natural gas is probably a far more important consideration. Methane is by the far the major component of natural gas, and it is a powerful greenhouse gas:
    72-times more powerful than is CO2 per molecule in the atmosphere…Since methane is such a powerful greenhouse gas, even small leakages of natural gas to the atmosphere have very large consequences…The most recent data…suggest a leakage rate from the oil and gas industry of an amount of methane equal to 1.5% of the natural gas consumed…Total greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas from hydraulic fracturing may, therefore, be equivalent to 33 g C of CO2 per million joules of energy…[T]otal emissions from coal [could] be equivalent to 31.9 g C of CO2 per million joules of energy, or very slightly less than the estimate for the natural gas."

    Look ma, no lawn!
    Rick Cole, May 11, 2010 (Ventura City Manager Blog)

    "The grass lawn is a staple of the American Dream. But it's a water hog and a sink for herbicides and pesticides. It requires a high level of care and gives nothing back for the birds and bees…[There is a growing trend to replace lawns with] drought-tolerant landscaping… xeriscaping or dry landscaping…Sounds dreary, but can be gorgeous.

    "Our family did it after we moved to our old Spanish bungalow…[New neighbors] turned out to be the entrepreneurs who run the local…landscape design and installation firm…[who enthusiastically endorsed] an interest in replacing the St. Augustine lawn with California natives…[M]aintenance [is] no more than for a lawn -- and more forgiving (you can neglect a native garden longer than a lawn…)"

    From the Rick Cole blog (click to enlarge)

    "…Like most projects [the design] evolved along the way. When the lawn was gone and the new plants were in the ground, I decided it looked bare and we needed a tree in front of our breakfast room window…I was keen for a mesquite tree…[but was talked into] an olive tree…We made the mistake almost every homeowner makes…[The plants] look so dinky in those little five gallon plastic pots. It's hard to resist adding too many varieties too close together. And… it [is] hard to resist bringing home a few more and looking for room to squeeze them in…

    "As hummingbirds, butterflys and bees flocked to our little oasis…Sunset Magazine [came] out to write a little feature called
    Lawnless in Ventura. Several other neighbors in surrounding blocks have made the change, borrowing ideas and making their own distinctive statements in the sea of flat lawns."

    From Sunset Magazine (click to enlarge)

    "There are all sorts of resources for replacing some or all of your front [or back] lawn…[N]ative plants don't need herbicides and pesticides (which are washed into our nearby ocean.)…Surfrider has a great website on how to get started in converting to ocean-friendly landscaping…[and local] water agencies also boost…water wise gardening…

    "Scrapping your lawn requires some up front thought, work and expense. But…The American Dream is not confined to green lawns. It comes in all sorts of sizes, colors and shapes -- and it can be a unique, delightful and sustainable statement about what we'd each like to see in our dreams of the good life."