QUICK NEWS, 4-27: MORE NEW ENERGY INNOVATION; NEW ENERGIZING CHINA’S GRID; A GARAGE FOR AN EV; GOOGLE BUYS MORE WIND
MORE NEW ENERGY INNOVATION
Jeffries Survey Finds Investor Focus On Clean Technology Is Becoming More Diversified; Continued Government Subsidies and Regulation Also Remain Important for Sustainable Growth
April 20, 2011 (Jeffries Group)
"…[The key findings of the Jefferies Group’s] recent Clean Technology Investor Survey [include:]
"… Approximately two-thirds of investors surveyed believe that a full recovery of the IPO market for clean technology companies is likely to occur by the first half of 2012…"
Another intersting question survey (click to enlarge)
"… More than three-quarters of investors surveyed believe that large company conglomerates [wiol] begin consolidating the clean technology sector during or after 2012…
"… [T]he most attractive investment themes, in order of importance, [were identified as] smart grid / energy efficiency, solar photovoltaics, energy storage, LED / lighting and electric vehicles…"
And another (click to enlarge)
"… Stable government subsidies and regulation are seen as being the most important growth driver for the clean technology sector, a finding that is consistent with the similar survey conducted in November 2010…
"… North America, Europe and China together are expected to lead the deployment of smart grid infrastructure, a finding that is in slight contrast to…[the] November 2010 [survey], which found that Europe and North America would likely lead…"
NEW ENERGIZING CHINA’S GRID
China Rebuilds Its Power Grid as Part of Its Clean Technologies Push
Coco Liu, April 20, 2011 (NY Times)
"As the world's largest fossil fuel consumer, China is trying to use more clean energy, but…[its] current electric grid can't handle it…State Grid Corp. of China, the country's top electricity distributor…[is therefore] building what it calls a "strong, smart grid." After two years of testing…[it is] now throttling up to full-speed implementation.
"The [hopes are] to rescue renewable energy, especially wind power, from a technical bottleneck…create demand that could give China a better position in the lucrative and highly competitive global smart grid component manufacturing race…[and] reduce the nation's transportation emissions by developing a nationwide electric vehicle charging network…"
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"…[State Grid] will make the decisions for national grid development…[affecting] its more than 1 billion customers in China…[and] the outside world…The overarching goal for the more advanced transmission network, according to the company, is to reduce enough carbon emissions to help China achieve at least 20 percent of its targeted emission cuts…China's emission cuts have never been more important to the success of combating global warming... China now consumes more energy than any other nation, accounting for more than a fifth of the world's energy-related greenhouse gas emissions…
"For the sake of its environment and energy security, China in recent years has been trying to add renewable energy into its power mix, but the country's strongest winds, brightest sunlight and most powerful rivers aren't found near the nation's energy-hungry regions…And [those connected] often have to be shut down when wind is at its peak because the existing grid is too weak…In the first half of 2010 alone, wind-generated electricity that could have been used by about 10 million Chinese for a whole year had nowhere to go…"
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"…[State Grid’s] strategy is to adopt ultra-high-voltage power lines that can carry heavy flows of electricity across the vast country.. By 2015, the company declared, its grid infrastructure would be in line with growth in the nation's wind power sector…[which] is scheduled to more than double in the next five years…[M]ore solar and hydro power would [also] be able to flow into the grid…
"In addition, technology innovation is under way to make the grid smarter…[and] grid development is also expected to forge Chinese manufacturing power…China's wind turbine industry -- which barely existed in 2004 -- now holds four seats among the world's top 10 manufacturers…[Finally,] over the next five years, hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles charging points will be added as part of the grid plan…[T]hat will encourage Chinese automakers to produce electric cars and pave the way for drivers who want to switch…"
A GARAGE FOR AN EV
Get garage ready for electric car
Tom Krisher, April 22, 2011 (AP via News & Observer)
"With gas prices rising and instability in the Middle East, the thought of an electric car in the garage might be getting more appealing…Experts say [a ready garage has] at least a 12-amp circuit [with little or nothing on it] to charge a car in a reasonable amount of time…
"…[A] dedicated 240-volt outlet, similar to those that power an electric dryer [rather than a standard 120-volt outlet], can cut charging time in half…Two mass-market electric cars, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, have different power systems and different charging needs…"
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"…It takes eight hours to recharge [the all-electric] Leaf even with a 240-volt circuit, double that at 120 volts. The Volt has a small gas motor…[for when] the battery runs out. Its smaller battery pack can be recharged in 10 hours even on 120 volts, five hours or less at 240.
"AeroVironment, which makes charging stations for Nissan, recommends…a special 240-volt station...[installed by] an electrician who knows about car charging…[It] costs about $2,000 for the dock and standard electrical installation services through AeroVironment and a Nissan dealership…"
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"The Volt, however, may not need anything…General Motors recommends charging the car first on 120 volts before buying a 240-volt charging station…[If not satisfied, then consider the 240-volt upgrade…GM's Volt charger costs $495, and about $1,500 to install…
"…If you go only 20 miles a day, a 120-volt outlet will work for either car because the battery doesn't have to be fully charged every night…"
GOOGLE BUYS MORE WIND
Google's energy unit to buy more wind power from NextEra
Krishna N Das (w/Sriraj Kalluvila), April 21, 2011 (Reuters)
"A NextEra Energy Inc unit will sell 100.8 megawatts (MW) of wind energy to Google Inc's energy subsidiary…[to] help the Internet search giant power its data centers using renewable sources of energy…[T]o reduce its carbon footprint, Google has been buying renewable electricity… on the same grid[s]…as its [data] centers.
"Last year, the company's energy unit…Google Energy…[signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for 114 MW of NextEra wind and]…will now purchase power from NextEra Energy Resources' Minco II Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma. The electricity from their prior deal will be used at Google's Council Bluffs, Iowa center."
Google seems recently to find wind an irresistably seductive deal. (click to enlarge)
"…[The] Mayes County, Oklahoma center…is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year and could employ about 100 people…NextEra expects the Minco project to be operational by the end of 2011.
"Google [also recently] partnered with units of Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Itochu Corp for a stake in General Electric Co's under-construction wind farm in Oregon for $500 million…NextEra is one of the largest wind power producers in North America, running more than 9,500 wind turbines at 85 farms in 17 U.S. states and in Canada. Its wind farms can power more than 2 million average homes…"