QUICK NEWS, 11-23: BILL GATES CALLS FOR NEW NEW ENERGY; THE ARRIVAL OF V2G; THE SOUND OF WIND
BILL GATES CALLS FOR NEW NEW ENERGY
Bill Gates calls for massive increase in energy research; Even though it's supposed to be a time of federal fiscal austerity, Bill Gates says its time to double down on energy research.
Martin LaMonica, November 21, 2011 (C/NET)
"The software industry icon and philanthropist…published an editorial in Science calling for a massive boost in federal energy research and development from about $5 billion a year now to $16 billion…amid rancorous political fallout from failed solar company Solyndra…[and the failure of the super committee] to devise a long-term plan on balancing the federal budget…
"Gates [and other members]…of the American Energy Innovation Council…[including] former Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, and venture capitalist John Doerr…[have] called for a sharp increase in funding for research and development to improve the energy security of the country, boost its economy, and help preserve the environment."
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"In its most recent report, the American Energy Innovation Council said there needs to be a significant role for government energy research to spur technical innovation. The energy industry is different from other fields in that energy requires large amounts of capital, the field is not entirely competitive because of regulations, and utilities do not invest as much in research and development of new technologies.
"That report also suggested ways to pay for a research funding increase, including eliminating current subsidies for fossil fuel industries, diverting royalties from domestic energy production, and charging fees on electricity use or a price on carbon emissions…"
THE ARRIVAL OF V2G
Nearly 100,000 Vehicles to be Enabled with Vehicle to Grid Technologies by 2017
November 15, 2011 (Pike Research)
"The batteries used in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will be increasingly utilized by property owners and grid operators to provide a wide variety of energy services…Vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies, over time, will represent a more and more favorable alternative to investing in new power generation assets…
"…By 2017, according to a new report from Pike Research, approximately 90,000 light-duty vehicles and an additional 1,500 medium/heavy duty trucks will be enabled with V2G technologies, creating a strong foundation for V2G-based demand response, vehicle to building, frequency regulation, and other ancillary service applications…"
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"…[T]he highest demand for V2G, especially in the early years, will be in energy markets that are more open to new technologies and with higher concentrations of intermittent renewable power. As adoption grows, V2G will compete with traditional generation sources as well as with emerging technologies, such as stationary battery storage, for revenue from ancillary services such as frequency regulation and demand response.
"Pike Research’s analysis indicates that investment in V2G by automakers, utilities, and energy aggregators will be strongly influenced by the global and regional penetration of PEVs. Dozens of PEVs must be aggregated in a given area to produce sufficient power capacity to interest grid operators…The number of vehicles that could participate in V2G will grow from just over 100,000 light duty vehicles in 2011 to more than 5 million in 2017. But substantial investment in infrastructure and vehicle-based technology will be necessary to enable V2G services on a large scale…"
THE SOUND OF WIND
Wind Turbine Trip Measures Up to Low Noise Expectations; Even standing less than 1,000 feet away, visitors say they couldn't hear the blades turning.
Heather Asiyanbi, November 14, 2011 (Mount Pleasant Patch)
Several staff members and officials from Mount Pleasant traveled to Fond du Lac County…[to measure] the noise levels of wind turbines similar to those proposed by SC Johnson for their Waxdale plant. The Brownsville, WI, location features 86 wind turbines over 12 square miles, at least one of which sits less than 500 feet from a landowner who leases his land for the turbines.
"…[M]easurements were taken at 800 and 1,200 feet away from a geared turbine. The SCJ turbines would be gearless and probably quieter…At 800 feet, measurements came in at 46 - 47 decibels, and at 1,200 feet it was less than 40 decibels…[In comparison] a passing car on the paved road came in at 62 decibels…Since Waxdale is located in a mixed use neighborhood of residential, commercial and industrial development, it's not unreasonable to think most of the surrounding area would muffle the noise from the turning blades."
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"SCJ is proposing two or three wind turbines of between 300 and 400 feet tall to generate some of the electricity needed to power the Waxdale plant. Predicted to produce about 15 percent of the total energy needed, the turbines are part of SCJ's plan to generate 100 percent of Waxdale's energy needs on-site with 60 percent coming from renewable energy sources…
"…[Local residents have] expressed concerns about the turbines on several levels: noise, sun flicker, aesthetics, property values and deaths of flying wildlife…SCJ's wind turbines are…[under consideration by] the Village Planning Commission…"