Archive for November 21st, 2009

Brush Presidential Library May Get LEED Platinum, But Is It "Dog-Whistle" Architecture?
g w bush presidential library

Although some may assign credit for “W’s” Presidential Center Platinum LEED application to the project architect, Robert A.M. Stern, who is simply a following a trend, I’m giving President George W Bush and wife Laura benefit of the doubt. Their design choice goes way beyond legacy building. It sends a ‘dog whistle’ political message to R…
Visit the original post at: TreeHugger

Forward-Thinking Milpitas, CA the Next Solar City?
Milpitas, an East Bay, CA city, is trying to create its own power source.  Essentially, they would allow homeowners to pay for their solar installations the same way they pay for their sidewalks. The city raises capital upfront with municipal bonds and is then reimbursed through the tax system.  The homeowner doesn’t need a big [...]


Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

Dow Partners with CalTech for Solar Research
Dow Chemical has been brewing up solar products for a few years now. In 2007, the old-hat chemical giant received $20 million in federal funding to develop new solar innovations. This year, Dow released a silicone protective layer for solar cells that both protect the cell and improve output. And next year, North America will [...]


Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

Metabolix, ADM to open new bioplastics factory
A new U.S. plant is expected to open next month that uses technology out of MIT to produce bioplastics from corn that degrade in seawater or soil.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Rockwool nears construction on Indian insulation factory
Danish maker of stone wool insulation reports surprise growth areas despite 3Q09 report showing 21 percent decline in YTD sales.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Two Israeli wastewater firms to locate in Michigan
A Green Jobs for Blue Waters initiative is working to make the U.S. state a North American leader in water technology, attracting interest from EPC and Emefcy.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

The staggering cost of new nuclear power

From an article by Joseph Room on Center for American Progress:

A new study puts the generation costs for power from new nuclear plants at 25 to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour—triple current U.S. electricity rates!

This staggering price is far higher than the cost of a variety of carbon-free renewable power sources available today—and 10 times the cost of energy efficiency (see “Is 450 ppm possible? Part 5: Old coal’s out, can’t wait for new nukes, so what do we do NOW?”

The new study, “Business Risks and Costs of New Nuclear Power,” is one of the most detailed cost analyses publically available on the current generation of nuclear power plants being considered in this country. It is by a leading expert in power plant costs, Craig A. Severance. A practicing CPA, Severance is co-author of The Economics of Nuclear and Coal Power (Praeger 1976), and former assistant to the chairman and to commerce counsel, Iowa State Commerce Commission.

This important new analysis is being published by Climate Progress because it fills a critical gap in the current debate over nuclear power—transparency. Severance explains:

All assumptions, and methods of calculation are clearly stated. The piece is a deliberate effort to demystify the entire process, so that anyone reading it (including non-technical readers) can develop a clear understanding of how total generation costs per kWh come together.

As stunning as this new, detailed cost estimate is, it should not come as a total surprise. I detailed the escalating capital costs of nuclear power in my May 2008 report, “The Self-Limiting Future of Nuclear Power.” And in a story last week on nuclear power’s supposed comeback, Time magazine notes that nuclear plants’ capital costs are “out of control,” concluding:

Most efficiency improvements have been priced at 1¢ to 3¢ per kilowatt-hour, while new nuclear energy is on track to cost 15¢ to 20¢ per kilowatt-hour. And no nuclear plant has ever been completed on budget.

Time buried that in the penultimate paragraph of the story!


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Al Gore: Super grid is critical to combating the climate crisis
An effective smart grid will give the United States a competitive
advantage in the international marketplace, the former U.S. vice
president says.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Storing Renewable Energy in Boxes of Air


Storage is needed to harvest the full yield available from intermittent sources of energy like wind and solar. One of the options is compressed-air storage; till now only possible in underground caverns. But SustainX Energy Solutions; a Dartmouth College start-up  that got $4 million in VC funding from Polaris Venture Partners and Rockport Capital this year is working on compressing and storing air in cheap off-the-shelf shipping containers.

Over the next two years SustainX  will try and develop a way to cram 4 megawatt-hours worth of stored energy into each 40-foot long container and to reduce the energy that it currently takes to compress and release air by about 70%.

The goal? A renewable energy storage system with the portability and scalability of a battery and the economy and capacity of a cave. Make that a portable cave.

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Visit the original post at: Energy News

Best Counterargument to Price on Carbon Hurting Jobs?

At yesterday’s Sustainable Industries Economic Forum, keynote presenter Paul Hawken was asked, “What is the best counterargument to the argument that carbon caps will raise energy costs and hurt our economy?”  In typical Hawken style, his earlier speech was well done, inspiring and insightful.  In typical Hawken style, his off-the-cuff answers to audience questions was where he really shone.  And this answer was perhaps his shining moment of the day.

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Visit the original post at: Energy News

A quest for CO2 and O2 optimal management with biofuel from algae
New partnership between Linde, Algenol Biofuels looks to develop
technologies that work with Algenol’s algae and photobioreactors.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Paul Hawken on Being a ‘Doomer’

Paul Hawken on Being a ‘Doomer’

During yesterday’s Sustainable Industries Economic Forum, keynote speaker Paul Hawken suggested that it will take a somewhat monumental effort to get back to 350 ppm in our atmosphere (we’re at 387 right now). His list was daunting.  We’d need one new olympic sized pool of bioalgae fuel production every second for 25 years, for example.  He said that while being a ‘doomer’ has a negative connotation, the facts are the facts, and that there is a role for this kind of startling statistic.  An audience member asked the question that was on all our minds:  “It seems untenable.  Do you have hope that this can actually happen?”

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Visit the original post at: Energy News

Power Recruiting Management Team

Power Recruiting Management Team
The Power Recruiting Group has formally announced it’s Management Team.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

OPA Agrees to Buy Power From 16 Hydroelectric Plants
The Ontario Power Authority has agreed to buy all of the output from 16 hydroelectric plants operated and owned by Brookfield Renewable Power Inc.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

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