Archive for June 16th, 2010

News Roundup on the American Energy Innovation Council
Crossposted from LeadEnergy.org

On June 10th, a group of the country’s top business leaders including Bill Gates and Jeff Immelt launched a new initiative, the American Energy Innovation Council, calling for major new federal investments in clean energy technology research, development, and demonstration — at least $16 billion annually, more than triple the current level.

Their report, “A Business Plan for America’s Energy Future,” was released a day after the Breakthrough Institute and Americans for Energy Leadership published a new policy brief on the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act, “The Power to Compete,” providing the most comprehensive assessment of the bill’s energy innovation provisions to date. It finds that Kerry-Lieberman does not contain a comprehensive innovation strategy would only increase federal clean energy RD&D investment by as little as $2.2 billion per year.

Below is a roundup of news coverage on the American Energy Innovation Council to date:

New York Times, “A Call to Triple U.S. Spending on Energy Research,” Jun. 9, 2010.

“Mr. Gates and his fellow executives are stepping forward at what may prove a pivotal moment in American energy policy. Oil continues to spew from a crippled well in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration is pushing for a new approach to energy and climate policy and the Senate is about to embark on a debate on a set of conflicting proposals that pit not only Republicans against Democrats but different regions of the country against each other.”

Washington Post, “Gates coming to White House to appeal for more energy research dollars,” Jun. 9, 2010.

“The group is arguing that, while the United States spends $80 billion a year on military research and $30 billion a year on health research, it devotes between $2.8 billion and $4.8 billion on energy research, depending on how you count it…The emphasis on direct government spending reflects, in part, the group’s realization that a climate bill isn’t likely to pass Congress this year; there will be no national market for carbon emissions to push companies toward renewable energy. The group argues that the United States is falling behind other nations that spend more on their domestic energy companies.”

Associated Press, “Gates seeks more spending on clean energy research,” Jun. 10, 2010.

“Billionaire Bill Gates is urging the government to triple spending on what he says everyone, rich and poor, will need in the future: clean, cheap energy. Gates and other business leaders were meeting with President Barack Obama and lawmakers Thursday to pitch their plan to increase the annual federal spending on clean energy innovation to $16 billion, from $5 billion now. But tight budgets make it a tough sell… The report outlines several funding options, such as reducing fossil fuel subsidies, adding fees on offshore oil and natural gas production, an oil import fee, increasing the gas tax and setting a price on carbon dioxide emissions. But the group didn’t specifically endorse any of them.”

Bloomberg Businessweek, “Immelt, Gates Push to Boost Clean Energy Spending,” Jun. 10, 2010.

“General Electric Co.’s Jeffrey Immelt and Microsoft Corp.’s Bill Gates called today for the U.S. government to more than triple its spending on clean energy research and development to $16 billion a year… Energy investments are necessary for more than environmental reasons, according to a report released by the council. Gates said expanded research is necessary to reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Immelt, chief executive of GE, said it’s needed if the U.S. is to match efforts of foreign competitors.”

USA Today, “Obama meets with Bill Gates, other business leaders about energy,” Jun. 10, 2010.

“As President Obama pushes a new energy agenda, he is calling in one of the world’s most famous and richest men, Bill Gates. The co-founder of Microsoft is one of several business leaders heading to the White House this afternoon to discuss energy alternatives to oil… “If you want to have the highest possibility of reducing oil dependence you would fund an aggressive research and development program,” Gates told reporters.”

Greenwire, “Corporate Heavies Urge Tripling U.S. Clean-Energy Funding, Jun. 10, 2010

“A new council composed of General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates and other corporate executives is urging the federal government to more than triple investments in clean-energy technologies to boost the nation’s economic competitiveness and protect the environment… ‘The world is not going to wait for the United States to lead,” [GE CEO] Immelt said. “This is about innovation; this is about competition; this is about energy security.’”

WSJ Washington Wire, “Bill Gates: U.S. Must Expand Energy Research,” Jun. 9, 2010.

“Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, who’s put more of his money behind clean energy technology during the past year, is now lending his voice to a business group pushing the government to sharply increase federal spending on energy research…“Cheap energy is key to the poor. It’s the price of fertilizer, or getting to the hospital, or getting a C-section at the hospital,” Gates said. “The world needs us to lead on [energy research]. Other countries aren’t funding it well, or aren’t equipped to do it.”

ABC News Political Punch, “Bill Gates: ‘We’ll have more crises like the oil spill’ if we don’t invest in clean energy innovation,” June 12, 2010.

“In an exclusive interview on “This Week,” Bill Gates, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, called for a dramatic increase in federal funding for clean energy innovation and warned of significant consequences – more environmental crises, oil supply disruptions, increased energy costs and climate change – if the United States fails to embrace the challenge of finding cheaper, cleaner energy.”

CNET, “Gates, other execs call for more energy spending,” June 10, 2010.

“In its findings, the group pointed out that the nation spends $80 billion a year on military research and $30 billion a year on health and medical R&D, but only around $5 billion each year on new energy R&D. With such a small amount of the national budget devoted toward energy research, the group believes the U.S. lags behind other countries in spending on alternative energy.”

GreenTechMedia, “Washington’s Big Money for Green Tech, ” Jun. 11, 2010.

“On the surface, this flood of money makes obvious sense. But from another perspective, it is nothing new. Contained in proposed federal legislation that is now awaiting congressional approval is clean-tech spending that will increase to $50 billion a year by 2020, according to Mark Trexler, director of climate strategies and markets at risk management firm DNV.”

The Breakthrough Institute, “U.S. High-Tech Leaders Call for Tripling U.S. Public Investment in Energy Research and Development,” Jun. 10, 2010.

“The authors note, as the Breakthrough Institute has long argued, that the “innovation intensity” of the U.S. energy sector–the portion of industry sales reinvested in R&D–lags far behind other technology-dependent sectors, such as pharmaceuticals and aerospace. Indeed, the energy industry invests only 0.3% of annual sales in R&D, two orders of magnitude lower than pharmaceuticals, at 18.7%, according to the report.”

The Energy Collective, “CEOs to Washington: Spend on energy R&D!,” Jun. 10, 2010.

“Can a massive government spending program bring us closer to a clean energy economy and help fight climate change? Absolutely, say some of the America’s most powerful CEOs and ex-CEOs, capitalists all…“Our job is to keep agitating and be a force for positive change,” [Jeff] Immelt said at the press event. “If America doesn’t get its clean-energy industry going,” the GE chief said, “everybody else around the world will. This is a primary pillar of national competitiveness.”

Previous Coverage:

Wired Science, “Bill Gates and Friends Make Case for Energy R&D,” April 23, 2010.

“Gates and former DuPont CEO Charles Holliday heralded the launch of the American Energy Innovation Council with an unusually clear and concise argument for increased government support for green tech R&D… Many independent groups like The Breakthrough Institute have been pushing for increased energy R&D funding, but none have the roster of heavy hitters of the council.”

Grist, “Why Bill Gates is Right,” Teryn Norris, Feb 23, 2010.

“If you gave me only one wish for the next 50 years,” declared the world’s wealthiest man during last week’s TED 2010 conference, “I can pick who is president, I can pick a vaccine … or I can pick that [an energy technology] at half the cost with no CO2 emissions gets invented, this is the wish I would pick. This is the one with the greatest impact.” Bill Gates is right. And he is not just talking about the impact on climate change, which does of course present a major threat. He is also talking about one of the most critical global imperatives to make poverty history: making clean energy cheap.”

Breakthrough Institute, “Innovating to Zero: Bill Gates’ push for Energy R&D” (article series), Spring 2010.

This post collects the articles surrounding Bill Gates recent push for an innovation focused R&D agenda that aims to bring down the carbon intensity of energy production to zero CO2 within the next fifty years.


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Particle Physics and the Planes of Existence

I read a fascinating article the other day in Infinite Energy magazine and would like to share it with you here.

Under the title A Heuristic Approach to the Particle Physics Implicit in Theosophical “Occult Chemistry”, William Patrick Bourne links the work of theosophist investigators Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater to the mess that today is known as particle physics.

As you may know, Besant and Leadbeater investigated the world of particles with a particular approach, using the mind’s inner eye to bring into focus the infinitely small.

anu_leadbeater.jpg

ANU – the basic particle as described by Besant and Leadbeater

They had little to go by at the time, to compare their findings with the results of investigations by physicists who work with instrumentation, but their results were painstakingly recorded and they are available in a classic work: Occult Chemistry.

occultchem.jpg

Image found on skybooksusa.com

Much has changed since the early part of the last century and physics has come up with a veritable particle zoo, but there are many inconsistencies and agreement on what is real and what are merely temporary products of the destruction of particles is still a far way off. So it is interesting to go back and see what was found before we started to build atom smashers to investigate subatomic particles and their components.

Bourne is an independent researcher who has published scientific papers in Chronology and Catastrophism Review, Leading Edge, and The Theoscientist. He is a generalist with particular interest in cosmology and particle physics. His synthesis of the occult knowledge of theosophical investigation with modern particle physics makes good sense.

The scale of particles postulated by Bourne brings us from the immaterial and ethereal all the way to visible, tangible matter. It would certainly constitute a worthwhile direction for further investigation … to falsify or confirm, as the case may be.

Here is a PDF of Bourne’s article as published in Infinite Energy.

A Heuristic Approach to the Particle Physics Implicit in Theosophical “Occult Chemistry”


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Particle Physics and the Planes of Existence

I read a fascinating article the other day in Infinite Energy magazine and would like to share it with you here.

Under the title A Heuristic Approach to the Particle Physics Implicit in Theosophical “Occult Chemistry”, William Patrick Bourne links the work of theosophist investigators Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater to the mess that today is known as particle physics.

As you may know, Besant and Leadbeater investigated the world of particles with a particular approach, using the mind’s inner eye to bring into focus the infinitely small.

anu_leadbeater.jpg

ANU – the basic particle as described by Besant and Leadbeater

They had little to go by at the time, to compare their findings with the results of investigations by physicists who work with instrumentation, but their results were painstakingly recorded and they are available in a classic work: Occult Chemistry.

occultchem.jpg

Image found on skybooksusa.com

Much has changed since the early part of the last century and physics has come up with a veritable particle zoo, but there are many inconsistencies and agreement on what is real and what are merely temporary products of the destruction of particles is still a far way off. So it is interesting to go back and see what was found before we started to build atom smashers to investigate subatomic particles and their components.

Bourne is an independent researcher who has published scientific papers in Chronology and Catastrophism Review, Leading Edge, and The Theoscientist. He is a generalist with particular interest in cosmology and particle physics. His synthesis of the occult knowledge of theosophical investigation with modern particle physics makes good sense.

The scale of particles postulated by Bourne brings us from the immaterial and ethereal all the way to visible, tangible matter. It would certainly constitute a worthwhile direction for further investigation … to falsify or confirm, as the case may be.

Here is a PDF of Bourne’s article as published in Infinite Energy.

A Heuristic Approach to the Particle Physics Implicit in Theosophical “Occult Chemistry”


Visit the original post at: Energy News

A Tepid Plea for Unspecified Change

A Tepid Plea for Unspecified Change

Last night’s presidential speech on the Gulf oil spill had been pre-billed by the Washington Post as Barack Obama’s “Jimmy Carter moment.” But reading any of Carter’s speeches (a good one to start with is that of April 18, 1977) side by side with last night’s bromide is an invitation to nostalgia and bitter disappointment.

read more


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Aluminum Plays Key Role in World’s First Hybrid Solar Energy Plant

Florida Power & Light is building world's first hybrid solar energy and fossil fuel plant, using aluminum materialsA global aluminum company called Norsk Hydro is supporting green jobs in the U.S. through its Extrusion Americas unit, which operates 12 aluminum extrusion facilities in the U.S.  Two of the company’s southeastern U.S. facilities will supply aluminum frames and other parts for a new hybrid concentrating solar facility for Florida Power & Light.  Apparently the first power plant of its kind, the 500 acre solar thermal array will connect with an existing natural gas-powered plant, replacing the fossil fuel energy with solar energy during daylight hours.

In addition to growing the U.S. green jobs sector, Hydro executive Matt Dionne points out that regional sourcing was an important factor in securing the contract because it cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions related to shipping, and it enabled the utility company to demonstrate its commitment to local economic growth.  The financial advantages of just-in-time delivery to the construction site also played a big role. As more utilities join the vanguard of sustainable energy investment, those benefits provide a stark contrast to the economic and environmental havoc wreaked by the world’s latest fossil fuel disaster.

(more…)


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Open source automobiles?

Open source automobiles?

Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Residential Solar Power Now Available with the Click of a Mouse in Arizona

Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

President Obama’s Inspiring Words Must Be Followed By Action
Last night, President Obama addressed the nation after his latest and longest trip to the Gulf of Mexico. The address was poetic, calm, and focused. The President clearly emphasized all of his major points: all possible actions are being taken by the government to clean up the spill; BP will be held financially accountable for all damages; the moratorium on offshore oil drilling will continue until better safety and environmental regulations are implemented; and the time for embracing clean energy is unequivocally now.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Maximum Efficiency and Substantially Reduced System Costs: SMA Sunny Central 800CP Distinguished with the Intersolar Award 2010
SMA Solar Technology AG received the Intersolar Award in the photovoltaics category at this year’s Intersolar in Munich. The prize was awarded for the entirely redesigned Sunny Central 800CP. “CP” stands for compact power: the new SMA central inverters offer both superior output and performance in a small space, and is the first PV inverter to offer 800 kVA of nominal power in combination with 98.6 percent efficiency as a single device.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

EU Wind’s Admirable Initiative

EU Wind’s Admirable Initiative

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Brownfields’ Bright Spot: Solar and Wind Energy
Wind turbines are rising from abandoned toxic industrial sites. Solar panels are catching rays over contaminated landfills. The land is cheap, often abandoned, close to such necessary infrastructure as power lines and roads, is often properly zoned, and no other developers are rushing to erect anything on them.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

New report shows that huge savings convince businesses to dive into water stewardship
Ethical Corporation’s brand new report ‘Unlocking the Profit in Water Savings, 2nd Edition’ reveals how leading companies have designed their water management strategy, and how water security helps business flow smoothly.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Wind turbine operations and maintenance cost trends provide a glimpse into the state of the industry
An experienced wind energy farm operator summarises a common view on wind energy operations and maintenance costs: “Efficiency is the most critical item in our business case. [We need] tangible strategies for controlling costs.”
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Wind turbine operations and maintenance cost trends provide a glimpse into the state of the industry
An experienced wind energy farm operator summarises a common view on wind energy operations and maintenance costs: “Efficiency is the most critical item in our business case. [We need] tangible strategies for controlling costs.”
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

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