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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Your Green Energy News Center (Page 11)

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Author Topic: Your Green Energy News Center
Lyrhawn
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Eestor has released a press statement on a third party verified advancement in their slow crawl towards production.

For the 8th time, Republicans block renewable of the alternative energy tax credit. Here's the vote, almost entirely along party lines.

California to sue the EPA yet again, this time for failure to regulate emissions

Miscanthus may be the best midterm ethanol feedstock, using a vastly smaller footprint than corn or even switchgrass.

What the future of our national T&D infrastructure might look like, and why we need it soon.

Day4 Energy reduces the cost of solar by 25% while achieving 19% efficiency.

The slow crawl for a home invenstor towards making tornado power feasible.

CO2 emissions in the UK could be as much as 49% higher than actually reported.

First phase of Aral Sea reclamation deemed a success!

Sapphire Energy's algae gas is chemically identical to regular gasoline.

MIT makes huge breakthrough in hydrogen power.

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Glenn Arnold
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The MIT thing seems promising, but any reference to efficiency was left out of the discussion, both in the article, and the radio interview. I'd really like to see how much energy is required to split water in comparison to how much energy is available from the hydrogen.

From the algae gasoline article:
quote:
Switching to cleaner energy does nothing directly to address over consumption of natural resources, biodiversity loss & habitat destruction, the gross land-use disaster that is suburban sprawl, and soil degradation resulting from destructive agricultural practices. Nor will it address the 10,000 pound elephant in the environmental room: Unchecked population growth.
This is the real "inconvenient truth" that until recently, even hard core environmentalists still wouldn't bring it up. This seemed like a weird place to discuss this issue, but I'm glad it's making a more prominent showing.
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Dagonee
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quote:
For the 8th time, Republicans block renewable of the alternative energy tax credit. Here's the vote, almost entirely along party lines.
Is there any commentary on which of the many provisions in this bill motivated their vote against cloture? The energy provisions are a small portion of the bill.
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Pegasus
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Maybe it was this:
quote:

SEC. 312. MODIFICATION OF RATE OF EXCISE TAX ON CERTAIN WOODEN ARROWS DESIGNED FOR USE BY CHILDREN.

(a) In General- Paragraph (2) of section 4161(b) is amended by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C) and by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph:

`(B) EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN WOODEN ARROW SHAFTS- Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any shaft consisting of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means of enhancing the spine of such shaft (whether sold separately or incorporated as part of a finished or unfinished product) of a type used in the manufacture of any arrow which after its assembly--

`(i) measures 5/16 of an inch or less in diameter, and

`(ii) is not suitable for use with a bow described in paragraph (1)(A).'.

(b) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to shafts first sold after the date of enactment of this Act.

In all seriousness Dagonee, you're right, there is a lot in there.
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Lyrhawn
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Glenn -

There're are a couple different articles on that Hydrogen thing. I'll post one or two of the others later. One of them specifically dealt with efficiency, and how much better this system was because it was a closed loop system. I don't necessarily understand the science of it, but I'll post it later.

Dag -

Actually, Republicans specifically listed the alternative energy credit as a reason for not voting for the bill, saying it would require a tax hike. And while there was a lot more in the bill, Republicans have blocked previous attempts to renew the tax credit when it was voted on as a single issue and when tacked onto other bills. They've refused to let it come to the floor by itself or with other issues, and have specifically voiced their opposition to it. I don't think, given that information, that the link title is unfair in the slightest, especially since it is literally true.

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Glenn Arnold
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BTW, My employers brought us down to the general meeting room and told us to promote support for the Alternative Energy Tax Credit, as it directly supports the work we do.
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Lyrhawn
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Failing to renew it will mean billions of dollars in lost investments, thousands of jobs lost, and whole companies packing up and moving across the ocean.

And it's not as if these are make work jobs or some such. Alt Energy is becoming cheaper by the day and eventually won't need any help at all (unlike fossil fuels which are heavily subsidized through all manner of federal spending already) to be cost competitive. I don't see how they can spend so much time railing about drilling in the OCS so we can pump a little oil in 10 years when there's such a pressing matter before them currently that they keep shutting down.

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Dagonee
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quote:
I don't think, given that information, that the link title is unfair in the slightest, especially since it is literally true.
I didn't say anything about the fairness of the link title. I asked a question.

Thanks for answering.

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Lyrhawn
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Oh, my apologies then. I apparently erroneously assumed that your question was a backhanded way of trying to say that I was giving biased commentary without being fair to both sides. Sorry about that.

To expand on it a bit, Reid offered last week to the Republicans that he'd allow a vote in the Senate on the issue of OCS drilling so long as the Republicans allowed a vote on the Alt Tax Credit extension and the Republican leadership said no. They're both holding each other hostage but I think both of them deserve votes on their issues, and I think both would pass if brought to a vote.

Most of the bill was pretty mundane stuff, but there were some smaller important things, and big important things. There was the AMT patch, which in itself is hugely important, but has not been mentioned by any source that I've read as a reason to not vote for it. There were also some efficiency tax credits and other environmental things, and a fix of the Highway Trust Fund, which is also important for infrastructure upgrades that are sorely needed. It also had a bit on an upgrade of the child tax credit. None of that has been mentioned in any Republican press release that I've read.

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Lyrhawn
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Spanish researchers create new solar material with theoretical efficiency of 63%. Of course it won't end up being that high, but in a world where 40% is considered the high end, if it even gets near its potential it'll still be a steal. It leapfrogs most standard solar cells by capturing infrared light.

In the wake of the DOE cancelling the multi-billion dollar carbon capture and storage pilot coal plant, they've decided to fund a bunch of smaller scale add ons that can be added on to existing coal fired plants. It's an interesting plethora of technologies that I hope lead to something cost effective and for that matter, just plan effective.

Indonesian Reverand may have invented new, better feedstock for ethanol production: a mix of sugarcane and elephant grass.

Victoria, Canada grabs the award for highest rated LEED Platinum building.

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Lyrhawn
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Ford introduces new Econetic diesel Fiesta that gets 63MPG combined (over 70mpg on the freeway). Ford has been talking for awhile now on bringing the Fiesta over to the US to be their new go to car for the small cars division. But it looks like that might still be another year or two away though I've also heard that they are looking to retool car factories, specifically one in Mexico, to make the car for American consumption. No word on if it'll be the econetic version or not.

Tesla looking to make $30K electric car for the masses.

Featured Article
MIT discovers new energy storage method that could revolutionize solar power, and energy storage in general. Experts are calling it a game changing technology.

Pulp and Paper Industry poised to become major bioenergy player.

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Sterling
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Have you read anything on electric cars vis-a-vis the life expectancy of their batteries and the availability of mechanics qualified to service them?
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SenojRetep
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Just yesterday I read an article (maybe I can find the link, somewhere) that suggested PHEVs would have an effective battery-life of about 5 years and cost several thousand dollars to replace.

One financing plan mentioned in the article would be to have the batteries owned by the electric grid with the idea that they represent distributed power storage that could be used to stabilize during brownouts. This would mean potential extra discharges of the battery (shortening its life), but less charge or hassle when the time comes to replace them. However, to be viable there would likely need to be significant market penetration by plug-in vehicles.

<edit>Here's the link</edit>

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Lyrhawn
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Sterling -

Tesla's Roadster is rated for 100,000 miles plus. GM plans on issuing a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty for the battery on the Chevy Volt when it's released in a couple years.

Life expectancy is kind of a grey area for the moment. The kinds of batteries being put on the market for electric cars (LION batteries) are brand new. They haven't been around for five or ten years to even try and guess at how well they actually hold up in real world conditions. GM right now has test battery packs from CPI and A123, and they are constantly charging and depleting the batteries, as well as road testing them and putting them on those treadmill things to try and simulate 10 years worth of driving. This might give them a decent idea on what to expect from the battery life, and they hope it is 10 years, but the truth is that no one really knows yet.

There are a few different ideas being discussed on how to work the battery portion of the car sale. Some are talking about what Senoj mentioned ( I didn't read his article) which is more or less to have the power company or the car company own the battery but lease it to you, so when it fails you aren't responsible for the full cost of replacing it, you just keep making your monthly payment. V2G technology is being worked on by a couple partnerships between car companies and power companies, notably between Ford and PG&E in California. But I don't know if it'll really catch on or not. The idea is interesting. If everyone charges their cars at night and plugs them in at work during the day, that's a huge amount of night time stored energy that the grid could access and use to stablize the national grid during the peak hours of the day. The problem? How do those people drive home in their electric cars if the grid just stole all their power? It's an interesting idea, but I don't see how it'd be worth the cost of buying an electric car if the electric part keeps getting stolen.

I'm not sure on the mechanics. My guess is, for awhile anyway, you're going to want to use the shop of the manufacturer you bought it from, until more places gett up to date. Especially for a car like the Volt, which is very technically advanced.

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aspectre
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Vroom Vroom! Coming through, coming through.
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Bokonon
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I know the NiMH battery packs on Honda Civic Hybrids are starting to go on some cars, since they are reaching the 100k-125k barrier. The replacements are 2-3 grand, supposedly. When I bough mine almost 4 years ago, they supposedly cost 7-8 grand. Yay, for economies of scale!

-Bok

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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, the LION batteries are going to be expensive when they first come out, but if GM really cranks them out the way they are saying, I have to imagine the price will come down pretty quickly.

aspectre - They've been talking about that for awhile now. I haven't actually read any articles where someone has been hurt by a silent electric car, but, some sort of small noise making apparatus on the car doesn't sound like a horrible idea.

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DarkKnight
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I found this article and while I'm not thrilled with it's tone I think it is very interesting on how 'green' should be approached to make the changes more lasting.
Suddenly being green is not cool any more
quote:
Julie Burchill can't stand them. According to her new book, Not in my Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy, she thinks all environmentalists are po-faced, unsexy, public school alumni who drivel on about the end of the world because they don't want the working classes to have any fun, go on foreign holidays or buy cheap clothes.
Terrible opening and certainly not needed.
quote:
Both parties are looking at ways of rewarding people for being green rather than penalising them for throwing out their yoghurt pots with their teabags. Mr Osborne, in a speech last month, admitted: “When people are feeling the pinch, we need to make it pay to go green. Instead of being fined for not recycling, households should be paid for recycling.”
this is about halfway down the article and is much better about what could and should be done.
quote:
But paradoxically, just as Britain is turning its back on the environment, the country is finally becoming greener. Fewer people are moving house so they are buying fewer new white goods such as washing machines and fridges. They may not be queueing up for £9 organic Poilâne bread, but for the first time in a decade they are discarding less food. They buy less impulsively and think more carefully before their weekly shop. Children are wearing hand-me-down uniforms rather than new ones made in sweatshops.

Bottled water sales have fallen. Garden centres have reported a 10 per cent rise in the sales of vegetable seeds in the past 12 months. People are saving money by growing their own potatoes and carrots. They are turning off their central heating for a few more months of the year and ditching their second car rather than buying an electric runaround. And instead of carbon-offsetting their holidays, they are simply going on fewer of them.

Still has a 'tone' to it that is not necessary but it gives better ideas on how to be 'green' without being 'green'.

I really like this self interview with Mike Rowe
Brown Is the New Green

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Lyrhawn
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First Solar, the company with the largest growth on the stock market last year is close to the holy grail of solar power. That magic mark? A penny per watt solar power. With their Cadmium Telluride solar panels, it's believed they're almost to that point, believed to be the magic mark necessary to compete with coal.

ADC has world's first LEED Platinum data center

Energy Innovation gets certified for rooftop solar concentrator solar cells. Yet another big advancement in the commercialization of advanced solar technology. Solar concentrator technology is good because it offers greatly improved efficiency for a relatively small amount of surface area, and a smaller amount of actual solar material.

Giant kites are taking off, and could be a boon to wind power by decreasing cost and increasing efficiency.

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Enigmatic
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quote:
I really like this self interview with Mike Rowe
Brown Is the New Green

That was cool. I totally forgot that he was interviewing himself until the end bit. Nicely done!

Don't have time for a more in-depth comment on the first article, but the part about what people are actually doing that's more "green" seems to be things that they're doing to save money in a tight economy. I have to wonder how much of those behaviors will stay around if things pick up and people can afford vacations and grocery-store prices again.
Much like how people are driving less because gas prices are up - it has an ecological benefit but for the majority of people that's not why they're cutting out unneeded driving.

--Enigmatic

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Lyrhawn
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Popular Science details seven different kinds of biofuel, their potential, and how they work.

BP and Clipper announce 5GW wind power deal in South Dakota

Vu1 claims to have a light source better than LEDs, CFLs and incandescents that will come on the market next year.

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Lyrhawn
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A hesitant wind market is poised to spend billions on wind power, but awaits Congressional action.

California's potential game changing solar deal (if it gets made)

California eyes Oregon for massive wind farms.

New Ford ecoboost engines cost $700 more, but save almost $330 a year at $3.25 a gallon.

The biggest wind projects in the world.

US could produce 150GW of wind power by 2020.

Solar efficiency record broken with new type of solar cell.

A cheaper way to get power out of our roads.

Connecticut starts pilot program to mirror California plan for solar leasing. The program will work much like California's, where middle to low income residents will be able to get low interest loans in order to put solar panels on their roofs, and then will pay the state for them instead of paying an electric bill. It's estimated that it will save money for residents long term, drop the price of solar over the midterm, and end up being a great investment for the state too.

Mariah Power touts the Windspire, a 1kw home wind turbine.

[ August 18, 2008, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Lyrhawn
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Neenah Paper to use their own waste products to power factory via biomass.

Geothermal increases 20% since January, with 4GW in the works.

A solar year in review: 15 big breakthroughs in solar power in 2008.

GE unleashes new lower emissions locomotive in China

Google to invest $11 million (more than the US government) in drilling...for geothermal power.

New device cheaply dampens the sound from wind turbines.

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Dagonee
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Article on personal windmills.
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aspectre
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100miles per gallon car that can hit 200miles per hour???
I'll believe it after I test drive it. True, diesel contains more energy than gasoline, and diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline engines. And there are 12USgallons in 10Imperial(British)gallons, but even 83miles per USgallon of diesel seems an incredible claim for a ~2700pound vehicle.

ahhh... an escape clause, "The company reserves the right to modify the specification without notice."

[ August 29, 2008, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Lyrhawn
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Yeah I agree, I'll believe it when I see it. And it looks like a 60's Bond car.

Chevy Volt to be used on Transformers 2 movie.

Nanosolar scores another $300 million to expand production.

Rust belt goes green

What the transition to second generation biofuels will look like

New study points to benefits of bio plastic over petro plastic.

New company claims to be able to make gasoline from trash.

New HID lights are dimmable, quick starting and more efficient, and they could save gigawatts of power.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Chevy Volt to be used on Transformers 2 movie.
That's horrible news! (The part about them making a new Transformers movie, I mean.)
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Lyrhawn
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[Wink]

So long as I get my Dinobots, I'll let it slide.

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aspectre
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This article on battery-powered Motocross produces two thoughts:
Jet skis, ski-mobiles, ATV's, most motorcycles, etc should be similarly less noisy.
Since a 100kilogram motorcycle easily carries a 70kilogram rider through a brutal course, a 1500pound (3/4 ton) load*capacity freeway-capable vehicle should at most have an empty weight of 1.1ton instead of 2.2tons or more.
Of course that means that the average car should weigh about a half-ton instead of a ton-and-a-half.

* Including fuel, roadside repair kit, passengers, and cargo. About the load capacity of an 8-passenger van.

[ September 06, 2008, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Sterling
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Democrats Join The "Drill, Baby, Drill!" Chorus

<sigh>

This, I think, is how the Democratic party dies. By deciding it's easier to support a stupid policy than continuing to hold the line on an unpopular position and trying to explain (amidst cries of elitism, failure to sympathize with the common man, being out of touch with the electorate, etc.) why that policy is a bad idea.

Never mind the refinery bottlenecks... Or the availability of existing leases to drill upon... Or how long it's likely to be before any new drilling affects gas prices, or how different the geopolitical situation may be by then... Or the steadfast lobbying of the automotive companies against higher fuel efficiency standards... Or the environmental impacts... Or even that the original whacky liberal legislation to ban offshore drilling came in under the first Bush presidency. How can any of that stand up before a simple-mindedly easy slogan like "Drill, baby, drill"?

[Wall Bash]

I think of this as your thread, Lyrhawn, so if you'd like me to move it elsewhere, let me know. Just seemed apropos.

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Lyrhawn
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This is as good a place as any to discuss the issue. I'm not sure what the political fallout will be, but, I can think of multiple scenarios. First off, I might be a little surprised if this measure makes it past the Senate. Senate Republicans are already up in arms over this because they feel it doesn't go nearly far enough. Democrats see it as a major compromise since they didn't want any drilling, and in that respect they're right, but it's still a far cry from what the Republicans wanted.

But who is right and who is wrong (I can get more into the details of the legislation in a minute) matters less really than the political reality of what this bill will do. If Senate Republicans shoot it down, Democrats will attack them on probably three fronts. 1. They're anti-environment for voting down yet again the renewable energy money in the bill. 2. They're tied to big oil since one of their chief complaints about the bill is that it removes incentives (Tax breaks) for oil companies to help with drilling costs. 3. Probably something about how Republicans are tying up energy legislation after Democrats brought a compromise bill to the floor. This bill is an attempt to take the issue away from them. Republicans will hit them back likely with simple aphorisms like "All of the above energy option" and "drill, baby, drill." They'll say that any limitations tha Democrats want are stupid and bad policy. Frankly I have no idea how the electorate will respond to that one. I tend to think that they'll favor the Democrats because it IS a good compromise in the face of overwhelming public opposition, but the public generally isn't interested in great policy on paper, but rather what's most easily sold to them by whichever side, in which case I'd give the Republicans the edge in the debate. But really it depends on what happens in the Senate. If the Republicans DO let it pass and Bush signs it into law, I would think that would really take the issue off the table since both sides approved it.

As far as the actual bill itself? I have mixed feelings on it. No matter what it's a stopgap measure until a more comprehensive energy legislation bill (by which I mean, a serious long term national energy strategy, which this country has never had) can be formulated and voted on, but something of that magnitude isn't going to appear out of thin air in the last four months of a presidency. On the one hand, yes Democrats caved on drilling, but they did so in a way so as to almost assure that very little drilling actually takes place. They removed the tax breaks from oil companies and mandated that drilling must take place 100 miles from shore (I think 50-100 miles is allowed, but only if the state approves). Given the extreme backlog of reservations for deep sea drilling ships and their high cost, and limited availability, that's going to severely limit the amount of real drilling that takes place for several years to come, even with the high price of oil. The way they did the royalties is weird. First off, Republicans wanted to do a 50/50 split with the states, which I thought was fair, but Democrats said it would all go to Uncle Sam, and I believe on pretty generous terms (for the public, not the oil companies, which is really nice for a change).

All in all? It's the bill that has the best chance of surviving both sides in a highly charged election year. Let's be frank, Democrats weren't going to win this one even with logic on their side. They've been trying for months and months to articulate the realities of the disconnect between drilling in the ocean and gas prices/food prices/economic woes and it hasn't worked. Republicans have a large majority of the public believing a certain thing, and there really wasn't a way around it. So they crafted legislation that looks good on paper but I think Republicans are right in their criticism that it actually accomplishes very little for the goal of drilling. I'm not saying that's good or bad, but that that's what the bill does, and Republicans have a beef, whether their idea is good or bad. Oh, it also has the rule about use it or lose it, where leases already existing must be drilled on or the company forfeits the lease.

But really Sterling, think of some of the major battle cries of the Republican party in recent years and the defense Democrats have put up. I think I said it first on Ornery, but, every time Democrats try to win on policy, they lose to apple pie and flags. It happened during the run up to the Iraq War, it's happened on dozens of other issues, and it's happening now.

PS. refinery bottlenecks I think get too much of the blame, and this, again, is an example of Republicans framing an argument unfairly. While it's true that brand new refineries haven't been built in a long time, be it from cost or regulatory hurdles, it isn't true that we haven't added new capacity in that time frame. Existing refineries have prodigiously expanded capacity, to the equivilant of several new refineries being constructed over time. I'd think that'd be obvious to people, since we drive so much more than we used to, that gas has to come from somewhere. But Republicans just say "tree huggers and liberals don't want more refineries because it hurts forests" or whatever and it makes Democrats look weak on energy because they're pandering to environmental groups.

I don't think this is the beginning of the end for the Democratic party. I think in many ways, that happened a looong time ago. I think this generation of Congressional Democrats however is dying. The new class, with the likes of Obama and people closer to his age, are going to bring a new vitality to the party, and for that matter a fighting spirit that is sorely needed. I guess I shouldn't get into the politics of the situation as much as the actual policy of the bill, but they're rather interconnected on this one.

Anyway, take that however you will, but all the problems you listed, perfectly valid ones I might add, are impossible to cram into a 30 second sound bite, and that's all the Media has time for. I have to leave for class now. You might want to consider crossposting this (not necessarily moving it) to the Presidential thread to get it more attention. I don't think that many people come in here.

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Lyrhawn
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I can't believe I haven't updated this thread in so long. I'll have to do an extra long post to make up for it!

First off, Special Chevy Volt Feature!

The production version of the electric Chevy Volt has been revealed at last!

21 minute discussion with energy industry expert on the effect Volt batteries could have on how we look at electricity storage in America.

When the Volt comes out, it will benefit from a $5,000 tax credit if the current energy bill passes Congress.

Detailed review with video and pictures of the interior.

Okay, that's all for my Volt fanboy moment. It looks like the car is progressing apace, if you believe GM's press releases. A lot of experts question whether or not they'll be able to bring the car to market in the timeframe they are insisting upon, mostly because of the battery technology.

GE and Google team up to promote green energy in Congress and to develop geothermal and V2G technology.

Berkley commits to first in the nation municipal program to get solar systems on residential homes.

Featured Story
Startup Genomatica announces new process to create popular chemical that doesn't involve oil. It's hard to come up with a catchy link title for this one, so I'll quote part of the article:

quote:
The answer, according to San Diego startup Genomatica, is to replace hydrocarbons with carbohydrates. The company is announcing Tuesday that it has bioengineered a microorganism that ingests sugar and water to produce a chemical called 1,4‐butanediol. Commonly known as BDO, the chemical is a raw material found in everything from golf balls to skateboard wheels to spandex. Although Genomatica is planning a pipeline of bioengineered chemicals, BDO alone is a $4 billion business.
They claim that by the middle of next year they'll have the process so refined as to make it cheaper than petrochemicals, with none of the harmful byproducts that the petrochemical industry leaves behind. It will also be much more mobile, in that they can place plants near sources of sugar and water rather than in massive chemical plants that are prone to accidents.

Six largest planned solar power plants.

A fun graph interpretation of what potential offshore drilling has to offer

Study says passage of the solar tax credit will create 440,000 new jobs in eight years.

12 year old invents new solar technology 500 times more efficient than current standard fare. Yeah I don't know about this one. I'm waiting for independent analysis, as it seems like a more than usually out of the ballpark claim.

RFK Jr. talks about the myth of clean coal and the hidden costs of coal power.

Bill Gates invests in Sapphire (algae biofuel)

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Lyrhawn
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Queen of England to buy world's largest wind turbine, a 10MW behemoth.

Firewinder, outdoor renewable wind powered lighting, is now for sale.

Scientists believe they had a cure for Colony Collapse Disroder, the viral agent that destroyed 1/3 of all US hives. Not strictly a green energy story, but it's treehuggery, so, why not.

Soutern California Edison to install more than 5 million smart meters on homes.

Californians to face big choices this fall on renewable energy ballot initiatives.

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aspectre
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Jet-set Greens
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Lyrhawn
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There's a ton of fun stuff from the last week!

Ford CEO reconsiders the tiny Ford Ka for the US market. 2010 or 2011 is likely. It's rated at 60mpg (diesel).

Company signs deal for floating wind farm off the coast of Oregon. This will be an interesting test case. The turbines will be "deep sea" and far enough away from the coast to either be entirely or nearly invisible to people on the shore, doing away with NIMBY arguments. But can they make it cost effective? Using the technology from a US CA based startup, they think so. We'll see how this goes.

New Jersey also plans an offshore wind farm far out to sea This link includes a picture of how turbines look from the shore at different distances.

The big news of course is that along with the massive rescue plan for banks, Congress passed a generous investment tax credit for solar, wind and other alternative energies that many say will cause a solar boom to match the wind boom that is starting.

Xcel to spend $70 million on big biomass project

Coca Cola cuts the weight of its aluminum cans by 5%

New report says that 30% of Australia's power could be provided from 10% of their wave power potential.

National Utility looks to build 50MW worth of solar roofs in MA.

Even with drawbacks, Michigan has huge potential for offshore wind power

US Dept of Energy announces who gets what and what they are doing on Enhanced Geothermal Systems. EGS is a method still being researched that could greatly expand geothermal potential around the world. The idea is to drill a test hole looking for hot dry rock, then water is injected into the area creating a resevoir which is then extracted via a second hole. It then becomes a closed loop process with multiple injection and extraction wells that turn it into a manmade geothermal site. There's a lot that remains to be worked out to turn the theory into widespread practice.

Israeli wins international design competition for self sufficient apartment/vertical garden combination

Sony rolls out flexible OLED display. Ready for your newspaper to have video on it?

The DOE has also announced $17 million for R&D to seven solar start ups.

The Chevy Volt will get a $7,500 price cut thanks to a tax credit to the first 250,000 buyers. That could bring the price back under $30K

A company called Viridas has a new process that combined sewage with trash to make them both much more biodegradeably friendly.

Solar paint on steel could be a reality in three years. If this actually happens it could be a game changer. Heck, it could be a game winner. Especially with battery techology coming along so well, the number of things that could produce their own power could transform the way we live our lives in more ways than just where we get our power.

Hydropower gets DOE grants for the first time in more than a decade.

Professor David Keith has perfected a carbon scrubber that takes CO2 directly from the air All of the questions I have about this thing are posed by the guy writing the article, but the two biggest are: What do you do with it once you've captured it? And can it be scaled up to the point where it will make a big enough dent?

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Lyrhawn
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Stealth solar startup raises $600 million without much fanfare. New factory comes online with more in the pipeline

US solar capacity could increase 30 fold in a eight years if utilities and manufacturers collaborate

Featured Article
The Sahara Forest Project - how to make the desert bloom

More to follow...

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Dagonee
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Article on landfill power generation in NJ, using methane collection and solar cells (or possibly wind, but that's much more difficult because of subsidence).
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aspectre
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Greening the Rust Belt
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aspectre
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For those of you with a shed out back, why not put in your own nuclear powerplant.
Heck, why mess with smelly&noisy diesel electric in your yacht when you can go nuclear electric instead.

[ November 09, 2008, 04:10 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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SenojRetep
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There was an interesting article in Slate about how the push for ethanol (even next generation cellulosic ethanol) will not necessarily decrease our dependence on foreign oil.
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Lyrhawn
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Meh.

Biofuel has already successfully been tested as a jet fuel. And for me to believe that, I'd have to see a breakdown of the percentage of crude imports that go to gasoline production and then all the other products that are made out of oil. I know bio-plastics are a growing industry, as well as foam and other things that are usually oil based.

The massive drop off in regular people driving cars over the last couple months (yes, combined with a lot of other factors) HAS driven down imports, along with the price of oil as a whole. The idea that taking hundreds of thousands of gallons of gas off the market wouldn't effect oil imports sounds ludicrous to me.

Besides, they've only scratch the surface with that they can do with biofuels. It's not going to happen overnight, but it's not going to have zero effect.

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Glenn Arnold
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That article on diesel also misses the fact that in straightforward distillation, you get two parts diesel for one part gasoline. Because of the demand for gasoline, American refiners go through an extra cracking step to convert diesel molecules into gasoline molecules. It's expensive, energy intensive, and causes diesel prices to be unnecessarily high. Displacing gas with ethanol would certainly change that equation for the better. And the guy's agenda becomes even clearer when he mentions "the mirage of cellulosic ethanol."

Dag's article on landfill gas is not available.

I was interested to know if they mentioned fuel cells at all. I'm kinda bothered by the fact that the only place I see references to fuel cells is for H2 powered cars.

Landfill gas has a pretty high CO2 content, which has to be separated out in order to burn it efficiently, whereas carbonate fuel cells like having the CO2 mixed with the methane, so they can use the landfill gas directly.

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Sterling
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I also notice the article don't mention algae-based biofuels, which show some of the greatest promise in terms of production-per-acre.

Corn-based ethanol definitely has its problems, not least of which being the high-yield strains that are grown in most American corn acreage are heavily dependent on chemical fertilizers- which are made from petroleum.

The "mirage" comment is both unhelpful and misleading. As long as there's a strong push behind R&D, I think biofuels and other replacements for petroleum distilates have tremendous potential.

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All4Nothing
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I hope no one has brought this here yet. I've searched all over the place looking for it. I caught this on a show called "How It Works". When I looked through this topic, I just had to bring it here for your viewing/researching pleasure. This computer loads really slowly (dial-up), so if this is a repeat I ask your forgiveness for wasting your time. [Smile]

Air Power

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aspectre
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Fungus converts cellulose into diesel and other hydrocarbons.
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Dagonee
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
Dag's article on landfill gas is not available.

I found the AP version. Seems to be the same.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by All4Nothing:
I hope no one has brought this here yet. I've searched all over the place looking for it. I caught this on a show called "How It Works". When I looked through this topic, I just had to bring it here for your viewing/researching pleasure. This computer loads really slowly (dial-up), so if this is a repeat I ask your forgiveness for wasting your time. [Smile]

Air Power

That article might be a little outdated All4Nothing. I haven't posted anything about it in awhile, but there are some significant advances in design and what not for air powered cars. There's a French company that is trying to market an air powered passenger car, and I think there's an American start up trying to do the same. I want to say it's Piguoet? I don't know the name off hand apparently. I'll try to dig around for information next time I look at my sites to see if there is anything new. Air powered cars are considered a niche that hasn't quite gotten there technologically. But then, so are plug in hybrids, so I guess it's a niche of a niche.
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Lyrhawn
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German scientists find that liquid crystals (like in flat screens) work better than oil based lubricants for cars

First Solar enters the home solar panel market

Big solar power project sidelined until transmission line mess can be sorted out. This one is just a sucky situation. There's an almost one GW power plant that PG&E wants Stirling to build in the desert, but they need a transmission line. To do that would mean plowing through a diverse and treasured national forest and nature preserve, which many consider a bad decision (and I tend to agree). It's a curious case of what happens when environmental causes collide.

California start up uses low cost but high tech solution to make solar power cheaper: Balloons.

Tom Friedman makes the case for transforming the US economy into a green economy

Featured Article Battery power breakthrough could increase lithium ion battery life by 800%

A look at the new US energy infrastructure in the making

Air New Zealand and Boeing to test 50% bio jet fuel blend in flight.

Hopefully I can expand on this post if I have time later, but there's a long overdue update to tide you over for awhile.

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Glenn Arnold
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Thanks Dag. It doesn't mention fuel cells of course, nor does it mention the CO2 issue.
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All4Nothing
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by All4Nothing:
I hope no one has brought this here yet. I've searched all over the place looking for it. I caught this on a show called "How It Works". When I looked through this topic, I just had to bring it here for your viewing/researching pleasure. This computer loads really slowly (dial-up), so if this is a repeat I ask your forgiveness for wasting your time. [Smile]

Air Power

That article might be a little outdated All4Nothing. I haven't posted anything about it in awhile, but there are some significant advances in design and what not for air powered cars. There's a French company that is trying to market an air powered passenger car, and I think there's an American start up trying to do the same. I want to say it's Piguoet? I don't know the name off hand apparently. I'll try to dig around for information next time I look at my sites to see if there is anything new. Air powered cars are considered a niche that hasn't quite gotten there technologically. But then, so are plug in hybrids, so I guess it's a niche of a niche.
It's very possible Lyr. It was on t.v. only a couple weeks ago. Either the Science Channel or Discovery, I can't rightly remember, but it could've been a re-run. I got pretty excited thinking about how close we could be to such an abundant and renewable, not to mention eco-friendly, resource being able to run cars.

Definitely let me know how your research goes, I'll keep checking back, and I'll check out some of these links to bring myself up to date once we get this highspeed working.

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