Friday, October 31, 2008

Perhaps it is time we do something!

"We can promote alternative energy sources and conservation, and we must. America must become more energy independent, and we will." — George W. Bush, State of the Union address, Feb. 7, 2001.

"The nation's growing reliance on imports of crude oil and refined products threatens the nation's security because they make us more vulnerable to oil supply disruptions." — Bill Clinton in an energy security statement on Feb. 16, 1995.

"Conservation efforts are essential to keep our energy needs as low as possible. And we must then take advantage of our energy sources across the board: coal, natural gas, hydro and nuclear. Our failure to do these things has made us more dependent on foreign oil than ever before." — George H.W. Bush in an address to Congress on Sept. 11, 1990, in the run-up to the Gulf War.

"We must take steps to better protect ourselves from potential oil supply interruptions and increase our energy and national security." — Ronald Reagan, in an energy security message to Congress on May 6, 1987, in which he raised concerns about "our increasing dependence on imported oil."

"This intolerable dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic independence and the very security of our nation. ... Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 — never." — Jimmy Carter in a television address on July l5, 1979, in which he announced temporary oil import quotas.

"I am recommending a plan to make us invulnerable to cutoffs of foreign oil. It will require sacrifice, but it — and this is most important — it will work." — Gerald Ford, State of the Union address Jan. 15, 1975.

"Let us set our national goal ... that by the end of this decade we will have developed the potential to meet our own energy needs without depending on any foreign energy sources. Let us pledge that by 1980, under Project Independence, we shall be able to meet America's energy needs from America's own energy resources." — Richard M. Nixon, responding to Arab oil embargo, Nov. 7, 1973.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oil price drop: Still need to invest in energy

Now is the time to invest in energy:

Christophe de Margerie of France's Total said: "Supply will remain short, and if we don't pay attention, the recovery will come and supply will be less and the price will climb again."


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oregon's Governor Kulongoski

sets "green agenda" for 2009

Yesterday, I met with Governor Kulongoski (as did 200 others) - to hear him lay out his green agenda for Oregon - for the next legislative session. His major points include efficiencies, tax breaks, focus on transportation and several other initiatives. These will help Oregon get "greener". Some are arguable (as to how they will be paid for), but action is truly needed. And his is a bold approach. The Oregonian's front page article goes into detail.

My only concern? No emphasis on new technology development. Deployment of existing technologies, yes. This is not enough. For instance, energy storage (to help make wind & solar more productive), transmission improvements (to stem looses), distributed generation technologies (to decrease "I^2R" losses and increase energy security), "pre-plug" efficiencies (not just EnergyStar / appliance programs), and low-carbon solutions - are all needed to innovate our way through the energy-independence situation. Bringing DOWN energy costs while reducing carbon and other emissions.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Methane poses a problem.

In other news: Methane yields energy.

Methane from thawing vegetation is causing even more greenhouse gas emissions.

Landfills are producing energy... from methane.

Anyone else see a "problem / solution" situation, right in front of us? Just curious.


No matter who wins the election

Energy will be more expensive

"The future, say the experts, is clear no matter who wins: We'll pay more for existing energy and we'll pay to find alternatives.

"Energy is the only commodity in America where consumers will not ... absorb fluctuation, because the way we live demands that we have to buy gas and electricity," Borenstein said. "There have been plenty of politicians who have spoken the hard truth and you never even hear of them because that's not the way to get to Congress or to the presidency."

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Venture Funding declines...

Except for CleanTech

"Venture capital flowing to startups totaled $7.1 billion, a 9 percent decline from the same time last year, while alternative energy, or "clean tech," raised $1.04 billion, a 17 percent increase."


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

From the laboratory to Markets:

This is how it's done.

A couple great examples of business & research labs' collaboration can be found in this article. Bottom line: American businesses need to out-innovate their counterparts in the global playing field, or risk getting left further behind!


Innovative business models outperform all others

According to Business Week, innovative business models outperform innovative processes, products and "customer experience". A more detailed "map" can be found, here.

This is exactly the thinking needed to innovate our way out of our current, and the coming energy conundrum.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

US Chamber of Commerce Releases

"Energy Blueprint"

The Institute for 21st Century Energy released a Blueprint for Securing America's Energy Future at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. It provide more than 75 energy policy recommendations for the next President and Congress.

One of its major recommendations includes: Significantly Increase Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies (page 20 of the report).

Additionally, it recommend that Congress should create a Clean Energy Bank of the United States (CEBUS), with sufficient initial capitalization to invest in and accelerate the market penetration of advanced clean energy technologies.

These support NXergy's focus and is the right direction.

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The U.S. Faces another "Sputnik Moment"

Rep. Bart Gordon, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee and chair of the Science & Technology committee, believes the United States faces a new challenge in need of government support: finding the fuel of the future. He's proposed a new government entity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, with the mandate to invest in revolutionary technologies.

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Bailout Bill has PHEV Credits

"The bailout legislation signed by President Bush contains a tax-credit for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles."

"The credit is a base $2,500 plus $417 for each kWh of battery pack capacity in excess of 4 kWh, to a maximum of $7,500 for light-duty vehicles; $10,000 for vehicles with gross vehicle weights of more than 10,000 but less than 14,000 pounds; $12,500 for vehicles with a GVW of more than 14,000 but less than 26,000 pounds; and $15,000 for any vehicle with a GVW of more than 26,000 pounds."


What economic problem?

Renewables growing stronger.

"In less than a decade, the global industry of renewable energy is projected to explode from a $150-billion-a-year industry to a $600-billion-a-year industry."

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Capital seeks green-tech investments

Greentech startups raised $2.8 billion in venture capital in the third quarter, more than double the second-quarter total, with solar companies raking in $1.5 billion.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bail out for everyone

Perhaps Congress has gotten too used to mega-bills, which require so much "negotiation" (*meaning horse-trading) that everyone wins... at the expense of the budget. (Example: the current mortgage / financial "rescue" package including green aspects.) Green-tech legislation should stand on its own and be supported by good science.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Google's solution

"The United States government has been unable to fix the country's energy problems," Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said, but the Internet giant on Wednesday proposed its own 22-year solution.

"We have seen a total and complete failure of leadership in the political parties of the United States," Schmidt said in a speech at the Commonwealth Club here. "We've been working on a plan to help solve this problem."

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Green Technology getting acquired

In yet another sign that greentech is defying current economic woes, GridPoint Inc., a clean tech company specializing in smart grid technologies, announced it acquired V2Green, a Seattle company that provides plug-in electric vehicle grid integration technology.

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