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THIS JOURNAL WILL "TELL IT LIKE IT IS" REGARDING DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY AND THEIR GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS/PROBLEMS

WE WISH YOU A HAPPY YEAR END 2015, AND AN EVEN BETTER 2016

24 Dec 2015

Dear readers,

As 2015 nears its end, we just wanted to wish everyone happy festivities, however you celebrate them. As we reflect on the events/accomplishments in many fields both social, scientific of the past year, we are reminded of the maxim:”May you live in interesting times”. We do indeed! Never in the history of the world has humanity accomplished so much change in so little time as we have seen in the last five years (2010-2015). One possible exception is the five years of WWII (1940-1945). We must remember that the number of people in the world has virtually doubled since 1945; that in and of itself, has been the cause of much strife, huge population migrations/displacements and scientific accomplishments.

Probably the greatest accomplishments have occurred in the scientific, energy, medical, new materials, new improved telephony, space exploration, and cosmology fields, brought about by exploding knowledge accumulation propagated by the World Wide Web. Such knowledge opens new thought horizons as well as accelerated socio-political change.

The human experiment goes on. If we just adjust our needs and ways/means, we could emerge into a new light of universal prosperity by the year 2,100. The alternative is too harsh to contemplate: A highly polluted world untenable for large human habitation; accompanied by untold suffering and death probably worse than the bubonic plague which decimated one third of humanity during the middle-ages.

May we all bask in the company of our loved ones, have something special to eat/drink, and above all be happy to be alive, and doing well, while we reflect upon those not so lucky, and find some way to share what we have. This Post is planning an expanded overview of of the past five years in most meaningful areas of human endeavors. Based on that, we shall attempt project where changes are direly needed. We know that will be no small task. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Your friend in South Texas,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail: gonzedo@yahoo.com


December 24, 2015 at 10:01 PM Comments (0)

IN INDIA, THE TAMIL- NADU STATE PLANS TO GENERATE 3,000 Mw OF SOLAR ENERGY

18 FEB 2013

IN INDIA, THE TAMIL NADU STATE PLANS TO GENERATE 3,000 MW OF SOLAR ENERGY over the next three (3) years.  On 16 Feb. 2013, Tamil Nadu Minister for Electricity, R.Viswanathan said: “The State government is committed to promoting renewable energy, especially solar energy, in a big way in the State…Given the rapid depletion of fossil fuels for generating thermal power, and the limitations of hydro power, it is imperative that the State and the country tap the vast potential of renewable energy sources”

AMBITIOUS SOLAR ENERGY PLANS BY TAMIL NADU STATE that include plans to generate 3,000 MW of solar power over the next three years. Tenders have already been called for generating 1,000 MW solar power, and the private investors have shown keen interest in the project, he said.

TAMIL NADU STATE CONCERNED WITH POWER SHORTAGES, notably, the current power shortage of 4,000 MW in the State.  Mr.Viswanathan said power generation was gradually increasing, thanks to the measures initiated by the Chief Minister. As new power projects are commissioned, the shortage will be bridged soon.  N.R.Sivapathy, Minister for “Education, Law, Youth Welfare and Sports”, Expressed confidence that the target of generating 3,000 MW of solar energy by 2015 would be achieved, and added the State government was extending various incentives for promoting solar energy. For the first time in the country, domestic solar installations are to be given efficiency based incentives; this, appealed to the students at the “VIRUMBHUVOM” contest.

TAMIL ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (TEDA) Dir. & CEO, Mr. Sudeep Jain, said:  30 % of India’s renewable energy installations, and 40 % of wind energy installations were in Tamil Nadu. The State government has also introduced the concept of net metering. Such initiatives are likely to be adopted soon at the national level. As examples of current green- energy initiatives, he cited that the State government has decided all government buildings would have solar power installations, and existing buildings would also be converted to solar energy in a phased manner”.  Mayor, A. Jaya, added that the Corporation has taken steps to install solar roof- top installations at its office.

GREEN-ENERGY “VIRUMBHUVOM”- A state-level interschool competition.  Mr. Y.Kumanan and Mr. Jaganathan of ‘Rotary International” said oratorical and painting competitions were conducted in about 1045 schools across the State under the “Green Energy Virumbhuvom” campaign this year. The competitions were well received, and State level winners and runners-up were awarded electric scooters and solar water heaters.

EVEN NON-SOLAR INITIATIVES WERE PROMOTED.  Mr. P.Kumar, MP, appealed to the Electricity Minister to support a “waste-to-energy” project planned by the Tiruchi Corporation. He added that the “BHEL- Tiruchi”, has expressed willingness to take up the project as a joint venture.

Thanks to: The Hindu, Tiruchirapalli, 17 Feb 2013

ENERGYMATERS COMMENTARY

INDIA IS A MODERN HERO ONCE AGAIN.  We seldom stop to think about it, but when people unite to oppose any act of government, or other national interests against hopelessly overwhelming forces, by any and all means available to them, be that force, or “passive resistance” such as taught us by M.K. Gandhi.  This time the line of resistance was sparked at the proposed Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), in Tamil Nadu.  Even if that battle is won or lost, its historical significance is that it sparked an Anti-Nuke movement in India that has shaken the government, and is now yielding very positive results such as those in this posting.

A SIMILAR HEROIC BATTLE TOOK PLACE AT “THE ALAMO”. In my home town of San Antonio, Texas, USA.  in March of 1836, More than 200 defenders (Many had  Mexican surnames) died fighting the formidable forces of Mexico. They lost the battle, but won the war, because cries of “Remember the Alamo!” resonated throughout Texas, and the Mexican Army was defeated less than two(2) months later by the Texian Army, with only 9 dead.;  So, history made heroes out of the Alamo defenders. They were at the right place, at the right time, and they knew it.  Indeed history is replete with “Heroes” who saw that history required their sacrifice for the sake of their cause, and gave their all without regard for self  or even recognition. Now The Alamo receives more than a million visitors per year.

ONCE AGAIN TAMIL- NADU CARRIES THE “GREEN-ENERGY” FLAG.  This time they are doing what only a few are acknowledging as the “way of the future”.  It is easy to recognize that it is a true “grassroots movement”, but that just adds to their resolve and merit. We anticipate India will soon recognize its need to explore and implement any and all ways to produce green energy.  Actually, with its huge sunny land mass, but poor transmission lines (grid), India would probably be best served by many solar plants of 100Mw, or less.  Near cities where natural gas is also available, Hybrid Concentrated Solar Plants (ref: http://energymaters.com/?p=1133  This is emerging technology which promises electrical generation NIGHT AND DAY (important in urban areas), while maximizing its solar utilization. It bears looking into.  There are of course many other avenues for green-energy power generation, and each country owes it to its citizens to explore and develop them as soon as possible.

THE MAN THAT TOLD IT BEST IS “GREENPEACE INTL.( GREEN- ENERGY ACTIVIST GROUP for the UK), Doug Parr said: “This government’s (England) relentless focus on new nuclear has lost us years of investment in truly green energy and we now need a plan B to deliver a clean, safe energy system – one that doesn’t depend on deluded estimates of how much nuclear will get built. The longer the government chases its nuclear dream, the more the UK loses out on the jobs and economic benefits that viable, affordable green energy will bring”, and the same thing is true of India!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

RELATED PREVIOUS POSTS:

INDIA’S SUPREME COURT RULES ON SAFETY OF KUDANKULAM NUCLEAR POWER PLANT @ http://energymaters.com/?p=1032

INDIAS NUCLEAR REGULATORY BOARD (THEIR NRC) NEEDS EMPOWERMENT @  http://energymaters.com/?p=918

INDIA AT A LOSS IN HOW BEST TO HANDLE PEOPLE’S REJECTION OF NUCLEAR PLANTS @ http://energymaters.com/?p=748 

INDIAN PRESS DISCLOSES EFFORTS TO BUY THE PEOPLE OF TIRUNELVELY @ http://energymaters.com/?p=739

INDIA RESORTS TO THE IAEA AND OTHERS TO ASSUAGE THEIR PEOPLE ABOUT NUKE SAFETY @ http://energymaters.com/?p=447

INDIA’S “JAITAPUR” NUCLEAR PLANT PLACED ON-HOLD DUE TO PUBLIC OPPOSITION @ http://energymaters.com/?p=432

INDIA – A NEW COLONY OF RUSSIA? ITS THIRST FOR ENERGY COULD MAKE IT SO – PART 1 @ http://energymaters.com/?p=376

INDIA- A NEW COLONY OF RUSSIA? ITS THIRST FOR ENERGY COULD MAKE IT SO – PART 2 @ http://energymaters.com/?p=426

IN INDIA, ANTI-NUKE DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST A SIX NUKE “ENERGY PARK”  http://energymaters.com/?p=283


February 18, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments (6)

CLIMATE WARMING AND SEA-LEVEL RISE ARE HERE TO STAY- LET US FACE IT

06 Jan 2013

The local government of New Orleans (Katrina Land), New York, and New Jersey (Sandy Storm) are eagerly awaiting, reconstruction funds, and in fact angry at what they view as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) foot-dragging.  They have come to expect that the USA Federal Government will come to their rescue with funds to re-build their severely damaged infrastructure, and even homes. Question is: For how long can the USA Federal/State governments afford to fund the reconstruction of our sea-side (littoral) cities and towns? Beach erosion, and recent storms have even damaged the Boardwalk beyond repair.

WASHINGTON POLITICIANS DON’T YET WANT TO “TELL IT LIKE IT IS”. It is not “politically correct” to tell such local governments: Sorry but “uncle Sam is out of funds”; Let alone recognize sea-level-rise, and climate warming, are not a temporary condition, but rather a presage of things to come. That accounts for the current intense funding negotiations regarding the budget. Local governments of New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, as well as many seaside communities in Alabama and other places are all expecting massive reconstruction help to “rebuild”. PROBLEM IS: Our USA government officials are not yet willing to publicly recognize that sea-level rise, and climate warming are not a temporary condition, but a clear and present/future danger.

SORRY, “WE TELL IT LIKE IT IS” On this publication. We peruse the news daily for significant events and trends in an attempt to connect the dots.  Mainstream data does not do that; the only “report”, and often miss the significance of such events/trends. We have said it before, that “recognizing the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” (no hoopla, misinformation, propaganda or lies) is very important toward planning for the future, and to survive and prosper.

NATURALLY THEY ALL HAVE THEIR HAND OUT “FOR A HAND-UP”- really? The local governments of New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, and many other impacted coastal areas are expecting massive reconstruction help to “rebuild” their severely destroyed infrastructure, and even people’s homes. Sorry folks, that is not likely. Just ask the people of New Orleans how much help they have received. They will tell you they are still waiting for the USA Corps of Engineers to defend them against future incursions by the sea and future storms. At least that is their business community desire. Most of the people of New Orleans have realized that moving elsewhere is a better solution.  We have many of their younger, dynamic citizens in our San Antonio, TX community, and glad to have them.

FEMA WAS NOT CREATED TO COPE WITH NATURAL DISASTERS OF SUCH MAGNITUDE, but rather to minimize human suffering among those in dire need in the aftermath of such natural and man-made disasters (the type of help they have already provided New York), and are not funded or equipped to help people “rebuild”. Hell! – even insurance companies will not insure those who insist on building on sea-side localities, and are hence vulnerable to the elements. But some say:”not to worry, we like the sea, and me and my ancestors have always lived near/by the sea”. Problem is: such attitudes belong to those that want the sweet, but not the sour, and now want Uncle Sam to pick-up the tab for their disdain. WISH WE COULD, BUT THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT FOR SUCH NEEDS, OR MONEY IN OUR TREASURY TO FUND IT; It is no wonder the Washington scene is plagued today with how to appear politically correct, when they know dammed well we cannot afford such help.

THE CLIMATE CHANGE ALSO AFFECTS OTHER MANY AREAS of our country, not just our coasts. Prolonged droughts in the central USA have produced severe agricultural shortfalls, transportation problem created by now non-navigable rivers, etc. Many lakes and dams are sorely depleted, and seem on the brink of extinction. Just north of San Antonio, TX is Medina Lake and dam. The lake now has about 6% of its traditional water level. This is tragic because it is located in an area that has traditionally served as an  absorption zone for our Edwards Aquifer, primary source of water for nearly 2 million people. Naturally, our San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is doing all it can to pipe water from other places, and even to desalinate saline underground water. Fortunately our citizens have responded well to the SAWS plea for water discipline. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT: CLEAN AIR, CLEAN WATER AND SUFFICIENT ENERGY ARE THE TRIAD ON WHICH ALL MODERN COUNTRIES WILL SURVIVE/PROSPER OR SUFFER.

THIS BLOG ENJOYS READERS IN SOME 65 COUNTRIES ALREADY WITNESSING THESE GLOBAL CHANGES. The people living in desert or semi-desert areas, already know full well the indispensability of water, and have much to teach many countries of the world where “water is cheap”-today.  We in the USA have much to learn from these folks, and there is no time to waste. Reconstruction of sea-level impacted areas needs to be viewed as “nice to do”, but with a sober assessment of future major changes.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


January 6, 2013 at 2:25 AM Comment (1)

THE 18TH CLIMATE WARMING CONFERENCE – JUST A SHAM! – THEY ALWAYS ARE

10 Dec 2012

On 09 Dec 2012, at DOHA, Qatar – The annual “United Countries of the Parties” climate warming conference concluded late Saturday after the customary all-night negotiating session, and recriminations over who should bear the costs and burdens of a warming planet. Delegates from more than 190 countries, agreed to extend the “Kyoto Protocol” for a few more years; and to commit to more ambitious (but unspecified) actions to reduce emissions of climate-altering gases (greenhouse gases). The 2012, 18th Conference failed to produce an outline of a new agreement, leaving such questions to future Conferences. That is what they do, year after year.

TALK – JUST TALK!  Few countries ever do anything to reduce greenhouse gases emissions; consequently, there is an ever growing concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Given the current trend in greenhouse emissions, the world’s atmospheric temperature will likely rise more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from pre-industrial times; this was the central goal of the conferees; even so, the group put-off for future years any plan for addressing the problem, merely stating an intention to “identify and explore in 2013 options for a range of actions to close the pre-2020 ambition gap.”

“KYOTO PROTOCOL”- JUST A SHAM!  The Conference, formally known as the 18th “Conference of the Parties” (COP 18), was always considered a transition from the longstanding division of countries, into (a) industrialized polluters and (b) developing-world victims of sea level rise and climate change. That division was enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol, which the USA never joined, and which assigned pollution reduction targets to advanced countries, but none to developing countries, including the world’s current largest greenhouse gas emitter, China. The conferees agreed last year in Durban, South Africa, to work toward a new protocol, or other legally binding instrument that would require actions of all parties; not just rich countries, as under the Kyoto agreement of 1997. The new agreement is to be concluded by 2015 and enter into force in 2020.

MONEY PROMISES – JUST PROMISES! Industrial countries had pledged to secure $100 billion a year by 2020 in public and private financing to help poor countries cope with climate change, but have been vague about what they plan to do before then;  Only a handful of countries, not including the USA, have made concrete financial pledges for adaptation aid over the next few years; even now, Todd D. Stern, senior USA negotiator, said: “The USA will continue to provide substantial climate-related aid to vulnerable countries; however, I am not in a position, to promise new American financing, given the ongoing budget talks in Washington”.  N’uff said!

THE CONCEPT OF “LOSS AND DAMAGE” was addressed by the Conference recognizing the increasing frequency of “extreme weather events”, as well as slower-acting threats like drought and sea level rise. PROMISES, PROMISES – The Conferees agreed on the need for more financial and technical support for the most vulnerable countries, but failed to create a process to handle such aid, thus angering some delegates: Kieren Keke, foreign minister of the Pacific nation of Nauru, and chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States, said the package adopted Saturday is: “deeply deficient…This is not where we wanted to be at the end of this Conference, I assure you…It certainly isn’t where we need to be in order to prevent islands from going under, and other unimaginable impacts. It has become abundantly clear that unless the work is supported by world leaders, particularly those representing the countries most responsible for the crisis, we will continue to fall short year after year.” (Note: Many small islands located just above sea level, are being evacuated, and will soon disappear), AND NOBODY IS WILLING TO HELP.

INDEPENDENT EFFORTS BY COUNTRIES ARE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL. Jennifer Haverkamp, director of the international climate programs at the Environmental Defense Fund said: “What this Conference reinforced is that while this is an important forum, it is not the only one in which progress can and must be made…The disconnect between the level of ambition the parties are showing here and what needs to happen to avoid dangerous climate change is profound.” Put plainly, these folks all want to “fly their own kite”, and scratch only where they itch. The most effective actions to date have been taken at the National, State and local levels, with a number of countries adopting aggressive emissions reductions programs and using other means to help finance them. While the USA has not yet adopted a comprehensive approach to climate change, the Obama administration has put in place a comprehensive “Automotive emissions reduction program”, and a plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. California has adopted a “cap-and-trade” system for 2013.  Other countries, including South Korea, Australia, and most of Europe, independently started earlier, and have gone much further. Such efforts hold promise, at least in the short term, for mitigating climate change.

GREENHOUSE GASES ARE ACCUMULATING FAST. Scientists say the problem is growing worse faster than any of them predicted even a few years ago. It is painfully evident that the 18 yearly Conferences held so far by the United Countries, were at best a palliative to the global climate change problems, and at worst, an expensive, useless sideshow. Games people play to appear important and concerned, when they only wish to provide lip service, and to appear “politically correct”.

Thanks to the New York Times p. A13, 09 Dec 2012, for their excellent quotations.

 

OUR VIEW AND COMMENTARY

GREAT GLOBAL CHANGES ARE COMING. The greenhouse effect (and temperature rise) is already producing great global atmospheric changes that will in time, change our civilization as we know it.  The polar cap is melting, causing a relenting sea level rise which in time will force many littoral cities to reconsider relocating to higher ground.  Recall New York and New Jersey, and New Orleans? One can add other places like Venice, Italy, one of the most visited places on earth, where St. Mark Square is now inundated by two feet of sea water.  We shudder to consider the future of the Netherlands (was Helvetia/Holland) mostly already located below sea level.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, humans have always chosen to live near the sea because the sea is generous. The sea gives, but the sea also takes away. It always has, and always will. There is ample geological evidence that the global map has changed many times in the past, and that even locations above 10,000 feet were once under the sea. Most places where oil/gas exist, were recently under the sea (in geological terms).

EVEN MIGHTY RIVERS ARE SUFFERING The snow-melt from the Himalayas is the source of water for several nations like Nepal, and China. Problem is: the snow is melting too quickly there too. Without that source of water, many billions of people will be forced to look for fresh water elsewhere or in desalination (not to mention its effect on their hydro-plant dams). The dry weather in the central USA has reduced the flow of water in the mighty Mississippi river to the point where it is now practically non-navigable. That river was very important to the rapid development of the USA.

MAN’S PENCHANT TO BURN FOSSIL FUEL EXACERBATES THE PROBLEM. Coal and oil combustion inexorably produce huge quantities of Carbon dioxide (Nat Gas about half as much). What a shame!  Petroleum and coal are too wonderful a resource to burn, and natural gas a wonderful source of fertilizer.  Science has found, and will yet find many useful products from fossil fuels that will cause us to regret having burned them up for energy. That knowledge alone should suffice to cause humanity to seek green (renewable) energy technology ASAP.  And yet, the “United Countries of the Parties” think it is all about money, and who should pay it! They just don’t get it! They are self-serving idiots who can’t see the forest for the trees.

AND WORSE YET…An added dimension to the problem is that many nations, USA included, are still burning coal as if it were the only fuel available. In San Antonio TX (my home city) our City Public Service Energy foolishly persists in using two “coal-burners” (Spruce I, and II at Calaveras Lake) with a combined output of 1,240 MW, even though just 40 miles south of San Antonio, TX, there is accelerated development of a huge oil/gas (Eagle-Ford shale) which will alone, very soon rival Russia’s Nat gas production; and yet, there is currently no plan to retro-fit coal-burners to Nat gas.  We need to understand that nearly all power-plants are high-pressure steam turbine-driven generators, and that the method for producing steam is the main variant.  In a ” Thermo-electric” plant the fuel can be oil, Nat gas, or coal, or even refuse, and the only difference is how the fuel is burned; Hence, retro-fitting an existing thermo-electric plant from coal or oil to Nat gas, is relatively inexpensive, and can be accomplished relatively quickly.  Prior to 1984, San Antonio, TX used only Nat gas for electrical generation.  Such a move should only be viewed as a temporary measure until Texas can improve its Grid, and develop windtricity, and other sustainable (green) energy generation technology.

THE WORLD SHOULD FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF GERMANY.  Plan to eliminate NPP’s, develop a new, modern electrical distribution system (Grid), further green (sustainable) energy technologies such as wind, solar, and others.  In our mind, the example being set by China and its continued reliance on coal, will bring about terrible health consequences among its people already forced to breathe highly polluted air.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo) 

UPDATE 30 DEC 2012

IN RESPONSE TO SOME OF OUR READERS The best advice I could give ANYONE regarding climate warming and sea level rise is: Don’t buy any seaside property located less than 10 meters above sea level, don’t emigrate to countries or regions with heavy air pollution, or smog producing industries, or nearby radioactive sources, or near Nuclear Power-Plants(NPPs). Look for countries, or regions that are now heavily vested in renewable “green energy”, for they shall inherit the earth. Many countries are even now quietly transfiguring to renewable energy sources. Stay away from NPPs. Remember, most NPPs in the world (there are over 1,000) are also Spent-fuel Repositories (transuranic nuclear waste) and are likely to stay so for many years to come, simply because decommissioning is expensive and difficult to accomplish; problem is: What to do with 50 years of nuclear waste accumulation.

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET THAT BEING AN ADULT, IMPLIES  COPING WITH LIFE’S UNCERTAINTIES: IF WE CAN KEEP OUR HEAD, WHEN THOSE  AROUND US ARE LOOSING THEIRS, THEN WE WILL BE BETTER-OFF FOR IT.  THE WORLD BELONGS TO THOSE WILLING TO ACCEPT/RECOGNIZE THAT CHANGE, IS UNAVOIDABLE, AND PERHAPS A PART OF “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST”.  TRUTH IS, WE CAN ALL DO WITH A LOT LESS THAN WE CONSIDER  NECESSARY TODAY.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 !!!

YOUR FRIEND,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S. We are happy to announce that our readership has nearly trebled in the last part of 2012, and that we are viewed in over 65 countries; with many of those approaching 1,000 reads per month. We are all bonded by a desire to hear only “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, for the truth will enable us to better cope with change, and life in general.

 

December 10, 2012 at 5:10 AM Comments (0)

IN GERMANY A NEW STUDY OUTLINES GREEN ENERGY PLANS

07 JUN 2012

GERMANY’S CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL EXPECTS MANY NEW GREEN ENERGY JOBS She is banking on a major expansion in “renewable energy” (green energy) to make up for possible power shortfalls created by the planned phase-out from the Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).  Soon after the Fukushima tragic triple meltdown of 12 Mar 2011, Ms. Merkel surprised the nuclear Industry, and the world by announcing the intention to phase-out all of Germany’s NPPs.  Now, a GWS think tank * study presented on 06 Jun 2012, showed Germany’s expanding green energy industry plans to account for over half a million jobs by 2030: that, is up more than 33% from current levels, and driven by rapidly developing solar panel, and off-shore wind generation industries.

THE GWS THINK-TANK EXPECTS MANY NEW JOBS. Jobs linked to the green energy industry, are expected to rise as much as 600,000 by 2030. Currently around 382,000 jobs are linked to the industry – equivalent to about 1 % of the workforce in Europe’s largest economy. The study included employees involved in making and maintaining renewable energy equipment, as well as workers indirectly serving the sector such as scientists, suppliers and service industries.  Germany plans to derive 35 % of its power from renewable sources by 2020, and 80% by 2050.  They currently produce only about 20% green-energy; consequently, many critics say those targets look very optimistic.  Even so, German industry prides itself on adapting to new global trends, and has already shifted some of its traditional heavy engineering to green technology in the last decade.; Not surprisingly, this has helped to shield its economy, and job market from the worst of the European financial and debt crises.

THE SOLAR-CELL GENERATING SECTOR OF INDUSTRY was boosted in the last decade by generous incentives which turned Germany into the world’s largest market for solar panels, and currently accounts for about a third of jobs in the green energy sector: However, some experts are pessimistic about the solar-cell sector due to cuts in incentives, and increased competition from abroad.  Several firms in the sector have gone bankrupt in the last year: Even so, the GWS study said the industry should hold its own.

BIOENERGY ALSO LOOMS PROMINENTLY. In Germany, it currently accounts for about 33% of jobs in the green energy.

OFF-SHORE WIND DRIVEN GENERATION TO UNDERGO A RAPID EXPANSION: Although, it currently accounts for about 25% of green energy jobs.  It is earmarked for rapid expansion.   Plans call to build 10,000 MW of offshore wind parks by 2020, but are hampered by an inadequate power grid plus regulatory and financing questions.  GWS’ Ulrike Lehr**, co-author of the study, said: “Much depends on international conditions. The development of the wind sector, for example, will be affected a good deal by export/ demand but we expect the distribution between sectors to remain roughly the same,” While the southern state of Bavaria and western state of North Rhine-Westphalia contribute the largest number of workers in the green energy sector.  Less dynamic economies in former Communist eastern states are more reliant on the industry, and growth in several of those states has been boosted in the last few years by solar cell production, and now, some are now pinning their hopes on offshore wind.

*GWS Think Tank  http://www.indiajapansummit.org/en/index.php?page=speakerdetails&id=204

**Ulrike Lehr – Bremen   http://www.gws-os.de/downloads/tagungen/ieaa08.pdf

COMMENT:

IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO PREDICT THE FUTURE; Even so, goals should be set, and expectations given a proper perspective in planning for the future at a major transition time in the history of energy generation worldwide.  In all probability, Germany’s Infrastructure (GRID) developments, and green energy planning reflect the very problems most nations of the world will need to face as soon as possible.

“A SILVER LINING IN EVERY CLOUD” We had anticipated correctly that the changeover to green energy would create many new jobs, and usher new technology.  Attempting to quantify how many jobs is another problem; difficult at best.  Only time will tell.

“WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT” that Henry Ford’s tinkering with internal combustion engines would lead to the creation of “mass-production” of autos; Hence, the now dominant Auto-industry.  Also needed were a complete infrastructure of roads, repair centers (garages), fuel distribution and selling (service stations), and even the very powerful Petroleum refining products cartel.  It took about 100 years, but it transcendentally changed humanity forever.

WE SEEM TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE WITH GERMAN PLANNING. If you read our last post you will know this.  Once again we offer kudos to Germany for showing the world both resolve and courage to face an ever uncertain and rapidly evolving world. Meanwhile in the USA, “something will have to give” to break our governmental grid-lock in the NRC. We Americans deserve better from our government,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez

Thanks to Reuters for their article on this subject on 06 Jun 2012

 

June 7, 2012 at 11:01 AM Comment (1)

JAPAN’S CENTRAL GOVT. SEEMS “FROZEN INTO INACTION” IN THE FACE OF THE ENEMY

16 Jul 2011

WHAT’S THE “BEEF” ??(American expresion for: what is the complaint?).  More than four(4) months after the Fukushima Tragedy, Japan’s Central Government has not yet set-up a system to check food for radiation; Instead, they “Pass the Buck” to testing carried out by Prefectures and Municipalities. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said that one beef sample tested at 650 becquerels(Bq) per kilogram (kg), exceeding the maximum limit of 500 Bq per kg. The radioactive Isotope Cesium was found in large quantity in the hay-feed given to the cattle.  Cesium has an affinity for calcium, hence it goes for the bones; and there, begins to change the human DNA to produce cancers of several sorts. NOT A GOOD THING!  YOU CAN’T SEE IT, YOU CAN’T SMELL IT… AND YOU CAN’T COOK IT OUT EITHER!

A THIRD SHIPMENT OF RADIOACTIVE BEEF has been reported since last weekend, unfortunately, officials believe much of it has already been consumed. It is as though the Central Government has abdicated its responsibilities to Japan as a whole. IN THE LATEST SUCH INCIDENT, A cattle farm in the town of Minamisoma (just outside the 20 kilometer no-go zone placed around the Fukushima nuclear plant), was found to have shipped meat from cows fed with straw containing 75,000 Bq of cesium per kg.

WORSE YET, The Central government has sought to assure the public that there is no immediate health threat from eating “standard servings” of the beef.  Those who say so, are either “lying through their teeth” to protect their nonchalance, or incredibly ignorant;  SO, THEY DO NOTHING! to protect the people of Japan. AS WE SAY IN TEXAS: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW, COWBOY!  For now, officials are also calling it an isolated incident, while vowing to increase inspections of food in wake of the country’s nuclear crisis.  WE’LL SEE!

RADIATION DOSIMETERS (GEIGER COUNTERS) ARE A “HOT” COMMODITY.  Not surprisingly: “It was a wave of panic buying,” Huang said…it was absolutely a seller’s market,” with some manufacturers selling out a year’s worth of inventory in a week through March and April.. we have since restocked supplies”;  PROBLEM IS: Most of the dosimeters on the market now are questionably accurate, and tend to break-own often. Contaminated products including spinach, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tea, milk, plums beef, and fish with cesium-137, and iodine radioactive Isotopes as far as 360 kilometers from Fukushima Dai No. 1 Nuclear station. Unfortunately, it is clear radioactivity has entered the food chain over much of the Japanese mainland.

FORTUNATELY, Japan’s “Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology” has handed out 1,700 dosimeters made by Tokyo-based Fuji Electric Co. to kindergartens, elementary and middle schools since April.  We say fortunately because dosimeters are not inexpensive: somewhere betweent $200 and $800 ea.  Japanese people prefer those made elsewhere in the world: “The Russian and Ukrainian-made dosimeters sell out in a flash.”

MEANWHILE AT FUKUSHIMA DAI NO.1, Nuke plant, 15 Jul 2011  The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports that a contaminated water filtration system was temporarily shut-down after a pipe junction snapped. About 1.3 gallons of radioactive water leaked following the break last 13 Jul 2011(Wednesday). TEPCO said repairing the break will require human intervention, but the high radiation levels of 100-150 millisieverts per hour in the surrounding area make it very difficult to get to the system and, it was unclear when the repairs would be completed.  This is bad news!

One has to feel compassion for the Japanese people these days. A weak, in-cohesive, irresolute Central government, contaminated food, soil, and water(in some areas).  Even Mother Nature continues to “rattle” the country with 5+ magnitude quakes all too frequently still.  It is no wonder there are reports of many young women and children leaving Japan to go to Okinawa. Fortunately for those folks, they are very welcome there, although for how long that will continue remains to be seen.  In most such cases, the husbands found it necessary to remain in Japan to earn a living,  thus adding  family separation to their daily stresses.

Gonzedo 

July 16, 2011 at 1:50 AM Comments (11)

IS AN INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL EXODUS BEGINNING IN JAPAN? IT SEEMS SO

11 Jul 2011

MANY JAPANESE INDUSTRIES SEE A NEED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY. According to a survey by the “Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry” in May 2011, 69% of the 163 participating companies said that the March 2011 Fukushima catastrophe would accelerate the complete or partial relocation of Japanese parts makers to other countries.

SIGNS OF MAJOR SOCIAL CHANGE OCCURRING TODAY The Nippon Life Insurance Research Institute(NLIRI) is a “for profit” Corp. established in 2005 “to adequately meet the diverse and growing needs of society… with a mission to fulfill the needs of basic research and formulate solutions on a broad range of issues. These issues span the domestic and international economy, from finance and industry to urban development, and the supply of services to meet minimum living standards”.  NLIRI believes that the SIGNS OF MAJOR SOCIAL CHANGE ARE OCCURRING TODAY, point to the need for “think-tanks”; and that these, will become increasingly important.

“WE’RE GOING TO SEE A SHIFT IN THE INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE IN THE COUNTRY” said Koichi Haji, NLIRI’s Chief Economist.  Companies that use a large amount of electricity will consider more overseas production if they have power supply problems. Those that don’t have to use much power will find ways to save electricity…Fears of power shortages stemming from the Fukushima nuclear disaster are prompting companies to move to the Western part of Japan, and even overseas, to reduce the risk, while companies that own offices only in Tokyo, are taking steps to relocate, in order to reduce the risk of being hit by possible blackouts.

OMINOUSLY FOR JAPAN, Companies that need to use large amounts of electricity for long periods (ON A SUSTAINED BASIS), are planning to shift some of their production centers overseas…

“WHEN IT RAINS – IT POURS” Already burdened with the dollar’s prolonged weakness against the yen, and the highest corporate taxes in the industrialized world, many Japanese manufacturers are worried that instability in Tokyo’s power supply will undermine their global competitiveness. After quake and Tsunami March 11 crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant – Tokyo’s main power source, the government asked large-scale users in the east and northeast to reduce electricity use by 15 % starting 01 Jul 2011.  Kansai Electric Power Co., the biggest utility in western Japan, likewise asked companies and households to voluntarily cut power use by around 15 % until Sept. 22.

RISING ENERGY COSTS would present another threat to companies operating in eastern Japan. The rub is that Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) is facing enormous damages and compensation expenses to relocated victims, in addition to the huge long-term remediation/stabilization costs of it four(4) Dai No. 1 Nukes, plus their four (4) Spent Fuel Pools.  How else but to raise prices in the near future?  Somebody always pays!

ELECTRICITY IS ALSO A DIRE COMMERCIAL NEED; Surprisingly, even to Companies that rely completely on the Internet.  One such is “Kenko.com” which does all its buying and selling on the Internet.  They saw the light soon after March 11 because its only offices were in Tokyo.  Spokeswoman Haruka Takizawa said: “If we can’t log-in to our computers, we can’t have access to do anything at all…that means the company cannot receive orders, and cannot direct storehouses to ship products – including much-needed necessities such as bottled water and toilet paper, to customers”. Since May 2011, the Kenco.com has been moving some of its operations to the city of Fukuoka, Japan. Now they plan to expand to roughly 50% of its operations and staff to Fukuoka by the end of next March 2012”.  Additionally, Kenco.com has moved one of its storehouses in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, to Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, to reduce costs, and expedite deliveries.

OPTICAL-GLASS MAKERS “HOYA CORP” IS LEAVING JAPAN and its plant in Akishima, Tokyo. HOYA is already building a production plant in Shangdong, and plans to start its operations in December 2011.  Hoya spokeswoman Akiko Maeyama said: “The plan to build a new plant in China is to diversify our risks,”  HOYA’s problem is their Akishima plant was forced to switch-off its electric glass-making furnaces for a few hours a day during the rolling blackouts last March; This forced it to dig into its inventories, briefly curtailed output, and pressured them to set up a plant overseas to avoid any power outage which could damage melted raw material in the furnaces.

Nidec is a Kyoto-based Multi-National Corp. which acquired Emerson Electric Co.’s Motors & Controls Business in 2010.  Nidec Corp. claims that it needs uninterrupted electrical energy to succeed, so they looking to relocate some of their motor-testing facilities in Shiga Prefecture, and its development centers in Kyoto and Nagano, to overseas.  Nidec claims it must have a stable source of power to test the durability of its electric motors, which are used in automobiles and other machines. Such testing requires running motors without interruption for a couple of months; hence the need for reliable electricity supply.  Nidec Corp. already has 12 subsidiaries in countries such as Canada, Mexico, U.S. and the U.K.

Thanks to The Japan Times for quotations, 08 Jul 2011,

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20110708a1.html

MY TAKE:

On 30 Mar 2011 we published the article below at our SA-EN site. Unfortunately It is proving to be an early call for Japan’s leader’s to PLAN FOR THE WORST-NOW!  Time is being wasted!!

In my mind, the article above proves that clear -headed Japanese planners such as those at the NLIRI are now calling for “Think-Tanks” to plan for the very uncertain future of Japan as we now know it.  In the affairs of all nations there were/are “tipping points” which need(ed) to be recognized in time to prevent going down “the slippery slope” due to inaction. I believe Japan has reached that point in its history.  Things will never return to normal, and joint planning at the highest Governmental levels, Academia, Commerce, and Industry is in order now!!!

Very Respectfully,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

San Antonio, Texas

Home of a great Toyota Tundra Assembly Plant

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THE FUTURE OF JAPAN MADE UNCERTAIN BY THE FUKUSHIMA MULTIPLE MELTDOWNS.

30 Mar 2011

Mr. Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of the Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO), expressed his deep remorse for the accident at Fukushima in northern Japan, including explosions, the release of radiation and contamination of crops and tap water. Katsumata added that the Fukushima plant could be entombed in concrete (like Chernobyl – but a bigger – much bigger “sarcophagus”). Although Katsumata referred only to scrapping reactors No. 1, 2, 3 & 4, government officials and other experts have been saying for more than a week that the entire complex, including the less problematic reactors 5 and 6, eventually would have to be decommissioned. Katsumata’s remarks came even as authorities work heroically to bring the battered plant under control; even as they were considering new methods to limit radiation leakages from the facility, including draping some kind of large tarp or cloth over the reactors and, applying resin or glue to the ground to prevent contamination of the soil. SOUNDS VERY TEMPORARY AND QUESTIONABLY EFFECTIVE.

Chief Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, cautioned later that was just one option being considered, but: “We should look at all the options (UNSAID WAS: ANYBODY GOT ANY?),” Regarding Fukushima’s Prefectural Governor’s request to force people living 12 and 18 miles from the plant to evacuate the area, Edano said: “We are considering the Fukushima Prefectural Governor’s request; People living within 12 miles of the plant have BEEN TOLD to leave their homes, while those living between 12 and 18 miles, have been URGED to move out or stay indoors”. WE CAN EXPECT THAT 18 MILE UNSAFE RADIUS TO EXPAND SWIFTLY OVER THE NEXT 2 WEEKS.

U.S. ON THE SCENE -U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman, Gregory Jaczko came to Tokyo earlier in the last week of Mar 2011. We feel certain he will be deeply concerned about the usual complacency of the U.S. nuclear facility industry. Amen!

FRANCE ON THE SCENE French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Japan on 31 Mar 2011 to hold a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Nuclear experts from the French utility “Areva” arrived in Tokyo on 30 Mar 2011 to advise on the situation at Fukushima, thus (at last) expanding the team of international specialists now consulting on the situation.

WHAT’S TO DO NOW – Nuclear experts are also mulling whether radioactive water that has flooded parts of the facility could be “sucked-up” and placed in a barge; However, radioactive material continues to seep from the plant. Japan’s “Government Nuclear Agency”(counterpart to our NRC) said on 30 Mar 2011 that radioactive Iodine-131 had been detected at 3,355 times the legal limit in seawater several hundred yards from the Fukushima plant. That’s the highest such concentration recorded at sea to date. Nuclear specialists said Iodine 131 isotopes decay in a matter of days, plus the diluting effect of the ocean meant there was negligible concern about the impact of radioactive Iodine 131 on human health.

No comment was made about the presence of more enduring Cesium (with a half-life of 30 years), and Plutonium (Pu 238). THE MOST COMMON PLUTONIUM ISOTOPES (Pu 238), and those found at Fukushima Japan HAVE A HALF-LIFE OF 88 YEARS. SOURCE OF THE FUKUSHIMA PLUTONIUM is still unknown. Experts at France’s Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) say it could have come from the Fukushima No. 3 reactor, which uses mixed oxide (MOX)- about 5% Plutonium and Uranium that has been extracted from spent nuclear fuel and reprocessed. Alternatively, it could be a fissile by-product from burning uranium in the No. 1 and 2 reactors. Plutonium radiation is in alpha particles, which only travel very short distances, and cannot penetrate human skin: HOWEVER, IF INHALED OR INGESTED EVEN IN MINUSCULE AMOUNTS it is extremely damaging to HUMANS AND FAUNA because its radiation causes DNA damage in tissue, thus boosting the risk of cancer. The bone marrow and liver, are especially vulnerable. Just a dozen milligrams of plutonium are lethal to humans/fauna – according to tests on lab animals cited by France’s “Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety” (IRSN).

Folks, one loves to “accentuate the positive”, However, such an attitude can delay/exclude preparation for the worst; at a time when early planning is of the essence. THE FUKUSHIMA INCIDENT will live on as the “MOTHER OF MELTDOWNS”. Born of greed, in a seismic cradle, and with six(6) siblings, it was a disaster waiting to happen. I fear the worst is yet to come, and that the “Unthinkable” should be planned for: JAPAN, ITS PEOPLE, ITS INDUSTRY, AND ITS CULTURE MUST BE RELOCATED to “Host” countries such as Australia, Canada, the U.S., and anywhere else they want, and that wants them. Many (notably the elderly) will choose not to leave “no matter what” Such is life, tradition and culture; Yet, the young and strong, will go on. Through millennia Humanity has survived because of its innate trait to accept change, and to adapt to new circumstance and even cultures. Indeed, such a trans-national migration is already happening on a massive global scale for socio-economic and political, non-nuclear reasons.

The question every nuclear country must ask is: What does my country need to change in our nuclear facilities after the bitter lessons of FUKUSHIMA 2011?.

gonzedo

July 11, 2011 at 1:00 AM Comments (12)