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

US-DOE ANNOUNCES OFF-SHORE WIND AND HYDRO-POWER ENERGY PROJECTS

9 May 2014 

PIONEERING OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY PROTOTYPE DEMONSTRATIONS

Washington, On 7 May 2014 the US Department of Energy (US-DOE) announced the selection of three (3) pioneering offshore wind demonstrations to receive up to $47 million each over the next four (4) years to deploy innovative, grid-connected systems in federal and state waters by 2017. These projects – located off the coast of New Jersey, Oregon, and Virginia will help speed the deployment of more efficient offshore wind power technologies. In USA waters by 2017. The projects selected are:

“FISHERMEN’S ENERGY” will install five ea. 5- megawatt (Mw) direct-drive wind turbines approximately three (3) miles off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. This project will utilize an innovative, USA-developed “twisted-jacket foundation” that is simpler and less expensive to manufacture and install than traditional offshore wind foundations.

PRINCIPLE POWERwill install five (5) ea. 6-Mw direct-drive wind turbines approximately 18 miles off the coast of Coos Bay Oregon. The USA-developed WindFloat semi-submersible floating foundation will be installed in water more than 1,000 feet deep, demonstrating an innovative approach to “deep water wind turbine” projects and lowering costs by simplifying installation and eliminating the need for highly specialized ships.

“DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER”will install two (2) 6-Mw direct-drive wind turbines 26 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach(an independent city located in the U.S. State of Virginia – population about 500,000, and located on the Atlantic coast ) utilizing a USA-designed twisted jacket foundation. Dominion’s project will demonstrate installation, operation and maintenance methods for wind turbines located far from shore. Additionally, the Dominion project will install and test a hurricane-resilient design.

DOE’s efforts to incentivize innovative “offshore wind technologies” support the Obama Administration’s comprehensive National Offshore Wind Strategy to develop a sustainable, world-class offshore wind industry. As part of that strategy, the DOE continues to work with partners within the government, including the Department of the Interior (DOI), to conduct further resource assessments, streamline the issuance of permits, and overcome technical and market challenges to installation, operations, and grid connection.

US-DOE REPORT FINDS POTENTIAL TO DOUBLE USA HYDROPOWER GENERATION

DOE at its Oak Ridge National Laboratory on April 29, 2014 released aNew Stream-reach Development Assessmentrenewable energy resource (green energy) assessment detailing the potential to develop new electric power generation in waterways across the United States. The report estimates that over 65,000 Mw of potential new hydropower development opportunities exist. (Just think of it! That amount of power is the equivalent output to about 55 Nuclear Power Plants ,or a heap of Coal-fired generators) more USA rivers and streams (nearly equivalent to the current USA hydropower capacity). Hydropower currently makes up 7% of total USA electricity generation, and continues to be the USA’s largest source of renewable electricity. The New Stream-reach Development Assessment” capitalizes on recent advancements in geospatial mapping (datasets), and represents the most detailed evaluation of USA hydropower potential of underutilized streams and rivers to date.

ADVANTAGE OF HYDRO-POWER is that it provides reliable “baseload” power (day and night) providing greater flexibility and diversity to the electric grid and allowing utilities to integrate other renewable sources such as wind and solar power; as such, greatly complements other green energy sources.

GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR HYDROPOWER IN USA was found in western states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming led the rest of the country in new stream-reach hydropower potential.

OUR TAKE AND COMMENTS

FOLKS, WE HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT THIS APPARENTLY GREAT INITIATIVE based on past experience with government “stimulated” projects. The worst case scenario was the great “Solyndra Fiasco”, where the then new Obama administration forked out about $535 Mil on a huge solar power-plant initiative that went “belly-up” without showing any appreciable results. The G.W. Bush Administration’s intentions were great, but I fear that the contractual language left a great deal to be desired. The Contractor just kept-on milking the project, even when they had nothing to show for their efforts.

WHEN DEALING WITH CONTRACTORS, Government Contract Administrators /Agents must be made accountable for their decisions /results; That is not so hard to do if they require timelines, milestones charts, and include added incentives for timely/expedited performance, and penalty in payment for delay/failure to show results. The contractor’s song and dance is usually: Well…we are treading new grounds/waters, and prototype development is uncertain at best”, then they will seek “time and materials” (that is the pits) such terms usually produces nothing but studies and expenses by the Contractor, and his friends who get invited to the “money trough” and is an assurance of failure, remember Solyndra ? These days of financial austerity we cannot afford such  fiascos. I only wish we were party to the contract language. Then our public would know if these noble intentions are in earnest. Truth be told, our country, and the world is in great need of such green energy developments. The contractual die is already cast, I only hope it is a good one.

ANTICIPATED TECHNICAL CHALLENGES

Aside from the yet unproven turbine anchoring technical challenges, other concerns such as how do we connect wind energy to land? It will take (in the Coos Bay Oregon an 18 mile underwater cable of sufficient amperage to conduct the energy generated. Then there is the task of integrating that energy to the grid. Problem is the grid is not always accessible where needed. That challenge has stymied land-based wind turbines that are almost always far from the grids. A very similar problem can be anticipated by Hydropower developers – where to hook up to the grid. Hydropower development is simply a must because it provides power 24 hours a day (“baseline” power generation). Hydropower was our first form of power generation, and a proven winner; however, there is the “Grid”problem…

WHO SHOULD PAY FOR THE GRID? Problem is: no one sees it as their responsibility to enhance the grid for the benefit of others. Like India, we are hurt by regionalization of dissimilar interests. That challenge is why the German government found it necessary years ago to centrally require grid improvements which are already beginning to bear fruit. Of course, Germany’s land mass is a lot smaller than that of India or the USA; Even so, The USA must act now. “Green energy” brings with it the need for our party government to work together. That is not going to happen quite simply because our Republican led Congress is more interested in the tragic events of Bengazi more than 2 years ago. I find it a testament to Republican party lack of personal integrity in government. House majority Leader John Boehner will be judged very harshly by history for his obstructionism. We should start a move to erect a statue to Boehner and TX Gov Rick Perry here in Texas, where the pigeons are certain to sh-t on their head. I nominate San Antonio, TX, and promise to feed the pigeons.

Even so, we commend the Obama administration for attempting to circumvent our Washington government gridlock (pun-intended). We need this, let’s make it work. The eyes of Texas, and the world are upon us, we cannot fail! for the sake of doing all we can, both large and small, to combat global warming and air pollution. It is killing us slowly.

Your Friend in Texas,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S. – I worked for the USA Gov. as an AF contract administrator for many years.


May 9, 2014 at 12:01 AM Comments (2)

INDIA -WORLDS LARGEST DEMOCRACY SEEKS GREEN ENERGY CONGRESS REPS

12 April 2014

On 7 Apr 2014 India kicked off, its electoral process for its lower chamber. Over 800 million people are eligible to vote to elect their representatives to the lower house of the Indian parliament (equivalent to the USA Congress). Appropriately, the major political parties, and an attractive newcomer, sought to address the critical issue of renewable (green) energy in their Manifestos (Party Platforms). The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Indian National Congress (INC), and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have been closely scrutinized by political pundits and the general public; While neither of the present any specific actions regarding expansion and promotion of renewable energy, it is heartening to see that the issue has found a place in their respective party manifestos.

BJP THE FRONT RUNNER IN THIS ELECTION has stated that it would promote development of hydro power infrastructure without disturbing the local population and environment. BJP (party) has also stated that it would expand an ambitious National Solar Mission even more aggressively than it is being currently implemented. Their promise has some weight too. Their Prime Ministerial candidate Mr Narendra Modi launched the most aggressive state solar policy in the country a year before the central government (led by the INC) announced the national solar mission. Five years on, among all states in India.

INC PARTY SUPPORTS MORE SOLAR AND WIND POWER The “Indian National Congress” party boasted that it has aggressively implemented the National Solar Mission, and would continue to do so with a the target of 22,000 MW capacity by 2022. INC also promises to promote/implement a National Wind Energy Mission which has been in the works for few months now, and also to promote the expansion of wind energy infrastructure in the country. The INC claims that it led the implementation of the National Solar Mission. Riding on the success of this mission, the party promised even more progress; however, its impetus has slowed down over the last few months.

AAP PROMOTES DECENTRALIZATION OF GREEN ENERGY. The “Aam Aadmi Party” has promised policies to promote decentralized renewable energy infrastructure. The policy proposed by the AAP mirrors its underlying principle, decentralization of governance. The party promises to work towards promoting off-grid and decentralized renewable energy systems which would prove to be a boon for the rural as well as the urban population. Apart from party-specific reasons behind including these promises, there are other national realities that these parties had to address not only of renewable energy but electricity as a whole. The AAP, for instance raises the issue of increasing electricity rates; that, of course, is an election issue at the assembly elections in national capital Delhi. This newly formed party forced its competitors to state policies directed at lowering electricity tariffs for the household consumers. These policies included implementation of net metering and rooftop solar power systems.

WHY ARE PARTIES NOW ADVOCATING GREEN ENERGY? There are many probable reasons: For instance: India endured the largest blackouts in global history in July 2012. The blackouts affected a population of more than 620 million. That event was ostensibly caused by several transmission lines being down for maintenance, and a rather common occurrence of state governments not heeding the directions of the central regulators. Be that as it may, the blackouts were a real eye opener, because they highlighted the collapse of not only the energy infrastructure in the country, but also the failure of governance, across party/state lines.

CONTENTIOUS ISSUES REMAIN rising electricity tariffs will remain for the foreseeable future as the state utilities are now required to file for tariff revisions every year. Renewable energy, especially solar energy, gains significance in this aspect because solar energy tariffs have been rapidly declining over the last few years while electricity based on coal and natural gas have been increasing.

TO EACH HIS OWN Naturally, the political parties mentioned above have advocated those campaign promises that suit them best, and project them in favorable light to their constituents (voters). Even so, it is heartening to see a new awareness among Indian congressional politicians of the need to promote green energy because it directly/indirectly impacts other critical issues of energy independence, energy equality, and economic growth.

Thanks to cleantechnica.com

OUR TAKE AND COMMENT

We have condensed the story above for clarity, and for brevity.

India, has come a long way in a relatively short time with regard to energy generation. Just about 5years ago, during the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plants massive civil protests, the Government in power virtually controlled all media, and made it “unpleasant” to discuss the subject publicly. Not now-Not any more!. The subject of green energy is now a “platform” of most of their political parties’ “manifesto”; THAT, IS PROGRESS INDEED! For any democracy.

The AA Party recognizes/advocates that because of their lack of electrical power distribution infrastructure (grid); their constituents would be better served by many Solar cell parks throughout its huge sun-drenched land mass. We could not agree more. Even with day only energy solar energy, many steps may be taken to extend power usage hours. BRAVO FOR INDIA! WISH MORE COUNTRIES WOULD RECOGNIZE THEIR OWN REALITIES!, and expect their governance to accede to their needs/desires. INDIA, YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY BABY !(an old American saying).

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail> gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. A huge amount of e-marketing spam has motivated us to shut down our “Comments”. However if you feel strongly about any issue regarding any recent article, please send us an e-mail, and we will publish it as a comment.

 


April 12, 2014 at 11:37 PM Comments (0)

GALLUP POLL – UP WITH GREEN ENERGY & DOWN WITH COAL

 02 April 2013

ENERGY PREFERENCES ACCORDING TO A NEW GALLUP POLL: Solar power is America’s preferred renewable (Green Energy) despite the USA’s new-found abundance of fossil fuels (thanks to the so-called “Shale Fracking”), and yet, Americans still overwhelmingly support more development of renewable (green) energy.

IN GENERAL – AMERICANS POLLED BY GALLUP PREFER:

More Solar power———————————————-75%

More Wind-Power——————————————71%

Increased Oil Production————————————-46%

Increased Nuclear (Uranium) Production————–37%

Increased Coal Production ——————————-33%

PREFERENCE BY PARTY AFFILLIATION- Democrats

Increased Solar Power————————————-90%

Increased Nat-gas Production/use———————–59%

PREFERENCE BY PARTY AFFILLIATION- Independents

Increased Solar Power————————————–75%

Increased Nat-Gas Production—————————–62%

PREFERENCE BY PARTY AFFILLIATION – Republicans

Increased Solar Power—————————————68%

Increased Nat-gas Production/use————————-66%

REGIONAL DIFFERENCES NOTED People living in the South, tend to support more fossil fuels such as oil and coal, than those living in other regions of the country. Nevertheless, more investment in solar was the top priority overall, regardless of where respondents lived, “America’s overall, and across political and socioeconomic groups, generally are most likely to call for more emphasis on solar and wind power … But alternative energy sources are still in their infancy in terms of technology and affordability; So, they have a long way to go before achieving more significant contributions to USA domestic energy production”.

 SHALE “FRACKING” STILL A WILD CARD WORLWIDE. Yes, it produces huge quantities of Nat-gas (which is about 50% cleaner burning than coal, and at present, potentially cheaper than most energy sources), So almost 60% of Democrats support greater gas development, along with 62% of Independents, and almost 80% of Republicans.  Hydraulic fracturing (hence – “Fracking”), coupled with horizontal drilling, have allowed oil/gas developers to tap into previously inaccessible stores of shale oil and gas;  However, controversy over the environmental impacts of fracking, and the continued use of these fossil fuels could present a serious roadblock for further development. Problem is, oil/gas developers are never willing to reveal the fluid, sand and other “proprietary” chemicals/compounds/techniques they pump into the ground. To exacerbate the problem to global dimensions, many other nations, with diverse shale characteristics, are beginning to say:  YEAH! We can do that too!  BUT…What is  “that”? and, what impact will that have on the world’s greatest commodities: Clean air &Drinking water? TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE; THERE IS CURRENTLY NO APPLICABLE REGULATIONS (IN THE USA) OTHER THAN THOSE SELF-IMPOSED BY OIL/GAS DEVELOPERS.

CONTINUED BURNING OF COAL FOR ENERGY GENERATION MAKES NO SENSE NOW.  This Gallup poll makes that issue crystal clear; and yet; here in San Antonio, Texas, our two (2) coal-burner plants at Calaveras (Skulls) lake (Spruce I, and II), together generate about 1,240 Mw, and consume about one train-load of coal daily/each.  That coal is brought from Gillette Co., WY. Transported about 1,500 miles in trains owned /maintained / financed by our “CPS Energy” public-owned Utility.  THE RUB IS: About 50 miles south of San Antonio, TX   is the “Eagle-Ford Oil and Gas” huge find/enterprise looking for ways to sell their Nat-gas, and CPS-Energy won’t even look their way.  It would be relatively inexpensive/quick to convert such plants to Nat-gas and CPS-Energy knows it, BUT…They somehow, feel compelled to buy coal from Ex-V.P. Cheney’s empire. I smell a rat! – Perhaps five (all members of the CPS Board). But then read about Florida’s woes where power- politics are evidently worse. Please read our previous article:
FLORIDA EXPRESSES DEEP DISATISFACTION WITH ITS ENERGY MOGULS

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S.  Some of you may not yet have heard that GOOGLE READER and their Real Simple Syndication (RSS) will cease to exist next 01 July 2013.  We felt very proud of posting up to four (4) out of 23 articles on that READER.  It would be presumptuous to think that its elimination had anything to do with suppressing our voice on their forum; however no real reason was given.  Same thing happened to this Blog when the San Antonio Express –News (a Hearst Newspaper decided to end our forum (On “Free-Press day” and in our face!), just as it reached 40,000 reads/month.  Then also, no reason was provided.  We understand Google is doing exceedingly well (Billionaire CEO etc.). To think that most of that enterprise rides on the backs of literary giants, the information writers who did the lion’s share of the Google data base without salary.  Google CEO may be in need of Texan wisdom: “There ain’t a horse that can’t be rode, or a rider that can’t be throwed”. His day of judgment is coming in the public eye. In my eyes he is already a “Vendido” (sellout).

Fortunately, many RSS data aggregators are in the wings, some already have as many as 3M subscribers. We have looked real hard for real “servants of the people” and decided to use “mozillaFOXFIRE” As our RSS aggregator and READER.  Please subscribe to FOXFIRE, it is an excellent Browser, plenty of add-ons, and IT IS FREE !  You know I tell it like it is! – Just check it out.

 


April 2, 2013 at 12:14 AM Comments (8)