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


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:  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)











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


15 FEB 2013

BRITISH UTILITY “CENTRICA” ABANDONS PLANS FOR TWO (2) NEW NPPs, blaming rising costs and construction delays.  “Centrica”, is a British multi-national utility company headquartered in Windsor, United Kingdom (UK). Its principal activity is the supply of electricity, and it is the largest supplier of Nat gas to domestic and business customers in the UK. The decision is a blow to the government’s previous plans to build the most ambitious fleet of new reactors in Europe, and comes on the day (7 Feb 2013) when Members of Parliament (MPs) severely criticized the management of nuclear (transuranic spent nuclear fuel) at Sellafield, GB, and after Cumbria, GB county council rejected proposals for “deep burial site” to permanently dispose of the waste – Like someone once said:  Not In My Backyard (NIMBY).

“CENTRICA” EXITS STAGE LEFT ON NPPs. Centrica will also forfeit its 20% option on four (4) new NPPs planned by ‘Electricite De France (EDF)” – owned by the French government, in Somerset and Suffolk, forfeiting £200m in the process.  EDF has been in talks with the state-owned “China Guangdong Nuclear power Corporation”, which may pick up Centrica’s option. (YOU KNOW! – YOU’L PICK UP A BARGAIN – NOW HEAR!) Centrica’s exit means no major UK utility remains involved in plans for new NPPs in the UK; However, Centrica retains its 20% stake in eight (8) existing NPPs in the UK.

CENTRICA’S CEO SAM LAIDLOW SAID: “We believe that nuclear generation has a valuable role to play in a balanced UK energy mix. However, since our initial investment (in 2008), the anticipated project costs in new nuclear have increased and the construction timetable has extended by a number of years.” Laidlaw blamed the very large 1.6GW units planned for “Hinkley Point” in Somerset, for making the project more expensive, and design modifications imposed after the Fukushima disaster for adding to delays.

UK GOVERNMENT DOES NOT RELENT ON BUILDING NEW NPPs.  A spokesman for the UK “Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)”- no name provided, denied Centrica’s withdrawal reflected badly on the government: “The decision reflects the company’s investment priorities and is not a reflection on UK government policy. The recent purchase of Horizon Nuclear Power by Hitachi is clear evidence of the attractiveness of the new nuclear market in the UK. We are determined to make the UK a leading global destination for investment in new nuclear, which will play a key role in our future energy mix.”;  Even so, analysts at “Deutsche Bank” said: “The decision to give cash back to shareholder, rather than invest in new nuclear will be an embarrassment for the coalition government”

GREENPEACE’S (INTERNATIONAL GREEN ENERGY ACTIVIST GROUP) for the UK, Doug Parr said: “The Centrica pull-out has exposed a very troubled UK energy strategy. This government’s 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.” That, is telling it like it is!


THE “NUCLEAR WASTE MAKERS” DO NOT GO AWAY EASILY. Even thought the uranium NPP cartel is clearly in a global retrenchment mode, one is hard-put to find a member of the industry who does not speak optimistically about more nukes; they simply refuse to hear/understand that their industry has been exposed for what it is, and is now globally rejected by all wise nations/peoples.  We are very happy to see that the British Parliament understands the risks of nuclear waste, and is both responsive/responsible to its constituents.

CENTRICA DECIDED TO CUT ITS LOSSES IN THE UK by “biting the bullet” to the tune of  £200m,  and forfeiting its 20% option on four (4) new NPPs planned by ‘Electricite De France (EDF)”.  The reasons mentioned by Centrica CEO Sam Laidlow ring true in today’s NPP business expectations:  “… the anticipated project costs in new nuclear have increased and the construction timetable has extended by a number of years.” He means that both citizens and governments now expect expensive operational plant enhancements (incorporation of the “lessons of Fukushima”), and a plan to do the (now) impossible:  a plan to dispose of “spent-fuel” transuranic , toxic nuclear waste with a radioactive life expectancy measured in centuries if not thousands of years (UGH!).

GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL IS RIGHT (STILL); Unfortunately, Doug Parr told it like it is in the UK.  Time is awasting! – Even so, Hip, Hip, hurray for all you Brits!!!  You spoke up, and you were heard by your government.  The Powers of “B” wanted to build 8 nukes, and built none.  It gives all free nations hope in expressing the will of the people, and still time to re-direct energy venues to “green energy”.  A lot of countries are doing it big-time. When the UK decides to do something, it does it intelligently, decisively, and Pronto!  That is the reason they are our allies.



Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo>

February 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM Comment (1)


02 Feb 2013

USA DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SECRETARY (US DOE) Dr. STEVEN CHU RESIGNS.  Dr. Chu, a Nobel Prize winner (micro-Physics), was tasked four years ago to spearhead an effort to help advance a “renewable energy” USA economy.  Dr. Chu’s tenure was marked by the failures of some costly government investments (stimulus). His resignation was announced 01 Feb 2013, and follows similar actions during Jan 2013 in by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator (Lisa P. Jackson), and the US Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary (Ken Salazar). These high level officials will be replaced by a new team, ostensibly to address climate change, and hence, to take the necessary steps to transform our country and industry to “renewable energy (green)” generation in all suitable modalities.

“CLIMATE CHANGE”- IS HIGH OBAMA PRIORITY.  Pres. Obama gave the issue a prominent place in his inaugural address in Jan 2013, and added that responding to the threat of climate change, will be a priority during his second term. After legislation setting up a program to cap greenhouse gas emissions failed to get through Congress in the last four years, the administration pushed ahead with efforts to regulate carbon dioxide through the EPA. Problem is: Lawmakers are still divided over climate change, and some political analysts expect Pres. Obama will probably continue to use Federal Agencies to target noxious emissions.

DR. CHU LIKED “SPREADING THE WEALTH”- in the form of “stimulus funds”(by the millions) to any universities (for research-Yeah! – We know), and to many in others the clean energy sector with the stimulus funds. For the last two years, Dr. Chu had been at the center of Republican-led probes of his perceived mismanagement of some $37 billion in 2009 stimulus money doled-out by DOE. The “Solynda” scandal became a case in point…

DOE  LOAN GUARANTIES, AND OTHER CONCESSIONS to “Solyndra (a solar panel maker), proved a sham, even though it was once a crown jewel of the DOE’s renewable energy policy in the government’s effort to promote green energy and create jobs. Even after visits from Pres Obama and Vice-Pres Joe Biden, Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September 2011 after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee. The Republican-led House of Representatives probe into the government’s aid to Solyndra then became more viral.

DR. STEVEN CHU IS A NOBEL LAUREATE IN MOLECULAR PHYSICS, and was was touted as an asset by the administration. The White House even tapped Chu to help figure out how to cap BP’s ruptured Macondo well during the 2010 BP- huge Gulf oil spill. His help was questionable, but then, he too was:”out of his depth” on that effort. Unlike his predecessors, who included former politicians and businessmen, Chu was a self-proclaimed nerd and energy efficiency fanatic who does not own a car, cycles to work and walks many flights of stairs to his office.  Dr. Chu defended his record to the end, dismissing charges that his department doled out funds to political allies. Dr. Chu said: “We should be judged not by the money we direct to a particular state or district, company, university or national lab, but by the character of our decisions,” he said in his resignation letter.  Dr. Chu has said he may remain in his post past the end of Feb 2013 to help his successor in the transition. (Maybe they don’t want his help ? I would not).

DETRACTORS SAY THAT Dr. Chu’s bookish physicist’s “awkward style” made it hard for him to push a compelling message promoting “renewable or alternative fuels”.  Even so, under his watch, big increases in USA wind, and solar power development were overshadowed by new methods (fracking) to tap huge crude oil and Nat gas, to the extent that the USA stands to become the world’s largest oil/ Nat-gas producer soon, and on track to energy self-sufficiency; That, would have seemed impossible when Dr. Chu became DOE became Secretary. We think he too is surprised by the recent development in the past two years; however, it must be remembered that oil /Nat gas are  fossil fuels, and that burning them wantonly will only continue to accelerate “global warming”. That is the reason Pres Obama wants more renewable energy developments.

SOME THINK DR. CHU LEFT AN IMPORTANT LEGACY Martin Lagod, Mg. Director and co-founder of venture capital firm “Firelake Capital Management” said : “Dr Chu’s most important legacy was ARPA-e, the DOE entity that promotes high-impact energy technologies not yet ready for prime-time”…”It is a beautiful program and frankly should be funded bigger and better… It’s a great catalyst for creative and innovative thinking. A good role for government is to help spur / fund basic research and to me this is a very good example of it in the DOE,”

Thanks to Reuters 1 Feb 2013




On 30 Dec 2009, US NEWS published an article titled: “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Steven Chu”; In it was published my letter of concern below. I trust you will find that it expresses both my concern with the use of Uranium for electrical Power generation, as well as my inclination to go “back to the future” with development of Thorium Technology.


Dr. Chu is, and has been, asleep at the switch since his appointment. He has truly turned out a Dis-Appointment, and should be replaced as soon as possible (ASAP) as DOE Secretary.

His apparent laissez-faire management prompted Pres. Obama last Feb 2010 to Direct Dr. Chu to appoint a 15 member commission to seek solution to Nuclear- waste disposal, as well as the best technology to generate energy. The way The “White House Directive” was worded implied the need to seek nuclear waste disposal, and better energy sources (such as Thorium U232), that could be the potential answer to both waste disposal, and power generation, while eliminating Nuclear Weapons Grade Uranium creation.

WHAT PRES. OBAMA ASKED FOR, IS NOT WHAT HE GOT. This alone should have raised eyebrows, but so far, no comment from the White House either. Secretary Chu proceeded to appoint a 15 member Blue Ribbon Commission answerable directly to him, or his designees; Further, the Commission’s charter shows a tightly supervised Commission which may only meet twice a year, and then for a couple of days. He also appointed several “Deputy Dogs” to look only in the direction he seeks, and no other: TO PROMOTE THE INTERESTS OF THE URANIUM NUCLEAR CARTEL in the U.S., and consequently, the interests of foreign countries which seek to monopolize our nuclear generating industry with patented technology and even Uranium fuel rods. GE- Hitachi, and GE- Toshiba have recently consorted to manipulate the world’s uranium Nuke industry. Note that Secretary Chu has promoted the issuance of a much greater (by several Billion U.S. Dollars) of Loan Guarantees to U.S. Nuke Planners. Secretary Chu seems financially interested in this industry, and no other. A good indicator for those looking for corruption in High, High Places.

The White House Memo specifically requested: “This review should include an evaluation of advanced fuel cycle technologies that would optimize energy recovery, resource utilization, and the minimization of materials derived from nuclear activities in a manner consistent with U.S. nonproliferation goals “(THIS BESPEAKS : LOOK INTO THORIUM TECHNOLOGY)…The Commission’s business should be conducted in an open and transparent manner.” Well… The Commission met on 25 and 26 Mar 2010; yet nothing has been reported about its deliberations, or even when the next meeting will be held.

JUST ASK THE MEMBERS OF THE BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION – A colossal waste of time for our country; at a time when we can least afford it. Some of us had placed high expectations on the White House Directive to DOE, however, it seems Dr. Steven Chu does not get the message, or worse yet, seeks to ignore it.  Dr Steven Chu needs to be replaced as DOE Secretary – ASAP


We will lose no tears at his departure.  It is four years late. What is puzzling is: Why did Pres Obama tolerate his disdain and outright disobedience for so long?

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

February 2, 2013 at 1:32 AM Comments (4)


28 Jan 2013

A NEW DESIGN 100Mw CSP IS NEARLY OPERATIONAL.  Located on one of the 7 United Arab Emirates, SW of Abu-Dhabi (near the Persian Gulf) is what may be the world’s first hybrid (Nat- gas and CSP).  It is called “SHAMS 1” (SUN 1) – Phase 1, aims to power 20,000 homes by combining CSP with a small amount of Nat-gas. The plant covers nearly a square mile of the desert landscape, which itself imposes technical challenges now largely overcome.  The project is a consortium of Masdar (An Abu Dhabi Energy Co.), Total S.A. (French multi-national Corp.), and Abengoa Solar (Spain).

SHAMS -1 USES PARABOLIC MIRRORS FOCUSED ON OIL-FILLED PIPES.  The pipes are filled with special oil (heat transfer fluid) that heats the fluid to to more than 300 degrees Celsius. That oil then, transfers its heat energy to water which is turned into steam.  PROBLEM IS: Steam-driven generator turbines require super-heated steam at 500 degrees…

THAT IS WHERE NAT-Gas COMES- IN AS A “BOOSTER-HEATER”. In an innovative variant of CSP technology, the plant then uses Nat gas to “super-heat” the steam to upwards of 500 degrees to drive a generator turbine (as in all thermo-electrical generators). The use of Nat-gas as a booster-heater , actually provides many other benefits such a heat stabilizing and enables optimal high temperature required for the steam turbine.  Another benefit is that it also allows the plant to operate at night, while maintaining a high degree of generating stability.

SHAMS-1 ALSO REQUIRED TECNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT TO OPERATE IN WINDY DESERT AREAS.  Masdar says constant wind, dust and sand have forced innovations in wind blocking strategies, and the design/development of truck mounted cleaning equipment for parabolic mirrors.  Another desert adaptation is a “dry-cooling system”.  Rather than using copious amounts of water to cool the steam condensate water (after it leaves the turbines) huge fans have been installed to do the cooling.  Pretty ingenious, hope it it suffices!

COMPETITIVE PRESSURES – SOLAR CELLS ARE CHEAP RIGHT NOW. The recent glut/plummeting cost of solar cells may challenge the commercial viability of CSP; Even so, this innovative Hybrid-CSP technology overcomes many seemingly insurmountable deficiencies of Solar-cell technology. SHAMS-1 is scheduled to go online in coming months, and expects make a significant contribution to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to produce 7% of its renewable sources energy.  We wish them success, and hope Abu-Dhabi sees fit to increase its paltry renewable energy source aspiration.  They can do much better than that!

Thanks to Triple Pundit / 25 Jan 2013.



ABU-DHABI SHOULD BE COMMENDED for its interest in renewable energy sources, and sea water desalination projects, even in the midst of their abundant oil resources.  They see what many other countries fail to see: It is the responsibility of every government to reduce its carbon dioxide/other emissions into the world’s atmosphere. We are all together in “Spaceship Earth”.  They also recognized the need to join expertise from different countries/sources more CSP-knowledgeable than they, and created this consortium, to provide avenues of international technical interchange which we believe will prove beneficial to many countries; specially, those located in arid, sandy countries.  One might be amazed at the large proportion of the earth’s land mass that comprises; and unfortunately, at the rapid growth of global desertification.

SHAMS-1 PROTOTYPE IS REPUTED TO HAVE BEEN BUILT AT A COST OF $600 M; But, that is the cost of a “first of its kind CSP.  “Phase 1”, implies that once it is tweaked, Phase 2 and subsequent like units could be built; hopefully, at a lower cost.  That leads us to a cost comparison versus a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).  Normally, NPPs require 10 years to build and cost about $10,000 M, so we need to consider the “cost of capital” for 10 years. Assuming that, an NPP will produce 1,200MW-the power equivalent of 12 SHAM-1s, but at a cost of $7,200 M spent incrementally to reduce cost of capital.  Folks, the math makes sense!  Plus CSPs will not produce any transuranic nuclear toxic materials, or pose a meltdown threat.

THERE ARE SEVERAL PROMINENT VARIANTS OF CSP COMPETING FOR A “PLACE IN THE SUN”- GOOD! – We all stand to benefit.  It is not within the scope of this article to even attempt to provide details about the most promising such ventures.  We will from time to time provide articles about other promising CSP Projects, as well as other renewable energy developments- fortunately, there are many under development.

THE “HOLY- GRAIL” of renewable energy at present, is to produce, and place on grid electrical energy at prices competitive with, or lower than the market rates (about 10 cents per Kwh.).  Hopefully, the miracle of competition will come to the consumers help.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


NEWS UPDATE – 17 Mar 2013  Abu Dhabi officially opened on 17 Mar 2013 the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant covering 2.5 square kilometers in Madinat Zayed (Western Region), with a cost of $600 million to build, and will provide electricity to 20,000 homes.  Shams 1 was designed and developed by “Shams Power Company”, a joint venture among  Masdar (60 %), while France’s ‘Total” and Spain’s “ Abengoa Solar” own 20 % each.  Santiago Seage, CEO of “Abengoa Solar” said: Shams 1 is the largest CSP plant in all terms”.  The United Arab Emirates (UAE’s) leaders were on site for the ceremonial opening, led by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayad Al-Nahayan, and his vice president, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.



Looks like MASDAR delivered “on budget and on time”.  Our congratulations, and may this Phase 1 be the first of many others in the region.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

January 28, 2013 at 8:29 PM Comments (0)


13 Jan 2013

Despite the fact that 62.5% of South Koreans oppose further NPP development (as of Jan 2013), “The Ministry of Knowledge Economy” (no names given to protect the guilty) says: South Korea has no option but to expand its nuclear power plant program”( to a total of 34 NPPs– Japan has 54)The Ministry has been sharply criticized recently for its dual role as Regulator and Operator of the country’s NPPs, and one of its subsidiaries was accused of suppressing negative public opinion after the Fukushima disaster, by not publishing polls.

THE MINISTRY ADDED: “It is an urgent priority to recover people’s trust and the safety of reactors, just as it is unavoidable to maintain nuclear at a certain percentage of the total power supply, considering the power supply and demand situation”

SOUTH KOREAN NPPs HAVE BAD TRACK RECORD – In 2012, a series of scares closed two NPPs, and the industry suppressed details of the closure of the “Kori No.1” reactor early in 2012.  The two troubled reactors (no names given) were fully restarted the first week of Jan 2013, easing fears about winter power shortages; However,  three (3) other NPPs (no names given) are now offline for maintenance and operational approval, again raising concern about satisfying peak- winter demand expected until the end of Feb 2013 (they can’t win for loosing Huh!). Their silence about specific NPP failures is highly reprehensive.  The people deserve/need to know – It is their right.

SOUTH KOREA IS ASIA’s4th if not the world’s 4th LARGEST ECONOMY, and depends heavily on oil and gas imports.  Even so, its current 23 NPPs supply a third of the country’s total power mix. Its population probably looks apprehensively at its small land mass and ponders: Where shall we go if the sh*t hits the fan?  It is no small question, and a constant source of worry for several small (land-mass wise) countries that are highly vested such as Sweden.

Thanks to Reuters, 08 Jan 2013


IMAGINE THAT! – A MINISTRY OF “ANONYMOUS MINISTERS”, WHO ANSWER TO NO-ONE, AND THAT ARE BOTH “REGULATOR” AND OPERATOR” OF 23 NPPs.  Democracy, where art thou?   Still one has to recognize that South Korea has done admirably well in the past 60 years.  In some social settings, less government is evidently best.  Just look at North Korea with its totalitarian regime for a stark contrast in socio-political science/philosophy.

SOUTH KOREA HAS NOT LEARNED A THING FROM FUKUSHIMA! Given that their Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) were designed and built before 12 Mar 2011 (Fukushima Day), they are all wrong!  On a low lying coastal plain, clustered like ducks on a row, NPPs with well known design flaws, they sit just waiting for the next  “extreme natural or weather event”, or even man-made calamities (Fukushima had both) to bring South Korea’s admirable economy, and industrious workforce to its knees.  In South Korea, as in the rest of the world, nuclear power purveyors swing an irresistible power (you know the refrain: Money talks, Sh*t – walks);  Even though in South Korea the large majority of its people, fear/oppose nukes, the politicians(Ministers) in power, were bought out long ago (just like in India);  so, “the band plays on”.

THE MINISTRY LIES when they say: “South Korea has no choice (other than nuclear.)” They really mean that those in power feel helpless to stop the Nuke wagon from rolling.  Hell yes they have choices!  Their huge industrial; base could certainly embrace renewable energy such as “windtricity”, Solartricity (CSP or PV-solar) etc (Many other countries are already doing so in big ways). THEY JUST DO NOT WANT TO RAIN ON THE NUCLEAR PARADE, AND PREFER TO STAY ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

January 13, 2013 at 8:44 PM Comment (1)


08 Jan 2013

China will host its 3rd Annual “China Concentrating Solar Power Summit” on April 10th-12th in Beijing, China. This summit is aimed at accelerating the commercialization of China’s, and the world’s CSP industry. Last 12 Sep 2012, the Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA) released the Five-year Plan for CSP electrical generation development.  According to this plan, China’s solar energy installation capacity will exceed 21,000 Mw, while the generating capacity will hit 25 billion Kwh by the end of 2015. (Sounds highly optimistic).

OVER 200 REPRESENTATIVES PLAN TO ATTEND, governmental and industry leaders, solar companies, energy companies, power generation companies, technology, equipment suppliers, industry solution providers, and research institutes;  In addition to various presentations, the summit will hold pre/post-conference workshop and site tours, intended to foster more cooperation opportunities, and technology interchange.


1. Future CSP Policy Trends

2. CSP Project Updates

3. Pre-conference Workshop regarding India’s CSP Market

4. Cutting-edge CSP Technologies and Achievements

5. State-of-art CPS Management Expertise

6.  CSP Project Cost Reduction

NEW NATIONAL MATERIALS GUIDE for Energy Materials and the 12th Five-year Plan for National Energy Science and Technology, expected to drive the growth of China’s CSP industry.

CURRENTLY OPERATING CSP PLANTS IN CHINA: Huaneng Group’s 1.5 MW Hybrid Plant is (in operation); Zhejiang SUPCON’s 50Mw Tower Project (Phase 1) has been accomplished; Lanzhou Dacheng’s 200Kw Parabolic Trough and Fresnel Plant (in operation); Guodian Group’s 180KW Parabolic Trough Plant (in trial operation).


1. Dinghuan Shi, President, “China Renewable Energy Society”

2. Luis Crespo, President, “European Solar Thermal Electricity Association” (ESTELA)

3. Zhifeng Wang, Chairman, “National Alliance for Solar Thermal Energy”

4. Xiang Huang, Chief Engineer, “China Huadian Engineering Co., Ltd”

5. Shisen Xu, President, “CHNG Clean Energy Technology Research Inst.”

6.  Zhejiang Supcon “Solar Technology Co., Ltd”

7.  North China Power Engineering CO., LTD

For more Info visit: .

Thanks to WSJ, 08 Jan 2013


WE ARE HAPPY TO SEE PROMOTION OF CSP anywhere; specially in China, with its burgeoning industrial production and consequential huge air pollution problems, believed to be principally produced by thermo-electric coal-burner plants.  We have mixed emotions about china’s 5-year plans which have in the past, set very high goals, only to miss by a mile.  We will see.

MOST INDUSTRIAL SECTOR “SUMMITS” ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM.  Our experience shows most such conferees to be purveyors of parts/components looking for a market, or for a niche to fill. Even so, they do provide the opportunity for technical interchange.  This is specially a good opportunity to hear the opinions/comments of Mr. Luis Crespo (ESTELA), and to compare notes regarding European CSP technology, which by all accounts is way ahead of China at this moment.  China has a lot to learn, and they are normally quick to do so.

CSP WITH ENERGY STORAGE WAS NOT MENTIONED; one of the principal advantages of CSP, because it allows power generation 3 to 5 hours past sunset.  The technology is being developed here in the USA, in collaboration with several Spanish, and other venture capital industrialists.  There are several distinct variants of CSP: “Power Tower”, Sun following “Trough”, and with/without energy storage facilities, and variants.  Most of these plants require large expanses of land, and an adequate grid to transfer the electricity from the “wide-open spaces” to where it is needed; (the same is true of Wind-turbine generators). The efficiency of CSP plants hinges upon what are now closely guarded industrial secrets, such as energy fluid composition, and heat-transfer technology.  It is after all a government-incentivized venture capital industry. At least in places other than China; so, it is difficult to estimate how much much technology interchange can take place while that industry matures.  We believe CSP has the potential to outshine most Photo-voltaic “Solar-Cell” technology in the near future – at least for Plants.  In our view, CSP will be an important part of the renewable (green energy) “energy-mix” in most parts of the world, and are happy to see China embrace it.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


January 8, 2013 at 8:09 PM Comment (1)


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)


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.



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.




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)


05 Nov 2012

Mr. Yukiya Amano, Director-Secretary of the “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)” addressed a nearly empty UN General Assembly hall in New York City USA, highlighting that Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are now safer than before the tragic Fukushima Dai No1 triple meltdown in Japan last 12 Mar 2011.  Amano added that the IAEA has also spearheaded progress in many areas regarding “international nuclear safety”.

EXTREME NATURAL HAZARDS ADDRESSED Mr. Amano said: “Measures have been taken to improve protection against extreme hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis…Countries are upgrading their emergency preparedness and response capabilities… Our program of expert peer review services is being expanded.”

YUKIYA AMANO EXPECTS MORE NPPs TO BE BUILT Despite the Fukushima Dai No.1 tragedy, and subsequent spread of nuclear toxic waste, and resultant anti-nuclear sentiment around the world, Mr. Amano noted that the IAEA’s latest projections showed a steady rise in the number of NPPs planned for the next 20 years, with the majority being constructed in Asia. Established users such as China, India, the Republic of South Korea, and the Russian Federation, had planned “significant expansions” of their NPP programs.

IAEA VOICES CONCERNS ABOUT ROGUE STATES Mr. Amano also addressed The IAEAs continued safeguards activities in the DPRK (N. Korea), Iran and Syria. REGARDING NORTH KOREA Mr. Amano said: “I remain seriously concerned about the country’s nuclear program…He described its statements about uranium enrichment activities as deeply troubling, and called on the North Korean government to comply fully with its obligations, and cooperate fully with the IAEA”… About IRAN Mr. Amano stated: “The IAEA has “credible information indicating that Iran had carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device…IAEA is firmly committed to intensifying dialogue with Iran and urge the country to provide clarification regarding the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program”.  Iran has steadily said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes of energy production; however, many countries fear it is aimed at attaining nuclear weapons capability, thus imperiling middle-east political stability. (Translation: They just won’t listen – and neither do the Chinese, Russians, Eastern Europeans, and others).  What is a mother to do?-  Just talk so-more, that is all they ever do!

“MIDDLE-EAST NUCLEAR WEAPONS FREE- ZONE”? Mr. Amano also announced that the IAEA had submitted background documentation ahead of a planned conference about the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle – East slated for later this year (2012).

IAEA  COUNTERS NUCLEAR TERRORISM  Mr. Amano underlined the IAEA’s efforts in countering nuclear terrorism, noting that: “ strengthening the agency’s work in this area would remain one of its key priorities…Our work focuses on helping minimize the risk of nuclear and other radioactive material falling into the hands of terrorists, or of nuclear facilities being subjected to malicious acts…The IAEA has established internationally accepted guidance that is used as a benchmark for nuclear security…IAEA is helping countries apply this guidance through specialist training and “peer review (Blind leading the blind)”.

IAEAs TRAINING ROLE Mr. Amano added that over 12,000 people (from more than 120 countries) had been trained in nuclear security by the IAEA in the past decade (2012).  I believe their “training” involves how to deceive innocent, people about their mostly non-existent safety measures. How about implementing the “Lessons of Fukushima” Why-no boy!


We believe the reason IAEA made this presentation to the UN as just one more way to seek worldwide approval, and lend legitimacy to their Agency of Energy Barons (They are not a part of the UN).  Frankly, we think they are not “nuclear watchdogs” (as they would have us believe), but rather, “Nuclear junkyard dogs” protecting the huge worldwide NPP investments of an industry that has lost its legitimacy and credibility, and is clearly now on a retrenchment mode.

ADDRESSING AN EMPTY ROOM How do we know the UN was nearly empty when Mr. Amano made his presentation at the UN?- Easy, just look at the picture shown of his audience @

We could believe that perhaps on 05 Dec 2012, New York City was/is still reeling from the destructive effects of hurricane “Sandy” which has slowed all forms of transportation, and produced energy shortages. Even so, many more UN Reps could have attended, or the presentation postponed “due to inclement weather”; however, we believe the virtually empty hall was due to lack of interest on the part of UN Reps who place little credibility on an Agency that is prima-facie “self-serving”.

SAME OLD “SONG and DANCE” BY MR. AMANO that the Nuke Industry is well and prosperous.  It seems he is “just whistling past the graveyard” to show he is not afraid, and to promote more Nukes. Their other defense is: “IAEA is the savior of the world”, but even they know The Nuclear Industry will listen to no-one, and is primarily interested in recouping, and increasing it world-wide capital. “MONEY TALKS – SH_IT WALKS” says the popular refrain.  Their problem is the world was awakened by the Fukushima triple melt-downs to the reality of “Transuranic Nuclear Waste” there, here, and everywhere; and neither they, nor anyone, has a solution to the problem.  Witness Japan,  it has run out of space to place all their existing toxic nuclear waste, and that yet to come for several generations;  their solution: continue dumping it into the sea.

This article is a sequel to: IAEA HAS A TENTATIVE REPORT FOR ITS 2012 FULL MEMBERSHIP MEETING @  dated 30 Aug 2012

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

Stick around, and pass the word: At, “We tell it like it is” and get past the hoopla, disinformation, propaganda and outright lies.

November 6, 2012 at 12:18 AM Comments (0)


20 OCT 2012

“ROSENEFT” SUBMITED A BID ON 19 Oct 2012 TO BUY BP’s 50% of TNK-BP, for a mix of cash and shares, totaling $50 to $56 billion. Should Rosneft buy all of TNK-BP, the combined company’s market value may total 3.52 Trillion rubles; just shy of Gazprom’s 3.68 Trillion rubles, based on recent market prices. TNK-BP is a joint venture of four Russian Billionaires and British Petroleum (BP). Put plainly, Russia state want to buy-out all the competition.

COMPARING ROSNEFT CRUDE-OIL PRODUCTION TO MIDDLE EAST.  If the business venture succeeds, purchasing TNK-BP would raise Rosneft’s crude production to about 4.5 million barrels a day (bpd); more than any Middle East, country except Saudi Arabia.  Financially, the venture proposal would boost its market value to rival Gazprom’s 3.7 trillion rubles ($120 billion).  Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin (who returned for a third presidential term this year) needs Rosneft to help maintain Russia’s record oil production, as he uses energy taxes to fulfill election spending promises. Rosneft, run by Pres. Putin’s Cabinet V.P. Igor Sechin, controls the country’s oil output. If both deals go through, Rosneft will become the world’s biggest stock-exchange-listed oil producer producing roughly 4.5m barrels per day (bpd) or 45 % of Russian output.

ABOUT  IGOR IVANOVICH SECHIN He served as Roseneft chairperson from 2006 to 2011, now Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in Pres Putin’s cabinet, and helped transform it into Russia’s biggest crude producer.  He’s also ensured Rosneft got access to untapped oil reserves in the Arctic offshore (which is restricted to state-controlled companies).  A knowledgeable person said Rosneft has relied on Sechin’s access to Pres. Putin (whom he has worked for more than 20 years) as the Kremlin strengthened its control over the energy industry, and pushed oil output to a post-Soviet high.  Another knowledgeable person said Rosneft already has a preliminary accord with BP’s billionaire partners, who own the other half of the company.

UKRAINE SEEKS ENERGY INDEPENDENCE Another worry for Gazprom, is the desire of Ukraine (Russia’s neighbor), to free itself of dependence on imported energy – now mostly Gazprom’s Nat gas. The two countries have frequently clashed over gas prices/availability at peak-usage times. In the past that has resulted in disruptions to the Nat gas flow through Ukraine to Europe. Now Ukraine is gearing up to increase its own gas output 17% by 2016. The International Energy Agency (IEA) in a report on 19 Oct 2012 says Ukraine can wean itself from energy imports, but cautions that there is still much to be done, before that can be achieved.  Pres. Putin granted Gazprom a Nat gas export monopoly, and helped secure the “Nord Stream pipeline project” to Europe.  Significantly, Gazprom gained control over Belarus’s pipeline network, and negotiated a Nat gas price deal with Ukraine that extended Russia’s lease of a Ukrainian Black Sea port used as a naval base.  AS WE SAY IN AMERICA: “WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES”.  It is possible that Antonio, TX -USA(my homecity) will soon be looking for ways to ship the huge quantities of Nat-gas being fracked from shale.  

RUSSIA HAS USED NAT- GAS FOR POLITICAL CONTROL. Pres. Putin used Gazprom, (arguably the world’s largest Natural gas producer), to assert Russia’s political control during the past decade.  By winning pipeline deals, and controlling former Soviet allies; however, the new Hydraulic Fracturing (“Fracking”) Nat gas exploration/exploitation technology has produced a shale-gas boom in the USA, and other places; plus, domestic competition in Russia, is causing Gazprom to lose Nat gas primacy worldwide.

PUTIN TRIED AND FAILED TO MERGE ROSNEFT AND GAZPROM IN 2004.  Pres.Putin sought in Sep 2004 to create a Nat-gas and oil consortium by merging Rosneft into Gazprom. The $7.6 billion takeover plan fell apart as Gazprom and Rosneft openly disagreed over its terms; Now, Rosneft’s market value has grown to about $75 billion.  HMM – HOWDY! – LOOKS LIKE Pres. PUTIN LOW-BALLED THE BID! – NO WONDER IT FELL APART.

RUSSIA NOW OBTAINS ABOUT HALF OF ITS REVENUE FROM ITS OIL/NAT GAS. The state, being a majority owner, Rosneft will be interested in spending money on new projects and increasing output to ensure budget revenue through taxes. PROBLEM IS…

OIL AND NAT-GAS DEMAND IS DOWN WORLDWIDE Vsevolod Cherepanov, head of the production division at Gazprom, said on 09 Oct 2012: The gas company has seen output slide since reaching a record 9.95 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2006. Gazprom’s performance has been depressed since the 2008 economic slowdown created by success in extracting gas from shale formations in the USA that has transformed markets by reducing America’s need for imported fuel, and prompted European customers to seek revised contract terms. Global production and trade of liquefied Nat-gas is up; however, Gazprom is not into such technology yet.

OUTSIDER’S VIEW OF GAZPROM Mikhail Korchemkin (head of Malvern, PA-based “East- European Gas Analysis”) said: “In the last decade, Gazprom was transformed from the “milk-cow” (profit maker) of the state budget to the “cash-cow” of contractors and intermediaries…The main tax burden was put on oil companies. In other words, Pres. Putin needs Gazprom to feed friends, and Rosneft to feed the state budget.”  NOW THERE IS A TERSE, HARSH COMMENT!... Julia Nanay( a Director at Washington-based PFC Energy) said:  Rosneft is helping Pres. Putin to achieve a greater state share in Russian oil production, while also being in the forefront of driving future production growth from the Arctic,” According to Cliff Kupchan (senior analyst at “Eurasia Group” in New York) ROSENEFT WILL BE A DOMINANT PLAYER (in oil production) with other oil companies losing heft in comparison”;  : He added: “We’re in a time of transition in the Russian energy sector. Rosneft is a rising power, poised to become an oil primary driver, while Gazprom is a declining power.” The European Commission during Sep 2012 opened an antitrust probe into Gazprom’s pricing in Central and Eastern Europe. NOBODY LIKES MONOPOLIES- THEY ALWAYS STIFFLE PRODUCTION AND NEGOTIATE BY ASKING: YOU NEED IT BAD – HUH?  FREE COMPETITION IN ANY MARKET IS BEST FOR THE MOST PEOPLE.

Thanks to Bloomberg 19 Oct 2012


RUSSIA APPEARS TO LEARN VERY SLOWLY FROM HISTORY about diverse forms of energy in a world that is rapidly changing into new, greener technologies.  Political juggling of its natural oil/gas resources will not necessarily have a positive effect on either/both industries. We wish they would treat their neighbors as themselves, because “what goes around, comes around”, and The Russian people, as most of Eastern Europe, have endured/suffered enough since WWII.  One would hope they would be more politically understanding and helpful.

UPDATE 24 OCT 2012

USA OIL PRODUCTION SURPASES SAUDI ARABIA For what it is worth, the USA is poised to become the worlds pre-eminent oil producer.  New production figures show about 11 million bpd.  Compare that to Rosneft’s 4.5 million bpd.  See there, competition has led to much improved oil exploration and exploitation;  However, even here and now in the USA, we need to prevent the monopolistic tendencies of oil moguls to eliminate the competition, as did John D. Rockefeller in the last century. We shall see if the “Anti-trust” laws can withstand the pressures of the almighty Dollar. We think State controlled energy monopolies, such as Pres. Yeltsyn wants to impose in Russia, will not help anyone, and he will find that peeing on black-pants may give him a warm feeling, but nobody will notice; Meanwhile, In the good-old USA, energy independence appears close at hand.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

October 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM Comments (6)

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