energymaters.com

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

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)

FLORIDA EXPRESSES DEEP DISATISFACTION WITH ITS ENERGY MOGULS

15 Mar 2013

GREEN PARTY OF FLORIDA MAKES ITS ANNUAL REPORT. On 12 Mar 2013, the second anniversary of the Fukushima tragic triple meltdown, the Green Party of Florida, USA expresses condolences to Japanese victims of this ongoing disaster, and solidarity with the people of Japan who have mobilized a growing popular movement against Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in Japan. The explosions and triple-meltdowns at Fukushima, have released massive quantities of deadly radiation into the air, land, and sea; worse yet, the negative health effects of the Fukushima disaster are global, and the long-life transuranic radioactive isotopes that have been released continue to leak into the soil, air and water, and will continue to cause sickness and premature death for many generations yet unborn.

“PERMANENT CLOSURE” OF THE CRYSTAL RIVER NPP” The Green Party of Florida (GPFL) welcomes Duke Energy’s permanent closure of the “Crystal River” Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) which is damaged, and would have required an investment of several billion dollars to repair/upgrade.  Not cost-effective for an aging reactor scheduled for decommissioning in 2016.  Jennifer Sullivan, co-chair of the GPFL said: “Crystal River” NPP already presents a massive long-term radioactive waste problem, and there is currently no plan for safely disposing of the hundreds of tons of highly radioactive fuel rods that are stored there…Why should Florida utility ratepayers be forced to subsidize a ridiculously expensive nuclear power plant in Levy County, which will put the entire Nature Coast at risk?” GPFL further, calls on Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light to cancel all new nuclear projects in Florida and return Cost Recovery funds to customers.

GPFL CALLS ON ITS STATE GOVERNANCE FOR HELP AGAINS ENERGY BARONS. GPFL called on USA Florida Gov. Scott, and its State Legislature to become better informed about the risks and real costs of nuclear power and fossil fuels, and to lead Florida in a bold 21st Century Clean (green) Energy Initiative that invests in: conservation & efficiency, solar, and other green renewable energy.  Michael Canney, GPFL spokesperson said: “As we mark the 2nd anniversary of the still-unfolding Fukushima nuclear disaster, the grave risks of operating these aging nuclear power plants beyond their original life span should be reconsidered… GPFL has always opposed the NRC’s rubber stamping of 20-year license extensions and ‘upgrades’ for aging nuclear power plants in the USA, so that big utilities can avoid decommissioning and continue generating profits…This practice is a dangerous form of nuclear “Russian Roulette” that will unnecessarily put public health and safety at risk, when there are safer and much more economical alternatives available. Decommissioning Crystal River is the right thing to do.”

PROBLEM IS: DUKE ENERGY PLANS TWO NEW NPPs in rural “Levy County” with funds collected in advance from their utility customers. If the current $24 Billion cost estimates are accurate, these NPPs will be the most expensive ever built; worse yet, consume millions of gallons of water every day, and put at risk the precious aquifer and freshwater springs of the Nature Coast.  Rather than wait for a ruling by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board on a pending legal challenge to the project, which is focused on protection of the local and regional water resources from the negative impacts of the “Levy County NPP”.  Duke Energy should immediately announce its cancellation of the boondoggle, and refund the money the company has already charged its customers under the ill-conceived “Nuclear Cost Recovery” law, which GPFL, and others have called a “license to steal.”

NAT-GAS IS A TEMPORARY SOLUTION AT BEST.  Duke Energy’s plan to replace aging NPPs, and coal-fired base load generation facilities, with Nat-gas generators on the premise that Nat-gas is only about half as carbon producing as coal for plant generation, may make sense from a business perspective, but burning more fossil fuels is at best only a temporary solution.  What is urgently needed is a commitment by our elected officials, and the Merchant utilities to move beyond the dead-end fossil fuel energy economy to an energy policy that promotes conservation, efficiency and clean, sustainable energy technologies, instead of wasting billions on NPP expansion.  Further, Florida should invest in a bold new green energy initiative because it would create thousands of “green energy” jobs.

ENERGY CONSERVATION AND EFFICIENCY ARE SEEN AS NECESSARY.  GPFL views Instituting statewide efficiency and conservation measures an immediate priority because “energy we don’t use” alone, could avoid the need for another large base load plant, Steve Showen, GPFL Co-chair said: “When all the costs and risks are taken into consideration, nuclear power is a bad investment, and a dead-end technology. It should not be subsidized at the expense of investing in energy efficiency, and cleaner and safer sustainable energy technologies, that will reduce dangerous wastes and toxic emissions…With alternative technologies becoming now as cheap as fossil fuel systems, even Nat-gas, the door is open to a new world of safe, clean and secure energy production. The USA is falling behind in the global manufacture, sales and installation of these systems, held hostage by our domestic fossil fuel and nuclear industries.”

A BETTER GRID IS NEEDED.  GPFL strongly believes the “Sunshine State (Florida)” has a golden opportunity to lead the way in deploying currently available, clean and sustainable technologies, and incorporating them into a more modern/efficient grid. Investing in locally produced energy, and allowing smaller independent producers to sell energy to a smart grid, would make our state’s energy grid more resilient to extreme natural or man-made disasters.

GPFL CALLS UPON ITS STATE GOVERNMENT FOR GREEN ENERGY Gov. Scott, the Florida legislature and the Public Service Commission should support a bold and innovative 21st Century Clean Energy Initiative that prioritizes conservation and efficiency, and invests in wind, solar and other clean renewables. Citizens need and deserve an energy policy that is based on the best interests of Floridians, rather than the financial interests of private energy companies that have only profit at heart, with no real concern for public safety.

Thanks to Green Party:  http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=596 , 11 mar 2013

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OUR VIEW AND COMMENTARY

FLORIDA’S ENERGY CONCERNS CLEARLY ARTICULATE THOSE OF THE USA AT LARGE.  Americans everywhere sense the urgent need to embark on an ambitious transition to renewable energy sources in all modalities, and to unshackle ourselves from the energy Barons of the past.  The world can no longer endure/tolerate the continued “business as usual” attitude of the USA’s fossil-fuel, and Uranium NPP’s.  The reasons are plain: We cannot tolerate/condone being the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gasses (you thought it was China HUH! ), as well as the world’s largest producer of transuranic nuclear waste produced by the Merchant NPP fleet (and others) of over 100 NPP’s.  Problem is, the Coal, Oil, and Uranium Industry clearly put profit above all other considerations, and even public/global safety (now and in the years to come). Such disregard for the global environment is highly unbecoming of the USA, and would bring shame on our citizenry if the mainstream news media did not “hush” all such news.  Such is the corruptive  effect of such huge capital upon mainstream media that, like a black hole in space it first distorts, and then swallows forever any light upon the truth. Even so, Florida is unlike any other USA State.

FLORIDA’S GRAVE CONCERNS ARISE FROM ITS NATURAL VULNERABILITIES:  Being a peninsula with thousands of miles of low-lying coastal areas susceptible to extreme natural events such as:  rising sea-level, being located in the frequent path of hurricanes (and consequential high tides, and beach erosion), earthquake prone zones, with its inland terrain susceptible to “sink-holes” caused by weakening calcium carbonate (caliche) in its sub-soil, and many miles of roads that are susceptible to extreme weather events such as the many miles long bridge to Key Largo.  To all of this add a burgeoning population of “imported” wildlife such as several species of reptiles and dangerous snakes (poisonous and constrictive).  One wonders why anyone would like to live there, but they do, and by the millions seeking Florida’s sunny weather, and tranquil retirement communities.  Unfortunately, not all that glitters is gold! That is why the Spanish Conqistadores did not remain there.

FLORIDA’S FIVE (5) NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Progress Energy’s “Crystal River Plant, Unit 3” – 2,609 Mw – licensed until 2016 (80 miles n Location: Crystal River, FL (80 miles N of Tampa, FL)
Operator: Florida Power & Light Corp.
Operating License: Issued – 12/03/1976
License Expires: 12/03/2016–  scheduled for “permanent closure” in 2013. – whatever that means !  Please see http://energymaters.com/?p=559 regarding decommissioning of NPPs.

Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,609
Reactor Vendor/Type: Babcock & Wilcox Lowered Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT – TURKEY- POINT, UNIT 3 (41 years since built)

Location: Homestead, FL (25 miles S. of Miami, FL).
Operator: Florida Power & Light Co.
Operating License: Issued – 07/19/1972
Renewed License: Issued – 06/06/2002
License Expires: 07/19/2032 Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,300
Reactor Vendor/Type: Westinghouse Three-Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT – TURKEY- POINT, UNIT 4 (40 years since built).

Location: Homestead, FL (25 miles S of Miami, FL)

Operating License: Issued – 04/10/1973
Renewed License: Issued – 06/06/2002
License Expires: 04/10/2033
Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,300
Reactor Vendor/Type: Westinghouse Three-Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

Additionally, there are two (2) NPPs in nearby Georgia (about 186 miles from Palm Coast):  Edwin I. Hatch Unit 1 & Unit 2….  Data herein provided by the USA- NRC @ http://www.nrc.gov

FLORIDA’S POWER-POLITICS STINK TO HIGH HEAVEN.  In the USA, we all know about Florida’s presidential election antics, illegalities, voter-rights denials, missing vote boxes, and vote count foot-dragging; Unfortunately, power-politics are deeply rooted in big money such as as that generated by the Uranium Nuclear Industry, and coal cartel.  Florida is a prime example of that.  Heretofore the Merchant nuclear industry in Florida has managed to buy political favor.  Politicians call it “lobbying”, but we all know it is “Payola”- plain and simple. Defined as politicians accepting payment to support, or oppose legislation, for private gain.

A LICENCE TO STEAL In Florida the political power-play has reached a level that legally allows NPP owners to steal on a daily basis from all Florida power users without recourse.  The ill-conceived “Nuclear Cost Recovery” law which GPFL and others, have rightly called a license to steal.  Put plainly, they charge all Floridians in advance for the construction of NPPs (such as the “Levy County NPP”), even though they know will never be built.  How do NPP planners/owners know ? …Well simply because the USA- NRC has enacted a new rule called The “Waste Confidence” rule.  USA-NRC Dr. Allison M. Mc Farlane began her appointment by tackling the thorny issue of “Nuclear Waste Disposal” by the USA Nuclear fleet of about 104 Commercial NPPs.  On 09 Sep 2012, Dr. Mc Farlane said: “Resolving this issue successfully is a commission priority…Waste (disposal) confidence plays a core role in many major licensing actions.”

“WASTE CONFIDENCE”- DEFINED: According to the NRC, “Waste Confidence” is a generic term implying that spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored for decades beyond the licensed operating life of a reactor; without significant environmental effects”. In the past that rule has enabled the NRC to license, or renew licenses without examining the effects of extended waste storage at individual sites; However, the Appeals Court said, the NRC should have considered the potential environmental impact in the event a permanent disposal site for used fuel is never built, and it cited deficiencies in the NRC’s consideration of leaks and fires involving spent fuel pools.  See: http://energymaters.com/?p=941 .

NO REAL PLAN TO BUILD Now then, surely Florida NPP developers know they have no chance in hell of meeting the Waste Confidence rule, but they go on charging their customers for  “Nuclear Cost Recovery” just because they can, and because they are accruing Billions to be spent on “planning, licenses, and preliminary design (in reality Billions spent greasing political and other officials palms, and for useless studies awarded to their friends and usual cohorts to legitimize the expenses) with current $24 Billion cost estimates.  Since NPP Proponents will surely fail to satisfy the USA NRC- Waste Confidence rule, somewhere down the road (probably before ground breaking), they will decide to cancel the project and forfeit all Nuclear Cost Recovery funds collected on the basis that they have been spent on Licensing, preliminary design, studies, etc.

SIMILAR PLOY OCCURRED IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS a few years ago. In my home town of San Antonio, Texas we stopped such a movement by “biting the bullet” and cutting our losses at $450 millions used on a “time and Materials” contract THAT WAS INTERPRETED AS A BLANK CHECK.  How sweet it is! Guilty people were coming out of the woodwork at City, County, and State level, but even then no-one went to jail.  Impunity begets corruption and public distrust that eventually surfaces at all socio-economic levels.  It is a societal cancer.  Floridians should stand up to these bullies, and make their dissatisfaction known.  Tell them you know their game, and won’t stand for it!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


March 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM Comments (7)

SAUDI ARABIA OUTLINES ITS 20 YEAR “RENEWABLE ENERGY- MIX” PLANS

23 FEB 2013

SAUDI ARABIA OUTLINES ITS 20 YEAR “ENERGY- MIX” PLANS. “King Abdullah City” for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) has unveiled a white paper detailing a new energy-mix plan which relies heavily on Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, solar PV (Photo-Voltaic cell), wind farms, geothermal facilities, and waste-to-energy plants.  The plans are a part of Saudi Arabia’s program to generate 54,000 Mw of new renewable energy capacity by 2032, which could make Saudi Arabia one of the largest green-energy producers in the world BY 2032.  According to KA-CARE, Saudi Arabia will for now, continue to generate the majority of its power from oil and Nat gas, with a further 17,600 Mw of nuclear energy.  KA-CARE seeks an energy mix such that existing Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs), geothermal, and waste-to-energy plants to to provide a “base-load night-time supply of power”, while solar (with energy storage) will contribute heavily to the daytime – supplemented by gas and oil.

SAUDI  SOLAR AND WIND AVAILABILITY ARE HIGHLY RATED. According to Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy “Country Attractiveness Indices (CAI)”, Saudi Arabia has good wind energy potential, with some 4.9 hours of full-load wind per day on average – one of the highest in the Middle-East and North-Africa (MENA) region. The strikingly high solar radiation of around 2,550 kWh/m2/year promises very high energy yields for both CSP Plants and PV-cell farms.  PLUS the availability of large stretches of empty desert to locate solar arrays.  Saudi Arabia’s government announcement of its ambitious $109 billion plan, will likely be attractive to venture capital, energy merchants, and solar technology providers.

SAUDI ARABIA’S PLAN FOR A RENEWABLE ENERGY-MIX BY 2032 INCLUDES:

  1. 35,000 Mw of CSP with energy storage capability.
  2. 16,000 Mw of PV Solar-cell
  3. 9,000  Mw from Wind Power (turbines)
  4. 3,000 Mw “Waste-to-energy” thermal
  5. 1,000 Mw Geo-thermal power

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFPs) WILL BE ISSUED SOON.  The initial round of contract solicitations will be issued in the first half of 2013, focusing on CSP Plant technologies.  Such technology will get the “lion-share” of contracts monies to generate 35,000 Mw from CSP Plants.  The first three (3) rounds of contracts are now expected to be awarded before 2015, with a view to creating more than 7,000 Mw of new capacity, the majority of which will come from solar power.  The three (3) contracts awards for solar alone, could account for more than $10 billion (£6.5 billion) of investment  Under the new plans, the vast majority of new green-energy capacity will be solar.

ENERGY MERCHANTS WILL BID TO SELL THE ENERGY.  Energy Developers will be invited to bid on “power purchase contracts” and the “Saudi government’s Sustainable Energy Procurement Company (SEPC)” will buy the electricity generated.  Bidders will be invited from around the world; but the contract award process will aim to encourage the creation of local production and jobs. The spokesman said the first awards will offer a bonus to bidders with local sourcing arrangements, while rounds after 2015 will include a requirement for local production and employment.

RENEWABLE-ENERGY PURCHASE BY COMPETITIVE BIDDING IS PLANNED. Energy (KA-Care), the Government’s alternative energy arm, announced its plans to launch a major renewable energy auction.

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ENERGYMATERS.COM – VIEWS AND COMMENTARY

SAUDI ARABIA WANTS TO IMPOSE THE “GOLDEN-RULE”.  To many, the “Golden Rule” means: “He who has the gold, makes the rules” – While we are happy to see Saudi Arabia reveal such an ambitious plan for the procurement of renewable, green-energy (The three (3) contracts awards for solar alone, could account for more than $10 billion (£6.5 billion), the 20 year plan leaves little doubt Saudi Arabia wants full control of the operations; however, the devil is in the details.

PROBLEM IS: MERCHANT ENERGY PURVEYORS DO NOT WANT ANYONE TELLING THEM “HOW TO DO IT” After all, it is their venture capital, and what most view as “proprietary technology”; Then, there is the matter of follow-on procurement of “spare Parts and logistical support”.  In most such transactions, the Buyer (Saudi Arabia) has no control, unless there has been a substantial infusion of funds by the buyer in the design and technology development.  That can be a risky business for Saudi Arabia, because many contractors may bleed research and development (R&D) money, and never deliver as planned.  Remember the “Solyndra” Chip maker bankruptcy in the USA – c.2010 ? The USA lost its guaranteed loan of about $580m without legal recourse.  Attaching contractual obligations on RFPs to Energy Merchants such as:  “you must use indigenous workforce”, or “You must manufacture part of the equipment from Saudi sources”, will in many cases result in “NO-BID”, and No Joy! Saudi Procurement agencies have been through all this in military procurements, and Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Development.  This is not very different, and will need to be negotiated as such.  Solar industry/power purveyors will want to know: Do you want to buy energy at competitive prices? , or do you wish to pay for solar technology R &D, and own all rights to the engineering data? A lot of mutual trust is involved in such negotiations. “Time and Materials” contract language should be avoided like the plague.  They constitute a blank check.

NEXT DOOR TO SAUDI ARABIA, IN THE UAE, THERE IS SHAM-1, 100 Mw HYBRID CSP PLANT.  See http://energymaters.com/?p=1133  for a good example of new CSP Plant development ideally suited to desert environment (with all its advantages and disadvantages). For comparative purposes, SHAM -1 required a 1.5 sq. Km site. Go figure the magnitude of this ambitious plan! …It plans 41,000 MW of solar energy -the equivalent of 410 SHAM 1’s. Please, do not misunderstand me, I would love to see these plans succeed, and wish Saudi Arabia the best!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S.  I was employed for many years at a USA Air Force Logistic Center which procured $4B/year using competitive procurement (my area of competence).


February 23, 2013 at 9:11 PM Comments (13)

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)

GREAT BRITAIN ABANDONS PLANS FOR TWO (2) NEW NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

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!

ENERGYMATERS NEWS ANALYSIS AND COMMENTS

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.

RELATED ARTICLES:
BRIT GOVERNMENT AND NUCLEAR CARTEL COLLUDED TO PLAY-DOWN FUKUSHIMA,  dated 30 Jun 2011,  “http://energymaters.com/?p=77”

UNREST IN GREAT BRITAIN ABOUT LOSS OF CIVIL LIBERTIES PROBABLY TIED TO 8 PROPOSED NUKES. Dated 11 Dec 2011, http://energymaters.com/?page_id=466

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo>


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

USA DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SECRETARY (US DOE) Dr. STEVEN CHU RESIGNS.

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

 

OUR ARTICLE DATED APRIL 2010 ? CLEARLY EXPRESS OUR VIEWS.

DR. STEVEN CHU IS A DISAPPOINTING DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SECRETARY

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.

MY LETTER TO US NEWS:

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

gonzedo

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)

HYBRID-CONCENTRATED SOLAR POWER (CSP) USES INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES

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.

FOR A SLIDE SHOW OF SHAM-1 SEE:  http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/01/shams-concentrated-solar-power/

OUR NEWS ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY

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.

 

OUR COMMENT

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)

SOUTH KOREA PLANS TO ADD ELEVEN(11)NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS (NPPs) BY 2024

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

OUR TAKE AND COMMENTS:

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)

CHINA WILL HOST CONCENTRATING SOLAR POWER (CSP) SUMMIT

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.

Six (6) THEMES TO BE EXPLORED:

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).

PROMINENT SPEAKERS WILL COVER AREAS OF INTEREST

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:  http://events.cbichina.com/con/csp2013/index.html .

Thanks to WSJ, 08 Jan 2013

OUR TAKE AND COMMENTARY

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)

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)

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