Friday, October 28, 2011

Cold Fusion getting hot with 10kw heater prepping for market

The popular conception is that Cold Fusion was faux science from the 1980's, but it would appear to be a real thing and that gizmos can be built to exploit the Cold Fusion effect.

At a press conference held in Bologna, Professor Sergio Focardi and Eng. Andrea A. Rossi, both of the University of Bologna, demonstrated a cold fusion device capable of producing more than 10 kilowatts of heat power while only consuming a fraction of that energy.  This means quite an energy gain from the cold fusion effect.

At it's peak it generated 15,000 watts of heat requiring only 400 watts of heat input.

It wasn't just a technology demonstration, but a promise that they would be going into production making these devices.  The first units are supposed to ship in three months, with mass production commencing by the end of 2011.

They claim the device is highly reliable and that modules can be combined in both series and parallel arrangements to reach any power level.  They've used some of the devices continuously for the last 2 years to heat their factory.




See: Cold Fusion getting hot with 10kw heater prepping for market


Thursday, October 27, 2011

ASPO's open letter to Chu points out conflicting forecasts from DoE and DoD, and calls for Truth in Energy, point

Yesterday the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) held a press conference outside the Department of Energy, and presented an open letter they delivered to Secretary Stephen Chu (see below).  Their message was one of concern about the reliability of government (Dept of Energy and Energy Information Administration) projections of future oil and gas supplies.  On the one hand the EIA/DoE claims we'll be able to continue "Business as Usual" energy usage trends for the foreseeable future, while the DoD is more realistically saying there will be declines in oil production as early as 2015.
A decline in fossil oil production is expected to be a seriously bad situation for modern society.  It's a serious national security problem which warrants more attention than its getting today.  But, today we have half of the country deluded with "Drill Baby Drill" memes into thinking it's just a matter of installing new oil platforms to get the oil.
ASPO presented a chart showing the production plateau we've had since 2005, many think the peak of production of fossil oil occurred in November 2008.  In the letter (below) they ask why fossil oil production has plateau'd, even though prices have been high.  Standard economics say that when price of a commodity goes high then the infinitely wise market will find new resources and increase supply to bring the price back down.  That's not what's happening, implying there is an underlying limitation that will limit the extent oil production can be increased.
Plateau of oil production
Note that the chart shows oil production having risen from approximate 75 million barrels a day in 2002 up to 83 million or so a day in 2005, but since 2005 production levels have fluctuated within a 6% range that's essentially a plateau.
Peak Oil is a theoretical model based on observations of oil fields around the world.  Each oil field reaches a peak of production when about half of its oil has been extracted.  At that half-way point production of the field declines and gets more and more expensive to mine the fossil oil.  The Peak Oil model, when applied to the total oil fields on the planet, indicate the peak of oil production would be reached about now.  A chart like this may well be a symptom of having reached peak oil.
The worry over whether/when we reach peak oil is the fundamental role fossil oil plays in our society.  Fossil oil is the primary component in the fuels that drive the machines our society relies on every day.  When oil supply begins to diminish oil prices will rise, and rise, and rise .. everything will be more expensive .. etc .. there's a range of predictions one can make over in the Doom and Gloom end of the spectrum.  The Mad Max movie series had Peak Oil as its back story, for example.


Who: The Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas-USA (ASPO-USA)
What: News Conference calling for “Truth in Energy”
When: October 26, 2011
Where: U.S. Department of Energy (1000 Independence Ave. SW)
Why: Exuberant Energy Forecasts Endanger U.S. Economy and National Security
Global Economy Threatened As World Oil Production Stalls For Seventh Year
WASHINGTON, October 26 – An array of energy experts gathered in front of the headquarters for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today to criticize the agency for what they called “dangerously unrealistic” oil and natural gas production forecasts. Calling for "truth in energy," they delivered a letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu seeking greater transparency in how the agency formulates its energy projections and urging development of a plan to address the growing possibility of near-term oil supply disruptions and persistent, long-term oil shortages.
“Despite rising demand and a large increase in oil prices, world oil supply has been on a plateau; it has stayed relatively constant since 2005,” said Robert L. Hirsch, co-author of The Impending World Energy Mess. “Simultaneously, production from existing world oil fields is declining at a high rate. Both of these developments are unprecedented, yet DOE and EIA [Energy Information Administration] have dismissed them as not being of major concern.”
Hirsch added, “Many oil production analysts believe that in a relatively few years, total world oil production will go into decline. That may sound like we have time to react, but our 2005 study for the DOE clearly demonstrated that we now have essentially no time to effectively react. This is because of the huge amount of oil consumed worldwide and the fact that a relatively few percent oil production decline will be difficult, expensive and time-consuming to make up.”
“The Department of Energy’s optimistic forecasts for future supply are dangerously unrealistic,” said Jim Baldauf, president and co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas-USA (ASPO-USA). “The risk/benefit ratio is out of balance. If these exuberant predictions are wrong, the consequences could be catastrophic. We need to be conservative in planning for the future. We can’t bet America’s economy and national security on Pollyanna predictions.” Baldauf added, “We are not running out of oil. But we appear to be running out of oil that we can afford.”

“We have documented and specified our concerns in a letter to Secretary Chu which we hand delivered to his office today,” said Jan Lars Mueller, ASPO’s executive director. “The letter includes seven key questions which we believe are critical for DOE and EIA to answer regarding their projections for future oil and gas supply. It also calls for DOE to lead the development of a national oil emergency response plan which would involve multiple federal and state agencies, industry, and the public in an effort to understand and confront the prospect of an impending decline in world oil production.”
With overall oil supplies constrained, competition among oil-importing countries for the available exports has become acute. Independent petroleum geologist Jeffrey J. Brown said in a written statement: “Global net oil exports are simply defined as domestic production of total petroleum liquids in oil exporting countries less domestic consumption, and global net exports have shown about a three million barrel per day decline from 2005 to 2010, with 21 of the top 33 net oil exporters showing lower net oil exports in 2010 versus 2005.”
Brown explained the possible consequences of this trend as follows: “At the current rate of increase in the ratio of China and India’s net imports to global net exports, the two countries would consume 100 percent of global net exports in about 20 years. Contrary to many optimistic predictions by many organizations and individuals, what the data show is that developed countries like the United States are currently being outbid by developing countries for access to a declining supply of global net exports.”
Tom Whipple, a former CIA analyst and chief editor of ASPO-USA’s Peak Oil Review, said, “There are literally dozens of reports and analyses appearing every week around the world pointing to the fact that the world is facing major challenges in maintaining, much less growing, the global supply of oil in next few years.” He added, “Our concern here today is the growing disconnect between the solid evidence of serious troubles ahead and the Department of Energy’s benign projections concerning the availability of fossil fuels in the next 30 years.”
All is not well with domestic natural gas supplies, either. Independent petroleum geologist Art Berman explained in a written statement that “[t]he National Petroleum Council that advises the Secretary of Energy is now being used by the captains of industry to market and promote their belief that shale gas will solve the nation's energy needs. Shale gas will not substitute for our dependence on imported liquid fuels for transportation.”
Regarding the plan to address constrained oil supplies, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis said in a written statement: “The heart of our request is the formation of a national oil emergency response plan. We are not demanding that the Department of Energy enact any specific policy change at this time, but rather set up a properly funded and sufficiently empowered commission to study the full range of potential consequences to the United States if we were to experience a near-term imbalance between global supply and demand of liquid fuels.” Davis is currently serving in Afghanistan.
Mueller said that “Americans rely on DOE and EIA to provide complete and reliable information to guide their decisions and plans for the future. However, we believe Americans are not getting the whole truth about the challenges facing future oil and gas supply, and we are unprepared for these growing threats and risks.”

ASPO-USA will hold its 7th annual Peak Oil Conference in Washington, D.C., November 2-5, at the Capitol Hill Hyatt. Experts from around the world will call for Truth in Energy and expand on issues discussed at this news conference.
Jan Mueller (202) 997-7275 - Jim Baldauf (512) 517-2663 - Ray Long (240) 330-2325
Jim Baldauf - President and Co-founder, ASPO-USA - Email: - Phone: 512-517-2663
Arthur E. Berman - Independent Petroleum Geologist - Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. - Email: - Phone: 713-557-9076
Jeffrey J. Brown - Independent Petroleum Geologist - Email: - Phone: 972-588-8125
Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, U.S. Army - Email:
Robert L. Hirsch - Co-author of "Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management," a 2005 report for the U.S. Department of Energy, and of a new book entitledThe Impending World Energy Mess - Email: - Phone: 703-462-4520
Jan Lars Mueller - Executive Director, ASPO-USA - Email: - Phone: 202-997-7275
Tom Whipple - Former CIA Analyst - Chief Editor, ASPO-USA’s Peak Oil Review - Email: - Phone: 703-407-1514

October 26, 2011

The Honorable Steven Chu
Secretary of Energy
1000 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20585
(via hand delivery)

Re: Misleading forecasts, helping Americans to understand the truth about world oil supply and U.S. gas supply

Dear Secretary Chu:

As concerned citizens, and representatives of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas USA (ASPO-USA), we the undersigned believe that the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) have failed to critically examineone of the most serious threats to our economy, national security, and environment—the prospect of an impending decline in world oil supply. DOE and EIA have also failed to examine factors that may constrain future domestic natural gas supply, despite the current exuberance regarding shale gas. In our view, these shortcomings to recognize and address supply limits for oil and gas are a major danger to America's economy and national security.

In sharp contrast to DOE, the Department of Defense has warned that “by 2012, surplus oil production capacity (in the world) could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day" (Joint Operating Environment, 2008, 2010). The 2007 Hard Truths About Energy report conducted by the National Petroleum Council also indicated that world oil supply faces serious challenges to meet rising global demand.

We believe that information and analysis provided by DOE and EIA has glossed over alarming trends regarding oil and gas supply, and fostered complacency about their potentially severe consequences. Without reliable information and a clear understanding of these monumental energy challenges, decisions and actions by the private and public sector are likely to be ill-founded and misguided.

The Department of Energy has a key responsibility to help the nation prepare for the growing possibility of an oil supply emergency and long-term oil shortages. We believe that America needs a National Oil Emergency Response Planand that the DOE should take a lead role in developing this plan.

To support DOE toward addressing this national challenge, we respectfully request your responses to the questions below:
  • Global crude oil production has departed from its historical trajectory of steady growth and remained essentially flat since 2005, despite a substantial increase in oil prices. How does DOE explain this trend, and does the change signal an impending decline in world oil supply?
  • The inflation-adjusted price of crude oil has increased far above its historic average and remains very high despite a worldwide economic slowdown. Again, does this development portend an impending a decline in world oil supply?
  • The volume of crude oil exports available to oil-importing countries has been declining since 2005, as domestic demand has increased in many exporting countries. If this trend continues, what are the implications for future oil supply, particularly for importing countries such as the United States?
  • In projecting future global supply and demand for oil and gas, EIA models appear to assume that supply will simply increase to match whatever level is demanded by projected economic activity? How can this assumption be justified in light of the physical, economic, and geopolitical challenges facing oil and gas supply?
  • In projecting future U.S. natural gas supplies, including the growing share provided by shale gas, has DOE addressed the possibility that a large share of these gas resources may require much higher natural gas prices to sustain, let alone increase, production?
  • Has DOE conducted a risk assessment of the consequences of EIA's oil and gas supply projections turning out to be overly optimistic?
  • Unconventional oil and gas resources are providing an increasing share of total U.S. supply. Has DOE assessed the economic consequences of increasing production costs and declining net energy return associated with these resources?

We would like to request a meeting, at your earliest convenience, to discuss these concerns and share our perspectives on the development of a National Oil Emergency Response Plan. Also, as you may know, ASPO-USA will hold its seventh annual conference,Peak Oil, Energy and the Economy, in Washington DC, November 2-5. Energy experts from across North America and Europe will be in attendance. We cordially invite you and/or your staff to be our guests. If you or a member of your staff wish to speak at the conference, we would be pleased to accommodate you.

James S. Baldauf
President & Co-founder, ASPO-USA

Partial Co-Signatories

Tadeusz W. Patzek
Chair, Department of Petroleum Engineering
University of Texas

William R. Catton Jr.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology
Washington State University

Seppo Korpela
Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Ohio State University

David Goodstein
Professor, Department of Physics
California Institute of Technology

Arthur E. Berman
Independent Geologist

David C. Blittersdorf
President, AllEarth Renewables

Jeffrey J. Brown
Independent Geologist

Terrence E. Backer
State Representative, 121stDistrict, Connecticut

Ronald Swenson
Principal, Swenson Solar

Jan Lars Mueller
Executive Director, ASPO-USA
202- 997-7275

Albert A. Bartlett
Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics
University of Colorado

Charles A. Hall
Professor, Sch. of Environmental Science & Forestry
State University of New York

Robert L. Hirsch
Senior Energy Advisor
Management Information Services Inc.

Deborah Cook
President, Post-Carbon Institute
Former Mayor, City of Huntington Beach, CA

Roger H. Bezdek
President, Management Information Services Inc.

Richard Heinberg
Senior Fellow, Post-Carbon Institute

Thomas S. Whipple
Retired CIA Analyst; Editor, Peak Oil Review

Daniel L. Davis
Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army

Kenneth Zweibel
Director, GW Solar Institute
George Washington University

President Obama
Vice-President Biden
Senate Majority Leader Reid
Senate Minority Leader McConnell
House Speaker Boehner
House Minority Leader Pelosi
Congressional Peak Oil Caucus
October 26, 2011
Who: The Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas-USA (ASPO-USA)
What: News Conference calling for “Truth in Energy”
When: October 26, 2011
Where: U.S. Department of Energy (1000 Independence Ave. SW)
Why: Exuberant Energy Forecasts Endanger U.S. Economy and National Security
Global Economy Threatened As World Oil Production Stalls For Seventh Year
WASHINGTON, October 26 – An array of energy experts gathered in front of the headquarters for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today to criticize the agency for what they called “dangerously unrealistic” oil and natural gas production forecasts. Calling for "truth in energy," they delivered a letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu seeking greater transparency in how the agency formulates its energy projections and urging development of a plan to address the growing possibility of near-term oil supply disruptions and persistent, long-term oil shortages.
“Despite rising demand and a large increase in oil prices, world oil supply has been on a plateau; it has stayed relatively constant since 2005,” said Robert L. Hirsch, co-author of The Impending World Energy Mess. “Simultaneously, production from existing world oil fields is declining at a high rate. Both of these developments are unprecedented, yet DOE and EIA [Energy Information Administration] have dismissed them as not being of major concern.”
Hirsch added, “Many oil production analysts believe that in a relatively few years, total world oil production will go into decline. That may sound like we have time to react, but our 2005 study for the DOE clearly demonstrated that we now have essentially no time to effectively react. This is because of the huge amount of oil consumed worldwide and the fact that a relatively few percent oil production decline will be difficult, expensive and time-consuming to make up.”
“The Department of Energy’s optimistic forecasts for future supply are dangerously unrealistic,” said Jim Baldauf, president and co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas-USA (ASPO-USA). “The risk/benefit ratio is out of balance. If these exuberant predictions are wrong, the consequences could be catastrophic. We need to be conservative in planning for the future. We can’t bet America’s economy and national security on Pollyanna predictions.” Baldauf added, “We are not running out of oil. But we appear to be running out of oil that we can afford.”


Russian nuclear industry wants to expand, despite Fukushima - Rosatom, ARMZ and Uranium One

The Fukushima nuclear meltdown and explosion were the worst nuclear disaster ever, worst than even Chernobyl.  So, the result should have been a lesson to all of us to phase out the use of Nuclear power and look for safer energy sources, that are also clean and renewable, right?  It seems that the Russians didn't get that memo, and instead are doubling down on pushing for nuclear "investments" at home and abroad.

The press release below is probably the tip of a nuclear iceberg looking to continue the buildout of nuclear plants in Russia and elsewhere.

It concerns a group of companies, one of whom has the ominous name 'ARMZ', and their plans to continue building nuclear power plants and uranium based fuels.  They say "Global demand for nuclear power and for Russian nuclear power plants (NPPs) has remained strong despite the Fukushima disaster" and so therefore business must keep doing business.

Rosatom has signed agreements with China and Slovakia to develop nuclear infrastructure, and signed a road map agreement with India over their civilian nuclear program.  Rosatom also purchased a majority stake in Uranium One, a Canadian Uranium producer with mining operations around the world.

From reading the press release you could think they're talking about any widget.  It's just a business of buying mines that produce resources, processing those resources, to generate a product from those resources, and people who are paying for that product.  It's just a business.

A business that deals in metals that produce death to all who touch the metal, metals that are known to blow up, cause fires, and are extremely poisonous.


Russia Nuclear Industry Optimistic - Despite Fukushima

LONDON, October 24, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- The global nuclear industry remains buoyant despite the Fukushima disaster, and Russia is looking to Western partners as it expands its nuclear investments both at home and abroad, Sergei Kirienko, the former Prime Minister of Russia and director general of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, told investors today in London.

"Our goal is to open up the sector to broad, free dialogue with the Western investment community," Mr Kirienko told an audience at The Savoy hotel at an event arranged by Canaccord, the investment bank. "We took a vital step towards this goal with our purchase of a majority stake in Uranium One (TSX:UUU)."

"We set out to win the trust of shareholders and show the global investment community that a Russian state company knows and can play by the 'rules of the game' for global public companies," Mr Kirienko said. "The past year and a half have shown that we are succeeding."

Mr Kirienko thanked Uranium One Chairman Ian Telfer for making the acquisition a success, with Uranium One shares outperforming peers since the acquisition and holding their value amid global market turbulence. "Personal dialogue and mutual trust between us and the board of directors of UraniumOne, and Ian Telfer personally, have been extremely important," he said.

Global demand for nuclear power and for Russian nuclear power plants (NPPs) has remained strong despite the Fukushima disaster in March. All six NPP construction contracts signed by Rosatom in 2010 and 2011 remain in place.  Rosatom has also signed agreements with China and Slovakia to develop existing nuclear infrastructure, and a "road map" with India for its civilian nuclear programme.  "The Fukushima factor has had almost no effecton global demand for nuclear power," Mr Kirienko said.  "Most countries do not plan to replace their current nuclear capacity with other types of generation in the foreseeable future," noting that nuclear is among the safest, greenest and most economical sources of power.

"Only a very few countries with small nuclear capacity can afford to reject nuclear plants in favour of energy from fossil fuels or alternative sources," Mr Kirienko said.

The uranium market has also remained relatively stable, Mr Kirienko said. But he said that prices, which have stabilised at around US$50 per pound after falling to $40 in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, need to rise to ensure that supply remains healthy:  "In our opinion, to ensure enough supply to satisfy growing demand over the next decade, the price needs to be stable at around US$70 or US$80."

Rosatom and ARMZ are now looking to strengthen their international presence further, using Uranium One as a spearhead. "The acquisition of Mantra Resources in Tanzania was the first significant step in diversifying Uranium One's production outside Kazakhstan," Mr Kirienko said. "In our opinion, southern Africa is a future growth 'hot spot' for the uranium sector, which is why the acquisition was extremely important for us."


Rosatom acquired a 51% stake in Toronto-listed Uranium One in 2010through its 100%-owned subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (Atomredmetzoloto).

About Rosatom

The State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM incorporates more than 250 enterprises and scientific institutions, including all civil nuclear companies of Russia, nuclear weapons facilities, research organizations and the world's only nuclear-propelled fleet. ROSATOM is the largest utility inRussia and produces more than 40 % of electricity in the country's European part. ROSATOM holds leading positions in the global nuclear technology market: 1st in the world simultaneous nuclear build abroad; 2nd in uranium reserves; 5th in uranium mining; 4th in nuclear electricity generation; while providing 40% of the world uranium enrichment services and 17% of the world nuclear fuel market.

ROSATOM is also tasked to fulfil Russia's international obligations in the field of the peaceful uses of atomic energy and the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

About ARMZ

ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (JSC Atomredmetzoloto) is one of the leaders in the world uranium mining industry. It is among top five uranium mining companies by uranium output and ranks second by reserves (726,500 tons as of January 1, 2011). ARMZ is the primary supplier of uranium feedstock to the Russian nuclear industry and in 2010 it produced 5173.4 tons of uranium af tacilities in Russia and Kazakhstan.

JSC "Atomenergoprom" [ ] controls 80.37 %of Atomredmetzoloto's shares.

ARMZ together with its affiliates and subsidiaries employs over 10,000 people.

Today, ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. is the successor to the world's largest uranium production complex built by the Soviet Union. In 2008, all uranium mining companies in Russia, as well as a number of uranium joint ventures inthe CIS and abroad, were brought together under ARMZ, after the restructuring of Russia's nuclear industry had been completed. In 2010, JSC Atomredmetzoloto acquired 51.4% of shares of Uranium One, Inc., a public Canadian uranium mining company.

About Uranium One

Uranium One Inc. is a Canadian-based company and is one of the world's largest publicly traded uranium producers with a primary listing on theToronto Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The Company has a globally diversified portfolio of assets located in Kazakhstan, the United States, Australia and is operator of the Mkuju River Project in Tanzania. With a 51% ownership stake, Uranium One's major shareholder is JSC Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian State Corporation for Nuclear Energy.

For further information please contact: Stuart Leasor   M:Communications   +44(0)20-7920-2317

Source: Rosatom


Monday, October 24, 2011

Clean Energy Pathways develops biofuels to displace coal in electric plants

Burning coal adds various unwanted materials to the environment, carbon, mercury, etc.  Clean Energy Pathways develops various renewable energy resources, including biomass based fuels that can be used in coal plants to displace the use of coal.  They describe their biofuel products as a means to comply with multiple directives from Federal and State governments.

Their biofuel is developed from sources such as waste vegetable oils, animal fats, yard wastes, and industrial wastes.

They also describe their biofuel as a means for companies to avoid "falling prey to the perceived need to place expensive reduction technologies at their facilities" and that instead their "quality" biofuel will keep them in compliance until 2050.

Clean Energy Pathways Develops New Custom Blended Biofuels as Btu-Substitute for Coal in Utility and Commercial Boilers

Fuels Meet RFS2 Mandate, ASTM Specs, and Qualify for the Renewable Electric Production and Carbon Tax Credits

DOTHAN, Ala., Oct. 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new line of custom-blended biofuels is being introduced by Clean Energy Pathways, Inc. (Pink Sheets:CPWY) for use as a Btu-substitute in coal-fired utility and commercial boilers, or for use in diesel-powered equipment. Available as B20, B100 or other custom blends, the new fuels substantially reduce SOx, CO2 and fly ash, as well as the efficiency-robbing buildup of slag and soot that forms on boiler tubes at startup. The fuels meet the EPA's RFS2 mandate for use of renewable fuel, and create carbon tax credits. They also qualify for the Renewable Electric Producer Tax Credit at 2.2 cents per kilowatt, or 22 cents per gallon based on 10 kilowatts per gallon. Tested as a coal substitute in a circulating fluidized bed boiler, the new fuel reduced coal consumption by 10 percent, in turn reducing the sulfur dioxide and CO2 emissions from coal by 10 percent.

"Emissions from burning the fuel are acceptable under current regulations because it is a renewable energy source," said Greg Clemons, CEO of Clean Energy Pathways. "The emission reduction also mitigates risk from lawsuits by neighboring states over cross-border air pollution."

"Our fuels utilize the highest quality feedstocks and meet all ASTM specifications," he added. "We can provide various blends to meet a wide range of applications on power plant sites."

The water-soluble B100 fuel is environmentally friendly and reduces the risk of costly hazardous-material cleanup. With 50 percent higher Btu content per cubic foot than PRB coal, the new biofuels are space-efficient for storage. Biofuels are also not prone to moisture in the fuel, as happens with outdoor storage of coal, so the Btu content is consistent.

For additional information on Clean Energy Pathways biofuels, contact Gregory Clemons

The Clean Energy Pathways, Inc. logo is available at

CONTACT: Gregory Clemons
         Clean Energy Pathways
         Tel:  906.370.8164 or 334-791-9418




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Peak Oil 101 - Presentation by Chris Martensen to a university group

Peak Oil is the point at which we reach a maximum rate in global conventional oil production. As we hit this limit to supply, prices will rise and production will shift to alternatives - but will these alternatives give us enough power to run our world? And at what environmental cost?

This "Peak Oil 101" presentation attempts to answer some of those questions. The presentation took place on September 23rd, 2011 and was hosted by Will Martin, the president of the energy club at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Johnson alumnus and peak oil author Dr. Chris Martenson joined us by phone to answer questions.

Before the lecture, the energy club was primed by watching the following videos from Dr. Martenson's website:

Will Martin's Blog:
Chris Martinson's Blog:


Peak Oil is about Price AND Supply

The Globe and Mail has run a piece by Jeff Rubin talking about how "the oil industry’s never ending ability to develop new extraction technologies and discover new sources of supply" has repeatedly confounded the Peak Oil community's ability to forecast the peak.  He goes on to suggest that the apparent peak of oil production is a matter of economics rather than actual fossil oil supply.  The article reads as if he's slamming the Peak Oil community, but I think he'd find most knowledgable Peak Oil people in agreement with what he suggests.  Additionally I think they'd say that it's a question of price AND supply, rather than simply a question of price.

As he says, the U.S. oil production (lower 48 states) peaked as predicted by M. King Hubbert in 1971ish.  One might suppose Hubbert made a lucky prediction, or one might suppose his theories were spot-on accurate.  I don't know enough to pronounce either way.  Rubin goes on to say

new sources of supply have been found in Alaska and under the Gulf of Mexico. And now oil sand production from Alberta and oil from the Bakken shale deposits may soon replace conventional oil in the mix of North American fuel.

Going further he references how the U.S. Energy Information Administration (and other energy information agencies) have stopped referring to fossil oil and instead have invented a new phrase, Energy Liquids, which

includes all kinds of energy sources we would not have previously called oil such as natural gas liquids, liquefied refinery gases, and even corn-based ethanol.

There are some slippery definitions here so let's be careful.

The phrase "Peak Oil" is generally defined in terms of fossil oil production.  As he points out there are various other sources of liquid fuels that are being developed.  We could have a peak of fossil oil production, and still have plenty of liquid fuels if there is development of enough production infrastructure for these other resources.

I've long felt the peak oil community was overly focused on fossil oil.  There's obviously a fixed size amount of fossil oil and of course there will be a peak of production from fossil oil resources.  When the doom and gloom end of the peak oil community declares that the peak of fossil production means "GAME OVER" and "IT'S MAD MAX TIME" they're saying they think other liquid fuel resources will not be able to replace the fossil oil resources we're accustomed to.

There's potential to replace fossil oil with other liquid fuel resources, but can we afford to do so?

To replace fossil oil production, new sources of liquid fuels must be developed.  That means infrastructure to extract fuels from various places.  Rubin mentions tar sands, shale oil, natural gas liquids, liquified methane, ethanol, and there are other potential sources.

Each requires investments of money and energy to extract liquid fuel.   An important concept is Energy Return on Investment - EROI - which is the energy content of a fuel, versus the energy content used to generate that fuel.  What was so attractive about fossil oil was that in its early days the EROI was 100:1, meaning 100 barrels of energy for each barrel of energy consumed in extracting that fuel.  The EROI on fossil oil has dropped considerably since the gusher days.  The closer EROI gets to 1:1 the less useful the energy resource is.

There's also the question of whether the money is available to pay for the machines and pipelines and whatnot that will be required to process, refine, extract, transport etc the fuels from these new resources.  As liquid fuels they might likely be transportable through oil pipelines, but other steps in the process require wholly new machines and factories to be built.  Where will the money come from in a time of global financial fracturing?

There's also the question of land use policies.  Some of the resources like ethanol or other biofuels will require land devoted to growing fuel crops rather than food crops.  Can we afford this?

For an interesting youtube presentation along these lines see:


Peak oil is about price, not supply


Monday, October 17, 2011

Hanwha SolarOne Unveils High Performance Solar PV Modules with Enphase Microinverters

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hanwha SolarOne Co., Ltd. ("Hanwha SolarOne”) (Nasdaq:HSOL), a global, end-to-end solar systems manufacturer, today announced its first AC Module (ACM) incorporating the world’s most efficient microinverter technology from Enphase Energy. The Enphase Energized™ AC Module is a combination of Hanwha SolarOne’s high performance solar modules with Enphase’s highly efficient third generation microinverters, allowing installers to sell the most advanced solar solutions to customers.

With vertically integrated manufacturing of silicon ingots, wafers, PV cells and modules, Hanwha SolarOne’s modules are crafted from the very first materials to be reliable and efficient. The combination of Hanwha SolarOne’s field-proven modules with Enphase microinverters allows the ACM to deliver maximum energy harvest for PV solar installations.

“By delivering innovative, cost-advantaged solar products with guaranteed performance, Hanwha SolarOne and partners like Enphase are charting a rapid course to a truly global solar economy,” said Sungsoo Lee, Chief Strategic Officer of Hanwha SolarOne. “The Enphase Energized™ AC Module will drive increased clean energy projects that maximize solar power for homes, businesses and utilities around the world.”

Enphase Energy’s third generation microinverters easily attach to the frame of a Hanwha SolarOne 60-cell module to generate grid-compliant alternating current (AC) power directly at the module-level. The ACM is guaranteed by a 25-year limited warranty for both the microinverter and module.

“The powerful combination of SolarOne’s modules with our Microinverter System creates a high performance, easy-to-install system that comes complete with integrated intelligence and a comprehensive warranty,” said Bill Rossi, chief marketing officer of Enphase Energy.

Hanwha SolarOne will be exhibiting at booth #3527 where it will feature an Enphase Energized AC Module.

About Hanwha SolarOne

Hanwha SolarOne Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: HSOL) is a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots, wafers, PV cells and modules. Hanwha SolarOne offers high-quality, reliable products and services at competitive prices. Partnering with third party distributors, OEM manufacturers, and system integrators, Hanwha SolarOne serves the utility, commercial/government, and residential markets. The company maintains a strong worldwide presence with employees located throughout Europe, North America, and Asia and embraces environmental responsibility and sustainability with an active role in the voluntary photovoltaic recycling program. The Company benefits from its strategic partnership with its largest shareholder Hanwha Group who is active in solar project development and financing and plans to produce polysilicon in the future. For more information visit:

About Enphase Energy

Enphase Energy delivers microinverter technology for the solar industry that increases energy production, simplifies design and installation, improves system uptime and reliability, reduces fire safety risk and provides a platform for intelligent energy management. Our semiconductor-based microinverter system converts energy at the individual solar module level and brings a systems-based, high technology approach to solar energy generation.

Contacts Edelman for Hanwha SolarOneJoey Marquart,


Sunday, October 16, 2011

National Poll Shows Strong Disapproval for President Obama's Smog Rule Delay, Unfavorable Ratings for Congress' Assault on Clean Air Act

9 Battleground States Also Surveyed: Suburban Women in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Latino Women in California, Florida and New Mexico Disagree With Obama Decision; Health Also Trumps Polluters in Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Obama's decision to block new public health standards for ozone and smog pollution may have pleased big business, but it sorely disappointed key demographic groups, including Latinos and women nationally and in nine key 2012 battleground states, according to 10 new polls conducted for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the League of Women Voters of the US (LWV), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Among the national poll's major findings:

  • Nationwide, 70 percent of Americans disapproved of Obama's decision to block the ozone pollution standard while only 30 percent approved.  Roughly eight out of 10 women (79 percent) overall and 71 percent of Latino women disapproved of Obama's decision on ozone.
  • Nearly four out of five Americans (78 percent) want the EPA to hold corporate polluters accountable for what they release into the community.  Better than four out five women (83 percent) and 80 percent of Latino women share this view.

Americans don't buy the line from some in Congress that EPA safeguards are bad for jobs and the economy and they support stricter safeguards against the toxic chemicals released by power plants. Women and Latino women particularly want stronger protections from toxic air and carbon pollution.

  • Roughly seven out of 10 Americans (69 percent) agree with health experts who support reducing toxic air pollution from industrial sources and oppose those in Congress who say they must overrule the EPA to protect jobs; three out of four women overall and 73 percent of Latino women agree with health experts.
  • Seven out of 10 support the EPA requiring stricter limits on the amount of toxic chemicals that industrial facilities can release and 69 percent are in favor of the EPA limiting the amount of carbon pollution that power plants and industrial facilities can release. Among women overall, 77 percent support stronger toxics limits and 78 percent support limiting carbon pollution; 76 percent and 77 percent of Latino women support those limits, respectively.

The polls, conducted between October 6-9, 2011  by Public Policy Polling (PPP), surveyed 1,249 registered voters nationwide (as well as a national oversample of 200 Latino women); and surveyed voters in nine 2012 battleground states: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Virginia with oversamples of suburban women and Latino women in several states.  To access all PPP survey results, go to

"Delaying clean air standards endangers Latino communities across the country.  This poll shows how disappointed the Latino community is with President Obama and Congress when it comes to cleaning up our air," said Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director, League of United Latin American Citizens. "Latinos are more likely to live in counties with air pollution levels that are unhealthy due to fine particulates and ozone -- two dangerous and prevalent pollutants that cause or worsen respiratory problems.  Latino children are 60 percent more likely to have asthma than non-Hispanic Whites."

Support for the EPA and stricter pollution limits is particularly strong among Latino women in key states. Asked whether they support the EPA's work to hold polluters accountable, 80 percent of Latino women in California, 79 percent in Florida and 86 percent in New Mexico said yes.

"Americans clearly are very displeased that politicians are interfering with EPA scientists.  It's wrong to play politics with the health of our children and seniors," said Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the League of Women Voters of the US.   "From the president's decision to delay smog pollution standards to the Congress's attempts to block EPA action on everything from mercury to soot to carbon, the voting public is fed up with politicians second guessing the science.  It's fundamentally unfair for polluters to force us to live with unhealthy air, which causes asthma attacks, heart attacks and even premature death."

Support for stronger pollution limits and opposition to blocking the EPA is markedly strong among suburban women in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

  • 79 percent of suburban women in Michigan, 76 percent in Ohio and 87 percent in Pennsylvania disagreed with Obama's decision to block stronger smog standards.
  • 78 percent of suburban women in Michigan, 78 percent in Ohio and 82 percent in Pennsylvania support reducing toxic air pollution from industrial sources and oppose those in Congress who say they must overrule the EPA to protect jobs.Independent respondents also expressed strong support for the EPA's mission and efforts to reduce pollution, and disagree with those who would block the EPA.  More than three out of four (77 percent) support the EPA's efforts to hold polluters accountable and 68 percent say the President should not have blocked stronger smog standards and that Congress should not block stronger limits on toxic air pollution.

"What is clear from this polling is what we've known all along:  Americans want cleaner, healthier air and want corporate polluters held accountable for their actions.  President Obama's decision to delay the ozone air pollution standard puts him out of step with most Americans, and notably with independents, women and Latinos," said Wesley Warren, director of programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Tom Jensen, director, Public Policy Polling, said: "The shorthand version of these findings is clear:  Attacks on clean air and the federal agency charged with protecting the environment and the health of Americans is an unpopular position with most Americans, including those in nine key 2012 battleground states.    These poll findings provide more than ample evidence that assaults on the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency are likely to be perceived as decidedly extreme and well outside of the mainstream of the public's thinking."

About the national poll:  The margin of error for the national survey is +/-2.8 percent. Margins of error for oversamples and states vary. Public Policy Polling surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.  PPP is a national survey research firm located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the two most accurate polling companies in the country for its swing state polling in 2008. More recently it was recognized by the Washington Post and Politico for its pinpoint polling of the surprising results in the Delaware Republican Senate primary and the Massachusetts Senate special election.

SOURCE  League of United Latin American Citizens, League of Women Voters, and Natural Resources Defense Council
League of United Latin American Citizens, League of Women Voters, and Natural Resources Defense Council
CONTACT: Leslie Anderson, +1-703-276-3256,


Poll to Show Strong Disapproval of Obama, Congress on Smog Rule Delay and Assault on EPA

LULAC, League of Women Voters, NRDC Survey Finds Hispanic and Women Voters in Nine Battleground States - CA, CO, FL, MI, NV, NM, OH, PA and VA - Trust Public Health Experts Over Congress on Pollution Matters

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A major opinion poll to be released at 1 p.m. EDT Thursday (October 13, 2011) will show that recent actions by President Obama and Congress on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and Clean Air Act protections are meeting with widespread disapproval, including key battleground state constituents groups (Hispanics and women).

The poll, which was conducted between October 6-10, 2011 by Public Policy Polling for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the League of Women Voters in the US (LWV), and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), surveyed 1,249 voters nationwide and also within a subset of nine key 2012 battleground states: California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

News event speakers are:

  • Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC);
  • Elisabeth MacNamara, president, League of Women Voters;
  • Wesley Warren, director of programs, Natural Resources Defense Council;  and
  • Tom Jensen, director, Public Policy Polling.

TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1 p.m. EDT on October 13, 2011 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the "Voters and the EPA" telenews event.

CAN'T PARTICIPATE?:  A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at as of 5 p.m. EDT on October 13, 2011.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or

LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic Organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 900 LULAC councils nationwide. The organization involves and serves all Hispanic nationality groups. For more information, see:

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, has fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League's enduring vitality and resonance comes from its unique decentralized structure. The League is a grassroots organization, working at the national, state and local levels. For more information, see:

NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. For more information, see:

SOURCE  League of United Latin American Citizens, League of Women Voters, and Natural Resources Defense Council
League of United Latin American Citizens, League of Women Voters, and Natural Resources Defense Council
Web Site:


Thursday, October 13, 2011

GE Enables Mississippi’s First Landfill Gas-to-Electricity Project to Support Region’s Grid


  • Golden Triangle Regional Landfill Project Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Creates New Revenue Source to Help Lower Landfill Costs for Businesses, Residents
  • GE’s Jenbacher Gas Engines Enable Landfill Operators, Utilities and Others to Produce Cleaner, More Reliable Power
  • Milestone Landfill Gas Project Highlights Public-Private Partnership Efforts to Tackle the Country’s Third-Largest Human Source of Methane Emissions

STARKVILLE, Miss.--  With Mississippi looking to produce more domestic energy from renewable resources, government officials, utility and GE (NYSE: GE) representatives gathered today at the Golden Triangle Regional Landfill in northeastern Mississippi to mark the commercial start-up of the state’s first landfill gas-to-electricity (LFGTE) project that will support the regional grid.

Owned by the Golden Triangle Regional Solid Waste Management Authority (GTRSWMA), the LFGTE facility uses an ecomagination-qualified, GE J320 Jenbacher landfill gas engine ( to generate nearly 1 megawatt (MW) of renewable power sold through Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) renewable power initiative—enough to support about 700 average U.S. homes. The engine generates this power by using methane gas from solid waste decomposition, which would have otherwise been wasted by being released into the atmosphere as a pollutant and potent greenhouse gas, as a valuable renewable fuel. Methane has a global warming factor 21 times greater than carbon dioxide, the most widely recognized greenhouse gas affecting climate change.

In September, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour toured the Golden Triangle facility and praised the project for supporting the state’s energy and economic priorities.

"Mississippi’s energy policy is simple: produce more affordable, abundant American energy," Gov. Barbour said. "This project at the Golden Triangle Regional Landfill fits in well with our state's strategy to have diverse energy resources to support our long-term economic growth."

Officials attending Tuesday’s opening of the landfill gas power plant echoed the governor’s comments.

“We are excited to serve as a model for the development of innovative landfill gas-to-electricity projects to help Mississippi diversify its energy resources and improve the environment,” said Jimmy Sloan, executive director for GTRSWMA. “Our project also will provide an important new revenue stream that we will use to help keep our landfill fees as low as possible for area residents and businesses in these challenging economic times,” Sloan added.

The TVA is purchasing the power from the 4-County Electric Power Association distribution system under the auspices of the TVA‘s Generation Partners program, which supports the production of renewable energy within the utility’s coverage area. The energy and associated positive environmental benefits are purchased through the program, which then transfers the right to claim the renewable attributes to Green Power Switch® customers.

The Golden Triangle site is the state of Mississippi’s first LFGTE project developed to support the regional grid, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) database. According to LMOP, there are more than 558 LFTGE projects throughout the United States that are producing a total of 1,727 MW.

These numbers are compelling, given that landfills are the third-largest, human-generated source of methane emissions in the United States, releasing an estimated 27.5 million metric tons of carbon equivalent to the atmosphere in 2009 alone.

Developing more projects like the one at Golden Triangle Landfill will be crucial as the country works to produce cleaner energy and reduce industrial sources of environmental impact. One J320 landfill gas engine is designed to generate almost 8,000 MWh of electricity per year, which would require more than 2 million cubic meters of natural gas for generation in an average U.S. natural gas-fired power plant.

“Golden Triangle is taking a leading role in showing how municipalities can capture a landfill’s waste gas that would have created more environmental impact and instead recycle it into valuable fuel for renewable energy,” said Roger George, North American regional sales leader—Gas Engines for GE Energy. “This not only results in a cleaner environment but also offers clear economic benefits for surrounding communities.”

George noted that while most of the landfills in the northeastern and western United States are developed, a significant amount of waste continues to be transported from high-population areas to rural regions, making the southeastern United States the fastest growing region for new LFGTE projects.

In addition to supplying the Jenbacher gas engine, GE also brought the TVA’s Generation Partners renewable energy purchase program to the attention of the GTRSWMA’s landfill board. Nixon Energy Solutions, GE’s Jenbacher gas engine authorized distributor in Mississippi, delivered the unit to the site before it was installed by SCS Field Services.

GE’s alternative gas-to-power portfolio includes Jenbacher and Waukesha gas engines and is specifically designed for fuel flexibility needed to accommodate the use of alternative fuels such as landfill gas, while offering high levels of electrical efficiency. GE’s Jenbacher landfill gas engines are qualified under ecomagination, GE’s commitment to invest in a future that creates innovative solutions to global environmental challenges. Overall, the Gas Engines business has more than 1,650 units operating on landfill, with an electrical output of over 1,650 MW.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at

GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Management and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 100,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.


GE Gas EnginesAnja Pegger, +43 5244 600 2337 or

Masto Public Relations Gina DeRossi or

Howard Masto +1 518-786-6488


Friday, October 7, 2011

Ballard's Fuel Cell system wins innovation award and fuels several large zero-emission electricity production plants

Ballard has been researching fuel cells for over 10 years and for a long time was focusing on fuel cell powered cars and busses.  It's nice to see them developing utility scale fuel cell systems because honestly that's the best place for fuel cells to be used, in stationary electricity production systems rather than mobile ones like on a car.

What they're describing is way cool - using hydrogen in a fuel cell to produce power, and then make secondary use of the heat produced in the fuel cell to generate steam or heat in buildings or industrial processes.

The only real concern is the source of the hydrogen to run the fuel cell.  Often hydrogen is extracted from natural gas using a steam reforming system.  Hydrogen extracted from a fossil fuel is hardly a good idea, right?  But that's what is often done.  In the three projects listed below the hydrogen source is identified in two:- "byproduct hydrogen" at a "bleach plant", and "steam reformation of biogas coming from a landfill" (e.g. methane).  Both of those are way cool hydrogen sources though in actuality I wonder about whether it's better to just burn the methane rather than go through the steam reformation to get hydrogen to run a fuel cell.

In any case the third project, at a First Energy power plant near Cleveland, it isn't so clear what the hydrogen source is.  Given that it's at a power plant there would be plenty of natural gas on hand to reform and extract the hydrogen.  Sigh.



Ballard CLEARgen(TM) Fuel Cell System Wins Innovation Award; Seen As Leader in DG Market

VANCOUVER, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) announced that it is the recipient of Frost & Sullivan's "2011 New Product Innovation Award" in the North American Stationary Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell category for the Company's unique CLEARgen(TM) multi-megawatt distributed power generation system.

"This award recognizes Ballard's technological leadership and strong market position in the commercialization of PEM fuel cells for distributed energy generation," said Tomasz Kaminski, Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst. "Ballard's solution surpasses the competition in terms of fuel cell durability, product cost and load-following capability, all keys to commercially viable grid-scale solutions."

The New Product Innovation Award is presented to the company that has excelled relative to the following criteria: innovative elements of the product; leveraging leading edge technologies in the product; value added features/benefits of the product; increased customer ROI; and customer acquisition/penetration potential.

John Sheridan, Ballard President and CEO said, "With the CLEARgen(TM) system, our customers can produce clean, reliable power and reduce their demand for grid electricity. This can create significant cost savings, while simultaneously reducing customers' environmental footprint."

Powered by Ballard's proprietary FCgen(TM)-1300 proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the CLEARgen(TM) system is a complete solution designed to generate clean energy from hydrogen. Modular 500 kilowatt (kW) PowerBanks are combined to produce multiple megawatts (MW's) of zero-emission electricity, with heat created by the system also providing the opportunity for hot water and space heating. The system can operate continuously to meet baseload power needs, or intermittently to provide peak power during times of high demand.

Ballard's early work with CLEARgen(TM) has led to a number of notable contracts, including:

  • A 1MW CLEARgen(TM) system, the largest PEM fuel cell system in North America, has been installed at FirstEnergy Corp.'s Eastlake plant, near Cleveland, Ohio for use in a utility load management demonstration project.  FirstEnergy Corp. activates the hydrogen-fuelled generator during periods of peak demand, taking strain off the power grid and ensuring uninterrupted power to customers. Results during the first year of operation have been positive.
  • Next year, K2 Pure Solutions will deploy a CLEARgen(TM) system at its bleach plant in Pittsburg, California. The system will convert by-product hydrogen into clean load-following electricity that will partially offset power demand at the state-of-the-art facility.
  • Also in 2012, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. will site a 1MW CLEARgen(TM) system at its sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance, California. The system will provide peak electrical power and heat to a number of locations on Toyota's multi-building campus, utilizing hydrogen produced by steam-reformation of renewable bio-gas generated at a landfill.

Commercialization of the CLEARgen(TM) system is being supported by extending operating life and lowering product cost through a project funded by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm's-length, not-for-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Ballard Power Systems

Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products are based on proprietary esencia(TM) technology, ensuring incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit

SOURCE  Frost & Sullivan
CONTACT: Public Relations: Guy McAree, +1-604-412-7919,; Investor Relations: Lori Rozali, +1-604-412-3195,
Web Site:


"Net Zero" manufacturing plant built in Casa Grande AZ by Frito-Lay

Frito-Lay has been making some nice moves towards environmental responsibility such as buying electric delivery trucks.  We should remember however that their main product lines aren't exactly environmentally friendly, especially not their typical packaging choices.  In this case they've built a new factory, in Casa Grande Arizona, they claim is "near net zero" .. meaning, nearly produces net zero waste given the inputs to the factory.  This is a sort of milestone some companies are trying to reach, to reduce the negative environmental impact of their businesses.

The summary is - massive reduction of greenhouse gasses, massive reduction in water use, massive reduction in natural gas use.  Nice.

So let's look at and ponder what they've done:-

Water recycling: using membranes and reverse osmosis whatever gizmos they're able to recycle their "process water" to where it meets EPA guidelines for primary and secondary drinking water.  Check.  Cool.  I hope.

Electricity production:  The press release below says "10 million kilowatt-hours" which has to be referring to expected total electricity production per year, and doesn't refer to the rated capacity of the installation.  They've covered "36 acres of the facilities agricultural property" with solar panels (what? converting farm land to other uses? uh?), solar panels over the parking lot, and sterling engine electricity production gizmos.  Sounds way cool.

Natural gas reduction: This is about replacing natural gas as the fuel to run the plants steam boilers, and instead burn "wood and agricultural waste" as biomass in a boiler.  They need to produce steam for whatever purpose, question is how.  It's nice to not burn natural gas for this purpose.  But is it good to divert biomass from other uses to do this?  I keep hoping that agriculture would return to proper organic principles and use the biomass for compost rather than see it as "agricultural waste" that's only fit for burning.  As compost it would help the ground to be rich and lively.  But treating it as agricultural waste it's part of the process that's stripping the ground of nutrients.

Zero landfill: It's cool that they're recycling so much that only 1% of their stuff gets sent to the landfill.  Extensive recycling is good.  But they say they're using "food waste" as "cattle feed" .. uh .. and those cattle they're feeding food waste become our hamburgers don't they?  Uh?  This is good?

LEED certified factory:  Cool.  I hope.



Frito-Lay Unveils "Near Net Zero" Manufacturing Facility

Casa Grande facility leveraging renewable energy and recycled water to reach company milestone

PLANO, Texas, Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America division today celebrated the success of its most ambitious environmental sustainability project to-date by announcing that its Casa Grande, Arizona, facility has reached "near net zero."  The "near net zero" vision was to transform an existing facility so that it would be as far "off the grid" as possible and run primarily on renewable energy sources and recycled water, while producing nearly zero landfill waste.

"As a company that relies on key natural resources like water and fuel, Frito-Lay has developed strategies to ensure our business remains sustainable, even if there are constraints on those resources," explains Al Carey, past CEO and president, Frito-Lay North America. "Frito-Lay and its parent, PepsiCo, are committed to finding innovative solutions that are right for the business and right for the environment. The 'near net zero' project is an industry-leading example of how the two successfully intersect."

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption and 13% of water consumption, making environmental sustainability initiatives for new and existing buildings a significant opportunity. In fact, greater building efficiency can help meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy.

Frito-Lay invested in and implemented a combination of technologies to enable the Casa Grande plant to significantly reduce the use of key natural resources and reduce the site's overall environmental footprint. Using innovative technologies, the Casa Grande facility is generating 2/3 of all energy used from renewable sources and is working toward significant reductions:

  • 50% reduction of greenhouse gases
  • 75% of water is recycled
  • 80% reduction of natural gas usage

"Frito-Lay set out to create an environmental learning lab in our Casa Grande plant that would try to make the plant 'near net zero,'" said Al Halvorsen, senior director of environmental sustainability, Frito-Lay North America.  "Our approach to significantly reduce the use of natural resources and the environmental impact of a manufacturing site has been cutting edge and today marks a major milestone for Frito-Lay and PepsiCo."

  • Water Reduction: The Casa Grande facility installed a water recovery and reuse system that combines Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) and Low-Pressure Reverse Osmosis (LPRO) technologies to recycle from 50% to 75% of water.  The recycled process water meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) primary and secondary drinking water standards.
  • Electricity Reduction:  Five separate and distinct solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, installed throughout the property, produce nearly 10 million kilowatt-hours (KWHs) of electrical power. Two solar fields of single axis tracking PV systems with more than 18,000 solar panels were installed on 36 acres of the facility's agriculture property. The three additional PV fields installed by the plant include a dual axis tracking system, a single axis covered parking lot and 10 sterling engine dual axis tracking systems.
  • Natural Gas Reduction: The newly installed 60,000 pounds per hour (lb/hr) biomass boiler, which uses wood and agricultural waste as its combustion energy source, will produce all the steam needed for the manufacturing plant and will reduce natural gas usage by over 80%.
  • Zero Landfill: As of 2010, the Casa Grande facility sends less than 1% of its overall waste to landfill through extensive recycling and using food waste for cattle feed.
  • LEED: During the course of implementation, the Casa Grande facility became the first existing food manufacturing site to achieve LEED® Existing Building (EB) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2009.

Moving forward, Frito-Lay will leverage key learnings from the Casa Grande plant and apply them to other facilities where appropriate.  Every Frito-Lay plant is identifying projects and approaches to get closer to "near net zero" and to significantly reduce its environmental footprint.

For more than a decade, Frito-Lay North America has been committed to reducing the use of key major resources and the company's overall environmental footprint.  The company has nearly reached or exceeded its aggressive conservation goals, based on 1999 levels, to reduce water use by 50%; natural gas by 30%; and electricity by 25%.  In addition, the company created an environmental strategy for its fleet to reduce fuel use by 50% by 2020.

Frito-Lay Casa Grande has been part of the Pinal County community for more than 25 years. The nearly 188,000-square foot building sits on 202 acres of land. Frito-Lay Casa Grande's more than 350 associates make some of America's favorite snack chips, including Lay's and Ruffles potato chips, Fritos corn chips, Tostitos and Doritos tortilla chips, and Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks.

About Frito-Lay

Frito-Lay North America is the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site,, the Snack Chat blog, and on Twitter at

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses -- Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola -- also make hundreds of other enjoyable foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit

SOURCE  Frito-Lay North America
CONTACT: Aurora Gonzalez, Frito-Lay North America, +1-972-334-3821
Web Site:


GloPak Corp. opening a Solar-Powered Plastics Manufacturing factory on October 7th, 2011

As I mentioned in an earlier post today, there's a question whether it's good/preferable to convert farming land into industrial use.  Here we have an example of newly built a factory with a significantly sized (500 kilowatt) solar panel array on the roof.  There was also news today of an automotive repair shop near San Diego who also installed a solar panel array on their roof.  Both of these are examples of already-industrialized land being given another use to house a solar photovoltaic electricity plant.

That is, industrial land serving two purposes:

  • the primary purpose for the facility (factory, warehouse, auto repair shop, etc)
  • it's rooftop space being used to generate electricity using solar panels on the roof

This is

  • cleanly generated electricity
  • generated close to its point of use
  • whose peak of production (the daytime) corresponds to the overall peak demand period (daytime)
  • that's installed on land that's already industrialized (doesn't remove wilderness or farm land from those purposes)
  • earns a second income for the business which owns the roof

A couple years ago I posted a "wouldn't it be neat if.." piece about the potential of those self-storage businesses to house photovoltaic solar electricity production.  They, like factories and other business buildings, are well situated to be house solar panels because of the large amount of roof space.

How can we encourage more of this?



GloPak Corp. Announces Grand Opening of Solar-Powered Plastics Manufacturing Facility on October 7th, 2011

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- GloPak Corp., a full-service plastics manufacturer of industrial and recyclable custom garbage bags, film and liners for restaurants, hotels, hospitals and consumers markets, today announced that it will celebrate the grand opening of its new 80,000 square foot facility and corporate headquarters on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 132 Case Drive, South Plainfield, N.J.

The commemoration of this new plant is significant as it is one of a handful of plastics manufacturing plants in New Jersey using green energy to power its production process. Elected officials, local businesses and civic leaders will join GloPak Corp. management for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, lunch and tour of the facility.

"As part of our commitment to the environment, focusing on green and sustainable solutions, the new South Plainfield facility will reduce its carbon footprint with the unveiling of our 500+ KW roof system and a three-acre solar energy field adjacent to the plant," stated GloPak's CEO, Harold Martin Sr. "GloPak's CO2 emission will be reduced by 690 Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide every year. These efforts have improved core manufacturing processes without compromising product quality."

The new plant runs 24 hours, 7 days a week. The energy-efficiency effort of implementing solar technology is expected to save more than $90,000 in energy costs each year. The plant maintains a staff of over 20 full-time employees, and with the overall savings on energy, GloPak Corp. plans to hire additional workforce from the South Plainfield area within the next 18 months.

Additional media that would like to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony are encouraged to make arrangement with GloPak Public Relations through

About GloPak Corp.

GloPak Corp. ( was founded in 1966 by Harold Martin Sr., and remains family owned and operated. GloPak produces polyethylene products, extrudes Grade A approved poly resins and is committed to providing the same high-quality products to end-users while promoting a healthy environment.

Media Contact:

Candace Sandy646.298.5506 or

SOURCE  Glopak Corporation
Web Site:


ecoNoon has LED solution to compact fluorescent light bulb controversy

Compact fluorescent light bulb's have mercury in them.  This has some people alarmed because mercury contamination is a global problem.  However CFL's save enough electricity to cause enough less coal to be burnt to reduce mercury emissions from coal fired electricity more than the mercury in the bulb.  This is true but a difficult enough equation to get your head around that perhaps it's better, in some peoples minds, to not have mercury in the bulbs in the first place.

As a 20+ year user of CFL's I'm irritated that some are fighting against adopting CFL's because of this.  But as someone excited over LED light bulbs I'm glad to see advances being made there.


Light Bulb Controversy: LEDs from ecoNoon Light the Way

New Startup Invented World's First LED Light Modules Without PCB

PENANG, Malaysia, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new lighting technology and products from ecoNoon could provide the best LED lighting solutions to meet the world's growing need to save energy on lighting in commercial, industrial, residential and public spaces.

"Consumers who are looking to brighten up the dark days of searching for new products need to look no further than LED lighting solutions provided by ecoNoon. Energy used for lighting is an astronomical cost for businesses and consumers worldwide. If they can cut their energy bills by as much as 90 percent by using LED bulbs, they will do so in great numbers," said Ir Ooi Seoh Lin, Chief Marketing Officer of ecoNoon (

Nearly 20 percent of the world's energy resources go toward lighting products.

"The United States is already on a path to move away from incandescent light bulbs and move toward fluorescent bulbs. But smart consumers will want to embrace the next technology leap forward, which is LED lighting solutions which offer better lighting with lower costs and power demands," he said. "LEDs have proven to be a successful technology for computer displays, television monitors, billboards and other devices. This trend toward adoption of LEDs will only continue to get stronger. The demand for LED lighting solutions worldwide is strong."

Fluorescent and HID lights contain toxic elements, including mercury and sodium. Hence, governments are beginning to require that consumers and companies adopt alternative lighting sources. The first step has been to move from incandescent to fluorescent, but the real savings come with LEDs.

"Furthermore, LEDs are non-toxic and require low energy, both advantages over the other lighting technologies. Color rendering of LEDs is also excellent," he said.

"ecoNoon's products stand out as saving more energy than most other LED bulbs, provide better environmental stewardship and last longer than other lighting products," he said. Part of the company's business model is to retrofit existing luminaries or lighting fixtures with LED light bulbs or light modules.

The company's energy saving product pipeline is in full swing:

  • Globe Bulbs (GL series) are available now.
  • HID (High Intensity Discharge Lamp)/Sodium Replacement Bulbs (SB series) is undergoing certification and will be available in October.
  • Mini Spot Light Bulbs/Spot Light Bulbs (ML/SL series) will be ready in November.

Each bulb is guaranteed for at least 30K to 50K hours or five years, depending on wattages.

"What sets us apart from all other competitors is the fact that our patent-pending LED light modules have no Printed Circuit Board (PCB) in any of its finished products to power bulbs of all shapes and wattages up to 1,000 watts and higher. In fact, the lighting module's robust thermal solution can keep the temperature of the system well below 100 degrees C in any wattage. Most luminaries have a thermal management issue that does not show up until after a couple of months or years of operation, when the LED chips inside fail due to high operating temperatures. Hence, it's more costly to have ineffective light bulbs," he said.

In addition to providing commercial lighting and household lighting, the company can create LED lighting solutions for different industries and applications.

"We are strong in researching various applications and using our LED lamps to solve energy consumption problems for many different industries. We can customize bulbs to suit various applications and we can create a variety of colors. If there are any new applications, we can work together with the companies to come out with the best solutions. We prefer to work on unique applications that are truly innovative," he said.

"Our flagship product will be HID/Sodium Replacement Bulb which will retrofit all the street lighting without any fixtures required. The bulbs are lighter than existing bulbs and provide more power. They can also be used in factories and buildings and many places," he said.

"All human beings have a responsibility to reduce CO2 to stop global warming of our Mother Earth for the sake of future generations," he said.


ecoNoon was founded in June 2011 and is based in Penang, Malaysia.

ecoNoon is a true worldwide company. Research and development is conducted in Japan and the United States. Marketing is based in Malaysia. Components are made by several Japanese companies. Assembly is done in Penang.

The company has several patents pending.

To inquire about investment opportunities, go to

Contact:Ir Ooi Seoh LinChief Marketing Officermarketing@econoon.coMobile: +60 12 482 9263Office: +60 4 264 5928

SOURCE  ecoNoon
Web Site:


SunPower ready to build 25 megawatt solar farm in Modesto (McHenry Solar Farm)

Building a solar electric power production plant is more than ordering panels from a panel manufacturer.  There is a whole lotta equipment required such as the frames to hold the solar panels, wiring, power distribution panels, monitoring equipment, monitoring software, training and support, installation, etc.  SunPower has developed a pre-packaged product, the "SunPower Oasis power plant", to provide all the components required to build solar electric power plants from 1.5MW to over 500MW in capacity.

A new project by SunPower in Modesto gives us a look at how this works.

The Oasis product is sold in "1.5 MW power blocks".  The customer then buys enough of these blocks to fill the area they have available, connect them up to the electric grid, and profit.  It sounds a bit like pouring Lego bricks out on the floor and building something out of them, but I'm sure it takes a bit more time.

Each power block includes these components

  • "Tracker" and "Solar panel":- This is solar panels held in a frame, held above the ground on posts, and able to tilt to follow the Sun as it rises in the morning passes overhead and sets in the evening.  Hence the panels must be installed on a north-south arrangement to follow the Sun as it passes from east to west.
  • "Smart Inverter":- Provides "grid interoperability" to massage electricity from the panels, sending it into the grid at the voltage required by the grid.
  • "DC Electrical distribution equipment":- The wires and junction boxes to bring power from the panels, to the inverter, and to the grid.
  • "Tracker Monitoring and Control System" and SCADA:- Hardware and software to monitor the system.

The McHenry Solar Farm is owned by the Modesto Irrigation District.  It's a 154 acre site in an agricultural area in the Central Valley south of Sacramento.  The MID will also build an electrical switching station adjacent to the solar farm.

Hence, this appears to be an example of converting farm land to industrial use.  One wonders whether that's a good idea, or whether we should be focusing on building solar electric production facilities on land that's already industrialized.


SunPower's 25-Megawatt McHenry Solar Farm Poised for Construction Start

Project to Create up to 144 Jobs and Inject $18.7 Million into Local Economy During Construction

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) today announced it expects to start construction on the 25-megawatt McHenry Solar Farm in Modesto, Calif. before the end of the year. The solar photovoltaic (PV) power project received unanimous approval by the Stanislaus County planning commission on September 15, 2011. During construction, it is expected to create up to 144 construction jobs and inject approximately $18.7 million into the local economy. Construction of the facility is contingent on the receipt of all remaining building permits, and is expected to be completed and operational by the second half of 2012.

Electricity produced by the solar PV project will serve the utility grid operated by Modesto Irrigation District (MID), helping the agency achieve California's 33 percent renewable portfolio standard.

"Solar power adds to the diversity of MID's power mix and is an excellent fit for our customers' energy needs," said MID Assistant General Manager of Electric Resources Roger VanHoy. "We have been impressed by SunPower's professionalism and knowledge to date, and are confident SunPower has the experience and technology to cost-effectively deliver a system that will reliably generate solar power for MID's customers for the next 25 years."

The plant will use the SunPower Oasis(TM) Power Plant product, a fully integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while minimizing land use impacts. Each power block integrates the SunPower® T0 Tracker with SunPower's high-efficiency, E19 solar panel, pre-manufactured system cabling, the Oasis smart inverter, and the Oasis operating system. SunPower Oasis also features the SunPower advanced Tracker Monitoring and Control System (TMAC(TM)) for wireless control of the power plant. The power block kits are shipped pre-assembled to the job site for rapid field installation, and offer the highest capacity factor and the most reliable long-term performance.

"SunPower technology is fast to install, offers guaranteed performance, and is a competitively-priced choice for power," said Howard Wenger, president of SunPower's utility and power plant business group. "We commend MID for seizing the opportunity to help meet the state's growing energy demand and renewable energy goals."

About SunPower

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts and may be based on underlying assumptions. The company uses words and phrases such as "poised," "expects," "will," "contingent on," and "expected" to identify forward-looking statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements regarding (a) expected beginning of construction of the solar farm; (b) expected benefits of the solar farm; and (c) the expected completion date in 2012. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to the company as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond the company's control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements, including risks and uncertainties such as: (i) construction difficulties or potential delays, including obtaining land use rights, permits, license, other governmental approvals, and transmission access and upgrades, and any litigation relating thereto; (ii) increasing competition in the industry and lower average selling prices, and impact on gross margin; (iii) timeline for revenue recognition and the impact on the company's operating results; (iv) the risk of continuation of supply of products and components from suppliers; (v) unanticipated problems with deploying the system on the site; and (vi) other risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 2, 2011 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 3, 2011, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any subsequent date, and the company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SunPower is a registered trademark of SunPower Corp.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE  SunPower Corp.
CONTACT: Ingrid Ekstrom, SunPower Corp.,
Web Site: