Friday, August 24, 2012

Peak Oil Movie Review: What A Way To Go

Website: My review of the film What A Way To Go Life at the End of Empire. This is one of my favorite films. It puts you in a trance like state while watching. All the world's issues are covered and it explains how the American standard of living is being reduced. This...

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Peak Oil Book Review: Plug-In Hybrids

Website: My review of the book Plug-in Hybrids. This is a good educational book about the history of electric cars and the people that have advocated for them. MrEnergyCzar rating is 3 stars. Facebook Twitter: Video Plug-in Hybrids Chelsea...

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Friday, August 17, 2012

How offshore wind turbines could be more efficient

A Cambridge University study suggests that offshore wind farms could be 100 per cent more efficient in terms of energy payback if manufacturers embraced new methods for making the structures that support the turbines.


Energy from microbes for drying sewage sludge

A new biodrying process from Siemens quickly converts sewage sludge into a usable form while saving energy. When dried with the new process, sludge from wastewater treatment can be used as fertilizer, dumped in landfills or incinerated. Unlike thermal drying processes, the new technique, known as "mechanically enhanced biodrying" or MEB, does not require any outside source of heat. Instead, it uses the energy produced by microbes in the sludge. The operational costs are therefore 30 percent lower compared to thermal drying processes.


Major advance made in generating electricity from wastewater

Engineers at Oregon State University have made a breakthrough in the performance of microbial fuel cells that can produce electricity directly from wastewater, opening the door to a future in which waste treatment plants not only will power themselves, but will sell excess electricity.


Chinese Solar Imports Drop for Three Consecutive Months

June import value declines 60 percent from 2011 levels

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the third straight month, imports of Chinese solar cells and panels into the United States decreased year-over-year, according to the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM). In June, Chinese solar imports totaled $99.6 million, down almost 60 percent from $241.5 million in June 2011, according to the Department of Commerce’s “U.S. Imports of Merchandise” database. The year-over-year decline is significant and reflects the market’s rising recognition of the costs, risks and uncertainties associated with importing Chinese solar cells and panels, according to CASM.

While some of the year-on-year decrease is due to sharply falling module prices from 2011 to 2012, June 2012 imports of Chinese solar cells and panels were also down 20 percent from the previous month’s total of $124.1 million. Between the same two months in 2011, the value of Chinese imports increased 7 percent.

Despite three months of declines, Chinese import levels for all of 2012 are still ahead of last year’s record pace: For the first six months of this year, the total value of Chinese cell and panel imports reached $1.32 billion, up from $1.23 billion for the same period of 2011, an increase of 7.3 percent, according to the Commerce data. The increase is even more significant because dumped and subsidized Chinese pricing has lowered the per-watt average import values so dramatically in 2011 and 2012.

Importantly, June was the first month in which Chinese manufacturers were fully affected by both preliminary anti-subsidy duties of up to 4.73 percent on Chinese cells and panels that Commerce announced on March 26, 2012, and preliminary antidumping duties on Chinese solar cell and panel imports ranging from 31 percent to 249.96 percent announced on May 25, 2012, according to CASM. The 31 percent rate applies only to specifically named combinations of producers and exporters; companies not specifically listed by Commerce must pay duty deposits at the 249.96 percent rate. Because of a ruling of critical circumstances, the anti-subsidy duties were retroactive to Dec. 27, 2011, and the anti-dumping duties were retroactive to Feb. 25.

Commerce’s ongoing investigations are focused on the actual amount of dumping that occurred during the second and third quarters of 2011, and the amount of unfair subsidies benefiting China’s solar industry in calendar year 2010. Final margins in both cases, which are scheduled to be announced Oct. 9, could differ. In fact, Commerce has already identified additional categories of illegal subsidy programs that are likely to increase the final countervailing duty rates. Commerce also found that both Wuxi Suntech and Trina Solar were not creditworthy at various times during part of the review period.

The final determinations will finalize the estimated duty deposit rates for current entries of Chinese imports. The final amounts of duties owed by importers for imports after October 9 will not actually be finalized for more than a year. If Commerce determines that Chinese pricing fell more than production costs for those imports, then the final duty margins also will increase.

Although the value of all global imports decreased in June 2012 compared to the previous year, imports from several countries rose significantly, compared with shipments in June 2011. These countries include Malaysia ($113.2 million, up almost 96 percent year-on-year), although much of this increase was due to imports by First Solar, a U.S. thin film producer not subject to antidumping and countervailing duties. Imports from Taiwan ($32.4 million,) and the Philippines ($39.2 million) also increased. CASM continues to work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to detect and prevent any circumvention of preliminary duties. In addition, CASM continues to have serious concerns about reports of Chinese producers engaging in minor alteration or processing of products in third-countries like Taiwan, in order to evade the antidumping and countervailing duties. CASM has asked the Commerce Department to address this issue in its final determination by clarifying that such products are covered by the scope and subject to duties.

The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, founded by seven companies that manufacture solar cells and panels in the United States, has more than 220 employers of nearly 18,000 workers who have registered their support for CASM's case. The founding manufacturers have plants in nearly every region in the United States, including the Northwest and California, the Southwest, Midwest, Northeast and South and support several thousand U.S. manufacturing jobs. For details about CASM, go to; email media questions to; other questions or comments may be emailed to


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Peak Oil Book Review: Resource Wars

Website: Review of the book Resource Wars. Oil wars, including future ones, are discussed. The South China and Caspian Sea oil region hot spots are covered well. Potential water conflicts in the Nile and Jordan river basins are explained. MrEnergyCzar rating is 4 stars....

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chevy Volt: How To Wash The Chevy Volt

Website: Giving the Chevrolet Volt a car wash is easy. Just remember to wash the Volt in the shade. First, wet the Volt. Second, fill up a soap bucket and use a wool mitt soaping the Volt from the top down. Third, wash the wheels like the rest of the car, they have a clear coat finish. Fourth, rinse the Volt from the top down. Lastly, wet a chamois and wipe the entire Volt while wringing out the chamois. Facebook Twitter: Chevy Volt Plug-in "Electric Car" Extended Range Electric Vehicle 2013 Ampera Holden EV Clean Video World oil supply high demand solar how to alternative fuels global warming "Peak Oil" crisis understanding explaining peakoil petroleum future apocalypse end crash energy inflation gas gasoline reserves strategic reserve prices unemployment fuel finance resource wars middle east war military kunstler heinberg martenson simmons save money powerdown howto Vlog preparing for peak oil solar heating array inverter homestead survival supplies sustainable living permaculture crops tips ideas tools protect family cut Saudi Arabia Libya Iran Yemen Nigeria Syria Iraq tar sands Chavez high gas prices bakken shale ethanol electric DIY Betterplace Russia clean green economy IEA EIA Top Gear

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Solar, wind, landfill to make cheapest power by 2030

Australian study says coal’s crown is slipping, thanks in part to carbon pricing


Justin Hall-Tipping: Freeing energy from the grid What would happen if we could generate power from our windowpanes? In this moving talk, entrepreneur Justin Hall-Tipping shows the materials that could make that possible, and how questioning our notion of 'normal' can lead to extraordinary breakthroughs. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at


Unconventional Oil Exposed

Website: Unconventional oil explained. Tar sands, Heavy oil, and Oil shale are examples. The net energy from these sources is very low. EROEI is an issue. Economies dependent on cheap oil to grow won't grow with unconventional expensive oil sources. Facebook www.facebook....

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IKEA Powers-up Three Philadelphia-Area Solar Energy Systems at Its Two Philadelphia-Area Stores and Its U.S. Office

Solar Panels Now Installed Atop 2/3 of Company’s U.S. Locations

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in solar energy systems installed at its two Philadelphia-area stores (in Conshohocken and South Philadelphia) as well as atop its U.S. Service Office also in Conshohocken, bringing the total number of completed U.S. solar energy projects for IKEA to 29. Additionally, installations are under way at 10 more locations, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 89% with a total generation of 38 MW.

IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement). Globally, IKEA has allocated €590 million to invest in renewable energy, focusing on solar and wind during the coming three years. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of IKEA to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. More than 250,000 solar panels have been installed on IKEA stores and buildings across the world. The company also owns and/or operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.


GE Technology Powers First Landfill-Gas-to-Energy Project in Alaska

Power Produced by GE’s Jenbacher J420 Gas Engines to Save Military up to $50 Million

Located on the Joint U.S. Army-Air Force Base, Doyon Utilities’ Project Helps Improve Energy Security for U.S. Military

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Held in Anchorage to Celebrate Opening of Plant

ANCHORAGE, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Doyon Utilities, LLC (Doyon) held a ribbon cutting ceremony today to celebrate the opening of the first landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project in Alaska, which is powered by GE’s (NYSE: GE) ecomagination-qualified Jenbacher gas engines. Located on the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, a joint U.S. Army and Air Force base, the project will provide approximately half of JBER–Richardson’s 13 megawatts (MW) of peak demand power.

“Beginning in 2013, federal agencies will be required to use renewable energy sources to provide at least 7.5 percent of total electric consumption,” said Dan Gavora, CEO of Doyon Utilities LLC. “GE’s technology allows us to turn landfill gas (methane) into an energy source for the U.S. military base and also into a revenue stream for the municipal utility, which currently flares the gas instead of selling it. In addition, the plant will help the military improve its energy security and move closer to its renewable energy target.”

Doyon will own and operate the facility and will buy the gas produced for at least the next 20 years, with an option for an extension to 40 years, under the agreement with the municipality. According to military officials, the power produced will offset what the military would have to buy from the municipality, which will add up to more than $30 million in savings over the life of the project1.

The Anchorage Regional Landfill, which opened in 1987, has the capacity to hold 40 million cubic yards of waste. Currently one-third full, the landfill will likely reach capacity around 2045. As the landfill grows, so will the opportunity to increase the LFGTE plant’s capacity.

“This project with Doyon Utilities is another example of how GE’s Jenbacher gas engines are supporting distributed power projects around the world,” said Roger George, regional sales leader, Gas Engines for North America. “Our Jenbacher gas engines provide the fuel flexibility needed to accommodate the use of alternative fuels such as landfill gas while offering high levels of electrical efficiency.”

Western Energy Systems (WES), GE’s authorized distributor for Jenbacher gas engines in Alaska, provided the four Jenbacher J420 engine-generator sets and integrated these with balance of plant equipment required for a successful installation. WES provided project management services for all equipment provided, performed commissioning services, and has opened a product support facility in Anchorage with technicians and parts inventory committed to support this project.

GE's fuel-flexible Jenbacher gas engines are powered by landfill gas, which is created from solid waste decomposition and then recovered as a valuable renewable fuel. This gas would otherwise have been wasted by being released into the atmosphere as a potent greenhouse gas. Methane has a global warming factor that is 21 times greater than carbon dioxide.

GE's Jenbacher J420 landfill gas engines are part of GE’s ecomagination portfolio. To qualify for the ecomagination portfolio, products and services must demonstrate both improved economic value and environmental performance. Ecomagination is GE's commitment to innovative solutions that maximize resources and efficiencies and make the world work better. Overall, GE's Gas Engines business has more than 1,650 units operating on landfill gas with an electrical output of over 1,650 MW.

In a changing world with diverse power needs, GE’s portfolio of innovative distributed power solutions, gives businesses and communities around the world the ability to generate reliable and efficient power using a variety of fuels anywhere, whether on or off the grid. GE’s distributed power solutions gives customers of all types—from industrial businesses, to developing communities, to government officials managing disaster relief and other emergency power situations—the ability to generate reliable, sustainable power whenever and wherever it is needed. GE’s distributed power portfolio includes GE aeroderivative gas turbines, Jenbacher and Waukesha gas engines and waste heat recovery solutions.


IKEA Plugs-in Solar Panels at Dallas-Area Store in Frisco, TX As Company Progresses Towards Being State’s Largest Solar Owner

More Than 2/3 of IKEA Locations In U.S. Now Have Solar Panels

FRISCO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its Dallas-area store in Frisco, Texas – which, when combined with projects completed in Houston and underway in Round Rock, make IKEA the state’s largest private solar owner. IKEA Frisco’s 114,000-square-foot photovoltaic (PV) array consists of a 912-kW system, built with 3,780 panels, and will produce approximately 1,336,300 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,016 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 181 cars or powering 115 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at

This installation represents the 30th completed solar project for IKEA in the U.S., with 9 more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 89% with a total generation of 38 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated €590 million to invest in renewable energy, focusing on solar and wind during the coming three years. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of IKEA to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. More than 250,000 solar panels have been installed on IKEA stores and buildings across the world. The company also owns and/or operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.

For the development, design and installation of the Frisco store’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, Inc., a national leader in solar electric system design and installation with more than 8,000 systems built across the U.S.

“We are thrilled at how this solar energy system furthers our commitment to sustainability at IKEA Frisco,” said Robby Wierman, IKEA Frisco store manager. “IKEA has a never-ending job where most things still remain to be done that encourages us always to ask ourselves how we can improve what we do today for a better tomorrow. We appreciate the support of the City of Frisco, Oncor and REC Solar, Inc., our partners in this project.”

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. IKEA has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S.

Located on 25 acres at the northeastern corner of State Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway, the 310,000-square-foot IKEA Frisco opened in August 2005. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, this IKEA store presents 48 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 400-seat restaurant. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking, and play areas throughout the store.

IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 330 IKEA stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives benefiting children and the environment. For more information, go to


First Solar to Develop 139 MW Campo Verde Solar Project

TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced it is developing the 139 megawattAC (MW) Campo Verde Solar Project, located near El Centro in Imperial County, Calif.

Campo Verde is expected to start construction in the third quarter of 2012 and be completed in 2013, creating about 250 construction jobs. San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) will purchase the project’s output under a 20-year power purchase agreement, which was approved on May 24, 2012 by the California Public Utilities Commission.

First Solar will construct the project using its advanced thin film PV modules that generate clean, renewable energy with no emissions, waste or water consumption during operation. The project will generate enough electricity to power approximately 50,000 average California homes, displacing 80,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road.

“First Solar is very pleased to be working with SDG&E for the first time to deliver clean, renewable energy and create hundreds of construction jobs in Imperial County,” said Brian Kunz, First Solar Vice President of Project Development, North America.

The Campo Verde project is jointly owned by First Solar and US Solar Holdings LLC, but First Solar has contractual rights to acquire 100 percent ownership interest and is in the process of completing its acquisition.