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Monday, April 25, 2011

Where Is American's Alternative Energy Energy Policy?

What we have today is a nation running behind in the race for alternative technologies to power our nation and the planet. This nation's corporate oligarchs, who run the president's agenda and Congress' agenda, as well as the GOPster's in various state government. such as PA Governor Tom Corbett, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. We have the Koch brothers, the oil energy oligarchs, and other fossil fuel, and Marcellus Shale predators buying legislators and politicians.

You will see in these pieces very innovative energy systems. The U.S. is the world's biggest creditor nation, yet we continue to reward the predatory financial industry oligarchs tied to the elite Wall Streeters, and they continue to siphon the nation's wealth up to them as they push for more wars, bailouts, lower taxes on their wealth, and more squeezing of the working person.

If this government stopped rewarding the financial thieves who took down the economy in the first place, and instead, created an Innovation and Production Bank--a national bank acting as a national utility, being funded by the taxpayers, through the Treasury, that would make loans to such companies that bring forth sustainable jobs, which would make this nation sustainable and energy independent, while employing its citizens we would become a budget surplus economic nation. It is about investing in jobs, this nation, and its working people, as well as their educated and skilled children. It is about keeping our money in this country, creating innovative products that the world would buy from US.

Wake up America!!! Our president, our congress, our state government representatives are absent here. It is time to get rid of them and bring along forward think, innovative, and creative legislators who will bring the real change we need and can believe in as we watch it unfold--NOW!

Wave Energy Prototype, 'SeaRay,' Exceeds Expectations (VIDEO)

Huffingtonpost.com 3-17-11

From EarthTechling's Caleb Denison:
Add another notch to Oregon’s growing wave power industry. The case for commercialized wave energyis enjoying another surge forward now that Columbia Power Technologies has officially deployed a prototype wave energy device and secured fresh funding from both private and government backers.
Just a few months ago we reported that the Corvallis, Oregon company appeared to be gaining ground in the effort to fund the next phase of its R&D. Now, their protoype device, called SeaRay, is floating in the Puget Sound and sending back performance data for analysis.
“The SeaRay is performing beyond our expectations and tracking well with modeling predictions,”said Reenst Lesemann, CEO of Columbia Power Technologies. “Our task is to demonstrate to utilities and independent power producers that we can help them deliver power predictably, reliably, and at a cost that is competitive. At this stage, we are making this happen in a very rapid and capital-efficient manner.”
According to Columbia Power Technologies, the SeaRay’s design allows it to extract up to twice the energy from ocean waves as other developing technologies. By employing what the company refers to as a “heave and surge” energy capture design, the SeaRay is able to reportedly tap the full energy potential from passing waves. Its design also looks to make it uniquely conditioned to survive a harsh battering about at sea.
Columbia Power Technologies indicated its longer term goal is “to deliver megawatt-scale devices, capable of operating in the widest range of temperate zone coastal load centers around the globe.” To do that, they’ll need funding and, it would seem, they now have it. Though details on how much funding they attained was not disclosed, Columbia Power Technologies did confirm that private backers were on board saying: “…the closing of Columbia Power’s recent private capital signifies excellent validation of the company’s vision and technical development capabilities.”
For those who wonder if there is money to be made from wave power for companies like Columbia, consider this: according to the start up “the world’s oceans are estimated to contain enough practically extractable energy to provide over 6,000 terawatt hours of electricity each year, which is enough to power over 600 million homes and is worth over $900 billion annually.” It looks like there might be gold in them there ocean waves after all.

Air-Powered Car, AirPod: The Future Of Urban Transportation? (VIDEO) huffingtonpost.com Joanna Zelman 12-22-10

There are cars that run on gas, electricity, vegetable oil, even human waste, and now there is a car that runs on air.
The AirPod has been created in the UK and runs on compressed air. This CNN video demonstrates how the three-wheeled, two door, steering wheel-free vehicle zips around. (It is also oddly reminiscent of a car from "The Jetsons," but that was probably not planned.)
Compared to a standard car, the AirPod emits a fraction of the pollution, can reach up to 50 mph, and will cost around $10,000Motor Development International hopes that the AirPod will be the future of urban transportation.

Roadmap 2050: EU Plans To Cut Emissions By 80 Percent 

By ARTHUR MAX   03/ 8/11 Huffingtonpost.com
AMSTERDAM -- The European Union needs to double its efforts to boost energy efficiency in order to cut greenhouse gases, partly by producing better household appliances, renovating public buildings and private homes, and driving improved cars, the EU executive said in a plan adopted Tuesday.
The European Commission said the EU can cut greenhouse gases 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, surpassing its own 20 percent target, through an efficiency campaign in transportation, construction and agriculture.
"The good news is we don't need to wait for technological breakthroughs," said European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard, because existing technologies are enough. "We need to start the transition toward a competitive low carbon economy now," she said in a statement.
The overall goal is to cut emissions 80 percent by 2050. The plan, released in Strasbourg, France, sets milestones of 40 percent by 2030 and 60 percent by 2040.
The plan, called Roadmap 2050, is to be presented to the European Parliament and member states for drawing up appropriate legislation.
Environmentalists criticized the commission for refusing to revise the overall emissions target for 2020 from 20 percent to 30 percent below its level in 1990. The EU has said it will only raise that target as part of an international agreement requiring other industrial countries to radically reduce emissions.
"It's a bit disappointing the commission hasn't come out with a 30 percent greenhouse gas target. All the analysis shows it's very cheap, it's the kind of thing we can do," said Sanjeev Kumar of the environmental group E3G.
"The Commission's paper shows that the case for a 30 percent EU carbon target has never been stronger," said Joris den Blanken of Greenpeace.
The plan envisions investments of euro270 billion a year, or 1.5 percent of the EU's economic output, but said most or all of that would be recovered through lower oil and gas imports. Over the next 40 years, fuel costs could fall by euro175 billion to euro320 billion a year, the commission said, but without action those bills will more than double.
Even with that increase in spending, the EU would lag behind China, India and Korea in terms of green investment, it said.
The plan calls for a tightening of Europe's cap and trade scheme, under which companies have limits on the amount of greenhouse gases they emit. They can buy extra credits if they exceed their limit from companies that emit less than allowed.
The commission did not say by how much they would lower the ceiling, leaving that question open for discussion among the 27 member states. But the provision for issuing fewer pollution permits "makes the whole proposal a different ball game to what we had on the table a week ago," Kumar told The Associated Press.
But a business group objected that the plan, especially its proposed reduction of pollution allowances, increased uncertainty.
"To improve predictability, it is essential not to disrupt the EU climate and energy policy framework already in place for 2020," said Business Europe. Further action on climate change should be matched by the EU's trading partners, it said.
The commission said at the current rate the EU will improve its energy efficiency by 9 percent by 2020, less than half its target, and listed a series of actions by governments and citizens to lift that rate.
It proposed that 3 percent of all public buildings a year should be refurbished. Energy companies can help consumers reduce consumption by installing double glazing. Energy labels on appliances help customers decide which refrigerator, freezer or washing machine to buy and encourages manufacturers to make better household equipment, it said.
By 2050 power generation could become carbon-free through the use of renewable energy like wind and solar, by capturing and burying carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and by increasing reliance on nuclear energy, the plan said.
The plan anticipates a bonus in the creation of up to 1.5 million new jobs. "Renewable energy has a strong track record in job creation. In just five years, the renewable industry increased its work force from 230 000 to 550 000," it said.

Underwater Kites: Minesto's 'Deep Green' Wave Energy Project Scores Prototype Funding

3-24-11 huffingtonpost.com
From EarthTechling's Caleb Denison:
In the world of clean energy, kites have have become a big deal. Recent advances in technology have lifted ideas like high-altitude wind turbine kites,parakite farms and ship-towing kites off the ground and made them a viable, wind-powered option as clean energy sources. Kites can harness more than just the wind, though.
It was just last year that we covered a story aboutkites flying under the sea to harness tidal energy. Now, Minesto, the company behind that under-sea kite project called "Deep Green," has announced they've received over $560,000 from The Carbon Trust to dive forward with deploying a prototype of their technology. If their trial is successful, it could lead to a large-scale implementation of underwater kites around the UK coastline that the company says would generate enough juice (530 GWh) to power all of the homes in a city the size of Newcastle (population 189,863) by 2020.
These under-sea kites harness the power of oceanic forces in much the same way that land-based kites capture wind energy. As this article from SmartPlanet illustrates, a rudder-controlled kite "flies" through the deep ocean in a figure eight pattern, capturing and magnifying wave energy as water passes through, then channels it through a turbine which sends the power to a generator located below on the sea floor. Because the motion of the kite against the current can intensify the power of the ocean current by a magnitude of 10, this device can work effectively, even in less-than-vigorous waters. That enhances its potential globally and makes it a serious contender in the race for sustainable, renewable energy.
The renewed support Minesto received from The Carbon Trust is an indication of the support that awaits the right energy project. As part of the funding announcement, Benj Sykes, Director of Innovations at the Carbon Trust, said: "Minesto's Deep Green is a very exciting technology as it could provide a step change reduction in the cost of tidal energy and open up swathes of the UK's coast to generating electricity. Tidal energy has the potential to produce up to 18 terawatt hours of electricity, equivalent to over 5% of the UK's electricity consumption."

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