Monday, August 06, 2007

House Passes 15% Renewable Energy by 2020



The United States House of Representatives has passed an Energy Bill requiring utility companies to produce 15 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar power by 2020.

The Bill passed in the House on a 241-172 vote, despite strong opposition from electric utility companies and the White House, which has threatened to veto the measure. Twenty six Republicans voted in favor and nine Democrats opposed the bill.

A senior analyst for Lazard Capital Markets described the bill as "a significant positive step towards creating a cohesive energy policy."

The renewable electricity standard applies only to investor-owned utilities and exempts rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the state of Hawaii from the mandate.

The bill also calls for stronger energy efficiency standards for appliances and lighting and incentives for building more energy-efficient buildings. The bill bans the sale of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs by 2012 and requires that all bulbs be 300% more efficient than today’s ordinary bulbs by 2020. The bill also includes a range of loan guarantees, federal grants and tax breaks for alternative energy programs. These include building biomass factories, research into making ethanol from wood chips and switch grass and producing better batteries for hybrid cars.

The bill will repeal a tax break for oil companies from 2004, and another tax break relating to income from foreign oil production. Critics of the two tax breaks called them loopholes that the industry had taken advantage of.

The 786-page House energy bill does not include an increase in fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. That issue, as well as whether to force major increases in the use of E85 fuel as a substitute for gasoline, were left to be negotiated when the House bill is merged with energy legislation the Senate passed in June.

"There's a war going on against energy from fossil fuels" said Representative Ralph Hall, Republican-Texas. Representative Joe Barton predicted the bill "isn't going to go anywhere" because President Bush would veto it if it reaches his desk.

In a somewhat surprising comment from the White House, they accused the bill of making "no serious attempts to increase our energy security". This defies commonsense as by producing more electricity from domestic renewable sources rather than with imported natural gas by definition increases the United States' diversity and security of energy supply.

As with all legislation the details (such as a subsidy for installing gas pumps for expensive and inefficient E85 fuel) need to be checked carefully. Regardless a 15% renewable energy standard is good news.

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64 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"no serious attempts to increase our energy security"

I believe that in the Bush universe, the word "our" in this sentence refers to him and all his US oil cronies...In other words, George is just saying "To hell with all you other Americans, you are just my tools, now behave!"

11:27 am, August 06, 2007  
Anonymous Julio Pinto said...

"The bill will repeal a tax break for oil companies from 2004, and another tax break relating to income from foreign oil production. "

I still don't understand why this break was given in the first place. I Hope this bill goes far.

2:45 pm, August 06, 2007  
Blogger Ian said...

Actually, I dislike this tactic, at least as it's worded there. I would rather see power companies be smaller entities that can entirely focus on producing one sort of power efficiently than on producing some crappy mix. I want to see an increase in the percent of green energy we consume, but I think the best way we'll see that is if we encourage the smaller, more willing to take risk companies to succeed.

5:59 pm, August 06, 2007  
Blogger James said...

Ian,

Wind power is currently one of the most efficient ways of producing clean renewable electricity. It is also comparatively low risk - once correctly sited a utility scale wind turbine will produce a predictable amount of energy for decades to come. This makes wind power suited to project finance type investments as returns while comparatively low are fairly assured. Without too much of a stretch the United States could get at least 15% of its electricity from wind power.

In terms of high risk, with the potential of high returns about a third of new venture capital investments in silicon valley are going into "clean tech". There's a lot of money right now going into solar power. Many investors are looking for a breakthrough in the cost/efficiency of solar electric panels.

As for the smallest power companies the future is home generation. Today most households worldwide can utilise solar hot water heating (solar thermal) to get up to 70% of their hot water needs.

James
Alternative Energy Blog

10:04 pm, August 06, 2007  
Blogger Ian said...

James,

You misunderstood me. I want the U.S. to get 15% or more of it's power from renewable sources, such as wind. I'm trying to point out though that making all the big power companies invest in renewables will edge out smaller companies totally invested in renewable energy -- smaller companies that would be more risky, and thus advance the technology faster.

3:14 pm, August 07, 2007  
Blogger mikwall said...

Really such an initiative would edge out the smaller "all" renewable energy companies?

I would think that the larger utilities would buy energy from the smaller renewable energy companies so that the utility companies can meet their quotas.

Or perhaps the utility companies will buy the smaller renewable companies? But even if that happens wouldn't more small renewable energy companies form anyway? Perhaps...

I am hoping that such legislation now or a future version requiring 15% or even 20% is actually passed and signed. Encouraging utility companies to find renewable sources bringing about more residential favorable net metering (profitable) compliances in states like Michigan.

Michael

10:27 am, August 16, 2007  
Blogger Hydro Kevin said...

Any step towards using more renewable energy is a good step. Right now the most renewable energy in the U. S. is supplied by geothermal energy most in the West. In Fresno, California the largest solar power plant is being built that is also a step in the right direction. As Bill Murray said in “What About Bob” we need to take “baby steps” and sooner or later we’ll get there.

6:24 pm, August 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The environment is threatened as nations and oil companies jockey for North Korean coal. Kim Jong-il is opening up his dictatorship to oil exploitation. Now that the Korean summit with the South has been postponed until October, environmental groups have a chance to get their act together and demand oversight of the dictatorship’s fossil fuel production. We cannot leave it to Team America to save the Amur leopard, the Asiatic black bear and the Siberian tiger.

see www.mygreenelement.com for more info

10:53 am, August 29, 2007  
Blogger Euan Blauvelt said...

The last few years have seen major activity in the US wind industry, with nearly a quarter of new capacity installed. The total capacity increased by 37% (2005).

The growth was largely due to the action taken by Congress to extend the wind energy production credit before it expired. This three-year horizon should break the boom and bust cycle that has plagued the US wind industry in the past. Furthermore, the passage of state level portfolio standards, as well as amendments to existing standards, are enhancing the long-term prospects of the market. In my oppinion the American wind industry may be looking forward to several record-breaking years in a row.

2:38 pm, August 30, 2007  
Anonymous Wilburforce said...

It's a nice bill with a good heart, but it's dead. It's going no where. Bush will see to that I'm sure before he's kicked to the curb in 08. I mean, he's made no secret that he has no regard whatsoever for the environment, and since this bill will pose a serious problem for republican oil interests, it's essentially gone.

Second, even if it were to pass into law, a support system will need to form for all these infant green industries. The solar power industry, remote and small scale for example, has needed incredible subsidies to get off the ground in all 20 countries of the IEA, and so far only Japan can claim to have a self-sustaining solar energy industry. Currently Germany has sustained growth rates of nearly 30% for the past 10 years and just recently, Ontario has instituted a feed-in tariff guaranteed for 20 years at 42 cents/kWh (about 40 cents US)! And so far, the best out there in the US is the Californian subsidy which is half as much and lasts only 5 years. And as predicted, growth rates are low compared with the rest of the IEA.

Not to mention automobile fuel efficiency standards, the contract extensions of coal fired power plants, and the lack of wind farms (although at least there we can see some promise for the future thanks to European countries proving the economics and technology behind wind power).

Anyway, like I said, it's a nice bill, but this is just like the time Bush proclaimed his support for fuel cells in his state of the union address. It's a good idea, but you and I both know that it's not gonna happen. Too bad...

12:57 pm, September 08, 2007  
Blogger Brian said...

Check a great new book, "The Energy Construct" that gives a realistic path forward toward achieving a clean, domestic, and economical energy future. The book starts out by comparing biofuels, hydrogen, and electric vehicles. Then it goes through all the various power generation technologies. Some good economics data is included.

Check out www.theenergyconstruct.com for more information.

8:42 am, September 15, 2007  
Blogger Matt Prescott said...

Hi James,

Please could you drop me a line.

Warmest regards,

Matt

Ban The Bulb (www.banthebulb.org)

4:13 am, September 29, 2007  
Anonymous Dustin said...

Reaching 15% renewable portfolio standards for the large power companies will not necessarily eliminate smaller pure renewable energy companies. Often times, these massive installations are located far from where the power is consumed. This puts pressure on the grid.

Clean technologies like solar photovoltaic and low concentration solar thermal can be installed where the electricity is consumed. When a company owns several site specific generating locations, this is called distributed generation. While on-site solar typically meets only a portion of the customer's electricity demand, it is still able to provide reliable clean energy while putting little to no strain on the grid.

This bill would be a step in the right direction...if it passes.

11:40 am, October 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any serious attempt at making alternative energy such as solar a reality on a large scale requires and earnest attempt to bring to the average household at a reasonable price. I just got an informal quote for a 2700 sq ft house of $126,000 or almost $800 a month for 20 years after application of the state and federal incentives currently in place. Please! This is totally unrealistic especially for someone 50 years old who will be lucky to see 70 (in the polluted state of LA) and by then the system will most likely be shot and need to be replaced! For alternative/renewable energy to be a reality it has to be accessible and afforadable - anyone that was even a young adult in the 70's knows that there was an enormous push in the then for solar and alternative energy and yet almost 40 years later we are still talking about it as a "future" possiblity. It will never be a reality until it is affordable, accessible, and adequate to provide the energy to which we have grown accustomed....this is doable as long as greed can be curbed.

4:46 pm, October 02, 2007  
Blogger alc said...

Some utility companies will have an opportunity to cut their fuel consumption and emissions, at least with their bucket trucks.

ODYNE CORP. AND DUECO INC. INTRODUCE THE FIRST
PLUG-IN HYBRID AERIAL LIFT TRUCK

LOUISVILLE, KY, October 17, 2007 -- Odyne Corporation (OTCBB:ODYC), a leading developer of hybrid electric vehicle technology, and Dueco, Inc., one of the largest utility equipment manufacturers in the country, introduced another important step in the greening of the nation’s utility companies, with the first plug-in hybrid aerial lift truck.

www.odyne.com

9:32 am, October 17, 2007  
Blogger Freedom's Truth said...

Nuclear energy is a renewable energy

11:36 am, October 22, 2007  
Blogger chessiakelley said...

This is a great blog. The consensus among us I would say, is that the energy bill has some excellent provisions that could really put the US on the right track in decreasing its dependence on oil and reducing the human footprint. That is why it is so important that the WHOLE bill get passed. I urge you all to go to Energy Bill 2007
and sign the petition so that it does.

6:31 pm, October 23, 2007  
Blogger BethLBeth said...

I agree with Ian, that it would be more efficient if we scale down the size of the power companies. I think if would benefit our economy more, especially if we team up companies who specialize in alternative power generation with other larger companies that are emitting a lot of pollutants into our environment. With those companies working together it might prevent huge money-grabbing corporations from monopolizing our country and turning it into a cut-throat industry. ha, it would be greener, not meaner! :)

2:53 pm, October 24, 2007  
Blogger Swaroop said...

I am not sure if they already do this, but the utilities should sell micro turbines and solar power systems to subscribers at subsidy (after the governmental subsidy). They will make up for the lost profit through the peak shaving that is achieved. 70% of Americans today are ready to spend at least $1000 to add solar/wind to their homes. (Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/27298/Americans-Assess-What-They-Can-Reduce-Global-Warming.aspx). This should be made use of. Back home in my state (Karnataka, India), the utilities have been on this since a while.

8:20 pm, October 25, 2007  
Blogger chessiakelley said...

This is a really good idea. keep em comin.

10:29 pm, October 25, 2007  
Anonymous Martin Kent said...

Just 15% by 2020? That's too little, too late!

Suggest you watch “OIL APOCALYPSE”
A New Documentary from Filmmaker Martin Kent

This last week, the price of crude oil reached a shocking $96 a barrel. By year’s end, energy experts predict petroleum will reach $100. And it’s not going to stop there. The world we’ve created runs on oil. But the world is running out of oil. Much faster than previously thought. Demand will continue to outpace supplies, shortages are inevitable, and the price will only continue to rise -- causing a ripple effect of disastrous economic, social and political consequences.

On Tuesday night, November 13th, at 9 p.m. EST/PST, the History Channel will present “Megadisasters: Oil Apocalypse,” a documentary that Writer-Producer- Director Martin Kent is calling “a wake up call,” about the world’s energy crisis. “Society has perhaps 5 to 7 years at the most to implement a ‘Manhattan project-style program’ to convert from fossil fuels to alternative energies -- to save civilization from utter chaos. We’re running out of oil quickly – and there’s no plan B.”

It’s long been known that oil is a finite, non-renewable resource, that pollutes the environment, and now mankind is coming to realize that it is also most likely causing climate change. Yet little has been done to create a system of alternative, clean power sources. At present, renewable energies like solar and wind account for less than 1% of our power. Meanwhile, demand for oil is increasing. Much faster than previously anticipated. With China and India rapidly industrializing, creating an energy-hungry middle class, demand for oil will increase from the world’s current consumption of 84 million barrels a day, to 100 million barrels within the next 5 years. Unfortunately, while oil producers and refiners are scrambling to develop new techniques and sources of production, as yet they have not developed anything of proven value or significance to meet that demand.

True to the laws of supply and demand, we are fast approaching the breaking point, when the imbalance could destabilize the economies of virtually every nation on the planet. The best-case scenario is a worldwide depression far worse than that of the 1930s. The worst-case scenario? Try to imagine what happens when our transportation, industry, agriculture and communications begin to shut down. In “Oil Apocalypse,” some of world’s most respected energy experts, financial analysts and political leaders are warning of dire consequences. A deadly scramble for the basic necessities of life. Neighbor against neighbor, nation against nation – - terror beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Sill, they say it’s not too late. But we have to act fast.

2:09 pm, November 04, 2007  
Blogger James said...

Martin,

The peak oil theory is what got me interested in alternative energy in the beginning. One thing I would say is that unless you are a petroleum expert AND have direct access to the confidential oil reserve figures for all oil producing nations (as well as knowing exactly how much demand will increase), then declaring when a peak will occur is essentially an act of faith in what others believe. Most dates which have been given for the "peak" do not take into account non-conventional oil (tar sands etc.), natural gas and coal-to-oil conversion. These are not attractive options (expensive, dirty and still non-renewable) however they are still options and will be our only options if we don't start working on a Manhattan style project to convert to alternative energy - sooner rather than later.

James
Alternative Energy Blog

5:23 am, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Lupe said...

Have you seen the film "The great global warming swindle"?

1:26 pm, November 10, 2007  
Blogger James said...

Lupe,

Yes I have seen that programme.

Have you read this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle

James
Alternative Energy Blog

5:13 am, November 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush was heard mutting to himself later after his comment " 20% ! ?, 2012?? I don't like so many numbers! People,...Don't like numbers! Energy is on and working just fine! 2012? I will not be in office then so why do I care??

3:20 pm, November 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've heard alot of rhetoric for many years, but legislative action like this portends a a new era. The cat is out of the bag, folks. I'm struck by the fact that the global economy is focused on not just the "environmental impact" of their products (at least how it's perceived in the public mind), but more imortant, they are manufacturing products and developing new product lines to sell, sell, sell. Now we have to keep pace.

You wrote that "The bill also calls for stronger energy efficiency standards for appliances and lighting and incentives for building more energy-efficient buildings." I can speak from experience that changes like those make a difference. I was lost recently with all the choices in picking out a new refrigerator -fun, huh?- but ending up using www.spectric.com to figure out which one would save me the most money in electric bills. I ended up getting a more expensive unit than I had planned, but the truth is the technology is better, my home feels a bit more sophisticated, and most important, I'm using less energy and getting more out of it.

Legislative actions will create better more effective buildings and workplaces and homes. Just my thoughts.

12:06 am, November 16, 2007  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

Canadian government refuses to grant domestic sales licenses to both Zenn [Quebec] and Dynasty [B.C.] EV manufacturers.

The Zenn vehicle is an award winner in other countries.

CBC video news clip..[Mansbridge]

http:TonyGuitar.blogspot.com

======================

Bio-fuels have some merit ...

Canada has two stations serving more than one grade of bio fuel…[Whoop-de-do].

A UN approved campaign to retro-fit thousands of coal-gen plants with various clean technology would make vastly more improvement.

North America is 96% dependent on one single vehicle fuel .. OIL. [Brazil =75% Bio-fuel.] [Which is the banana republic now?]

A swing to battery, compressed air and clean coal-gen would really reduce pollution.

...would lower the value of oil.

...would lower tensions in the M.E.

...would reduce health hazard smog in cities.

...would lead to a kiosk road tax collection system

...would enrage Exxon, Chevron and GM, backers of both Dems and Reps; Libs and Conservatives, not to mention the wrath of Alberta and Texas.

...would lead to unemployment and tax losses during transition.

...would be the correct and honorable thing to do. = TG

9:26 pm, November 17, 2007  
Anonymous poetryman69 said...

Almost all wars and terrorism in the world can be stopped. Almost all dictators and tyrants can be rendered powerless. All we have to do is to stop paying them. An alarming amount of the money Western nations pay for oil is going into the coffers of people who terrorists and dictators. All we have to do defund the world’s most violent criminals is to become energy independent.

In the first phase of energy independence we get as much energy as possible from resources which we own or which are in the hands of friendly, stable nations. First we build new nuclear power plants in every state. If the French can make nuclear work what excuse do we have? In addition, we drill for oil off all our coastal waters and we build new refineries and pipelines in every state. Existing energy companies are making plenty of money in the current climate of false scarcity. We will have to find away around them. Usually way around greedy energy companies would require political will. However, almost all existing politicians are in the pocket of the energy companies. This includes democrats and republicans. So every politician currently in office needs to be thrown out. Anyone who works for or who owns an existing conventional energy company is in my view disqualified for public office. We already know from the Bush/Cheney experience that such politicians will work in a way contrary to the national security of the United States and will start pointless wars for oil.

Merely having new politicians willing to clear the legal minefields laid down by oil bought senators and congressmen might not be enough. We might have to get a little bolder. Therefore I suggest that we build terawatts of new nuclear power plans and miles of new oil refineries in Mexico and that we send the power back to the states via pipelines, power lines, hydrogen, or whatever works. This will provide work for Mexicans and energy for us. The Mexican government will have a large incentive to make the plants secure and this increased security might even spill over to the borders and make our borders more secure.

While phase one is going on we need to start on phase 2. In this phase we bring online as many green and renewable technologies as are currently viable and put as much money as is needed into producing more. I would suggest that the model cities be built in the west and south—anywhere that it does not get cold enough to snow. The idea is to build small towns or cities that will go cold turkey. There will be no fossil fuels of any kind allowed in these cities. All vehicles and houses will be powered by wind, solar and bio-mass. The best locations would be those that have year around wind, sun and enough farming in the area to produce the bio mass. These experimental towns would be off the power grid. The only way to get power to them would be to make the green and renewable technologies work. Volunteers who truly believe that the future is green would be invited to apply for residency. We would probably take engineers and farmers over other types because we would need people who were skilled in keeping the power conversion machinery going and others who don’t mind the get your hand dirty hard work of farming.

12:27 pm, November 25, 2007  
Anonymous Charles Keith said...

Excuse me people, i am just pondering in my delusional state that if everyone of us american people went out to loose 15 pounds each, I am sure we would already be doing our part in our efforts for the environmment. Less load to carry, smaller cars, less agricultural waste... neh... i like my hamburgers too much to give a damn and i am sure you don't too... oh you do??? prove it you fat blob...

4:43 pm, November 28, 2007  
Anonymous evanandersen said...

Evan Andersen

Congress can say all they want too, the fundamental economics are going to change things all at once. We should look at the oil prices, as soon as we have 150-200, we will see many alternative vehicles come on the road. Because manufacturers are not dump this is already priced into the market. Congress knows that it will be better then that, let's hope.

Evan Andersen

6:08 pm, December 05, 2007  
Anonymous www.treboona.com said...

Can't understand why there is such opposition to efforts aimed at sourcing more power from renewables, when doing so will lessen the dependancy of the US on oil and also reduce the impact caused by increases in the price of oil.
Mark.
treboona@googlemail.com

4:10 pm, January 05, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

We must not in our haste cause this Country which is already losing jobs to overseas outsourcing become even more non-competitve because we have stupidly increased the cost of electricity by forcing utilities to use inefficient methods of energy production. e-85, sawgrass, ethanol in general all poor choices.

2:36 pm, January 26, 2008  
Blogger joaquin said...

I think one generation will have to pay the price of resources missuse from the past. If economy is slow timing might not be the best but better now than later , cause later every single one of us or children will live in a slow economy.

5:28 pm, January 31, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that if we develop the renewable energy business this will help not only the environment but also the western countries economies. Instead of giving enormous amounts of money to the arabic countries we will invest in our companies and technicians. Being a hydropower engineer (www.pietrangeli.it) I have seen thousands of people who lost their jobs because of the low oil prices. Eventually some jobs are being recovered in these days.

3:41 pm, February 01, 2008  
Blogger chessiakelley said...

This is a great blog post, but why aren't the presidential candidates taking on this issue? Barack Obama has been mute on the topic, other than endorsing 'clean coal'(a myth) as well as ethanol which is not ecologically a good alternative. Of course Hillary SAYS she is for a clean environment, but has no specifics. Need I even mention the Republicans? How do we get our leaders as passionately involved as we are?!!

4:01 pm, February 01, 2008  
Blogger feemaedchen said...

On renewable energy: the remaining candidates being marketed by the Democrats may be saying little and the Republicans even less. However the Green Party candidates are saying plenty. Consider voting for someone you'd like to see win rather than "the lesser of two evils".

Does anyone know what kind of grant monies are available for clean energy initiatives such as hydroelectric power contained in this 15% Renewable Energy bill?

5:30 pm, February 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the fact that so few people are talking about presidential candidates and their thoughts on global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) live earth is also asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw a poll on www.EarthLab.com that says people care a lot about what their next leader thinks of global warming. Does anyone know of another poll or other results about this subject?

Here is the page where I saw the EarthLab poll: http://www.earthlab.com/life.aspx. This is a pretty legit website; they are endorsed by Al Gore and the alliance for climate protection and they have a carbon footprint calculator. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this like I do?

3:03 pm, February 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its great that our government is finaly taking steps in converting our energy into renewable energy. Here is a great blog about energy and the environment: http://www.afterburnenergy.blogspot.com/

10:16 am, February 18, 2008  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I just read some information that The Sierra Club sent out. I was disappointed to learn that John McCain was the only Senator who two weeks ago chose to skip a crucial vote on the future of clean energy in America -- dooming the measure to fail by just a single vote.

I feel our presidential candidates should make America's clean energy a priority. After further reading I found that this is a pattern with Senator McCain. On the League of Conservation Voters scorecard he received a 0 for missing the 15 most important environmental votes in 2007. McCain's score of 0 is lower than members of Congress who died last year.

John McCain's LCV score exposes the real record behind the rhetoric: a lifetime pattern of voting with polluters and special interests and ducking the important votes.

Keep on blogging.

1:34 pm, February 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Www.thewatt.com

Good dicussion here about the energy in US, and also podcast.


http://thewatt.com/node/153

A Short History of Energy (in the US)

4:54 am, March 03, 2008  
Blogger adrian2514 said...

Hey just stopping by to get my dose of green info. Always good stuff here! I am trying to compile a list of stuff I can do to reduce my carbon emissions. MTV had a commercial about it, and got me interested. I have been to www.earthlab.com and they have a ton of tips but I was mostly impressed by their page where they have their users send in tips: http://www.earthlab.com/life/tips.aspx Does anyone else know of other data bases that I can find these types of small things that lower my emissions? EPA or WWF maybe?

Thanks for all your info and drop me a link if you guys see anything worth my time.

12:13 pm, March 14, 2008  
Anonymous Soyarma said...

This stuff bums me out - but luckily the price of gas will force people to start making smart decisions. We need to move to true alternative fuels, not just blends and mixtures that are slightly better for the environment.

11:00 pm, April 20, 2008  
Blogger chessiakelley said...

so, if you haven't noticed, our stupid government didn't pass this bill-infuriating! However, that doesn't mean we can't take matters into our own hands. I am looking to buy a car with room for hauling stuff around-any tips on a great fuel efficient auto? Unfortunately, I don't think there are too many things to choose from....booo again.

6:42 pm, May 02, 2008  
Blogger Soyarma said...

Hey Chessia

Some of the most fuel efficient cars are still the mid 80s Honda Civics. Depending on the exact vehicle (wagon, coupe, sedan) you could see from 45 to 64MPG.

They're not big by any means, but the hatchback can haul a good bit.

For a more modern car, the GM Tahoe actually gets 24MPG and I think that the Ford Escape gets 26MPG in their hybrid formats (not 100% sure on that).

Non Turbo PT Cruisers can get 28MPG and they can haul a surprising amount.

8:31 am, May 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they should aim even higher and make it mandatory to start building Green Cities like the one on GreenEnergyTV.com The video is called The GReen City of The FUTURE and it would be a good way to start moving forward, to set that standard. The link to that video is: http://www.greenenergytv.com/#1459206194

James

11:01 am, May 13, 2008  
Anonymous Andy said...

It's great to see some of the older generation grabbing on to solar ideas. Check out what this young at heart 78 year old did with some solar panels and a bit of elbow grease.

http://www.wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=57995

5:15 pm, May 19, 2008  
Blogger Angelique said...

Without this bill, there is a huge economic incentive for technology companies to figure out how to make wind farms and solar projects cost neutral. If alternative energy can compete directly with fossil fuel-based energy this greatly expands the market and potential for success.

By mandating 15% from alternative energy, the government is creating incentive to use existing technologies that will never be capable of meeting all of our energy needs in an environmentally sound manner. Money diverted into high cost, low yield alternative energy projects is money that cannot be spent on cleaning up old power plants, repairing and replacing transmission lines, and improving efficiency of our utility grids. This is bad news for everyone.

I would like to see more funds going into alternative energy research at major universities, including funds for domestic manufacturing of wind and solar equipment. I would like to see incentives for building prototype and proof-of-concept projects, such as off shore wind farms that are capable of high MW production at reduced risk to birds.

12:15 pm, May 21, 2008  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

Angelique,

Excellent comments and Billion$air Texan T. Boon Pickens seems to agree with you.

He is sinking much of his loot into the biggest American wind farms project anywhere.

The welfare of birds was not an item of mention during a recent brain-storming session though.

You will find it at:
AutoBlogGreen.com
=================
Cheers = TG

11:51 pm, May 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

turning garbage into usable energy should be the first priority in alternative energy. More can be found at this blog post:
http://poormanov.blogspot.com/2008/05/turn-waste-into-energy.html

8:54 pm, May 30, 2008  
Blogger Simonm said...

Wind, Hydro, Waste?, Wave, Tidal - have a look at the map that shows major renewable energy schemes in the UK - not a single solar PV! Not for lack of trying, its just that they don't yet deliver the big power! See: http://www.renewables-map.co.uk it has over 700 projects listed with more being added / updated each week! Basically anything over tenth of a MW! Not the PV and thermal aren't relevant, but they are invariably small projects.

12:36 am, June 20, 2008  
Blogger Dahun said...

This is an example of the Democrats being in favor of anything that doesn't work. There is no way in the wrold that 15% renewable energy is possible. Everything that could help the situation such as drilling in ANWAR and offshore, shale oil, coal to oil, shale oil development is blocked by the Democrats as these could ease oil supplies and stop rampant speculation.
As long as Dems reject any meaningful actions oil prices will continue to rise dramatically.
They actually want higher costs for oil as shown by the willingness to push for higher cost and less available renewables and also pushing for carbon taxes of $45 trillion dollars over 10 years which is $25,000 per year for every person in the United States.
Anything that would help is blocked and everything that would hurt is promoted. they do not care if we suffer they nly care about their political agenda.
People are slowly waking up to this and hopefully they will vote appropriately in Novemeber to throw these jokers out.
Failed "alternatives" and higher taxes are not the answer. We can and must be 100% energy independent and we can only do this by developing nuclear, plug-in electrics and developing our abundant resources. It is absolute insanity to have more energy resources than the rest of the world and to have to import 70% of our energy. It is inane to continue to invest in alternatives that do not save oil, provide no useful energy as there is no shortage of conventional fuel for poer, cannot supply anything but wildly fluctuating power that is 75% inefficient, cost 5 times more even with a federal subsidy which is higher than the cost of nuclear power. They cannot clean the air, they cannot save oil. They are pork-barrel projects and are part of the problem.

6:38 pm, July 01, 2008  
Blogger James said...

Dahun,

I'm not going to answer most of your points as you've already made them repeatedly on other posts on this blog and i've answered them there.

You state that the United States (currently the world's largest energy consumer with less than 5% of world population) can become energy independent. However unless you are going to get rid of market forces, the prices of energy being extracted from the ground are going to be sold at international prices by the companies that extract them. What you are proposing therefore will do nothing to reduce prices for US consumers of energy.

James
Alternative Energy Blog

2:53 am, July 02, 2008  
Blogger Dahun said...

James,
OK, thank you for acknowledging that the US can be 100% energy independent. I don't know what logic you used to assume that if the world's largest user of energy (25%) became self-sufficient it would not affect oil prices and help stop rampant speculation but it is a fantasy. Being 100% independent will keep one and one half trillion dollars in the US each year and will not be sent outside the country for oil imports. It will drop the world price of oil, stop speculation, strengthen the dollar and strengthen our defense.
Wind and solar will increase power costs dramatically, lessen reliability dramatically, cost trillions in taxes, have little or no effect on cleaning the air and worst of all divert us from the necessary task of being energy independent. To suggest this is not an admirable goal shows a distinct partisan view that is not in touch with reality.

6:21 am, July 02, 2008  
Blogger James said...

Dahun,

"I don't know what logic you used to assume that if the world's largest user of energy (25%) became self-sufficient it would not affect oil prices and help stop rampant speculation but it is a fantasy."

Companies operating in a free market exist to make profit. Therefore they will sell at the highest possible price. So unless you are arguing that so much oil can be produced in the United States that it can affect the world price of oil I fail to understand your argument.

quote:
"thank you for acknowledging that the US can be 100% energy independent"

I wasn't aware that I did. I suggest you read the book "Gusher of Lies" by Bryce before continuing the debate.

James
Alternative Energy Blog

p.s. please elaborate your plan in detail for producing 20 million barrels of oil per day in the United States with detailed costings and timescales rather than repeating your same talking points and inaccuracies over and over even though I've already answered them.

7:11 am, July 02, 2008  
Blogger Dahun said...

ANWAR- 25% increase in domestic supplies. 8% of nation's oil needs
Offshore- 40% of Domestic and 10% of total needs.
Shale oil- capable of 50% of our needs for 100 years. 2 trillion barrels.
Coal to oil- capable of 100% of our needs for hundreds of years.
Bakken oil fields- Twice the reserves of ANWAR.
Nuclear- potential of power to reduce gasoline by 50% through the use of plug-in hybrids. Saves 1.1 billion tons of pollutiom from burning coal each year. Zero emissions from nuclear and tremondous potential to save oil. Probably 25% by use of hybrids.

This is my plan with existing and proven results. you offer promises that have failed for 40 years and have no hope to produce enough capacity or clean the air. My practical plan does both and would boost the economy while wind and solar are pork that are a drag on the economy and fruitless.

Your plan is to ride a failed technology into economic ruin. Your plan endangers both the economic and military security of the country. Your plan bankrupts the country. Your plan invites more oil conflicts.

We cannot afford your plan any longer we need real answers to real problems not promises that are continuously never met.

7:37 am, July 02, 2008  
Blogger James said...

Duhan,

Your "plan" omits any costs or timescales (by which I mean time to production and in what quantity). As you are making the same points repeatedly, I suggest a more productive use of your time is to start your own website or blog detailing your plan and see if it stands up to public scrutiny. I look forward to reading it.

James
Alternative Energy Blog

7:56 am, July 02, 2008  
Blogger Dahun said...

Anything that will never be practical is very attractive to people like James. You see the object is not to solve any problem; it is to create problems that can cost billions and billions of dollars and never be solved. That is why they like wind energy, solar panels, wave energy. They are all things that can never work. You see how beautiful that is to them. These are lovely things that can absorb your money and create problems that will never solve anything. They hate things that will work. You see drilling for oil, developing shale oil will solve our supply and cost problems. Naturally it is condemned and all sorts of distortions are used to try and say these things will not work.

Another prime example is nuclear energy. They have invented the "problem" of carbon dioxide warming the earth. There is zero evidence that this is possible so it is something that they can love. It can never be solved because it is not a problem in the first place. Evidence that it is a fraud has been proven beyond a doubt by the greatest one year temperature drop in history. Against this irrefutable evidence they claim that the temperature drop is "weather" and "not climate" This is ludicrous of course but admitting it has cooled ruins the problem. It just doesn’t exist anymore and they need problems to exist. They still insist that carbon dioxide is a problem. The only solution would be nuclear energy. It is the only way to reduce carbon dioxide and would reduce real air pollution as well. They resort to all sorts of distortions about nuclear power and claim it is not safe and there is no way to store waste properly. They fight the Yucca Mountain repository which would increase security of nuclear waste storage by 10,000%. They say we don't have any way to design a proper canister to transport it. They come up with all sorts of fantastic excuses to preserve the problem.

You see they are not in the business of solving anything. They are in the business of creating and perpetuating problems for their own financial gain. They are not interested in cleaning the environment; they are only interested in perpetuating income or political for themselves no matter how much harm they cause you or the country.

8:03 am, July 02, 2008  
Blogger James said...

Duhan,

It seems that due to your inability to answer my points you've resorted to attacking "people like me" and making claims that frankly make you sound some delusional conspiracy theorist and attacking arguments I've never made. I believe I've given you a fair chance to express your point of view. Any further comments by you which:
1) repeat points already made
2) are not directly relevant to the article
3) contain personal attacks

will be deleted.

Best of luck starting your own blog/ website.

James
Alternative Energy Blog

p.s. I have never stated that I am for or against atomic power, I remain undecided. I have concerns about cost, time to implementation and fuel reserves. We agree the future of transport is electric. We disagree about relying on non-renewable energy sources for the future.

8:19 am, July 02, 2008  
Anonymous Mike P. said...

I don't care how, but I think renewable energy is a must. After reading about Pickens Plan I think that it's very possible to have much more energy in this country be renewable. Forget blaming people, lets just make a solution. Heck, let's just try something!

10:02 pm, July 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please do your homework. To make this transition from renewable which reprasents 2% or less of our current energy supple will take a hurculean effort. Its a 20 to 30 year plan considering almost every leading consumer nation in the world is getting ready to ramp up windpower. The US currently has 12000 either online or currently being developed. It will take 120,000 or more to begin to make a dent. The major wind generator manufactures have a significant backlog of production. A massive increase in manufacturing resources will need to be developed which is not coming anytime soon. With the US congress's lack of cohesive action their will be significant economic pain for our economy. Our economy is headed toward economic ruin, get ready or get mad and demand a common sense approach to transition over the next 20-30 years. No to any new oil, no to coal tecnology, no to nuclear will create disaterous economic pain until the transition is made. Their is plenty of factual research on the net to cut thru all the political hype and see a common sence way to proceed. Great Britan plans to be energy independent by 2020 by using wind but they do not thinks it will happen because of the shortage of windgenerators, where will all these machines come from? Great goal but it won't happen unless signifacant manufacturing capacity is developed rapidly.

12:07 pm, July 24, 2008  
Blogger Bill55az said...

It took legislative action back in the late 60's and early 70's to get auto makers to build cleaner cars, and side effects were more fuel efficient, and even more powerful engines.
Like it or not, we must do something and only congress can force the issue. The free and unfettered market isn't doing it.

8:01 am, August 01, 2008  
Anonymous dvdbkly@yahoo.com said...

B.C.Wildman The seriousness of the situation is ignored. Older technology is available in PV collectors and safe low impact storage of energy collected for 24hr output. The problem is Profit is scarce for the first four years. No one will back My solar farm breeder plan. and being an american worker without the means or credit to start. I fall victim to useless rhetoric!

3:29 pm, August 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hopefully this will actually work. A step towards renewable energy is a wonderful thing.

1:15 pm, August 14, 2008  
Anonymous Dan said...

Solar-energy-wind what ever they can come up with of course that is if big oil will let it, by 2020 we will all be living like James Howard Kunstler wrote in his book "World Made By Hand". This could of all been taken care of by now if America listened to Carter, with solar atleast started.until Raygun put and end to that. just to much corruption in politics for the working class.

5:59 pm, August 25, 2008  

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