Monday, August 23, 2010

This blog has moved

We apologize for the redirection, but due to Google's/Blogger's change from FTP to 'direct', this blog's URL had to change. It is (now at this URL: Thank you for your understanding.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Insights: Obama and BP

Two recent articles discuss options Obama has for dealing with BP (and the general energy problem) are discussed in The Economist (Obama vs. BP) and The Washington Post (Pipe Dreams).


Friday, May 28, 2010

The American Energy Innovation Council is formed

Bill Gates, John Doerr and several other high-tech, non-energy executives have put together The American Energy Innovation Council - which calls for a Federal Government investment of $16 billion per year to fund renewable energy. This is exactly the approach outlined in The 21st Century Energy Initiative, a few years ago. Please check out this approach. I hope they are very successful! (There are many hurdles in making this a reality. These hurdles are described in The 21st Century Energy Initiative)


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Obama is wasting his chance to end oil addiction

Thomas Friedman provides a hint to the Obama administration - how to take a leadership role - to take a much needed, serious frist step toward ending our oil addiction. Read the article.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Energy efficiency is key!

A very important way to reduce reliance on imported oil: Read the article.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Clean Energy Trends: 2010

Clean Edge issues its annual Clean Energy Trends report to track key developments in clean-energy markets. Past reports have been downloaded by tens of thousands of individuals in government, finance, industry, and the media. Clean Energy Trends 2010 is made possible by the support of its sponsors, including premier sponsors Cascadia Capital, Deloitte, and Hobbs & Towne. Major sponsors include Akin Gump, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Blue Practice, E2, and Mintz Levin. Clean Energy Trends 2010 can be downloaded free of charge.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Solar grows over 70% per year (CAGR)

According to GTM Research (performed for the report: "Emerging Trends in the U.S. Solar Market), solar has had a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71%:


Monday, November 30, 2009

Saft confirms location for lithium-ion battery factory

Following receipt of a $95 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and successful negotiations between Saft, the state of Florida, and the city of Jacksonville, construction will soon begin in Jacksonville for the lithium-ion (Li-ion) factory of the future. More, here.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Webinar: Solar update

The solar market in the United States is poised for explosive growth over the coming years. As the market expands, it will be increasingly impacted by technologies and policies that today lie on the periphery. This webinar will look toward the future of solar in the U.S. by showcasing innovative developments that have the potential to disrupt the market.


California Signs Solar-Power Feed-In Tariff Bill Into Law

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation Sunday that will create a European-style above-market tariff, called a feed-in tariff, for small solar-panel generators.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Politics trumps science. Again.

Regarding tax policies: "It's not based as much on technical merit. It's based on politics."


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oreogn and Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicle advocates have been laying the groundwork for what they hope will be a breakthrough year for bringing the environmentally friendly vehicles to Oregon.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

CleanEdge Publishes two new reports

CleanEdge publishes reports on Cleantech financing and job trends:
=> Five Emerging U.S. Public Finance Models: Powering Clean-Tech Economic Growth and Job Creation
=> Clean Tech Job Trends 2009


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bad news... or good news?

Until / unless there is a public market for renewable energy, private money will be difficult to find. That said, according to recent reports (see image, below) for the first time, venture capitalists are putting more money into renewable energy, than bio-tech or info-tech.

(Click on image to see larger version.)


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Cash for Clunkers or Sustainable Capitalism? The choice is ours.

It is fascinating to watch the fiasco that is Washington, D.C. It is an indication of the decline of Western Civilization. To wit:

[1] Not enough cars are being purchased due to the down economy.
[2] The U.S. Government (with its resources*) bails out (buys) GM & Chrysler.
[3] The U.S. Government pours billions into a program** to encourage people to buy cars
[4] The program is so successful (throwing money away always is!), that they triple the total amount, from $1 billion to $3 billion!
[5] They do so by stealing money from loan-guarantee programs for renewable energy projects.

What are real consequences of such (shortsighted, politically-motivated) actions?

[A] Funds for long-term renewable energy projects are reduced for short-term reasons. Consequence: Energy will be more expensive, later.

[B] The true environmental costs increase. Why? Because the cost to make cars has not been taken into the calculation.

[C] The price of cars will increase later. Why? Because continuing to pour $s into consuming will create inflation. Which will increase the price of everything. And since we are not investing in renewable energy projects, energy will also become more expensive.

[D] The spike in sales will mostly deplete vehicle inventories, rather than spur new (& innovative) manufacturing. Consequence: No real boost in employment will occur.

[E] Interest rates will increase, due to the major borrowing that is occurring. Supply and demand will make it happen.

[F] The biggy is this: Where is the learning? Without market forces driving auto manufacturers, they are not incentivized to learn how to respond to - and predict consumer behavior. That is, if people want more fuel-efficient cars, then the Bog 3 ought to marshal their forces to design and develop these vehicles. If not, they will be heading out of business. Then other manufacturers - who do listen to customers (instead of the government) will take their place. Maybe even American manufacturers, like those who make electric vehicles. (ex: Tesla, Brammo, GrrenLite Motors and others.)

This is a market-distorting program that is ill-conceived, ill-planned and ill-managed. Just like the prior Government focus (& subsequent spending) on corn-ethanol. Ahh... Washintonians. Come to think of it, we voted them in! The decline of civilization, indeed.

Bottom line? Let the market take care of itself. Let the auto manufacturers learn, or die. Let competition drive better, lower-cost products. Just look at the unregulated, unstimulated computer market. Look what $1000 used to buy and what it buys now. Why? Sustainable capitalism. Not unsustainable capital-infusion.

What should happen? Government's role is to create an environment for long-term, business-oriented solutions for renewable energy to occur. A deeper discussion on this can be found in The 21st Century Energy Initiative. A specific solution is NXergy, Inc.

* "Resources": read taxed from U.S. citizens and borrowed from (mainly) foreign countries.
** Forget for the moment that the "program" helps foreign companies as much as U.S. companies, or the fact that someone with an 18 mpg car could purchase a 15 mpg truck(!!)


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Cleantech investment...

Cleantech industries are poised to benefit as an infrastructure play and job-growth driver in President Barack Obama’s push for a new energy economy, boosting opportunities for cleantech investors, producers and adopters.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

110 years' worth of natural gas - at present use levels

According to the Potential Gas Committee, a team of experts that analyzes natural gas supply every two years, the U.S. has 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. That amount represents over 110 years of supply at current levels of consumption and is the largest estimated amount in the 44-year history of the report.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Alternative energy alone won't meet US needs

Interesting perspective: "Red, white & blue jobs" vs. "Green jobs". How about a discussion on how to solve our energy problems from a bi-partisan perspective?

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Smart Grid Roadmap Development

Join Portland State University and other community leaders at an interactive conference focused on building a sustainable Smart Grid Community Roadmap.

Portland State will facilitate discussion around the recent outcomes and findings from their class, “Designing the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities”. Participants will collaborate to create essential Roadmap elements and outcomes for a smarter grid that will help the Pacific Northwest support a more sustainable energy plan for our diverse communities.

Who: Leaders in Business, IT and Communications, Regulators, Government, Utilities, Smart Grid Technology Vendors, Planners, Engineers, Architects, Home and Building Owners

When: June 18, 9:00-5:00pm with lunch

Where: Portland State University, University Place, 310 SW Lincoln St., Portland OR

More information:


Monday, May 04, 2009

Seminar on Smart Grid Systems: in Portland

The smart grid has become a rapidly growing movement to design and implement the concept of an intelligent energy system that is more efficient, robust, flexible and sustainable. Join a distinguished panel to gain a basic understanding of how the systems we use for electric energy generation, distribution and consumption are evolving to better meet the needs of society and entrepreneurial opportunities available.

May 5th: 6 - 8 pm
Perkins Coie offices
1120 N.W. Couch Street, Tenth Floor
Portland , OR -97209


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Regular power outages likely in just a few years

Once our economy rebounds, the U.S. electricity market is very likely to see disruptions (increasing power outages). The underlying cause is due to population growth and lack of investments to overcome this challenge. Adding electric vehicles and reducing the ability of power producers to develop cost-effective production capacity (due to cap & trade / RPS requirements) will dramatically exacerbate this challenge.

Since cash is at a premium, the best way to accomplish more while spending less (i.e., productivity), is to invest in clean-technology. Seems there is a need for clean-tech acceleration. The sooner we start, the better life will be for us all.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Vehicles that reduce the need for foreign oil

The "Top 10" low-carbon footprint cars can be found, here.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Clean-tech investing decreases faster than the Dow

According to an Economist article, investments in clean-technology has dropped off faster than the decline in oil prices. This correlates well with my personal experience in working to raise funds for a clean-technology accelerator (NXergy). Looks like everything's going to be pushed out a year or two... depending on when oil prices creep back up around $4 to $5 (or more) a gallon.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Five Major areas to watch

The following five areas will make a significant difference in our ability to become energy-independent: An intense focus on producing (and storing) low/no carbon electricity, using it more efficiently and distributing it more wisely is needed - especially when electric vehicles will likely be the way the United States gets off of foreign oil.

NXergy is focusing on these areas. Links to important organizations and information is provided, below:

Energy Efficiency
IEA, Energy Trust of Oregon, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and PECI.

High-density Energy Storage
Energy Storage Council

Department of Energy (SmartGrid Info), Duke University's efforts

Distributed generation
International organization, in the United States

Low / no-carbon energy production
World-watch Institute: Low Carbon Roadmap

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Smart Grid meets Social Networking

Interesting concept: Whirlpool engineers state that smart appliances could easily be set up to make decisions based on information from the grid without giving control of that device to the utility and without sending information about what decisions were made back upstream. Several companies are exploring how to make energy-efficiency solutions a reality.


Contrarian view about climate actions and jobs

"Saving the planet and creating jobs may be incompatible."

A recent paper from the Peterson Institute of International Economics and the World Resources Institute notes that investment in green-tech may just redirect capital from one use to another, indicating that the number of jobs created might not be so great as being touted.

This needs to be addressed analytically, to determine the true value that green-tech (development & deployment) - to ensure as we move to a sustainable future, we "manage by fact".


Reduction in renewable investments in the UK

Investments fell from £377 million to £79 million in British renewable energy, including wind, solar and wave power (first three months of last year compared with this year). Story, here.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Nissan Electric Vehicle to hit market


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Green-energy investments decline significantly in 2009

Information from New Energy Finance indicates that investments into clean energy declined 53% from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009. Read the press release. (Thanks to Michael Rex for this one!)

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Clean Tech Open Launching 2009 Pacific Northwest Business Competition

The Clean Tech Open Pacific Northwest Competition is off and running! The official launch event will take place on April 15th in Seattle. Teams with innovative clean tech ideas can enter the business competition now through May 30, 2009. Semi-finalist teams selected in June will be assigned mentors, attend Business Clinics and the three-day Clean Tech Open Accelerator in preparation for the final judging. Three regional winners will each receive $50,000 in cash and services and will then compete in the Clean Tech Open National for $250,000 in cash and services.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Good news / bad news: More Federal $s into Energy

Funding renewable energy & energy efficiency is great. We've lacked it for a very long time. Obama's new "push" - though important - relies on the same mechanisms we're relied on for the past 30-odd years... without game-changing results. Again, funds are being put into labs... who's major metrics include: [1] # of patents and [2] requests for more research. Yes, more research is needed. So, this is the good news.

The bad news is - there is no "game-changing thinking" going on in Washington, D.C. This question is not being asked: "What else should we do to speed renewable & efficient energy (R&EE) technologies to market?" The speed-to-market has to do with acceleration, not more research. Without a change in thinking, we will not get a change in results.

What should change?

[1] Fund technology acceleration: NXergy would be a good place to start. So would Nth Power, Reference Capital, Pivotal Investments and Equilibrium Capital Group. All focused on speeding profitable R&EE technologies to market.

[2] Leverage the existing power-production industry: Incentivize utilities to be more efficient and produce more sustainable power by allowing them to keep most (OK, half?) of the savings they create as a result of THEIR research.

[3] Change thinking: Profits aren't bad... the notion that an entity HAS to be a non-profit to gain Federal funding is ridiculous. Profiting from going green makes all the sense in the world! Once business is on board, you'll see serious movement.

I have determined that through profit-focused clean-tech acceleration, jobs can be created for a fraction ($5,000 to $10,000 per job) of what is being proposed ($60,000 to $224,000 per job) for "bail out" funding.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Energy Planet offers news on alternative energy

Alternative Energy News is published by Energy Planet: Access to some great information.


The Role of State Policy in Renewable Energy Development

The U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Program (SEP) publishes Conservation Update bimonthly to summarize renewable energy and energy efficiency projects of state energy offices.

=> Jan / Feb updates
=> State Publications


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Energy sector suffers from a lengthy, unpredictable, & needlessly complex regulatory maze

Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce writes in "Want Green Jobs? Cut the Green Tape" that we need to think beyond just dollars. We need to ensure that we work together and are able to cut through the stumbling blocks in front of job creation, renewable energy implementation and moving forward to a more energy-independent country.


Friday, February 27, 2009

GE Says Smart Grid Equal to 41GW of Power Plants

"We can probably improve the efficiency of the grid by 5 percent," said Steve Fludder, vice president of Ecomagination at GE, during an interview at the Cleantech Forum taking place this week in San Francisco. Five percent doesn't sound like much, but it translates to 41,000 megawatts of generating capacity, or 41 gigawatts."

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oregon's Executive Order 09-06 align with NXergy's mission

Governor Ted Kulongoski issued Executive Order 09-06 creating a new public-private advisory council to use Oregon's green advantage to maximize potential grants from the federal economic recovery package to create jobs immediately and for the long term. Six key criteria include:

[1] Immediate job creation for Oregonians;
[2] Use of Oregon companies & sourcing of local materials to keep stimulus funds in Oregon:
[3] Green jobs training that accompany projects;
[4] Promotion of Oregon's sustainability, renewable energy, carbon reduction, energy efficiency and green development goals;
[5] Innovative approaches in technology, partnership, process and life cycle optimization; and
[6] Potential to attract additional additional federal money through block grants and other sources.

Reviewing NXergy's focus reveals the alignment.


Smart Garage: Great information

Information on RMI's* "Project Get Ready" and the Smart Garage Charrette Report.

* Rocky Mountain Institute.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

States defer to Obama on energy

A recent report (starting on page 20) outlines the current situation and states' perception of what is to be done in energy.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"It begins with Energy"

President Obama's speech, tonight.

"We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea.

Well I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders – and I know you don’t either. It is time for America to lead again.

Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years. We have also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history – an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine, science, and technology.

We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.

But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America."

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Politics trumps logic

Unfortunately, the Senate (& compromise) versions got rid of the $2 billion to accelerate technologies and instead put in lots more $s (good news) for pet projects (bad news). It seems politicians think they can "pick winners" better than scientist, engineers and entrepreneurs. Can you say "ethanol"? When will it end?

House version: "$2,000,000,000 shall be for expenses necessary for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration and deployment activities, to accelerate the development of technologies..." (i.e., open-ended as to what might actually work!)

Compromise version: "That $2,000,000,000 shall be available for grants for the manufacturing of advanced batteries and components..." (i.e., Closed-ended: "Do thus and so.")

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Monday, February 16, 2009

The Grid: European / U.S. thinking

I attended a recent webinar (ocean grids around Europe) which discussed an approach to develop a "super-grid" offshore of Europe. Grand in its thinking, the impetus for this session was very pedestrian: how to get quality, uninterrupted power to Europeans in the future? The presentation can be downloaded and viewed, here.

A different perspective on the current state of the U.S. grid can be found in this article: "How Poor is the U.S. Grid?" and this one: "The U. S. electric grid: will it be our undoing?" (by Gail E. Tverberg)

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Energy bill contains $s for technology acceleration!

After years (yes, years) of writing letters to not only Oregon's delegation but also to the presidential candidates (Obama, McCain, Clinton, others) - about the need to "mind the gap": what's in between research and dirt-work, the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009
has $2 billion for technology acceleration (page 62 of the proposed bill): "$2,000,000,000 shall be for expenses necessary for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration and deployment activities, to accelerate the development of technologies..."

Perhaps Oregon's delegation will ensure NXergy gains a portion of that for accelerating technologies that the energy industry can use to meet RPS and Cap & Trade requirements, let alone the coming electric-vehicle "energy shifting" that will be occurring.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

WorldBank report discusses the need for technology acceleration

The report "Accelerating Clean Energy Technology Research, Development, and Deployment Lessons from Non-energy Sectors" clearly makes a case for clean-tech acceleration as the means to break through the system bottlenecks that have plagued this nation for over 35 years.

Figure 5 (The “Valley of Death” between Public- and Private-Sector Development) and Figure 6 (The “Mountain of Death” of Technology Costs) provide an excellent glimpse into the systemic challenge:


Friday, January 16, 2009

Venture capitalists funding hits $2.6 billion

Venture capitalists spent 46% more on cleantech in the first three quarters than during all last year. Solar energy companies got the most money, accounting for $664.6 million.

And most of the U.S. venture money -- $1.7 billion -- went to U.S. companies, followed by companies in the Netherlands, Brazil and China. Within the United States, California companies raised the most, with $725.2 million in 68 deals, while Massachusetts companies followed, with $292.6 million in 11 deals.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saudis invest in green-tech

Even the Saudi Government is investing in green-technology.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New report defines huge growth opportunities

The report "Transforming Innovation into Market Growth" provides a compelling look at the state of the clean-tech industry... in spite of the recession.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Misinformation does us no good!

In today's Parade Magazine, there is an article about "What will fuel our next cars?" Great question. Unfortunately, it is laden with misinformation - that others will use (as "facts") - for all kinds of reasons.

To wit: Hydrogen "should cost about $1.10" a gallon. Of course it should. But it doesn't. Gasoline should also cost 20 cents, but it doesn't. The cost to produce "an equivalent gallon" of hydrogen is about $10. There is no way (with current technology) to get it down to about a buck. What is missing is an understanding of how pure hydrogen needs to be in order to work in fuel cells. Something like "five 9s", or 99.999% pure. Making it is only part of the cost, transporting & storing it not only adds costs, but also degrades the 99.999% to something less... just in the act of transporting and storing it.

Anyway - pardon the rant, but once again, the need to print something takes a back seat to science.


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thank you to all!

I just want to send a note of personal thanks to everyone who has helped Energy2025 grow. Because of you, this blog has gained considerable "traction" - and (hopefully) is helping to make a difference in how we think about energy independence and renewable energy. In some small way, my true hope is for world peace - by not having our need for energy be a motivation for violent transgressions against others. Nor be beholden to any other country for our energy needs.

I am doing what I can to build a Renewable Energy Technology Accelerator (NXergy, Inc.) in Portland, Oregon. This is important work that needs to be done. I believe we can all do well by doing good. I hope you do, too.

Happy New Year!


Effects of tight credit on alternative energy

The economic situation (tight credit, competitive pricing, and subsidies) affect the health of th alternative energy sector: Dirk Lammers, AP Energy Writer reports. (Also from the article: "The cleantech renewable energy sector will be the first to emerge when the market stabilizes.")


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Utilities seek $33 Billion for energy efficiencies

A utility association that represents 70 percent of the U.S. power industry called on Congress and the new administration to jump-start the economy by helping Americans save energy.

Although energy efficiency is an excellent investment, the reader should decide for themselves if the free-market-breaking proposition is the best use of $s.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Exponential Times

It struck me that during the Great Depression, it took about 5 years before the Government started considering injecting significant currency into the markets. In January of 2008, we were worried about inflation. It's taken less than 12 months for the US Government to start pumping liquidity into the market. Another interesting fact: It took about ten years after the Great Depression for the US Government to issue bonds that carried a negative interest rate. This time, it took less than 6 months, after the stock market nose-dived.

I believe with the "speed of information travel" being SO fast (and getting faster), that we are in "exponential times".

If we think that societies' "speed" will not create a significant energy demand surge, then we're kidding ourselves. The recession may last a few years, but soon - the economy will roar back. The investments we make (in renewable energy & energy-efficient technologies) now will pay significant dividends, later. However (=opinion alert=), if we do not invest now, the U.S. will become a third-world nation.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Obama drops windfall profits tax

Although controversial, Obama has dropped his plans to tax windfall profits. As explained in The 21st Century Energy Initiative, this is a good thing. However, investments in alternative solutions should be encouraged.


Carbon future prices? $50 a ton

According to Greg Burns of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange launched a new set of carbon-credit contracts. The price for 2013 carbon this week? $50 a ton.

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Politics at its finest

First, I must apologize for getting off-topic. However, I just had to post a couple gems that you might also find interesting:

[1] Obama's donors asked to help pay Clinton's debts.
[2] President Clinton earns $85 million since leaving office (> $10 million per year, average).
[3] Obama's campaign has $30 million remaining.

I post. You decide.

Now... back to energy independence...


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Great blog on green. Autos.

Check out this blogsite! All things: Auto. Green.


Helping the Economy...

helps renewable energy

With energy prices dropping significantly, the perceived "pressure" to solve our energy problems reduce, too. When we come out of the recession (or worse), Peak Oil (supply) and China/India growth (demand) will make things much much worse - and may cause an even greater energy-price economic crunch than we're seeing today.

Therefore, due to the difficult economy we face, I have decided to do my part - and give away copies of my latest book: "How to Attract Significantly More Customers... in good times and bad."

I believe businesses will pull us out of this deepening recession: With the economy the way it is, I hope to help thousands of business owners make both strategic decisions and strategic changes, to grow their way out of our difficult economic malaise. In doing so, they hill hire more people and reduce joblessness. Thereby creating an environment where - once again - renewable energy solutions will overtake the economy as the #1 issue.

If you know any business owners who could benefit from new insights, please forward the following URL to them: Thank you.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Guest blog:

Scott Alexander tells it like it SHOULD BE!

"It's shameful that our government would rather spend $25 billion bailing out an automobile industry that was burning $1 billion per month during the peak of the housing / borrowing / spending boom, than to set up a $25 billion venture fund so start-up companies that can't be self-funded have a chance at making it.

Tesla (the electric car company run by former PayPal co-founder Elon Musk) hit the nail on the head when they petitioned the government for $400 million from the American Auto Industry bail-out proposal.

Hmm. Give $400 million to a company that will use the money to bring American made commercially viable electric vehicles to world market years ahead of any other nation, or give $25 billion to failing poorly managed companies that will use the funds to pay off the unions to allow them to lay people off. Seems like a no-brainer.

I hope Obama has the right mix of Liberal and Conservative that this nation needs. It must be tough times for libertarians :) !"

Scott Alexander, CEO - XanderDev

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

California increases RPS from 20% to 33%

On November 17, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-14-08, revising California's existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) upward to require all retail sellers of electricity to serve 33% of their load from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Although this is good news from a renewable energy perspective, changing things mid-stream is not ethical, and will cause all kinds of problems. It's similar to having the wind investment tax credit expire every year. Makes no sense. We need to set fixed-requirements, then let the prepar for, and then market deal with it. In a logical, planned manner!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fisker Automotive: 50 miles radius plug-in: Wow!

Looks like Fisker Automotive has outdone Tesla motors. They went for a shorter driving distance, and built in a 4-cylinder gas engine for >50 miles. (The average miles driven per day is fewer than 50 miles... 80% of the time.) They also won a court battle against Tesla. Let the electric-car wars (i.e., competition, driving down electrics) begin!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama's plan enough?

A recent article indicates that Obama's plan is insufficient. Those to the left talk about climate change. Those to the right talk about energy security. Either way, we will need to do more than Obama's plan indicates. (An assessment of Obama's plan vs. what is needed can be found here.)

More importantly, we will need to be innovative about how we spend money. Please - don't just throw money at the current "system" for commercializing energy technologies. It hasn't worked. Innovative, even disruptive business models need to be developed and funded. One such innovative approach is NXergy, Inc.

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Alternative energy stocks advance.

Alternative energy stocks advance.

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Can we learn from nature? (To create renewable energy?)

According to a recent report, a University of Michigan engineer has made a machine that works like a fish to turn potentially destructive vibrations in fluid flows into clean, renewable power.

Watch the video. Check out the company.

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The Cost of Cap & Trade

According to the Congressional Budget Office, Cap & Trade Act (S. 2191 America's Climate Security Act of 2007) would cost over $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years (assuming the 2018 "run rate" for 2019). Although the first three years cost "only" $15 billion, beginning in 2012, the cost is $150 billion per year and over $300 billion / year by 2018.

Just thought this information is important to share.


Energy Storage Technology Gains Traction

Smart grid startup GridPoint Inc. got into the utility power storage business Tuesday, announcing that utility Xcel Energy had chosen its software to manage a wind power battery storage project.

GridPoint raised $120 million in September and bought Seattle-based V2Green, a company that makes technology to allow plug-in vehicles to communicate with and provide power back to utilities. GridPoint previously had raised roughly $102 million before that in four rounds of funding, with investors including Goldman Sachs Group and Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, New Enterprise Associates, Perella Weinberg Partners, Robeco and the Quercus Trust.

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Blog worth checking out! (

Greenbang tracks the explosion of the environmental industry, reporting on news of green innovation and clever business people.W e blog on this rather than the environmental problems of the world because we are interested in the answers - if there are any.

Greenbang is a clean-tech and green business news website that provides daily updates to more than 80,000 investors, C-level executives, entrepreneurs, and corporate intranets. The website began as a blog, but now also acts as a global news resource with journalists reporting from four continents. The daily posts are published on CNBC’s website. Greenbang is based in London, UK. It is a privately owned limited company and part of the Tolléjo Media Group.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wells Fargo's Energy Audit

Wells Fargo has some ways to save money on energy costs. While we're at it, check out Oregon's Energy Trust solutions: Home & Business.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why the Energy Crisis Will Oulast the Credit Crisis

By the year 2030, about 97% of the world's new carbon emissions will come from outside the United States and Europe, largely from China, India and the Middle East, who will consume about half the world's energy. Before global habits begin to change permanently, greenhouse gas output will keep rising, probably at least until 2020. By which time the financial crisis of 2008 might seem like ancient history.

International Energy Agency analysts predict that governments will need to spend about $4.1 trillion on alternative energy development over the next two decades.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

What is the true cost of energy?

Robert Rapier discusses the "Energy Return on Energy Invested" (or Energy Out vs. Energy In) on his blog - relative to oil from Tar Sands. For anyone wanting to go forward based on facts (instead of politics) this would be a good read.

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Great interivew about the future of energy

Charlie Rose interviewed Charlie Maxwell and Daniel Yergin about the future of energy. If you are seriously interested in this topic, it is worth the time to watch!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Energy investments of over $1 trillion per year needed.

According to the IEA*, of the share of the world’s energy consumed by 2030, almost all of the increase in fossil-energy production occurs in non-OECD countries. These trends call for energy-supply investment of $26.3 trillion to 2030, or over $1 trillion/year.

* International Energy Agency

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Now is not the time to let our guard down.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its World Energy Outlook for 2008, says prices could increase to as much as $200 a barrel by 2030. "The immediate risk to supply is not one of a lack of global resources but a lack of investment where it is needed."


Monday, November 10, 2008

A Transition Plan for Securing America's Energy Future

The U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy invites you to join: A Transition Plan for Securing America's Energy Future: Monday, November 17, 2008.

(This is an update. The prior post had a javascript "link". Sorry for the inconvenience!)


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Obama's Impact on Green-tech

The political and investment environment are shaping up to be just right for investments into green-technology acceleration.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Bankers, consumers... now automakers

Everyone wants a bailout! Whatever happened to our advice to the Japanese when their economy went south in the 1990s? We (U.S. policymakers) told them to let banks fail, in order to cleanse the system of those who should never be allowed to survive. All others would become stronger as a result, and the economy would ultimately recover in a more robust manner. I huess we don't listen to our own words.

Now - because the automakers never did (really) understand [1] what consumers wanted, nor [2] what was going to happen in a peak-oil-world, they want a bail-out, too. And D.C. is considering it!(?). This will only give them the money they need to keep spending the way they have. What happens if one of them fails? The others will become stronger! What happens if we bail them out? They continue their spendthrift ways, without the wake-up call they need.

Opinion alert: I do not think we should reward bad behavior! With all the largess, hyper-inflation will be headed our way, soon enough. Keep an eye open for it.

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Investments in Clean-Tech increasing

Even with economic uncertainty, clean-tech investments are growing:

From Energy Central:
"Ernst & Young surveyed 150 global companies and found that 90 percent of them were involved with some type of climate change initiative. As such, those businesses had planned to spend a combined $276 billion over the next 10 years to achieve their objectives. Basically, a lot of firms that had been allocating investments to high-tech in the late 1990s are now creating clean tech divisions. GE, for example, has allocated $2 billion just to its wind unit."

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Just curious...

What happened to the greedy oil executives?

When gas prices were skyrocketing, everyone was blaming greedy oil companies. Now that gas prices have dropped, does this mean oil execs are no longer greedy? Or the cause?
Since oil is a commodity, it is purely supply & demand that drives oil prices up... or down. With a global recession, prices have dropped precipitously. That's what happens. Therefore, we ought to take this time to reinvigorate renewable energy technology acceleration. NOT go back to being asleep at the wheel.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

The 2008 Greentech Market Taxonomy

For a very interesting taxonomy of green energy,. check out this interactive map.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

"Power corrupts;

absolute power corrupts absolutely"

And so it begins... "In the first sign of Democratic intraparty strife since the election, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) has told colleagues that he plans to challenge the House's most senior member, Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), for the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee."

"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely"

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What are the consequences of Cap & Trade?

Now that Obama has been elected, with a majority in both houses, a Cap & Trade scheme to reduce carbon emissions is all but assured. What does mean to the economy, industry & energy prices? The Economist had a great article about it last year. Perhaps being open to other ways to reduce carbon emissions might be in order.

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EIA Predicts $100 oil

The Energy Information Agency predicts that oil till get back to $100/barrel soon and soar to $200/ barrel by 2030. With [1] peak oil, [2] demand from China & India, and [3] significant efforts to cut carbon emissions, I suspect $200 / barrel will be reached far sooner and we will see even $500/barrel. If for no other reason, due to the $1 trillion in bailouts this country has spent / will spend in the next few months. Why? This will drive down the value of the dollar (even though it is firming in today's economic climate), which will drive up the price of gas. This of course, will be good for renewable energy and renewable energy technologies.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Logic ahead of politics? This just in!

President elect Obama indicates (because of having to choose his priorities) that he is more interested in supporting renewable energy (The Cause) than he is paying to deal with climate change (The Effect), that he may need to focus limited resources on funding renewable energy.

This is a GREAT (tough) decision, and application of real-world financial reality. Bravo!

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!"


Monday, November 03, 2008

Coal Industry's "take" on Obama

Interesting... Obama's perspective on coal - and CNBC's response.


What will lead the economy

into the next several decades?

Sustainability, Green chemistry / Nanotechnology and (of course) Renewable Energy:

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VeraSun Energy files for bankruptcy

The VeraSun Energy Corporation, which accounts for roughly 7 percent of ethanol production capacity in the United States, announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late Friday.

As reported in this blog since 2005, corn ethanol just doesn't "pencil out":

=> Corn ethanol is just bad science and bad business.
=> Corn ethanol is not the answer.
=> Is Ethanol really right for the economy and environment?
=> Oregon's Renewable Energy Action Plan.

We need a 21st Century Energy Initiative that relies on science (not political whim) to develop the new technologies to get us through to the next century!

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Death of Capitalism?

Or... how a brief economic history informs our current economic situation

To be clear, I am a free-market, capitalist and believe very strongly that the market knows better than any government could. However, a few things have transpired that concern me greatly, and should bring pause to others:

[1] In response to the banking failures of 1929, two acts of Congress came to pass: the Glass-Steagall Act and Banking Act of 1935, which prohibited banks from investing and limited interest rates among other things.

In March of 1980, Regulation Q (from that time period) was repealed. The "Savings & Loan Crisis" ensued. (Ronald Reagan was president.)

[2] In 1999, other provisions prohibiting bank holding companies from owning other financial companies were repealed. Robert Kuttner (co-founder The American Prospect) has criticized the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act as contributing to the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis. (In 1999, Bill Clinton was president.)

[3] The Bretton-Woods system of 1944 provided that the United States would maintain the dollar value of gold at $35 and the other national central banks would maintain the dollar value of their currencies. If all countries were fixed to the dollar and the dollar was fixed to gold, the fixed exchange-rate system was anchored to gold, a design that prevented monetary inflation.

In 1973 the Bretton Woods Agreement was effectively disbanded and gold increased to $140 an ounce. Inflation became rampant and in fact, stagflation (recession and inflation - the worst of both worlds) came into being. (Richard Nixon was president.)

[4] In 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreements took the U.S. Dollar off the gold standard. A major cause of oil (and gold) inflation has to do with the precipitously falling dollar - due in no small part on how our U.S. economy has been led (read Government spending). Or mis-led. By both democrats and republicans alike.

[5] In the strong economy of the 1950s and 1960s, we had utilities who were encouraged to find ever-more profitable ways to reduce energy costs. Passing a portion on to consumers while being allowed to keep some of it (in case we forget, they are called profits.). Now we seem to discourage this behavior. Since the 1973 oil embargo, we have viewed oil companies as the bad guys, and taxed their "excess" profits. The unintended consequence of this is that they did not invest as they could have, ramping up our dependence on foreign oil resulting in much higher gas prices.

[6] In the strong economy of the 1950s and 1960s we had smaller budget deficits, Republicans weren't in cahoots with Democrats (in spending our hard-earned $s), nor were they spending on hundred-million $ bridges to nowhere. Or multi-billion $s no-exit-strategy wars.

[7] In the strong economy of the 1950s and 1960s, utilities were rock-solid. Banks were rock-solid. Inflation was tamed. The United States led the world financially and morally. In ethical behavior. In Doing What Is Right.

[8] Outsourcing: From a business perspective, it "seemed" like a good idea to export our jobs to lower-wage (read lower-quality / lower-ethic) countries. But with contaminated pet food, lead in toys and counterfeit software and other products, we are finally waking up to the fact that not everyone has the same ethics as Americans.

[9] BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India and China are growing at such a rate that their economies are (also) driving up oil prices.

[10] Obesity and being a victim: Americans seem to feel the Government owes them a living. Including free health care. Which will require vast sums of money and cause further erosion in the value of the dollar. The deferred gratification that comes with longer life (later) due to better behavior (now) seems to be a difficult concept to grasp for most Americans.

If you put all these seemingly disparate facts / events together, one can see how this came about: Death by a thousand cuts: Those cuts being the erosion of profit as a true motivator (led by anti-capitalists), and one can see where this may head. Sooner than later. It is interesting that this contrarian view makes sense when unwinding unintended consequences caused by too much government meddling.

(Side note: Portland is a microcosm of this mismanagement: We are spending precious time and resources on naming streets and building bike paths instead of creating an environment where clean, sustainable businesses are encouraged to set up shop - to bring in a net in-flow of people to the community. Instead, we tax businesses and investors and only realize the unintended consequences after many move out.)

We have a choice in front of us. We have the talent, resources, capitalist (read free-choice) system and capability to lead the world: economically, technologically, politically and even morally.

Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic seems to be the status quo from our political leaders. Voted in by a disenfranchised electorate.

The United States deserves more. Its citizens deserve more. And you deserve more.

We need leadership. We need focus. And we need to marshal our collective will and considerable resources to work together to solve all these problems, in a way that bodes well for our children and grandchildren.

Instead of the political parties trying to undermine one another, instead of the PUC disincentivizing utilities to find innovative ways to move to clean energy, instead of additionally taxing oil companies' profits - why not focus on what would solve many problems?

Why not focus our resources on incentivizing, supporting and even funding renewable energy technologies that would enable the United States to become a net-exporter of renewable energy? Not high-jobs-per-kilowatt-hour. But high-density, clean energy production.

A simple (simplistic?) solution is to move away from oil entirely and rely on electric vehicles, using renewable grid-electricity production. Yes, driving range is an issue. As is battery technology, but most of us drive fewer than the average range of current-technology plug-in cars. By converting even 10% to 20% of vehicle usage to electric vehicles, greenhouse emissions would decrease significantly, as would oil prices. These are business decisions, and it seems our car companies are a bit slow in "getting it".

Bottom line: The root cause of our economic problems is that we are a net importer - of goods and energy. No economy can withstand the hundreds of billions of dollars being sent to non-friendly states. The root cause of us being a net-importer is that in general, we are complacent. Yes lots of great people and organizations are doing lots of great things. But America appears to be in not only a cyclical decline but a long-term decline.


As a free country (so far), you have the ability to vote with your signature and your dollar.

Government: Let's help Government become more responsible by only voting for those who "get" this notion and actually do something by focusing on the root cause problem: Becoming a net-exporter of renewable energy and renewable energy technologies. How do we do that? With your vote. In 1980, John Anderson ran on a ticket to solve our energy problems by adding a 50 cent per gallon gasoline tax. Had this been accomplished, those billions of dollars would have been spent to solve our oil dependency. He received 7% of the popular vote. Use your signature on a letter to your congressmen and women - to fund renewable energy technology development. Your children will thank you.

Business: Only buy cars that are electric or hybrid. That is, vote with your dollars. Use your signature to write the CEOs of U.S. car manufacturers to build plug-in electrics. Then buy them.

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Repeat of 1970s!

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." *

Here we go again: Delays in renewable / alternative energy initiatives are beginning.

* George Santayana

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Perhaps it is time we do something!

"We can promote alternative energy sources and conservation, and we must. America must become more energy independent, and we will." — George W. Bush, State of the Union address, Feb. 7, 2001.

"The nation's growing reliance on imports of crude oil and refined products threatens the nation's security because they make us more vulnerable to oil supply disruptions." — Bill Clinton in an energy security statement on Feb. 16, 1995.

"Conservation efforts are essential to keep our energy needs as low as possible. And we must then take advantage of our energy sources across the board: coal, natural gas, hydro and nuclear. Our failure to do these things has made us more dependent on foreign oil than ever before." — George H.W. Bush in an address to Congress on Sept. 11, 1990, in the run-up to the Gulf War.

"We must take steps to better protect ourselves from potential oil supply interruptions and increase our energy and national security." — Ronald Reagan, in an energy security message to Congress on May 6, 1987, in which he raised concerns about "our increasing dependence on imported oil."

"This intolerable dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic independence and the very security of our nation. ... Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 — never." — Jimmy Carter in a television address on July l5, 1979, in which he announced temporary oil import quotas.

"I am recommending a plan to make us invulnerable to cutoffs of foreign oil. It will require sacrifice, but it — and this is most important — it will work." — Gerald Ford, State of the Union address Jan. 15, 1975.

"Let us set our national goal ... that by the end of this decade we will have developed the potential to meet our own energy needs without depending on any foreign energy sources. Let us pledge that by 1980, under Project Independence, we shall be able to meet America's energy needs from America's own energy resources." — Richard M. Nixon, responding to Arab oil embargo, Nov. 7, 1973.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oil price drop: Still need to invest in energy

Now is the time to invest in energy:

Christophe de Margerie of France's Total said: "Supply will remain short, and if we don't pay attention, the recovery will come and supply will be less and the price will climb again."


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oregon's Governor Kulongoski

sets "green agenda" for 2009

Yesterday, I met with Governor Kulongoski (as did 200 others) - to hear him lay out his green agenda for Oregon - for the next legislative session. His major points include efficiencies, tax breaks, focus on transportation and several other initiatives. These will help Oregon get "greener". Some are arguable (as to how they will be paid for), but action is truly needed. And his is a bold approach. The Oregonian's front page article goes into detail.

My only concern? No emphasis on new technology development. Deployment of existing technologies, yes. This is not enough. For instance, energy storage (to help make wind & solar more productive), transmission improvements (to stem looses), distributed generation technologies (to decrease "I^2R" losses and increase energy security), "pre-plug" efficiencies (not just EnergyStar / appliance programs), and low-carbon solutions - are all needed to innovate our way through the energy-independence situation. Bringing DOWN energy costs while reducing carbon and other emissions.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Methane poses a problem.

In other news: Methane yields energy.

Methane from thawing vegetation is causing even more greenhouse gas emissions.

Landfills are producing energy... from methane.

Anyone else see a "problem / solution" situation, right in front of us? Just curious.


No matter who wins the election

Energy will be more expensive

"The future, say the experts, is clear no matter who wins: We'll pay more for existing energy and we'll pay to find alternatives.

"Energy is the only commodity in America where consumers will not ... absorb fluctuation, because the way we live demands that we have to buy gas and electricity," Borenstein said. "There have been plenty of politicians who have spoken the hard truth and you never even hear of them because that's not the way to get to Congress or to the presidency."

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Venture Funding declines...

Except for CleanTech

"Venture capital flowing to startups totaled $7.1 billion, a 9 percent decline from the same time last year, while alternative energy, or "clean tech," raised $1.04 billion, a 17 percent increase."


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

From the laboratory to Markets:

This is how it's done.

A couple great examples of business & research labs' collaboration can be found in this article. Bottom line: American businesses need to out-innovate their counterparts in the global playing field, or risk getting left further behind!


Innovative business models outperform all others

According to Business Week, innovative business models outperform innovative processes, products and "customer experience". A more detailed "map" can be found, here.

This is exactly the thinking needed to innovate our way out of our current, and the coming energy conundrum.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

US Chamber of Commerce Releases

"Energy Blueprint"

The Institute for 21st Century Energy released a Blueprint for Securing America's Energy Future at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. It provide more than 75 energy policy recommendations for the next President and Congress.

One of its major recommendations includes: Significantly Increase Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies (page 20 of the report).

Additionally, it recommend that Congress should create a Clean Energy Bank of the United States (CEBUS), with sufficient initial capitalization to invest in and accelerate the market penetration of advanced clean energy technologies.

These support NXergy's focus and is the right direction.

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The U.S. Faces another "Sputnik Moment"

Rep. Bart Gordon, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee and chair of the Science & Technology committee, believes the United States faces a new challenge in need of government support: finding the fuel of the future. He's proposed a new government entity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, with the mandate to invest in revolutionary technologies.

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Bailout Bill has PHEV Credits

"The bailout legislation signed by President Bush contains a tax-credit for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles."

"The credit is a base $2,500 plus $417 for each kWh of battery pack capacity in excess of 4 kWh, to a maximum of $7,500 for light-duty vehicles; $10,000 for vehicles with gross vehicle weights of more than 10,000 but less than 14,000 pounds; $12,500 for vehicles with a GVW of more than 14,000 but less than 26,000 pounds; and $15,000 for any vehicle with a GVW of more than 26,000 pounds."


What economic problem?

Renewables growing stronger.

"In less than a decade, the global industry of renewable energy is projected to explode from a $150-billion-a-year industry to a $600-billion-a-year industry."

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Capital seeks green-tech investments

Greentech startups raised $2.8 billion in venture capital in the third quarter, more than double the second-quarter total, with solar companies raking in $1.5 billion.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bail out for everyone

Perhaps Congress has gotten too used to mega-bills, which require so much "negotiation" (*meaning horse-trading) that everyone wins... at the expense of the budget. (Example: the current mortgage / financial "rescue" package including green aspects.) Green-tech legislation should stand on its own and be supported by good science.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Google's solution

"The United States government has been unable to fix the country's energy problems," Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said, but the Internet giant on Wednesday proposed its own 22-year solution.

"We have seen a total and complete failure of leadership in the political parties of the United States," Schmidt said in a speech at the Commonwealth Club here. "We've been working on a plan to help solve this problem."

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Green Technology getting acquired

In yet another sign that greentech is defying current economic woes, GridPoint Inc., a clean tech company specializing in smart grid technologies, announced it acquired V2Green, a Seattle company that provides plug-in electric vehicle grid integration technology.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Politics in the way of renewables

Congress is (still) at an impasse on Renewables.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

And so, it continues.

As one of the "potential futures" predicted in my new book*, the downward spiral of weak-dollar-induced higher oil-prices, coupled with our inability to innovate our way out of this problem is taking hold: "Obama says Wall Street bailout will cut his energy plan." Get ready for hyper-inflation as billions get pumped into our economy.

* The 21st Century Energy Initiative: How to Solve Our Energy Problems

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Energy industries set to change over first half of century: Shell chief

"Energy industries will be transformed over the first half of this century and 'business as usual' projections for rising energy demand and CO2 emissions are simply unsustainable," according to Malcolm Brinded, Executive Director Exploration and Production, Royal Dutch Shell.

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Investors Bullish on 2009 Greentech Deals

A KPMG survey finds that venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and others expect more funding for energy storage, wind and clean coal. Most venture capitalists and entrepreneurs expect greentech investments to increase next year, according to a survey released by KPMG on Tuesday.

About half of the survey respondents said they expect greentech investments to jump by 20 percent or more in 2009, while 34 percent of respondents see an increase between 10 percent and 19 percent from 2008 to 2009, the survey showed.


Continuing problem? Energy

"While many of the world's best business brains are exercising themselves over the current global banking and equities crisis, there is another issue which has the potential to dominate our lives far more in the longer term -- energy." From a CNN report.

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Monday, September 22, 2008


It is absolutely unbelievable that our elected officials - those who are entrusted with our (read *your*) taxes have failed in their fiduciary responsibility to protect Americans. To "spend" a minimum of $785 billion* will do nothing but ignite hyper-inflation. This puts significant upward pressure on oil prices, which puts a downward spiral on the U.S. dollar.

The result? As inflation revs up, fewer real dollars are available to solve our energy problems. This will mean more oil addiction... and the spiral continues.

How to Solve Our Energy Problems: The 21st Century Energy Initiative points to how the lack of financial leadership (in Government) has led, and will lead us down a ruinous path. (Book excerpt on this topic, here.) Soon, the only way will be to vote the bastards out... and only vote in those who tell the truth, and make the hard (politically incorrect) decisions to get this nation moving in the right direction. Again.

* $700 to "bail out Wall Street" and $85 billion to bail out AIG.

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L.A. to create cleantech incubator

The Community Redevelopment Agency is proposing a greentech manufacturing and innovation hub with a 20-acre complex in the city's downtown.

The city famed for its movie industry wants to be ready to attract greentech companies as utilities rush to meet a state mandate requiring power companies to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, for one, will invest about $5 billion in alternative energy to achieve the goal.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Technology & Policy:

Two sides of The Solution

As is NXergy's mantra, Technology & Policy are needed to bring innovative solutions to the market:

Google and General Electric Team Up on Energy Initiatives
Google and General Electric said Wednesday that they would work together on technology and policy initiatives to promote the development of additional capacity in the electricity grid and of “smart grid” technologies to enable plug-in hybrids and to manage energy more efficiently. The companies said their goal is to make renewable energy more accessible and useful.

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How to Fix Our Economy and the Energy Crisis

With the economic meltdown in our economy, there is plenty of blame to go around. While we’ll soon be focusing on mortgage loan companies using risky methods, consumers biting off more than they can chew, Congress wanting to add more regulations (that hamper investments), and both presidential candidates blaming the other party, we might want to look a bit longer term. Both in the past and the future.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves how we got in this mess. Why aren’t we the economic powerhouse of the 1950s / 1960s anymore? To answer these and many more questions, you may want to read these:

=> How did we get in this mess? What decisions were made, by whom? And how can we learn from the past? Find out. And what about now?

=> And you think it’s bad, now? How developing nations will make the problem much worse, and why we need to make different decisions, now. A book excerpt on this train wreck can be found here. And details of the analysis can be found here.

=> Whoever addresses our energy problem – through real technology innovation and business model innovation – will win this election. You can compare the presidential candidates’ approaches, here. (With the detail, here.) Please check your congressional candidates’ views, too.

=> We need to innovate our way out: Create industries and technologies – to become a net-exporter of renewable energy technologies.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

American Physical Society publishes report on energy

The American Physical Society has researched how energy efficiency can go a long way toward helping reduce foreign oil dependence as well as green house gases. The full report.


Monday, September 15, 2008

You Think It's Bad Now?

The just-released chapter* "You Think It's Bad Now?" - explores in more detail the unsustainable growth in automobiles in China and India, and why significant, comprehensive, bi-partisan actions need to be taken now to address the growing "energy shift" that will hit us very hard: Twelve times as much oil will be needed in 2024 to meet the demand for (just) two countries - to get to the same "standard of living" as the United States - as measured by the number of cars per 1000 people.

* From the new book "How to Solve Our Energy Problems: The 21st Century Energy Initiative".

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

China & India alone will cause the world to use more than 12 times current oil production capacity!

Doing just a little research and a little more math, one can determine that by the time China and India catch up with America's standard of living (as measured by the number of cars per 1000 people), that by 2024 the world will need over 12 times as much oil as it uses now.


[1] Don't blame oil companies for prices: It's supply and demand.
[2] Don't blame commodity traders: It would backfire.
[3] This is a serious problem!
[4] There will be a tremendous upside opportunity for whoever invests in new, disruptive technologies in renewable and sustainable energy.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Seven Myths of Energy Independence

"Despite supposedly bold initiatives such as last year's Energy Independence and Security Act, America is no freer from foreign oil: Since 2006, imports have remained steady at about 13 million barrels every day, while the price for each of those barrels has jumped by $30. Our heavily subsidized ethanol refiners now use so much corn that prices for all grains have soared, sparking (food) inflation."

The 7 Myths (According to the article):
Myth #1: Energy Independence Is Good
Myth #2: Ethanol Will Set Us Free
Myth #3: Conservation Is a "Personal Virtue"
Myth #4: We Can Go It Alone
Myth #5: Some Geek in Silicon Valley Will Fix the Problem
Myth #6: Cut Demand and the Rest Will Follow
Myth #7: Once Bush Is Gone, Change Will Come

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Energy is the #1 issue in this year's Presidential race

It doesn't really take a scientist to figure this out, but both candidates are running toward energy solutions: McCain's economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said energy would top McCain's policy list in his first 100 days in the White House. Meanwhile, Senator Biden very interested in renewable energy (although mainly biofuels).

It is likely that the candidate who proposes the most credible plan will sway independent voters. A high-level comparison can be found here, and a more detailed comparison can be found, here.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

McCain / Palin: Energy is #1 Issue!

"Delegates at the Republican National Convention this week got a laminated card listing their party's principles. The top item, ahead of the economy, national security and fiscal accountability: `energy independence and lower gas prices'.'' It would seem that they are oh-so-close on this issue. McCain needs to emphasize and implement a renewable energy technology acceleration approach!

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Consider donating to keep this site up!

This site is funded by readers like you. Please donate whatever you can to keep the truth about energy independence coming to you. Thank you.

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Independent voters will decide the next president of the United States.

Significant shifts in our thinking and behavior are needed to overcome this grand challenge. Not business as usual or government as usual. We need true, common sense leadership on this issue!

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Energy Rally for America

This is a great grass roots effort. Americans are tired of politics as usual - blaming the other side for political gain instead of coming up with real bi-partisan solutions. Please look at what The Energy Rally for America is doing and seriously consider signing on to help them. The Rally is on September 8th!

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

How do Obama's & McCain's Energy Plans compare to The 21st Century Energy Initiative?

See for yourself how Obama's and McCain's plan compare. Right now, Obamas' plan is better than McCain's. All McCain has to do is to show how he is different from both Obama and Bush: and he could win over independents!

How can this happen?

One of the critical success factors in this election is - who will win over independent voters? As usual the issue is: How will the next President affect my pocketbook? The biggest single metric for the economy is the price of gas. It's something voters are reminded of 2 to 5 times a month; every time they fill up their gas tanks. McCain has got to differentiate himself by focusing on renewable energy technology acceleration and commercialization: Applying significantly more resources than he is currently planning.

Obama's plan. McCain's plan.

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