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.


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.)


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.


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.


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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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.


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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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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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 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.


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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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!


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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Sunday, November 30, 2008

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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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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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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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

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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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

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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Monday, November 03, 2008

What will lead the economy

into the next several decades?

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

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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."


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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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.


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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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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Monday, September 22, 2008

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

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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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 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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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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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Automotive X-Prize Launches

From their press release: "The technology-neutral competition, a project of the X PRIZE Foundation, is open to teams from around the world that can design and build production-capable, 100 MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that people will want to buy and that meet market needs for price, size, capability, safety and performance. Winners of the $10 million prize purse will need to exceed 100 MPG equivalent fuel economy, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time."

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Charlie Rose Interviews Amory Lovins

Dr. Lovins (Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute) lays out what needs to happen on Charlie Rose's show. (It also [mainly] in line with what has been in this blog and my new book.)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Even Paris Hilton's got an Energy Plan

"Limited offshore drilling with strict regulatory oversight, while providing tax incentives for auto manufacturers to move toward electric." Both a short and long term; and balanced approach. All this... during August, when Congress takes their re-election, er... summer recess - to blame the other side for our energy problems.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

T. Boone Pickens enters the fray... in a big way.

Check out his URL. His video, and his testimony in front of congress. Bottom line: the US is sending out $700 billion per year. This is bankrupting this country. Leadership is needed.


Andy Grove: Disruptive Technology Needed

"Transportation uses more than half of the petroleum consumed in this country. If we don't convert a large portion of the transportation sector to electricity, we cannot make real progress toward energy resilience.

"The forces of disruptive technology would eventually bring improvements in battery technology, ultimately allowing the production of an all-electric car with satisfactory driving range. The move to electric miles also has the added advantage of helping to mitigate a major environmental threat. A shift from petroleum-based vehicles to electricity-based ones would move the locus for addressing carbon emissions from millions of individual vehicles to far fewer centralized electricity-generating plants. Controlling emissions thus becomes an industrial task, easier technologically. Estimates indicate a potential reduction of carbon emissions of around 50 percent."

"We must mobilize all segments of our economy to accelerate the process."
Andy Grove, former chairman and chief executive of Intel Corp. from 1987 to 1998

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Giant False Start on Biofuels in Europe

Europeans now determine that biofuels might not be such a great idea. I hope Washington D.C. learns from this - soon.

I am not sure why it requires several studies to determine the negative impact that bio/ethanol has on food prices and Climate Change. [A] It requires land, water and crops to get the feedstock to the "ready" state that oil is already in, and [B] people still need to burn it - to for energy. This is another example of ready, fire, aim. Worse - it is lessons people's belief and resolve to do the next "great solution", and wastes precious time and money going in the wrong direction.

My suggestion? Stop, think, plan and verify which path(s) to go down, before moving forward. It's called "physics meets project management". Let science, problem-solving processes and a more formal approach trump politics and group-think, and you will see real solutions develop.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Obama uses pages from 2005 Energy Independence Fund idea

According to Obama's website:
  • Invest $150 Billion over 10 Years in Clean Energy: Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, invest in low-emissions coal plants, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid. A principal focus of this fund will be devoted to ensuring that technologies that are developed in the U.S. are rapidly commercialized in the U.S. and deployed around the globe.
  • Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund: Obama will create a Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund to fill a critical gap in U.S. technology development. Obama will invest $10 billion per year into this fund for five years. The fund will partner with existing investment funds and our National Laboratories to ensure that promising technologies move beyond the lab and are commercialized in the U.S
These are the suggestions made in 2005 (and before).

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Portland, Oregon's approach to Peak OIl

This comprehensive report-of-findings from Portland "Peak Oil Task Force" is an exceptional body of knowledge and piece of work. Well done!

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Cleantech investments hit $2.2 billion in 2007

As gas prices surge, so do investments into clean energy technology.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oil company gets into batteries!

Exxon Mobile strategically investing "windfall" profits wisely - into battery technology.

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More electric car companies

Check out ZENN Motor Company and Dynasty Electric Car.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Banks now investing in greentech!

Citigroup has pledged $50 billion to green initiatives over ten years, including $31 billion for clean technologies.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Move to electric vehicles

GM is moving to electric vehicles in a Big Way: A123 Systems, whose founder Ric Fulop said "Somebody lit a fire under [GM's] butt in 2006. I’ve never seen a large company move so fast and put so many resources behind something."

One of the reasons? All car-makers are being / will be pressured to increase fuel efficiency. Electric vehicles is one way to do this.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Battery Technologies: An update

"Between now and 2015, the worldwide market for hybrid-vehicle batteries will more than triple, to $2.3 billion. Lithium-ion batteries, the first of which should appear in hybrid cars in 2009, could make up as much as half of that." Brief article about the current state of affairs.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Renewable grid energy; Electric cars. Next?

Some not-so-small companies are looking to help us wean ourselves off oil with electric cars. Time to support utilities - and help them meet Renewable Portfolio Standards?

General Motors, Ford Motors, Volvo, Honda, Tesla Motors, AFS Trinity, Smith Electric Vehicles, Global Electric Motorcars, Zap!, HST Automotive, Brammo, Enertia (motorcycles), Green Lite Motors, and of course - Do it Yourself.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oregon Bioeconomy & Sustainable Technologies Center

Oregon Bioeconomy & Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST) will bring together Oregon's significant R&D strengths in the key emerging areas of clean energy, bio-based products, green building/green development and other related sectors. BEST's primary goal is to accelerate cutting-edge research and to facilitate public/private partnerships to turn that research into on-the-ground business opportunities. Check them out.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

President's Speech I'd like to Hear

What if a sitting U.S. President gave this speech? I'd like to see it.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An Oregon clean fund?

June 2006 (in this blog): "Time for an Oregon Incubator?" (i.e. fund alternative / clean-energy technology). December 2007: Oregon's pension fund may invest in clean-energy! Read it!

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Beaverton Fuel Cell Company makes 1st sale

Hydra Fuel Cells is in the news with its first sale!

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Investments in CleanTech: Report

A very interesting report on venture capital and CleanTech investing (thank you, Pete!)

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Monday, June 25, 2007

VC-style investments in solar, through DoE!

"The Department of Energy will fund 10 photovoltaic technology start-ups with up to $27 million through a new milestone-based grant program.

Hedging its bets, the department is backing a broad range of early-stage developers, competitors among them, each aiming to reduce the scourge of solar: high cost per watt.

Two recipient companies, Blue Square Energy Inc. and CaliSolar Inc., use cheaper, lower-grade polysilicon to make equally powerful PV cells. Four recipients, Enfocus Engineering Corp., MicroLink Devices Inc., SolFocus Inc. and Solaria Corp., work on increasing efficiency through solar concentration methods. And four: Ava Solar, Plextronics Inc., PrimeStar Solar Inc. and SoloPower Inc., develop technology for thin-film PV modules that avoid expensive polysilicon altogether. Each project will receive between $2 million and $3 million from the DOE through the Photovoltaic Module Incubator program after presenting the energy department with functioning prototypes of its products. The companies also committed to invest about $44 million combined in addition to the federal contribution, mostly coming from financial backers such as venture capitalists.

The DOE evaluated 56 applications in this first round of the program that will make grants every nine months and required that chosen projects are at or near pilot-run stage, scalable through an affordable manufacturing process and are based on significant innovation compared with current products on the market.

"The program is structured around tight milestones, focuses on delivering proof of hardware, and moves quickly," said Craig Cornelius, acting program manager for the DOE's Solar Technologies program.

The DOE would evaluate the progress of its portfolio companies at least every nine months when it would also issue grants to new applicants, he said. The advantage of requiring shipment of hardware samples to the DOE, said Cornelius, is that it 'frees companies from government paperwork to focus on what they do best: tech development.'"

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

California Clean Energy Fund

California Clean Energy Fund

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California's Energy Action Plan

California's Energy Action Plan

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Monday, April 09, 2007

X-Prize for 100 miles per gallon vehicle!

Santa Monica, Calif. (April 2, 2007) - The X PRIZE Foundation, the organization behind the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE that successfully challenged teams to build private spacecraft to open up the space frontier, is taking a step toward launching an Automotive X PRIZE (AXP) that will inspire super-efficient vehicles that exceed 100 miles per gallon or its equivalent.
Read full release.

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

GM looking to produce "plug-in" by 2010!

GM is "bridging" their 1990's EV1 (electric car) to their fuel cell-based vehicles (AUTOnomy*) with a plug-in vehicle. Read The Economist to find out more. Just imagine... Using your fuel cell car to charge your home battery at night and power your office during the day. A total DG (distributed generation) solution!

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Consider donating what you can!

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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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pacific Northwest Energy Venture Blog

Ted Bernhard, a corporate and securities attorney at Stoel Rives, LLP has developed a Pacific Northwest Energy Venture Blog. I encourage you to visit it!

A side note: Ted & I sync up when it comes to addressing our energy independence: By enabling the free-market system (through the profit-motive) to solve our problems. This will create higher-paying jobs, with longer-term societal benefits! BTW: Ted is also the founder of Stoel Rives' Energy Venture Group (focused on innovations and finance in the energy marketplace)!

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

50% by 2050? VCs are stepping up to the plate!

From the St. Louis Business Journal: U.S.-based venture capital firms invested $917 million in energy technologies last year, a 28 percent increase over the previous year. This represented 4.2 percent of total VC investments. That may not sound like much, but six years ago, VCs invested less than 1 percent of their money in energy technology.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Time for an Energy-technology Incubator in Oregon?

With the Governor’s stated objectives (see entry, below) and no end in sight for demand-induced / turmoil-exacerbated price increases, now would be the time to create an Oregon-based energy-technology incubator! Of course, we need the following:

- policy support (almost)
- market-need (in place)
- technology-innovators (available)
- leaders (available)
- money (not being applied [sufficiently] in Oregon [yet])

Will anyone step up? I believe step one is the money & policy. The others will follow!

[1] Please read Oregon Business Magazine’s interview with Nancy Floyd.
[2] Check out Pacific Northwest's Energy Venture blog!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Congress Authorizes "H-Prize"!

During my research into renewable energy, Jonathan Logan suggested that an "H-Prize" be developed. Congress has just authorized such a program! This is great news!

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Well-known VC wants to set up Clean Energy Fund!

Vinod Khosla, from Khosla Ventures in Menlo Park, is supporting an initiative to (effectively) set up an energy independence fund for the state of California. The Economist (magazine) recently ran an article about how he plans on supporting this.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

New idea: How to solve our energy problems

I recently performed research into what people would spend for an "equivalent gallon" of hydrogen (to travel an equivalent distance in their vehicle). From this research, some profound and unexpected results (ah-ha's) came through.

I am looking for feedback on these... I am interested in how to best move forward - with ideas that will help the U.S. become a "net-exporter" of renewable energy, by the year 2025.

Comments, please!

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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Consider donating what you can!

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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