Renewables – Nov 13

November 13, 2007

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

Gore, Joy See Green Economy Powered by Silicon Valley

Ted Greenwald, Wired
Gore, Doerr & Joy is not a folk rock supergroup but an investment power trio with a common goal: To use market forces to stop global warming.

Former vice president Al Gore has become a partner in Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firm, Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers.

In return, John Doerr — KPCB founder and early investor in Amazon, Google and Netscape — has joined the advisory board of Gore’s three-year-old green investment firm, Generation.

And Bill Joy, the boy genius behind Sun Microsystems, Java and the latest generation of Unix operating systems, is a KPCB partner who established his cred as a techno activist by advocating limits on research in potentially dangerous technologies like genetic engineering.

Together, they’re inviting all comers to submit eco-friendly business plans in need of capital.

The climate situation is so dire, and the investment opportunity so enticing, that the principals are determined to leave no possible solution unexplored.
(12 November 2007)
Recommended by Big Gav. Related:
Gore joins Silicon Valley’s Kleiner Perkins to push green business (SF Chronicle)

Prospectors claim stretches of ocean, hoping to harness wave energy

Charles Burress, San Francisco Chronicle
A new California “gold rush” is on – to stake out claims to prime stretches of ocean along the coast where prospectors hope to harness waves to produce energy.

No one’s succeeded in producing wave power commercially in the United States, but the lure of future feasibility as a clean source of energy is spurring potential developers to claim prime wave sites.

The latest entrant is Sonoma County, which is seeking to snare what would be the largest zone of coastal seawater ever reserved for wave energy on the West Coast.

The Sonoma County Water Agency plans this week to ask federal regulators for exclusive rights to study and develop wave-energy technology along the entire 41-mile county coastline, extending 12 miles out to sea, an expanse of about 490 square miles, said agency spokesman Cordel Stillman.
(12 November 2007)

Geothermia Revisited

Big Gav, Peak Energy (Australia)
…Geothermal energy has been used for centuries for heating, cooking, and medicinal bathing. The first geothermal power generation plant was constructed in 1904 in Larderello, Italy, followed by Wairakei, New Zealand in the 1950’s then the Geysers in California in the 1960’s.

There is currently an estimated 12,000 MW of direct use and over 8,000 MW of power generation using geothermal resources around the world. This generation capacity represents about 0.4% of the world total. The US is the largest producer, followed by the Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.

If heat recovered by ground heat pumps is included, the non-electric generating capacity of geothermal energy is estimated at more than 100 GW (gigawatts of thermal power) and is used commercially in over 70 countries. [GRAPHIC]

Existing geothermal power generation is sometimes called “wet” geothermal power – using natural hot water sources close to the surface to generate power using energy conversion technologies like dry steam, flash steam and binary cycle systems.

Hot Dry Rock / Hot Fractured Rock (HFR) power is still at the experimental stage, with the Geodynamics project being the most advanced in terms of commercial development. Besides the various projects underway in Australia, Swiss company Geopower Basel has tried drilling under the city of Basel – however this has been halted due to concerns about the drilling causing earthquakes – and other experiments are being performed in Germany and the french village of Soultz-sous-Forêts.

An MIT led study (funded by the US Department of Energy) last year said that if 40 percent of the heat under the United States could be tapped, it would meet demand 56,000 times over. The report estimated that an investment of $800 million to $1 billion could produce more than 100 gigawatts of electricity by 2050, equaling the combined output of all 104 nuclear power plants in the US.

The report noted that geothermal energy is important for several key reasons:

* fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are increasingly expensive and consumed in ever-increasing amounts
* oil and gas imports from foreign sources raise concerns over long-term energy security
* burning fossil fuels dumps carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere
(7 November 2007)
Much background and many links at original. Also posted at The Oil Drum:ANZ -BA

US Wind Power Installations to Rise 63 Pct in 2007

Timothy Gardner, Reuters
US wind power installations are projected to jump 63 percent this year amid concern about global warming and rising fuel prices, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The US wind industry is on track to complete a total of 4,000 megawatts worth of installations in 2007, or about enough to power 1 million average homes, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
(8 November 2007)
Based on a press release from AWEA.

Tags: Electricity, Geothermal, Marine Energy, Renewable Energy, Technology, Tidal Energy, Wind Energy