Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pakistan Shows Minister Ryan


Pakistan Shows Minister Ryan
How to do It

Minister Ryan might take a lead from the Pakistani approach to energy conservation. Just recently it was announced that the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) will distribute 10 million CFL bulbs to customers completely free of charge as part of a strategy to reduce energy usage. The country has an energy shortage and this strategy is part of the solution.

Another area in which Irish energy agencies could take a lesson from Pakistan is where the Environment Minister directed officials to check the capacity of local manufacturers to find out if they would be in a position to provide 10 million energy saving bulbs. Then if local companies are unable to meet the demand arrangements are to be made for their import.

Two Brain Cells

Now - if only SEI Sustainable Energy Ireland, a massively funded government agency, had only had the two brain cells between them to think a similar strategy on the wood pellet promotion, it might have had more success.

Hopefully Ireland will not be too proud to follow the Pakistani example on CFL bulbs.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Luke-Warm Insulation Grant


What is the Goal
of the Green Grant Scheme?

I find myself asking more and more question about the new green grant scheme. I am finding it hard to grasp the underlying rationale. The system is just too complex and puts too many high-jumps in the way of the punter.

Is the scheme actually to promote energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint? Is the scheme aiming to get a majority of ordinary people on-board, or just a few die-hards?

What Motivates People?

What do you think will make people actually do something about energy efficiency? I say real saving of money and/or a bargain!! Plus simplicity, if you make it simple people will go for it!!

What will make people refuse to take up the offer? Too much trouble, being asked to spend an undefined amount of money, too complicated a set of hoops to have to jump through!!

CFL Bulbs = Major Savings

If the scheme is aiming to save energy the first line of attack and the biggest pay out for the smallest investment has to be CFL bulbs. A few TV adverts showing how much electricity you can save with CFL bulbs and grant aided cost of the bulbs would work.

If CFL bulbs were grant aided and the price to the customer was One Euro per bulb, and you could simply bring a voucher to your friendly store and buy your 20 bulbs for €20 – do you not think this would encourage A LOT of people to go and fit CFL bulbs???

Simplify the darn System

If the intention of the “Green Grant Scheme” is to increase energy efficiency in the ONE MILLION older homes in Ireland, would it not be a good idea to offer a very simple segmented scheme of financial inducements for a prioritised list of energy saving works?? You don't need a survey to tell you that 8 or more inches of insulation in the attic will save you energy and money!!

Works like;

a. CFL Bulbs.
b. Attic Insulation.
c. Wall Insulation.
d. Heating Control systems.
e. Double Glazing.
f. High Efficiency Heaters.

With attic insulation, would it not be a good idea to fix the price of the materials – because this is so vital to the National Interest – then give a voucher scheme for the purchase of the materials. The householder could self-fit or have a local handyman fit for them.

I had my attic insulated 30 years ago on a grant scheme through the ESB. It was simple, easy and cheap. Lots of people took up the offer – because it was so simple, easy to understand, and cheap.

I predict that the new Green Grant Scheme is way to complicated for many people to understand and asks too much of a householder. It will therefore have a very luke-warm take up.


New Green Grant Comment


Another Perspective
on the
Green Grant

I have just received a letter from Shay McGowan regarding the New Grant Scheme and the mandatory BER or Building Energy Assessment. Shay has been a contributor to this Blog before. He wrote a very interesting piece on wind energy battery storage and I value his input. Link below:


Hi Tony,

While I agree with much of what you say as regards the Wood pellet rip off and the likelihood of more of the same with Minister Ryan’s new scheme, I would like to point out that the €350 for BER assessment is a pittance for the amount of work involved.

Currently producing an assessment from plans involves calculation of floor, wall and windows areas, entering the relevant data into the DEAP software and interpreting the results to produce a report and an advisory document.

With an existing building the structure will have to be physically measured up, taking the best part of a day depending on the size of the house and distances travelled and then all the relevant calculations performed. The fee of €350 is of course taxable. Added to this is the annual €100 SEI registration fee (€1000 for the first year) and the BER training of €1800 for assessing new dwellings.

You have to take further training to assesses existing dwellings and training to assess buildings other than dwellings, a possible €5400+ in training overall plus registration fees.

The BER is not perfect but it provides a valuable assessment of energy use and the running costs for a dwelling. It most certainly is not a cash cow.

Shay McGowan

Thank you Shay for your balancing input. My problem is taken form an end used perspective, where, in my case, I want to properly insulate the attic and might hope to get some bit of a grant towards the cost. There is no-way I, or someone in a similar position, is going to go through the complicated hoops provided by the minister, in order to get maybe €200 of a grant towards insulating the attic. Another perspective is where somone is considering upgrading the insulation standards of a house and have a very limited budget. They will NOT take this route offered by the minister. It will only work where someone is considering the whole job including double glazing.


Friday, April 25, 2008

New Irish Green Grant Scheme


Minister Ryan Introduces
New Opportunity To Make Money

for "Eco" Consultants and Installers

A new green grant scheme was introduced yesterday by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources √Čamon Ryan. (the guy I wrote about a few weeks ago - the X-ray mix up - do you remember?)

The scheme is essentially aimed at encouraging the retro-fitting of the 1 million older homes with energy saving insulation and control systems. This is something I have been preaching for and ranting about for a long time.

Applicants just might if they are lucky get up to €2,750 but not unless they jump througha lot of hoops, are prepared to pay over the top prices, shelve out a lot of cash, and hand over €100 for a “survey” .

The scheme is initially available to householders in north Tipperary, Limerick, Clare and Dundalk. It will become available elsewhere later on.

The idea is basically a really good one - but already I can smell a bad smell from the application of the scheme.

Catch Number One

But here is the catch: house holders will have to pay out €100 towards a building energy assessment, with the government covering the remainder of the typical €350 fee. Geeeeze!!! €350 for a bloody "survey" - - This is a “licence to print money” for the “eco consultants”. I could insulate my entire attic fully for little more than the cost of the bloody survey.

Catch Number Two

More grants will then be available for 30% of the cost of the insulation etc up to a maximum of €2,500 as recommended by the survey. Oh boy!!! Will there be some back scratching here!!!

I bet you the 30% will be eaten up just like the €4200 wood pellet boiler grant managed to be fully absorbed by the hungry hoards of “specialists”, "cowboys", and gougers that were let loose on an unsuspecting public by SEI. (see previous post "cheaper without the grant")

I predict this is not going to be a great runner. I for one will not be bothering with it. I will be upgrading my attic insulation on a DIY basis. If the minister and his advisors had thought about it, fixing the price of the insulation materials and other supplies needed and then, only then, subsidising the costs, might have been a better approach than the current one of "feeding the greed monster"

Catch Number Three

SEI (Sustainable Energy Ireland), a government agency, is involved, and that does not inspire me with confidence especially after the complete bollix they made of the Wood Pellet Grants Scheme. SEI is a CIE or ESB like institution - the employees being "insulated" from the reality of direct responsibility and consequences. (Heck!! wouldn't I love a job like that)

If you want to risk it - you can ring 1850 927 000 or log on to www.sei.ie

I am sure I will get stick for this rant - especially from "eco" consultants and SEI employees - but hey - I can take it!!!

I will do it myself

I have already replaced all the bulbs in by house, garden, and workshop with CFL bulbs (from Avocalite.ie good prices and excellent quality), and fitted double glazing. This summer I will renew the 30 year old attic insulation myself and will shop around for the best deal in insulation materials - and feck these complex grants!

If I eventually decide to fit a wood pellet boiler - that is when the wood pellet supply and prices have stabilised, I will, most probably, import a boiler from Poland and have my plumber mate fit it alonside my oil boiler and not bother my arse with the grants, inspectors, commissioning agents, paperwork, gougers and "Paddy Tax", or a string of conditions.

Ahhhhhh!!! I feel better after getting that off my chest - nice cup of Cocoa and a bikki now I think!!



Change.ie - Reply


Change.ie Reply

I have receieved a comprehensive reply from Change.ie. I reproduce it here in full:

Dear Tony,

Many thanks for you email and comments. I want to assure you that the Change campaign is much more than an advertising or public information campaign about climate change.
  • Since January we have been meeting with and listening to the private and public sectors and shaping a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process that will help them to change their behaviour in order to tackle climate change. We have developed this stakeholder engagement process through the years over many awareness campaigns, including Race Against Waste which resulted in organisations across the public and private sector, reducing, recycling, composting their waste materials. As part of "Change" we aim to engage with individuals, communities and key sectoral stakeholders to help them identify barriers to dealing with climate change in their sectors and see how the campaign can help them to overcome these barriers. Feedback that we obtain throughout the campaign from this engagement processed, through the website, emails and lo-call information line will go towards informing and shaping the campaign as it progresses over the next number of years.
  • A carbon management tool for the public and private sectors is being developed and will be piloted across a broad section of the business, agricultural, forestry, education, construction, tourism and public sectors.
  • A series of seminars for the public and private sector will be held every few months throughout the two-year campaign to inform the public and private sectors how to change their behaviour to tackle climate change.
  • Nationwide events are also being organised starting in June to make climate change local and relevant to the general public and to encourage the public to take action.
  • A carbon calculator is being finalized for the website and will be brought out to the public through events as well. The campaign will encourage people to keep checking their carbon number and advising them how to reduce it throughout the two years.
People are the engine of the Change campaign and have to be if we want to change behaviour rather than merely raise awareness. On the advertising, it was developed following extensive research among people across all backgrounds and geographical areas in Ireland from August 2007 to March 2008. The ads are sign-posts to the sectoral events, the website, and are intended to highlight the issue rather than attempt to change behaviour. We will be launching the next phase of ads very soon whereby we will be providing individuals, communities and businesses with practical advice and actions that they can implement to combat climate change, starting by encouraging them to find out their carbon number through our carbon calculator.

Do please keep in touch with us – it's most useful hear all opinions and ideas throughout the of the campaign because we will ensure that it evolves in response to people and organisations' uptake of the messages.

Kindest regards

The Change Team

Here is my letter to Change.ie sent on 13th April last:


I am passionately concerned about our climate and about sustainable
energy. I have a sustainable energy blog that has to date received
75,000 hits and is now averaging about 2000 hits per week. I take this
level of interest (in the blog) as a sign of awakening interest and also as a sign
of the desire for critical evaluation by the public.

The tone of my blog is at times cynical about much of Ireland's efforts such
as the botched approaches of organisations like SEI. The party line does not
come over as fully "Kosher" with joe public anymore.

I challenge the "Department" to be open to public opinion, including
voices which are cynical or strident at times. It is only by taking an
open and inclusive approach to this vital subject will there be
anything other than the usual "backslappers" fully on board.

Tony McGinley


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Comment on Comment on Change.ie


Comment on
Comment on Change.ie

Got a comment on my last post. I am not quite sure about what point it is making but I will stab at an answer.

1 blogger comment:

Partick said...

Electricity Generated by wind in 2000 => 244

Electricity Generated by wind in 2006 => 1266

Still a small number, but an impressive increase. Which irritates you more. The lack of progress, or the fact that someone in government didn't spend a few hours crafting a letter for you?
8:23 AM

Hi Patrick,

I am delighted with the progress that the private sector has made in developing wind and other clean energy. Government direct investment has, on the other hand, been a bit thin don't you think?

On your second point, I would expect a heavily funded agency, set up specifically as a public relations exercise, to actually RELATE to the public. And yes I am annoyed that these highly paid "public relaters" are not bothering to relate to people who show interest, or in my case passion, for the enviornment!!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Change dot IE


Nothing has Changed!!!

The new and expensive gevernment "poster campaign" Change.ie - it looks to me like it is nothing more than a costly (and that's my money they are spending/wasting on it), albeit pretty looking rubber stamp. I wonder how many hits a day is it getting for the money. My ire is somewhat sharpened because of the recent revelation of a duplicated government information site which had cost a fortune and was drawing less hits that this blog. Change.ie has all the right sounding stuff and a very pretty interface - but at the same time it rings hollow and empty. It has no guts - no balls - no brains!!!

SORRRRRY!!! I do rant. But FGS this looks like another bloody big government money (my money) waster.

I have written to the website address 3 times without an acknowledgement. I have telephoned and got nothing short of what I perceived as either a polite put-off or an inane empty hollow cardboard-cup response. Been told that input, suggestions and criticism are welcome - yea?

They would need to get a bit more real to be believable, there are enough general information "Slogan" sites out there already, we really do not need another one. Who do they thing they are influencing with this type of backslappers hype? It reminds me of an AIB Bank slogan from some years back which went; "you bring out the best in us", I wonder how many bank employees and customers believed that one??


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Valcent - Vertigro Answerless Questions


Algae and Answers

Had a comment from "Beth" regarding specific answers regarding Vertigro's Algal system, and asking for the MD's phone number. The number was circulated in the general letter that I already published, but I had edited it out. I publish the letter again, complete as I received it.


Beth said...

I share your regard for specifics and sympathize with producers' reticence to provide them lest they get caught misleading someone. We pay for our entrepreneurial law culture in a variety of ways.

What's Steve's phone number - I'll call & ask :-)

Vertigro's General Letter:

Dear Sir or Madame, I apologize for the delayed response to your request for more information on Valcent Products (VCTPF:OTCBB) state of the art Algae to Bio-diesel project and our High Density Vertical Growth System that will soon change the way we grow vegetables in North America. As you might be aware, the company was the lead feature on CNN’s website under the Science section of their site and the overwhelming response for information caused our server to temporarily lose data which we have now restored. If you wish a corporate package please send me an email with your mailing address or send an email for information electronically. Furthermore, if you have any questions I can be reached at my office at the numbers listed below. I apologize once again for the error caused by our server and steps have been taken to see that that will not happen again in the future.

Steve McGuire
Sweetwater Capital Corp
V.P. Investor Relations
toll free 1-800-877-1626
office 1-604-606-7969
mobil 1-604-351-7869


Friday, April 18, 2008

Vertigro Algae Farming System


Vertigro - Questions
No Answers Yet

On March 30th last I sent Valcent Vertigro an e-mail asking some very direct questions regarding their Vertigro algae production system.

Hi Guys,

I write a blog on sustainable energy and have posted a piece featuring your ideas.

There have been operational units in production now for perhaps 6 months or longer??, long enough to have some sort of audit of the actual returns from the system. The questions I would love to be able to address in my blog are:

Q1. What is the actual consistent return of oil per acre of the units?
Q2. What are the total production costs per gallon of oil produced?
Q3. What is the maintenance cost per acre per annum?
Q4 What is the actual audited percentage yield of oil form the raw algae?
Q5 How many more units have been built since the originals?

Surprise me with an answer!!!!

Tony McGinley

On the 17th April I finally got this reply - needless to say, I wasn't surprised:

Dear Sir or Madame,

I apologize for the delayed response to your request for more information on Valcent Products (VCTPF:OTCBB) state of the art Algae to Bio-diesel project and our High Density Vertical Growth System that will soon change the way we grow vegetables in North America. As you might be aware, the company was the lead feature on CNN’s website under the Science section of their site and the overwhelming response for information caused our server to temporarily lose data which we have now restored. If you wish a corporate package please send me an email with your mailing address or send an email for information electronically. Furthermore, if you have any questions I can be reached at my office at the numbers listed below. I apologize once again for the error caused by our server and steps have been taken to see that that will not happen again in the future.

Steve McGuire
Sweetwater Capital Corp

There followed roughly three pages of hype and techno-speak with nothing much more that can be gleaned from the Valcent site and other sources. I got bored and weary looking at the stuff. Suffice it to say that none of the questions posed were addressed or answered in either the letter or the business blurb.

Now would that inspire you to invest your hard earned reddies in Vertigro?


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kerry Wind Farm Follow-up


This picture demonstrates the sheer scale of the Everwind Vestas 90 machines

Vestas 90 Wind Turbines - Big is Beautiful!

A friend sent me two photos of a Vestas 90 wind turbine being erected. These pictures show the scale of this amazing piece of engineering, and that is why I include them here.

This picture show the size of the Vestas 90 "cabin"
which houses the generators and gearbox

I don't have any information about these photos, where the installation is taking place etc. (I hope I offend no one with their use or infringe any copyright - I will remove them is notified) I just love seeing anything to do with this scale of clean energy technology, and I think that these pictures certainly help put a scale on the Kilgarvan wind farm technology.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kerry Wind Farm


Wind Farm

It was a clear but windy and cool day that I visited the Everwind Wind Farm, at The Coom, Kilgarvan. Co. Kerry. The place is breathtaking in every sense of the word. It is beautiful and barren, and the wind takes the breath from your body!!

The place is stunningly beautiful

These Massive Turbine are so Elegant

This wind farm has 15 turbines called the “Vestas V90” they are 3 Mega Watt output each so the farm is capable of giving a total of 45 Mega Watts. The turbines are sleek and IMHO elegant and beautiful. The elegance and sleekness of lines belie the sheer size of these monsters.

I was really glad I had my camera to photograph these beauties. I was surprised at how little noise these massive machines actually made. Apart from the swish of the massive blades, the only other sound was the background sound of the gear box, and the occasional sound of the turbines turning into the shifting wind.

The base of the tower give one a perspective on the size

The site is located high on the Coolea mountain road near the Cork-Kerry border, about 7km from Kilgarvan village and 8km off the N22 main Cork to Killarney road. It is about a mile from Ireland’s highest pub. It is a lovely drive on a fine day but a road not for the nervous driver.
The Everwind contract with the ESB National Grid is for 42.5MW of capacity. The connection to the site is by 110 kilo Volt grid.

The Vestas V90 turbine is one of the biggest available. This turbine has a blade diameter of 45m and stands on a 75m tubular steel tower. These were originally designed as an offshore turbine.

This is clean and beautiful energy. Give me this anyday compared to coal fired generators or nuclear power stations


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Edison on Sustainable Energy


Edison on Sustainable Energy

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using natures inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ...

... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that”

Thomas Edison in conversation with
Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone (1931)
unverified quotes

I came across some interesting, though unverified, quotes from Edison on sustainable energy, particularly solar energy and battery storage. One of the sources is a journal by an Elbert Hubbard which is in the public domain and freely available. I have given a link to this at the end. For what these quotes are worth, I share them here.

It is reported that Edison said …

"Some day some fellow will invent a way of concentrating and storing up sunshine to use instead of this old, absurd Prometheus scheme of fire. I'll do the trick myself if some one else doesn't get at it. Why, that is all there is about my work in electricity - you know, I never claimed to have invented electricity"

"Sunshine is spread out thin and so is electricity. Perhaps they are the same, but we will take that up later. Now the trick was, you see, to concentrate the juice and liberate it as you needed it. The old-fashioned way inaugurated by Jove, of letting it off in a clap of thunder, is dangerous, disconcerting and wasteful. It doesn't fetch up anywhere. My task was to subdivide the current and use it in a great number of little lights, and to do this I had to store it. And we haven't really found out how to store it yet and let it off real easy-like and cheap. Why, we have just begun to commence to get ready to find out about electricity. This scheme of combustion to get power makes me sick to think of--it is so wasteful. It is just the old, foolish Prometheus idea, and the father of Prometheus was a baboon."

"When we learn how to store electricity, we will cease being apes ourselves; until then we are tailless orangutans. You see, we should utilize natural forces and thus get all of our power. Sunshine is a form of energy, and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy."

"Do we use them? Oh, no! We burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property.

"There must surely come a time when heat and power will be stored in unlimited quantities in every community, all gathered by natural forces. Electricity ought to be as cheap as oxygen, for it can not be destroyed.

"Now, I am not sure but that my new storage-battery is the thing. I'd tell you about that, but I don't want to bore you..."

Original article :





New Website launched by the "department" called change.ie. Will it be another SEI that merrily goes on its way - driven by generous government funding and a bunch of out-of-touch executives, or maybe will it actually listen to the public and take suggestions and criticism - openly and honestly on board? Somehow, I think the former is most likely to be the case, but you never know!!



Friday, April 11, 2008

World's Largest Tidal Generator in Ireland


Artist Impression of the Giant Sea Twin Turbine

World's Largest
Tidal Generator
Installed in Ireland

Renewable energy company "Marine Current Turbines", have successfully completed the first installation phase of a 1.2Mega Watt under water generator called "SeaGen" in Strangford Lough Narrows.

The hefty 1000 tonne structure was safely lowered onto the seabed in the early hours of Wednesday morning 2nd of April. SeaGen’s location is roughly 1km south of the ferry route between Strangford and Portaferry, approximately 400m from the shoreline.

When fully up-and-running, sometime in the summer, the 16m diameter twin rotors will operate for up to 18-20 hours per day to generate enough green electricity to supply 1000 homes. This is four times greater than any other tidal stream project has produced in the world so far.

Hope the dolphins keep away from those blades!!

Marine Current Turbines Ltd was established in 2000 and is based in Bristol, England. SeaFlow was the world’s first off-shore tidal stream generator which was installed in 2003 off the north Devon coast. Now another first is SeaGen, the world’s largest grid-connected tidal stream system.


Good luck to this brave experimental effort!!


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Solar Cell New Efficiency Record


New Efficiency Record
Thin-Film Solar Cells

Adapted from a Press Release of NREL - 24th March 2008

Workers at NREL have recently made “copper indium gallium diselenide” (CIGS) thin-film PV solar cells with an efficiency of 19.9% this is AFAIK a new world record for this type of Photo Cell.

This is yet another step closer to arriving at a viable cost per watt for this type of cell. The CIGS cell is cheap and easy to make as it is printed in a continuous process using relatively cheap materials compared to silicon.

One possible application of this type of cell is the manufacture of PV cell roof tiles to replace existing ones. Or it could be used on cladding to put on barns, sheds etc.

The gains have been made due to improvements in the quality of the materials used.



Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ranting and Reality


Ranting and Reality

I had an e-mail to my blog from a “friend” (need to define that a bit – the linguistic skills are not brilliant) - saying that I was slipping into the “Cynical Old Bastard Ranting” syndrome again on the ESB and Valcent stories.

Cynical – YES!!

I have to defend myself here. I admit the “Cynical” bit totally and fully. Anyone with their eyes open today would have to be cynical about politics and business. Irish politics has seen recently two Prime Ministers with dodgy financial and tax affairs, the top people in the country are not Kosher - so how much then would you trust politicians in general to act totally honestly, transparently and selflessly??? Like would you pet a months wages on it??

Second question, would you trust what the publicity jargon of any corporation or company says? – would you bet a month’s wages on it being TOTALLY honest, transparent and fully up front??

Old Bastard – YES!!

Yes - I have to admit also to being both “old” and a bit of a “bastard”. Bastard in the sense of not being too kind at times, my parentage is not in question!!


OK I admit it – I love to have a bit of a rant – it’s my therapy – I am somewhat addicted - it’s the price I charge for my services to this blog.

End Word

I simply don't trust poicitcal or business hype, and every day that goes by adds justification to my point of view.


Valcent and Algae Oil


Valcent on Algal Oil

It has been pointed out to me that Valcent published a Press Release on March 13th last outlining some production estimates etc. - with the implication that I didn't bother to look it up or read it.

Frankly - I find the "Business Speak and "Legalese" that most of these type of publicity blurbs are published in - to be beyond my linguistic skills. I simply am unable to decode the language properly.

Here is a quote from the press release that caught my eye:

"The research and development team of Valcent Products Inc. has now completed twelve months of the algae vertical bioreactor development program. During a 90-day continual production test, algae was being harvested at an average of one gram (dry weight) per liter. This equates to algae bio mass production of 276 tons of algae per acre per year. Achieving the same biomass production rate with an algal species having 50% lipids (oil) content would therefore deliver approximately 33,000 gallons of algae oil per acre per year."

Now is that saying that they actually bottled 33,000 divided by 4 = 8,250 gallons of oil for each and every acre for the 90 day run?? I think not!!! But I could be wrong!

To be totally clear on the wording used I think you might have to ask a judge or a barrister to decode the language.

Wouldn't it be a great world if everyone would simply use straight talk - and call a spade a spade.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Valcent - Vertigro - Algal Farming Questions


Valcent Open or Closed?

On my post of the 27th March last I gave a fair bit of publicity to "Valcent's Vertigo" algae farming system. On their web site they cordially invite questions so I sent them the following bunch of questions:

Hi Guys - I write a blog on sustainable energy and have posted a piece featuring your ideas. There have been operational units in production now for perhaps 6 months or longer??, - long enough to have some sort of audit of the actual returns from the system.

The questions I would love to be able to address in my blog are:

Q1. What is the actual consistent return of oil per acre of the units.
Q2. What are the total production cost per gallon.
Q3. What is the maintenance cost per acre per annum?
Q4 What is the actual audited percentage yield of oil form the raw algae.
Q5 How many more units have been built since the originals.

Surprise me with an answer!!!!
Tony McGinley

So far, I have not been surprised by any answers from Valcent - but I will keep checking my In-Box for a reply and will let you know if or when I get one.