Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dear John Gormley and Eamonn Ryan


Eamonn Ryan & John Gormley

Dear Ministers,

I wonder, if as Irish government ministers, do you take suggestions from Joe Public at all these days?

There have been gallant but largely ineffective efforts by your departments and agencies SEI and to improve our ghastly environment and energy situation. I wonder, has anyone, outside the club, actually costed the changes, or made any commercially based statistical analysis of the success to date?

My guess is that if either SEI or were in business in the real world, they would have been quickly put into liquidation for lack of demand and/or poor returns on investment.

I have two very simple and cheap to implement suggestions to make. IMHO they would save more energy in one year than both SEI and have since their inception.

My suggestions are that you would serve Ireland’s energy efforts far better by:

1. Introducing simple, accessible and clear to understand grant subsidies for attic insulation in the hundreds of thousands of older homes and public buildings.
2. Making arrangements to have every house, school and workplace in the country turned over to the use of CFL bulbs.

If fully implemented, these simple measures would give a continuing return for many years to come and save much more than grants for fancy geo-thermal systems and the like that only the relatively rich can afford.

But it is my guess guys that you don’t listen to suggestions except from overpaid “advisers” and club members of cosy state funded agencies. Joe Public would never have the wit or brains to see possibilities would he?

Or maybe I am being too cynical?


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Richard the Unknown - Plurion and Slander


and it's Defender
"Richard the Unknown"

Richard has left a new comment on your post "Plurion + Slander!!!!":

YOU’VE got a lot of nerve asking me to say who I am, who the hell is this investigative journalist?

(Why in heavens name would you think that asking a contributor's identity is having “ a lot of nerve” Try writing a letter to any newspaper and see if they publish it without a real identity)
You may know who he is, but you hide his identity.

(If you asked me not to publish your identity – had you given it in the first place, and I went ahead and published it - - - you would certainly be entitled to say that I had “a lot of nerve”)

That hardly seems fair... You blank out some of his statement, just enough to meet legal requirements, but not enough to raise suspicion. If The investigator is the person I think it is, based on what he has written in the past I would suspect there are some pending legal issues regarding his *possibly maliciously* factually incorrect statements in several blogs and journals that he has NOT told you about. He has published a libelous book and a disgraceful editorial in a major journal defaming the founders. Maybe you should ask him. If it’s not the same guy, I do most humbly apologize, and must congratulate his ability to use google.

(You really are engaging in some deep conspiracy theory here Richard – and you are speculating on my actions without the slightest reason to.)

If it IS who i think it is based on his language and the info he gave (for example: pretending to “find out” details that he would have been privy to anyway) its someone well known to the founders of Plurion, someone whom they considered a friend and a respected colleague and a peer. One of the founders has bent over backwards to accommodate this man, even helping him fix his house, so his attacks are unfathomable. I suspect that this particular person is insanely jealous because he never invented anything and just writes books on what others do whilst never doing anything himself. He has accused the founders of misconduct in every business venture for over a decade, often using privileged information to make these attacks. I think the words of Morrisey the singer work best here: we hate it when our friends become successful. It was tolerated because they thought he was perhaps just a little eccentric and loosing his mind, but I suspect it will not be tolerated any longer.

(You seem to have a really big chip on your shoulder about the Plurion thing. Personally, I don’t have any agenda either way about Plurion. I wish them success – as this will benefit the whole sustainable effort. But I really don’t like it when companies play the cards too close to their chest.)

Obviously, you can print what you want, and I doubt any of this will make it to your blog, but the accusations of AK: “investigative journalist” will continue to come. You should ALWAYS consider your sources (Socrates anyone?), and as I have said repeatedly, you should contact plurion and they can quote you all the performance if they choose based on their legal position (look what happens when a naughty someone gets the designs of the new ferrari f1 car!) having said that, It is possible you have unrealistic expectations. Let me help you.

Tony, if you are getting blanked in your research, you are not asking the right questions or are not representing your self properly. I am sure there are probably some copies of “investigative journalism for dummies” on ebay but ill give you a hint: you could ‘be’ a potential investor, buy a share and go to the shareholders meetings, just to name 2. If you call them up with "Hi, i am writing a blog!” expect to get laughed at.

(Thanks for the advice – and the insult - but I couldn't’ be botheredPlurion does not come high on my horizon at all – and unless you or someone else is prepared to pay my expenses, I’ll be damned if I would waste my time, energy, or money on the matter)

I don’t work for any of the companies anymore so I am not at liberty to discuss their technology due to my binding NDA (non disclosure agreement), I would urge you to visit the company and try harder and print the truth. I would suspect that they would not give you the hard answers you are looking for legal reasons and to protect their intellectual property unless you are bound by an NDA, in which case, you probably wouldn’t be able to print it (think formula 1 again).

(Again thanks but no thanks! I will say it again - - If you have any solid information to offer – then offer it or give over!!)

Like I said, I don’t work for Plurion but I did work for the previous companies and I take great exception to the implication by the investigative journalist that members of the business somehow defrauded investors, or took money from investors and "have nothing to show for it." Are we also to imply that the money was used for something other than the technology? In fact, the opposite is true.

The founders of Plurion used their own houses as collateral and greatly extended their personal credit, including credit cards, to start plurion as well as other businesses. All of the employees went without pay on numerous occasions sustaining themselves on rice and beans, sometimes for as long as a year, yet so believe in the company that they stayed with it, even without pay! Obviously, this is not sustainable, investors were sought and found, and now the founders are successful. How is that bad in any way? “took investor money and have nothing to show for it” Poppy cock! I would like to see AK investigative journalist risk his house to start a business and then make it successful.

So, in summation: I suspect the investigative journalist is neither.

(So there you are Richard – I have given you full scope to have your rant – do you feel better now? And - Oh yes – I did remove one direct reference from your letter, as you might otherwise be considered to have slandered. Have a nice day!!)


Monday, July 28, 2008

Shite to Light


Shite to Light

Following on my post on “Grass to Gas” I have been reminded of the sterling efforts of the “Shite to Light” brigade. HRH Charlie Wales has long since been a supported of Anaerobic Digesters – changing cow-puckie into gas and thereby into electricity via a sterling engine and generator.

Les Gornall my long time friend from Maherafelt was the shite expert who did the work for Charlie and many others. He has been since working fro BP and all sorts of other interesting contracts - making a fortune from shite!

The oldest digesters have been running for about 20 years making usable methane and the left over material when dried is almost sterile and makes the finest of fertilizer.


Minister Gormley and SEI Announcements


SEI and Minister Gormley
It is time to
"Get the Finger Out" and
introduce user friendly grants

The Irish Minister for the Environment John Gormley has announced plans to make all new houses built in Ireland zero carbon output. The plans to come into effect by 2013. He intends to change the building regulations incrementally first step is that all houses built by 2010 will be 60% energy efficiency up from the present 40%.

Make it Simple and Attractive

In a separate report SEI, Sustainable Energy Ireland, said that homes in Ireland emit 8.1 tonnes of CO2 each year. And I say SEI should be doing much more to encourage people to change. It won't really work unless you make it simple and make it attractive - I say.

Similar Carbon Zero plans are afoot in the UK, there are lots of announcement the last few days in the UK news.

It is all very well working on new houses with reducing emissions - but with the recession, the number of new houses being built is reducing substantially so the overall effect of these plans will be at best limited.

Greater number of older houses un-insulated

The government and its agencies need to tackle the very large number of older homes with poor or no insulation, and with outdated heating systems. The recently announced energy efficiency grant scheme is way too complicated for most people to be bothered with. I certainly would not be bothered with trying to go through the hoops required. I would be prepared to take bets that the uptake will be very limited.

What I believe is needed is:

1. Clear, attractive, and simple grant schemes to promote insulation and efficient systems.
2. Price regulation of insulation and heating equipment. (in the national interest)
3. Price regulation of carbon friendly fuels.
4. Reduction or elimination of VAT on insulation, heating equipment and carbon friendly fuels.
5. Free or very cheap CFL bulbs for every home.

When will they get the finger out??????


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

OPOP Comfort 24 at 2,600 Euro


The OPOP Comfort 24
for €2600 inc. taxes

I had an e-mail today from CJ in the UK about wood pellet bolier prices there, and sort of asking how could he beat the "price gouger" system:

Hi Tony,
I see that now sell the Biomaster for just over £3100 GBP and they
deliver to the UK for about £300 GBP - so that may be worth considering. I
was astounded to find the OPOP Comfort 16kW (with hopper and auger) from or for £1850 GBP (about £4k here) - transport
may be a bit difficult as I can't find a cheap way of getting one over here.

Any ideas?

Still a great blog


UK and Irish OPOP Dealers shy about price.

On reading CJ's mail, I wanted to do a comparative study of OPOP prices but I found, on several searches, that most of the Irish and UK dealers are no longer publishing their prices on their websites – no wonder I say, if I was charging that sort of money, I would be embarrassed too!!

Retailers may not be main rip-off culprits.

Now it is possible that the retailers are not the main culprits, it could well be some cozy cartel type arrangement of distributors doing much of the gouging - I fully accept that possibility.

Either way it needs to be stopped or by-passed. We the people can by-pass the problem. But it will take government action to stop it, and that may take forever!

Ckeck the Czechs.

I did a check on the Czechs and found that the OPOP Comfort 16 pellet boiler, burner and hopper system is available in the Czech Republic from for Kc56,500 including 19% tax. In Euro that is approximately €2,450 including taxes.

The bigger output OPOP Comfort 24 sells at Kc59,900 incl taxes. That equals €2,600 including taxes.

Those prices are half or less than half of what is on offer in Ireland or the UK. We are being robbed – gouged – “Paddy Taxed” or fleeced – tick as appropriate or pick your own term.

SEI get the finger out for heavens sake.

It greatly annoys me – and that is putting it extremly mildly indeed - that SEI (Sustainable Energy Ireland) or the other agencies don’t make some effort to control the price gouging. What hope have they of promoting alternative energy if those sorts of rip-off prices are allowed to continue?

Allergic to Rip-Offs.

I would install a pellet boiler tomorrow morning at €2,600. But I will be damned if I will pay the sort of stupid prices being sought in Ireland. I am allergic to rip-offs.

How to beat the Gougers.

In answer to CJ question, I have suggested a co-op on this blog before. If a six or more interested people get together and organise a van to go buy these boilers in bulk and bring them back – there would be a huge saving. They could at the same time buy some spare parts so as not to be ripped off on the price of these later. If boilers are more than double the price, the parts are probably four times the price!!!

Problem is, co-operatives need co-operation and good management, but it is not impossible to organise something like this and beat the rip-off bastards. Another possibility is using a carrier who’s trucks are returning empty from an Eastern Europe run, and pull some sort of a deal on the shipping.

Where to buy cheap:


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Record in LED light Brightness


New Record
LED light Brightness

(loosly adapted from a press release)

OSRAM has announced that it has achieved a new record for white light LEDs of 155 lumen in brightness, and 136 lm/W in efficacy at an anode current of 350mA.

Prototype LEDs with 1 square millimeter chips were used. The light was a bluish white with a colour temperature of 5000 K.

Among the elements that led to LED success was an extremely efficient light converter and a special high-performance package.

At a current of 1.4 Amps these LEDs can produce up to 500 lm of white light. This means that the LEDs can be used not only for general lighting and car headlights but also as light sources in projector systems.

Marion Reichl
Tel. +49 941 850 1693
Fax +49 941 850 444 1693

For the technically more advanced reader here is a very interesting extract from Wikipedia on the history of LEDs.

LED Efficiency and operational parameters (extract from Wikipedia)

Most typical LEDs are designed to operate with no more than 30–60 milliwatts (mW) of electrical power. Around 1999, Philips Lumileds introduced power LEDs capable of continuous use at one watt (W). These LEDs used much larger semiconductor die sizes to handle the large power inputs. Also, the semiconductor dies were mounted onto metal slugs to allow for heat removal from the LED die.

One of the key advantages of LED-based lighting is its high efficiency, as measured by its light output per unit power input. White LEDs quickly matched and overtook the efficiency of standard incandescent lighting systems. In 2002, Lumileds made five-watt LEDs available with a luminous efficacy of 18–22 lumens per watt (lm/W). For comparison, a conventional 60–100 W incandescent lightbulb produces around 15 lm/W, and standard fluorescent lights produce up to 100 lm/W.

In September 2003, a new type of blue LED was demonstrated by the company Cree, Inc. to provide 24 mW at 20 milliamperes (mA). This produced a commercially packaged white light giving 65 lm/W at 20 mA, becoming the brightest white LED commercially available at the time, and more than four times as efficient as standard incandescents. In 2006 they demonstrated a prototype with a record white LED luminous efficacy of 131 lm/W at 20 mA. Also, Seoul Semiconductor has plans for 135 lm/W by 2007 and 145 lm/W by 2008, which would be approaching an order of magnitude improvement over standard incandescents and better even than standard fluorescents.[25] Nichia Corporation has developed a white light LED with luminous efficacy of 150 lm/W at a forward current of 20 mA.[26] In May 2008, 130lm/W is available from Chinese LED manufacturers.

It should be noted that high-power (≥ 1 W) LEDs are necessary for practical general lighting applications. Typical operating currents for these devices begin at 350 mA. The highest efficiency high-power white LED is claimed by Philips Lumileds Lighting Co. with a luminous efficacy of 115 lm/W (350 mA).


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Grass to Gas


Cutting Out the Middle Man

I wonder what has become of the idea of turning one of the Ireland's most plentiful products into bio-fuel.

Instead of turning Ireland's most plentiful grass - it's everywhere - into a relatively small bit of meat and a sup or two of milk - with the unfortunate resulting by-products of tons of cow fart gas and mega-tons upon tons of cow shit, the idea was to process the grass-to-gas directly instead of using the cow as a middle man - so to speak.

35% of Ireland's Greenhouse Gas comes from Cow Farts

According to a BBC report, "Environmental scientist Professor Frank Convery claims cows breaking wind and belching account for 35% of Ireland's green-house gas emissions"

Now if that gas could be bottled and used - wouldn't it be great!! But I can't visualise herds of cattle with tubes up the ass collecting the fart gas - can you?

There was some talk of The Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork along with Teagasc Research facility at Johnstown Castle working on cutting out the middle man (cow) and turning the grass directly into usable gas.

There are other ideas of using special enzymes to break down grass and make ethanol. I will be trying to find out what is the state of play in these efforts. If anyone out there has the word I would love to hear from you.

Middle Man = Cow
Fart Gas = Methane


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oil Prices Drop


Drop of Oil?

Don’t rush out and get that “Gasification” boiler with the new SEI grant just yet. That is unless you can import one at the right price and avoid the “Paddy Taxes”.

Oil prices seem as if they are starting to fall as a result of recession fears. So that means we could see the price of domestic heating oil fall considerably in the next few months.

In case any of my readers think that I am against the installation of sustainable energy systems, I want to make it 100% clear that I am totally in favour of a greening of our homes.

What I am against and what totally pisses me off - is the Irish predilection to price gouging, locally termed “Paddy Tax”, and the less than “joined-up-thinking” of government agencies and their user un-friendly grant schemes.


Cut in Energy Grants


Great Timing - SEI!!!
Cut Energy Efficiency Grants

in a

Sustainable Energy Ireland's third Greener Homes Scheme has pulled the solar energy grant for new houses. This will come into effect on July 22nd.

SEI is also further reducing in the grant levels for biomass wood-pellet heating. And, a new boiler type, the gasification boiler, has been added to the grant list. (watch the price of these boilers inflate as a result!!!)

SEI reported that a total of 22,100 people applied for renewable energy grants. Solar installations were at the top at 49%, geo-thermal – heat pumps were at 26% and wood-pellet - biomass at 25%.

I can see this latest move being popular with new home builders – especially in the light of the recession!! Great timing guys!

The SEI schemes have been around since 2002. Most readers will be aware that I think SEI has been more than a few yards short of winning the race of promoting sustainable energy to Irish householders.

A good time to reduce and pull grants in a severe housing recession??


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kevin Cullen on the VRB Battery


Kevin Cullen
Comments on the
VRB Energy Storage System

Kevin Cullen has been in touch again with further clarification and information on the VRB Flow Battery installation in Ireland.


Good post. I did want to point out one key point regarding VRB's Energy Storage System (ESS): its now well beyond the prototype stage.

Utilities are notoriously conservative buyers and typically require a lot of field tests -- and corresponding data -- before implementing new solutions in their grids.

Indeed, my take is that VRB Power is today at the cusp of mass commercialisation.

As to some of the more salient earlier sales, in 2002, a 200kW x 4hr VRB-ESS was installed at King Island, Tasmania which has been used to balance wind and diesel generation on King Island and to reduce diesel usage and emissions.

In 2004, an installation for PacifiCorp in Castle Valley, Utah was the first large-scale commercial VRB-ESS in North America. It's now been operating continuously for over 4 years. The 350kVa X 8 hour (2 MWh) unit, which is connected to a 331km 25kV rural feeder, is being used as a load levelling (peak shaving) device to supply peak power capacity to a remote location in southeast Utah.

In 2006, Sumitomo installed a 4MW x 1.5hr VRB-ESS at the 32 MW Tomamae wind farm on Hokkaido in northern Japan to smooth output from the wind farm. Over the past three years, the system has cycled over 100,000 times and proves the viability of VRB's technology as the only large scale technology capable of rapid cycling and smoothing of the wind farm output.

VRB Power is also targeting the telcom market segment.

They recently sold a 20kw x 9hr VRB-ESS to a Sprint. The system provides the requisite 3 hours of backup US telcoms traditionally deploy. The additional 6hrs of storage capacity will provide the telcom operator the ability to arbitrage their purchase of electricity as they will charge the battery at night, when rates are lowest, to use the electricity during the high-rate day period.

Equally important are the very significant savings that have been made in the manufacturing area. An injection-moulded frame was developed which have yielded a 50% reduction in the overall cost of a 5kW cell stack. In so doing, they've eliminated all previous sub-assembly steps and enabled a final operational process that significantly reduces labour and floor space requirements.

I would invite anyone interested in any of this to read the company's 2007 Annual report available at Lot's of excellent detail -- before even getting to the numbers!

Best regards,
Kevin Cullen

Thank you again Kevin for your continued input.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

World 1st for Ireland??


One of World's Largest

Flow Battery Systems


Irish Wind Farm

Kevin Cullen, who has contributed to this blog on a number of occasions, has been in touch to point out a Press Release from VRB Power Canada about an important wind farm deal in Ireland. Thanks Kevin!!

VRB Power Canada has recently announced the sale of a large scale Redox type flow battery system for the Sorne Hill Wind farm, located in Buncrana, Ireland. AFAIK the sale is pending and not as yet complete, but this may have been accomplished since my last information.

The battery capacity will provide 12 MegaWatt hours of power when fully charged. That’s like the power of 12 fair sized turbines whirring flat out for an hour, or three whirring for 4 hours. It also means that the battery can supply 2 mega watts for 6 hours – 2,000 one bar electric fires worth of power.

This mega-sized battery’s power will essentially fill in the power gaps left when the wind dies down. It won’t be a lot of good though if there is no wind for several days. One of these huge batteries is capable of storing enough power to keep a small town going.

VBR have also announced that they hired ex ESB MD Kieran O’Brien to “assist in developing Energy Storage Adoption in Irish market”, whatever that actually means – advisor, spokesman, salesman??.

The company has developed an actual working Redox type pumped electrolyte battery, something like what Plurion are trying to achieve but AFAIK have not yet perfected.

Construction of the 6MW, smallish, wind farm is to foundation stage. Turbine delivery is expected in just weeks. SEI are involved in completing the deal – but that does not give me any reason for confidence in the project.

Even though the wind farm is a relatively small one, the fact that it will have battery back up is fairly unique in Ireland. That there will be such a large battery system puts it in line for the Guinness Book of Records as a world first.

I am all in favour of this type of storage system – it will make wind power a truly viable alternative for Ireland. Wind power has the problem of being variable and there is a defined need to have some way of filling in the low wind gaps in power generation. The Flow-Battery is one such system.

Good Luck to Sorne Hill Farm, VBR Power and Kieran O’Brien.


Friday, July 11, 2008

New Concentrator Technique for PV Cells


New Type Solar Concentrator


Solar Cells

loosly adapted from a press release dated 10th July

An MIT report due to be printed in Science on 11th July detailing the discovery of a novel "solar concentrator." "Light is collected over a large area of glass [like a window] and gathered, or concentrated, at the edges," according to the research coordinator.

The possible outcome of this work is that PV cells need only to be mounted around the edges of a flat glass (or plactic?) panel. The focused light increases the electrical power obtained from each PV cell "by a factor of over 40," STS (so they say) A factor of 40 WOW!!

“Because the system is simple to manufacture, the team believes that it could be implemented within three years—even added onto existing solar-panel systems to increase their efficiency by 50 percent for minimal additional cost. That, in turn, would substantially reduce the cost of solar electricity.” STS (so they say)

The MIT project solar concentrator uses a mixture of special dyes that is sprayed onto a pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb light across a range of wavelengths, and then re-emit it at a different wavelength and help transport it across the glass pane to the PV cells mounted at the edges.

The basic idea is not new - but this time the MIT team say they have cracked the associated problems of transmitting the light efficiently enough through the medium.

A company has been formed called Covalent Solar, to develop and sell the new technology. They expect to have material to market quite soon. (don't bother Googling for it yet)

Contact details:
Contact: Teresa Herbert
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Good luck to the team and the company - I hope their product is viable, as it will further boost the PV cell "race to power".

As with all such announcements, I employ my trusted scientific principle of WAS (wait and see)



Thursday, July 10, 2008

Nuclear Power for Ireland


An Ecomonomic Argument


Nuclear Power

According to a Sellafield spokesman, decommissioning Sellafield is estimated to take 100+ years. The cost of making safe the deadly posionous material estimated at €91,000,000,000.

Could there be any greater, more hard nosed, argument against installing nuclear power??????


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Plurion + Slander!!!!




Slanderous Suggestions!!!

I received a comment today from a reader "Richard", who witholds his/her identity, who suggests that this blog has published material about Plurion that borders on slander.

Here is the comment verbatim and uncorrected:

Richard has left a new comment on your post "Plurion and Dr Know":

strting to border on slander! if you are so interested in plurion and ainc and ebonex tech and atraverda, why not contact them instead of spinning the rumor mill, and for what purpose?

Are you some investor from the past out for revenge? ( i doubt it) are you some jilted chemist? (probably) oh my god, is an eletrochemist making money and you are not? its amazing to think how much time you have on your hands when everyone else is working very hard doing science... and not searhing the web for muck. pathetic, get a life!

Wow, you can read, you can use google, wow. yes they are the same people, but truth be told, THEY lost out too when the early ventures failed (due to INVESTER short change, not failing science or some sort of crime, real or imagined)

Instead of guessing, instead of spinning, instead of imagining, call them, find out, and then, mr invetigator, print it, if you dare. there is nothing to hide. these are people witha proud past. dare you print that?

i see many hijacked blogs about plurion, and ainc. I suspet its the same person with some sort of vendatta (infact, i know it is) plurion is in glenrothes in fife, in the pone book, call them. ainc is in alameda ca usa, in the phone book, call them.

Publish this comment.
Reject this comment.
Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Richard to Sustainable Energy, Wood Pellet, Boilers, Alternative Energy, Biomass at 1:19 PM

Dear Richard (the unknown and unidentified),

You seem to be having some sort of problem, perhaps you are greatly angered by something or somebody?? I only say that because you are somewhat incoherent in your communication. I am not sure if you are attempting to insult me or the people who have been kind enough to offer me their input to the debates on this blog, by suggesting that that I or my contributors are (a) slanderers, (b) engaged in "hijacking" blogs, (c) carrying out vendettas.

Gee, I wonder who is the slanderer here???

The reason I have published material from readers on the subject is that I personally failed to get any bone of information with meat in it myself. I have contacted Plurion and got nothing much back from them, please look up the appropriate post by using the "search" facility on this blog.

Instead of attacking us from the "relative" safety of your hidden identity, you might perhaps write and enlighten us about the Plurion battery. A few facts would be great. Like (1) Does it work?? (2) How efficient is it? (3) How reliable is it? (4) What is the life of the chemistry? (5) Have they overcome some of the fundamental problem associated with the chemistry? (6) Would you invest a large chunk of your hard earned cash in Plurion???

Instead of "stirring" it further, by "calling the pot black", you might like to write a piece for this blog with some real hard facts and clear details of why you believe the views on this blog pertaining to Plurion are slanderous?

You would however need to modify your language considerably, as I generally refrain from publishing insults and salnder. I would also not consider publishing you without knowing who you are. by the way, I do know the real identity of the contributors you refer to. I respect totally their wish to remain anonymous.


Monday, July 07, 2008

UN Report on Sustainable Energy


New UN Report

On Sustainable Energy

Hugely Encouraging

According to a newly published UN report, investment in sustainable energy broke all previous records showing an increase of 60% over 2006, there was $148.4 billion of new money raised in 2007, . Total spending on sustainable energy, including speculation, was $204.9 billion.

In a bit of an understatement the reports says; “This bodes well for the industry” IMHO it is nothing short of fantastic and very encouraging for the future.

The report goes on to say: “According to New Energy Finance (Global Futures 2008), investment between now and 2030 is expected to reach $450 billion a year by 2012, rising to more than $600 billion a year from 2020. The sector’s performance during 2007 sets it on track to achieve these levels, with the current credit crunch testing the markets resolve, but not dislodging it”.

“Areas showing spectacular growth include next-generation technologies, such as cellulosic ethanol, thin-film solar technologies and energy efficiency”.

Wind is a Solid – Investment!!!

The report says of wind generation: “Wind continues to dominate sustainable energy investment, but the portfolio of available technologies has both widened (as nascent technologies start to come into their own) and deepened (as existing technologies are refined). This is partly in response to changing supply/demand patterns (e.g. continuing silicon shortages, or the controversial competition between food and fuel from food-based ethanol feedstocks), but also reflects improved efficiencies and decreasing costs as renewable technologies strive to reach grid parity”.

“ . . Willingness to look beyond mature technologies suggests that investors are taking renewable energy and energy efficiency increasingly seriously”.

Here are some of the key points

New investment in sustainable energy reached record levels of $148.4 billion, 60% higher than in 2006.

· Sustainable energy accounted for 31 gigawatts (23%) of new power generation
capacity added worldwide in 2007, and 5.4% of installed generation capacity.

· Early-stage venture capital investment surged 112% to $2 billion in 2007

· Research & Development spending on clean energy and energy efficiency was $16.9 billion in 2007

· Clean energy companies more than doubled the amount of money they raised on the world’s public markets in 2007, raising $27 billion.
· Financing of sustainable energy assets grew by 61% in 2007 to $108 billion

· Corporate Mergers & Acquisition activity increased 52% to $25.7 billion in 2007

· At the end of December 2007, over $30.0 billion was under management in core clean energy funds.

· CDM activity is dominated by India (32% of registered projects), China (19%) and Brazil (13%).

· There is a continuing shift in investment from developed to developing countries.

Investment in energy efficiency technology reached a record $1.8 billion, an increase of 78% on 2006.

Here is the link to the full report: UN ENERGY REPORT

I must say that I felt good this morning after reading this report. It show that there is a realistic shift towards the alternatives and that hard-nosed finance is taking a serious interest.


Friday, July 04, 2008

My Blog Stats


My Blog Stats

I have been asked about my blog statistics. I am happy and quite pleased to share my stats, as I take the increased interest as a compliment.

Below is a two week bar-graph of my stats, and below that is a breakdown of the figures. The current daily average hit rate or page load is 387 per day. In a year that would translate into 140,000 hits per year.

The rate of hits is increasing all the time

_________Page Loads__Unique Visitors___1st Time Visitors__Returning Visitors
Total ----------5,801 ---------3,738 ------------------3,340 -------------------398
Day Average ---387 -----------249 ---------------------223 ---------------------27


High Oil Price a Gift!


Will motor gas become as obsolete as these pumps?

The Gift of High Oil Prices

(or it’s an ill wind)

Oil is heading for $200 a barrel and the price at the pumps is going for €1.50+ a litre. Shouldn’t we be in a state of utter panic?

Sure, it is going to upset the comfortable little apple cart of our economies and impinge on or selfish and luxury lifestyles, but hey there is a good side to the shake up.

Reports from the US say that punters are using public transport a lot more and finding that when they drive to commuter-rail stations there are no parking spots left. Generally people are making much fewer trips with the kids etc., and many dumping their SUVs.

Public Transport usage is at a 50-year high and petrol and diesel purchases are down some 2% to 3%. And that is only after a few weeks of high gas prices – that can’t be bad.

Now don’t you wish you hadn’t gone and bought that gas-guzzler!!! They will be giving them away soon!!!


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

All Electric Cars - "Spark" Interest


Electric Cars


Much Interest!!!

Seems I have touched some sort of a nerve with my posts about electric cars. There has been quite a bit of interest in this subject. I think that if there is anything about sustainable living going to get through to people, it could well be that it is the automobile that will be the "vehicle" of communication!!

Just got an e-mail and two comments this morning with a correction from Miles Automotive on the price of their XS500. It seems I touched a nerve there also! I did show the price at "around" €40,000. I guess I should have said $40,000 instead. If the XS500 gets to Ireland you can be sure it will have plenty of "Paddy Tax" and others charges added to bloat the price well over the 40 grand.

Here is the letter I received from Miles Automotive:

In your most recent electric vehicle posting you list the XS500 as being priced at 40,000 euro; however, we have yet to set a projected price for the EU. The only projections we’ve come out with have been for the US at $35,000 to $39,000 depending on options. I’d appreciate if you would update your post.

Thank you,
Kara Saltness
Marketing Manager
Miles Electric Vehicles

Miles Automotive Group, Ltd.
T 310.390.4890 Ext. 311
F 310.397.8985