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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

RENEWABLE ENERGY UPDATE

This blog site initially focused on renewable energy and the environment.  It has been a while since my last update of the subject, so here goes:
  • SoftBank of Japan and  Foxconn Technology of Taiwan have bid to supply 750 MW of renewable energy electricity in India for between 3.8 - 5 cents /kWh.  Electricity rates vary by country (cents/kWh):

    • Australia       49 
    • Brazil            37 
    • Philippines    34 
    • Germany       33 
    • Japan            28 
    • France          21 
    • USA              18 
    • India             12 
    • China            11
    • Saudi Arabia  7
  • Of course, these averages depend on what year, and a variety of other factors, for Wikipedia lists India from 0.1 to 18 cents/kWh (7 average), Australia at 15-26 cents/kWh, China from 4-4.5 cents/kWh, and the U.S. from 8-17 cents/kWh.  Of course, many countries subsidize electricity:  Argentina 3.1, Kuwait 0.3-3, Saudi Arabia 1-7.
  • Elon Musk has been fabulously successful in certain renewable areas.  Tesla, 800% growth in the past 5 years and 40% in a year:
  • Musk advises Donald Trump and has touted humans on Mars by 2022 and his Hyperloop taking passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 30 minutes.  His cost would be a tenth that of the currently planned $68 billion bullet train project.  Mars?  $10 billion/person for the Mars expedition.
  • It was estimated two years ago that he was getting $4.9 billion in government support for Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX, led by Nevada tax incentives of $1.29 billion for Musk's Gigafactory (lithium battery production on space three times the size of Central Park, New  York, to become the largest building the world...by footprint).
  • I've enjoyed comparing Musk to me, with some humor, of course, and, so far, he has been mostly right and I continue to witness what is happening with considerable amazement...but, while hoping he will succeed, still strongly feel that things will soon begin to crash.  His Model 3 will be crucial...but Mars in five years???
  • In Hawaii, protesters have largely curtailed geothermal energy expansion.  Here are five myths:
    • Renewables cannot supply energy 24/7:  this is one of the attractions of  geo-power.
    • Geo-plants take up a lot of space:  geothermal energy has the smallest land footprint of any comparable energy source.  Per gigawatt:
      • Geo =         404 square meters
      • coal =         3642 SM
      • solar PV =  3237 SM
    • Causes pollution:  closed-loop systems do not emit any greenhouse gases and they consume less water.
    • Only accessible in limited areas:  geo-heat pumps can be installed anywhere, and in the future hot dry rock could compete.
For those wanting to get directly involved:

  • Solar Power International:  join 18,000 attendees and 650 exhibitors in North America's premier energy gathering
    • September 10-13
    • Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas
    • Early Bird registration by June 5
      • Member  $795
      • Non Member  $995
    • After June 5
      • Member $895
      • Non Member $1095
    • Onsite
      • Member $995
      • Non Member $1195
    • Students:  $250
    • Press:  $0
  • BioMarine 2017
    • October 1-3
    • Rimouski, Quebec
    • $832 for members and $1000 for non-members for if you register by May 31, up to $1331 for non-members after that (students??)
  • Algae Biomass Summit 2017
    • October 29 - November 1
    • Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Cost varies from $650 if you are a student registering by August 1 to $1695 if you are a nonmember registering on-site.
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