Saturday, March 25, 2006

Saturday News


Remember what was thought to be a great U.S. oil supply treasure trove? Actually, it fell and by more than what anyone thought. This means higher prices of course. It is not like we are not going to have more to draw on but the market is so sensitive now that if a person standing near an oil barrel sneezes, the prices climb. How long can the market bear this though?

Meanwhile, the China National Petroleum Corporation increased their net profit 28.4% which translates into $16.61 Billion US. Wonder if Congress is going to investigate?
Well when they are not breaking their term pledge limits and citing elections in Belarus as a reason why.
Shimkus sponsored a House resolution before the trip that called on Lukashenko to hold open elections. As a result, Belarus officials tried to bar him from the country, and when that failed, operatives kept him far away from where ballots were being counted.

"Here's why the production of Southern Illinois coal and energy independence is so important," Shimkus said. "This dictator is in power because Russia sells him crude oil for $45 a barrel, and he turns around and sells it for market price ($63 a barrel). Russia props up a dictator. It keeps us over a barrel and threatens our long-term security."

See that, I made it about oil. ;p


Solar energy continues to make inroads in the US and in the world. But is it efficient enough to justify the cost? Speaking of the world, Singapore just hooked up their first panel to their national energy grid. The article goes on to say:
Right now, the solar panel can only produce enough power for nine HDB households.

Although solar setups are so expensive that most homeowners do not consider them an option, there are ways to bring solar energy into the household. Solar B.C. helps promote smaller systems that can cheaply impact the home such as solar hot water heaters. But how much energy does a convential hot water system use up in the overall monthly bill?
Heating up water for everyday use typically eats up about 30 per cent of a home's total energy bill, so an average homeowner could save about $300 per year by using this type of system - and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions as well.

Another telling sign that solar projects may be the future can be seen at the Construction Specifications Institute annual convention. This year there will be quite a bit of time devoted to solar projects and their role in the construction industry.

As this article states, solar power is not just for your home but also for commercial enterprises as well.
One more reason to invest in solar is it’s marketing value your building. In Colorado, people value a clean environment. It stands to reason that if two buildings are in competition for a tenant, (assuming the cost of leasing the two buildings are identical) the one with a solar PV system may likely be chosen over the non-solar building. And in the case of a tenant/buyer who has a strong affinity for renewable energy, the customer may be willing to pay a substantial premium for the solar-equipped building.


Wind power in the US is up and coming as well and not just for Lady Liberty. Arizona is hoping to capture the wind and the possible market that it will bring. Of course Arizona is not known for the amount of moving air and that is a big problem there. Big enough to push the windmills 3,000 feet up in the air.
The problem in Arizona is that the wind is intermittent. So while a large array of tall windmills can generate considerable power at optimum wind speeds, anywhere from 12 to 25 mph, wind cannot replace other sources of energy.

Christine Real de Azua of the American Wind Energy Association said elevation is a key to successful generation here. That is why the plants under consideration are at 3,000 feet or higher.

Wisconsin may not have gone for ethanol but a judge has recently made sure that wind energy stays on the horizon. The big concern is if the wind farm will interfere with Air Force radar and a location that is close to the marsh.

An unscientific survery in Vermont shows that support has increased for wind farms.
In somewhat of a surprise considering the opposition wind power is facing, respondents favored building commercial wind farms 65 percent to 19 percent, with 16 percent unsure. That's an increase from last year, when 60 percent were in favor, Doyle noted.

Canada is also looking to increase how much power they draw from renewable resources.
The NEB said Saskatchewan generates roughly five per cent of its total capacity from wind power since the 150 megawatt (MW) centennial wind power project came on stream in December 2005.

Over the longer term, Saskatchewan aims to have one-third of its energy needs met by renewable energy sources by 2030.


Norwich Looking To Water Power
Norwich Public Utilities already owns 3 hydro-power plants; two are on the Shetucket River. Now a division of Northeast Utilities wants sell several hydro facilities throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, including three near Norwich.

Both the Scotland Dam and the Taftville Dam are on the Shetucket and the Tunnel Dam in Lisbon is on the Quinebaug River.

Qatar, UAE explore water, power deals
QATAR and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will explore the possibilities of making strategic exchanges in the water and power sectors in future. The exchanges would be in the field of information, expertise, scope of privatisation and quality control, a statement issued by Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) pointed out.

New turbines for Jialing river project
Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation has won a contract to equip the Caojie hydro power project in Chonqing province, China.

Underwater hydro power for Bermuda
According to BEL, the proposed underwater generator would provide more than 8% of Bermuda's current electricity demand, but it will not damage sea life, including ocean reefs.

Contract signed for Kamchay plant
Cambodia's Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy has signed an agreement with China's Sinohydro Corporation to develop Kamchay hydroelectric project on a build-operate-transfer basis.


SDG&E Signs Contract to Buy Renewable Geothermal Energy
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today announced that it has purchased 20 megawatts (MW) of geothermal electricity from Esmeralda Truckhaven Geothermal LLC, to begin delivery in 2010.

"This contract is another step in our aggressive efforts to meet our goal of supplying 20 percent of our customers' electricity needs by 2010 with renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal power," said Terry Farrelly, vice president of electric and gas procurement for SDG&E.

Shaw Awarded Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract for a New 60 MW Geothermal Plant in Indonesia
The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SGR) today announced that an Indonesian subsidiary of its Shaw Stone & Webster unit has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract for a new 60 megawatt geothermal power plant by PT Pertamina. The plant, which will be located in Kamojang, Java, Indonesia, is the first Pertamina independent power project to sell electricity to Indonesia's national electric power utility, PLN. The work will be done in conjunction with PT Rekayasa, a construction company headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia, and is scheduled to be completed in 2008.

OAS Coordinates Eastern Caribbean Geothermal Development Project
According to Mr. Starret Greene, the Director of the OAS Office in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the project is designed to prepare the market conditions to enable the commercial development of geothermal power in each of the partner countries.

Mr. Greene pointed out that in the case of St. Kitts and Nevis, substantial progress had been made in advancing the project. The Director reported that progress was evidenced during the recently completed pre-feasibility phase, and surface studies showed that the best location in St. Kitts and Nevis for geothermal resources appeared to be in the area of Bath Estate, on Nevis.

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