Sunday, June 11, 2006

Clean Energy News in the AM

Power vets want to start incubator for clean energy
Two power industry veterans, including a co-founder of Sacramento energy software firm Henwood Energy Services Inc., want to launch a local incubator for clean-energy ventures.

Gary Simon and Mark Henwood hope to bring together 15 to 20 companies with new ideas for fuel cells, hydrogen storage systems, solar power and other renewable- energy technologies. The nonprofit incubator would help the companies find funding, develop business plans and research potential markets.

Device could power the future of energy
Dolan has built a machine that creates and stores hydrogen. The device, powered by sunlight, sends electricity through water to separate hydrogen from oxygen and then pumps the hydrogen as a gas into a container, where it is stored as a renewable energy source.

"Once you have this stored hydrogen, you can take it out of here and run it into any device that uses fossil fuels," said, a 46-year-old Trumbull resident. "The only thing hydrogen won't do is it won't make plastics. That's what we need fossil fuels for."
But a problem with Dolan's prototype, from a practical standpoint, is the space needed to store hydrogen.

A pound of hydrogen may have three times the energy content of fossil fuels, but it takes 400 cubic feet to store the hydrogen equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, Dolan said.

But Dolan said his machine's storage container, 4 feet by 8 feet and capable of storing 1,000 cubic feet of hydrogen, could be larger.

Martin Ferguson and the nuclear debate
Ferguson claims that the existing policy discriminates in favour of existing uranium mining companies and against other potential uranium miners. He ignores the option of levelling the playing field by putting an end to uranium mining altogether.

In a March 20 briefing paper, which Ferguson is circulating within the ALP and to trade unions, he states: “State and Territory Labor governments which have knowingly allowed uranium exploration, will come under pressure to allow the development of discoveries within the next few years: if they reject mining applications, it will raise questions about sovereign risk for mining investors in Australia.”

But uranium exploration companies are well aware of Labor’s policy of opposition to new uranium mines. Labor state governments or a future Labor federal government face no legal risk. Further, state Labor governments could put an end to the current situation whereby they allow, and sometimes subsidise, uranium exploration.

UK and France to work more closely on N-power
France and Britain announced yesterday that they will work more closely in the civil nuclear field at a time when London is widely expected to restart the country's atomic energy programme.
"We have agreed to explore in the short term and further develop the opportunities of working together in the civil nuclear field," the two countries said in a joint statement after a summit in Paris.
"To that end we have agreed to establish a regular Franco-British Nuclear Forum, involving representatives from government, industry and technical experts."

The big question that I still ask is will this push for clean energy keep going after the price on oil crashes? Yes, I am now saying crash since the futures market has refused the let the prices come down gradually. I am not the only one thinking that although I do think it will take a bit before it happens.

BP's CEO, Lord Browne, disagrees with me though. He is saying that the price for oil will crash to $40 in the very near future.

BP CEO Lord Browne says oil price will fall to 40 usd per barrel mid-term
BP PLC chief executive Lord Browne told Der Spiegel he expects world oil prices will fall to 40 usd per barrel in the mid-term and that in the long term they could drop to 25-30 usd per barrel.

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