Thursday, February 2, 2012

Latest from: CleanTechnica

Latest from: CleanTechnica

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European Investment Bank to Support Caribbean Islands’ Geothermal Energy Project

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 09:52 AM PST

Solar and wind energy would probably come to mind first when thinking about renewable energy potential among Caribbean nations, but the region is also home to considerable geothermal energy resources. Various Caribbean nations have been discussing how best to reduce their dependence on polluting, imported fossil fuels by identifying and developing their geothermal energy resources. Now, the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) ready to support them.

The EIB announced that it will provide a 1.1 million euro (~US$1.38 million) grant to “enhance detailed planning and study the feasibility of exporting electricity generated by geothermal energy from Dominica to neighboring islands Martinique and Guadeloupe.” More specifically, the grant facility will evaluate the possibility of building a northern submarine interconnection from Dominica to Guadeloupe and a second south to Martinique. Subsequent studies are to define the characteristics of required sub-sea cables and assess the project’s environmental impact.

"Ensuring the most effective use of geothermal energy as a sustainable source of electricity generation offers immense potential for transforming energy use and economic growth in the Caribbean,” Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB vice president, stated.

“The European Investment Bank is pleased to contribute to overcoming specific technical and engineering challenges essential to lowering the energy costs in Dominica and to significantly increase electricity generation from renewable energy sources in the East Caribbean."

Renewable Energy’s Considerable Advantages in the Caribbean

The EIB’s support gives the Dominica geothermal project a big boost, and not only in dollars-and-cents terms. “Having the EIB on board in our geothermal development initiative is very instrumental in giving our program the exposure necessary to attract the best in the geothermal business – contractors, consultants, experts and, of course, investors,” the Hon Rayburn Blackmoore, Dominica’s minister for Public Works, Energy and Ports, said.

Developing renewable energy resources is a key aspect for the Caribbean nations as they look to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, especially in terms of poverty alleviation and eradication, added Valeriano Diaz, who heads the European Union delegation to Barbados to the Eastern Caribbean.

Dominica’s looking to construct geothermal power plants capable of producing as much as 140 megawatts (MW) of clean, baseload electrical power – a 20 MW plant for local use and a 120 MW for export. Dominica’s government, with assistance from the EU and the Agence Francaise de Developpement, is drilling three test wells on the island to determine geothermal energy potential in the island’s Roseau Valley. Planning for a 5 MW test plant are also under way.

Developing renewable energy resources would yield significant benefits to Caribbean nations across a range of key issues – health and environmental quality, natural resource preservation and conservation and economic, employment and social development. Highly dependent on polluting fossil fuels to meet their energy needs, developing renewable energy systems would immediately reduce the high, foreign exchange cost of these Caribbean nations’ fossil fuel import bills.

Related posts:

  1. Africa at the Energy Crossroads: Ethiopia Launches 6 Wind, 1 Geothermal Power Project
  2. A Federal Investment Bank For Renewable Energy
  3. Geothermal Could be Cheaper than Fossil Fuels with $3 Billion DOE Investment Says NYU Study


Chevy Volt: The Facts

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 06:37 AM PST

Oh, the many, many lies FOX News and political friends parrot. Here’s a take-down of some popular Chevy Volt lies (regarding fire and safety), by someone who knows (one of the Volt’s chief architects, Bob Lutz), via Gas2 (with a nice intro and addendum by Chris):

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Solar Decathlon-Winning Home Bought by Pepco for Public Display

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 05:31 AM PST

solar decathlon winners

Solar Decathlon 2011 winners from the University of Maryland and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu (on the left).

If you recall, WaterShed (a solar-powered and highly energy-efficient house built by University of Maryland students, faculty and professional partners) won the 2011 Solar Decathlon. Electric company Pepco has now bought the building and is going to put it on public display at one of its facilities in Montgomery County, Maryland.

“Under the arrangement, Pepco and the University will partner on its operation, monitor its performance, conduct ongoing research and work closely on designing educational materials about WaterShed,” a news release announced this week.

“The house will serve as a ‘living classroom’ and a ‘living laboratory’ to demonstrate smart, clean energy options, blending its original technological and design innovations with Pepco’s own advanced technology, such as its smart thermostats and home-based electric vehicle charging stations.”

The University of Maryland chose Pepco as the buyer after putting the disassembled home “on the market” because of the company’s “vision of using the house to educate the public about sustainable, affordable and beautiful design,” which the University, of course, shares.

WaterShed, as built for the Solar Decathlon, has the following features:

  • it’s 100% solar powered;
  • it harvests, recycles, and reuses water;
  • it includes numerous energy-efficient appliances and materials;
  • it includes “a patent-pending indoor waterfall that provides humidity control in an aesthetically pleasing manner.”

“The team is thrilled with Pepco’s commitment because it ensures that WaterShed will continue to have a public voice,” says the project’s principal investigator Amy Gardner, an associate professor of architecture at the University Maryland. “WaterShedspeaks to the viability and untapped potential of sustainable strategies and technologies. It reminds us of the task before us – stewardship of the environment in which we live. The partnership of the University with Pepco to further develop and teach these strategies is a fitting homage to the collaborative nature of the project.”

Here’s more from the news release on how the home will be used:

“Pepco plans to open WaterShed to the public at one of its Montgomery County facilities, though a final site selection has not yet been made. The plan is to use it for conferences, educational presentations and occasional public tours. It will also serve Pepco as an energy testing facility. University researchers will continue measuring performance of its various systems to assess its long-term operation.”

“This is an unusual example of technology transfer to the commercial sector, and we’re delighted to collaborate with Pepco inWaterShed’s second act,” says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. “Our students, faculty, and the community of mentors that made this achievement possible, developed a patent-pending innovation, along with a series of design innovations that have attracted international interest from communities dealing with water-related issues. Their ideas will continue to reverberate in our region thanks to Pepco’s purchase.”

The agreement also draws on the Watershed team’s expertise to facilitate its transport and siting. Student team members will serve as docents once the facility opens, explaining to visitors the house’s capabilities and design features.

The 200-member UMD Solar Decathlon Team includes students and faculty from the Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, and the University Libraries. Maryland businesses and professional groups provided significant financial and mentoring support as well.

Image Credit: Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon (CC BY-ND 2.0 license)

Related posts:

  1. Solar Decathlon Winners
  2. 20 Universities to Compete in DoE-sponsored Solar Decathlon to Build Most Efficient Solar-Powered Home
  3. Germany Takes the Gold at This Year's Solar Decathlon


Shale Gas Production Currently NOT Profitable

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 05:09 AM PST

This is an excellent piece on shale gas production, price, and (lack of) profit. It really exposes the inappropriately low price of shale gas for what it is. This discussion could go a lot further, but this is probably enough for one day:

by Dave Cohen

Shale gas drilling and production in the United States is ramping up like there’s no tomorrow. Natural gas is going for $3.01 per MCF ($MMBTU, Henry Hub future). The average well-head price in 2010 was $4.48/MCF. Through the first 10 months of 2011, it was $4.04. It is impossible make a profit producing shale gas at that price. Let me spell that out for you.

I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E

Consider the situation. The natural gas market is out of balance. There is a glut (over-supply) of natural gas, which is driving down the price, although demand is rising somewhat due to low prices. Now, you would think that producers would pull back on production to bring the market back into balance. But no! The shale gas operators keep drilling, which drives down the price, which makes it even more unprofitable to sell shale gas. This alone ought to tell you there’s something fishy going on.

Natural_gas_production_northeast
Natural gas production in the northeast, reflecting the production boom in the Marcellus shale.The EIA’s October 2011 monthly data show gross (total U.S.) production of 2,483 billion cubic feet, the highest month on record. Graph source: EIA.

It’s been awhile since I looked at shale gas economics. Look at my mid-2011 posts How Does The Shale Gas Scam Work? and The Shale Gas Scam Goes Public. The first post summarizes my previous work on shale gas. The second comments on the exposĂ© questioning shale gas economics published in the New York Times last June. Energy analyst Chris Nelder has also weighed in on problem in The questionable economics of shale gas. I’ll quote Nelder’s article at length, making some comments of my own.

Houston-based petroleum geologist and energy sector consultant Arthur Berman, along with petroleum engineer Lynn Pittinger, has independently studied the economics of thousands of wells in the three shale gas formations with the longest production histories — the Barnett Shale in Texas, the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, and the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana — and found numerous irregularities.

When the true structural costs of shale gas are fully incorporated, he says, including the costs of leasing, restimulating wells where production was flagging, and general operation and administrative overhead, operators need $8 to $9 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) to break even, assuming an 8 percent discount rate.

For new development on existing leases, considering just the costs of drilling, completion and operation, operators need $5 to $6/mcf to break even. But the spot price (for immediate delivery) of gas is only $3.11/mcf today, and except for two brief moments in 2010, it has remained below $5 since February 2010. On an averaged annual basis, shale gas has been unprofitable since 2008.

If shale gas production is unprofitable, then why is there still so much drilling activity, and how are producers able to claim otherwise?

Yes, those are the questions. Nelder offers some theories. We can call the first one Use It Or Lose It.

gee whiz natural gas pricesOne answer to this conundrum is that operators need to keep drilling in order to hold onto their leases. If they don't actively work the land that they spent the last several years acquiring in a buying frenzy, they lose it. The early operators in these gas formations, or "plays," aren't sufficiently well-funded to continue drilling at a loss; they're simply trying to hold onto their leases long enough to flip them to larger companies at a profit. Hence the recent rash of joint ventures with deeper-pocketed players, which give the original leaseholders a way to pay off the leasing and initial drilling costs, but ultimately reduces their net asset values.

A detailed examination of the financial data bears this out. If shale gas is so profitable, then one might expect operators to pay for leasing and drilling costs out of cash flow, and pay down their debt. But quite the opposite appears to be the case. According to analysis by Bernstein Research, capital expenditures on land acquisition and new drilling exceeds cashflow (by as much as 511 percent in the worst example, Carrizo Oil & Gas) for 18 of the top shale gas producers, and they're still heavily laden with debt.

This makes sense, and accords with my own conclusions. Nelder also speculates that “producers are willing to take a big gamble on shale gas in order to support their market valuations.” (See his article for the details.) Another sensible theory is that the production of associated liquids makes the economics better—but not “better” enough.

The production of associated natural gas liquids, which generally command about half the price of oil, further complicates the economics. (At the 2011 average of $95 a barrel for oil in the U.S., gas sells at an enormous discount to oil, at $3.29 per million BTU, versus $16.39 for oil.) Natural gas liquids produced along with the "dry" gas have certainly helped generate revenues, but to what degree, we don't know, since they are not separately reported to regulators. Berman estimates they might add $1/mcf after processing. Operators commingle the revenues from "dry" gas with those from associated natural gas liquids, masking the true profitability of the gas production.

Does it matter if some operators are able to drill profitably due to the natural gas liquids, but not the gas itself? Well yes, it does. If the wells are shut down after their liquids play out, it could leave a lot of gas effectively stranded, and a significant chunk of the anticipated reserves would never be produced.

And last but not least, the best part of shale gas economics involves the use of “creative accounting.”

In order to show profitability, shale gas operators have employed complex creative accounting. Instead of the usual "netback" calculations that clearly state the net profit per barrel of oil equivalent (or per mcf of gas) produced, in the 10-K reports filed with the SEC, one finds an intricate set of statements which would only be comprehensible to an expert accountant, not an average investor.

Hedging strategies employed after 2008 have counterbalanced some of the losses on production, andmajor capital costs have been excluded through off-book accounting. Worse, Berman found that some operators have used variable production payment schemes to recognize borrowed cash up front, then failed to account for it as debt and actually claimed it as an asset.

As Bloomberg reports in Shale Bubble Inflates on Near-Record Prices, the shale gas shenanigans are continuing unabated. I’ll illustrate this through their coverage of investment in the Utica shale, which I recently posted on inThe Next “Oil” Miracle” Will Be In Ohio! That post tells you what you need to know about the Utica natural gas play. It is largely unknown whether the Utica will be a winner. And now here’s Bloomberg

Surging prices for oil and natural- gas shales, in at least one case rising 10-fold in five weeks, are raising concerns of a bubble as valuations of drilling acreage approach the peak set before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc…

Chinese, French and Japanese energy explorers committed more than $8 billion in the past two weeks to shale-rock formations from Pennsylvania to Texas after 2011 set records for international average crude prices and U.S. gas demand. As competition among buyers intensifies, overseas investors are paying top dollar for fields where too few wells have been drilled to assess potential production, said Sven Del Pozzo, a senior equity analyst at IHS, Inc.

In the Utica shale of Ohio and Pennsylvania, deal prices jumped 10-fold in five weeks to almost $15,000 an acre, according to IHS figures.

"I don't feel confident that the prices being paid now are justified," Del Pozzo said in a telephone interview from Norwalk, Connecticut. "I'm wary."

Why is Sven wary? Why doesn’t he feel confident? Because these overseas investors could be paying $15,000 an acre for garbage!

Private-equity firms also are showing increasing interest in US shale assets, Sylvester "Chip" Johnson, chief executive officer of Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc., said in a Jan. 4 presentation at a Pritchard Capital conference in San Francisco.

[My note: there's Carrizo again. You will recall that Nelder mentioned them.]

Carizzo, based in Houston, has been selling fields in some of its first shale plays, such as the Barnett region, to raise money for drilling higher-profit Utica and Eagle Ford prospects that contain oil, he said.

The higher-profit Utica prospect? As far as I can see, no one has made a single dime (producing gas and associated liquids) in the Utica shale up to now. Can you say “Ponzi Scheme”?

Chesapeake sold $750 million preferred shares last month in a subsidiary created to finance development of its Utica shale holdings. The transaction entitles Magnetar Capital, Blackstone Group's GSO Capital Partners LP and an investment group that includes EIG Global Energy Partners LP to 7 percent annual distributions and a 3 percent overriding royalty interest in the first 1,500 wells.

Where there is questionable stuff going on in the shale gas biz, you will always find Chesapeake. They’re selling “preferred” stock to finance the next acquisition frency because they don’t actually make money producing shale gas. But here’s my favorite part.

Buyers are studying fields more closely before committing, Nikhanj said. Total, Europe's third-largest oil producer by market value, was selective about what sections of the Utica shale will be included in the 25 percent stake it acquired on Dec. 30 in 619,000 acres controlled by Chesapeake Energy Corp. and EnerVest Ltd.

Total's outlay, including drilling costs, will be $2.32 billion, or the equivalent to about $15,000 an acre, based on Bloomberg calculations. That's more than four times the average per-acre price from seven Utica shale transactions tracked by IHS from March 2011 to September 2011.

"We are seeing prices move up quite dramatically in these exploratory shale plays," Nikhanj said. "But the Total joint venture also shows us that these companies with deep pockets are doing more science" before signing deals.

Doing more science! They’re paying $15,000 per acre for potential garbage! Recall Nelder’s words: “shale gas operators [like Carrizo and Chesapeake] are simply trying to hold onto their leases long enough to flip them to larger companies at a profit. Flip away!

Can no one make an honest living anymore? It’s not hard to imagine how all this is going to end.

And on that note, I will conclude this overly long analysis. As always, the Latin axiom Caveat Emptor applies—let the buyer beware.

Related posts:

  1. Fracking Concerns Dim Excitement About Natural Gas Production
  2. New Solar Technology Design to Reduce Production Costs
  3. Renewable Energy Production Increased 8.3% & Coal Consumption Dropped 16.3% Last Year in Europe


California’s New Clean Car Standards (2015-2025)

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 04:54 AM PST

I mentioned California’s new clean car standards in a “Clean Links” roundup earlier this week. However, if you missed that or want more details, here’s a bit of an op-ed from sister site Gas2 (those guys know cars) on the new standards. Following this post, Chris wrote a post on an important loophole in the standards, issues that would cause, and more thoughts on the standards. That one is embedded/reposted below as well.

Related posts:

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NREL & Gamesa Working on Next-Generation Wind Turbines for U.S. Market

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 04:41 AM PST

gamesa wind turbineThe U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently announced that it and Gamesa Technology Corp., one of the world’s leading wind turbine companies, are planning to “study and test a variety of components and systems that will guide development of the next generation of wind turbines designed specifically for the U.S. marketplace.”

There are three key areas where Gamesa and NREL are collaborating:

  • “developing new wind turbine components and rotors for the U.S. market;”
  • “researching and testing the performance of new control strategies;”
  • “devising models that will help advance the development of offshore wind in U.S. coastal waters.”

This is the kind of public-private partnership that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside—it’s really great to see a leading renewable energy lab and wind energy company innovating together.

NREL states that its “wind technology center is the most extensive wind-turbine testing facility in the nation” and that Gamesa has already “installed and commissioned a G97 Class IIIA 2.0 MW test wind turbine at NREL's National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colo.”

Since being introduced last year, Gamesa's G9X-2.0 MW turbine platform has gained recognition for its advanced blade design, updated nacelle, enhanced control systems and other features that increase energy output substantially. The G97 Class IIIA 2.0 MW model, which will serve as the test platform with NREL, is designed specifically for low-wind sites, a segment from which Gamesa expects more than half of all future on-shore demand.

Using Gamesa's turbine platform as a laboratory, researchers will study the behavior of systems and how new designs, products or equipment can affect performance.

For more, check out the NREL piece on the collaboration.

Gamesa G9X 2.0 wind turbine via Gamesa

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Kyocera Launches Its “Highest-Output” Solar Panel

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 04:05 AM PST

80-cell KD 315

Kyocera announced this week that it was launching its “highest-output” solar panel (aka solar module) in the U.S., the 80-cell KD 315 (yes, the beauty above).

Kyocera notes that “the new module is ideal for large-scale installations like solar-covered parking.”

When reporting on the matter last year, Kyocera was the #3 seller of solar panels in California. It’s a solar powerhouse with a long history of innovation and success in the industry. It has a history of setting solar efficiency records.

Here’s more on the details of its new solar modules: “Designed for high output, safety and ease of installation, the UL certified KD 315 modules feature a UV stabilized, aesthetically pleasing black anodized frame; easily accessible ground points; proven junction box technology with 12 AWG PV wire to work with transformerless inverters and quality locking plug-in connectors for quick connections.”

As mentioned earlier today by Andrew, the company has also just teamed up with Nichicon to offer a “cleantech residential energy management system that brings together renewable energy electricity production, energy storage and management.” The system will use Kyocera solar panels—perhaps these?

Source: Kyocera

Related posts:

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California May Blow Past Clean Energy Target.. or May Not

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 03:47 AM PST

california flag state

California, as most of you know, has a renewable energy target of 33% by 2020, one of the best around. However, if current trends are any indication of where the state is headed, it could blow past that target. According to a state regulator speaking this week on the matter, California’s proposed solar projects in 2011 were a whopping 4.5 times what the state needs to meet its 33% target. (As noted previously, the surge of renewable energy project proposals is actually causing huge traffic jam in the permitting process in California, and California is quite clear that it doesn’t need any outside help to meet its renewable energy goals.)

However, there is some concern about the projects proposed. First of all, only 6% of these projects have received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Additionally, some insiders conjecture that firms are proposing projects that they won’t build themselves but will be sold to other solar power construction companies, and that the bids are too low.

“It does make me nervous,” commissioner Timothy Alan Simon told Reuters. “Is someone just bidding low to sit in the cue?” Mr. Simon believes projects submitted in the 7 cents per kilowatt hour range, for construction in 2015-2016, are unrealistically low, but he’s seeing such proposals come in.

Of course, low solar panel prices have helped solar installers and developers tremendously. And some may just be counting on increasing price declines, which we are also expecting. But I think an important point in the story above is that there’s a ton of competition in the solar marketplace right now, and developers are more than eager to make the most competitive, lowest bid (sometimes even unrealistically). Correct me if I’m wrong.

Note, though, that the CPUC is approving some beasts. I wrote 2-3 weeks ago on the news that it had just approved five renewable energy projects totaling 1,088 megawatts (huge, if you’re unfamiliar with the size of such projects).

Source: Reuters | California flag on state via shutterstock

Related posts:

  1. California Outdone in 33% Renewable Target by — Morocco?
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  3. California Speeds Up Clean Energy Permits Before its Too Late


Japanese Cleantech Partners to Launch Integrated Home Solar PV-Energy Storage & Management System

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 11:38 PM PST

Graphic courtesy Kyocera, Nichicon

Kyocera and Nichicon are readying the launch of a cleantech residential energy management system that brings together renewable energy electricity production, energy storage and management. The new clean energy management system (EMS) consists of Kyocera solar photovoltaic (PV) panels; Nichicon’s long-life, high-capacity lithium ion battery storage/electric vehicle (EV) charging units; a DC-AC power inverter; and a sophisticated energy efficiency management software system that integrates it all.

With Japanese demand for independent, grid-tied, and off-grid power systems growing, the partners are readying for a summer launch. The integrated residential solar EMS makes use of Samsung SDI lithium ion batteries.

“This new system combines the two vital themes of power generation and power storage using Kyocera’s solar power generating system and Nichicon’s energy storage unit,” explained Kyocera President Tetsuo Kuba at a joint press conference with Nichicon held in Kyoto, January 16. “Kyocera will use its energy-management technology to launch this new comprehensive system for optimizing residential energy use, and thus make a real contribution to preventing climate change.”

According to a joint press release, features of the solar PV EMS include:

  • Long-lasting, high-volume lithium-ion battery
    The system uses a lithium-ion battery, which can last roughly 5 times longer than conventional lead-acid batteries. The battery has a high capacity of 7.1kWh, weighs roughly 200kg and has a size of 120H x 90W x 35D (centimeters).
  • Various EMS modes to fit energy use patterns and needs
    The new system offers various operating modes to meet the energy use patterns and needs of various customers — whether their peak energy consumption occurs in the daytime or at night; and for families who want to prioritize reducing their energy bill or those who place a premium on guaranteed electricity supply.
  • System automatically switches to independent operation in the event of a natural disaster or electricity black-out
    In the event of a prolonged black-out, the battery can be charged directly by the solar modules during the day, allowing users to draw from the battery at night or during inclement weather.

Costs weren’t disclosed, but the partners have high hopes for the system. “We’d like to see use of this system — that combines Kyocera’s top-class solar power generating systems, Nichicon’s energy storage units which hold top domestic share for EV charging systems, and Samsung SDI’s lithium-ion batteries which hold the largest global share — sweep the Japanese market,” Nichicon Chairman & CEO Ippei Takeda stated.

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Uh-Oh! Government Motors Buys Carbon Offsets!

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 07:58 PM PST

Chevy-to-offset-gas-flaring-carbon

In a move that almost seems calculated to enrage the Right with its Fox- and Rush-driven rage against the Volt, Chevy has announced it will voluntarily buy “8 million tonnes” worth of carbon offsets for $40 million to help it meet “voluntary emission reduction goals” within five years.

Even the spelling in the announcement is sissified. These are not even American tons! (Actually – I quoted European “tonnes” because the news came from the Norwegian-based Point Carbon, that covers carbon trading news from the European Commission’s European Trading Scheme (ETS), its cap & trade program.)

So, the money will just go to fatten Al Gore / big gummint wallets, right?

No, actually, the money generated by the sale of the carbon credits will go directly to buy clean energy. (That is how carbon credits in cap & trade plans work; polluters pay for the switch to cleaner energy so you don’t have to. Chevy is volunteering here, but under a cap & trade plan they would have to buy carbon credits to offset their SUV emissions.)

Chevy’s $40 million goes to North Dakota’s Basin Electric Power Cooperative, to help it buy power from four clean energy projects over the next ten years; that capture waste heat from gas pipelines to convert to energy, and bring wind power to the grid.

Basin Electric has a power purchase contract to buy base-load capacity fueled by waste heat recovered from the exhaust of gas turbines at four compressor stations located along the pipeline in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana.

Ormat waste heat recovery units at the compressor stations generate 44 MW – enough for 15,000 families a year. Chevy will help Basin Electric pay for the power from two of these, one in Culbertson, Montana, and one in Garvin, Minnesota.

Although the waste heat recovery units are piggybacked onto a dirty fuel inside the pipeline (gas) the waste heat recovery unit itself generates a zero emissions energy source, so it qualifies for carbon credits.

The other two projects that the Chevy money (aka “carbon indulgences”) will buy clean power from are more straightforwardly understood as renewable: two wind farms, one a 108 turbine wind farm that Basin Electric co-owns with 600 rural landowners in South Dakota, and a 77 turbine wind farm in North Dakota that was the first project of that size to be owned by a rural coop when it was built.

The projects will generate as many as 7.8 million carbon credits. These are carefully checked by Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), to ensure that carbon credits pay for projects that actually do reduce carbon emissions. VCS is a widely-used offset authenticator for the voluntary carbon market.

Each carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon reduced.

But sadly, Government Motors hardly needs to make Rush Limbaugh’s ditto heads any madder. Clearly, sales of the groundbreaking electric Volt are already impacted by an irrational rage against GM because of ties with the “wrong” administration in a nation now driven close to civil war.

Image: NASA. The EIA calculates that one third of North Dakota gas is flared, which is why the Bakken shale looks like a gigantic city seen from space.

Related posts:

  1. U.N.-Managed Carbon Offsets Called "Global Shell Game"
  2. Elizabethan Era Bank Buys First Carbon Credits From the New World
  3. Siemens Heads Group Researching Cannibalization of Old Electric Motors to Build New Ones


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