Monday, December 23, 2013

Ocean Wave Air Pressure Power Plants

Sovereign technologies [link]

“Wave Power Plant Design”, 2013-12-18 []:
100% Green Energy! End Oil & Nuclear Plants for good! Share this and lets make this a reality! Donate to this project: []
it is, however they're taking a long time to reach the most efficient design thats possible engineering-wise. it will come, but it would definetly come faster if more money was put towards development.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Petroleum made from algae

Sovereign technologies [link]

"Algae to crude oil: Million-year natural process takes minutes in the lab"
2013-12-19 from "SPX" newswire []:
Engineers have created a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil minutes after they pour in harvested algae - a verdant green paste with the consistency of pea soup.
The research by engineers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was reported recently in the journal Algal Research. A biofuels company, Utah-based Genifuel Corp., has licensed the technology and is working with an industrial partner to build a pilot plant using the technology.
In the PNNL process, a slurry of wet algae is pumped into the front end of a chemical reactor. Once the system is up and running, out comes crude oil in less than an hour, along with water and a byproduct stream of material containing phosphorus that can be recycled to grow more algae.
With additional conventional refining, the crude algae oil is converted into aviation fuel, gasoline or diesel fuel. And the waste water is processed further, yielding burnable gas and substances like potassium and nitrogen, which, along with the cleansed water, can also be recycled to grow more algae.
While algae has long been considered a potential source of biofuel, and several companies have produced algae-based fuels on a research scale, the fuel is projected to be expensive. The PNNL technology harnesses algae's energy potential efficiently and incorporates a number of methods to reduce the cost of producing algae fuel.
"Cost is the big roadblock for algae-based fuel," said Douglas Elliott, the laboratory fellow who led the PNNL team's research. "We believe that the process we've created will help make algae biofuels much more economical."
PNNL scientists and engineers simplified the production of crude oil from algae by combining several chemical steps into one continuous process. The most important cost-saving step is that the process works with wet algae. Most current processes require the algae to be dried - a process that takes a lot of energy and is expensive. The new process works with an algae slurry that contains as much as 80 to 90 percent water.
"Not having to dry the algae is a big win in this process; that cuts the cost a great deal," said Elliott. "Then there are bonuses, like being able to extract usable gas from the water and then recycle the remaining water and nutrients to help grow more algae, which further reduces costs."
While a few other groups have tested similar processes to create biofuel from wet algae, most of that work is done one batch at a time. The PNNL system runs continuously, processing about 1.5 liters of algae slurry in the research reactor per hour. While that doesn't seem like much, it's much closer to the type of continuous system required for large-scale commercial production.
The PNNL system also eliminates another step required in today's most common algae-processing method: the need for complex processing with solvents like hexane to extract the energy-rich oils from the rest of the algae. Instead, the PNNL team works with the whole algae, subjecting it to very hot water under high pressure to tear apart the substance, converting most of the biomass into liquid and gas fuels.
The system runs at around 350 degrees Celsius (662 degrees Fahrenheit) at a pressure of around 3,000 PSI, combining processes known as hydrothermal liquefaction and catalytic hydrothermal gasification. Elliott says such a high-pressure system is not easy or cheap to build, which is one drawback to the technology, though the cost savings on the back end more than makes up for the investment.
"It's a bit like using a pressure cooker, only the pressures and temperatures we use are much higher," said Elliott. "In a sense, we are duplicating the process in the Earth that converted algae into oil over the course of millions of years. We're just doing it much, much faster."
The products of the process are:
+ Crude oil, which can be converted to aviation fuel, gasoline or diesel fuel. In the team's experiments, generally more than 50 percent of the algae's carbon is converted to energy in crude oil - sometimes as much as 70 percent.
+ Clean water, which can be re-used to grow more algae.
+ Fuel gas, which can be burned to make electricity or cleaned to make natural gas for vehicle fuel in the form of compressed natural gas.
+ Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium - the key nutrients for growing algae.

Elliott has worked on hydrothermal technology for nearly 40 years, applying it to a variety of substances, including wood chips and other substances. Because of the mix of earthy materials in his laboratory, and the constant chemical processing, he jokes that his laboratory sometimes smells "like a mix of dirty socks, rotten eggs and wood smoke" - an accurate assessment.
Genifuel Corp. has worked closely with Elliott's team since 2008, licensing the technology and working initially with PNNL through DOE's Technology Assistance Program to assess the technology.
"This has really been a fruitful collaboration for both Genifuel and PNNL," said James Oyler, president of Genifuel. "The hydrothermal liquefaction process that PNNL developed for biomass makes the conversion of algae to biofuel much more economical. Genifuel has been a partner to improve the technology and make it feasible for use in a commercial system.
"It's a formidable challenge, to make a biofuel that is cost-competitive with established petroleum-based fuels," Oyler added. "This is a huge step in the right direction."

The recent work is part of DOE's National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts, or NAABB. This project was funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Both PNNL and Genifuel have been partners in the NAABB program. In addition to Elliott, authors of the paper include Todd R. Hart, Andrew J. Schmidt, Gary G. Neuenschwander, Leslie J. Rotness, Mariefel V. Olarte, Alan H. Zacher, Karl O. Albrecht, Richard T. Hallen and Johnathan E. Holladay, all at PNNL. Reference: Douglas C. Elliott, Todd R. Hart, Andrew J. Schmidt, Gary G. Neuenschwander, Leslie J. Rotness, Mariefel V. Olarte, Alan H. Zacher, Karl O. Albrecht, Richard T. Hallen and Johnathan E. Holladay, Process development for hydrothermal liquefaction of algae feedstocks in a continuous-flow reactor, Algal Research, Sept. 29, 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.algal.2013.08.005.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Skaggs Island Redevelopment: Emerging Energy Group’s vision

Contact Information:
* Dale Anderson and/or Diane Byrd [415-847-6156] []
* Janet Pomeroy []
* Fred Grange [415-456-2712] [] 
* Douglas Samuels [209-296-7644] [] 

President Obama Administration’s Key Goals:
• Economic Recovery and Development
• Creation of Jobs
• Development and Implementation of Green Energy Technologies

Emerging Energy Group’s Skaggs Island Plan encompasses all of President Obama Administration’s key goals
The EEG Skaggs Island plan puts President Obama Administration’s ideas into action!

The people of California’s San Francisco Bay Region are faced with a choice regarding the fate of Skaggs Island -
Representative Lynn Woolsey has a ‘Good Idea’: U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey’s good idea-U.S. Bill H.R.5844- is to return Skaggs Island to its natural state- which would be to remove the ‘human footprint’ and flood the island- returning it to a marsh condition- preserving the island as part of the North Bay natural wildlife sanctuary.

Emerging Energy Group begs the Question: Should the former 3,300 acre naval base centrally located in the San Pablo Bay area be demolished and flooded at a cost of approximately $30-40 million to the tax payers? Legislators have committed $8 million of California tax money towards demolition of the buildings. The demolition costs are anticipated to be an additional $2.5-3 million for which there is no funding committed. Toxic waste clean-up costs have not been adequately estimated and the federal agencies are disputing financial responsibility.
In order to accomplish the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed flooding of the land major additional funds [federal or California?] will be required- and the only funds ‘committed’ are California funds.
Nevertheless, the demolition and flooding plan of Skaggs Island is proceeding even though there is inadequate funding and disputes between the potential funding sources. The flooding project was planned during better financial times when federal and California tax funds were available. At this time, neither the federal government nor the state of California have the necessary discretionary tax funds required to accomplish the original plan which involved transferring Skaggs Island from the U.S. Navy to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Emerging Energy Group has a ‘Better Idea’ -
This historic WWII military property must be preserved and redeveloped into a green technology industrial and research park?
Furthermore, EEG’s Skaggs Island Plan fulfills President Obama Administration’s Key Goals:
• Economic Recovery and Development
• Creation of Jobs
• Development and Implementation of Green Energy Technologies

Emerging Energy Group’s Skaggs Island plan would allow private industry to revitalize the property into a high tech green and sustainable energy research center designed to meet the need of the 21st Century.
Emerging Energy Group’s Skaggs Island Plan will eliminate the $30-40 million project costs for which we the tax payers would otherwise be burdened.
Approximately 500-1,000 long term jobs will be created.
Private industry would be responsible toxic clean-up and restoration of the buildings. In Emerging Energy Group’s Skaggs Island Plan, the project developers will be responsible for all project costs, not the California and federal tax payer.

Emerging Energy Group’s Skaggs Island Plan -
Emerging Energy Group has diligently searched the San Francisco Bay area for a suitable research and development green industrial park site. The only suitable site EEG was able to locate was Skaggs Island. Skaggs Island is a unique site within the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. There is no other large acreage site available with a key location for the development of a green technology industrial park.
Emerging Energy Group is a consortium of private developers, environment organizations, and private citizens who promote the research and development of green energy technologies. See website:
The Emerging Energy Group - has obtained strong interest in EEG’s green energy technology industrial park development of Skaggs Island from numerous colleges and universities including: UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, as well as from national and international research facilities such as the Buck Institute.
Academic institutions are especially interested in EEG’s Skaggs Island plan because Skaggs Island can fill a research niche unavailable on university campuses:
• Many of the actual research conditions that deserve academic research cannot practically be conducted on existing university campuses
• Skaggs Island can provide a realistic and functional green energy research project site providing developers and researchers the opportunity to conduct experimental testing of emerging technologies.
• Emerging Energy Group’s Skaggs Island plan provides the industrial conditions required for developing green technologies.
Skaggs Island research and development technologies may very likely hold the potential of providing future generations: sustainable energy; clean air; clean water; while also protecting wildlife and the quality of our rivers, lakes, and marshes.

Benefits to California and Federal Tax Payer’s -
Flooding Skaggs Island: 
The benefits demolition are minimal. (The environmental impacts of demolition, however, are serious issues that must require an EIR.) The clean-up of the site’s toxic waste is necessary but there are no funds committed. The benefit of an additional wildlife sanctuary in addition to the existing wildlife sanctuaries of the region is unknown
There will be no economic benefit derived from the demolition project other than
providing short term demolition employment.
There certainly will be no technological benefit for California or America.

EEG’s Skaggs Island Plan:
The redevelopment of Skaggs Island will provide 500-1,000 jobs and bolster community spirit. The preservation of this historic military site will inspire American pride and patriotism for generations to come. The potential economic benefits for the American economy, as a result of the development of green and sustainable technologies, are extraordinary. The savings to tax payers is sensible. The pride that we can all enjoy in being a sponsor of this worthy project by itself provides sufficient cause for supporting Emerging Energy Group’s campaign to save and redevelop Skaggs Island.

Background on U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s ‘Good Idea’ -
U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey authored U.S. Bill H.R. 5844 (April 17, 2008), which was signed into law by President Bush at the end of his term (Nov. 2009) which authorizes the Navy to complete the transfer of Skaggs Island from the Navy to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Woolsey’s bill authorizes the federal government to accept $8 million from the California state environmental funds to demolish the 120 buildings- houses, warehouses, office buildings, apartments, church, store, etc.
However, up to the present (April 2009), the transfer remains held up due to a continuing disputes between the various agencies as to which agencies will pay for the which costs related to the proposed demolition, toxic clean-up, maintenance of pumping system, dike construction, and flooding. Plus, the additional funds required have not been committed.
(Note- Since the 1993 Navy base closure, the Navy has been obligated to maintain the Island’s pumping system to keep the island dry at a cost of $250,000 annually. This ongoing cost would also be assumed by the developers.)

The remaining ‘flooding project’ costs (which remain uncommitted) are approximately $22-32 million.
Uncommitted flooding costs include:
• Demolition costs not committed: $2.5-3 million (Only $8 million of the $10.5-11 million is committed by California State Environmental Fund)
• New bridges and roadways to service island farmers- approximately $5 million
• Clean-up of toxic waste (unknown cost)
• Removal of road way materials and contaminated soil
• Relocate FAA radar facility- approximately $3 million
• Rebuild the pump station to protect the remainder of the island
• Construction of dike and levee system- approximately $12 million
The project has been stalled for several years is due to governmental agencies fighting over which agencies are responsible for which costs and from which agency’s coffer the money is to come.
This entire federal project/federal bill is currently only based on California funding. Perhaps it is the perspective of the federal government that California has tax funds readily available? The fact is that California cannot afford to fund even vitally important environmental programs at this time. Meanwhile the federal agencies refuse to commit federal funding, but ‘want the project to move forward’!
For example, the California Water Quality Control Board Proposition 84 $8.4 grant program to implement Best Management Practices to protect the Central Valley water quality from agricultural contamination was cancelled in January 2009 due to lack of available funding. This program was instigated on the hopes of resolving serious water quality problem hexing the entire California agricultural industry. This is simply one example of California’s financial inability to fund even vitally relevant environmental programs at this time.

Emerging Energy Group develops  a ‘Better Idea’ -
The EEG plan will provide training and employment for veterans as well as for the general public. President Jimmy Carter after being presented the EEG Skaggs Island Plan, offered the services of Habitat for Humanity in remodeling the existing housing.
The adjacent City of Vallejo is experiencing major financial problems (including bankruptcy). The redevelopment of Skaggs Island will bolster Vallejo’s economy- as well as improving the Napa, Sonoma, and Marin counties economies.
Flooding the Island will not.

We should also keep in mind that Skaggs Island already enjoys major infrastructure improvements which are highly valuable and in many situations simply are not available:
• Rail Road and Rail Spur;
• Electrical Transfer Station and Major Power Lines;
• Major Gas Line;
• Roadways and Roadway Accesses;
• Water and Sewer.

Existing infrastructure to be utilized in the EEG plan:
* Green (farm, vineyard, and municipal) waste from Sonoma and Napa Counties that is currently being trucked right by Skaggs Island can be utilized in the Island composting and bio-digestion systems
* Processed biogas can be pumped into the existing gas lines (sold as natural gas).
* Bio-gas can also be utilized onsite for numerous purposes including heating, water heating, industrial uses, etc.
* Biogas can also be utilized to generate electricity. The electricity can be used on site and/or transmitted via the power grid.
* A major solar installation will provide the project electrical power as well as selling electricity to the grid.
* Rail provides an economical and efficient method to transport product to and from Skaggs Island.
Also, Skaggs Island is fairly remote and secluded from passerby visibility. Thus, for the public, the proposed development proposal with not alter the scenic beauty and natural setting enjoyed by travelers on route via State Highway 37. For the researchers, the seclusion of Skaggs Island offer security, safety, and a confidential atmosphere in which to develop new technologies.
Is there a responsible, financially sensible, and well thought out choice possible other than supporting Emerging Energy Group’s campaign to save Skaggs Island?
We think not!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Solar panels seen as boost to homes' resale value"

2013-12-13 by David R. Baker []:
An installer prepares a roof for solar panels in Encinitas (San Diego County). Home buyers tend to prefer newer systems. Photo: Sam Hodgson, Bloomberg

In California at least, home buyers are willing to pay a premium for solar.
A new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that houses with rooftop solar panels sell for higher prices than comparable non-solar homes.
In general, that premium more than covers the cost of the panels themselves, with homeowners making a small profit on their solar investment. Bigger solar arrays fetch higher premiums than smaller ones.
But the study also includes a caveat: Buyers appear to prefer newer solar systems to older arrays. The premium a solar home commands declines with the age of the photovoltaic panels.
"The take-away here is the market is showing that PV is valued by home buyers," said Ben Hoen, staff research associate at the laboratory and the study's lead author. "There could be a green cachet for the PV system that would be over and above the expected price."
The study, "Exploring California PV Home Premiums," examined sales data for 1,894 solar homes and 70,425 comparable non-solar houses sold in California from 2000 through 2009. It builds on an earlier study released by the lab in 2011 that noted the solar premium but didn't explore it in the same depth.
The authors found that the size of a solar array can make a big difference in a home's resale value. Among the houses studied, that value increased about $5,900 for each kilowatt that an array can generate. Most home solar systems can produce between 2 and 5 kilowatts of electricity.
But the premium falls with age, dropping about 9 percent for each year that the array has been in place. That presents a bit of a puzzle. The amount of electricity generated by a silicon solar panel does decline over time, but only by less than 1 percent per year. The premium, in other words, falls much faster than the panel's output.
"They might be perceived as older technology, even if they're still producing electricity at the expected rate," Hoen said.
He cautioned that the premium is not set in stone. Some homeowners will get more for their solar-equipped houses, and some will get less.
"We do not have that level of precision down to a single dollar," Hoen said. "An individual home is going to have its own, individual premium for PV."
Hoen and his fellow researchers plan further updates, using more recent sales figures from multiple states - not just California.
After all, much has changed in the solar market since 2009. The price to install a home solar system in California has been cut nearly in half, from $10.73 per watt at the start of 2009 to $5.71 per watt this year, according to statistics from the state.
In addition, most homeowners going solar now choose to lease their panels rather than buy them outright. Residential solar leases had just begun in 2009, and they weren't examined in the current Berkeley Lab study. Researchers will include them in the study's next iteration, Hoen said.
Assessing the value of home solar systems has been a problem for real estate appraisers. But Hoen noted that the study's results largely tracked those of an appraisal tool called PV Value, developed by Sandia National Laboratories and the Energy Sense Finance consulting firm.
"Valuing homes with green technologies of various kinds is becoming more common," he said. "It's not a process that happens overnight, but it is happening."

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Exposed: The Rightwing's National Plan To Crush Green Energy; From supporting Keystone XL to opposing home solar panels, ALEC planning assault on the environment"

2013-12-05 from Sarah Lazare from "Common Dreams" []:
The American Legislative Exchange Council's war on green protections is poised to expand over the next year, taking aim at the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulations, and even solar panels installed in individual homes.
This is according to internal documents revealed Wednesday by The Guardian and supplemented by interviews that expose this corporate lobbying powerhouse's vast anti-green agenda [].
The revelations come in the midst of a three-day ALEC policy summit in Washington, DC bringing together 800 legislative and corporate leaders from around the country.
In 2014, ALEC will push a series of measures aimed at preventing the federal government from curbing greenhouse gas emissions and blocking state efforts to expand wind and solar power, according to The Guardian's summary of the documents [].
John Eick, the legislative analyst for ALEC's energy, environment and agriculture program, told The Guardian that ALEC will also advocate for increasing financial penalties for individual homeowners who would otherwise benefit from feed-in solar energy programs. Many sustainable energy advocates see state-level feed-in schemes—like the one that recently came under attack in Arizona—as one of the keys to a national transition to clean, renewable energy.
ALEC also notes that its resolution in support of the Keystone XL pipeline has "been introduced in at least seven states this year which has helped highlight state support for this project."
In 2013 alone, ALEC introduced at least 77 anti-green bills in 34 states, according to The Center for Media and Democracy [].
As Connor Gibson, a research associate at Greenpeace, explained to CMD: "ALEC's long time role in denying the science and policy solutions to climate change is shifting into an evolving roadblock on state and federal clean energy incentives, a necessary part of global warming mitigation."
"ALEC's guise of 'free market environmentalism,'" Gibson continued, "is just a code word for its real mission in our states' legislatures: to allow dirty energy companies to pollute as much as they want, to attack incentives for clean energy competitors and to secure government handouts to oil, gas and coal interests. That's not a free market."
An excerpt from the documents, boasting of past accomplishments, can be seen below.