Thursday, July 16th, 2009
IQwind, an Israel-based start-up developing variable gear technology that improves the energy generation efficiency of wind turbines, has raised $500,000 from ISRAEL G-TEK LLC, according to an announcement by the U.S.-based investors.
IQwind received a first round of investment from Terra Venture Partners in 2007.
Sami Shiro and Uri Benhamron, principals at ISRAEL G-TEK, explain that the investment in IQWind is part of their “plan to create a balanced portfolio of greentech companies with a special focus on Israel as a breeding ground for technology.”
Friday, July 10th, 2009
What would you do if you were worth $3 billion? T. Boone Pickens? Propose to build one of the largest wind farms in Texas, of course!
T. Boone Pickens, American financier and Chairman of BP Capital Management, ironically grew his wealth initially through mergers and acquisitions of oil and gas companies. From there, Pickens expanded his company, Mesa Petroleum, to be one of the largest independent oil companies in the world by 1981.
With his continued success came much criticism. During his peak, Pickens has been accused of being a “corporate raider” – investors who essentially direct or execute a hostile takeover of a company, often with the agenda of breaking up and selling various assets of the company to gain large profits. Though most of his attempts at corporate raiding failed, his endeavors drove the targeted company’s stock up, making Pickens and other investors millions of dollars.
Monday, July 6th, 2009
China will break ground this month on a gigantic, $17 billion wind power farm in the northwestern part of the country that will produce 5 gigawatts of power by next year and 20 gigawatts by 2020, according to the official Xinhua news service. The installation in Gansu Province is known as the “Three Gorges of Wind Power” after the gigantic Three Gorges hydroelectric dam on the Yangtze River. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the Gansu wind power installation is scheduled by 2020 to produce five times the power of T. Boone Pickens’ proposed wind power project on the U.S. Great Plains.
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
The week before last was the culmination of a labor of love for Sunil Paul and Claire Tomkins with the launch of the Gigaton Throwdown in DC after 18 months of hard work, researching and – as I witnessed first hand – coralling the efforts of other researchers.
What is the Gigaton Throwdown?
The Gigaton Throwdown Study was launched as a Clinton Global Initiative in 2007. It was started as a project to educate and inspire entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers to think big about solving the climate crisis. It was an effort to answer Sunil’s question, “What does it take to make a difference with clean energy technology?” (more…)
Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
Ken Salazar's solar array and cowboy hat combo should be more common under the plan announced yesterday for the Southwest
Yesterday’s big announcement by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar heralded what may be a new era for solar power, as thousands of acres of federal land in six Southwestern states were set aside to become a special federal solar energy zone designed to facilitate siting, construction and deployment of as much as 70,000 MW of new solar capacity.
Today, it is wind’s turn in the sun. The front page of the Boston Globe and local broadcast reports are abuzz with the news that Governor Deval Patrick’s administration has released a new plan to re-zone state coastal waters to better balance the need for marine ecological protections with the hope that Massachusetts can harvest more of its offshore wind as useful electricity.
In the absence of all of the plan’s details (a full presser was scheduled for the afternoon of July 1 at the New England Aquarium in Boston), the media has already shifted to score-keeping. There is at least one clear loser, as the plan deals a death blow to a particular Buzzards Bay proposal for 300 MW of offshore wind. The wind farm would sit in what is now a restricted area.
Monday, June 29th, 2009
The Grenelle de l’Environnement is a series of measures and laws promoting and advancing sustainable development in all major economic sectors in France. From climate change mitigation to biodiversity protection, it is very comprehensive.
Launched in 2007 after a series of debates between the State, unions, employers, NGOs and local authorities, the Grenelle is quite a success as its first effects are becoming visible.
For my first article here, I would like to present you its latest development.
According to an article [Fr] from the AFP, the installed wind power capacity in France reached 4,000 MW. In line with the targets set by the Grenelle, up to 25 GW will have to be installed by 2020. Out of these, five are due to be offshore. (more…)
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
When we talk about wind, solar and geothermal power, geographical conditions such as surface areas and sunny latitudes are very important. Turkey offers excellent conditions for all of these renewable energy sources. Its young population of 70 million – 61% are under the age of 35 – and its strategic location between Europe and the Middle East, add to Turkey’s potential for a leading green power nation.
As Turkey aims at taking its place among the top-ten biggest economies by 2050, an increase in its energy consumption is inevitable. Electricity demand has been growing with an annual rate of 6.5% since 2002, up to current levels of 198,000 GWh/y. Scenarios forecast a 6% growth rate until 2020, compared to growth rates of 1-3% in developed countries. However, Turkey’s growth of electricity supply barely matches its fast growth of demand. The country began experiencing shortages already, and power has become a more popular daily topic. (more…)
Monday, June 15th, 2009
As the world celebrates Global Wind Day on June 15th, we are reminded of the economic, political, and legal issues that must be addressed to further advance wind technology. With regard to the legal issues, consideration must always be given to the patent landscape. In the past twenty years, nearly 500 U.S. patents have issued with the words “wind turbine” in the claims; 123 patents issuing in 2008 alone. The technologies covered vary from improvements in blade design to methods for detecting ice on a wind turbine. Patents are government validated assets. For those who do not own the assets, patents become economic roadblocks. Companies in the wind-energy industry must face the reality: You either own the assets, or are subject to the roadblocks.
Before bringing a new product to market, every wind energy company should ask itself two important questions:
Monday, May 11th, 2009
A colleague of mine said to me recently, “No energy is clean energy.”
Which got me thinking. Of course, Clean Coal comes to mind. And people love to say that “No coal is clean,” and “Clean Coal is an oxymoron.”
OK, OK. It’s not the best marketing term I’ve ever heard. There is a U.S. Department of Energy program that uses the term, and that program has funded gasification and carbon sequestration projects. So there is such a thing, whatever you want to call it. How about “Clean(er) Coal”?
Then I thought about wind. Big, majestic, white turbines … cutting up birds that fly into them. Whoops. That’s not very clean.
Friday, April 24th, 2009
The news out of New York was big. The New York Power Authority is working on rules for siting 120 megawatts of offshore wind turbines in Lakes Erie and Ontario.
But a bigger wind and water story was hatched this week in the Great Plains. President Barack Obama, in an Earth Day speech in Iowa, said his administration is clearing the red tape for siting windmills on the outer continental shelf.
Forbes.com reports that the Department of Interior’s Mineral and Management Service will grant wind developers leases and easements to erect wind farms on the shelf, along with rights of way to wire wind power from water to land. There’s been a moratorium on offshore wind development for about four years in the United States; all the offshore wind is in Europe for now.