We hear the press clamoring about the price of gas. We see it when we fill up at the local gas station. Gas prices have recently skyrocketed. This is not the first time and this certainly will not be the last time. Consider this one of many downsides of globalization. Political instability, market speculators, and global demand will affect the US for many years to come. This is the world we live in (more…)
Alternative energy (or renewable energy) is a new manufacturing industry paradigm that is in its infancy. However, the discussion is not new, and it looks as if the United States has positioned itself to be behind history on what can be a very promising industry for a stumbling economy. After the oil shortages in the (more…)
Three years after unveiling his plan for U.S. energy independence, which won praise from environmentalists for its reliance on wind power, Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens is back with a proposal to convert the U.S. trucking fleet to natural gas. But as his new plan gains traction, questions arise over how green it really is.
Remember the Pickens Plan? (more…)
(Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will unveil as early as Monday a slimmed-down energy bill seeking to make offshore drilling safer and convert trucks to run on domestic natural gas.
The full Senate could begin consideration of Reid’s bill on Tuesday and Democrats would like to pass it by the early part of the following week. (more…)
A period of extremely cold, windless weather has brought home to the British the drawbacks of relying on wind power and the need to keep a supply of natural gas in reserve. While the cold spell has strained natural gas supplies, leading in some cases to cutoffs to industrial users, it also has highlighted the unpredictability of wind power. Although Britain’s wind farms are supposed to provide 5 percent of the country’s electricity, they were in fact only providing 0.2 percent during the recent run of frigid, still days.
The “locavore” movement is big, especially in California. With the bounty of food found locally in the Bay Area, living off the land — and sea — is not only possible, but also a delicious exercise.
But there’s another, less obvious, revolution brewing here in the Bay Area: the “locavolt” movement. In response to high gasoline and natural gas prices, global warming and an increasingly unstable, scary world, people are looking to generate power right in their own homes and neighborhoods with free energy from nature.
Technology advances in computers, telecommunications, generators, inverters, and even cars, are all giving the locavolt new tools to harness renewable energy and lead a fairly normal life.
Within the next few years, plug-in hybrid cars in California will be able to serve as a mini-power generator for your home and store renewable energy from your solar photovoltaics system or your small wind turbine. Plug-in hybrids may also help balance out a smarter electricity grid capable of easily sending power back and forth between generators and consumers, much like we send and receive e-mails on the Internet today.
In a move that will surely provide an additional boost for the alternative energy industry, and perhaps T. Boone Pickens‘ plan, the US Department of Treasury has finally released guidelines for claiming the grants instead of the federal tax credit. Applications will be submitted online. However, the Treasury will not be accepting applications at this time.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February allowed for business taxpayers to apply for direct payments instead of claiming a tax credit on their income tax return. This applied to the credit under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) Section 45 (Energy Produced for Certain Renewable Resources) and IRC Section 48 (Energy Credit). Property that applies to this includes geothermal, biomass, micro wind turbines, and solar amongst others.
Even as the irrepressible T. Boone Pickens had to scrap his “Pickens Plan” on Tuesday, in part due to a paucity of transmission capacity, last week brought another hurdle for the chances of building out the transmission infrastructure that Pickens and the country will need to bring more renewable power on-line. Why am I not surprised that we are not all rowing in the same direction here?
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.
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.