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1st Commercial-Scale Tidal Power Turbine; Ethanol DeathWatch Map; Flying Cars?; Electric Planes



July 19, 2008 – Comments (8) | RELATED TICKERS: GM , TM , F

 "The world’s first commercial-scale tidal turbine, developed by British tidal energy company, Marine Current Turbines, has delivered electricity onto the grid for the first time. In principle, SeaGen works much like an “underwater windmill” with the rotors driven by the power of the tidal currents rather than the wind. Conservative estimates suggest there is at least five gigawatts of power in tidal flows in Britain, but there could be as much as 15GW.

The tidal current turbine, known as SeaGen, has briefly generated 150kW of power onto the grid as part of its commissioning work, ahead of it achieving full capacity a few weeks from now. SeaGen’s power is being intentionally constrained to 300kW during the commissioning phase, but once fully operational, it will generate 1.2MW of clean, renewable energy to the equivalent of 1000 homes."

Rest of the story is here:

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Taken from The Big Picture:

Ethanol DeathWatch Map


"With the price of Oil down $18 over the past week -- off 12% from the $147 high -- perhaps its time to pull out the BioFuels/Ethanol DeathWatch Map

Its a terrific Google Maps Mashup (via GigaOm) that shows the various biofuel plants that are having "hiccups."

Earth2Tech Maps: Biofuels Deathwatch

"Biofuel plants have been put on hold faster than your phone company’s tech support line. With corn and soy prices hitting record high prices and an ethanol glut flooding the market, ethanol’s profit margin per gallon has dropped to a meager 25 cents from $2. That’s causing numerous ethanol and biodiesel plants to get put on hold or downright canceled. Hundreds of millions of gallons of production capacity and hundreds of millions of dollars in biofuel investments are now hanging in limbo, as investors hope prices will level out.

That’s not to say that ethanol is dead in the water. There’s a variety of positive reports coming out on the future of the industry — there’s reports that see a meaningful future for ethanol , as well reports saying ethanol could be deliver a better-than-expected energy return. Add in a healthy merger and acquisition market and biofuels will play a role in the future of weaning the U.S. off oil.

They’re just having some serious growing pains. Below we’ve mapped out specific biofuel plant hiccups complete with annotations. It’s a work in progress and we’ll be adding more plants as news comes in and please add any extra information in the comments."

Berkshire Hathaway Charlie Munger on Ethanol    

When asked by a shareholder about ethanol, Charlie Munger made the following statement: Wheat and Corn Fields

"Running cars on corn is about the stupidest thing I ever heard of. Our government is under tremendous political pressure [to keep pushing and supporting corn ethanol] even though it makes no sense." He goes on to state an unpopular view in Nebraska, "More energy is used producing ethanol than it creates and that's without considering the damage to the topsoil producing fuel when we could be producing food." Munger further states that it's silly to drive up the price of food in order to provide an uneconomic fuel, as well as a dumb government policy.

I have to say that it takes some guts to be against anything that drives up the price of corn. Brave Mr. Munger, very brave.

Mr. Buffett said, "Well Charlie, we'll be sneaking you out of Omaha tonight."'s_Trades/Neuberts_Trades/Berkshire_Hathaway_Charlie_Munger_on_Ethanol_20070505306/

The Onion: Mean Automakers Dash Hope For Flying Cars (Humor)


Solar Plane


Electric Plane

Pipistrel Taurus Electro: Pipistrel plans to start selling its electric-powered glider this year.

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8 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 19, 2008 at 9:38 AM, abitare (29.55) wrote:

FYI - Clinton vs Bush (sorry could not get the picture to load) 

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#2) On July 19, 2008 at 10:00 AM, abitare (29.55) wrote:

Where Plug-In Hybrid Conversions (mostly Priuses) Are

"Below is a chronology of hybrid Toyota Priuses and Ford Escapes that have been converted. Unless otherwise noted, all are Prius. If you're interested in converting your Prius, see the information at How To Get a Plug-In Hybrid. At this moment, options for individuals are still limited." 

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#3) On July 19, 2008 at 9:15 PM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

The picture was priceless.

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#4) On July 19, 2008 at 9:29 PM, abitare (29.55) wrote:

FYI - Human Footprint:


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#5) On July 19, 2008 at 10:54 PM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

What was the carbon foot print to do all the studies on all of this? Have we really changed. This is what I grew up with,

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#6) On July 19, 2008 at 11:17 PM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

I try to follow but I fail a lot.

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#7) On July 20, 2008 at 9:53 PM, abitare (29.55) wrote:

An Air Car You Could See in 2009: ZPM’s 106 MPG Compressed-Air Hybrid 

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#8) On July 21, 2008 at 12:23 AM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

Windows That Double As Solar Panels RELATED ARTICLES Researchers develop efficient solar power devicesThe future of solar-powered houses is clearNew Solar Technology Sets World RecordNew Solar Panel Technology Stylish and Sustainable /energy/article/37693

MIT researchers have announced that they have created “organic solar concentrators” that could make windows become powerful solar panels in as little as three years.

The concentrator is mixture of two or more dyes painted onto a pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb light across a range of wavelengths, re-emit it at a different wavelength and transport it across the pane to the solar cells at the edges. Focusing the light like this increases the electrical power generated by each solar cell by a factor of 40.  
Checks ordered at French nuclear sites after leak RELATED ARTICLES Laos sunshine turns villagers greenNZ engineers convicted for depleting ozone layerRestoring Tanzania's ecosystemsAustralian man killed in water-rage attack /energy/article/37684

PARIS (Reuters) - Authorities will hold tests at all French nuclear power plants to ensure leaks like the one this month at Tricastin in southern France have not occurred, Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo told a newspaper.

Plant operator Areva said earlier this month that 30 cubic meters of liquid containing non-enriched uranium was accidentally poured on to the ground and into a river at the Tricastin site.  

Utility-Scale Solar Thermal Growing Fast RELATED ARTICLES California approves Solel-PG&E solar contractSolar Plant Planned In California DesertIsrael site for California solar power test$3 Billion Solar Power Deal Signed By California Utility /sci-tech/article/37486

Concentrating solar power (CSP) plants produce electricity at a utility scale by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight. New technology has made CSP the fastest growing utility-scale, renewable energy source in the U.S. after wind power, with utility companies such as California’s Pacific Gas and Electric and Arizona Public Service planning to add over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of new CSP over the next ten years.

Although the power of concentrated sunlight has been recognized since ancient times, modern-era, utility-scale CSP sprang from the sands of California’s Mojave Desert in the late 1980s when Israel’s Luz Industries (now Luz II) built nine CSP plants that, combined, still generate 354 MW. The CSP industry in the U.S. has been virtually dormant since then, but it is now seeing a resurgence thanks to an increase in demand for clean energy and a decrease in costs.  

'Thirsty' electric cars threaten water resources March 6, 2008 09:59 AM - New Scientist

They may not be gas-guzzlers, but electric cars have a raging thirst for water. A comparison of the volume of coolant water used in the thermoelectric power plants that provide most of our electricity and that used in extracting and refining petroleum suggests that electric vehicles require significantly more water per mile than those powered by gasoline.  

GM plans 1,000 fuel cell cars in California April 2, 2008 06:26 PM - Reuters

SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - General Motors Corp plans to have 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in California between 2012 to 2014 to comply with the state's goal to put thousands of cleaner cars on its roads. GM has about 60 Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicles in Southern California now, the automaker's vice president for research & development and planning, Larry Burns, said at the National Hydrogen Association conference here.

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