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Obama administration announced $2.3 Billion for Clean Energy



January 13, 2010 – Comments (18)

Jan 13, 2010 01:35 PM | about stocks: ZBB, COMV, ITRI, DGII, ELON, ENOC, FSLR, STP, SPWRA, CSIQ, TSL, SOLF, LDK, SOL, CSUN, ASYS

Friday, January 8, 2010
The Business Journal
The Obama administration announced Friday the awarding of $2.3 billion in stimulus tax credits for clean energy manufacturing projects across the country, including $35.9 million for Wisconsin firms or for projects in the state.

Energy Storage is Key to Smart Grid according to Department of Energy

The awards include $12.45 million in tax credits to Waukesha Electric Systems Inc. in Waukesha for an expansion of its plant to produce large, high-voltage power transformers.

Another significant tax credit award, $14.87 million, will go to ZBB Energy Inc. (AMEX: ZBB), a Menomonee Falls-based manufacturer of large-scale zinc bromide batteries for alternative energy applications.

Spain-based Ingeteam was awarded $1.66 million in tax credits to build wind turbine generators and power converter and control systems for the wind and solar industry.

City and state economic development leaders traveled to Spain last fall in an effort to lure a wind energy technology company to invest in Milwaukee. Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce president Tim Sheehy declined to comment Friday afternoon when asked if Ingeteam was the company the Milwaukee contingent had visited with while on the trip to Spain.

Local representatives of Ingeteam, which has an office in Mequon, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Sheehy said a decision by the Spanish company being targeted as to whether it will invest in Milwaukee is likely to come early this year.

The White House said that the Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits will be shared among 183 projects in 43 states and create tens of thousands of "high-quality clean energy jobs" while promoting domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including solar, wind, and efficiency and energy management technologies.

"Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future," said President Obama. "The Recovery Act awards I am announcing today will help close the clean energy gap that has grown between America and other nations while creating good jobs, reducing our carbon emissions and increasing our energy security."

This effort, along with other Recovery Act investments, is expected to drive significant growth in the renewable energy and clean technology manufacturing sectors and give the United States the ability to lead globally in these markets. The investment tax credits, worth up to 30 percent of each planned project, will leverage private capital for a total investment of nearly $7.7 billion in high-tech manufacturing in the United States.

Other Wisconsin companies receiving credits are:


CalStar Products, Caledonia, will get a $2.44 million tax credit to manufacture bricks and pavers from coal power plant fly ash. The process uses 88 percent less energy than traditional fired clay products, while avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions associated with concrete, and makes beneficial use of fly ash.Kaydon Corp. will get a $1.77 million tax credit to re-equip and expand its plant in Milwaukee to produce pitch and yaw bearings used in the production and assembly of wind energy turbines. Kaydon is based in Ann Arbor, Mich.Wausaukee Composites Inc. will get $930,810 in tax credits to manufacture fiberglass wind turbine components.Bassett Inc., of Kaukauna, will receive $868,500 in tax credits to manufacture wind turbine towers and foundation components for all sizes of turbines and a $75,000 tax credit to manufacture carbon capture and sequestration systems to extract and trap carbon from waste systems from coal fired power plants.Cooper Power Systems, or Waukesha, is receiving $846,180 in tax credits for a new facility that will be producing high efficiency transformers. Themes: Clean Energy Stocks

18 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 13, 2010 at 2:53 PM, davejh23 (< 20) wrote:

"The White House said that the Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits will be shared among 183 projects in 43 states and create tens of thousands of "high-quality clean energy jobs" while promoting domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including solar, wind, and efficiency and energy management technologies."

An investment of $2.3 billion is going to create "tens of thousands" of jobs?  A talented engineer, even in a weak job market, can demand $100K+ annually.  $125K, including benefits, would be a conservative estimate.  So, $2.3 billion might pay the salaries of ~18K new engineers for a could be far less if relocation is required, etc...  It's far more likely that no new engineers will be hired and these companies will maintain their current employees and try to compete with current industry leaders that are better funded and are years ahead in their R&D. 

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#2) On January 13, 2010 at 3:20 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

I was just looking at some of the Department of Energy projects related to Fuel Cell R&D and ran across a really interesting project related to a high sulfur coal scrubbing process that not only removes the sulfur but converts it to clean hydrogen at the same time.

The greater the sulfur content, the more hydrogen is reclaimed from the scrubbing process. 

Its already been tested on a 30MW power station abroad.

There's a lot more to clean energy then solar panels and wind mills and the DOE has been funding research for the alternatives for decades.

Hopefully a chunk of this will fund the commercialization of some of the high quality alternatives we have been funding with tax dollars for years.

Sidenote: the fuel cell process is also a solar collector that not only stores electricity but generates clean hydrogen as a byproduct. To bad the process is industrial use only.

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#3) On January 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Tax credits for industry is a great thing!!! Cap and Trade isn't.

After I posted #2 I stopped to wonder why this scrubber technology isn't in play. Is it possible that one hand doesn't know what the other is doing? Is it possible that the test results of tax based R&D by the DOE isn't finding its way out to the industries that need it?

I have a lot of trouble understanding why the Coal Miners and Coal Industry in high sulfur regions along with the Utilities and Industries who don't want to discard coal burning furnaces aren't teaming up to perfect this scrubber.

Reducing Carbon emissions (note: carbon monoxide is released from inefficient systems that only partially burn fuels) could result from a scrubber that produces hydrogen from the waste. The resulting hydrogen could then be introduced into the primary combustion process reducing the input of high sulfur coal?

Obviously there would be an equilibrium point (amount needed for input in relation to the stored hydrogen for secondary burn) but at that point the same ton of coal would be far more efficient, cleaner, and thus reduce the carbon footprint for a ton of coal?

Seems like a win win to preserve infrastructure while new plants are being built from the cost savings and secondary by-product revenues?

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#4) On January 13, 2010 at 6:12 PM, davejh23 (< 20) wrote:


The large energy companies that dominate the power generation industry (GE, Siemens, etc...) already have efficient scrubber technologies that are being marketed to their existing customers.  The technology you're discussing sounds interesting, but I don't think the hydrogen produced would be used in the combustion process.  Hydrogen would not be useful in conjunction with boilers at coal-fired steam turbine plants...unless you had large amounts of hydrogen to burn and entirely new systems to heat water using the hydrogen.  Hydrogen is used to cool generators, but this is a closed system where excess hydrogen wouldn't be useful.  As you know, hydrogen isn't the most stable fuel to use for combustion (highly explosive, high burning temperature), but there could be other uses for the hydrogen produced.

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#5) On January 13, 2010 at 6:14 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

I think I'm starting to get "IT". Sorry, I've been out of touch.

US coal production accounts for 50% of annual USA electricity and coal production is due to peak around 2025. At the same time, the quality of coal is reducing resulting in the need to burn more.

High sulfur coal in the Midwest is largely untapped but violates EPA standards. Sulfur scrubbers will be mandatory for all plants by 2018.

The scrubber mentioned above could be an ideal solution but we're due to run out of domestic coal reserves sometime between 2100-2200. We're currently exporting approximately 40% of production and importing cheaper coal from South America to save the cost of rail transport. Oops, I should have said to lower our carbon footprint ; )

Not to be an pragmatist but has anyone calculated the number of square miles of solar panels and land it will take to meet 50% of annual electricity production in 2100?

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#6) On January 13, 2010 at 6:24 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Thanks davejh23 ,

I think you're right or they would have already done it. I'm assuming they are aware of the DOE project.

I suppose they could sell the hydrogen as a by-product.

Its a shame though, as a fuel cell for the home its amazing but uses toxic hydrogen-bromine as a carrier.

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#7) On January 13, 2010 at 6:35 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:


Maximum noon-day sun is around 900W/square meter, and the efficiency of the cells is around 15%.  But you don't need to know this.  The amortized cost for solar is around 300% higher than conventional sources.  If they vastly improved this figure then I would be interested.

The really funny thing about sulfur scrubbers is that they are thought to increase the amount of warming because they reduce the amount of sulfate aerosols in the upper atmosphere which reflect solar radiation.

I object to coal fired plants because they release trace amounts of mercury which can add up to tons over a year.



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#8) On January 13, 2010 at 7:50 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Thanks NOTvuffett,

I think the scrubber I posted also addresses the Mercury vapor but the major by-products are Hydrogen, Sulfuric acid, and Nitric acid.

I ran across this which I thought was pretty amazing.

In 2007, other renewables represented 105,235,000 MW (Megawatthours) of energy out of a total generation of 4,156,745,000 MW.

Other renewables represents the summation of the sub-categories of Wind, Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic, Wood and Wood Derived Fuels, Geothermal, and Other Biomass.

If you add in Nuclear and Hydroelectric, I didn't include burning tires and garbage as Green, the Green energy represents 1,159,170,000 MW which is about 28% of 2007 power generation.

By comparison, Coal was 2,016,456,000 MW which is about 1.5 times "Green" or 48.5% of 2007 power generation. The remaining power was from Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Other Gases. Other gases are blast furnace gas, propane gas, and other manufactured and waste gases derived from fossil fuels.


So, this is actually ok news. Prior to the 2.3 billion tax credit and 2 years ago, we were already running over 28% green power generation. Lets assume that solar has increased over the last 2 years and we already 30% Green.

This is actually pretty amazing, why don't they ever give us the Good News. 

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#9) On January 13, 2010 at 8:09 PM, topsecret09 (83.94) wrote:

Energy Storage is Key to Smart Grid according to Departme......

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#10) On January 13, 2010 at 8:21 PM, topsecret09 (83.94) wrote:

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $24 Million Smart Grid Stimulus Grant Award to Beacon PowerFunding will provide 50% of construction costs for 20 MW flywheel energy storage plant in ChicagoTYNGSBORO, Mass., Nov 24, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Beacon Power Corporation (Nasdaq: BCON), a company that designs and develops advanced products and services to support more stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation, said today that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it has awarded a stimulus grant to Beacon valued at $24 million, for use in the construction of the Company's second 20 MW flywheel energy storage plant, to be located in Chicago, Illinois.

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#11) On January 13, 2010 at 8:39 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Here's the fuel cell he also developed with a DOE grant that uses a similar process:



"Thus, by forming HBr as an intermediate hydrogen carrier from water and bromine, the energy cost, which is the largest cost element of electrolytic hydrogen, is significantly reduced. As an example, if electricity costs $.02/kWh and natural gas costs $2/MBtu, the SRT process substitutes roughly $6.00 of high-value electrical energy with $2.00 worth of lower-value natural gas. Electrical power requirements are a major expense factor that conspires against widespread electrolytic hydrogen production." 

"Additionally, when recombining hydrogen and bromine in a fuel cell, up to 90% of the chemical energy stored in the reactants can be recaptured as electricity, versus only about 50% for state-ofthe-art hydrogen/air fuel cells. This leads to an electric-to-electric efficiency approaching 80% for the system versus 40% for hydrogen/air and 35% for most fossil fuel-fired power generators. In fact, the electrical characteristics of the hydrogen/bromine fuel cell can be compared to a battery in terms of response time, with the major difference that it is only necessary to increase the amount of chemical reactant to increase capacity (kWh). Other benefits afforded by hydrogen bromine are reduced capital and O&M costs."

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#12) On January 13, 2010 at 8:55 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Very cleaver idea to make the grid a bit more efficient topsecret09 

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#13) On January 13, 2010 at 9:06 PM, topsecret09 (83.94) wrote:

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#14) On January 14, 2010 at 11:59 AM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

I must be living in a cave.

Who knew that Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Light Commercial / Residential / Backup are already being used in the kilowatt and megawatt range with zero emissions. They are standalone generators that are not connected to the power grid with efficiencies (47%-80%) -- exceed most power plants (37%).

I found about 50 2008 industrial scale sites using Hydrogen fuel cells and it was interesting to find that water treatment plants are using them to convert biogas into electricity. Note: the Fuel Cells require Natural Gas, Biogas, or Carbon Monoxide as a fuel.


Fuel Cells for Power Generation -- UPDATED 2008 EDITION!
The US Fuel Cell Council has completely revised this reader-friendly brochure with up-to-date information on some of the most prominent fuel cell manufacturers in the industry. Member company work is highlighted, with pictures of a wide variety of commercially available and "in the works" fuel cell systems. The brochure reviews fuel cells for stationary applications such as distributed generation, CHP and emergency back up power. Topics such as technological and environmental benefits as well as applicable codes and standards are also covered.



“Environmental criteria demand near-zero emissions and ultra high efficiency from new electric generating capacity...These environmental characteristics are inherent in fuel cell systems.”

— Department of Energy 2003 Distributed Generation Brochure

Fuel cells are commercially available today for power generation ranging in sizes from under one kilowatt (kW) to scalable multi-megawatt (MW) systems – suitable for applications ranging from residential and small industrial backup power, to large industrial “base load” grid applications. These systems have achieved billions of kilowatt hours (kWh) of successful operation at customer sites worldwide. In selected markets fuel cell systems are cheaper to own and operate on a life-cycle basis than incumbent technologies. State incentives and a 30% federal tax credit are also helping early adopters reduce the initial cost of fuel cell systems.

Fuel cell power systems are quiet, clean, highly efficient onsite electrical generators that use an electro-chemical process – not combustion – to convert fuel into electricity. In addition to providing electricity, they can supply thermal energy for hot water and space heating, or absorption cooling. Fuel cells have the potential to reduce facility energy service costs by 20% to 40% over conventional power service.

The principle of the fuel cell has been known since the 19th century. In the 1960s, NASA dramatically advanced fuel cell technology by developing it for use in space vehicles, using hydrogen (H2) fuel. Current fuel choices include natural gas and propane, methane gas from landfills, biogases, methanol and other renewable hydrocarbons. Fuel cells operating on hydrogen are also available in certain applications/situations.

Fuel cells have near zero, ultra low air emissions and provide environmental performance unmatched by any other fuel-consuming technology

Reliability: Fuel cells have highly consistent performance with reliability estimates in some configurations reaching 99.9999%. 

Stationary fuel cell systems can be built in sizes from less than 1 kW to greater than 2 MW in capacity. These systems can be used in continuous operation as primary power and some types can be used intermittently as backup or occasional power. Since fuel cell systems also generate heat, steam or hot water from the fuel cell can be used to supplement the customer’s energy needs as part of a combined heat and power system.


Light Commercial / Residential / Backup

Ballard Power Systems

Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd.

Distributed Energy Systems

(formerly Proton Energy Systems)


FuelCell Energy, Inc.

General Motors

Hydrogenics Corporation

HydroGen Corporation

IdaTech, LL C

Millennium Cell Inc.


Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc.

Plug Power, Inc.

Siemens Power Generation, Inc.

UTC Power

Versa Power Systems, Inc.

Ztek Corporation 

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#15) On January 14, 2010 at 12:06 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Hmmm - if you read all that you saw the sentence "State incentives and a 30% federal tax credit are also helping early adopters reduce the initial cost of fuel cell systems."

That statement was published in 2008. When did the 30% federal tax credit start?

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#16) On January 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Wow, talk about a beaten down sector. Sorry, most of the companies I listed are either privately held, bankrupt, penny stocks, or have negative eps.

The 2 major stand outs are Siemens (SI) and UTC Fuel Cells which is a part of United Technologies (UTX).

Industrial Fuel Cell technology has been presented and demoed for years with the sponsorship of the DOE so my apology for implying that industry may not have been aware of the opportunities.

For some strange reason Fuel Cells have not been broadly adopted. Seems like they should be part of every water treatment plant, hospital, and municipal project but I suspect States don't get the Federal break.

Hydrogen and or electricity generated from the cells can also be used to cheaply and cleanly power Municipal Buses, Postal Vehicles, Garbage Trucks, and, this one is really fun, Locomotives.

Maybe after we run out of silver making solar arrays we'll rediscover it?

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#17) On January 15, 2010 at 9:40 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

For David "who threw the first stone" ; )


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#18) On January 15, 2010 at 10:00 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Just in case anyone missed the related blogs:

Aviation pioneer and master engineer Burt Rutan on Global Warming

30 Years of Global Cooling Are Coming, Leading Scientist Says 

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