Progress at the Department of Energy for Funding R & D

On 8/16/2013 I attended a teleconference re opportunities for funding of R & D sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy. This teleconference was similar to one I attended last year on the same topic. I was happy to see one difference — topics judged to be suitable for funding included a subtopic, “other.” That change means that applicants for funding might get support even if their projects would not necessarily fit within a subtopic that had been narrowly defined by staff at the DOE. Last year, I submitted a pre-application document that specified I would seek a grant to help investigate the feasibility of employing an Energy Island as a source of generated electricity. I got back what was basically a form letter that said my project would not fall within guidelines for funding. I sent a letter complaining that the guidelines were too narrow and would screen out projects with good prospects for important advancements in the area of hydropower applications. I got back another form letter to the effect that the department was too busy to respond to letters in response to notifications like the one I got. That is all in the past now, so I plan to re-submit last year’s pre-application. You can see that pre-application at Pre-Application for R & D Funding from the DOE.

Fuel Fix » Google Becoming Big Energy Player

Fuel Fix » Google becoming big energy player.

Google is a leader in determining how the U.S. will satisfy its energy needs in the future. Google has invested in a wind farm in Texas and a solar plant in California. Other investments have shown support for highly innovative developments: flying wind turbines and a network of transmission lines to service wind farms to be built in waters off the Atlantic coast. Google Energy has independently developed assets for generating electricity that exceed the supply that is delivered by Hoover Dam.

As a customer of utility companies, Google has shown an ability to influence utilities to develop generation of electricity from renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Recently, Grand River Dam Authority, a utility in Oklahoma, moved to invest in a 48-megawatt wind farm. The utility thus succeeded in keeping Google as a customer instead of seeing Google develop its own wind farm. Generally, Google has been effective in stimulating development of electricity from renewable resources because of its willingness to write large, long-term contracts for the purchase of green power from utilities.

Breaking News from Grist: Vermont’s Yankee Nuclear Power Plant to Close

“… the news came at a surprising time: Just two weeks ago, Entergy won a hard-fought U.S. Court of Appeals case. The court ruled that Vermont lawmakers, who’ve been worried by the plant’s poor safety history, lacked the authority to shutter it.”

… more

We have known green energy technologies that can be used to replace generating plants that are unsafe or use fossil fuels. Political leaders need to pass a reasonable carbon tax to facilitate change to green energy before the planet fries. Can green energy supply what is needed? See report from Reality Drop

America has far more than enough renewable energy resources to meet its entire electric demand.

World-class renewable resources from wind in the Great Plains to solar in the Southwest could power the whole country more than a dozen times over. The fuel for these power plants, wind and sunlight, are unlimited and will always be free. State renewable energy standards once considered ambitious at 10 to 40 percent now look modest in light of recent growth. Given our current understanding of renewable energy resources, technology, cost, and integration, it’s now realistic to envision a future where renewable resources provide far higher shares of America’s electric generation needs — 80 to 90 percent or more. The only remaining barriers to achieving such massive increases in renewable energy use are a lack of understanding and a lack of political will. We are overcoming the former as we discover the truth about renewable energy. It’s inexpensive, reliable, abundant, all-American — and yes, it’s still clean.