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.
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.