December 29, 2006

BIO Blogs' Top Stories of 2006

2006 - A Watershed Year for BIOfuels

This was a watershed year for the biofuels industry. Fears about war, global warming, and pocketbook issues will affect public opinion, action, and purchases for decades to come. Starting with the President's "addiction to oil" admission in his State of the Union address and the rising carnage in the Middle East, followed by the spring/summer oil price spike and "The Inconvenient Truth" of global warming, the gordian knot of interrelated problems seems insurmountable.

And yet, as former CIA Director James Woolsey contends, national security can be greatly enhanced in the short term by building a cellulosic ethanol industry based on biomass conversion to ethanol. This would simultaneously reduce our addiction to fossil fuels using cheap feedstock and reduce runaway greenhouse gas emissions, while increasing our national self-reliance on clean renewable energy. The only question is a matter of will - do we have the commitment and persistence to fight for a future virtually free of dependence on foreign oil? The consequences of sticking with the status quo are too onerous to contemplate.

Worldwide technological developments, governmental mandates, and capital investments have been startlingly brisk this year. And yet, we are only at the "bleeding edge" of market development. 2007 promises to see the early commercial-scale deployments of many emerging technologies.

Here are their most significant developments of 2006, organized by Blog...

BIOstock Blog
Scientists set sights on biomass to reduce fossil fuel dependence
Tires-to-Ethanol Facility Planned for New Jersey
Using Algae to Recycle Flue Gas into Biofuels
Reducing Biofuel Risk through Feedstock Diversification
FLORIDA: County to Vaporize Trash
Expanded Recycling - a Key to Cutting Fossil Fuels and Global Warming
Forests: Carbon S(t)inks?
Renaissance of the Forest Products Industry
Cellulosic Ethanol from Woody Biomass
FLORIDA: Citrus Peels as BIOstock

BIOconversion Blog
DIGEST - California AB 1090 Issues and Support
The Military Surcharge for Oil
White House: The Advanced Energy Initiative
RFA: Ethanol Industry Outlook 2006
Ethanol Industry Braces for Growing Pains
CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles Waste-to-Energy Plan Passed Unanimously
Green Jobs for America: Two Reports
Visionary Investors Cast Their Eye on Ethanol
CALIFORNIA: Bioenergy Action Plan - Final Released
CBS 60 Minutes: The Ethanol Solution
CHINA: The Food vs. Energy Feedstock Conundrum
Syngas Fermentation - The Next Generation of Ethanol
U.S. D.O.E.: Roadmap for Developing Cleaner Fuels
CALIFORNIA: Governor Announces BioEnergy Action Plan
CALIFORNIA: Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
U.S. D.O.E.: 5-year Plan for Biomass Conversion
Upgrading Existing Plants for Biomass Conversion
Global BIOstock/BIOfuels Database
Bioenergy Gateway: Energy from Wood
Woody Biomass-to-Ethanol Demonstration Plant Contracted

BIOoutput Blog
General Motors - Live Green/Go Yellow Campaign
Plug-in Partners National PHEV Initiative
MOVIE: Who Killed the Electric Car?
Recycling’s “China Syndrome”
Terra Preta: Black is the New Green
Developing Ethanol's Side-stream Chemicals
Impact of Global Growth on Carbon Emissions
U.S. D.O.E.: Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gases
BIOplastics: BIOdegradable by-products of BIOconversion
"Mermaids' Tears" - Unrecycled plastic chokes the seas
A Tale of Two Auto Shows

The final week of the year, BIOpact has written a Looking back on 2006 series of articles summarizing worldwide factors affecting development in the biomass conversion industry. It would be hard to find a more comprehensive view, broken down by geographic zone, summarizing the implications of global developments:
Looking back on 2006
The year in review: Asia
The year in review: Africa
The year in review: Latin America

Grist, the clever and controversial environmental news and commentary website, has put together a special series of stories on biofuels called Fill 'er Up. While I tend to be much more upbeat than the Grist writers, the stories are as thought-provoking - whereas the Gristmill Blog is as wild and wooly as the Grist readership.

The Renewable Energy Access has their own two yearend summaries. Renewable Energy Roadmap: Rural America Can Prosper addresses the impact reaching the 25x25 goal would have on farm income and jobs. They also offer an opinion of the Top Stories of 2006. However, most of these concern developments in solar energy.


technorati , , , , , ,

3 comments:

Jay Draiman said...

MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY – THE ENERGY EVOLUTION –R2

In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
"Energy drives our entire economy." We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy."
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption.

The implementation could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy.

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task.

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.


Jay Draiman
Northridge, CA. 91325
12-31-2006

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

C. Scott Miller, EDP said...

You reflect the frustration and the passion of many voters who have born mute witness to the inertia exhibited by our elected leaders on energy issues. Thirty years ago, during the last major oil crisis, we were promised that alternative renewable energy would be actively pursued by our government. That didn't happen. It did happen in Brazil and now they have a flex-fuel energy infrastructure and we don't.

There is a tie between energy and politics. Japan's thirst for natural resources led to Pearl Harbor. The tectonic cultural friction in the Middle East, exacerbated by foreign oil dependency and wealth, led to Twin Towers, the Spanish train explosions, London Tube terrorism, etc. Decentralizing the production of energy is key to reducing the friction between cultures.

However, there could be unintended consequences if the changes are mandated on the quick schedule you outline. A government-led "Manhattan Project" could be counter-productive if planned without the evolutionary advantages of free enterprise initiative. We need our leaders to enable and reward decentralized approaches to address the challenges. Punitive, top down penalties and taxes are not the answer.

Jay Draiman said...

Energy Independence begins with Energy efficiency

Updated
MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY – THE ENERGY EVOLUTION –R15
By Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy Sources must change.
"Energy drives our entire economy.” We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy." The American way of life is not negotiable.
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects, replacement of appliances, motors, HVAC with the use of energy efficient materials-products, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, insulation, retrofits etc. The source of energy must be by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, Ocean-Tidal, Hydrogen-Fuel Cell etc. This includes the utilizing of water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption. (Sales tax on renewable energy products and energy efficiency should be reduced or eliminated)

The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy. (This can be done by amending building code)

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer at market price), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task. As an inducement to buy hybrid automobiles (sales tax should be reduced or eliminated on American manufactured automobiles).

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (This will also create a substantial amount of new jobs). It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors’ commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) (rainwater harvesting, water conservation) (energy and natural resources conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.

"To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
Northridge, CA. 91325
May 31, 2007

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.

I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.

"the way we produce and use energy must fundamentally change."
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

The Oil Companies should be required to invest a substantial percentage of their profit in renewable energy R&D and implementation. Those who do not will be panelized by the public at large by boy cutting their products.

Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs) the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X's 5 hrs per day X's 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 2

4 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence. (Installation should be paid “performance based”).

Installation of renewable energy and its performance should be paid to the installer and manufacturer based on "performance based" (that means they are held accountable for the performance of the product - that includes the automobile industry). This will gain the trust and confidence of the end-user to proceed with such a project; it will also prove to the public that it is a viable avenue of energy conservation.

Installing a renewable energy system on your home or business increases the value of the property and provides a marketing advantage. It also decreases our trade deficit.

Nations of the world should unite and join together in a cohesive effort to develop and implement MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY for the sake of humankind and future generations.

The head of the U.S. government's renewable energy lab said Monday (Feb. 5) that the federal government is doing "embarrassingly few things" to foster renewable energy, leaving leadership to the states at a time of opportunity to change the nation's energy future. "I see little happening at the federal level. Much more needs to happen." What's needed, he said, is a change of our national mind set. Instead of viewing the hurdles that still face renewable sources and setting national energy goals with those hurdles in mind, we should set ambitious national renewable energy goals and set about overcoming the hurdles to meet them. We have an opportunity, an opportunity we can take advantage of or an opportunity we can squander and let go,"

solar energy - the direct conversion of sunlight with solar cells, either into electricity or hydrogen, faces cost hurdles independent of their intrinsic efficiency. Ways must be found to lower production costs and design better conversion and storage systems.

Disenco Energy of the UK has announced it has reached important
milestones leading to full commercialization, such as the completion of
field trials for its home, micro combined heat and power plant (m-CHP).
The company expects to begin a product roll out in the second quarter of
2008.
Operating at over 90 percent efficiency, the m-CHP will be able to
provide 15 kilowatts of thermal energy (about 50,000 Btu’s) for heat and
hot water and generate 3 kilowatts of electricity. The m-CHP uses a
Stirling engine generator and would be a direct replacement for a home’s
boiler.
Running on piped-in natural gas the unit would create some independence
from the power grid, but still remain connected to the gas supply
network.
Whereas heat is supplied only when the generator is running (or
conversely electricity is generated only when heat is needed) a back-up
battery system and heavily insulated hot water storage tank seem
eventual options for more complete energy independence.

FEDERAL BUILDINGS WITH SOLAR ENERGY – Renewable Energy
All government buildings, Federal, State, County, City etc. should be mandated to be energy efficient and must use renewable energy on all new structures and structures that are been remodeled/upgraded.
"The government should serve as an example to its citizens"

Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
Northridge, CA 91325
Email: renewableenergy2@msn.com.