November 2013


When Warren speaks everyone listens. So for this Thanksgiving buy a little stock in a renewable energy company and enjoy…

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/11/27/when-it-comes-to-renewable-energy-buffetts-not-blo.aspx

Here’s What Warren Buffett Thinks About Renewable Energy


“Rule No. 1: Never Lose Money. Rule No. 2: Never Forget Rule No. 1.”
–Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is famous for both his legendary investing acumen, and his simple, straightforward investing advice. For years, alternative energy has been viewed as non-competitive with traditional energy production from coal and other fossil fuels, making them money-losers for most investors.

Buffett’s own Berkshire Hathaway  (NYSE: BRK-B  ) subsidiary MidAmerican Energy is heavily investing in alternative energy sources, including both wind and solar. And considering that MidAmerican produces more than $1.2 billion in annual “ammo” for Buffett’s “elephant gun,” the story on renewables is clearly changing.

Should investors follow the Oracle into “green energy” to make more greenbacks? Let’s take a look.

MidAmerican has been investing in wind energy for a decade, and is easily the largest producer of wind energy in North America; wind actually accounts for more than 30% of the company’s total energy generation capacity. Current projects will move the total to almost 40%.

MidAmerican has relied on both General Electric  (NYSE: GE  ) and Vestas  (NASDAQOTH: VWDRY  ) for wind turbines for different projects. A large project in California, which deployed more than 300 megawatts of power generating capacity, featured 100 Vestas wind turbines. GE’s turbines, on the other hand, are the most commonly used in MidAmerican’s fleet

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Go there and read.  More next week. When it is my birthday, YAA.

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As I said last week and as was discussed on Science News Friday on NPR last Friday, when is it gonna be ok to say global warming or climate change is causing the weather? Because in my estimate that has been happening for the last 10 years. Really. Russian catches on fire (twice), Australia catches fire (twice), China gets slammed by a massive snow storm, Iran gets slammed by a typhoon, and Eastern Europe is flooded so badly that hundreds die all seem to me to be indicators that there is a connection. But as the research scientist said under prodding from a very dogged interviewer, Ira Flatow, well maybe in a decade we will have enough data for something like that. Which is actually the result of the hammering of the science community received in public by the coal, oil and natural gas industry (the hydrocarbon industries in general).

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-illinois-tornado-victims-20131117,0,6329450.story#axzz2lDo95w88

Tornadoes tear across Midwest, killing at least 5 in Illinois

At least five people were killed Sunday in a tornado outbreak that left dozens more injured across the Midwest, and officials feared the toll could rise as emergency responders sifted through the wreckage.

Illinois has suffered the brunt of the storms’ wrath, which swept through communities in Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky, smashing homes, toppling cell towers and tossing cars in a rare November tornado outbreak. One twister was estimated to be half a mile wide.

An elderly man and his sister were found dead after a tornado struck their farmhouse in New Minden in southern Illinois, Washington County coroner Mark Styninger told the Associated Press.

About 100 miles to the south, a twister pounced on a trailer park in the tiny riverside community of Brookport, Ill. A representative of Massac County’s emergency response office said officials had received unconfirmed reports of fatalities and of residents trapped in the wreckage.

“It’s a mess,” Larry Douglas, a former manager of the Massac County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency and a current agency volunteer, told the Los Angeles Times.

[Updated, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17: By Sunday evening, officials had confirmed five deaths, the Chicago Tribune reported — one in Washington and four in the southern part of the state.]

A preliminary report from the National Weather Service said at least 50 mobile homes in two trailer parks could have taken a “direct hit.”

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Go there and read. More next week…especially if the weather gets bad.

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Climatologists and weather people are always nattering on about how you can’t link global warming and a “particular’ WEATHER EVENT. Well I say that is super silly. This last hurricane to hit the Philippines (one of 4 already this season) was caused by global warming. I mean come on, the most powerful storm ever to strike land. When do adjectives like that add up to – caused by. Does the next biggest “ever” storm = global warming. Does a year of the “biggest” storms ever = global warming. Really when can I drop the parenthesis around all the adjectives and just say it out loud. Well I believe today is the day.

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/521536/20131112/climate-change-warsaw-global-warming-typhoon-haiyan.htm#.UoJYfOInN5r

Climate Change Talks: Philippine Representative in Tears Over Haiyan, Receives Standing Ovation

By Reissa Su | November 12, 2013 7:51 PM EST

Typhoon Haiyan has dampened the spirits of climate change negotiators in an international talk on global climate change treaty in Warsaw. Delegates from around the world quickly suggested that the monster typhoon that wreaked havoc in the Philippines was enhanced by global warming.

Typhoon Haiyan has left Vietnam and is now on its way to China at a reduced strength. The super storm has displaced over 600,000 families in the Philippines  leaving most of Tacloban City devastated.

Lead negotiator for an alliance of small island nations Olai Ngedikes said that Typhoon Haiyan should be a “stark reminder” of the lack of action among governments in the world. He said the typhoon should motivate climate change negotiators to push an agreement in Warsaw.

Philippine representative to the UN climate change talks, Naderev Sano said he would fast or refrain from eating in solidarity with typhoon victims or until a meaningful solution will be reached. Mr Sano said the effect of climate change is madness. He added they can put an end to the madness by arriving at an agreement in Warsaw.

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Go there and see the video. Go there and read. More next week.

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Residential energy conservation has stagnated somewhat in the last 3 or 4 years. I do not know what the dampers are, whether it is price or attitude for instance. New houses are a lot more efficient but the efforts to improve existing housing stock have stalled. Here is an article about those latest techniques.

http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Energy-Efficiency-and-Renewable-Programs/Residential/Emerging-Technologies-and-Accelerated-Commercialization.aspx

Emerging Technologies and Accelerated Commercialization (ETAC) in the Residential Sector

Opportunities to achieve energy-efficiency gains in the residential sector beyond traditional building and retrofit techniques have been limited by underutilization of emerging technologies that are commercially-available, but face barriers to widespread adoption in the industry. Technologies and techniques such as solid state lighting, lighting controls, home energy management systems, smart-grid integration, micro-combined heat and power, and super insulation have proven benefits. But they have seen limited market adoption, due to obstacles such as upfront costs, consumer and builder awareness and the lack of infrastructure support, including activities such as supply chain development, sales training and installer certification.

The ETAC initiative seeks to address the barriers to market acceptance by facilitating in-field demonstrations and the subsequent technology transfers. Widespread, large-scale demonstrations will incorporate these technologies into energy-efficiency projects, where the savings potential will be monitored and validated. In parallel, other marketplace needs will be addressed, such as the development of a training curriculum for designers and specifiers, installer-certification standards, consumer-education materials, and maintenance processes. Following the demonstration period, results will be communicated to the marketplace via various means such as case studies, presentations, and webinars.

While this specific initiative is focused on emerging technologies in the residential sector, NYSERDA will also demonstrate emerging technologies for the multifamily and commercial/industrial sectors through parallel ETAC initiative

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Go there and read. More next week.

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