Methane Hydrates – Good for Japan but what about the rest of us

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster Japan has needed to find new power sources. This could be it and it is in their backyard. This could free up Japan’s stagnate economy because the cost would be so much cheaper and the money would stay in Japan. I need to know much more about how they extract the hydrates, how they process them and how they use them before I can say that this will be great for the rest of us.

http://theenergycollective.com/sbattaglia/200361/methane-hydrate-future-of-energy

Japan’s Methane Hydrates and the Future of Global Energy

Posted March 19, 2013

Authored by:

Sarah Battaglia

Sarah Battaglia has been one of the in-house Copywriters and the Social Media Specialist for Energy Curtailment Specialists since 2011.

All eyes are on Japan as they recently became the first country to successfully extract natural gas from methane hydrate deposits, commonly referred to as “flammable ice,” located nearly 900 feet below the seabed.  For a country that imports almost all of its energy, this discovery could be an incredible asset.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daichii disaster, Japan is in the process of moving away from nuclear power, and this new source of natural gas could be just the solution.  Spokesperson for the Japan Oil, Gas, & Metal National Corp. (JOGMEC) Takami Kawamoto stated, “Japan could finally have an energy source to call its own.”  The New York Times described methane hydrate as “a sherbet-like substance that can form when methane gas is trapped in ice below the seabed or underground.”  Even though it may resemble ice, it will burn when heated.  JOGMEC predicts at least 1.1 trillion cubic meters of this substance can be found in the eastern Nankai Trough located off the Pacific Coast.  That could be enough natural gas to last Japan 11 years!  Furthermore, an estimated 7 trillion cubic meters of “flammable ice” can be found throughout Japan’s waters, supplying natural gas for several decades.

When asked about the process, JOGMEC stated, “With specialized equipment, the team drilled into and then lowered the pressure in the undersea methane hydrate reserve, causing the methane and ice to separate.  It then piped the natural gas to the surface.”  The gas can also be attained by heating the solid methane hydrate, but this process uses a considerable amount of energy.

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Wind Farm Gets Blown Away – It is a classic shame

It is true. Not in my backyard is a syndrome that can be defused but you have to start early and you have to speak often and sincerely. Utility Executives just do not have the right touch and even when they care they hire bright shiny faces that lack any sense of truthfulness.

http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2013/02/26/new-england-offshore-wind-planning-offers-lessons-for-great-lakes/

New England offshore wind planning offers lessons for Great Lakes

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When Scandia, a Norwegian wind company, announced its plans to install 200 turbines in Lake Michigan four miles from the tourist town of Ludington, Michigan, in 2009, they likely didn’t anticipate the controversy that would erupt.

After all, the project would be delivering domestically produced renewable energy to replace planet-warming fossil fuels. It would create local jobs installing and operating the turbines. A nearby pumped-hydro facility for storing backup energy sat in the nearby dunes, complete with substations and high-voltage lines they could use to move electricity from their offshore turbines to the grid.

“The developer thought, We’ll build wind farms out in Lake Michigan, hook up in Ludington, and everyone will be delighted,” recalled Arn Boezaart, director of the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center at Grand Valley State University.

Instead, “they were basically run out of town,” Boezaart recalled.

Residents of this picturesque town were outraged about the prospects of scores of wind turbines ruining their view. Nobody had consulted them. And Michigan, like every other Great Lakes state, lacks even a rudimentary procedure for regulating offshore wind farms, without which there would be little opportunity for public hearings.

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Renewables Cheapest Downunder – Australia is in a good position to kick coal

This is actually happening all around the world. During one day last year the Germans got all the power they used from renewables. All the old bullshit it turning into compost and will be forgotten.

http://grist.org/climate-energy/renewables-cheaper-than-coal-in-australia-a-preview-of-things-to-come/

Renewables cheaper than coal in Australia — a preview of things to come

By:

David Roberts

Energy, politics, and more

I’m morbidly fascinated by the way conventional wisdom lags behind evidence, like the notion that renewable energy is expensive and fossil fuels cheap. In fact, there is a tectonic shift underway. Renewable energy prices are declining as technology improves, economies of scale kick in, financing mechanisms mature, and public policy begins to take some (inadequate) account of the negative externalities of fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, the cost of coal-fired electricity is heading up. It’s getting harder to finance coal plants in the face of competition from clean(er) energy, activist opposition, and the inevitability of some kind of carbon policy. Construction costs are rising. Transportation costs are rising. It’s getting harder to reach the coal that’s left in the ground. Etc.

The two lines — falling renewable energy costs and rising coal costs — are going to cross. It’ll happen everywhere eventually. According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysis, it’s already happened down under: “Renewable energy now cheaper than new fossil fuels in Australia.”

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Fusion By 2050 – Probably not but these are good folks to link to

I got my doubts that fusion will ever work. It is kinda like the God particle. If you do not build a machine big enough, you are never going to find it. The machine does not guarantee that you WILL find the god particle it just gives you a chance. The fusion machine is the same sort of thing. Will it work and will it supply excess power. Stay tuned.

http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2013/01/17/fusion-electricity-to-become-part-of-european-grid-by-2050/#.UPmy2WejInd

Fusion Electricity to Become Part of European Grid by 2050

By: on January 17, 2013

A road map that indicates how the energy of the stars , or fusion energy, can be added to the European grid by year 2050, was released by the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA).

Detaileded review of the current status of fusion research, identification of open issues and development of new programmes and research will be the most important factors leading to accomplishment of the goal.

Fusion energy has been long studied due to the fact that it is unlimited, safe and does not produce greenhouse gas emissions or radioactive waste. Current initiatives to produce fusion energy, however, have not been successful mainly because the amount of input energy has always been higher than the output.

In this respect, a new international experiment, ITER, is about to start operating in year 2020. It is funded by Europe and six other nations and it is expected to be the first project that will produce net surplus of fusion power.

Considering that China is already launching a programme that will supply fusion electricity by 2050, Europe will have to catch up by pursuing a pragmatic approach. According to Dr Francesco Romanelli, EFDA Leader, the road map indicates how this will happen at a reasonable cost

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The Swedish continue to dominate in the housing industry – They put America to shame

This house is air tight and over powered. These are 2 things that really turn me on. A night in that house would be a continous orgasm. Oh and did I mention that the house is in Sweden.

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/remodeling-design/blogs/villa-%C3%A5karp-a-super-efficient-home-that-scores-an-a-in-surplus-ene

Villa Åkarp: A super-efficient home that scores an A+ in surplus energy production
After construction wrapped up in 2009, Villa Åkarp’s energy-plus ambitions have come true: The super-insulated Swedish home’s rooftop solar system generates an excess of 600kWh annually.
Tue, Sep 11 2012 at 5:36 PM
Keeping up with today’s mini-trend of (shockingly) non-IKEA-related housing news coming out of Sweden, I thought I’d revisit a notable residential building project located outside of the city of Malmö that I first made mention of way back in November 2009.
When I intially caught wind of said project, Villa Åkarp, it was under construction with the lofty ambition of becoming an energy-plus (or positive) home. In other words, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is not only influenced by stringent Passivhaus building standards that focus on energy recovery and conservation (high amounts of insulation, triple pane windows, thermal recovery, strategic building orientation, etc.), but energy generation as well. Thanks in part to a 32-square-meter rooftop photovoltaic array, the now-completed residence produces significantly more energy than it consumes. In all, the airtight home’s solar panels produce around 4,200 kilowatt hours (kWh) of juice per year (mainly during the summer months) with a surplus of around 600kWh annually that’s fed back into the grid in a partnership with local green utility provider E. ON. That’s enough energy to power another energy-efficient home for two months.

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Some things in the solar world are shakey – Solar City pumping itself up.

The solar industry has always been a dicey niche market. They are the ups and downs of a new market trying to find its place in the energy portfolio. Great article.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/12/solarcity_n_2283374.html?utm_hp_ref=renewable-energy

SolarCity Delays IPO, Likely To Lower Price

San Jose Mercury News  |  By Dana Hull Posted: 12/12/2012 11:19 am EST  |  Updated: 12/12/2012 2:49 pm EST

SAN MATEO — In a worrisome sign for the cleantech sector, SolarCity postponed its IPO plans late Tuesday, perhaps to reduce the price of shares below its original range.

The delay came after SolarCity Chairman Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, made the unusual move of stepping in to buy $15 million worth of shares, or 12 percent of the total offering. Musk’s willingness to put more skin in the company he helped found was intended to boost investor interest.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday evening if the IPO is simply being delayed for a day or two or if there are more serious problems that could lead the company to shelve plans to go public. SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive could not immediately be reached for comment, and calls to the company’s press office were not returned.

Solar companies, particularly manufacturers, have been battered for months. The “solar curse” began with the bankruptcy of Fremont solar manufacturer Solyndra in 2011, which cast a long shadow over the industry. In April, Oakland-based BrightSource Energy canceled its IPO plans at the final hour.

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How To Turn Illinois Into A Renewable State – I am not sure I agree

But this guy is a good writer and the points are well thought out.

http://grist.org/climate-energy/how-to-make-illinois-into-a-clean-energy-leader/

David Roberts

Energy, politics, and more

How to make Illinois into a clean-energy leader

Illinois is a big deal where power is concerned: of U.S. states, it’s the sixth largest consumer of electricity and the fourth largest producer. It has more nuclear power plants than any other state and is unusually dense with underutilized transmission lines, which are at a premium these days. It has a thriving wind power industry (though it is a sad 18th in installed solar capacity), and a bustling, green-minded metropolis in Chicago, which boasts nearly 80,000 green jobs.

So it’s too bad the Illinois power system makes the Talmud look like The Da Vinci Code. I’ve been talking to people about it for a week and I feel like my brain got mugged in a back alley.

Nonetheless! States are where it’s at, in terms of clean-energy policy, and significant things are going on in Illinois. I shall attempt to make sense of them for you.

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Save the nukes for when the Sun dims – that is if humans are even around

Most Christians (and many other end of the Earth religions) assume that humans will be here when it happens. I got my doubts about that. The way we are treating the Earth we may be extinct in 50 years. Very few species make it for a couple million years let alone the billions we have to go but if we were smart we would be saving the nukes for the end.

http://www.energy-net.org/NONUKES.HTM

Why a Nuclear Free World is Important

We are now facing an energy crossroad as a culture. Everyone was effected by the price of gas that peaked during the summer of 2008. The world has fallen into a consumer trap where a growing number of people around the world are using finite oil resources to drive to work. The energy it takes to drive a car is like having 700 human slaves pushing that vehicle for a few cents per hour. The era of oil is rapidly coming to an end as the entire planet hunts down the last accessible oil reserves. At the same time, the burning of fossil fuels is polluting the air and water. There is a global shift to move away from oil driven cars. This means electric cars or better, redesigning our communities so we work close to home.

Thirty years ago, energy and environmental activists warned Americans about this coming crisis but were drowned out by the energy industry and the media’s failure to be honest with the public. In 1992, one half of the world’s Nobel Laureates signed onto a call that the world had 20 years to deal with our growing global energy and population crisis. That call was ignored by America’s leaders and the media. Some experts say we only have a few years to keep from being bankrupted by energy costs and global carrying capacity collapses.

The nuclear power industry has been claiming that it can rescue us from climate change and the coming energy crisis. Wrong! The arguments from this failed industry should not be trusted and in fact, represent a disastrous misuse of economic resources at such a critical moment. Their last experiment in Science Fiction has left the world neck deep in deadly wastes and economic boondoggles.

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CEOs admit that nuclear power is dead

It is true. They are waving the flag of surrender. But more importantly, this is a really cool organization that I have never heard of. I am changing that today.

http://www.beyondnuclear.org/the-nuclear-retreat/2012/8/2/general-electrics-immelt-down-on-nukes.html

General Electric’s Immelt down on nukes

DateAugust 2, 2012

 

The latest confession of the nuclear retreat comes in the interview by Financial Times with none other than General Electric’s Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt. “It’s hard to justify nuclear, really hard,” said Immelt. He joins John “I’m the nuclear guy” Rowe, CEO of Chicago-based electricity giant Exelon Nuclear, who admitted this year that new nuclear power plants were “utterly uneconomical.”

These latest remarks come as no surprise given the atomic industry’s decades’ old penchant for economic failure going back to what Forbes Magazine described in 1985 as “the largest managerial disaster in business history.”  More egregious is how power executives can ignore the constant and many warning signs. Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investment and Fitch Financial Services have been saying for years that risky new reactor construction likely turns to financially toxic assets. Where were Immelt and Rowe when CitiBank called nuclear power the “corporate killer”?  In fact, they were among the corporate heads vying for tens of billions dollars in federal taxpayer “loans” approved by Congress for ludicrously expensive new reactor construction

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Pro Nuke Article Starts Out With A Bang – And closes with a whimper

Again, you have to take this crap, well like a load of crap. Still it represents the industry opinion, so in fairness I put it up, but this is the last one.

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=184146

Anti-nuke madness & global warming

Gwynne Dyer
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 – After the loss of 10 million American lives in the Three-Mile Island calamity in 1979, the death of 2 billion in the Chernobyl holocaust in 1986, and now the abandonment of all of northern Japan following the death of millions in last year’s Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, it is hardly surprising that the world’s biggest users of nuclear power are shutting their plants down.Oh, wait a minute. … This just in! Nobody died in the Three-Mile Island calamity; 28 plant workers were killed and 15 other people subsequently died of thyroid cancer in the Chernobyl holocaust; and nobody died in the Fukushima catastrophe. In fact, northern Japan has not been evacuated after all.They have already shut them down in Japan. All of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors were closed for safety checks after the tsunami damaged the Fukushima plant, and only two have reopened so far. The government, which was previously planning to increase nuclear’s share of the national energy mix to half by 2030, has now promised to close every nuclear power plant in Japan permanently by 2040. The new Japanese plan says that the country will replace the missing nuclear energy with an eightfold increase in renewable energy The truth is that as the Arctic sea ice melts and grain harvests are devastated by heat waves and drought, the world’s third-largest user of nuclear energy has decided to go back to emitting lots and lots of carbon dioxide.

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