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Bigger, Boulder, Better

Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to read this.

We want to put up the best conference on Breaktrough Energy ever.

Due to popular demand and much enthusiasm we have already started planning the 2013 conference. This time we are bringing GlobalBEM to the United States!

Here is where you come in:  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/globalbem-breakthrough-energy-movement

We didn’t break even with our 2012 conference, but thanks to private sponsors we were able to make it happen. That’s why this time we want to get YOU involved and support the cause. We want to spread the word about breakthrough energy technologies and its implications. We can’t make this conference happen and bring this wealth of information to the world without your help.

On top of our running costs/operational costs, we have an urgent milestone that we need your help with. Our goal is to raise $30,000 with this campaign to cover airline and hotel reservations for our speakers and team.

Can you envision a world free of fossil fuels, that is both economically sustainable and environmentally responsabel?

Promo Video: Breakthrough Energy Conference 2013

 

Global Breakthrough Energy Movement on the SmartScarecrow Show.

Video Link: Global Breaktrough Energy Movement on SmartScarecrow

Breakthrough Energy Conference 2013

It is on. We are gearing up for the upcoming Breakthrough Energy Conference in Boulder, Colorado, United States.

Check out the program, the speakers, the venue and secure your ticket. (Early bird rates available)

The next couple of months we will be working on making this a one of a kind experience within the Breakthrough Energy field. This year’s program won’t be just for scientists and experts, but for anyone who is interested in innovation and improving life on our planet. There will be something for everyone. Our three day program will cover the past, present and future of Breakthrough Energy (BE) technologies, the implications in all affected areas of life and the obstacles in the way of development and implementation.

With over 30 speakers, two conference rooms and a 3 day program, this event is designed to focus on the full scope of Breakthrough Energy Technologies. Our speaker lineup for the  conference this October represents some of the brightest minds in the field.

Introduction video:

Breakthrough Energy Conference 2013

 

The new consciousness of renewable energies continues to gain momentum

machu-picchu-peru-3_l

The new consciousness of renewable energies continues to gain momentum. It transcend political, geographical and religious boundaries.

The evidence can be seen in recent news articles. Millions of people are now involved worldwide in the research, manufacture and deployment of renewable energy. The following recent  stories from all over the world show how diverse and significant these projects are. It also demonstrates how socially responsible governments are becoming using  funding initiatives to often target the most underprivileged  in society (Peru).

Many would say it is still not enough, and we agree. The following stories would have been laughed at as propositions just a decade ago. It is interesting to see how committed Asian and South American countries are. It is re assuring that no matter the location, culture, type of government or religion, this now can really be seen as a global effort.

 

Story 1

Peru Solar Power Program for 2 Million Of Poorest Peruvians

Original story published by : 
By Don Lieber: http://planetsave.com/2013/07/15/peru-to-power-2-million-of-its-poorest-by-solar-energy/

Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino said that the program will allow 95% of Peru to have access to electricity by the end of 2016. Currently, approximately 66% of the population has access to electricity.“This program is aimed at the poorest people, those who lack access to electric lighting and still use oil lamps, spending their own resources to pay for fuels that harm their health,” said Merino.

The first phase of the program, called “The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program” was initiated on Monday (July 8) in the Contumaza province, where 1,601 solar panels were installed. These installations will power 126 impoverished communities in the districts of Cupisnique, San Benito, Tantarica, Chilete, Yonan, San Luis, and Contai.The program plans to install about 12,500 solar (photovoltaic) systems to provide for approximately 500,000 households at an overall cost of about $200 million.

Peru is the third-largest country in South America, with a population over 24 million. It has average solar radiation levels which can reach 5 kWh per m2 a day in the Sierra (foothill of The Andes). Peru is also home to the first major PV installation in Latin America.

This follows Peru’s public commitments to accelerate renewable energy development.Joining a growing number of developing countries turning to reverse auctions as the preferred means of meeting their renewable energy development goals, Peru conducted its first renewable energy auction tender in 2010, giving local private sector project developers and banks the opportunity to participate in new investment opportunities. In the 2010 auction, Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, working through regulatory supervisor OSINERGMIN, awarded contracts to install a total 411.7 MW of clean, renewable energy: three wind energy (142 MW), four solar energy (80 MW), two biomass (27.4 MW), and 17 small-scale hydro power projects (162 MW). Another contract for an additional small-scale hydro power project of 18 MW was awarded in a second round auction later that year.

Story 2

Original story published by Reuters :http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/254914f0-ed29-11e2-8d7c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2ZAEV8y5a

China aims to quadruple solar power generating capacity

BEIJING/HONG KONG, July 15 – China aims to more than quadruple solar power generating capacity to 35 gigawatts by 2015 in an apparent attempt to ease a massive glut in the domestic solar panel industry.

The target has been stated previously by the State Grid, which manages the country’s electricity distribution, but now has the official backing of the State Council, the country’s cabinet and its top governing body.

solar-panels_2597461b

China will add about 10GW per year from 2013-15, the State Council said in a statement.If met, the increase in solar power generation would benefit not only domestic panel producers like Suntech Power Holdings and LDK Solar, but also manufacturers globally who have struggled against a flood of cheap Chinese exports. Both Europe and the US have launched anti-dumping duties against China’s solar panel exports.

But analysts are sceptical, citing a lack of funding for solar subsidies and the absence of infrastructure required to harness intermittent renewable energy.“I think China can boost capacity to 21GW but it would be very difficult to reach 35GW,” said Jason Cai, chief analyst at Shanghai-based consultancy Solarzoom.

China’s manufacturing capacity, the world’s largest, is about 45GW versus global demand of 35GW estimated for this year, industry figures show. Domestically installed solar power generating capacity stood at just 8GW at the end of 2012.

Story 3

Original story published by worldwatch: http://www.worldwatch.org/system/files/The%209%20Billion-Philippines-roadmap_072013.pdf

Philippines Plans To Reach 100% Renewable Energy Within 10 Years

The Philippines, which has a population of almost 95 million, has just laid the groundwork for a comprehensive clean energy plan that will get the country on
track to 100% renewable energy within the next decade.  In a meeting with the Climate Change Commission and Worldwatch Institute’s Climate and Energy Director Alexander Ochs, the groundwork was laid for a Sustainable Energy Roadmap that will help the Philippines achieve this goal.
download geo

“This country has an enormous opportunity to demonstrate how smart and integrated energy planning can be done in the 21st century,” said Ochs. “Any country in the world has great potential for at least one renewable resource, such as biomass, geothermal, hydro, ocean, solar or wind. The Philippines has them all, as well as the human resources, technological know-how, and political leadership necessary to make a low-emissions transition a reality within less than a generation.”

The country has already taken some serious steps with geothermal and hydropower, but Ochs says a Sustainable Energy Roadmap will really get the Philippines on track to a clean energy future that also accounts for social and economic needs. This is definitely one of the most ambitious goals worldwide, since many countries are instead opting for a smaller percentage of renewables by 2020-2050. Philippines is aiming for 100% right off the bat, taking advantage of the fact that clean energy opportunity is available in various forms. It will be fascinating to watch as it is achieved in coming years.

Solar 40 Cents Per Watt A Reality Next Year According To RSI

 

gI_147336_RecordModule

RSI today announced a new world record for cadmium telluride photovoltaic module size, achieving a 1.5 square meter module. Conventional cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules measure 0.72 square meters, a limitation that stems from the use of high temperature CdTe deposition processes. RSI has developed a proprietary tool and low temperature process, known as Rapid Efficient Electroplating on Large-areas (REEL), that both speeds the plating step and eliminates constraints on panel area. The company projects a manufacturing cost of less than 40 cents per peak watt in 2014. 

What is special about this is that the increase in size will have a flow on effect reducing the cost of mounting, fittings and install time which is still the major cost to solar projects. This will bring total solar farm project costs below $1.50 per watt capital cost. In some peoples eyes this is around the line in the sand for grid parity. However grid parity depends on location, and environmental factors.

Fist Solar who are the worlds largest manufacturer of cadmium telluride photovoltaic panels predict they will be at 40 cents per watt in another 3 years. They turn over in excess of 3 billion USD, but recently hat hit a production plateau as demand was tested in the market place with over supply an dumping.

cdte1To roll out the technology faster, rather than the traditional ” lets build a big factory model) they will be licencing manufacturers with the infrastructure on a regional basis. This is a way of risk and capital costs, as well as time to production. RSI’s CEO Ed Grady said that the company is in active negotiations with licensees in various global regions. RSI sees its customers in diverse regions where there is not a lot of technology. He said, “You need operational expertise and a market — not cadmium telluride expertise.”

This is a major paradigm shift in many ways

Water For Fuel Breakthrough

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After decades of stories of inventors claiming to use water as fuel. None of them to date have ever been successfully validated or replicated. All required additional or external power sources. The problem being the energy it takes to split water into hydrogen (normally using electricity) far exceeds any energy that can be recovered from the utilization of the gases. We finally may have the solution out of a University in Australia. Although still embryonic, these developments have been published, can be replicated and open up a whole new world of energy research and development.  I have not had time to review the data, but this could be the first step in the breakthrough we all have been waiting for.

Several key factors will come into play if it is commercially viable, but at this stage the fundamentals are there. I will have a team of scientists and engineers evaluate the data and will report back in a couple of weeks.  In the mean time I have compiled the following story from a number of news sources. (listed at the end of this article) . I have cautious optimism at this stage, but am pretty excited to the possibilities. I am further relieved to see we are not dealing with mythology, claims of suppression or men in black coats. This is real science. published, peer reviewed and a major stepping stone.

A team of researchers at Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), say they have developed a light-assisted catalyst that requires less energy input to activate water oxidation. This, they say, is the first step in splitting water to produce hydrogen fuel. When it comes to the production of hydrogen fuel, the major limitation with current technologies is that the oxidation process needs a higher energy input than the resultant energy from the process. Also using abundant sea water has a drawback, because it produces poisonous chlorine gas.

The team led by Associate Professor Jun Chen and Professor Gerry Swiegers, have produced an artificial chlorophyll on a conductive plastic film that acts as a catalyst to begin splitting water. Professor Jun Chen said that the flexible polymer would enable a wider range of applications to be more easily created than metal semiconductors. “The system we designed, including the materials, gives us the opportunity to design various devices and applications using sea water as a water-splitting source,” he said. “The flexible nature of the material also provides the possibility to build portable hydrogen-producing devices.”

splittingthe

ACES researchers with the flexible water splitting polymer. From left: Professor Gerry Swiegers, Professor David Officer, Associate Professor Jun Chen, Professor Gordon Wallace and Dr Pawel Wagner.

Water oxidation, the first part of the water splitting reaction that can produce hydrogen, is difficult as it is so kinetically unfavorable. Using photocatalysts to overcome this energy barrier is appealing as sunlight can supply the required energy rather than needing electrical or thermal energy. Unlike some photocatalytic water oxidation methods that use catalysts mounted on a semiconductor to form an electrode, a manganese-porphyrin photocatalyst embedded in a transparent, intrinsically conductive polymer can successfully oxidise water. The polymer promotes charge transfer between the embedded photocatalysts and enables an unusually low onset potential (the point at which a photocurrent is observed).

Mauro Carraro from the University of Padova, Italy, who also studies water splitting, was impressed by the remarkable selectivity of the catalyst. ‘The process is a step further towards the design of an effective artificial leaf,’ he adds.

The research team now plan to investigate how to incorporate the technology into a functional hydrogen fuel cell. They also commented:

Given the recent developments and the abundance of seawater, it’s interesting to think that just a bucket full of this material could provide the energy needs for a household for a day

Technical Description

GA

 

Vapour phase polymerisation (vpp) of PEDOT to incorporate high levels of a sulphonated manganese porphyrin yields a vivid green conducting polymer that, under illumination, catalyzes selective oxidation of water from seawater from ca. 0.40 V (vs. NHE; Pt counter electrode) without observable chlorine formation. This onset potential is comparable to that of certain metal oxide semiconductors that achieve higher photocurrents but are not capable of selectively oxidising the water in seawater.

 

 

For further information read the original journal article in Chemical Science:

A light-assisted, polymeric water oxidation catalyst that selectively oxidizes seawater with a low onset potential
Jun Chen, Pawel Wagner, Lei Tong, Danijel Boskovic, Weimin Zhang, David Officer, Gordon G. Wallace and Gerhard F. Swiegers
Chem. Sci., 2013, 4, 2797-2803
DOI: 10.1039/C3SC50812A

 

The possibility to power a car with seawater

 

Other Media Coverage

http://phys.org/news/2013-06-sea-ocean-hydrogen-fuel.html

http://blogs.rsc.org/sc/2013/06/07/splitting-the-sea/

http://www.enca.com/technology/australian-scientists-make-breakthrough

Every Dutch citizen will live within 31 miles of an electric vehicle charging station by 2015

The Dutch government plans to roll out a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations within the next two years, as part of a push to facilitate more environmentally-friendly transport. ABB, a Switzerland-based power and automation company, announcedthis week that it is teaming up with Dutch startup Fastned to install EV chargers at more than 200 stations across the Netherlands, with at least one station every 50 kilometers (31 miles). With more than 16 million inhabitants, the Netherlands is, to date, the most populous country to implement a nationwide EV charging network.

According to ABB, its 50 kilowatt Terra fast chargers are capable of charging an electric car within 15 to 30 minutes. The first chargers will be delivered in September 2013, the company said Monday. Fastned, which was founded in 2011, will be responsible for building more than 200 stations — each equipped with a solar panel canopy — by 2015.

MORE THAN 200 STATIONS WILL BE BUILT NATIONWIDE

Zurich-based ABB was involved in a similar initiative earlier this year, when Estonialaunched a nationwide EV charging network with more than 160 stations. Analysts predict that sales of EV charging equipment across Europe will total €1 billion ($1.3 billion) by the year 2020, up from just €72 million ($92 million) in 2012.

The Dutch initiative, first announced in 2011, underscores the increasing willingness of governments to spur EV development, though implementing similar systems in the US would likely be far more challenging — the surface area of the US is more than 230 times larger than the Netherlands

Source: http://www.theverge.com/

Solar Hydrogen Breakthrough

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Tiny (nano-sized) particles of Haematite (crystalline iron oxide, or rust) have been shown to split water into hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of solar energy. This week, Nature Materials is  publishing an article on this subject.  EPFL researchers, working with Avner Rotschild from Technion (Israel), have managed to accurately characterize the iron oxide nano structures to be used in order to produce hydrogen at the lowest possible cost. The researchers claim  to use an exceptionally abundant, stable and cheap material: rust.

According to Science Daily:

By using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques, researchers were able to precisely characterize the movement of the electrons through the cauliflower-looking nanostructures forming the iron oxide particles, laid on electrodes during the manufacturing process. “These measures have helped us understand the reason why we get performance differences depending on the electrodes manufacturing process,” says Grätzel.

By comparing several electrodes, whose manufacturing method is now mastered, scientists were able to identify the “champion” structure. A 10×10 cm prototype has been produced and its effectiveness is in line with expectations. The next step will be the development of the industrial process to large-scale manufacturing. A European funding and the Swiss federal government could provide support for this last part.

This has been the breaking story this week in hydrogen and science news services.  Already we can break down hydrogen and oxygen using traditional electrolysis using solar power, but this was simplicity itself. I was even more excited to read that the reaction occurred instantly. Then came the let down missed by all other media. . To illustrate the problem I quote from Scientific Daily:

“Evidently, the long-term goal is to produce hydrogen — the fuel of the future — in an environmentally friendly and especially competitive way. For Michael Grätzel, “current methods, in which a conventional photo voltaic cell is coupled to an electrolyzer for producing hydrogen, cost 15 € ( $19.50 USD) per kilo at their cheapest. We’re aiming at a € 5 ($6.50 USD) charge per kilo.”

This is where it all goes belly up. It takes between 35 kw and 50 kw to produce a kilo of hydrogen. Take out compressor charges etc if solar power was say 15c kwH then it will cost between $5.25 and $7.50 a kilo to produce. No idea where they got the $19.50 from.

According to the DOE using steam reformation of gas the production cost of hydrogen is sub $5.00. so apart from tech logistics of easily being able to produce it on site I am lost at the point of $7.50 production cost given that’s about the retail price of hydrogen at refilling stations at present.

I remember reading an excellent article a few years back that did a comparison of Hydrogen production costs and related it to running a fuel cell powered automobile. This is from the H2carblog by GREG BLENCOE on NOVEMBER 9, 2009

http://www.h2carblog.com/?p=461

Cost of hydrogen from different sources

This is a simple question without a simple answer.  The cost of hydrogen per kilogram depends on many factors. For example, how is the hydrogen produced?  Is it produced from natural gas, wind, nuclear, solar, or some other way? If it is produced from natural gas, is the hydrogen made at the fueling station?  Or is it produced off-site and then delivered by truck?

If hydrogen is produced from wind power, how far away is the hydrogen fueling station from the wind-to-hydrogen production facility?  Is it closer to 10 miles, 100 miles, or 1000 miles away? And is the fueling station in a very expensive location like Beverly Hills, California or a very inexpensive location like Amarillo, Texas?The point is that there are a large number of factors that will affect the cost of hydrogen.

Miles per kilogram of hydrogen

Before estimating the cost of hydrogen per kilogram from various sources, the benefits of a kilogram of hydrogen need to be shown.  How does a kilogram of hydrogen used in a fuel cell vehicle compare with a gallon of gasoline used in an internal combustion engine vehicle?

Toyota FCHV-adv hydrogen fuel cell vehicleThe Toyota FCHV-adv hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (mid-size SUV) is basically a Toyota Highlander Hybrid with a fuel cell.  The Toyota FCHV-adv recently achieved 68.3 miles per kilogram in a real-world test with the Department of Energy.  On the other hand, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid gets an EPA-rated26 miles per gallon.

The Toyota fuel cell vehicle is 2.63 times as efficient as the gasoline version. Furthermore, a rule of thumb is that fuel cells are 2-3 times as efficient as internal combustion engines.

Therefore, a reasonable figure to use is 2.5 times as efficient.  This means the cost estimates below need to be divided by 2.5 to get the equivalent cost of a gallon of gasoline (i.e. $4 to $12 per kilogram of hydrogen is equivalent to gasoline at $1.60 to $4.80 per gallon).

Points to mention before showing cost estimates

Before providing the cost figures, a few things need to be mentioned:

1.  Taxes are included. The average cost for gasoline taxes in the U.S. is currently about $0.50 per gallon. Since a kilogram of hydrogen in a fuel cell will power a vehicle approximately 2.5 times as far as a gallon of gasoline in an internal combustion engine, the current average for gasoline taxes has been multiplied by 2.5 to get a figure of $1.25 per kilogram of hydrogen for taxes.

2.  The cost estimates assume mass production.

3.  All subsidies were taken out. For example, the cost of wind power used below in the wind-to-hydrogen estimate is around 7 cents per kilowatt hour (which multiplied by the approximately 50 kilowatt hours of electricity needed to produce a kilogram of hydrogen via electrolysis would equal $3.50 for the energy costs). This is an unsubsidized cost figure for electricity produced at large wind farms.

4.  As a point of reference, hydrogen (likely from natural gas) sold for $8.18 per kilogram at the Washington, D.C. Benning Road Shell fueling station in September 2008.  Moreover, hydrogen produced from hydroelectric power sold for $6.28 per kilogram in Norway back in May.

5.  There is absolutely no way of knowing what the exact cost of hydrogen would be right now in the scenarios below if millions of hydrogen fuel cell cars were on the road.  The estimates below are educated guesses based on what I have learned over the past five years.

Estimated cost of hydrogen per kilogram in a variety of scenarios

With all of this in mind, here are the cost estimates per kilogram (which each include $1.25 for taxes):

  • Hydrogen from natural gas (produced via steam reforming at fueling station) $4 – $5 per kilogram of hydrogen
  • Hydrogen from natural gas (produced via steam reforming off-site and delivered by truck)$6 – $8 per kilogram of hydrogen
  • Hydrogen from wind (via electrolysis) $8 – $10 per kilogram of hydrogen
  • Hydrogen from nuclear (via electrolysis) $7.50 – $9.50 per kilogram of hydrogen
  • Hydrogen from nuclear (via thermo chemical cycles – assuming the technology works on a large scale) $6.50 – $8.50 per kilogram of hydrogen
  • Hydrogen from solar (via electrolysis) $10 – $12 per kilogram of hydrogen
  • Hydrogen from solar (via thermo chemical cycles – assuming the technology works on a large scale) $7.50 – $9.50 per kilogram of hydrogen

So this now brings us back to the original article, given the reduction in solar costs what are the economic advantages? It will have to do a lot better than $7.50 per kilo.

For further details please visit:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130707162952.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23226798

By mark dansie | July 10, 2013 - 11:38 am

10.000 Euro donation from “wij & de maatschapij” in cooperation with Nationale Nederlanden

development, production, marketing and deployment of renewable energy systems

OVERVIEW
NuEnergy Technologies (NuET) is engaged in the development, production, marketing and deployment of renewable energy systems that enable a socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment, and improve quality of life.

NuET’s Products Division is a developer and manufacturer of several sustainable energy systems. These include an innovative frictionless magnetic levitation wind turbine which produces electricity from the kinetic energy sourced by the wind and without the use of gears; alkaline hydrogen fuel cell systems for residential and transportation applications; sustainable living structures made from recycled steel and cargo containers. These can also be deployed for remote locations devastated by natural disasters like those affected by hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti; non-battery-based flywheel energy storage systems; electric drive and sustainable energy propulsion systems for advanced rail vehicle transportation; and thermal (heat-based) solar electric generators.

NuET’s Services Division is a provider of a broad range of “green energy” consulting services and feasibility studies to companies that currently have or desire to start renewable energy projects. Our LEED accredited Director of Sustainability Projects and Energy Management Division oversees the integration of municipal waste to energy systems, water decontamination & desalinization, LED lighting, Variable Frequency Drives for HVAC, and other complementary Energy Management products. We also provide added value to manufacturing companies such as Statim Technologies and Apollo Energy Systems. We are able to optimize these companies’ products by performing valued engineering services such as solid modeling, finite element analysis, prototype testing, etc. We are currently working with Statim Technology, based on an Engagement Letter, to develop an enhanced Boundary-Layer Turbine (BLT) originally conceived by Nikola Tesla. With Apollo Energy Systems we have been working on the development of a Tri-Polar Cobalt Lead battery. We received a grant from a NASA affiliate (SATOP) for the development of our BLT turbine and to fund support services from Clarkson University. We also submitted a Grant Application to ARPA-E for $4 million to fund the development of our noted battery which exceeds the efficiency of Lithium-Ion. More details on all the above noted are available at: www.nuenergytech.com