Cal on November 26th, 2014


Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli playing All The Things You Are

Cal on November 26th, 2014



Next-Gen Transportation News provides a primer on propane autogas vehicles.

From sys-con we learn the world will have 418,889 natural gas vehicles by 2019. This is the forecast of research firm MarketsandMarkets and the data combines both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles. The report focuses on transportation markets in Asia-Oceania, Europe, America. The market for natural gas commercial vehicles is growing in many countries due to the combined effects of low-cost CNG and LNG and higher prices for diesel. The conversion options available in commercial vehicles make them an attractive option for reducing operating costs and overall cost of ownership. The low cost of conversion and prospect of significant emission reduction is expected to increase the penetration of natural gas worldwide. However, the key to continued growth in the natural gas commercial vehicle market will be environmental legislation and the development of ubiquitous refueling infrastructure.

Research firm TechNavi forecasts the global CNG vehicles market will grow at a CAGR of 7.7% over the period 2013-2018 according to PRNewswire. The European market will grow at a rate of 5.5% over the period.

The Ledcor Group of Companies has one of the largest natural gas trucking fleets in Canada has it as incorporated over two-hundred compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles into its fleet reports CNW. The CNG vehicles will be deployed throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Ledcor also owns fifteen class eight liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks.

In the US, New York state grocery retailer Tops Friendly Markets is converting its entire trucking fleet to CNG we find from Next-Gen Transportation News. The 55 trucks will replace the company’s entire fleet of diesel trucks. Tops expects its annual fuel costs to be cut in half by this move.

autobloggreen informs us that Honda will continue to sell the natural gas Civic in the US in 2015. The CNG vehicle has a fuel economy rated at a gasoline gallon equivalent of 27 miles per gallon in the city/38 highway/31 combined. The acquisition of the 2014 and 2015 Ford Transit Connect cargo vans is expected to lower the company’s annual fuel costs by about 30%.

Next-Gen Transportation News notes the Mercedes B-Class lineup now has a natural gas version. The B 200 Natural Gas Drive is  a duel-fuel car that runs on both natural gas an petrol. Fuel costs are expected to run 50% below those of a comparable petrol-powered car. The B 200 Natural Gas Drive can reach speeds of up to 200 km/hour and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/hour in 9.1 seconds.

More than 20,000 cars will be converted to natural gas in the South American country of Peru this year according to NGV Global News.

Digital Journal tells us that in 2013 China had 3732 CNG refueling stations and 1844 LNG stations.

NGVAmerica has a natural gas station mapping tool for the US says environmental LEADER. The interactive NGVAmerica Station Analysis Map provides up to date information on natural gas stations (CNG and LNG) in that country including station locations, accessibility, and contact information. The tool also includes the vehicle ranges supported by the stations in 100-, 400- and 600-mile increments.

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Cal on November 25th, 2014

Since 2003 global coal consumption has increased 9 times faster than wind energy and 40 times than solar. Over that period coal consumption has grown faster than any other form of energy according to recent research by The Manhattan Institute. Today coal is responsible for about 30% of the world’s energy while solar and wind together are barely 1.5%. From 1990 to 2010, about 832 million people gained access to electricity due to coal-fired generation, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries.

Emerging markets expect to increase their installed nuclear capacity from 371 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to 517 GW by 2025, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Israel proposed that the European Union invest in a multi-billion euro pipeline to carry its natural gas to Europe, noting that the supply from Israel would reduce the EU’s current dependence on natural gas from Russia.

The governments of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan last week created a joint venture project to build a pipeline that would send natural gas eastward from Turkmenistan.

Russia and China have signed two large natural gas agrrements in the last six months as Russia turns its attention to supply China, in reaction to sanctions and souring relations with Europe — currently Russia’s largest energy export market.These deals have implications beyond Europe. US natural gas producers may be seeing their dream of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to China as Russia supplies the Chinese market, a market that was expected to be the largest and most profitable for LNG exporters.

The International Energy Agency predicts global natural gas demand is expected to grow more than 50% by 2040, led by rising demand from China and the Middle East. Countries like Canada, Australia and the US are hoping to meet some of this demand with exports of liquified natural gas (LNG).  Australia currently has three LNG projects operating in the country withseven more under construction.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo raised fuel prices to reduce state energy subsidies, moving on an election pledge less than a month after taking office. The price of subsidized gasoline was increased to 8,500 rupiah ($0.70) a liter from 6,500 rupiah effective this week.

In 2013, average residential electricity rates in the European Union countries were more than double rates in the United States. In 2013, average EU residential prices were 0.20 euro per kilowatt-hour, which translates to about 26.57 cents per kilowatt-hour, a 43% increase from the average 2006 price of 18.80 cents/kWh. In that same time, US prices increased only 17%, from 10.40 cents/kWh to 12.12 cents/kWh.






with h/t Tom Whipple


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Cal on November 25th, 2014

Earth's Energy

Cal on November 24th, 2014

Something Different

Cal on November 23rd, 2014

silicon republic informs us Bill Gates is investigating the potential of cold fusion technology. In a recent visit to Italy the Microsoft c0-founder received a briefing from Italy’s leading energy and technology agency on its recent discoveries with regard to cold fusion energy. His interest in developing clean-energy technology is clear, given his own blog post last June which he wrote under the headline, ‘We need energy miracles’, where he discussed the need for such technology. Italy has been one of the world’s leading developers of low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology, being a potential leader in small-scale cold fusion energy production with Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat that has left independent analysts worldwide baffled. Last year Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development briefed the European Union on the latest advancements in cold fusion technology and whether it can be a potential clean and renewable energy source in the future. See also E-Cat World, Bill Gates Briefed at ENEA Research Labs in Italy on LENR (Cold Fusion).  Next Big Future suggests Gates may be considering making a large investment in cold fusion research.

zeenews reports the new government in India is being urged to revive research in cold fusion. In the 1990s, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai had done some work on cold fusion — now called Low Energy Nuclear Reactions or LENR — but abandoned the research 18 years ago. Mahadevan Srinivasan, who along with the late P.K.Iyengar led cold fusion research at BARC, says he is trying to get Prime Minister Modi to appoint a task force to investigate cold fusion and advise him on a course of action. In referring to the results reported by Andrea Rossi, Srinivasan said that recent technological breakthroughs had resulted in the development of suitcase-sized LENR reactors that can be mass produced.

Srinivasan said a research centre and possible manufacturing base for these reactors have been set up in Baoding in eastern China and that at least two companies have announced likely market release of multi-KW LENR reactors during 2015.

“One such LENR generator located in each village and powering a local village-level micro-grid can work wonders,” says Srinivasan, adding one can even envision tractors being powered by LENR source in future.

“It is hoped that the new government will take cognition of this breakthrough development and take necessary steps to foster this new technology in India,” he said.

Climate Spectator tells us emerging countries are looking to nuclear for their electricity needs. Emerging markets expect to  increase their installed nuclear capacity from 371 Gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to 517 GW by 2025, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. The company’s latest report -Emerging Nuclear Power Countries – Market Forecast, Key Companies and Development Analysis to 2030 –  says there will be large-scale capacity additions in the Asia-Pacific region. Countries in this region are building more than 20 nuclear reactors and are planning to add 13.8 GW of nuclear power by 2030, led by 6.8 GW of new capacity in Vietnam. GlobalData’s report concludes:

“Nuclear power has the capacity to produce large amounts of electricity and therefore meet the growing demand for power. It is also seen as a way of counteracting concerns over volatile fossil fuel prices, oil reserve shortages and rising carbon emissions.”

A number of sources commented on the recent announcement by aerospace company Lockheed Martin that it is working on a fusion reactor that it says could power a small city but will be compact enough to fit on the back of a truck. Fusion researchers have reacted with some scepticism, especially to the claim that the reactor could be ready for commercial use in 10 years. Although Lockheed Martin issued a press release saying it had several pending patents for its approach, the company has yet to publish any scientific papers on this latest work. See for example Cosmos, Is Lockheed’s fusion project breaking new ground?, BBC, ‘Skunk power’ creates confusion over nuclear fusion, Yahoo, Scientists Share What They Really Think Of Lockheed Martin’s Fusion ‘Breakthrough‘, Popular Mechanics, Lockheed Martin’s Plan to Make Fusion (Finally) a Reality, and The Telegram, Fusion power: goodbye fossil fuels?

From Science Daily we learn a new fusion reactor concept to generate electricity could be cheaper than coal. Engineers at the University of Washington in the US  have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output. This design has the greatest potential of producing economical fusion power of any current concept according to Thomas Jarboe, a UW professor of aeronautics and astronautics and physics.

The design builds on existing technology and creates a magnetic field within a closed space to hold plasma in place long enough for fusion to occur, allowing the hot plasma to react and burn. The reactor itself would be largely self-sustaining, meaning it would continuously heat the plasma to maintain thermonuclear conditions. Heat generated from the reactor would heat up a coolant that is used to spin a turbine and generate electricity, similar to how a typical power reactor works.

There are several ways to create a magnetic field, which is crucial to keeping a fusion reactor going. The UW’s design is known as a spheromak, meaning it generates the majority of magnetic fields by driving electrical currents into the plasma itself. This reduces the amount of required materials and actually allows researchers to shrink the overall size of the reactor.

…A fusion power plant producing 1 gigawatt (1 billion watts) of power would cost $2.7 billion, while a coal plant of the same output would cost $2.8 billion, according to their analysis…Right now, the UW’s concept is about one-tenth the size and power output of a final product, which is still years away.

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Cal on November 22nd, 2014

Earth's Energy

Tidal Power

Cal on November 21st, 2014


John McDermott singing And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda