Tag Archives: gas

Actually, green solar power is winning

An article that dismisses without investigation the fastest growing industry in the world, solar power, after solar has become cheaper than any other energy source, is not a serious article.

Richard Smith wrote for Truthout 9 January 2014, Green Capitalism: The God That Failed. Sure, there are lots of good points in there (such as we need a carbon tax, but it’s not enough), but given that only 90 companies account for 2/3 of GHG emissions saying we can’t change that without crashing the world’s economy is like saying we can’t deal with horse manure in cities in 1900 without crashing the world’s economy, and people did say things like that back then.

Most of the world’s oil and gas is used to produce power, so once we convert to solar and wind, we’ll have plenty of remaining petroleum for other uses such as lubrication.

Saying in 2014 that solar and wind can’t power the world is like saying in 1994 that Continue reading

China, etc., mining uranium in Niger and Mali

A commenter on Mali: a French War for Uranium suggested that if "that zone" (presumably the Sahara in Mali and Niger) were such an El Dorado the U.S. and the Chinese would have long been interested. Actually, it turns out numerous countries are involved, especially along the Uranium Highway in the Uranium Province in Niger. Not the Americans so much, but definitely the Chinese.

According to World Information Service on Energy Uranium Project, in Mali, it's the Canadians (Cascade Resources Ltd., Northern Canadian Uranium Inc., Rockgate Capital Corp.) and the Australians (Oklo Uranium Ltd).:

The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Mali: Cascade Resources Ltd. , Northern Canadian Uranium Inc. , Rockgate Capital Corp. , Oklo Uranium Ltd

Faléa uranium/silver project

> View deposit info
Opposition to uranium mining in Faléa: Association des ressortissants et amis de la Commune de Faléa (ARACF)

Pre-Feasibility study on Faléa mine project started: On Nov. 15, 2012, Rockgate Capital Corp. announced the commencement of a Pre-Feasibility study on its Faléa U-Ag-Cu project in south-west Mali. Rockgate has engaged the services of the DRA Group of Johannesburg, South Africa to complete the study.

Environmental and social baseline studies commissioned on Faléa mine project: On April 26, 2010, Rockgate Capital Corp. announced that it has commissioned environmental and social baseline studies on the Faléa Project, Mali.

Apparently Niger has more recoverable Uranium than either the U.S. or Canada; more than Kazakhstan; more than any country except Australia.

In Niger, it's Russia, Korea, India, and here are a few notes about Chinese involvement:

Areva ready to give Chinese access to Imouraren uranium mine: French nuclear giant Areva is ready to open up to a Chinese partner the
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Mali: a French War for Uranium

Google for Mali War in French, and it seems nobody in France is fooled: France is going to war in Mali for oil, gas, gold and… uranium just across the border in Niger. Have you ever heard of a war for sunshine or wind? Let’s get on with solar and wind for energy independence, including from wars for fuels.

Even Le Monde politely asks the question, Pourquoi la France intervient-elle au Mali? Why is France intervening in Mali?

matL : Quels sont les enjeux stratégiques majeurs que présente le Mali, non seulement pour la France mais pour la région entière ? matL : What are the important policy challenges posed by Mali, not only for France but for the entire region?
Les enjeux sur les ressources extractives, à savoir notamment le pétrole et le gaz sur le site de Taoudenni qui se trouve à cheval sur trois pays, Mauritanie, Mali et Algérie. Ensuite, l’uranium puisqu’il en a été découvert dans l’Adar des Iforas. Mais ces trois ressources extractives ne sont pas encore en état d’exploitation. En revanche, le Mali est le troisième producteur d’or sur le continent africain. Ce sont là les enjeux géostragégiques. Issues of extractive resources, notably including oil and gas on the site Taoudenni which straddles three countries, Mauritania, Mali and Algeria. Then, since uranium has been discovered in the Adrar des Iforas. But these three extractive resources are not yet ready to use. However, Mali is the third largest gold producer in Africa. These are the geostratigic issues.
S’il y avait implosion du Mali par la prise du pouvoir central par les groupes armés djihadistes, il y aurait nécessairement des conséquences négatives sur l’ensemble des pays de la sous-région. If there was implosion of Mali by making the central government by armed groups jihadists, there would have negative consequences for all countries in the sub-region.
Visiteur : Bonjour, le gisement d’uranium exploité par Areva se trouve au Niger à quelques centaines de kilomètres à l’est de la zone de combats. Pensez-vous qu’il existe un lien entre l’intervention et la protection éventuelle de cette source d’énergie vitale pour la France ? Caller: Hello, the uranium deposit is operated by Areva in Niger a few hundred kilometers east of the combat zone. Do you think there is a link between the intervention and the possible protection of this vital energy source for France?
En tout cas, l’hypothèse n’est pas du tout à écarter car il y aura des conséquences sur l’ensemble de la sous-région. In any case, the hypothesis is not at all ruled out because there will be an impact on the entire sub-region.

Stéphane Lhomme was more blunt in Le nouvel Observateur yesterday, Guerre au Mali : sécuriser notre approvisionnement en uranium, War in Mali: secure our provisions of uranium,

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Veterans for clean energy: Operation Free

Tired of expensive gas? Tired of expensive wars? Let’s get off of oil and onto clean renewable energy! That’s the message from Operation Free, a campaign of the Truman Project.

Mission: Secure America with Clean Energy.

Iraq War veteran Terron Sims said clean energy and veterans is a part of the “modern form of American exceptionalism.”

Here’s the video:


“In Iraq… the lines would stretch up to ten miles long under the hot sun, under constant risk of attack by extremists. I realized then just how vulnerable it makes any country to be dependent on oil, especially the United States, which uses nearly a quarter of the world’s supply.”

The U.S. military is already leading us towards renewable energy. The Air Force, for example, has a goal of 25% of facility energy use from renewable energy by 2025, and Moody AFB is helping with that. Imagine if a substantial part of the military’s budget was repurposed to implementing renewable energy throughout the country to get us off of foreign oil. Now that would be national security!

And we don’t have to wait for Washington or Atlanta to get on with it right here in Lowndes County, for security, environmental preservation, jobs, and profit.


Solar: jobs, leadership, grid, independence, and health

Peak power when you need it: solar. Somebody has been studying it, and addressing problems local decisionmakers right here in south Georgia have been raising.

Solar Power Generation in the US: Too expensive, or a bargain? by Richard Perez, ASRC, University at Albany, Ken Zweibel, GW Solar Institute, George Washington University, Thomas E. Hoff, Clean Power Research. That’s Albany, New York, but it applies even more to Albany, Georgia and Lowndes County, Georgia, since we’re so much farther south, with much more sun.

Let’s cut to the chase:

The fuel of heat waves is the sun; a heat wave cannot take place without a massive local solar energy influx. The bottom part of Figure 2 illustrates an example of a heat wave in the southeastern US in the spring of 2010 and the top part of the figure shows the cloud cover at the same time: the qualitative agreement between solar availability and the regional heat wave is striking. Quantitative evidence has also shown that the mean availability of solar generation during the largest heat wave driven rolling blackouts in the US was nearly 90% ideal (Letendre et al. 2006). One of the most convincing examples, however, is the August 2003 Northeast blackout that lasted several days and cost nearly $8 billion region wide (Perez et al., 2004). The blackout was indirectly caused by high demand, fueled by a regional heat wave3. As little as 500 MW of distributed PV region wide would have kept every single cascading failure from feeding into one another and precipitating the outage. The analysis of a similar subcontinental scale blackout in the Western US a few years before that led to nearly identical conclusions (Perez et al., 1997).

In essence, the peak load driver, the sun via heat waves and A/C demand, is also the fuel powering solar electric technologies. Because of this natural synergy, the solar technologies deliver hard wired peak shaving capability for the locations/regions with the appropriate demand mix peak loads driven by commercial/industrial A/C that is to say, much of America. This capability remains significant up to 30% capacity penetration (Perez et al., 2010), representing a deployment potential of nearly 375 GW in the US.

The sun supplies solar power when you need it: at the same time the sun drives heat waves.

The paper identifies the problem I’ve encountered talking to local policy makers, especially ones associated with power companies: Continue reading