Tag Archives: research

Organic battery with no metals –Harvard SEAS

Solar already provides peak power at peak load, and through distribution is resilient, and that plus ever-decreasing prices will drive solar deployments up exponentially for a decade or so yet. If we add an inexpensive metal-free battery, solar will take over even faster. And that’s what Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has just published as a discovery.

Harvard SEAS PR of 8 January 2014, Organic mega flow battery promises breakthrough for renewable energy: Harvard technology could economically store energy for use when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine,

The paper reports a metal-free flow battery that relies on the electrochemistry of naturally abundant, inexpensive, small organic (carbon-based) molecules called quinones, which are similar to molecules that store energy in plants and animals.

And much less expensive, reported CBC News 9 January 2014, Continue reading

SO’s plan to make the Southeast a net exporter of the energy from solar and wind? –John S. Quarterman @ SO 2013-05-22

SO CEO Tom Fanning didn’t budge from nuclear and coal, but he did announce a tiger team to get on top of distributed solar and wind through a smart grid, headed by SO’s COO, at the 22 May 2013 Southern Company Stockholder Meeting.

Next question --Tom Fanning Mr. John S. Quarterman from Lowndes County, Georgia, and he holds 220 shares of Southern Company.

TF: Hello, John. Good to see you again this year.

jsq with SO fade jsq: Hi. I’ve come to compliment Tom Fanning and Paul Bowers. Last year, Tom Fanning was so persuasive I ran out and bought $10,000 worth of stock.

TF: Bless you. [Applause]

However, apparently because of SO’s admission a few minutes before in that same meeting that it was going to have to eat Kemper Coal cost overruns, SO stock tanked that same day, causing my stock to stop out, and Standard & Poor’s downgraded SO the following day because of Kemper Coal, noting that if the same thing happened with SO’s nuclear project at Plant Vogtle, S&P’s would probably Continue reading

Southern Company: let’s do the renewable energy study for Georgia

Mark Z. Jacobson's study shows offshore wind is plentiful from Virginia to Maine Let's do the study for Georgia! Southern Company brags about its private R&D:

Research & Development (since the 1960s)

  • Awarded more than $1.3 billion to conduct more than $3.8 billion of research and development.
  • Qualified for $412 million of investment tax credits for a 21st century coal plant being built in Mississippi.

OK, SO, let's see you do the study to show what we can really do with conservation, efficiency, wind, sun, and less natural gas than we have now. Sure, in the Georgia Bight we do have to contend with hurricanes. But a "great, big company" like SO should be able to focus its vaunted private R&D on that problem and solve it.

Maybe SO doesn't want to do that because the result might show there is no need for any coal plants, nor new natural gas plants, nor any nuclear plants, which would mean Georgia Power would have to give up its nuclear-funding rate-hike stealth tax and SO would have to give up its $8.3 billion loan guarantee. Hey, we might even need to change the 1973 Georgia Electric Territorial Act, and that might damage Georgia Power's guaranteed profit! Nevermind that Georgia Power and SO might make more profit if they got out in front on solar and wind power and a smart grid.

If SO won't do it, how about we elect some Public Service Commissioners and legislators who will? For jobs, energy independence, and profit, oh, and clean air and plenty of water!


All U.S. east coast electricity could come from offshore wind 3 seasons out of 4

Why build nukes when wind can provide 3/4 of our power? While Southern Company claims to be “a company that is engaged in offering solutions, not just rhetoric”, yet does nothing about wind off the Georgia coast, researchers in far California have demonstrated we can get 3/4 of all needed east coast electricity from offshore wind.

Bjorn Carey wrote for Stanford Report 14 September 2012, Offshore wind energy could power entire U.S. East Coast, Stanford scientists say

A new analysis by Stanford researchers reveals that there is enough offshore wind along the U.S. East Coast to meet the electricity demands of at least one-third of the country.

The scientists paid special attention to the Maine-to-Virginia corridor; the historical lack of strong hurricanes in the region makes it a favorable site for offshore wind turbines. They found that turbines placed there could satisfy the peak-time power needs of these states for three seasons of the year (summer is the exception).

“We knew there was a lot of wind out there, but this is the first actual quantification of the total resource and the time of day that the resource peaks,” said Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford who directed the research. “This provides practical information to wind farm developers about the best areas to place turbines.”

Mark Z. Jacobson already worked out a framework for powering the entire world from wind, water, and sun alone. The late John Blackburn, Ph.D., showed us how to power North Carolina with sun, wind, and hydro, plus less natural gas than NC uses now. Now Jacobson is working out the details of implementation.


PS: Owed to Seth Gunning.

Will electricity demand increase?

Back in April Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning gave yet another version of his stump speech that we saw at the shareholders’ meeting in May and that he’s video blogging on YouTube now. In April he emphasized a huge assumption with no evidence; an assumption that may just not be true.

National Energy Policy – Part 5 of 7 (30 April 2012)

This much we know: demand for electricity will increase. The Energy Information Administration projects an 18% increase in electricity demand nationally and in the southeast, we’re as expecting as much as a 25% increase over the next 20 years. So we know the need is real, immediate, and critical.

Really? Here’s recent electricity use and nearterm forcast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

Sure looks to me like there was a big dip in 2009, and projected use in 2013 is no higher than in 2007. What was that about “immediate”?

Now you may say, of course, that’s a recession. But what about this?

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Why Energy Matters to You —Thomas A. Fanning

Since our coverage of the Southern Company (SO) shareholders meeting in May, SO CEO Thomas A. Fanning has started his own YouTube video series, “Why Energy Matters to You”, in which he tries to head off a real energy policy by advocating SO’s nuclear and coal strategy instead.

SO PR 28 June 2012, Southern Company Chairman Launches CEO Social Media Video Series,

Southern Company SO today unveiled the first in a series of CEO Web videos examining issues critical to the electric utility industry. The video series, “Why Energy Matters to You,” is available on YouTube and features Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. Fanning announced the Web series during an appearance at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo.

Here are his two episodes so far. His theme:

“I believe that every American deserves a supply of clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy.”

Who could argue with that? It’s just SO’s ideas of how to do it that provoke some argument.

Here’s Part 1 of 2:

Why Energy Matters to You —Thomas A. Fanning Part 1 of 2

His question:

“How can better energy create more economic freedom for the American people?”

His answer is in Part 2 of 2:

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The promises that are impossible —Barbara Stratton

Received 6 October 2011 on LCBOE did its homework about consolidation. -jsq
CUEE has staked their efforts on catch phrases & false promises that look & sound good. All of their info is at best a half truth. The promises that are imposible to keep are lies. I was raised believing a promise broken is a truth untold, which is a lie.

Unfortunately this tactic will work for today’s lazy voters who won’t even take the time to go to a website where the true facts are posted much less do their own research. Surely don’t ask them to leave the comfort of their homes & entertainment & personal addictions to attend any public meetings on either side when they should be visiting both sides at least once. They are part of the convenient idiot masses that facilitate take overs by the clever greedy for money & power few.

Both school boards [VBOE, LCBOE] and their supporters have done a great job of researching to produce true evidence that dissolves all the CUEE false rhetoric & print.

We cannot assume that truth will prevail because it is much easier to believe the fast sell that requires no personal effort. CUEE is banking on this. Most of the school consolidations that have occurred had many that were shocked when they passed because they did not account for the money/power ruses of the facilitators working so well with the lazy voter public. Many will not even show up claiming they have no stake since they have no children in either system. They are too lazy to check the researched facts to see they will be paying higher taxes for a handicapped unified system.

-Barbara Stratton

Seth Gunning LTE in the VDT

This is the text of Seth Gunning’s letter to the editor that the Valdosta Daily Times printed on 20 Dec 2010. Here’s video of the referenced air quality permit hearing. -jsq
Recently on Thursday December 16th, State Judge Ronit Walker denied air quality permits for a proposed coal plant in Sandersville, Georgia. Judge Walker cited the Georgia Environmental Protection Divisions failure to properly review permits, and their lack of enforcement of basic Clean Air Act standards for several hazardous emissions.

Flashback to April 27th in Valdosta Georgia when Environmental Protection Division Air Branch Manager Eric Cornwell openly admitted to having NOT READ the air permit application for Wiregrass Biomass LLC’s proposal to build a hotly contested 40mw power plant&emdash; during a Valdosta EPD hearing meant to evaluate those permits.

Today, the Valdosta Industrial Authority is hazardously entrenched

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