Tag Archives: Tesla

America’s largest college mutual fund VA529 owns Spectra Energy, a stranded investment

Parents and grandparents buy 529 college savings plans as safe investments, so VA529 chose poorly in Spectra Energy, the very risky company behind the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline now plowing through the Floridan Aquifer drinking water of south Alabama, Georgia, and all of Florida and under the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers against growing opposition. Maybe you’d like to mention that to Mary G. Morris, the Chief Executive Officer of Virginia529 College Savings Plan, the biggest mutual fund investor in both Spectra Energy and in Enbridge, which is buying Spectra. There’s a handy VA529 contact form or you can call or write:

Toll-Free: 1-888-567-0540
9001 Arboretum Parkway
North Chesterfield, VA 23236

Spectra is so risky it just sold itself so Enbridge would take on about $22 billion of Spectra debt. Debt especially racked up since Continue reading

Batteries vs. fossil fuels

Another battery entry, Ambri with a liquid metal battery and $50 million startup funding, understands it’s the battery market vs. fossil fuels. And batteries plus sun, wind, and water power will win.

Jeff McMahon, Forbes, 4 June 2015, Want To Build A Better Battery? Don’t Talk To Battery Experts,

Like Tesla’s Powerpack, Ambri’s liquid-metal battery is designed to provide grid-level storage that can supplement intermittent renewables like solar and wind, making a grid that depends on renewables as reliable as one that depends on fossil fuels or nuclear reactors.

Wednesday night, [Ambri founder MIT Professor Donald] Sadoway welcomed Tesla’s entry to the grid-level battery industry. The competition, he said, is not between batteries, but between batteries and fossil fuels.

We don’t even need Continue reading

Why can’t we have our own energy system?

Good question.

EWA, 7 May 2015, The Tesla Battery Heralds the Beginning of the End for Fossil Fuels,

Rather than wondering “Can we have our own energy system?” people are going to be wanting to know “Why can’t we have it?”

This is why early adopters like Alton Burns and George Bennett matter: other people start asking: why can’t we have that? And now that HB 57 is finally law, lots more people can have solar power without mortgaging the farm. Then they ask this question: why can’t we have storage?

The Tesla Energy program unveiled last week is Continue reading

Tesla announces prices for home battery

Power generation for both traditional electricity uses and transportation is changing.

Michael Liedtke and Jonathan Fahey wrote for AP and Inc. 1 May 2015, Elon Musk Unveils Tesla’s Ambitious New Home Battery System: “Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy,” Musk told reporters gathered in Hawthorne, California.

The batteries are likely to become more useful if, as expected, more utilities and regulators allow Continue reading

Tesla opening market for home solar batteries

Elon Musk’s recent reminder that Tesla is working on a house-sized battery has caused quite a stir, but not enough. Tesla alone isn’t the significant part: Tesla opening a market for inexpensive home solar storage methods is. And not all those methods will be batteries: also coming are capacitors, organic vats, compressed air, and water pumped up towers, for storage to car- and house- size to municipal- and utility-scale, all of which will drive solar and wind deployment even faster.

John McDuling, QZ, 30 July 2014, How solar energy storage could make Tesla much more than an automaker,

How lucrative could the solar energy storage business be for Tesla? Almost as lucrative as selling cars.

That’s according to Morgan Stanley, which this week Continue reading

Fixing climate change is profitable

Batteries are just one of many reasons, including electric vehicles, smart grid, solar and wind power (including pass HB 57 and you can profit by getting financing for your own solar panels), plus massive savings on health care and electricity bills; batteries are one of many reasons that fixing climate change will save us all money, clean up our air and water, expand our forests, preserve property rights, and make some people rich:

In fact, a recent report suggests that revenue from the distributed energy storage market — meaning battery packs and other storage devices located directly at homes and businesses (many of which now generate electricity through solar) — could exceed $16.5 billion by 2024. Another report predicts $68 billion in revenue in the same time frame from the grid-scale storage market. This includes large-scale battery packs, hydro-storage systems that use cheap abundant electricity to pump water uphill to drive turbines later on, or even solar thermal systems that store energy as heat in molten salt.

And it’s all happening fast, so fast your jaw will drop if you’re not paying attention. So let’s stop talking about the costs of fixing climate change. It’s not just no-cost and free, not just in the future but right now; we’re all actually going to be better off through fixing climate change: healthier and more prosperous.

Sami Grover wrote Continue reading

Buried under nine feet of manure: 19th century horse predictions

There is a big difference between the 19th century horse excrement crisis and the current 21st century energy crisis, similar as they may sound. One was real. The other is manufactured by the modern equivalent of stagecoach vendors.

Stephen Davies wrote for The Freeman 1 September 2004, The Great Horse-Manure Crisis of 1894,

In 1898 the first international urban-planning conference convened in New York. It was abandoned after three days, instead of the scheduled ten, because none of the delegates could see any solution to the growing crisis posed by urban horses and their output.

The problem did indeed seem intractable. The larger and richer that cities became, the more horses they needed to function. The more horses, the more manure. Writing in the Times of London in 1894, one writer estimated that in 50 years every street in London would be buried under nine feet of manure. Moreover, all these horses had to be stabled, which used up ever-larger areas of increasingly valuable land. And as the number of horses grew, ever-more land had to be devoted to producing hay to feed them (rather than producing food for people), and this had to be brought into cities and distributed—by horse-drawn vehicles. It seemed that urban civilization was doomed.

Continue reading