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Renewable Energy (Green Energy)

Renewable Energy Investment Trends in Developing Countries

Worldwide, in 2009, over $150 billion were invested in renewable energy projects. Most of these investments went into solar, wind and biofuels. That is the good news. What is equally important to know is the trend of renewable energy investments in developing countries such as India. Remember, countries such as India and China are expected to be the largest consumers of energy within the next 15 years, so it is equally important to know how the investments are going in these countries. It will not surprise you to know that China has invested really big money on renewables - to the tune of over $34 billion. India appears to be doing well too: "Starting at less that $200 million in 2000, India is expected to receive almost $10 billion in investments into renewable energy and clean technology in 2010. By 2015, this could be over four times this figure." (<link>Sourc e; EAI Blog<link>) Well, is $10 billion for India and $35 billion for China good enough numbers? That is not clear, but it is clear that these countries are investing a fair share of the total investment (in 2009, the share of investments in global for RE for these two countries alone was about 25%, not bad at all!). What are your thoughts on investments in renewable energy in the developing countries? Do you feel that developed countries could do better when just two developing countries alone are contributing 25% of the total investments?  (Nov 26, 2010 | post #1)

Glen Carbon, IL

Is Locavorism Just a Fad? Methinks Not

A couple of centuries back, folks ate food that was grown quite close to where they lived. It seemed natural. But as time went by, they started yearning for food that was grown in other places but not theirs. They were able to get these, thanks to the progress in transportation technologies. Today, it has come to such a stage that most of what we consume (and it not just about food) are imported from regions far away from where we live. To some extent, I guess you can justify consuming products that are not local. For instance, not every food that is healthy could be grown in any specific region alone. In addition, sometimes it makes sense for your region to grow what grows best there are barter these with products from other regions where they grow best. In many other cases, I opine that locavorism makes tremendous sense, both to your health and pocket and to nature's! And let's not think locavorism is a fad, and I am not advocating locavorism because it brings down the cost of transportation and hence, the carbon footprint from a particular food product. As this [url=http://eai.in /blog/2010/09/is-l ocavorism-just-a-f ad-methinks-not.ht ml]post's author advocate locavorism[/url], I also think locavorism is more about building a sustainable and prosperous community around you than just reducing the total energy costs of food items. What do you think?  (Nov 26, 2010 | post #1)

Automotive

Potential for OTEC (Ocean Thermal) for Electricity Produc...

Amid the excitement that is brewing in the air over solar, wind and biomass based power, some of the lesser known renewable energy sources hardly find a mention or discussion. One of these is the OTEC (or ocean thermal energy conversion). I could not find too many discussions online for OTEC, except perhaps for posts such as these that <link>explor ed the potential for OTEC in India<link>. "While I am sure there are estimates for the potential worldwide for OTEC, I would rather disregard it at the moment because this is a very nascent concept and most such estimates would prove to be close to guessworks! I’d take estimates for India with the same pinch of salt – however, if you are looking for estimates of potential, I understand MNES has estimate that India has a potential of exploiting between 80,000 – 180,000 MW of OTEC based power. Even if it is 80 GW, it’s not a bad amount, assuming these folks indeed have done a good estimate. We have about 160 GW of installed electricity capacity, so that’s 50% of what we have today. I’ll tell you why I find the OTEC thing quite interesting, even though it is going to be quite a while before we get the first unit of electricity from it. There are concurrent, non-power benefits from OTEC. These are the ones that Wikipedia lists: Air-conditioning, chilled-soil agriculture, aquaculture, desalination, hydrogen production and mineral extraction" ([url=http://eai.i n/blog/2010/09/pot ential-for-otec-oc ean-thermal-in-ind ia.html]Source: EAI Blog[/url]) I think the author has a point. OTEC is not just about electricity production, it has beneficial effects beyond power production alone. I think more R&D should be undertaken in this area. What do you think?  (Nov 26, 2010 | post #1)

Biochemistry

Cellulosic Ethanol in India – Status and Trends

Cellulosic ethanol represents the second generation biofuels in the context of ethanol. Rather than derive ethanol from starchy feedstocks (most of which happen to food crops), cellulosic ethanol derives the fuel from waste crops and waste biomass which are rich in cellulose. India produces about 300 MT of crop waste every year; this can translate to about 80-100 million T of ethanol using the cellulosic route. That's much more than the total amount of gasoline that India consumes. On the face of it, things look rosy for cellulosic ethanol in India, especially when you consider that a large part of our import bill goes towards buying oil. However, as this post from EAI Blog claims, all things are [url=http://eai.in /blog/2010/09/cell ulosic-ethanol-in- india-status-and-t rends.html]not rosy with cellulosic ethanol in India[/url] with just a few firms doing any major research at all. Why do you think so little emphasis has been given to cellulosic ethanol by the corporates and even the research units in India? And how do you think the government can play a role in catalysing this domain?  (Nov 25, 2010 | post #1)

Ecology

India’s Eco-friendly Clothing Market on the Rise

When people talk of organic products in India (I mean organically grown products), most times they are talking about organic foods. But there are other product markets that are beginning to show some traction in the market. One such is organic clothing. "...the market for eco-friendly clothing in India is on the rise. From the current 1% of the total market of Rs. 32,000, it is expected to grow to 5% by 2015 – that’s almost 40% CAGR for the next five years, and a total market size of about Rs. 1500 crores." ([url=http://eai.i n/blog/2010/09/ind ias-eco-friendly-c lothing-market-on- the-rise.html]Sour ce: EAI Blog[/url]). I like that. There is nothing like market forces to spur entrepreneurs to do things big and fast, and a fast growing market for organic clothing is sure to give the necessary encouragement for many Indian entrepreneurs and businesses to invest more in this sector. What are your thoughts?  (Nov 25, 2010 | post #1)

Chemistry

Zero Emissions Natural Gas Plant Using Solid Oxide Fuel C...

A recent news item discussed the concept of using solid oxide fuel cells in natural gas fired power plants to make a zero emissions plant. MIT Postdoctoral associate Thomas Adams and Chemical Engineering Professor Paul I. Barton have proposed a system which produces power from natural gas without burning it, and produces a stream of clean water, and almost pure carbon dioxide, making it easy to harness for sale to cement manufacturers now developing a use for it, or pre-separating it cheaply for Carbon Capture and Storage. More on this from this blog post on the [url=http://powerp lantccs.com/blog/2 010/03/zero-emissi ons-natural-gas-pl ant-using-solid-ox ide-fuel-cells.htm l]power plant - fuel cell combination[/url] At the heart of this is obviously the fuel cell technology. This is an interesting intersection, in my opinion - the intersection of fuel cells and power plants for CCS. Are you aware of other ideas that work similar to this? And what do you feel could be the challenges in ideas such as this?  (Nov 12, 2010 | post #1)

Nuclear Energy

Cryogenic CO2 Capture Using Cold Energy from LNG

Here's an interesting idea for CO2 capture - cryogenic capture using cold energy from LNG. How does it work? "...As part of GDF SUEZ Innovation & Research Department, CRIGEN was also involved in an innovative CO2 capture technology using cold, through the ANR Project CO2Sublim built around a partnership with ARMINES1 , which has developed a process for CO2 capture by frosting (“antisublimation” in French). A laboratory mock-up has already been built by ARMINES in order to validate the concept feasibility. The project was proceeded between November 2006 and end of February 2008. As a next step, CRIGEN and its partners are developing an improvement of this CO2 cryogenic capture system – allowing energy consumption decrease – using free cold from LNG available on LNG terminals. This technology uses the cold energy released during LNG re-gasification process to freeze out and then liquefy the CO2 from industrial flue gases ([url=http://power plantccs.com/blog/ 2010/03/cryogenic- co2-capture-using- cold-energy-from-l ng.html]power plant, steel or cement industry[/url]). " This is an interesting example of a synergy between CO2 capture and LNG terminals. With LNG becoming increasingly prevalent in many parts of the world, could such an idea play an important role in CCS in future? What do you think?  (Nov 12, 2010 | post #1)

Chemistry

Purenergy CCS 1000 – Prefab CO2 Capture Equipment

CCS appears to be a fairly complex and sophisticated kind of domain. Power plants and other CO2 emitting companies that are putting up pilot plants naturally are expected to do a heck of a lot of customization in their infrastructure in this regard. But there was some good news in this regard. Read this post from [url=http://powerp lantccs.com/blog/2 010/03/purenergy-c cs-1000-prefab-co2 -capture-equipment .html]the Power Plant CCS Blog[url], a resource dedicated to this industry: "Purenergy CCS 1000 – Prefab CO2 Capture Equipment - Purenergy CCS 1000 is a standalone carbon capture system that will capture CO2 from the flue gas exhaust of power plants and large industrial emitters. It will be capable of capturing 1000 tons per day of CO2. The system is pre-engineered, pre-built and modularly constructed...The company believes, because of its modular design, that it will be able to be manufactured, shipped and erected at the emitter sight at a much lower cost than other systems that have to be custom built on site." Sounds good, doesn't it? Guess we will not be sure about its efficacy until we have really seen it work and bring down costs, but I reckon that any reduction in customization without affecting performance should result in much better cost advantages, what do you think?  (Nov 12, 2010 | post #1)

Glen Carbon, IL

Large Scale Carbon Capture Farming to Rebuild Soils

There is one interesting way to capture carbon without having to spend hundreds of millions of $. Use the CO2 to replenish and rebuild soils while at the same time sequestering them under the ground! Listen to this: "USGS, California and UC Davis begin large-scale Delta “carbon farm” Project will study best ways to capture atmospheric CO2, reverse island subsidence - The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the University of California, Davis plan to make it happen. DWR has awarded USGS and UC Davis a three-year, $12.3 million research grant to take the concept of carbon-capture farming to full-scale in a scientifically and environmentally sound way. Long-standing farming practices in the Delta expose fragile peat soils to wind, rain and cultivation, emit carbon dioxide (CO2) and cause land subsidence. To capture or contain the carbon, farmers would “grow” wetlands. In doing so, they would begin to rebuild the Delta’s unique peat soils, take CO2 out of the atmosphere, ease pressure on the Delta’s aging levees and infuse the region with new economic potential. Carbon-capture farming works as CO2 is taken out of the air by plants such as tules and cattails. As the plants die and decompose, they create new peat soil, building the land surface over time." (Source: [url]http://powerp lantccs.com/blog/2 010/03/large-scale -carbon-capture-fa rming-to-rebuild-s oils.html[/url)Pow erPlantCCS Blog. Don't you think this is an effective way of carbon sequestration? But my worry is that this might take a long time to suck out the humungous amounts of extra CO2 we have gleefully pumped into the atmosphere. We probably will need more synthetic methods to suck it out faster, what do you think?  (Nov 12, 2010 | post #1)

Ecology

Large Scale Carbon Capture Farming to Rebuild Soils

There is one interesting way to capture carbon without having to spend hundreds of millions of $. Use the CO2 to replenish and rebuild soils while at the same time sequestering them under the ground! Listen to this: "USGS, California and UC Davis begin large-scale Delta “carbon farm” Project will study best ways to capture atmospheric CO2, reverse island subsidence - The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the University of California, Davis plan to make it happen. DWR has awarded USGS and UC Davis a three-year, $12.3 million research grant to take the concept of carbon-capture farming to full-scale in a scientifically and environmentally sound way. Long-standing farming practices in the Delta expose fragile peat soils to wind, rain and cultivation, emit carbon dioxide (CO2) and cause land subsidence. To capture or contain the carbon, farmers would “grow” wetlands. In doing so, they would begin to rebuild the Delta’s unique peat soils, take CO2 out of the atmosphere, ease pressure on the Delta’s aging levees and infuse the region with new economic potential. Carbon-capture farming works as CO2 is taken out of the air by plants such as tules and cattails. As the plants die and decompose, they create new peat soil, building the land surface over time." (Source: [url=http://powerp lantccs.com/blog/2 010/03/large-scale -carbon-capture-fa rming-to-rebuild-s oils.html]PowerPla ntCCS Blog[/url]). Don't you think this is an effective way of carbon sequestration? But my worry is that this might take a long time to suck out the humungous amounts of extra CO2 we have gleefully pumped into the atmosphere. We probably will need more synthetic methods to suck it out faster, what do you think?  (Nov 12, 2010 | post #1)