Monthly Archives: July 2013

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California Creates a Vehicle for the Renewable Transition

In California, the sunny state, three out of four residents would like to invest in renewable energy, yet is unable to. People that rent or have a low credit rating can’t buy and install a solar installation on their property. Now Senator Brown, who was senator before and did a lot for the environment, introduced a new law, bill SB43, that..

SB 43′s pilot program will enable customers of the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities to sign up to participate in shared renewable energy facilities, and receive credits and charges on their utility bill for the energy produced by their share of the project.

There are several ways to look at this, the most superficial is that people can now co-own renewable energy installations. They can be solar, wind or solar thermal, maybe even wave and geothermal. It seems this will bring a lot more cash to the development of these type of installations, but that is not the only thing going on.

This type of system, in which a person that invests $100 gets a return on that money for a long time, is actually an example of a pure transition from carbonbank credit to renewable based credit. It may be a very effective way to get the banking system out of the loop entirely. And we proposed such a system on a more distributed bases before when talking about introducing a ‘Joule’ currency to be handed out by the tax office to people.

The value of renewable energy is determined by the products it helps to make 

What happens if you have a big renewable energy plant is that it delivers power to companies that make products. To make these products the companies need money, but the money is given to the co-owner of the energy plant, the consumer. So the consumer can go out with it’s dollar, earned from owning the energy plant into the market and give that money to the producers of products they like. It is a closed loop system that knocks out banks from the equation of the economy all together. No credit is needed for production, not banks are needed to provide credit to consumers. Everybody enjoys the wealth afforded by the sun.

To work properly energy companies will need to be able to create money to pay the divident

Of course the above cycle will be the ultimate result if one would continue to share renewable resources, and more importantly force fossil fuel energy credit to be used to built them, because that is what this bil does (undboubtably strongly against the will of the banks, or behind their backs as they are so focussed on carboncredit and speculation). It may have succeeded because it gives banking power to the utilities.

Energy storage will be equivalent to banking, and should be part of the scheme 

Compared to Germany this scheme is somewhat easier to use for a renewable energy transition because a large amount of power from one location is easier to put a value to than power from many households that are partially consumed and shared on a net at unknown distances of the consumers. The big difference between creating energy for consumption and production is barely recognized at all, becuase most people don’t see money as our primary means of allocating energy, fossil fuel energy that is. 

Using energy shares, if their value can be calculated correctly in a speculative banking environment, one can democratize and transition away form fossil fuel dependence completely, with one exception : import and export. It is impossible to provide the factories in China with energy produced in California, and money from outside coming in doesn’t have a share of energy waiting to be used. The way this is handled now is that China buys fossil fuels with the USD because the market is set in that currency (still for a large part). This is a condition for the global market, one that Iraq, Iran, Venzuela (Rogue, terrorist states!) all tried to do. The US banks can’t have this happen ever, because their life depends on the global division of production and consumption, their role as creztor and controller of carboncredit.

Money creation should lie in the hands of those that create production capacity (energy)

Money destruction should happen when the production capacity is used (energy is consumed) 

Every state that creates either a distributed or central co ownership/share system for energy, and is able to set the price correctly, will be on a course away from carboncredit that nobody can stop. The big step is that the energy producer must be able to create money and put it in the hands of the shareholder. This makes sense because in the case of solar panels, after six or so years they are payed off, but then they still help produce goods and there is still electricity to be sold for abother 30 years.

Nuclear power maskerades economically as renewable energy 

The joker that big energy may pull, when it is still entangled with fossil fuel banks, is the nuclear power plant. Nuclear power is produced at next to no cost (read fossil fuel cost), just like solar power when the installation is payed off. Nuclear power distorts prices by pretending to be cheap, because the real costs of the decomissioning and waste containment are simply not communicated in the price. This would be quite useless anyway, because let’s say a nuclear power plant saves money for 40 years, then when it wants to decomission there’s no oil for sale, so the money has no value. This will soon be the case. It shows that money is a means to trade, not a store of production value.  

To make the transition clean Brown should make sure nuclear power is priced correcly, and make it explicitly possible for the shared energy plants to create money without the help of the banks. This is the hardest part to achieve, but the more renewable sources there are, the easier it gets to explain the above perspective.

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Nieuwe Efficientere Desalinatie Techniek?

Desalinaitie zoals het doorgaans gebeurt is energie intensief. Water wordt onder hoge druk door membranen geperst, het zogenaamde Revers Osmosis (RO) proces. Eerder schreven we al over Freeze desalination, de methode waarbij van water ijs wordt gemaakt, dat de zouten uitstoot en dus zoet water oplevert. Deze techniek is al efficienter dan het verdampen van water met zonnewarmte. Een freeze desalination process kan ook met wind worden aangedreven.


We schreven ook over een electrolytisch process, waarbij een zoutwaterbatterij wordt gebruikt om de zout ionen uit het water te trekken. Deze techniek van leent zich goed voor het gebruik van zonne energie omdat de aandrijvende kracht komt van extra zout water (ingedampt). Hoewel deze techniek 80% zuiniger is dan RO lezen we nog niet van een doorbraak. Dit verbaast niks, want de markt verkoopt primair fossiele brandstoffen, en daarna alles wat ermee gemaakt kan worden. Een process dat deze brandstoffen niet nodig heeft is een vreemde eend in de bijt.

Ook vetzuren kunnen gebruikt worden om zout uit water te halen. 

Het bedrijf Okeanos, voortkomend uit de Universiteit van Texas in Austin, claimt nu nog een efficiente manier te hebben gevonden. Het maakt gebruik van electrische velden om ionen en opgeloste deeltjes te sturen en zo uit de vloeistof te verwijderen. Het zou een zeer efficiente techniek zijn.  

Het electrische veld wordt los gelaten op zeer kleine waterstroompjes die door een chip stromen, dus het effect wordt met zeer kleine hoeveelheden water bereikt en dient te worden opgeschaald naar bruikbare volumes. Dit kan nog even duren. De kapitaal investeringen zijn gelijk als die van het RO process, maar de lopende kosten zijn natuurlijk veel lager. Hier onder een overzicht van de voor en nadelen van de nieuwe Waterchip ™ techniek:

  1. COST-EFFECTIVENESS – World-record desalination efficiency = dramatic reduction in operational expenses.
  2. RELEVANCE – Cost-effective desalination will provide profound economic, political, environmental and humanitarian benefits across the globe.
  3. ELEGANCE – Operation without extreme hydraulic pressures, massive electrical currents or intense heat sources make for simple, compact installations with small system footprint.
  4. CLEANLINESS – Operation on alternative energy sources, and/or reduced burden on dirty, coal-powered grid energy results in direct environmental benefits.
    • Pretreatment. No membranes means minimal pretreatment required other than basic sedimentation. Elimination of the need for chemicals, filters, treatment ponds etc. results in massive capital and effective operational savings.
    • Post treatment. No post treatment required. Complete disinfection, de-boronation, and heavy metals removal without the use of chemicals, which have to be added and then removed with other technologies in expensive (capex/opex) multi-stage processes.
    • Maintenance. No membranes also means no fouling and the minimization of maintenance capital and labor.
    • Operating expense scales linearly with output rates – unlike other technologies which require massive operational economies of scale and capital accessories (e.g. energy recovery systems) to reach what might loosely be called “economic competitiveness”.
    • Highly modular framework – systems to address from small to large scale (e.g. municipal) needs.
  7. FLEXIBILITY – On demand programmability for seawater vs. brackish waters means no need for source water dependent configuration/equipment, further enhancing effective operating efficiencies.
    • Bacteria, viruses and particulates are removed as efficiently as salt, without the use of expensive and cumbersome coagulants or chemicals.
    • On demand monitoring of system performance in real time
  9. DURABILITY – no moving parts, no extreme operating conditions (e.g. hydraulic pressures or voltages).
  10. MANUFACTURABILITY – recent advances in microelectronics fabrication and proprietary designs translate into capital (e.g. system purchase) expenses on par with today’s technologies.

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The Global Standdown III

Earlier we wrote about the carbon dependence of the war machine. We reason that as wars are fought over fossil fuels, using fossil fuels, there will be a point at wich world war or even a smaller war becomes unfeasible because both sides can predict they will run out of fuel, cause massive waste of fuel in the rebuilding process. It makes no sense pouring billions of resources into protecting your country if it is being hollowed out by a force you could actually fight effectively, energy, water, biosphere deterioration.

There is a reason why the military are so clear-headed about the climate threat, according to Professor John Schellnhuber, a scientist who briefed the UN security council on the issue in February and formerly advised the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. "The military do not deal with ideology. They cannot afford to: they are responsible for the lives of people and billions of pounds of investment in equipment,"

Now the UK once again stresses the suprapolitical nature of the climate threat. We see that not only is the fragility of our dependence on marginal fossil fuels an issue, but does it seem that climate migration and chaos will disturb world trade and economic interdependence. Globalization, only possible because of fossil fuels (why else would you haul billions of tons of container steal thousands of miles across the world to deliver toothbrushes), will break down, and it is better to make that a controlled process.

"Exterminate all the brutes!" (General Kurtz)

What J. Conrad seems to have meant was that the destrutive process will only end when we get rid of those that don’t care about lives.

Charlie Chaplin : "Brutes have risen to power.."

We think that it is better for the global armies to agree to fight the common enemy, not each other. The fight is not hopeless, in fact, when it is begun right now it will mean victory is certain. Like in a war, the fight is to live as humanity or die in chaos. Now we still have the order necessary. We know the Pentagon is on the same page as the German army as the UK army, as the UN, and all are securing an economic system that is straving from increasing carbon scarcity while supressing renewables to retain the carbon monopoly. Blindly striving for economic growth while knowing it primarily depends on burning fossil fuels that damage the survivability of all makes most governments qualify as insane, delusional, a risk to their population. 

Using renewables to fight climate change is the only possible way, but luckily that energy is thousands of times more abundant 

Don’t think in terms of fossil fuel resources, think in terms of renewable resources. Then you have 5900 times the fossil reserve available in solar power to change things for the better every single year. We can add wind, we can populate and use the oceans (70% of Eaths surface). It is a solveable problem but we need to sober up from our Ipads to get to the task. The focus has to shift from creating a global elite while creating and destroying a poor underclass to mobilizing all resources and potential to slow down and reverse the CO2 trend.

By working to protect life, we work to protect ourselves 

Money is not an issue once you move past it. This is what happens in war, you determine that hands can make weapons and you organize people to do that. They may get food and shelter, but certain things need to happen. Japan held on to this type of treatment of its own people long after WOII, on slave coal mining islands owned by Mitsubishi and other Supercompanies. We don’t have to see the same harmfull things happen today, because fighting climate change is about improving the ability of our planet to sustain life, growing, greening, not destroying and emaciating. The suffering we see is all because of fossil fuel interest protection.

Economic thinking creates vulnerability and dependency

An army would never choose to grow GMO food, it would never choose to require lots of chemicals, logistics and effort to get what it needs. The global economy incentivices just that. Complex processes with more individuals, especially when it comes to the easy part, shuffeling the money. The existence of an easy part and the use of fossil fuels actually making life very easy has warped our system into a top heavy wastefull destruction machine that is destoying us.

It would be an incredible day that the combined armies of the world announced they would institute a single rule of law to govern the end of war and start the climate fight, the fight for survival of humanity. It sounds grotesk, but what about "dead oceans" doesn’t? There will still be brutes that advocate first fighting and then rebuilding, they have no skin in the game. The single decision to fight climate change as humanity and do it with military ratio will make an enormous difference, and may even improve the lives of may by making it all make a lot more sense. 

"The Global Standdown or How each of us knows what it takes to be a Messiah"

"Global War Or Global Standown, and Roboeconomy"