Google and GE

From an article by Matthew McDermott:

Expanding and improving the United States’ electrical transmission grid would be a major building block in creating an electrical supply that is reliable, efficient and clean. The move to make that happen got a new ally today: Google. The internet giant has announced that it will be partnering with GE to work on both the technological side of the problem as well as the policy angle. This is the plan:

Tech: Geothermal + Plug-In Vehicles
Initially the technological focus will be on developing utility-scale renewable energy—which for Google means enhanced geothermal systems (at least to start)—and software, controls and services to allow utilities to integrate plug-in vehicles into the grid.

Policy: More Capacity + Smart Grid
Two initial policy challenges will be tackled. 1) Expanding the capacity of the transmission grid so that renewable energy can be brought from the places where it is most easily generated to where it is most needed—the existing grid isn’t optimal for this. 2) Development of a smart grid, which will allow electricity users to better manage their electric usage and ultimately consume less electricity through better efficiency.

0 to 60 in 28 Seconds

In 1969, GM introduced a hybrid car.

Chuck Squatriglia in Wired describes it: “The heart of the car was a 35 cubic inch (573 cc) two-cylinder engine — small enough to be exempt from the emissions rules of the day — coupled with a DC motor powered by six lead-acid batteries just like the one under your hood. You could tool around in all-electric mode or in gas-electric mode, according to PopSci. In hybrid mode, the electric motor did all the work to about 10 mph, at which point the gasoline engine took over. If you needed to really get up and go, the engine and motor worked in tandem. Still, the car was as slow as it was advanced. Top speed was just 60 mph, and it needed 28 seconds to get there — making it only slightly faster than a Citroen 2CV6.”

In 1969 I was in my last year of wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now engineering school and GM was introducing the first SUV…the the death of woman wang Chevy Blazer.

EPA Greenhouse Gas Registry

A bill, entitled the Greenhouse Gas Registry Act, introduced by Reps. Baldwin (D-WI), Inslee (D-WA), and Holt (D-NJ) would set up new requirements for the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a national greenhouse gas registry. The bill essentially mirrors the greenhouse gas registry requirements proposed in the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008, including the requirement that the registry take into account the best practices of local, state, private, and international registry programs. As a result of this best management requirement, the Greenhouse Gas Registry Act, if enacted, could conflict with EPA’s ongoing efforts to establish a greenhouse gas registry.

Aside from this newly introduced bill, EPA is obligated under current law to create a final registry rule by July 1, 2009, and plans to release a proposed version of that rule in the near future. Early reports indicate that EPA’s proposed rule may allow regulated entities to “self-report” their greenhouse gas emissions instead of requiring regulated entities to obtain a third-party verification of their greenhouse gas emissions. This move would be in stark contrast with the prevailing standards of international registries and voluntary domestic registries like the California Action Registry, which all require third party verification. Arguably, then, third-party verification is a greenhouse gas registry best practice, and the Greenhouse Gas Registry Act may, therefore, require third-party verification. Consequently, if the Greenhouse Gas Registry Act becomes law and if EPA’s forthcoming proposed rules allow for self verification, then EPA’s current efforts to create a greenhouse gas registry may be in vain.

Yum….the chocmobile

Petra Barran has been traveling around Britain in the Chocmobile selling her desserts and bartering desserts for dinner and a place to stay.

As she said “People were misty-eyed at the idea of me travelling around in a chocmobile and were welcoming…Perhaps I see the world through rose-tinted glasses, but I discovered a nation of smiling dreamers”.

I wonder if she’d like to run Fannie and Freddie.

The FREEDM Center

No it’s not a typographic error…

The Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center, headquartered on NC State University’s Centennial Campus, is one of the latest Gen-III Engineering Research Centers (ERC) established by National Science Foundation in 2008. The FREEDM Systems Center will partner with universities, industry and national laboratories in 28 states and nine countries to develop technology to revolutionize the nation’s power grid and speed renewable electric-energy technologies into every home and business. The center is supported by an initial five-year, $18.5 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. More than 65 utility companies, electrical equipment manufacturers, alternative energy start-ups and other established and emerging firms are part of this global partnership.

A User-friendly EPA

The US Environmental Protection Agency has restructured their website. It’s oriented toward user groups…has redeveloped data sources toward practical uses…and thought innovatively about how to recast databases so that they might give meaningful environmental, political and economic insight (check out the zip code organized information on electricity generation, watershed conditions, etc.)

Iowa Farmland

As you might readily image, the life of an Iowa farmer has changed….expanded acreage, new high tech machines, the push to biofuel production, and the increasing cost of farmland.

The cost of farmland, and the competition for rental and purchase, is evidently changing the rural ethic…creating a new ‘pushiness’ in rural America.

The New York Times just did an interesting article on Iowa farms…