March 10, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yarmouth, Maine, is considering an alternative energy source to power its wastewater treatment plant: hydrogen gas, created through technology proposed by Ronny Bar-Gadda, founder and chief executive officer of Genesys LLC. The Portland Press Herald provides a description:

He has developed a proprietary technology called radiant energy transfer. It uses electromagnetic radiation to break the hydrogen-oxygen bond at certain frequencies. The process was demonstrated last fall in the lab by filling a balloon with hydrogen made from wastewater. The radiant energy transfer unit, as Bar-Gadda calls it, can be scaled up in modules, uses minimal energy and produces hydrogen at a rapid rate.

From the physics and thermodynamics perspectives, I am very interested to see how this plays out.

Strong, Maine pellet producer Geneva Wood Fuels has been fined $27,000 by OSHA for violations ranging from missing handrails to potential problems with wood dust management -- and it's wood dust that may have been behind the explosion at the plant last year.

China has announced that it is back on track to meet its target of lowering energy intensity -- which is energy consumption per unit of GDP -- by 20% over 2006 levels by year's end. How? Government control. The Chinese government shuttered 60 gigawatts of older, inefficient thermal electricity units, and cracked down on manufacturers of iron, steel and cement.

It's CERAWeek in Houston, and apparently traditional fossil-fuel generators are laughing at the federal government's promotion of renewables. CERAWeek is the big conference sponsored by energy consultants IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

US Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration says we'll pay more than $3 per gallon of gasoline in summer 2010. EIA also predicts oil prices rising from above $80 per barrel this spring to $82 per barrel by the end of 2009 and $85 per barrel by the end of 2011. EIA also predicts flat residential electricity prices: 11.5 cents per kilowatthour for this year, rising to 11.6 cents per kilowatthour in 2011.

Letter to the Editor of the Bangor Daily News from David Gordon of Oakfield talking about his town's approach to ensuring that wind development within the town provides benefits to ratepayers. Well written David.

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