Category Archives: business

The Arctic Ice Is Melting, But Who Cares! They’s Oil In Them Thar Slush Piles!

We recently covered the shocking revelation that the Arctic sea ice was set to melt to an all time low this year (It will surpass predicted 2050 levels in fact). While this sounds to me like the IPCC has been woefully conservative in just how fast certain feedback mechanisms will warm the Arctic, it sounds to a lot of other people like the starting gun on a race for Arctic resources.

Sure we could be concerned about the deadly consequences of melting Arctic sea ice (thermohaline current disruption, destruction of the polar bear, melting permafrost, etc) caused by our rampant burning of fossil fuels. Or we could look on the bright side and see that really all that missing ice just makes it easier to dig up MORE oil and gas! (note: this is a demonstration of sarcasm)

North west passage

The melting is already well underway, the fabled “northwest passage” Is becoming less “fabled” every day. In times past the main hindrance to this chilly ocean voyage was the ever present sea ice. As of the writing of this post the Northwest passage is nearly ice-free for the first time since records began.

Continue reading The Arctic Ice Is Melting, But Who Cares! They’s Oil In Them Thar Slush Piles!

Sub-prime Mortgages Might Be Tanking But Solar Is Still A Good Investment

Nevada solar one money
Or so says Wells Fargo & Company. It has announced that it has made the largest equity investment in solar energy in the company’s history – in Nevada Solar One, a 64-megawatt Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant southeast of Las Vegas. The $266 million project developed by Acciona Energy is the largest solar energy facility built in the world in 16 years.

The project is expected to help stabilize electricity costs for residents and businesses in Nevada, where electricity prices have risen more than 50 percent since 2000. Nevada Solar One will provide clean renewable power during peak demand, when electricity prices and demand are highest. The electricity generated will be purchased by Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company through long-term power purchase agreements at fixed electricity prices.

“Vast opportunity exists to help our customers and our nation take advantage of clean, renewable energy,” said Barry Neal, Wells Fargo’s director of Environmental Finance. “Our goal is to seize the right opportunities by drawing from our breadth of financing capabilities to deliver solutions that benefit our customers, our communities, our shareholders and our environment.”

Nevada Solar One’s solar field covers 400 acres and features more than 182,000 parabolic trough-shaped mirror panels that track the sun throughout the day and concentrate solar radiation onto receiver tubes. This heats a special fluid in the receiver tubes to create steam that drives a conventional steam turbine generator to produce electricity. The CSP project is provides a utility-scale solution with no greenhouse gas emissions.

The transaction is the first leveraged lease structured financing for a CSP plant in the U.S. Wells Fargo participated as one of three equity investors including an affiliate of Northern Trust and JPMorgan Capital Corporation who underwrote the equity and led the equity investors. Debt participants include Banco Santander and BBVA of Spain, and CAIXA of Portugal.

Biodiesel Plant Opens In Adrian Michigan

Now usually I wouldn’t make a fuss about yabp (yet another biodiesel plant) but Adrian Michigan is special (I was born there).

Adrian Biodiesel plant

A plant capable of producing 40 million gallons of the alternative fuel biodiesel opened with great fanfare yesterday in an industrial area of this Lenawee County community.

The ceremony at the Biofuel Industries Group LLC’s NextDiesel operation included Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Sen. Carl Levin.

The $20 million plant, which was to be in operation today, is initially to produce 20 million gallons a year of the cleaner-burning diesel, said Jason Eisenberg, director of business development.

The firm has plans to double the capacity before year’s end, he said.

The renewable energy source is derived by blending petroleum diesel with fuel made from soybean oil. It and ethanol have won notice as showing promise for reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, fostering a cleaner environment, and helping farmers.(via)

I am still not very happy that they are using food stock for a fuel, but perhaps they will switch to something else once technology improves. I do know however know that this part of the country is in desperate need of new jobs. The “rust belt” area of the country has had it hard since the auto factories moved overseas. Renewable energy is the perfect sector to provide these jobs. There is also a solar panel factory near by and talk of wind turbine manufacturing plant. We can only hope that this sort of thing catches on and a renewable energy revolution sweeps the mid-west.

We Made The Global Warming Survival Handbook!

The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills To Stop Climate Change

So unknown to me, it seem The Sietch is an important part of surviving global warming. Because on page 71, of the The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills To Stop Climate Change Under the heading “Harnessing the sun” you will find a link to our projects page. Cool beans. I wish the authors of the book would have let us know they were going to publish a link to our site, I would have checked out the book sooner :) Anyway if you are in the book store browsing around, be sure to take a look.

Nissan Trying To Recycle 100% Of It’s Vehicles

Nissan green

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., last week released this years progress report on its recycling efforts. Through its extensive recycling efforts, Nissan has already exceeded the targets set under the Nissan Green Program 2010 mid-term environmental action plan.

Nissan’s love of recycling may have been spurred by trying to achieve compliance with the Japan Automobile Recycling Law, enacted on January 1, 2005. The progress report focused on three key areas:

  • Automobile Shredder Residue (ASR)ja
  • Airbag-related components
  • Fluorocarbons (CFCs/HFCs)

Under the Nissan Green Program 2010 action plan, the company plans to accelerate its recycling efforts to achieve an average 95% recovery rate for end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) by FY2010. In Japan, this is four years ahead of the 2015 regulations.

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