Sunday, November 23, 2014

Some climate change impacts unavoidable: World Bank

Smoke rises from chimneys of a steel plant next to a viaduct on a hazy day in Tangshan, Hebei province February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic
Smoke rises from chimneys of a steel plant next to a viaduct on a hazy day in Tangshan, Hebei province February 18, 2014.

(Reuters) - Some future impacts of climate change, such as more extremes of heat and sea level rise, are unavoidable even if governments act fast to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank said on Sunday.
Past and predicted emissions from power plants, factories and cars have locked the globe on a path towards an average temperature rise of almost 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times by 2050, it said.
"This means that climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be simply unavoidable," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told a telephone news conference on the report, titled "Turn down the Heat, Confronting the New Climate Normal."
"The findings are alarming," he said.
Sea levels would keep rising for centuries because vast ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica thaw only slowly. If temperatures stayed at current levels, seas would rise 2.3 metres (7 ft 6 in) in the next 2,000 years, the report said.

Average temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 degree(1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution, it said.
"Dramatic climate changes and weather extremes are already affecting millions of people around the world, damaging crops and coastlines and putting water security at risk," Kim wrote in the report.
As examples of extremes, he pointed to the hottest November day in Australia during a recent Group of 20 summit "or the five to six feet of snow that just fell on Buffalo" in the United States.
Still, the worst impacts of global warming could be avoided by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the report said.
For example, a rise of 2 degrees (3.6F) in average world temperature over pre-industrial times would mean a reduction in Brazilian crop yields of up to 70 percent for soybean and up to 50 percent for wheat in 2050.
Officials from almost 200 nations will meet in Peru from Dec. 1-12 to work on a deal due in Paris in late 2015, to slow climate change. [ID:nL6N0TB496]
Kim defended World Bank policies that permit investments in fossil fuels in developing nations in rare cases, saying it was often for power plants to supply electricity vital to help end poverty.
"Sub-Saharan Africa has a total of about 80 gigawatts of installed (electricity generating) capacity, which is less than Spain," he said.

(Reporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by Clelia Oziel)

Honda Joins long list of Hydrogen Cars - NOW! HYDROGEN Offers Solution For Fuel

Numerous Car Companies Jumping Into Hydrogen Cars 

Honda is just one of several car companies that have recently come forward with hydrogen fueled vehicles. Toyota, Audi, Volkswagen, Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell, Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell , Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell. and more have also jumped in.

One of the problems that the hydrogen fueled cars are going to encounter is the ability to fuel these vehicles. NOW! HYDROGEN has come up with a very economic and easy  solution to this problem.


The conversion process of splitting water to produce hydrogen has been costly due to the process of having to scrub or separate the two gases. Like with any emerging technologies once there is public interest, enhancements and ways to reduce cost begin coming forward. NOW! HYDROGEN is one of those companies. NOW! HYDROGEN has developed a electrolysis stack that then mechanically separates the two gases (hydrogen and oxygen) without using expensive scrubbing technologies greatly reducing the cost of producing hydrogen.The one market they see as being viable is solar combined with electrolysis generating hydrogen fueling stations. It is absolutely intriguing that one can generate a clean burning fuel right at the location needed from nothing but solar electricity and water. NOW! HYDROGEN's design concept does incorporate grid tied power to insure reliability and production. NOW! HYDROGEN has figured out how to do this with their low cost hydrogen producing technology.



The problem of hydrogen fueling stations is one that the electric car industry faced and overcame very quickly. It is only a matter of deployment and can be done quickly as was proven with electric car fueling locations. NOW! HYDROGEN believes they are strategically positioned in a emerging market to meet the demands for hydrogen at a cost competitive rate. Locations are numerous as the NOW! HYDROGEN technology produces hydrogen on demand thus reducing the need for large storage requirements!
Honda FCV 
Audi Hydrogen Car
Volkswagen Hydrogen
Toyota Hydrogen
Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell
Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell 
Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell
As you can see there are many car companies jumping into the hydrogen market as it is a green clean burning fuel!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Time Has Come For All Renewables To Stand Up And Unite!

By: Eugene Wilkie

If you own or run a renewable energy business you need to read this article. Recently I wrote an article "A Energy War Has Erupted! Over 60 Groups Want and Have Formally Asked Republican Leaders To Block Wind PTC Extension" about how immediately after Republicans made their sweeping win in the elections 60 groups including the Koch brothers sent a formal request asking for the end of the wind PTC tax incentive. Their premise being and I quote "Rejecting efforts to extend the PTC is a meaningful way for this Congress to oppose the President’s climate plan. A vote for extending the PTC is a vote for the President and the Majority Leader’s agenda". 

Folks a  bill just passed through the US House of Representatives that is designed to prevent qualified, independent scientists from advising the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is directly influenced by the fossil fuel industry seeking to end this assault on their livelihood. I want it understood that I am not anti - fossil fuel.I completely understand and believe they are essential and have financially contributed in astronomical ways to the U.S. economy and our leading position in the world. I have had the good fortune to be involved in most sectors of renewable energy and view it from a more holistic point of view. I have installed and developed projects that required fossil fuel energy generation as the renewable energy sector was not mature enough to address the energy requirements I needed to meet at the time. What I don't get is this aggressive stance some in the fossil fuel industry in the U.S. have taken with renewables. ENERGY is ENERGY and the returns can be had by all. I consulted for some fossil fuel companies out of the Middle East who were getting into renewables and was pleasantly surprised. They looked at the industry as another form of energy that they could capitalize on and as they had a deep understanding of the energy sector they quickly understood the economic viability of renewables. Their view was refreshing in that they understood it did not make sense to burn their own asset for self use but instead to utilize renewables for their own off take. They then had more fossil fuel to sell in the market as they are very aware that there is only so much of it left to be pumped and what is there is getting more expensive to pump out of the ground. 

Renewables have been a diverse bunch all vying to position themselves in the new emerging economy. We have made great strides but the industry as a whole is under serious attack and often times different technologies view each other as competition so do not communicate. This is not a Republican versus Democrat issue. This is a industry (fossil fuel) that is feeling very threatened and as a mature industry know how to play the political machine like a well tuned piano. They have had years to learn and perfect their business model. Renewables has been an itch that seemed to them could be flicked away if it became too persistent. They were way off and they have begun to clearly see this as they watched the coal industry start dropping by the wayside and some of the biggest private non fossil fuels investors jump up with large portfolio investments. On top of that some of the large utility players began to really understand the economics that renewables offered and invested heavily. Some of these fossil fuel companies that are so aggressively gunning for renewables should look closely at these utilities business models and understand there is a large amount of money on the table and they are free to jump in at any time. They already have the deep understanding of the energy sector and the resources to capitalize on it to see great returns. I would be more than willing to show them how (as a payed consultant LOL) to tweak their business model and actually be more profitable by having a enhanced portfolio.

If you do not think solar is next you're wrong. They are attacking all fronts and spending large to do it. What has intrigued me about this is the fact I have heard very little from top executives in the renewable industry defending or rebutting these attacks. There seems to be such a (don't rock the boat mentality and head in the sand it will all work out) that I am a bit perplexed.

I do think that renewables has a few things going for it that should cause any politician to consider twice before being caught in the cross hairs of this issue. One is the majority of the public are proponents of clean energy. Second is that amount of jobs that this industry, renewables has created. Having said that like I mentioned in the beginning of this article 
they have voted on ending science in the EPA and there are some serious groups (I will list them at the end of this article) who have requested the PTC to not be renewed. If you look at this letter they could easily make the same case.

I am challenging all leaders in the renewable industry to stand up with one voice and make the case to the American people why renewables is good for the economy and good for the well being of our beautiful nation. We are the UNITED States of America and we need to all stand up united and get the support of the American people to challenge this assault on the industry. I for one am doing my part to raise my voice. There is actually a dot org that has formed to give us that one voice and I would encourage you to join and support. It is ACORE Leaders need to stand up under one voice and this is a great vehicle to do this with.

We have made amazing strides forward in renewables as a whole and it would be a shame to lose this momentum due to politics. I am posting the letter that was sent requesting the end of the PTC and I want you to replace the word wind with whatever industry of renewables you are in.

AEA American Energy Alliance

The Honorable John Boehner

Speaker of the House

U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Minority Leader

U.S. Senate

November 6, 2014

Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell:

During the lame duck session, one of the top priorities for President Obama and Majority

Leader Reid is the passage of a tax extenders package that includes a retroactive 

extension of the decades old wind production tax credit (PTC). The PTC is a key part of 

President Obama and Majority Leader Reid’s attack on affordable energy from natural gas, 

coal, and nuclear. We urge you to reject any attempt to revive the PTC.

First, it makes no sense for the Republicans to give away any leverage they may have with

respect to tax reform in the 114th Congress. Calls to “clear the decks” for the new Congress

are nonsensical; why would the newly elected Senate and House members (from either 

party) want to reward Senator Harry Reid for his legacy of dysfunction by allowing him the

opportunity to advance his pet priority—the wind PTC—during a lame duck session?

Second, extending the PTC restricts Americans' access to affordable and reliable energy. 

The PTC harms Americans in two important ways: it hides the true cost of wind power and

encourages states to keep expensive wind power mandates. This makes it easier for the

President to promote his restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants

because the PTC hides the true costs from ratepayers.

Third, the PTC enables wind operators to use the tax code to engage in predatory pricing

against reliable and affordable nuclear, coal, and natural gas power plants. The PTC is such

a large subsidy that industrial wind facilities can actually pay the electrical grid to take their

electricity and still make money. This predatory pricing is designed to drive nuclear, coal, 

and natural gas generators out of business and it is only profitable because of the PTC.

If you favor substantive, meaningful tax reform, you should oppose the inclusion of the wind

PTC in any lame duck tax extenders package. Rejecting efforts to extend the PTC is a

meaningful way for this Congress to oppose the President’s climate plan. A vote

for extending the PTC is a vote for the President and the Majority Leader’s agenda.

American Energy Alliance
American Commitment
Heritage Action For America
Americans for Tax Reform
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Americans for Competitive
Americans for Prosperity
National Center for Public Policy
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Frontiers of Freedom
National Black Chamber of
Energy and Environment Legal
Independent Women's Voice
The Committee For A Constructive
Tomorrow (CFACT)
Less Government
Club for Growth
Tea Party Nation
60 Plus Association
Independence Institute
Coalition Opposed to Additional
Spending and Taxes (COAST)
Campaign to Free America
Caesar Rodney Institute
National Tax Limitation Committee
Mansfield Tea Party
United for Missouri
Whitley County Concerned Citizens
The Cornwall Alliance for the
Stewardship of Creation
Secure America's Future Economy
North American Platform Against
Wind Power
Great Lakes Wind Truth, US and
Toronto Wind Action
Ontario Wind Action
Greencastle Defenders of Liberty
The Brighton Ridge Protectors
Save Our Senecas
The Coalition for the Preservation
of the Golden Crescent and 1000
Islands Region
Wells County Concerned Citizens
Concerned Taxpayers of Wells
Rio Grande Foundation
Concerned Citizens of Dekalb
County (IN)
Coalition for Sensible Siting,
Goodhue MN
Goodhue Wind Truth, Goodhue, MN
Coalition for Sensible Siting, Sibley,
Energy Makes America Great, Inc.
WNY Environmental Federation
The Great Lakes Beach Sweep
Cohocton Wind Watch
Interstate Informed Citizens
Stop Hallam Wind
Tom Stacy, Ohioan for Affordable
Let Freedom Ring
Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus
Brown County Citizens for
Responsible Wind Energy
Save Our Skyline Ohio
Northern Indiana Citizens Coalition
Greenwhich Neighbors United
The Wells County Constitutional
Grant County Concerned Citizens
Whitley County Patriots
Northwestern PA Eagle
Conservation Association
Save Lake Ontario's Skylines
Clear Skies Over Orangeville
Sibley County Concerned Citizens
Citizen Power Alliance
Save Our Skyline VWC
United Ci

U.S. Poised To Help Double Renewables Worldwide By 2030

Wind Energy and the Electric Vehicle  originally posted in REVE
usa windjobs

U.S. industries ready to do their part to double renewables worldwide by 2030

U.S. renewable power industries hailed the goal announced overnight at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing of doubling renewable energy in the 21 member economies by 2030, and said they are ready to do their part. This follows last year’s commitment to encourage technology transfer and joint efforts to lower costs and attract investment.
“We appreciate the leadership that President Obama and the rest of these world leaders are showing on the critical task of rapidly scaling up low-carbon energy sources,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Here in America, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Vision for the growth of our industry, we can quadruple wind power by 2030 and save consumers money doing it, if policymakers keep supporting state renewable standards and federal tax incentives to attract the necessary private investment.”

“Hydropower is poised for growth and ready to meet America’s renewable energy goals,” said Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director, National Hydropower Association. “From powering the 97 percent of the nation’s dams that remain unpowered to upgrading our existing facilities, opportunities exist to double hydropower’s contribution to the electricity grid, while strengthening our economy and providing more Americans access to clean, low-cost electricity.”
“GEA applauds the APEC goal of doubling renewable power,” said Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association. “New geothermal power development underway in the US and nearly all of the APEC countries will provide more than electricity, building thousands of megawatts of new geothermal power will spur economic growth, create new jobs and ensure environmental health for future generations.”
“The American biomass industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of years and, with supportive policies, there is potential for much more,” said Bob Cleaves, President of Biomass Power Association. “The 2014 National Climate Assessment indicated that biomass sources could offset up to 30 percent of U.S. petroleum consumption. Setting ambitious yet achievable goals is a good way to ensure that biomass potential is realized.”
“The Energy Recovery Council applauds today’s commitment to dramatically increasing renewable energy worldwide,” said Ted Michaels, President, Energy Recovery Council. “Waste-to-energy is a critical greenhouse gas mitigation tool with significant potential for further deployment in the U.S. Every ton of municipal solid waste processed at a waste-to-energy reduces lifecycle emissions by one ton of carbon dioxide equivalents, through offsetting fossil fuels, avoiding methane from landfills, and recovering metals for recycling.”

“Smart, effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), are paying huge dividends for America,” said Solar Energy Industries Association President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Solar installations this year will be 70 times higher than they were in 2006 when the ITC went into effect. The price to install a solar rooftop system has been cut in half, while utility systems have dropped by 70 percent. It took the U.S. solar industry 40 years to install the first 20 GW of solar, but we’re going to install the next 20 GW in the next two years. That’s remarkable growth.”

This Is Insane - EPA Barred From Getting Advice From Scientists

by Stephen Luntz

photo credit: Gavin Schaefer via wikimedia commons. Under a bill that has passed the US House, the people best qualified to say whether a chemical is dangerous will not be allowed to do so

A bill passed through the US House of Representatives is designed to prevent qualified, independent scientists from advising the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They will be replaced with industry affiliated choices, who may or may not have relevant scientific expertise, but whose paychecks benefit from telling the EPA what their employers want to hear.
The EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established in 1978 to ensure the EPA uses the most up to date and relevant scientific research for its decision making and that the EPA's programs reflect this advice. It has served in this role, most often uncontroversially, through 36 years and six presidents. If the new bill passes the Senate and wins presidential approval, however, that is about to change.
It's hard to be against “balance”, which no doubt helped Rep Chris Stewart (R-Utah) gather 229-191 support for his bill H.R. 1422 to overhaul the way appointments to the SAB are made. Of the 51 members of the SAB, three come from the industries the EPA is regulating. Stewart wants more, saying, "All we're asking is that there be some balance to those experts…We're losing valuable insight and valuable guidance because we don't include them in the process."

However, deeper investigation suggests the agenda involves more than getting input from a wider range of backgrounds. For one thing, the vote was largely on party lines with four Democrats supporting and one brave Republican opposed. Moreover, Stewart doesn't have much of a record for listening to genuine scientific expertise, considering 98% of qualified scientists' assessments irrelevant
Moreover, Stewart has made clear he doesn't believe the EPA should exist at all, calling for its scrapping because it “thwarts energy development”. Axing a body that ensures water is drinkable and air doesn't kill you is politically hard, but nobbling is easier.
The legislation has been under consideration since 2013. At an early hearing on the bill Dr Francesca Grifo, previously director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History testified, “Conflicts of interest threaten the integrity of science. Specifically, the objectivity of the members of an advisory committee and the public's trust in the advice rendered by that committee are damaged when a member of an advisory committee has a secondary interest that creates a risk of undue influence on decisions or actions affecting the matters in front of the committee.”
The bill would prevent scientists from voting on the release into the environment of a chemical by their employers. Nevertheless, they would be allowed to vote to release a nearly identical chemical, Grifo notes, including some that would set a precedent that would be very useful to the company in future decisions.
More insidiously, research scientists are barred under the act from advising on any topic that might “directly or indirectly involve review and evaluation of their own work”. In other words, the only people barred from advising the EPA on a particular chemical are those who have actually studied its toxicity or effect on the environment.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Helical Robotics Blows My Mind Again!

Eugene Wilkie

Ok I have written about Helical Robotics before in this blog but they just released another couple of video's that looks like they came straight out of the future. This is definitely an up and coming company to watch. The applications to their technology is endless. So enough said here is the videos. Be prepared to be astounded!

Visit Helical Robotics HERE

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NOW! HYDROGEN Announces Release Of Revolutionary New Hydrogen Producer

By: Eugene Wilkie

NOW! HYDROGEN releases statement today of entering the hydrogen market with a revolutionary new electrolysis stack that produces hydrogen. What makes their product different is its ability to produce pure hydrogen with out having to go through expensive processing of separating out the oxygen from the hydrogen utilizing scrubber systems. One of the reasons I have been an advocate of solar is its ability to produce clean renewable power with minimal environmental impact. I believe the combination of solar and hydrogen is just common sense but hydrogen production was cost prohibitive, in my view, considering the processes I have known to separate out the two gases when splitting water. To be able to have a mechanical way to do this greatly reduces the cost. With this machine NOW! Hydrogen is able to produce hydrogen from water at a very low cost. See excerpt from website below.

NOW! Hydrogen has developed a revolutionary new design for a hydrogen electrolysis stack  system. What makes our system unique and market disruptive is our ability to eliminate any need for scrubber systems to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen. We have developed a complete mechanical method of separating the oxygen from the hydrogen thus greatly reducing the cost and maintenance from producing hydrogen from water. The ability to produce hydrogen from water utilizing electrolysis has been proven for many years but the process of separating the two gases has been a costly additive. Our system is completely scalable which allows for many usages. We are currently seeking strategic partners to help us as we launch into the market. We believe that the opportunity for hydrogen production has reached a pinnacle in the market with the release of some of the major car companies entrance of hydrogen powered vehicles. If you are interested in becoming a partner or believe that your background and abilities could lend to our bringing this product forward please do not hesitate in contacting us.

              Despite the problems fuel users face with traditional fuel, the fuel market has simply become one of the world’s fastest growing and profitable industries in the United States.  In fact, it has been determined that fuel will continue to grow and quickly rise to the point that 75% of U.S. energy requirements are provided by fossil fuels.
Hydrogen Energy is also quickly transforming into a worldwide movement. Producers are working hard to keep up with the demand, as homeowners and corporations are made aware that electricity produced at the source of use has a tremendous impact on the finances of a home and of a company.  
If consumer interest wasn't already enough to make the hydrogen business boom, the government has judicially decided to get into the act.      
The Energy Conversion King-Pin
                Hydrogen is the key to a low cost, reliable, long term supply of energy from simple water.  NOW! Hydrogen has the solution to the traditional expensive fossil fuel sources problem to be replaced simply with water.
NOW! Hydrogen has created the fuel that  fuel experts have declared consumers need to finally have the dream of low cost, reliable energy delivered from a renewable source.   
The NOW! Hydrogen generator is a smaller, simple technology, half the cost of traditional hydrogen generators, and has a life time between failures (LTBF) three times longer than hydrogen generators .  The revolutionary NOW! Hydrogen generator is the result of technology implemented with intellectual proprietary property utilizing the application of power electronic engineering by Ronald Wilkinson.  This technology reduces component parts, eliminates fossil fuels , provides longer life, increased efficiency (96%) ,and economic savings to the end user.  Now the fuel dream can become a reality because the gaiting factor in the system, the generator, is finally benefiting from technology; i.e. NOW! Hydrogen Technology.
Review of NOW! Hydrogen Generator
The NOW! Hydrogen generator is a solid Hydrogen Fuel Generator with (3) three pat pending Intellectual Properties. The technology eliminates the dependency on fossil fuels and is half the cost of the leading Generator. Cost reductions are due to the elimination of fossil fuels
A majority of the companies that sell and install hydrogen generators are small garage inventors that have not been able to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen. Many have seen fantastic results from the combined hydrogen and oxygen commonly referred to as Browns gas. Here again, the traditional generator is the culprit. The secret to the problem of separating the hydrogen production from the oxygen is the key to having the ability to run an electrical producing generator or combustible engine.

The conversion process of splitting water to produce hydrogen has been costly due to the process of having to scrub or separate the two gases. Like with any emerging technologies once there is public interest enhancements and ways to reduce cost begin coming forward. We are one of those companies. We have developed a stack that mechanically separates the two gases without using scrubbing technologies greatly reducing the cost of producing hydrogen. I see a couple of ways that renewables can integrate with the electrolysis process. One that is already underway using traditional electrolysis is the wind industry as when they are producing at night when there is not a demand for power it allows for storage of energy and then when needed in the daytime utilized with fuel cells or hydrogen gas fired generators. The other market I see as being viable is solar combined with electrolysis generating hydrogen fueling stations. It absolutely intrigues me that one can generate a clean burning fuel right at the location needed from nothing but electricity and water. We have figured out how to do this with a low BOM. Having said that there are already some pretty substantial companies that have popped up offering traditional electrolysis hydrogen generating on site stations so we are of the opinion that we will just market to these companies unless there is not interest then we will just go at it ourselves. It is an exciting time. At some point we feel that utility scale solar will be a viable market as they will be able to more easily garner PPA's by offering a base power generating profile thus not having to fit into the whole grid balancing scenario that has hampered the industries impact into market entrance. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hydrogen From Solar Power!

Hydrogen Becoming A Real Player In The Energy Economy

By: Eugene Wilkie

My first introduction to the process of splitting water to produce hydrogen was through a guy named Stanley Meyer back in the mid 1990s. His claim was that he was splitting water with electrolysis to produce Browns Gas (a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen) that could run cars. He was hunting investment and potential dealers for his product. I met with him and was a little put off by his car salesman like quality of a personality and was not sure if I really believed him or if it was a parlor trick. I had read articles published about Jan Rudolph Deiman and Adriaan Paets van Troostwijk using in 1789 an electrostatic machine to produce electricity which was discharged on gold electrodes in a Leyden jar with water. Then in 1800 Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile, and a few weeks later William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle then used it for the electrolysis of water. When ZĂ©nobe Gramme invented the Gramme machine in 1869 electrolysis of water became a cheap method for the production of hydrogen. A method of industrial synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis was developed by Dmitry Lachinov in 1888. Thus I knew there had to be some validity but the combination of both gases as a fuel source did not quite ring my bell.

In 1998 I had received news that Stanley Meyer had passed away under very controversial circumstances and the underground news media lit up with conspiracies that were absolutely titillating. I for one have never bought the whole government trying to supress inventions theories. Having said that I think that industries can be very protective and if his technology was viable it would have scared the good old oil boys. Anyways I just kind of filed it away in my head and went on with my renewable energy career.

In the 2001 Bloombox Energy jumped up in the market utilizing hydrogen fuel cells using natural gas and I was naturally intrigued. There were several other companies that were trying to market similar products utilizing fuel cells and we looked closely at them but their business model was not attractive.

Then came a slew of start-ups once again offering boxes that supplied what Stanley Meyers had been doing. Producing browns gas (hydrogen oxygen mixture) that was then injected into the fuel supply of your vehicle supposedly phenomenally increasing gas mileage. We were pretty busy developing utility solar and wind projects so I really did't take the time to investigate but they never really got any market traction that I know of.

It was during this time of being heavily involved in utility renewable projects that I stumbled on a pretty interesting technology. We were living in Escondido CA and I ran into this gentlemen that was just getting out of the Navy. His job there was working in the electrical sector of submarines. He had become intrigued with the thought that if you ever witnessed a submarine in the water you see bubbles coming off it. He quickly understood that this was due to electrolysis. Electricity splitting the water molecule into 2 part hydrogen 1 part oxygen.

When I met Ron he had solar panels all over his yard he had picked up on Craigslist and this bucket of water with a contraption in it. He grabbed one of the solar panels and hooked two wires (that went down into this bucket of water which made me nervous) with a hose coming out of it. On the end of the hose there was a cutting torch. He lit it with a lighter and I could not see the flame until he put it close to a one inch thick piece of metal (a true sign that it is hydrogen burning). It promptly burned a hole completely through the metal. As he was demonstrating this to me I noticed a huge black burned area on the wall of his garage and nonchalantly backed up to where I was standing just outside of the garage. I asked him about the burned mark and he kind of chuckled and said that he had not realized he was producing pure hydrogen (not Browns Gas) and had lit his cigarette and came to laying on his back outside of his garage staring at the sky.
He explained to me that he had tested this on demand production of hydrogen from water first on his weed eater and it ran like a champ. He had an old Pinto in his yard and he then ran the hydrogen into the injection of it for several months. He said when he took the engine apart it looked brand new as all the carbon had been burned out. What made Ron' hydrogen generator unique was it was the first one I had witnessed that did not require a scrubber to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen which can be expensive and requires high maintenance.

He built a very professional looking prototype of it as we had decided perhaps this was something to take to market. Like I said at the time I was heavily involved in the development of renewable projects, Ron needed to make a living for his family as he had retired from the Navy, and to be honest it was too early in the market of hydrogen. 

In the mean time three things have happened in the hydrogen industry that has made me rethink the viability of bringing this back to the table as a viable product that could be of use in the energy market. You can see our current crowd funding campaign to help Ron launch his hydrogen technology at

First is that Siemens has taken the process of generating hydrogen  from wind energy seriously.

World's largest electrolysis system transforms wind power into hydrogen

In the German city of Mainz Siemens, together with the public utilities of Mainz, Linde and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, has laid the foundation stone for a new type of energy storage system. From spring 2015, the system, equipped with an electrolyzer from Siemens, will convert surplus electricity from wind farms to hydrogen. The hydrogen will then be stored locally in tankers or fed directly into the natural gas grid for subsequent power or heat generation. In this way, it will be possible to store electricity from renewable sources over longer periods of time. The tankers will also be able to supply the growing network of hydrogen filling stations for emission-free fuel-cell vehicles. The system will have a peak rating of up to 6 megawatts and thus be the largest of its kind in the world. The project, which will cost 17 million, is being financed with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as part of the Energy Storage Funding Initiative.

The principle of electrolysis has been tried and tested for decades. What is special about the Mainz system is that it involves highly dynamic PEM high-pressure electrolysis which is particularly suitable for high current density and can react within milliseconds to sharp increases in power generation from wind and solar sources. In this electrolyzer a proton exchange membrane (PEM) separates the two electrodes at which oxygen and hydrogen are formed. On the front and back of the membrane are precious-metal electrodes that are connected to the positive and negative poles of the voltage source. This is where the water is split. The system in Mainz will thus have a capacity relevant for bottlenecks in the grid and small wind farms.

Second is the car industries aggressive entrance into the hydrogen car market. Several of the car manufacturers have really made a large investment and entrance recently.
Toshiba Corp. has developed a system to produce hydrogen from water using sunlight. (Provided by Toshiba Corp.)
Toshiba Corp. has developed a system to produce hydrogen from water using sunlight. (Provided by Toshiba Corp.)
Toshiba Corp. has developed an energy supply system that may be the ultimate in eco-friendliness because it uses only sunlight and water, with no carbon dioxide emissions, to produce hydrogen.
Moreover, the system has a portable component that allows it to be transported to disaster-hit areas where normal utilities may not be operating.
The system involves using solar power to generate electricity, which is used to electrolyze water to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen can be stored in tanks and used in fuel cells to generate electricity and heat water during emergencies.
“Once the technology progresses further, we will be able to apply it to storage batteries for large-scale solar generation facilities (that can only generate power during the day) and hydrogen stations to refuel fuel-cell vehicles,” said company President Hisao Tanaka.
Toshiba plans to begin selling the system in fiscal 2015.
The unit fits into the containers normally used by ships, trains and trucks to store and transport cargo, allowing for easier transport to disaster-hit areas.
Because one unit is expected to cost several hundreds of millions of yen, the company is planning to sell the equipment primarily to local governments.
The hydrogen stored in one tank is enough for 300 evacuees to survive for one week at a minimum level of subsistence.
Hydrogen is currently extracted from gas used in public utilities or liquefied petroleum gas, but carbon dioxide is emitted in the process.
By SHIGEO OHATA/ Staff Write
I have a friend in the industry that was also a bit ahead of his time and had come up with drawings of huge utility solar PV sites that their sole purpose was to generate electricity to power the production of hydrogen. He went so far is to get MOU on land in California but could not seem to get the interest of investment. Perhaps it is time to revisit such out of the box thinkers.

Honda Hydrogen Fueling Station

If you would like more information contact Eugene Wilkie at

Revolutionary solar-friendly form of silicon shines

Revolutionary solar-friendly form of silicon shines

 IMAGE: View through the channels of Si24. This new zeolite-type allotrope of silicon (isotypic with the zeolite CAS) has an open framework comprised of 5-, 6- and 8-membered sp3-bonded silicon rings....
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Washington, D.C.--Silicon is the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust. When purified, it takes on a diamond structure, which is essential to modern electronic devices--carbon is to biology as silicon is to technology. A team of Carnegie scientists led by Timothy Strobel has synthesized an entirely new form of silicon, one that promises even greater future applications. Their work is published in Nature Materials.
Although silicon is incredibly common in today's technology, its so-called indirect band gap semiconducting properties prevent it from being considered for next-generation, high-efficiency applications such as light-emitting diodes, higher-performance transistors and certain photovoltaic devices.
Metallic substances conduct electrical current easily, whereas insulating (non-metallic) materials conduct no current at all. Semiconducting materials exhibit mid-range electrical conductivity. When semiconducting materials are subjected to an input of a specific energy, bound electrons can move to higher-energy, conducting states. The specific energy required to make this jump to the conducting state is defined as the "band gap." While direct band gap materials can effectively absorb and emit light, indirect band gap materials, like diamond-structured silicon, cannot.
 IMAGE: The new Si24 allotrope has an open-framework structure comprised of 5-, 6- and 8-membered sp3-bonded silicon rings. Small atoms like sodium (yellow) amd lithium (green), and potentially molecules like water,...
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In order for silicon to be more attractive for use in new technology, its indirect band gap needed to be altered. Strobel and his team--Carnegie's Duck Young Kim, Stevce Stefanoski and Oleksandr Kurakevych (now at Sorbonne) --were able to synthesize a new form of silicon with a quasi-direct band gap that falls within the desired range for solar absorption, something that has never before been achieved.
The silicon they created is a so-called allotrope, which means a different physical form of the same element, in the same way that diamonds and graphite are both forms of carbon. Unlike the conventional diamond structure, this new silicon allotrope consists of an interesting open framework, called a zeolite-type structure, which is comprised of channels with five-, six- and eight-membered silicon rings.
They created it using a novel high-pressure precursor process. First, a compound of silicon and sodium, Na4Si24, was formed under high-pressure conditions. Next, this compound was recovered to ambient pressure, and the sodium was completely removed by heating under vacuum. The resulting pure silicon allotrope, Si24, has the ideal band gap for solar energy conversion technology, and can absorb, and potentially emit, light far more effectively than conventional diamond-structured silicon. Si24 is stable at ambient pressure to at least 842 degrees Fahrenheit (450 degrees Celsius).
"High-pressure precursor synthesis represents an entirely new frontier in novel energy materials," remarked Strobel. "Using the unique tool of high pressure, we can access novel structures with real potential to solve standing materials challenges. Here we demonstrate previously unknown properties for silicon, but our methodology is readily extendible to entirely different classes of materials. These new structures remain stable at atmospheric pressure, so larger-volume scaling strategies may be entirely possible."
 IMAGE: The new Si24 allotrope has an open-framework structure comprised of 5-, 6- and 8-membered sp3-bonded silicon rings. 
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"This is an excellent example of experimental and theoretical collaboration," said Kim. "Advanced electronic structure theory and experiment have converged to deliver a real material with exciting prospects. We believe that high-pressure research can be used to address current energy challenges, and we are now extending this work to different materials with equally exciting properties."
This work was supported DARPA and Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science.
Portions of the work were performed at HPCAT, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory. HPCAT operations are supported by DOE-NNSA and DOE-BES, with partial funding by the NSF. The Advanced Photon Source is a DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE by Argonne National Laboratory. X-ray diffraction studies performed at the Geophysical Laboratory were supported, in part, by the WDC Research Fund. Some experiments were performed at the ID06 beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble France.
The Carnegie Institution for Science ( is a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with six research departments throughout the U.S. Since its founding in 1902, the Carnegie Institution has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

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