|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Time of day metering abandoned:
"Puget Sound Energy, serving 1.4 million customers in, launched [its] plan in May 2001, introducing the first and only program for "time of use" electricity pricing for residential customers in the entire United States. The pilot plan's goal was deceptively simple: get customers to shift electricity use to periods when it is less expensive to generate it. .. But less than two years later, Washington's largest utility is officially scrapping the plan, following the embarrassing public disclosure that a whopping 94 percent of the program's 300,000 participants actually lost money compared to the flat rate that most customers paid." 7:50:45 PM
U.S. Govt. Releases Renewable Energy Study: "a new report that identifies and evaluates renewable energy resources on public lands.. The assessment resulted in the following findings: 7:28:02 PM
-- Sixty-three BLM planning units in 11 western states have high potential for power production from one or more renewable energy sources.
-- Twenty BLM planning units in seven western states have high potential for power production from three or more renewable energy sources.
Additionally, the BLM/NREL team identified high-potential geothermal energy sites during visits to BLM state offices. This assessment, which focused on the BLM's geothermal resources in seven western states, found that 35 sites have high potential for near-term development.
NREL - Report (pdf)
EERE - Report (html)
Carbon Disclosure Project: "failing to take account of climate change in their asset allocations and equity valuations face serious investment repercussions over time, according to a new survey of the chairmen of the 500 largest global companies by market capitalisation. The survey is the largest ever to assess and provide hard data on a company's exposure to climate change through impacts of both extreme weather events and regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, presenting these factors in terms of the value of shareholdings in corporations worldwide. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which conducted the survey, is a unique collaboration by 35 major institutional investors, who on 31 May 2002 collectively represented more than $4 trillion in assets. The CDP study found that while 80 percent of respondents acknowledge the importance of climate change as a financial risk, only 35-40 percent were actually taking action to address the risks and opportunities...
- Auto: FT500 manufacturers vary by a factor of 35 in terms of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions per vehicle sold/produced.
- Electric Utilities: In the US, estimated total costs of reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions intensity by 10%, range from over $1.7 to below $0.2 per MWh.
- Oil and Gas: Total costs of reducing 2001 CO2e emissions by 10%, assuming a uniform 20Euros/tonne marginal abatement cost, range between 0.7% and 5.1% of 2001 Net Income.
- Banks: Share price valuations could fall as much as 29 percent for banks without adequate carbon risk management strategies. Inadequate preparation will also have a profound impact on supply chains.
"At MIT's Whitehead Institute, Susan Lindquist and collaborators are exploiting yeast biology to make superthin but very long protein strands. "The widths of these fibers are far too thin to be made by normal manufacturing mechanisms," Lindquist said at the meeting. Using yeast trickery to assemble the thin, long polymer fibers is just half the story, though. As Lindquist reported at the meeting, the protein fibers can then be coated with gold or silver to make tiny wires, capable of connecting electrodes to make novel microcircuits. That ability foreshadows major advances in methods for linking electronics with life. "Through genetic engineering we believe that we can couple electronic circuitry to the whole array of biological functions that are out there," Lindquist said." 7:16:17 PM
Campus to Run Entirely on Geothermal Energy
: "ATS will build and operate an 11 MW Kalina Cycle geothermal power plant adjacent to the new campus. The plant will provide electricity, hot and chilled water. It will also supply hot water to support university research in areas such as hydroponics and aquaculture. ATS hopes to sell excess electricity.. the Kalina Cycle technology will use geothermal heat to vaporize a benign ammonia-water "working fluid," with vapor produced in the process to drive the electricity-producing turbine generators. The Kalina Cycle technology differs from traditional binary cycle geothermal plants in that it allows for a more efficient delivery of heat through variable vaporization and condensation of the working fluid. " 7:07:53 PM
A Harsh Assessment Of IT From Peter Drucker
: "corporate IT hasn't come close to delivering the benefits companies have been looking for. "Information technology is beginning to supply the information we need for business decisions," Drucker said. "It provides nothing of use about the outside [business] environment." Where IT has been most helpful, he said, is in supporting internal operational decisions. .. Drucker also reiterated his longstanding stance that knowledge management is a misnomer, because knowledge simply isn't something that can be managed. Nicolas Gorjestani, The World Bank's chief knowledge and learning officer for the Africa region, agrees, saying The World Bank dropped the term knowledge management years ago. Says Gorjestani, "I don't know what I know until I need to know it." 3:12:10 PM
Tell the Truth
: Friedman: "The Bush folks are big on attitude, weak on strategy and terrible at diplomacy... You're not going to get much support in Europe telling people, "You are either with us or against us in a war on terrorism, but in the war you care about -- for a greener planet -- America will do whatever it wants." I am also very troubled by the way Bush officials have tried to justify this war on the grounds that Saddam is allied with Osama bin Laden or will be soon. There is simply no proof of that, and every time I hear them repeat it I think of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. You don't take the country to war on the wings of a lie." 8:24:58 AM