Entries by stuebi

A National Crash Project for Alternative Energy?

It is sometimes suggested that the U.S. should undertake a no-holds-barred crash program for developing alternative energy technologies, similar in scope to the Manhattan Project for the atomic bomb or the Apollo Project for moon travel. While I agree that far more R&D on alternative energy technologies would be a good thing, and that the […]

What is Bush Talking About?

President Bush made a well-publicized speech at Johnson Controls in Milwaukee on Feb. 20, in which he touted advanced technologies that will radically reshape the energy sector. “We’re on the edge of some amazing breakthroughs,” Bush claimed. Bush Feb. 20 Speech I guess the good news is that the President is increasing his efforts from […]

On U.S. Greenhouse Gas Trading Markets

Earlier in my career, I was heavily involved in the establishment of the first wide-scale emissions trading program: the sulfur dioxide (SO2) allowances that were created as part of the acid rain mitigation provisions of the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1990. By virtually all accounts, the SO2 allowance market has been highly successful in […]

Cutbacks at NREL

Lost (to me) during the holiday season was the late December announcement by the Department of Energy of roughly a 10% budget and staff reduction at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Rocky Mountain News Article on NREL Cutbacks This announcement was accompanied by the expected indignant handwringing from local politicians worried about […]

Japanese Fuel Cell Expo

To catch up on the state of the fuel cell sector, I traveled to Tokyo last week to attend the grandly titled “2nd International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Exposition“. Below are a few observations from my visiting the Japan fuel cell expo: 1. There’s a lot of fuel cell activity in Japan right now — […]

Is Ethanol Good or Bad?

One of the most confusing aspects of the alternative energy industry has to be the story about ethanol. Simply put, is ethanol good or bad? Does it help or harm the environment? The confusion and controversy stems from evaluating the net effect on CO2 emissions of ethanol production and use, relative to the production and […]

Wind Turbine Manufacturers Getting Greedy?

An article in the January 2006 Windpower Monthly corroborates the rumors heard over the past year in the wind industry: the installed price of wind turbines is rising. Since the installed cost of the turbine is the dominant factor in wind energy economics, this means that the cost of wind energy is rising. Windpower Monthly […]

Goldman Goes Green

Just before Thanksgiving, the prestigious investment banking firm Goldman Sachs announced a broad-reaching environmental policy. Goldman Sachs Environmental Policy The policy contains several important pledges. Most tangibly, Goldman aims to make $1 billion available for investments in renewable energy (and this is not mere talk, as Goldman bought the wind developer Zilkha earlier in 2005). […]