Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nearly all physical actions produce heat,, why not utilize it where possible?

Aqua Society To Demonstrate Electricity From Waste Heat

12th December 2007

( Early in 2008 Germany's Aqua Society will be launching the Europe-wide sale of a unique new energy module that enables efficient generation of sustainable electricity. Interested parties are invited to demonstrations at the corporation's research centre in Herten, Germany.

Aqua Society says its energy module is ground-breaking technology which generates CO2-free electricity from waste heat at temperatures from 80(degrees)C, accordingly making a decisive contribution to achieving climate targets.

"Ecologically it is decisive that the electricity is produced without creating a single additional gram of CO2, which boosts overall energy efficiency", states Hubert Hamm, CEO of Aqua Society GmbH. "For example, in combined heat and power plants the downstream energy module generates additional power by exploiting the heat from the cooling water or exhaust gas - energy which is so far generally allowed to escape unexploited. Waste heat from industrial processes can also be converted to electricity and returned to the production cycle."

Aqua Society's organic Rankine cycle process uses a special low-pressure expansion unit instead of a turbine. The company says a decisive advantage over conventional ORC processes is that the energy module generates electricity at temperatures from as low as 80(degrees)C. It also sees a further advantage in investment costs, which are lower as Aqua Society's ORC units are designed in a relatively simple and robust way.

Anyone interested in attending a demonstration can register by email at

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Israel: Bill Introduced To Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

December 26, '07
Power station emitting CO2

( Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee Chairman MK Ofer Paz-Pines (Labor) has submitted a bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Israel. The bill aims for Israel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2010, and 50 percent by 2050.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection will have to formulate a national emission reduction plan within six months of the bill entering into law.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Alternative energy is the defining industry in the 21st century along with water

December 21, 2007

Leaders See Green Energy Dollars, Jobs

[Muskegon Chronicle]
By Dave Alexander

Regional leaders are calling it a "conservative" prediction that alternative energy industries could bring $800 million of investment and more than 4,250 new industrial jobs to West Michigan in the next five years.

That's what the seven-county region could reap if it captures just 1 percent of the U.S. development that will come from solar, wind and biofuels industries in the coming years.

The West Michigan region's industrial foundation is well situated to take advantage of the fastest-growing manufacturing sector in the United States, according to a new study by the West Michigan Strategic Alliance and the Right Place Inc. in Grand Rapids.

"You manufacture very well in West Michigan," said Richard Polich, the consultant from Energy Options & Solutions, which provided the economic study. "As a region, you can do much more than 1 percent of the (national) work in this area."

The alternative energy development study was unveiled at a Tuesday morning event at the Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative & Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon.

The predicted figure of $169 billion expected to be invested in the United States in the alternative energy sector through 2015 is based on responses to the high cost of oil, depletion of fossil fuel resources, global warming concerns and a push by corporate America for "green" solutions.

Some of that investment already has found its way into West Michigan in the solar, wind and biofuels sectors. For example:

* Cascades Engineering in Grand Rapids has introduced two designs for small wind turbines that can be used in residential installations.

* PrimeStar Solar -- a Golden, Colo., developer of the next generation of thin-film solar panels -- is expanding its West Michigan operations in Montague's industrial park. The company uses the manufacturing capabilities of West Michigan to build the machines that will produce the company's solar panels.

* Reynolds Inc. -- a waste and energy system contractor from Orleans, Ind. -- will begin a new biomass division in Muskegon through the GVSU energy center. Reynolds built the $2.7 million manure-to-electricity plant that is beginning operations at the den Dulk dairy operations in Ravenna. Reynolds now plans to replicate the Entec Biogas technology from Austria throughout the United States.

GVSU's Sarah Lineberry will head up the new Reynolds division in Muskegon starting in January.

"To say there is a lot of interest in alternative energy is an understatement," West Michigan Strategic Alliance President Greg Northrup said. "But this truly has to be a regional issue if we are all going to be successful at it."

The GVSU energy center in Muskegon is a key regional resource for the alternative energy developments in West Michigan, Northrup said.

Right Place President Birgit Klohs said that West Michigan might first enter the alternative energy "supply chain" by making parts specifically for wind turbines. The other opportunity is for locating wind and biofuels operations throughout the region, she said.

"This region has the ability to transform itself and remake itself in this sector," said Klohs, who heads the Grand Rapids economic development agency. The other key Grand Rapids economic development strategy is in the life sciences sector.

Michigan has gone from fur trading and lumbering to manufacturing and is now searching for a new economic direction in the face of the downsizing of the automotive industry. Michigan is poised to take the lead in alternative energy, said Jim Croce, president of NextEnergy -- a Detroit-based, non-profit alternative energy development organization established by the state of Michigan.

"Alternative energy is the defining industry in the 21st century along with water," Croce said. "But this is a marathon, not a sprint. We are not going to change over night."

However, the state and the region finds itself behind other states. Wind energy turbine manufacturing and key parts supplies are coming from companies located in Illinois, Minnesota and Texas, among other states.

"Texas is the oil state but is the leading state in terms of siting wind turbines," Northrup said. "That tells us a lot about how things are changing."

Croce said that public policies in Michigan will go a long way in determining how successful the state and West Michigan will be in competing for its fair share of the alternative energy boom.

Maybe even more important than renewable mandates is a reform of the "buy-sell" agreements of the state's private but regulated electrical power companies, GVSU energy center Director Imad Mahawili said.

"The study really shows the tip of the iceberg of the alternative energy sector in the United States," Croce said. "What really happens for us in Michigan depends on public policies on energy and the environment."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Comment: It is said that the US partners with Israel for the sake of Israelis' intellectual wealth


Israel And The US Partner For Clean Energy

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:49 AM CST

(Image Credit:

With many nations looking for ways to reduce the gas price hike that has afflicted much of our planet, it looks as if the United States is teaming up with Israel in order to explore new ways to produce clean, green energy.

(Globes Online) The US Senate has approved cooperation with Israel in clean energy - the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act - as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. [...]

Israeli sources in Washington predict $20 million in allocations a year over the next five years for joint US-Israeli energy projects. The US Department of Energy and Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructures will formulate an agreement and settle related issues.

The Energy Independence Act includes financing grants for the production of energy from biofuel, biomass, wind, ocean waves, and geothermal sources. Projects will include joint basic research between US and Israeli academic institutions and applied research projects between companies from both countries.
This new bill (which will probably be signed into law, if not already) may help the US and Israel to finally gain their energy independence upon foreign oil.

Israel already has the lead when it comes to developing clean technology, which includes everything from turning fungus and cow manure into energy to building better solar houses to even recycling nuclear waste into energy.

With the help of US funding, America and Israel may not only be able to help themselves become energy independent by relying upon cleaner technologies, but also half of our planet as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Israeli technological excellence and innovative skills make up for government bungling

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December 21, '07
Investments in ‘Green’ Industry has Tripled

( Finance Ministry officials have announced that investments in Israel’s environmentally friendly, or “green” industries have tripled in the past three years. According to ministry official Yarom Ariav, approximately NIS 100 million was invested in green industry in 2007.

Given Israel’s success in hi-tech, Ariav said, the country could become an international leader in the green technology field as well. He called on the government to do more to support environmentally-friendly technology by creating a long-term plan for encouraging green industry and by giving priority to green businesses for government affairs.

* * *

This is what philanthropist Michael Milken had to say about Israelis: "Arutz Sheva" 07 Dec 2007
Israel is Worth '15 Exxons' in Human Resources
by Gil Ronen

In a "Globes" sponsored talk at a Tel Aviv Hotel, financier and philanthropist Michael Milken heaped praise on Israel for its human capital. Milken is in Israel trying to foster connections between the Milken Institute, an independent economic think tank, and Israeli life sciences and cleantech industries.

He stated that in terms of assets, Israel is worth a third of the Exxon-Mobil corporation, but that Israel is worth 15 Exxons in terms of human resources. According to the Milken Institute, Israel's human capital is worth $7.15 trillion.

'Israel could be the "research laboratory for the world'
Milken also spoke highly of Israelis' level of education, noting that 32% of Israelis are graduate students, and 56.5% of students are women. He also pointed out that Israel has the world's highest per capita number of life sciences patents, and said Israel could be the "research laboratory for the world." He mentioned the training medical doctors receive in Israel and the enriching effect that the wave of immigration from Russia had on the sciences as additional advantages.

"Every single one of your research institutes is an oil well, of the kind that is never depleted," Milken told the audience. A drawback of the Israeli economy, he said, is the fact that too much of the wealth is in too few hands, too many of which are institutional.

"All global trends are operating in favor of the Israeli economy," Milken told the audience. "Let the human assets break through," he advised, "nurture them, and Israel will turn into an economic power within the next few years."

Elvis impersonators
Milken explained that in the human assets race, Israel is competing with fast-growing countries like China and India, and small but ambitious countries like Singapore. He said that if the present growth rates continue, China, India, Russia and Brazil will be among the 10 leading economies in the world, edging out countries like France and Canada.

Still, Milken advised caution against predictions based on present growth alone. He noted that the number of Elvis Presley impersonators has gone from 50 to 3,500 since his death, and that extrapolating from this could lead one to the unlikely conclusion that in 50 years, one out of three people will be an Elvis impersonator. The conclusion, he explained, is that the present growth rate is only true of the present.

Concentrated Solar Power Resurges as Scalable Solar Energy Alternative

December 12, 2007
Solar Concentrating
Cambridge, MA, 11 December 2007

Dormant since the early 1990s, Concentrated Solar Power is undergoing a renaissance in the solar-rich areas of the world including Spain and the Southwestern US, according to a new study from Emerging Energy Research, a leading research and advisory firm analyzing clean and renewable energy markets. According to EER, solar CSP is the fastest growing utility-scale renewable energy alternative after wind power, with up to $20 billion expected to be invested in solar CSP over the next five years.

"With natural gas prices tripling and current volatility expected to continue, CSP is well-positioned to compete against other electricity generation technologies in the near-to-medium term," says EER Senior Analyst Reese Tisdale. "In countries such as the US and Spain with higher solar resources, land availability, and sufficient government support to kick-start the industry, utility-scale solar CSP technology has the potential to become an integral part of the generation mix."

"With natural gas prices tripling and current volatility expected to continue, CSP is well-positioned to compete against other electricity generation technologies in the near-to-medium term," says EER Senior Analyst Reese Tisdale. "In countries such as the US and Spain with higher solar resources, land availability, and sufficient government support to kick-start the industry, utility-scale solar CSP technology has the potential to become an integral part of the generation mix."

Spain and the US are currently the two epicenters for the global CSP industry: CSP installations in these two countries are expected to surpass a combined 7,500 MW by 2020, according to EER's study. Spain's favorable feed-in tariffs provide the most stable regulatory environment in the short-term creating a slow but steady growth path for CSP alongside its history of wind power development, according to EER.

Outside Spain and the US, Italy, France, Portugal, and Greece are on the cusp of breaking through with CSP developments, as well as parts of the Middle East and North Africa. The southern European countries are looking at improved regulatory incentives to drive 3,200 MW of capacity installation by 2020.

"2007 has been a pivotal year for solar CSP development as developers Acciona Solar Power and Abengoa Solar have inaugurated 65 MW of parabolic trough and 11 MW of central receiver technologies, respectively," says Tisdale. With a 17-year history of proven parabolic trough technology and almost 6 GW in the announced project pipeline over the next five years, all indications are that solar CSP is moving to the forefront of renewable energy technologies.

Parabolic trough technology's decades of proven operation have made it the most credible of the leading solar CSP technologies, but the technology's head start will soon begin to diminish as central receiver and other technologies are realized at a commercial scale, according to EER's study. By 2010, the market will have a solid view of the potential offered by Central Receiver, Dish Engine, and Linear Fresnel technologies. "Abengoa has made a major step by installing its 11 MW central receiver project, PS10, outside of Seville," says Tisdale. "This project currently represents the first legitimate challenge to parabolic trough technology."

New players, including traditional wind developers, vying for leadership in the CSP market

The solar CSP industry has only just begun its resurgence, and as a result there has been a proliferation of new entrants up and down the value chain, according to EER's study, from technology innovators looking to change the economics of CSP to investors and IPPs looking to gain first-mover advantages by tying up sites.

At one end of the project development spectrum is a leading group of independent technology promoters - including Solel, Solar Millennium, Abengoa Solar, Ausra, BrightSource Energy, SkyFuel, and Stirling Energy Systems - which are looking to leverage their specialized technology capabilities to gain a competitive advantage. On the opposite end of the development value chain are those IPPs and utilities that have already built or acquired GW portfolios of renewable power generation assets and that are now investing in CSP, according to EER.

"It is no surprise that the largest owners of wind power plant globally are also emerging as significant players in CSP," says Tisdale. These players, led by Iberdrola, FPL Energy, Acciona, and EDP are looking to add CSP projects to their mounting wind portfolios as a means to diversity other utility scale technologies. FPL Energy, notes Tisdale, is currently the leading IPP investor in CSP with its ownership of seven solar plants in California built in the late 1980s.

"As the solar CSP industry evolves we can expect significant movement in both directions along the project value chain," says Tisdale. Technology promoters will fill out project execution capabilities, and utilities and IPPs will build upstream project pipelines and technology capabilities.


EER's Global CSP market study - Global Concentrated Solar Power Markets and Strategies, 2007-2020 - was released in December 2007. With over 200 pages of in-depth analysis, EER's study analyzes global CSP resources, market drivers, technology and cost trends, and provides competitive analysis of project developers and CSP power plant supply. This study is now available for purchase from EER. Follow this link for the Table of Contents and Order Information. For more information please contact Stephanie Aldock at 617-551-8483 or

The 3 big players are solar energy, nuclear power CO2 capture/storage

December 17, 2007

Why did solar energy lose its flare?

Underutilized alternative source could curb bad gases

Image: Solar panels
Cells in most solar panels are made of silicon, which is abundant in sand. But demand in the electronics industry for silicon wafers has caused a shortage of high-grade silicon, which spells potential trouble for the solar industry.
Andrea Danti /

"Wind can play some role, as can biofuels and geothermal, but they are all too small," said Erin Baker of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "The three really big players are solar energy, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage."

Over the course of a day, the amount of energy in sunlight striking the continental United States is more than 2,500 times the amount of the nation's daily electricity consumption. Despite this potential, solar power is far behind other renewables, making up just 0.07 percent of the U.S. energy portfolio, according to the Department of Energy.

"Solar energy would have to provide 20 percent of the energy supply to have a climate change impact," Baker told LiveScience. "We'd like it to be more than that."

In a report released earlier this year, Baker and her colleagues looked at the technologies that might bring solar out into the full light.

Sand in demand
Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells that turn light into electricity without releasing any greenhouse gases. One of the attractive features of solar panels is that they can be relatively easily added to a home, as opposed to the bigger construction projects typically associated with wind turbines or other energy-gathering setups.

Almost all cells in current use are made of silicon. Although silicon is abundant in sand, it must be processed to make it usable in solar cells and computer chips. In fact, the current high demand from the electronics industry for silicon wafers has caused a shortage of high-grade silicon, which means the solar industry could have even more trouble trying to become competitive.

For a typical home's electricity needs, the cost of solar panels is several tens of thousands of dollars. Over the lifetime of the panels, this works out to about 30 cents per kilowatt hour, three times what most utilities charge.

To reduce this price, much of the current engineering effort is focused on making solar cells from thin films that either use less silicon or replace it with other photovoltaic materials. Baker said that many experts think this should be the first goal of research and development.

"We could fund a lot of people to look for other materials," she said.

Solar on the horizon
There are other ideas as well, such as organic solar cells based on cheap, flexible plastic. However, organic cells are currently inefficient at converting sunlight into electricity, and what's worse, said Baker, "they tend to fade and breakdown in the sun."

Some researchers are working on future "third generation" solar cells, which could employ a number of new technologies, such as lenses, chemical dyes, multi-layer cells or tiny quantum dots that trap more of the incoming sunlight.

But even if highly efficient solar panels could be made cheaply, they can't make electricity at night or on a cloudy day.

"The biggest problem for solar is the intermittency of supply," Baker said.

For solar to be a major energy provider, there will need to be better electricity storage. Giant flywheels or improved batteries could help smooth out the power flow.

None of the technological options are sure to work, so Baker thinks policy makers and the solar industry should fund research into several possibilities, much like a diversified stock portfolio.

"You don't invest all your money in Google; instead you buy 10 or 100 different stocks," she said.

Interestingly, Google just announced plans to invest tens of millions of dollars next year in the development of a gigawatt of power from renewables, enough to supply roughly a million households. One of the companies selected by Google is eSolar Inc., which specializes in solar thermal power.

The ideal situation of communities running on renewable energy, creating jobs

December 17, 2007 Varese, Italy

Renewable Energy Powers Italian Town and Its Economy

Europeans believe that renewable energy will bring economic benefits. But in Varese, Italy that prosperity has already arrived.
by Jane Burgermeister, European Correspondent

Varese, Italy has added 140 jobs in the past ten years. That's pretty good for a town with a population of only 2,400. The town, which is located in Liguria in the northern part of Italy, is experiencing an economic boom fueled by renewable energy.

The town has seen a six-fold increase in tourists in the last ten years, many coming just to see its renewable energy network.

Varese became the first municipality in Europe to get 100 percent of its power from renewable energy sources six years ago. It now generates three times more electricity than the people living in Varese need and there are plans in the pipeline for even more renewables.

For this pioneering role, the town won a prize from the European Union (EU) in 2004.

What has happened in Varese is unusual. On a national level, Italy is set to fall short of its EU objective of generating 25 percent of its gross electrical consumption from renewable energy sources by 2010. Italy's share of renewables was just 13.93 in 2005.

But the mayor of Varese, Michaela Marone, and her predecessor, Maurizio Caranza, turned their vision of a town driven by renewable energy into reality by leveraging funds from the EU and using their authority to cut through red tape.

The town uses wind, solar and small-scale hydropower, a mix best adapted to its hilly terrain covering a total of 140 square km — and it has plans for more hydropower.

Today, renewables bring not only environmental benefits but also improved living standards to a town that had suffered from years of steady decline. An additional 350,000 euros [US $514,000] in tax revenues is handed over to the council each year by the private company that owns the renewable energy network.

"We fulfill all the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol and are non profit. We use all of our profits towards paying the electricity bills of the people in the town," Michaele Marone, the town mayor, told

Four wind turbines located on a ridge 1100 meters above sea level — where the average annual wind speed is 7.2 meters per second — generate 8 million kWh of electricity a year that is fed into the local grid managed by Acam, a power company in La Spezia.

The electricity from the wind turbines alone reduce carbon emissions by 8,000 tons, representing 0.05 percent of the region's total annual carbon emissions.

Photovoltaic (PV) panels have been installed on the town hall and the local school. The town hall has 102 PV panels covering 95 square meters and generating 12,700 kWh a year, which supplies 98 percent of the total energy consumption of the building.

Varese's secondary school has 39 PV panels covering 36 square meters and producing 4,600 kWh a year, which supplies 62 percent of the energy used.

In addition to that, the town's swimming pool is heated by solar power and a program to promote the use of wood pellet stoves is in the works.

In conjunction with the development of a renewable energy infrastructure, the town has also launched initiatives to make Varese 100 percent sustainable. A total of 108 organic farms now supply 98 percent of the town's food; water is purified using environmentally friendly technology and waste has been significantly reduced.

The town has seen a six-fold increase in tourists in the last ten years, many coming just to see its renewable energy network.

Varese Not Alone

Although certainly a pioneer in Renewable Energy, Varese is not the only town in Europe to adopt such measures. The same thing is happening in many towns across Europe.

Güssing in Austria with 27,000 inhabitants has also switched to renewable energy sources — and has also moved from poverty to prosperity, underlining the potential of renewable energy for creating new jobs and new investment.

And it's not only rural towns that are forging ahead with renewable energy projects. There has been a marked increase in the numbers of cities across Europe adopting initiatives to cut carbon emissions and develop green energy.

Following Rome and London, Paris launched a new "Plan Climat" or climate plan on October 1st 2007 to reduce carbon emissions.

Munich, Germany has also developed a strategy for cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030.

Beatrice Alcaraz from Energie-Cités, an association of European local authorities for the promotion of local sustainable energy policies that represents more than 500 towns and cities, told that the driving force behind all of this expansion was EU policy.

"Municipalities have to adapt their national policies to the European directives, that is the European directive of public building. They also have to develop the renewables to achieve the EU energy and climate objectives," she said.

The EU is targeting urban areas because more than 80 percent of the European population lives there, and the energy consumption of cities is growing.

The latest figures from French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie (Ademe)) show that the energy consumption of French cities grew by 14.5 percent between 1990 and 2005 from 27 billion KWh in 1990 to 31 billion kWh in 2005.

"The rapid development of renewable energy in so many towns and cities across Europe augurs well," said Beatrice Alcatraz, speaking about how cities are combating this increase in energy consumption while keeping down carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

Though cities cover only 0.4 percent of the world's total area, they consume 75 percent of the energy and generate about 80 percent of the carbon emissions according to a study by the Münchener Rück.

Jane Burgermeister is a European Correspondent based in Vienna, Austria.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Intel: Penny-sized flash drive holds 16GB

Dec. 17, 2007

Intel has announced a flash memory companion module for its forthcoming "Menlow" chipset for Linux-based mobile Internet devices (MIDs). The Z-P140 SSD (solid-state drive) measures 0.7 x 0.5 x 0.07 inches (18 x 12 x 1.8mm), and will be available in capacities up to 16GB.

(Click for larger view of the Z-P140 SSD)

Intel describes its new SSD as "smaller than a penny, and weighing less than a drop of water." The part is "400 times smaller in volume than a 1.8-inch hard drive," Intel boasts, "and at 0.6 grams, 75 times lighter."

Intel Z-P140 SSD

The Z-P140 comprises a small 12mm x 12mm dual-channel PATA (IDE) controller module powered by a 32-bit RISC processor, and connected to the host board via a standard 40-pin interface. The physical connector is a 168 BGA (ball grid array).

Atop the PATA module, between one and four NAND flash modules can be stacked via a 122 BGA package-on-package (PoP) interface. Each PATA channel supports up to two modules. Currently supported NAND modules include Intel's SD54B 2 GB and SD58B 4 GB NAND modules.

Intel Z-P140 package-on-package (PoP) configurations with SD58B 4GB NAND modules

The Z-P140 parts have a standard PATA interface, and thus could serve as a drop-in replacement for IDE hard drives in most any computer system. However, the parts will be marketed initially at least for use with Intel's "Menlow" chipset for MIDs (mobile Internet devices).

Concept Menlow-based chat device
(Source: Intel)

Additional claimed characteristics for the Z-P140 SSD include:
  • Read speeds of 40 Megabytes-per-second (MB/s)
  • Write speeds of 30 MB/s
  • Active power use 300mW (milliwatts)
  • Sleep mode power use 1.1mW
  • 2.5 million hours MTBF (mean-time between failures)
Intel calls the SSD an "optional part" of the Menlow platform. The chip giant announced Menlow in Beijing in April, a day after revealing its vision for Linux-powered Linux-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). Menlow includes Intel's "Silverthorne" mobile device processor, based on a 45nm silicon process and "High-K" metal gate transistor technologies, along with the "Poulsbo" companion chip (integrated northbridge/southbridge).

Pete Hazen, director of marketing for Intel's NAND products group, stated, "Our customers are finding the Intel Z-P140 PATA SSD to be the right size, fit, and performance for their pocketable designs."


The Z-P140 is currently sampling, with mass production slated for Q1, 2008. The 2GB version will ship first, followed by the 4GB version.

Intel's currently shipping Z-U130 SSD connects via a USB interface. An SSD with a SATA interface will be announced as a product line in 2008, Intel said.

World's Firsts lowest-cost solar panel from printed thin-film solar

Thin Film Solar PV
Nanosolar Ships First Panels
December 18, 2007
Posted by Martin Roscheisen, CEO

After five years of product development – including aggressively pipelined science, research and development, manufacturing process development, product testing, manufacturing engineering and tool development, and factory construction – we now have shipped first product and received our first check of product revenue.

We are grateful to everyone who supported us through all these years and the many occasions where there appeared to be mile-high concrete walls in our path; the unusual intensity and creativity of our team deserves all the credit for achieving this major milestone today.

Our product is defining in more ways I can enumerate here but includes:

- the world’s first printed thin-film solar cell in a commercial panel product;

- the world’s first thin-film solar cell with a low-cost back-contact capability;

- the world’s lowest-cost solar panel – which we believe will make us the first solar manufacturer capable of profitably selling solar panels at as little as $.99/Watt;

- the world’s highest-current thin-film solar panel – delivering five times the current of any other thin-film panel on the market today and thus simplifying system deployment;

- an intensely systems-optimized product with the lowest balance-of-system cost of any thin-film panel – due to innovations in design we have included.

Today we are announcing that we have begun shipping panels for freefield deployment in Eastern Germany and that the first Megawatt of our panels will go into a power plant installation there.

As far as the first three of our commercial panels are concerned:

Panel #1 will remain at Nanosolar for exhibit.

Panel #2 can be purchased by you in an auction on eBay starting today.

Panel #3 has been donated to the Tech Museum in San Jose.

[These are obviously not the first three we ever produced – we have produced loads for testing – but these are the first three of what we consider our commercial panels.]

Related Info: Nanosolar Shipping for Megawatt Municipal Power Plant

Named Innovation of the Year
November 13, 2007
Posted by Martin Roscheisen, CEO

Popular Science magazine — which many of us read when we were little — just came out with its annual innovation awards.

Our solar electricity technology was named the top Innovation of the Year 2007. Ranked #1 overall, we even came out ahead of the Apple iPhone and many other great technologies (and companies with much larger marketing budgets too in particular).

It’s great to see our hard work — and greentech in general — recognized so enthusiastically! Now we have no choice but to actually make sure that there’s going to be a solar panel on every building in the future.

See also: Popular Science press release, website

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Israel slowly advancing towards an awareness of environmental hazards

December 13, '07
Israel to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

( According to Galei Tzahal, Israeli delegates in a conference in Bali on global climate issues will promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The delegates are expected to say Thursday that Israel will reduce its emissions beginning in 2012.

The head of the Environmental Protection Ministry, Dr. Yossi Inbar, will tell conference participants that he cannot say at this time to what degree Israel will reduce emissions, but that Israel will sign an agreement specifying a percent decrease in 2009. Many scientists believe that greenhouse gas emissions are a central factor in global warming.

The Israeli delegates will also announce Israel’s readiness to assist other nations in dealing with water shortages. Israel is internationally known for expertise in water conservation.

Global warming

Israel Advancing with cars running on renewable energy

Hybrid Cars: The New Israeli Fashion?

Posted: 10 Dec 2007 07:23 PM CST

(Image: Volvo ReCharge plug-in hybrid, Credit: Reuters via Ha'aretz)

It looks like when it comes to choosing which vehicle to drive, Israeli's are thinking "green." Despite being a tiny share of the Israeli car market, hybrid cars seem to be gaining ground in Israel, which is a testament to their outlook on the environment.

(Ha'aretz) Sales figures of hybrid vehicles in the first 11 months of 2007 show a big rise in their popularity: 1,719 hybrids were sold. This is almost 1 percent of the total number of new cars sold this year, a 280 percent increase from 2006. [...]

Dror Goralnik, Toyota's sales manager in Israel, says the growth in hybrid sales points to an increasing awareness of environmental issues. "For many people it is important to drive an environmentally friendly car," he says.

Honda also credits its success to its advertising campaign, as the hybrid car has become a fashion statement, showing drivers to be concerned about the pollution they emit.

This probably should not come to a surprise, with Israel's own government considering electric cars as a way to become energy independent.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Israelis: 'Energy Towers' offer major source of alternative energy

'Energy Towers' offer major source of alternative energy
By Deborah Frenkel December 07, 2007

Professor Dan Zaslavsky: We could easily produce between 15 to 20 times the total electricity the world uses today.

Israeli collaboration with Exxon fuels hopes for a greener future
Israel's Solel to build largest solar park in world in California
Israel's Ormat makes clean fuel that is good to go

Energy Tower

The Israeli inventors call it an Energy Tower, and if it's adopted worldwide it could become a major source of cheap electricity.

So what is it? Project founder, Professor Dan Zaslavsky of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the Technion - Israel Institute of Science, explains. It's a tall tower, 1, 000 yards in height and 400 yardsin diameter, located somewhere hot and dry with a source of water at the ready nearby - either the sea, brackish estuarine, or drainage water.

The water is used to cool the air at the top of the tower. The heavier cooled air sinks downwards, gathers speed as it falls, finally powering turbines at the tower's base. Put simply, it's the principle of convection - warm air rises above cool air - a law so fundamental that it is taught in elementary schools.

"It's a radically simple idea," Zaslavsky told ISRAEL21c. "We could easily produce between 15 to 20 times the total electricity the world uses today."

Renewable energy is one of the hottest areas of growth these days. With global warming accelerating and fossil fuels expected to run out in decades, the hunt is on for alternative energy sources.

The Technion researchers began work on the Energy Tower in 1983 and since then more than 150 man-years have been spent on its development by professors, engineers, PhD students and even the Israel Electric Corporation.

They all agree that the project is sound in every respect except one - the lack of a major investor. "We need funds," says Zaslavsky. "The development stage is over; the work is viable. But there are a lot of obstacles to getting it off the ground."

Ironically, one of these obstacles has proven to be the very condition that has allowed the research to flourish - a burgeoning global interest in alternative energy sources. It's a crowded market now, Zaslavsky points out, and with so much politically and economically at stake, "everyone has his own baby."

This baby, though, aims higher than its competitors, and not just in a literal sense. According to Zaslavsky, the basic tower design could be easily modified to incorporate facilities enabling desalination, producing fresh water reserves at only half the cost of existing desalination technologies. Such reserves could then be used nearby for the production of bio-fuels such as sugar, for example, or used in fish farming, a remarkably energy-efficient form of agriculture.

"We can produce cheap desalinated water, we can irrigate the desert, we can produce bio-fuel, we can boost aquaculture," Zaslavsky recites.

His team estimates the running costs of the electricity for this project at 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, less than a third of the cost of electricity in Israel today, and far cheaper than any mooted alternative such as solar, hydro-electric or wind power.

Such promise might be enough to convince anyone of the technology's merits. But Zaslavsky isn't done yet. The team has calculated that the towers may actually be able to reverse the mechanism of global warming.

"There is a natural process by which the earth cools itself known as Hadley Cell Circulation. This naturally happens mostly over the equator, where air is already humid," he told ISRAEL21c. "But if we find a way to humidify desert air, this global cooling process can occur over desert latitudes too. And the energy towers work by doing exactly that."

It's a compelling scenario. But none of these benefits will ensue, of course, unless the towers actually get built. And while the team has already identified regions in about 40 countries where towers could be viable - in the Middle East, Australia, North Africa, California and Mexico, for example - construction remains a far-off dream.

"This technology is so fascinating and exciting," Zaslavsky enthuses. And indeed, the benefits the energy tower promises - a cheap, 24/7, eternally renewable source of power, combined with desalinated water, desert agriculture, plus some progress towards healing our planet's wounds - are undeniably huge.

But will that be enough to launch the project? Interest has come from a number of investors in the United States, the former USSR and elsewhere in the Middle East - but as yet, no deals are concluded.

So is there a real chance our future will be one of tower-power? "Oh, yes; in 25 years we could take over the world," he laughs. "But all we need is a chance today."

Friday, November 16, 2007

UN: Climate change threatens to irreversibly alter planet » International » Article
Nov 17, 2007
Negotiators from more than 140 countries wrangled for five days until dawn Friday before approving a 20-page summary of data and computer projections. Then they labored throughout the day to finalize a longer 70-page version. Both papers synthesize research compiled over the last six years by the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the IPCC when it releases the report Saturday.

"It's done. They have come up with a really strong report," said Hans Verholme, of the World Wide Fund for Nature.

The papers describe how climate systems are changing and why, the impacts it is having on mankind and ecosystems, and various scenarios of future impacts, depending on how quickly action is taken to slow the trend.

Another WWF climate scientist, Stephan Singer, called it a "groundbreaking document that will pave the way for deep emissions cuts by developing countries."

The report does not commit participating governments to any course of action but it is important because it is adopted by consensus, meaning those countries accept the underlying science and cannot disavow its conclusions. It provides a common scientific base line for the political talks.

"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the summary begins, in a statement meant to dispel any skepticism about the reality of climate change, said participants in the meeting.

In a startling and much-debated conclusion, the document warns that human activity risks causing "abrupt or irreversible changes" on Earth, including the widespread extinction of species and a dramatic rise in sea levels before the end of this century, they said on condition of anonymity because the details are supposed to remain confidential until Saturday.

"I think overall it is a good and balanced document," said Bert Metz, an eminent Dutch scientist and one of the 40 authors of the draft. "In the end, a lot of people had to compromise," he said.

Though it contains no previously unpublished material, the summary pulls together the central elements of three lengthy reports the IPCC released earlier this year. Boiling down the 3,000 pages into about 20 was "quite a challenge," said Metz.

"I think this will be the scientific imperative" propelling action, said Stephanie Tunmore of the Greenpeace environmental group, an observer at the talks.

The agreement was seen as a personal triumph for the IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri of India, who presided with no-nonsense efficiency and bulldozed through compromise language. Pachauri, who will accept the IPCC's Nobel Peace prize in Oslo on Dec. 10 along with former US Vice President Al Gore, is expected to stand for re-election as head of the IPCC next year, delegates said.

Delegates said the talks this week were difficult, and sometimes bogged down for hours over a brief phrase.

The outcome was "much better than I expected," said Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the chief scientist of the Belgian delegation. The report was not just "a cut-and-paste" job from earlier papers, but it highlighted more clearly than before the risks faced by the Earth's most vulnerable systems, he said.

The meeting in the Indonesian resort of Bali starting Dec. 3 will discuss the next step in combating climate change after the measures adopted in the Kyoto Protocol expire in five years. Kyoto obliges 36 industrial countries to radically reduce their carbon emissions by 2012, but has no clear plan for what happens after that date.

Organizers say the new "road map" emerging from Bali should draw in the United States, which rejected the Kyoto accord and which has tried to enlist other countries in voluntary schemes to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and invest in technology research.

Video: Can Israel Revolutionize The Solar Power Industry?

Posted: 14 Nov 2007 01:13 AM CST


Unlike most of its Arabian neighbors, Israel lacks major energy resources of any kind (with the exception of Gaza that is).

While the governments of other nations are asking companies to come up with more innovative ways of using the expensive oil that they import, one Israeli researcher may have found an inexpensive way to harvest the energy from the sun.

(Israel Times) Because Israel is typically a sunny nation, its scientists have established the development of new solar panel that magnifies the sunlight passing through. The researchers claim that the new solar power development would significantly reduce the usual high cost associated with solar power generation.

The new panel has a simple reflector that is made up of several mirrors to intensify the sunlight collected. The light collected could intensify for over a thousand times. As a matter of fact, that intensified light could even burn up a person. It is that hot.
Only time will tell whether or not Israel adopts this technology nationally, although hopefully the government would consider this as a viable alternative to coal and nuclear power plants.

With the Israeli government already pursuing electric cars, solar power may prove to be the key towards Israel becoming the first western nation completely free from dependence upon foreign oil.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Action Alert: Congress to Strip Renewables from Energy Bill


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Here's the situation: In order to get enough bipartisan support for the 2007 Congressional Energy Bill, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are favoring a bill that would have NO SUPPORT FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY.

The two Democrats have decided not to include critical tax credits for solar and wind in the federal energy package. This will be disastrous for a country trying to wean itself off of foreign oil and fight climate change. It will have a chilling effect on citizens wanting to install solar energy systems, and for companies capable of performing this work.

It’s hard to believe that less than a month after Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work educating the world about the dangers of global warming, the US is considering passing energy legislation that does nothing for renewable electricity. But that’s exactly what our Congressional leaders are considering.

Can you make a call to your own legislators as soon as possible to get them to tell these leaders that they must support clean energy?

IF YOU REPRESENT A SOLAR BUSINESS, please encourage your employees and associates to do the same (use the 'Tell a Friend' link after you make the call).

IF YOU WANT CLEAN ENERGY FOR YOURSELF, please pass this Action along to all your friends (use the 'Tell a Friend' link).

Enter your ZIP code in the box to get your legislators' contact numbers.

And thanks for your help!

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25% US workers will work in renewable energy by 2030

November 8, 2007

ASES: 40 Million 'Green Collar' Jobs by 2030

Washington, D.C. []

As many as 1 out of 4 workers in the United States will be working in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries by 2030, according to a new jobs report from the American Solar Energy Society (ASES).

The renewable energy and energy efficiency industries today generate nearly $1 trillion in revenue in the U.S., contributing more than $150 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels.

"The green collar job boom is here," said Neal Lurie, Director of Marketing of ASES.

By the year 2030, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries could generate up to $4.5 trillion in revenue in the U.S., but only with the appropriate public policy. This would include a renewable portfolio standard, renewable energy incentives, public education, and R&D.

The 40 million jobs that could be created in renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030 are not just engineering-related, but also include millions of new jobs in manufacturing, construction, accounting, and management. Currently, there are 8.5 million jobs that have spawned from the renewable energy industries.

According to ASES, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries today generate nearly $1 trillion in revenue in the U.S., contributing more than $150 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Teenager Builds A Solar Water Heater

solar water heater
You may have seen Garrett Yazzie and his family the other night on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Extreme Makeover built his family a new "green" home. But what is most interesting is the solar water heater he built from an old car radiator so he could heat his home. His younger sister has severe asthma and burning coal and wood in their wood burning stove was causing her problems.

That's why this young inventor and Navajo Indian, Garrett Yazzie, built the solar water heater - to heat his home for his family. Garrett has won numerous awards for this invention including a Discovery Channel Young Scientist Award. Not only did his solar water heater provide much needed heat for his family, but it got his family a new green home and a new Ford hybrid SUV. Not too bad for a 13 year old!

I think everyone should have one of these on their home. What I like about his solar water heater is he uses it to heat his home and his water. I believe he uses some kind of heat exchange system made out of a window fan. And, of course, the hot water can be utilized right out of the system - be careful though - it will be scalding hot. It looks like the water is heated in the radiator which is obviously under a sheet of glass or plexiglass. I'm not exactly sure what the soda cans are for. My best guess is there is a glass covering over the soda cans too and the soda cans are used as a crude air driven heat exchanger for heating the rooms. Of course, everything is pained black to absorb more of the suns rays. The rest is basic solar oven technology. The suns rays enter the glass and upon hitting the black surface, is converted to thermal energy which is trapped inside the glass by the greenhouse effect.

Start saving yourself some money today! If a 13 year old kid can do this, you certainly can do it. It costs very little money, it's easy to understand, so what are you waiting for? If you need more information, get my book "Electricity - Make it, Don't Buy it". There's a whole chapter in the book on solar heating and cooling. In addition to the other chapters, principles like thermosiphon, solar cooking, thermal walls, cryophorous, evaporative cooling, thermal mass, thermal chimney, parabolic and trough collectors, solar room, etc are discussed. Click the banner below for full details...

new peak oilRenewable Energy Solutions (eBook) - This family has been living off the grid for 14 years

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Don't be a carbon bigfoot! Energy-saving Software

October 12, 2007
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Energy-saving applications
Behold, the most popular energy-saving applications for the week ending October 12.
1. CO2 Saver - Reduce your carbon footprint by optimizing your PC's energy usage.
2. SpeedFan - Save energy by optimizing your system's fan speed, temperature, and voltage.
3. Sleepy - Conserve energy by automating your computer to shut down at a specific time every day.
4. WattchIT - Compare your monthly utility bills to your actual usage and learn how you can save.
5. WorldCoolers - Get desktop alerts and recent news articles about global warming and other climate issues.

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Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 6:38 AM
Subject: CNET Download Dispatch: Don't be a carbon bigfoot

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Green Roofs: An Introduction with Pretty Pictures

By Philip Proefrock
Wed, 22 Aug 2007

It's not just for hobbits anymore. The logic of green roofs is becoming more apparent. We can minimize our bills while maximizing the beauty of the urban landscape. And every day it's becoming a little easier to live in a house that just happens to have plants growing on it.

Vegetated roofs, or green roofs have a layer of living plants on top of the structure and the waterproofing elements. There are really two types of green roofs, intensive and extensive.

Intensive green roofs often have a soil depth of a foot or more, and require substantial structural elements to support the weight of the whole roof. Intensive roofs can sustain a wide range of plant species and typically require a fair amount of regular maintenance. Because of the additional demands they impose, intensive roofs are much less common than extensive roofs.

Extensive roofs are much shallower, typically only 2 to 4 inches deep, and are planted with particularly hardy plants. Over the last 50 years or so, this kind of roof has been developed, specially in Europe,. But now they are becoming increasingly common in the United States.

Why are green roofs such a great idea?

First, they help to reduce roof stormwater runoff. In some cases, this can help reduce the size of stormwater pipes, and the amount of stormwater that needs to be treated by municipal water treatment. In a light rainfall, a building with a vegetated roof can have no stormwater runoff at all. Green roofs also protect the roof membrane from sunlight, which breaks down the roofing
material. Having even a couple inches of soil helps to greatly extend the life of the roof, and a longer lifespan means less material ends up in landfills from re-roofing buildings after the membranes have failed.

Green roofs keep the roof cooler, which helps to reduce the heat-island effect, which contributes to cities being hotter than the surrounding countryside. This can be beneficial to the building in reducing its summertime cooling load.

A green roof is also a source of oxygen and provides a habitat for some birds. Birds and insects can find homes much more readily in the living environment of a green roof, where an ordinary roof is nearly barren. And yes, it's even possible to graze goats.

What is a green roof made of?

Starting from the top, an extensive green roof has a layer of plants, which are typically sedums. These are low-growing, shallow rooting, drought tolerant plants. There are many different varieties of sedum, with different different coloration and different flowerings, so that a roof can have a varied appearance, rather than looking like an entire crop of a single variety. The plants are in a growth medium, an engineered mixture of lightweight soils, vermiculite, and other materials that provides a good environment for the sedum.

The shallow depth of the soil aids in keeping weeds from establishing themselves on the roof, since most weeds cannot survive in the arid and shallow soil conditions on a vegetated roof. Local plants that can survive in that environment may establish themselves on the roof, as well. Underneath the soil are several membrane layers, rather than just a single membrane roof. There is also a drainage layer (to allow excess water to move freely, rather than lifting the soil and having it flow off the roof in a mudslide, and a root barrier layer, which keeps the roots from penetrating the roof. The roof membrane sits on the roof deck, insulation, or structure of the building much like a conventional roof.

Can I put a green roof on my house?

Green roofs make sense for residential use as much as for commercial buildings. However, retrofitting a green roof onto an existing house is not a simple matter because of the extra weight a vegetated roof adds. Most roofs are not structurally strong enough to support a vegetated roof without some reinforcement. Green roofs also work best on lower slopes. They can be installed on steeper pitched roofs, but the design and installation is more difficult and
requires additional care.

The added cost of a vegetated roof versus a conventional shingle roof, and the relatively small number of contractors familiar with installing them are probably the biggest limiting factors. A house with a suitably pitched roof would still likely need structural evaluation from an architect or engineer before going ahead with a retrofit, and some structural reinforcement is likely
to be needed.

Does a green roof have to be mowed?

A sedum covered roof is naturally self limiting in size. Most sedums grow only a few inches tall. As mentioned above, it is also fairly self weeding, due to the inhospitable environment it offers to most weed species. An extensive roof planted with prairie grasses on the Ducks Unlimited National Headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba uses a controlled burn of its upper roof every three years to repropogate the prairie plants. The 16 inches of soil protects the building
from any damage while the grass fire helps remove weed species and assists prairie species which need periodic fires as part of their life cycle.

What Does the Future Hold?

We were excited a while back to announce Toyota's green roofing tile. These modular, interlockable grass tiles make green roofing an absolute cinch. They're a lot lighter than other methods, and installation is a breeze. At about $34 per tile, they're still expensive, but prices would of course drop if demand were to increase.

And, second, I and many others would like to see Friedenreich Hundertwasser's vision of every horizontal surface being returned to nature:

"The true proportions in this world are the views to the stars and the views down to the surface of the earth. Grass and vegetation in the city should grow on all horizontal spaces - that is to say, wherever rain and snow falls vegetation should grow, on the roads and on the roofs. The horizontal is the domain of nature and wherever vegetation grows on the horizontal level man is off limits; he should not interfere. I mean taking away territories from nature, which human beings have always done."

Green Roof Resources:
-The EPA on Green Roofs on Wikipedia-Green Roofs for Healthy
Image Key:
1. Hundertwasser's Waldspirale, Austria...From WikiMedia Commons
2. Green Rooftops from Swishphotos on Flickr from the Faroe Islands
3. Grass Roof in Oswego Illinois, USA, from Greg Robbins on Flickr
4. Solaire Green Roof in Battery Park City, NY from Birdw0rks on Flickr
5. Goats on a Roof in Wisconsin, from Driftless Media on Flickr
6. Grass Roofs in Iceland from Pietroizzo on Flickr
7. Green Roof in Tokyo from Dissonanc3 on Flickr
8. Toyota Roof Tiles from Toyota Roof Garden
9. Hunderwasser's village model, on display at Kunsthaus in Vienna.