Solar-Powered Water Purifier Can Clean 6,500 Gallons a Day
US Must Work to Lead World's
Green Energy Sector: Gary Locke
China is investing $12 million an hour in green energy, Locke said, echoing a 2009 think tank report.
"The race is on around the world to lead the clean energy and the United States cannot afford to come in second," Locke said in the closing remarks of the Renewable Energy Technology Conference (RETECH 2010). (In another session at RETECH a Chinese official described his country's aspirations to increase its presence in the world solar market.)
Locke said that spending on building a smart grid electricity system in the United States would double to $43 billion by 2014. In the world it would grow to $171 billion. Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States, he noted and added "That is a golden opportunity for US firms."
The Commerce Department's commercial service division is organized to help US exporters find distributors and partners in overseas markets, Locke said and the Patent office has a pilot project to fast track green energy technology.
Admiral Calls Threat to US Oil Supply
a Clear and Present Danger
Another Katrina-like hurricane could hit the Gulf oil facilities, OPEC could constrain supplies severely or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard could shut off shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf, said Adm. Dennis McGinn at the Renewable Energy Technology Conference. "This is a clear and present danger to US national security," he said of oil dependency.
In addition to the security threats, McGinn continued, continuing to rely so heavily on oil could produce unfavorable conditions for the economy and its consumers. "In three to five years we could look back on $3 a gallon as the good old days," he said of the potential for shocks to the supply. He added that many studies have pointed out that the hidden costs and side effects of US oil consumption means that society as a whole is truly paing $7 to $8 per gallon for gasoline. The other hidden costs go towards the military presence in the Persian Gulf, tax subsidies and health costs.
McGinn, a former deputy chief of naval operations for warfare requirements and programs, was a co-author of Powering America's Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security.
Roger Natsuhara, assistant secretary of the Navy, said the Navy is trying to create demand signals to industry to supply bio-based jet fuel.
Renewable Energy World Economy Possible by 2060: World Council Leader(Washington, DC, Feb. 3, 2010) - A world economy and society run on clean fuels is possible by mid-century, said Wolfgang Palz, chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy.
"By 2050 or 2060 it is possible to have a world that is 100% renewable," Palz told the opening session of the Renewable Energy Technology Conference (RETECH 2010). "I don't say it will happen, but it is possible."
Palz said that renewable energy, on the time frame he is considering, will be cheaper than other technologies such as clean coal.
To illustrate how quickly renewable energy development can occur, Palz described the roll-out of wind electricity in Europe. In 1996 there was only 1 gigawatt of wind electricity capacity in Europe, and growth of more faced skepticism. But now there are 100 gigawatts.
Further the European Union has committed itself legally to make the market share of renewables 20% by 2020. Further, it 40% of electricity must come from renewable energy, Palz said.
"Clean Energy Week" Faces Challenges of Politics
The first week of February will be filled with clean energy conferences, CEO lobbying efforts and a trade show. The Renewable Energy Technology Conference (RETECH 2010) starts Wednesday, and the National Association of State Energy Officials and the Association of Climate Change Officials are convening on the nation's capitol for meetings. Some sponsors banded together in an initiative called "Clean Energy Week".
The flurry of activity is happening amid political events that would slow the pace of a national climate change policy . Sen. Lisa Murkowski is attempting stop the EPA from regulating carbon. President Obama has dropped estimates of Federal cap-and-trade revenue from his proposed budget. The special election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass) has given the Republicans the power of fililbuster against the more robust climate change proposals.
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