Recent Posts:

Boa Tarde de São Paulo

Daniel Englander: March 24, 2008, 8:37 AM
As I travel around Brazil this week I thought I could use this opportunity to bring in some energy and greentech issues from other parts of the world into our ongoing dialogue about the development of the greentech market. Few countries face the dual pressures of environmental conservation and economic development like Brazil. Deforestation in the Amazon surged in 2007 following three years of significant declines. Increasing deforestation is problematic both because of the corruption it engenders and because of the obvious negative environmental effects. In addition to fines, the Brazilian government has ordered the federal police to raid illegal logging operations, shutting down...

The Morning Feedstock

Daniel Englander: March 24, 2008, 3:51 AM
Commodities are trading down this morning on declining consumption and a short rise in the dollar against the Euro and Yen. May contracts for crude oil are down 1.8 percent since the weekend, opening this morning at $100.02 after a 7.6 percent decline at the end of last week. A Goldman Sachs report released on Thursday has crude oil falling to $90 a barrel by April on the same downward pressures that have moved the price over the last five days. Agricultural contracts follow the same deflationary pattern, with May corn falling 9.3 percent to $5.07 per bushel and May soya dropping 10.8 percent to $12.07 per bushel. This weekend's drop in corn prices is likely a small blip in their...

The Morning Feedstock

Daniel Englander: March 21, 2008, 5:21 AM
With a special appearance by Eric Wesoff... The re-election of José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Spain this month has cleared the way for foreign suitors to starting sizing up potential bids for Iberdrola, Spain's largest utility. Électricité de France SA and Actividades de Construcción y Servicios SA, a French utility and Spanish construction company, have announced plans to launch a simultaneous bid on Iberdrola and Unión Fenosa, Spain's third largest utility. The deal would be worth at least $134 billion, though it may face opposition from French state-controlled EdF. EdF's plans would break up Iberdrola through an acquisition of Unión Fenosa, which would let ACS - another...

Mapping Global Ocean Power Projects

Daniel Englander: March 20, 2008, 10:26 AM
Commercial and pre-commercial ocean power projects are being developed at an increasingly fast pace. A handful of wave and tidal energy companies are breaking away from the pack and beginning to sign contracts with utilities, governments and energy companies to develop ocean power capacity. Already in 2008 we should expect to see nearly 19 MW of commercial capacity come online, with an additional 25 MW slated for deployment in 2009. While initially small, global installed capacity will likely hit 800 MW or more by 2015. I've taken some data from an ongoing project I'm working on and put it into a Google Map to show the global distribution of this growing industry. The data here...

The Morning Feedstock

Daniel Englander: March 20, 2008, 5:17 AM
Florida is rolling ahead with a set of comprehensive energy and climate-related bills aimed at making sure the peninsular state isn't swallowed up by rising sea levels. The Florida Public Service Commission approved the state's first wide-ranging net metering law on March 5. It covers systems ranging from 10kW to 2MW, and expands coverage from PV to nearly all renewable power sources. Another bill making its way through the Florida legislature calls for a cap-and-trade system in the state, the creation of a seven-member Florida Energy and Climate Commission, a 2.25 percent RPS by 2009 that increases to 5 percent by 2021, and 10 percent renewable fuels standard by 2010. Hoku...

Biodiesel Brief

Eric Wesoff: March 19, 2008, 9:06 PM
An inquiry came into Greentech Media from the CEO of a large trucking firm with a fleet of 5,000 diesel trucks. This gentleman wanted the short answer on if his firm should consider using biodiesel in his fleet. Here’s a summary of our findings. § Yes, biofuels are ready for limited commercial adoption with important caveats. § It is absolutely feasible for your firm to begin adding biofuels into your fuel mix. § There are issues. Read on. Retrofitting and Temperature Ice crystals can clog fuel filters and retrofits are required if running biodiesel in cold climates. How cold is the operating environment? The Age of the Fleet In older fleets,...

The Morning Feedstock

Daniel Englander: March 19, 2008, 5:41 AM
Growing export demand for American coal, combined with incrementally slowing domestic production, are responsible for the large increases in spot market prices for benchmark coal products. Central Appalachia coal is up 93 percent on the year, while Power River Basin coal is up 64 percent. But where's it all going? China, South Africa, and Indonesia, once major coal exporters, are cutting exports to fuel domestic growth. U.S. coal is mostly finding its way to Europe and Japan, where a weak dollar and highly subsidized mining make relatively less expensive coal all the more welcome. This is good news for the coal industry, as growing domestic opposition to power plant construction and...