Archive for October, 2010

No on Prop 23 AND Prop 26 == The Dirty Duo

Proposition 26 protects polluters and threatens California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, AB 32.

If passed, it will increase the legislative vote requirement to pass certain types of fees on polluting industries ” from a majority to a 2/3rds vote” essentially, this proposition would make it more difficult to pass fees on industries that pollute our air, dirty our water and endanger the citizenry of California’s health.

The oil companies Chevron, ExxonMobil, Phillip Morris and others have spent over $14 million to pass Prop 26, because it would let polluters off the hook, forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab.

Go here to read more on Prop 23’s dirty twin.

No on 23 :: Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition

No on Proposition 23

The No on Prop 23 proponents released a documentary today to lead the non-partisan charge to defeat Proposition 23. This initiative is not about California’s environmental health, energy security or financial future–it’s about these oil companies’ bottom lines.

Indeed, even colleagues of mine in the EU acknowledge how important an opportunity this is is for the citizenry of California to demonstrate the need to move forward on a cleaner, renewable energy future. These colleagues also realize the far-reaching impacts on what will transpire in the outcome, as well.

I agree with one of my European colleagues and don’t think any electorate anywhere has ever been given such a clear chance to vote for a cleaner world or to go on polluting. Indeed, no law is ever perfect and no government efficient; it is, after all, the principle is what is at stake here. I think this is again, a seminal moment for Californians–we can stand up to the challenges of clean(er)tech or fall back to the easy, trodden-path way of business-as-usual (BAU). I think a democratic vote that says NO to pollution will have enormously positive reverberations around the world and rout these oil companies that it is time for renewable energy to lead the way. Yes, we need to win the principle; afterward we can fix the details.

Know someone who isn’t convinced that Prop23 is a bad idea. Show them this 14 minute 03 second long documentary: !

DESERTEC in Tunisia

Five years ago, while on holiday in Tunisia, I witnessed first-hand the abundant and rich solar resource in this land of magnificent skies, resplendid palmeraie bursting with the best damn dates I’ve ever had, the Andalusian-inspired azure blue and white architecture of Sidi Bou Said usually dressed in shocking pink bougainvilleas, and a population touting the highest literacy  in the Arab world. I spent most of my time in Douz, one of the gateways to the giant sand dunes of the Sahara.

It’s no wonder to me why there is a movement to bring renewable energy technologies to this part of the world. But I truly hope that not only is sustainability development practiced, but the best interests and cultural sensitivities of all the stakeholders involved, be they the Bedouin community in Douz or the metro denizens of Tunis are included in future discussions on how all can be empowered and powered/electrified.

Today there was an article posted on the Renewable Energy Access web site:

MENA Taps its Green Reserves

Huge oil reserves are no longer preventing the Middle East and North Africa region from developing its abundant clean, renewable energy resources.

I am surprised this article did not mention how Tunisia fits into the DESERTEC initiative for HVDC (high voltage direct current). If HVDC is going to make the way to the mainland of the EU, the geographical path of lesser resistance would be via the Strait of Gibraltar and/or Tunisia -> Italy.

Two conferences in October will provide information about the progress of the realization of DESERTEC in the Mediterranean region:

Tunisia Solar International Conference

29-30 October 2010, Tunis

Under the patronage of the President of Tunisia and in the presence of several Ministers from MENA, the ambitious Tunisian plans in terms of clean power from deserts will be discussed and a Founding Agreement for the DESERTEC University Network will be signed.
Go to conference website

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What is a Hybrid RE Engineer?

An engineering generalist with an understanding of sustainable development whose skills set are typically comprised of an amalgam of mechanical and electrical engineering. One who is able to design and assemble systems and components that are comprised of more than one renewable energy (RE) technology i.e. solar, wind, hydro-kinetic (ocean/wave/micro-hydro), biomass, hydrogen fuel cell, geothermal and storage (battery, fly wheel, pumped-hydro). The RE technologies selected depend on one's geographical predisposition, resource availability, the end-use need, practicing conservation (behavioral change) to name a few considerations...

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