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Energy and Global Warming News for November 4th: German solar costs could beat fossil fuels by 2020; Oil prices to rise without climate action; 2.5 GW offshore wind for South Korea; $2.4 Billion for high speed rail

By Climate Guest Contributor on November 4, 2010 at 10:56 am

"Energy and Global Warming News for November 4th: German solar costs could beat fossil fuels by 2020; Oil prices to rise without climate action; 2.5 GW offshore wind for South Korea; $2.4 Billion for high speed rail"

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German solar power production costs could beat fossil fuels by 2020

The solar power production costs will be as low as 12.6 eurocents per kilowatt-hour by 2020. At the same time, fossil fuel electricity costs around 15.6 eurocents. The study and estimation has been made by Phoenix Solar AG, of course, a German solar panel manufacturer.

The study also suggests that the current costs of building and commissioning new natural gas and coal-fired power plants are higher than the costs of solar cells production, which is currently around 23.8 cents per kWh.

“This year was the first time that the economic benefits of installed solar panels are greater than the costs,” he said, citing the study, which considered the benefits of tax revenues and lower carbon dioxide emissions.

U.S. gov’t awards $2.4 billion for high-speed rail

The U.S. government awarded $2.4 billion in funding last week to 54 railroad projects across 23 states in the U.S.

This latest round of funding is in addition to the $8 billion that was awarded in January as part of the comprehensive public works project to construct the “first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.”

The funds are going toward new railroad lines and stations, as well as efforts to update and refurbish existing ones to coalesce with the high-speed plan announced in January as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In this round of funding, Florida received $800 million to build a high-speed railroad connecting Tampa and Orlando with train speeds reaching up to 168 mph at some points along the route, making the trip under an hour compared with 90 minutes by car. The state’s ultimate plan is to extend the line from Orland down to Miami, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

Iowa received $230 million to hook into a new intercity passenger service that would connect Iowa City to Chicago and points in between.

IEA: Climate pledge failure would boost oil prices: report

(Reuters) – A reduction of ten percent in oil demand could knock about $20 off the price of a barrel of crude by 2035 if nations meet their climate change pledges and cut fossil fuel subsidies, the International Energy Agency says.

“The weaker and slower the response to the climate challenge, the greater the risk of oil scarcity and the economic cost for consuming countries,” the Financial Times on Thursday quoted a draft of the 2010 World Energy Outlook (WEO) as saying.

The report by the IEA, which advises 28 developed countries on energy issues, is due for release on November 9.

The inflation-adjusted price of oil would be $113 by 2035 in the WEO scenario that takes into account new environmental policies, versus $135 in the main scenario, with demand at 99 million barrels per day (bpd) and 107 million bpd respectively.

The IEA also forecasts Iraqi oil output will almost double in the next decade, reaching 4.8 million bpd by 2020, overtaking Iran “soon after 2015,” according to the FT.

South Korea building 2.5 GW offshore wind farm

South Korea is entering the offshore wind power game with quite an impressive first play.  The 2.5 GW project will cost about $8.2 billion to build.

The wind farm will be built off the southwestern coast of South Korea will include about 500 turbines and is expected to be completed by 2019.  Companies like Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering are constructing the turbines.  The government is coordinating the project and putting up a large chunk of the price, but private investors will need to finance the remainder.

The purpose of the wind farm isn’t just to add renewable energy to South Korea’s grid, but to give some of the area’s machinery makers (like Samsung, Hyundai and Daewoo) experience in building wind farms so that South Korea can become a major wind turbine exporter.

The government has committed to a five-year plan that will see it investing $36 billion in renewable energy to help it to become more energy independent and to stake its claim in the renewable energy market.

A surge in lawsuits challenging E.P.A. on climate

With many eyes on how Tuesday’s elections will affect Congressional action on climate and energy issues, a new report points out that the battle over greenhouse gas emissions has been raging quietly on another front: the courts.

Litigation over greenhouse gas regulation is sharply on the rise, according to a report issued on Wednesday by DB Climate Change Advisors, the climate change investment and research business of Deutsche Asset Management.

The number of climate-change related lawsuits doubled in 2006-7, hit a plateau for several years and is now increasing again. DB says that such suits are on track to triple in 2010 and perhaps grow into the indefinite future.

In January, my colleague John Schwartz wrote about lawsuits brought by individuals against fuel and utility companies naming them as responsible parties in human-caused climate change.

But the new report looks mainly at lawsuits surrounding government regulation of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. While it found that environmentalists had filed nearly a quarter of all such lawsuits since 2001, seeking more regulation, the new surge is being driven by the opposite camp.

PM of India: Demand for hydrocarbon fuels to increase 40% in ten years

While delivering his inaugural address at the Petrotech 2010 conference in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh outlined a potential problem that lingers over many emerging nations. Singh predicted India’s future demand for hydrocarbon fuels and stated that the nation’s emerging automotive industry, combined with its growing economy, could lead to potential oil supply issues. Dr. Singh predicts that India’s demand for hydrocarbon fuels will rise 40 percent over the next ten years, whereas increase in supply from the world’s maturing oil fields is only expected to grow by 12 percent. Of course, this suggests that India will have to pursue every available opportunity to secure oil and gas from outside sources.

In his address, Dr. Singh spoke of oil allies, potential shortages and a future driven by hydrocarbon fuels. Highlights of Dr. Singh’s address include:

In the last two decades or so, Asia’s share in the growth in demand for hydrocarbons has risen substantially while that of the OECD countries and the European Union has declined. This shift has been caused by high rates of economic growth and increasing populations in many Asian countries. There are supply-side uncertainties on the horizon.…Like other emerging economies, India needs adequate supplies of energy at affordable prices to meet the demand of its rapidly growing economy. Hydrocarbons will continue to be our major source of energy for quite some time in the future. Most of our requirement of hydrocarbons is met through imports….We also seek to work together with other countries especially those which are active in the oil and gas spaceOil and gas today are not seen merely as commodities to be traded freely. They are often used by countries to meet their political objectives.

Asian clean-energy developers seek foreign currency loans, Raboank says

Rising interest rates in Asia are prodding renewable-energy project developers to seek more foreign currency loans, a development that may squeeze out smaller local players from financing, Rabobank Nederland NV said.

The borrowers are particularly sensitive to lending rates because of the higher upfront costs of setting up low-emissions plants relative to conventional power projects, Jotdeep Singh, Rabobank’s head of Asia renewable energy and infrastructure finance, said today in an interview.

“Rising interest rates in China, India and other countries are affecting especially local currency financings,” Singh said at the Clean Energy Expo Asia conference in Singapore. “We have seen increased approaches from our clients inquiring about U.S. dollar or euro financings, which are becoming more competitive now that local currency financings are more expensive because of the interest rate hikes.”

Central banks in India, China, Australia, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand have all raised borrowing costs this year to contain inflation, whereas the U.S. and Japan have cut benchmark interest rates to near zero and printed money to spur growth. That combination could flood emerging markets with capital inflows, further exacerbating rising prices, India’s central bank said, after raising interest rates this week for the sixth time in 2010 and the most in Asia this year.

Nepal’s gene bank gets going

Inaugurated last month (3 October), the gene bank, set up by the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) at Lalitpur, already has the capacity to store the seeds of about 50 plant species for up to 100 years.

The gene bank has also taken over the preservation of the seeds of more than 10,700 species of plants that were lying with the agrobotany division of the NARC. Eventually, the bank will be able to store genetic resources from animal, fish and microorganisms and also conduct research on them.

Efforts to establish the gene bank began some 25 years ago with Japanese aid. But the momentum picked up only three years ago as the need to conserve biodiversity and improve food security was felt, said the gene bank’s chief Madhu Sudan Upadhyay.

Nepal’s biodiversity is seen to be under threat from the commercialisation and modernisation of agriculture and also from climate change.

A 1995 research paper estimated that Nepal has more than 6,500 species of flowering plants (2.33 per cent of the world’s total) of which 370 are endemic to this country. The number of edible plant species is approximately 600.

Organic farms better at potato beetle control

A study suggesting that organic agriculture gives better pest control and larger plants than conventional farming is sure to reignite longstanding debates about the merits of organic versus conventional agriculture. It also highlights an often-neglected aspect of biodiversity.

“Organic agriculture promotes more balanced communities of predators,” says David Crowder, author of the new study published today in Nature.

“Our study does not tell farmers they should shift to organic agriculture. What our study suggests is that organic agriculture is promoting these more balanced natural enemy communities and they may have better, organic pest control.”

Much focus is put on species numbers or ‘richness’. But the research by Crowder, an insect ecologist at Washington State University in Pullman, and his colleagues, shows the importance of ‘evenness’ “” the relative abundance of different species. Evenness quantifies not just the presence of different species, but whether one is dominant or whether there is an equal distribution of numbers between species.

Scotland launches £70m wind energy fund

Funding for ports and shipyard upgrades will stimulate the offshore wind industry and create 28,000 jobs, Alex Salmond says

Ports and shipyards in Scotland are being given £70m to help tackle a multibillion pound funding gap facing the offshore “green economy“, Alex Salmond has announced.

The first minister said the investment fund would allow Scottish ports and windfarm factories to upgrade their facilities to meet the immense challenge of building and installing the vast offshore wind and marine energy farms planned by ministers.

“We are a nation with considerable natural and human resources and the political will needed to deliver a green energy revolution that can build sustainable economic recovery and reduce Europe’s carbon emissions,” he told to the RenewableUK annual conference in Glasgow today.

He said the £70m fund would help “leverage” further private funding for ports at Leith in Edinburgh and Dundee, and fabrication yards at Nigg near Inverness and Methil in Fife, which are among the sites most likely to win support from the fund.

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42 Responses to Energy and Global Warming News for November 4th: German solar costs could beat fossil fuels by 2020; Oil prices to rise without climate action; 2.5 GW offshore wind for South Korea; $2.4 Billion for high speed rail

  1. Prokaryotes says:

    From Oct. 10 to Nov. 4, overall 39 provinces in northern, northeastern, eastern and central parts have been affected by floods and landslides which killed 110 locals. There are 1.8 million households or approximately 6 million people suffered from the disaster. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-11/04/c_13590861.htm

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    “We appeal to everyone to exercise extreme caution. Animals have become extremely unpredictable,” Rodrigues said, adding that a surge in poaching has made animals more dangerous to humans.
    Last month, South African business executive Don Hornsby was killed by an elephant in the nearby Matusadona preserve. Hornsby had helped fund feeding programs for orphaned animals.
    “Due to the poaching and number of elephants being shot, they have become even more dangerous,” he said. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hx8Cis8k_B9X5vxXCaPXvUoZK-Sw?docId=40eed0d8782b4afe9d51d7d68ef99ce7

  3. Prokaryotes says:

    Harsh winter ahead for 7m Pakistan flood victims without shelter http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/201011/s3056992.htm

  4. Prokaryotes says:

    Flash flood kills 16 in Indonesia
    Hours of torrential rain caused rivers in Timor to burst their banks, washing away as many as 182 homes in two villages of the Toianas sub-district in the early hours of Wednesda http://sify.com/news/flash-flood-kills-16-in-indonesia-news-international-klenEsfjjfg.html

  5. Prokaryotes says:

    Gaylord 3Q loss expands due to flood damage http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9J88F3G2.htm

  6. Bill Maddox says:

    Not really off topic. Don’t know if it has been posted here before, but an excellent and well done piece.

    http://fora.tv/2009/08/18/A_REALLY_Inconvenient_Truth_Dan_Miller

  7. Lore says:

    “The IEA also forecasts Iraqi oil output will almost double in the next decade, reaching 4.8 million bpd by 2020, overtaking Iran “soon after 2015,” according to the FT.”

    Wonderful, which is about 1 million more a day than Saddam Hussein’s
    Iraqi produced during his rule.

    Will the IEA report that Mexico’s Cantarell Oil Field will be essentially dead by the end of 2010? The 8th largest field in the world, or use to be, and which Mexico depends on to get 20% of its revenue from through export to countries like us.

    Will they also report that Alaska’s untapped oil reserves estimate has been recently lowered by about 90 percent?
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/10/27/alaska.oil.reserves/index.html

    We’ve got till 2016 tops. My advice is to buy several pair of your favorite walking shoes.

  8. Prokaryotes says:

    Texas Big Oil Fails to Overturn California Climate Bill
    greenbiz.com — Sometimes, the voters get it right. For sustainability advocates, desperate to find something positive in this week’s election, here’s one: Proposition 23, the California voter initiative (backed by Texas oil companies) to undo America’s most aggressive climate program, was soundly, roundly defeated.

    http://digg.com/news/politics/texas_big_oil_fails_to_overturn_california_climate_bill

  9. paulm says:

    Joe you said you where going to do a piece on the latest on SLR. There is a wide range of information out there which is confusing. I thought the odds were greater than 50%….

    2C climate target may need to change: UK scientist
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A32KW20101104
    Some experts say global warming beyond 2C poses a 50 percent chance or more that the Greenland ice sheet will melt, over centuries, raising global sea levels by about 7 meters.

    [JR: Yes, well, we're not going to beat 2C. But I am working on a couple of posts, so thanks for this.]

  10. Paulm says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/14/global-warming-target-2c

    The poll comes as UN negotiations to agree a new global treaty to regulate carbon pollution gather pace in advance of a key meeting in Copenhagen in December. Officials will try to agree a successor to the Kyoto protocol, the first phase of which expires in 2012. The 2C target is unlikely to feature in a new treaty, but most of the carbon cuts proposed for rich countries are based on it. Bob Watson, chief scientist to Defra, told the Guardian last year that the world needed to focus on the 2C target, but should also prepare for a possible 4C rise.

    Asked what temperature rise was most likely, 84 of the 182 specialists (46%) who answered the question said it would reach 3-4C by the end of the century; 47 (26%) suggested a rise of 2-3C, while a handful said 6C or more. While 24 experts predicted a catastrophic rise of 4-5C, just 18 thought it would stay at 2C or under.

  11. Prokaryotes says:

    Panasonic Invests In Electric Car Maker Tesla http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131060194

  12. Prokaryotes says:

    Panasonic Invests In Electric Car Maker Tesla http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131060194

  13. Prokaryotes says:

    Honda CEO: Looks “like there will be a market for electric vehicles” after all

    Honda’s chief executive officer, Takanobu Ito, has told a small group of reporters at a test-drive event outside of Tokyo that, actually, there is sufficient demand for battery-powered vehicles and the automaker can no longer shun the technology as impractical or unrealistic. Ito’s words run counter to those of former Honda CEO Takeo Fukui http://green.autoblog.com/2010/11/04/honda-ceo-looks-like-there-will-be-a-market-for-electric-vehic/

  14. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Lore #7, I think that we will eventually see that Peak Oil arrived around the end of 2005. As far as I can see we have been bumping along the predicted ‘plateau’ of production since then, and the effects have been disguised, so far, by the demand destruction engendered by the implosion of the global financial Ponzi complex.

  15. Lore says:

    Mulga #14…

    No doubt Peak Oil is either here, or right next door. I’m referring to 2016 as an outside date when the down slope will start to create major knee jerk contractions in the world economies. As other studies indicate, by that time we could have as much as a 10% shortfall in keeping up with oil demand.

  16. Anne van der Bom says:

    Regarding the price of pv a picture says more than a thousand words. This picture suggests the 12.6 eurocents per kWh will be reached before 2015.

    The lowest German FIT category will see a degression to ~21 cents/kWh coming January. With an expected regression of 9% per year (desirable growth corridor), the 12.6 eurocents per kWh FIT will be reached by 2017.

    The PV manufacturer might even be pessimistic.

  17. Michael Tucker says:

    Most of the oil is still in the ground according to the oil industry. Most of the world’s sedimentary basins have not been explored using modern techniques. Brazil is having a wonderful year of oil discovery, India has not yet begun to explore its offshore prospects, Australia is moving ahead with offshore development, and unconventional oil is just starting to be exploited.

    The oil industry fully expects to be able to provide more than 120 million barrels per day by about 2020 or 2030 and expects to be able to maintain that flow through about 2070. After that daily production is expected decline but the industry expects to still be able to maintain production above 90 million barrels per day at the end of this century.

    This WILL be expensive oil and I am suspicious of these claims but the oil industry does not foresee any problems with production as long as we allow ultra-deep ocean drilling, arctic drilling, and COMPLETE DEVELOPMENT of tar sand and oil shale reserves.

  18. Lore says:

    Michael #17…

    “Most of the oil is still in the ground according to the oil industry.”

    Since they have the biggest dog in this fight, I guess they would say that. I’m not surprised that the oil industry is promoting the myth that plenty of oil is left, after all, their stock goes up based on their estimated reserves. Let us not forget that BP said they could safely drill in the GOM as well.

    The truth is offshore oil is found in very few places on the planet. Brazil is one of those places, but their discoveries do not amount to anywhere near making up for the depletion rate aside from it being expensive to get at. Just as in the rest of the world. What the industry expects and can provide cheaply is being adjusted downward almost yearly as witnessed in the IEA reports. As we’ve just realized, Alaskan claims of reserves are only 10% of what they were expecting in 2002.

    Remember that Peak Oil is not about running out of oil, but running out of inexpensive oil.

  19. Prokaryotes says:

    20 buried alive; Costa Rica on storm ‘red alert’
    ‘You could hear people asking for help but could not see anything,’ survivor says http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40009265/ns/weather/

  20. Prokaryotes says:

    The area received 6.3 inches of rain in just two hours Wednesday, according to Costa Rica’s Meteorological Institute.
    Rodrigo Araya, born and raised in San Antonio de Escazu, about 10 miles from San Jose, said he awoke to what sounded like a plane landing.

    The torrential rains this week also caused the breach of a dam in Parrita, close to the Pacific coast.
    At least nine bridges have collapsed across the country, and neighboring countries were asked for aircraft to help reach some of the 65 communities impacted by the storm.
    Some 1,500 Costa Ricans were in shelters, schools were closed across the country, and many roads were flooded or blocked by landslides.
    The rains were forecast to continue into Friday.

  21. Prokaryotes says:

    UN report warns of threat to human progress from climate change
    Human development report says inaction on climate change puts at risk decades of progress on education and health http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2010/nov/04/united-nations-human-development-report

  22. Prokaryotes says:

    2 degree Celsius climate target may need to change: UK scientist

    Slingo added: “Temperature change in many respects is not the most dangerous part of climate change. The most dangerous part is arguably around the shift of regional rainfall patterns.

    “It would be wrong to suggest in any way that the target is inappropriate, but in parallel we want to start to put some more substance on it.”

    The over-riding goal of the 1992 U.N. climate convention is to avert “dangerous” climate change — many scientists say 2C is the maximum safe limit. Temperatures have already risen about 0.7 degrees C since the Industrial Revolution.

    But small island states, fearing sea level rise, favor a ceiling of 1.5 Celsius.

    Some experts say global warming beyond 2C poses a 50 percent chance or more that the Greenland ice sheet will melt, over centuries, raising global sea levels by about 7 metres. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A35CV20101104

  23. Prokaryotes says:

    Election Results Likely to Proliferate Climate-Related Lawsuits — Study

    Climate-related lawsuits are growing rapidly in the United States, even as federal climate change legislation seems to have been put on hold indefinitely following the results of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

    The number of lawsuits either supporting or opposing efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions is set to triple by the end of this year as compared to last year. And by late 2010 or early 2011, the nation could even see some of the more public and contentious climate change legal battles come before the Supreme Court. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2010/11/04/04climatewire-election-results-likely-to-proliferate-clima-86439.html

  24. Prokaryotes says:

    Climate change is main barrier to development – United Nations
    Climate change and destruction of the environment are the biggest threats to improving wealth and happiness around the world, according to a major United Nations report. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/8111082/Climate-change-is-main-barrier-to-development-United-Nations.html

  25. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Lang posted the following over on BraveNewClimate (and, I gather, eleswhere):

    Estimated US Energy Subsidies in 2006

    Technology: $/MWh
    Nuclear: $1.42

    Wind: $8.22
    Solar: $156.33
    Hydro: $1.05

    Coal: $1.29
    Oil & Gas: $3.61

    This shows that subsidies (just the ones included in you source document) for wind energy are 6 times and for solar energy are 110 times the subsidies for nuclear per MWh supplied.

    Ref:
    Government financial subsidies, 2006: http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/subsidies/index.php
    IEA, Electricity and heat for USA, 2007
    http://www.iea.org/stats/electricitydata.asp?COUNTRY_CODE=US

  26. Prokaryotes says:

    Climate change is here

    Last week’s extreme weather is yet another sign that climate change is upon us and isn’t going to go away.

    Gimli and the region as a whole were ravaged by Mother Nature, a merciless display of what she’s capable of now that humankind has upset the delicate balance of our atmosphere with harmful greenhouse gases.

    Yes, there are still those who “don’t believe” in climate change, just as there are those who still “don’t believe” in evolution.
    Humans have a rather comical way of denying scientific reality in order to protect their own political and religious belief systems. There will no doubt be many who find fault with this opinion column, and that’s their right. The issue isn’t whether climate change is real. It is.

    The issue is this — planning must begin immediately to create a drainage system better able to handle the kind of onslaught we saw last week.

    Whether climate change is causing it or not, one thing is certain — we’re seeing more extreme weather patterns the likes of which haven’t been seen before.

    Planning for more is a necessity that can’t be put off or ignored.

    Yes, it will cost a substantial amount of money, and there’s only so much of the green stuff to go around. http://www.interlakespectator.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2831398

  27. cyclonebuster says:

    “UNDERWATER SUSPENSION TUNNELS” tap into the Gulf Streams kinetic energy and beat any other power producer due to fact they can run 24/7/365 for many years!

  28. Prokaryotes says:

    Scientists hope to improve public communication on climate change

    Judith Curry of Georgia Institute of Technology and Andrew Revkin of New York Times Dot Earth and Pace University answer questions during the Q&A portion of the Beyond “Climategate” panel discussion in the Shively Club in Ross-Ade Pavilion Nov. 3, 2010.

    A panel of three climate change experts participated in a discussion on exploring ways of communicating between the scientific community and the public in areas of public policy. http://www.purdueexponent.org/index.php/module/Section/section_id/5/?module=article&story_id=23442

    [JR: Talk about hearing from the wrong people on a subject. Teacher, leave those kids alone!]

  29. Prokaryotes says:

    At that time, the balance of seawater density between the North and South Atlantic was shifted in such a way that deep water convection was stronger in the South Polar Ocean, with warm waters flowing southward rather than northward.

    The authors say the study shows that the Atlantic circulation pattern in the past was very sensitive to changes in the salt balance of Atlantic Ocean currents. The Southern Ocean was then much saltier than it is now.

    Similar changes in seawater salt concentration are expected to take place in the North Atlantic in the course of climate warming over the next 100 years, leading to the possibility that the ocean circulation could change again.

  30. Prokaryotes says:

    Arctic ice melted by climate change

    A dramatic manifestation of climate change is the reduction of ice cover in the Arctic. The extent of the ice has always varied with the seasons and from year to year, creating a challenge for cartographers. Early navigators speculated about the existence of the Northwest Passage, a permanently ice-free route around the North American coast leading to the Pacific.

    The explorers were helped by the Inuit, who have found ways of telling where water and land are without the aid of satellite mapping. This is a useful survival skill in regions that freeze over or thaw out unpredictably. One of their key indictors is “ice blink”, seen as a white line on the horizon. This is the reflection of ice on the underside of low clouds, showing there is an ice field beyond. Its counterpart is “water sky”, in which the clouds are marked by dark streaks, showing that there is sea water underneath. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2010/nov/05/arctic-scienceofclimatechange

  31. Chris Winter says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/business/energy-environment/03solar.html?src=me&ref=business
    Solar-Panel Maker to Close a Factory and Delay Expansion
    By TODD WOODY
    Published: November 3, 2010

    SAN FRANCISCO — Solyndra, a Silicon Valley solar-panel maker that won half a billion dollars in federal aid to build a state-of-the-art robotic factory, plans to announce on Wednesday that it will shut down an older plant and lay off workers.

    The cost-cutting move, which will reduce the company’s previously announced production capacity, is a sign of the notable shift in the prospects for cutting-edge American solar companies, which now face intense price competition from Chinese manufacturers that use more established photovoltaic technologies.

  32. Prokaryotes says:

    Loan guarantee

    USDOE offered a $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, Inc. to support the construction of a commercial-scale manufacturing plant for its proprietary solar photovoltaic panels.[6]
    [edit] Production

    The company has two plants, Fab 1, an older facility, and Fab 2, a new $733 million state-of-the-art robotic facility in Fremont, California which opened in September, 2010. Fab 2 was built with the support of a $535 million federal loan guarantee. According to an initial public offering by the company, the combined annual production capacity of the plants was projected to be 610 megawatts by 2013. After expanding production in 2008,[2] the company announced on November 3, 2010 that it was mothballing its older plant, Fab 1, and postponing expansion of recently opened Fab 2 giving it an annual production capacity of about 300 megawatts. Market conditions were cited, with conventional solar modules manufactured in China by low-cost producers such as Suntech and Yingli offering stiff competition. [7]
    [edit] CIGS Competitors

    * Global Solar said that its CIGS cells from its factory had reached an average efficiency of 10 percent [8].
    * HelioVolt Corp. said it had produced CIGS cells with efficiency as high as 12.2 percent on a pilot line[9].
    * Nanosolar has created tools that can produce CIGS cells with a 14.5 percent efficiency.[10]
    * GroupSat Solar has noted that it can produce CIGS cells with a 18.5 percent and an average efficiency of 10 percent in full production efficiency.[10]

    See also Copper indium gallium selenide#Companies for a more complete listing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra

  33. Prokaryotes says:

    The problem with Solyndra modules CIGS is the low efficiency and form of the pipes which creates shadows.

    Only advantage of CIGS is during cold month when snow covers the module. With CIGS it’s melts faster and has reflective properties.

    German Test rates the module not good and below current market standards.
    http://www.enbausa.de/solar-geothermie/aktuelles/artikel/das-solyndra-modul-schneidet-beim-test-schlecht-ab-1317.html

  34. Prokaryotes says:

    The Way Forward on Climate-Change Legislation.

    With the House now in Republican hands and major losses for candidates backed by environmental groups, the only way forward in the fight to curb carbon emissions lies with the regulatory powers held by federal agencies. But as Grist notes, Obama seems pretty lukewarm on that idea. http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=11&year=2010&base_name=the_way_forward_on_climate_cha

  35. Prokaryotes says:

    Shetland drilling could trigger spill worse than BP’s
    Chevron has admitted its new deepwater drilling campaign off the Shetland Islands could cause an oil spill worse than BP’s accident in the Gulf of Mexico.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/8088216/Shetland-drilling-could-trigger-spill-worse-than-BPs.html

    Time to put oil firm chiefs on trial for crimes against humanity!

  36. Prokaryotes says:

    Strengthening Hurricane Swipes Haiti

    President René Préval made it plain that people were largely on their own, warning them on local radio Thursday, “You have to help yourself.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/06/world/americas/06haiti.html