• [Video] NY Times Features Electric Car Startups Fisker Karma and Aptera

    May 10 2009 / by Garry Golden
    Category: Transportation   Year: General   Rating: 3 Hot
    Recommended: over 9 years ago


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  • [Video] Watch This Video of Andy Karsner Speaking at Art Center of Pasadena on the Future of Transportation

    May 07 2009 / by Garry Golden
    Category: Transportation   Year: General   Rating: 4
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    The Art Center of Pasadena has released video highlights from its recent Summit: Expanding the Vision of Sustainable Mobility held in March 2009.  There are a number of energy related videos to share, but we'll start with one that gets the blood pumping!

    Former Assistant Secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner, is a fresh voice on long held but widely suppressed ideas that promote a holistic policy strategy towards transportation, energy and urban design.

    I'm impressed with Andy's ability to communicate!  Of course, Karsner shares a few perspectives that I might challenge.  Namely, looking back at the past with a critical lens.  The problem was not our failure to build vehicles that get more miles per gallon, it's the entire supply chain and manufacturing footprint of the internal combustion engine.  A Detroit version of the Prius would not have helped GM or Chrysler's flawed 'new car' sale business model. 

    And, I agree with Karsner that our 'big plans' (e.g. FreedomCAR) were destined to fail. What we needed was an event - the Fall of 2008.

    The recent collapse of the auto industry was just what the doctor ordered- a well-timed crisis to force the accelerated death of a century old mobility platform. Tweaking the combustion engine around hybrids or flex fuels was never the solution.  Sometimes the future needs a crisis, not a plan!

    Andy Karsner passionately describes the beginning of this transition from mechanical engines to electric drive trains powered by the integration of batteries, fuel cells and capacitors. He is someone who can frame this vision and rally the troops. And I agree it is time to push the acceleration button! 
    Watch this Video

    Andy Karsner


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  • [Video] 60 Minutes Clean Coal Program Misses Chance to Introduce Bio-based Carbon Solutions

    April 29 2009 / by Garry Golden
    Category: Energy   Year: General   Rating: 3 Hot
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    60 Minutes recently aired a program on the future of coal power featuring Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers (an advocate of longer term 'Cathedral Thinking' carbon reduction) and leading climate scientist James Hansen (an advocate of a moratorium on building coal plants). 

    The CBS report was solidly mainstream in framing coal as central to the conversation on energy, environment and global economic development- but it failed to move the conversation beyond ideas that have existed for several decades.

    Time for Big Ideas, not Big Battles
    Coal is the world's fastest growing source of energy due largely to growth outside the United States.  And despite all the rapid growth rates expected with wind and solar, coal is likely to gain global market share in the years ahead.

    So this is not just a conversation about US policy and US-based utilities! And there is no way to just 'wish' coal away.  We must develop low cost carbon solutions that can be applied around the world within existing power plants.  And everyone agrees - these low cost solutions do not exist today!

    CBS Producers missed an opportunity to introduce more advanced non-geoengineering strategies to carbon neutralization and left viewers stuck at ringside watching the same old 'pro' vs 'anti' battle.

    Carbon's Molecular Dance between Oxygen and Hydrogen
    Carbon is a 'sticky' molecule that interchangeably binds with oxygen and hydrogen based on its journey through biochemical pathways or via human induced energy conversion (e.g. power plants and combustion engine).   

    Human beings have a choice to approach carbon solutions through geo-engineering (shoving it underground), or as bio-engineers who can bind carbon with hydrogen for use as a hydrocarbon fuel (for transportation or onsite electricity generation) or a bio-feestock for industrial applications.   CBS viewers would have been better off understanding the long-term view of carbon rather than watch a debate without a viable solution.  (Continue Reading Below).

    Seeing Carbon through a Lens of Biology


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  • [Video] Charlie Rose interviews US Energy Secretary Steven Chu 'Green Revolution' is Possible

    March 10 2009 / by Garry Golden
    Category: Government   Year: General   Rating: 2
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    Charlie Rose recently hosted a conversation [35 min.] with United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.  The conversation covered a wide spectrum of ideas being explored from the 'low hanging fruit' with energy efficiency and new building design tools, to evolution of Smart Grid and anticipatory management of energy flows, new tranmission lines for renewables, emerging carbon pricing markets, cleaner coal systems, regulatory framework for nuclear, and next generation liquid fuels. 

    And ended with Rose stating 'that the convergence/merger of our scientific know-how and energy' will determine our future.  On that note, I wish Chu would have uttered something about 'nanoscale' engineering, and bioenergy (algae/bacteria, and synthetic biology) just to seed these emerging concepts with Rose's audience.  But baby steps, I guess!

    Energy Revolution Rises from Materials Science and Bio-science, not Geo-Engineering
    Chu arrived at the right time!  The first half of this Industrial Age was based on us being smart geo-engineers, not necessarily smart energy materials scientists.  And that is our future- growing and storing our own energy supplies!  I am just very thankful that we have a DOE Secretary who recognizes that the 'green revolution' will arise from science, not shopping! Oh, the places we'll go!

    Embedded video from Charlie Rose

  • [Video] An Inside Look at Sentilla's Vision of a Smarter Energy Future

    February 05 2009 / by Garry Golden
    Category: Energy   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    The Takeaway's Host John Hockenberry interviews the CEO of Sentilla and explores the huge opportunity around the convergence of energy and information.  The era of 'smarter energy' systems is likely to be more efficient and profitable because it taps the integration of software, sensors and energy storage. 

    We have written about Sentilla in the past, along with other smart energy startups including yesterday's post on a 'swarm' organization model developed by REGEN Energy. We have also posted on a number of 'smart grid' infrastructure efforts being pushed by IBM, Johnson Controls and Cisco

    Related posts on The Smart Grid on The Energy Roadmap.com

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  • [6 Videos] Everything you need to know about Algae biofuels startups and research

    December 09 2008 / by Garry Golden
    Category: Energy   Year: 2018   Rating: 1
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    Seeing a Future Beyond the Hype for Algae Bioenergy
    'Algae' is often referred to as a 'Next Big Thing' category technology by cleantech investors and bio-industrialists.  But I've found that most people have no real understanding of what algae 'is' or 'isn't' as a new energy solution.

    I've posted six videos that should give that quick overview.  Some videos contain statements that I find to be short-sighted or overly focused on near-term challenges.    But overall, they describe the potential of algae bioenergy solutions in a very accessible way.  Enjoy!

    Why algae?
    [Editor's note: Great video lecture via Twitter AlgaMan, Thanks!!!]

    - Algae are 'original oil producers' on Earth (Video #1) - petroleum  is the result of ancient sea-living microbes that arranged carbon and hydrogen into complex chains that we blow up for energy.

    - Algae grow quickly using carbon dioxide (via gas, or biomass waste), light and water as their fuel source. (Video #3)  Their byproduct? High energy content hydro-carbon chains.

    - Algae produce tremendous yields (Est 10,000-30,000 gallons/acre/year), compared to plant based biofuels (Corn at 20/year; Palm at 800) (Video #4)

    Video #1 - MIT's Algae biophotoreactor
    Scientific America produced show with Alan Alda. The program was focused on hydrogen (e.g. electricity) with a special segment on algae-to-hydrogen production.



    Video #2 - Solayzme

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  • The Future of the US Auto Industry

    November 13 2008 / by Garry Golden
    Category: Transportation   Year: 2010   Rating: 3
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    This morning I was a guest on PRI’s The Takeaway program with Hosts John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji to talk about the future of the US Auto Industry. [Podcast of conversation] Many thanks to The Takeaway!!!!

    For visiting Takeaway listeners we’ve organized recent articles from The Energy Roadmap.com exploring the future of the transportation sector:

    Electric vehicle industry goes global around energy storage systems
    Video Interview with Shai Agassi on disruptive business models for electric cars
    Is Detroit asleep at the wheel?
    The Good news? China is investing in electric cars, The Bad news? China is investing in electric cars
    Is GM expecting China to extend its grid for electric cars?
    France to spend millions on electric vehicles
    Warren Buffet buys equity in China’s BYD
    New hydrogen storage device lighter than lithium batteries
    McKinsey believes China could lead world in electric vehicles
    GM pick Korean battery maker over US startup A123 Systems
    Hyundai to build fuel cell electric vehicle for 2012
    US algae startups could transform China coal industry
    France’s GDF invests in electric car infrastructure
    Hawaii’s HEKO utility take big regulatory step for 21st Century Grid
    Electric vehicle networks startup moves into Australia
    Detroit to World, Nobody has killed the electric car
    India’s Tata Motors will produce electric vehicle in 2009 for Europe!
    A Futurist’s Guide to Cars of 2020-

  • [Video] EV's, PHEV's and the Grid. Austin Energy's Roger Duncan Talks Electricity

    October 31 2008 / by joelg
    Category: Energy   Year: 2008   Rating: 1
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    By Joel Greenberg

    With every major automotive manufacturer announcing an electric vehicle, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to debut in the next 2-5 years, it’s clear that these vehicles are poised to compete in the mass market. But how did we get here? Where do we need to go to make this happen? Is the grid ready?


    Roger Duncan, General Manager of Austin Energy, discusses these issues from the point of view of the person responsible for delivering electricity to these vehicles.

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  • Are We Preparing Enough Scientists? - Defining Challenges in US Research [Video]

    October 23 2008 / by joelg
    Category: Education   Year: 2008   Rating: 3 Hot
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    by Joel Greenberg

    Scientists and engineers are going to develop the solutions to our energy challenges. An obvious fact, but what if we’re not preparing people for those careers in the US? At the recent NanoTX’08 conference, Dr. Zvi Yaniv, CEO of Applied Nanotech, Inc. discusses the challenges of educating scientists and engineers in the US. All is not rosy, but all is not lost.

    Dr. Zvi Yaniv is an expert in LCD technology. He received his PhD in Physics at the Kent State Liquid Crystal Institute in 1982. Shortly after he graduated, he was recruited by Energy Conversion Devices to run their LCD laboratory. Three years later, he spun out Optical Imaging Systems, OSI, Inc. “The premier Liquid Crystal Display Company in America, designing displays for our avionics, for F22, phantoms, helicopters,” he says. “And I loved it!”


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  • [Video] The Future of Paper Batteries

    October 16 2008 / by joelg
    Category: Energy   Year: 2008   Rating: 5 Hot
    Recommended: over 9 years ago

    By Joel Greenberg

    Among the talk of thin-film solar, nano self-assembly, among other ideas at NanoTX’08 conference in Dallas, TX, was a researcher talking about his work with paper batteries. Dr. Mangilal Agarwal of Louisana Tech University talks about how paper batteries work and what problems they solve.

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