Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Message to the Next US President


Space-based solar power is essential to the future; and, here is why.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

$1.8 BILLION Dominion Resources Coal-Fired Power Plant Approved in Wise

The much-debated and yet to be litigated $1.8 billion dollar Wise County-based Dominion Resources coal-fired power plant has gained final regualtory approval with strict restrictions on pollution. The coal-fired power plant has gained news coverage far and wide -- even in Great Britian's Guardian this week.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vulcan Project to Measure Carbon CO2 Footprints Across the American Nation

Project Vulcan is a collaboration between Purdue University, The Department of Energy and NASA to map the extent of the United States' carbon emissions North American Carbon Program (NACP) to quantify North American fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at space and time scales much finer than has been achieved in the past using GIS maps [vid]. The purpose of Project Vulcan is to aid in quantification of the North American carbon budget, to support inverse estimation of carbon sources and sinks, and to support the demands posed by the launch of the Orbital Carbon Observatory (OCO) scheduled for 2008/2009. Linked is a state-by-state profile of CO2 emissions.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bush Cites Technology to Curb GHGs

Current Time Magazine does 'Cap and Trade' story.
President George W. Bush yesterday weighed-in on the domestic and international debate to curb greehouse gas [GHG] emissions suggesting new target dates for significant reductions but falling short of the goals being debated in the Congress reports TheWashington Post.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Presidential Politics and Wise County

The Wall Street Journal reported today on Democratic presidential primaries in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana where local jobs and politics are driven, in-part, by the mining of coal. The political balance between cap-and-trade for greenhouse emission limitations and other alternative energy sources was illustrated by the proposed $1.8 billion Dominion Resources coal-fired plant proposed in Wise County, Virginia.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wise County's Solar Power Tax Exemption Spans More Than A Decade

Wise County's administrator Glen "Skip" Skinner located the solar power property tax exemption that dates back to 1994 as adopted by the then-county board of supervisors. It was reported during the Energy Technology Summit that only 20 of Virginia's 134 counties and cities have such a solar power tax exemption. Good thing too - since Wise County is seeking a solar power panel manufacturer to locate in the Technology Park.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

MIT Energy Conference Similar to Wise

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology held a Saturday Energy Conference in Boston centering on innovation in energy - and quite similar to the Energy Technology Summit held at the University of Virginia's College at Wise recently.

The chief executive of Duke Energy, James Rogers, keynoted the MIT conference and noted that coal is very much a part of the energy grid, that Congress should pursue alternative energy technologies, and plug-in hybrid vehicles should go into production, according to a report from C-Net News. Sound familar?

MIT also annouced at the energy conference that it was forming a partnership with German Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft research group to open the MIT-Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems! Did they announce something like this in Wise? Yah.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Rick Boucher's Cap and Trade Remarks at the 2008 Energy Technology Summit

Boucher's remarks continued on videos 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Boucher's remarks continued on videos 2, 3, 4, and 5. The Congressman was introduced by Melanie B. Salyer, a Lead Virginia scholar and Wise County Deputy Clerk of Circuit Court.

Space-Based Solar Power Presentation by Lt. Col. Paul E. Damphousse, USMC

Lt. Col. Damphousse's presentation continues [intro at 7:30 mins. into vid 5 by NASA DEVELOP Scholar Jacob Atkins] to Energy Technology Summit videos 7, 8 9, and 10. Linked HERE is a simulation of an operational space-based power plant infrastructure. Expect tests on the International Space Station in the near-term.

State Senator Chap Petersen Talks Virginia Clean Energy Future Act

State Senator Chapman J. Petersen (D-Fairfax) presents the Virginia Clean Energy Future Act. Chap's introduction is contained about half way into summit video 10 relating to Lt. Col. Damphousse. Petersen's legislation is forward looking and was endorsed by Virginia's environmental concerns. The bill's primary thrust was to advance alternative energy development in Virginia through alt. energy tax credits.

Continued video in Summit Video 12 and 13.

Alpha CEO Provides Outlook for Coal

Mike Quillen, CEO of Alpha Natural Resources, provides his outlook on the future of coal and energy. His presentation begins 4-minutes into Summit Video 13 with an introduction by Esther Bolling. The presentation is continued with Summit Video 14, Video 15 and extending 1-minute more into Video 16.

Karmis Advances Carbon Sequestration Research in Russell County Virginia

Dr. Michael Karmis of Virginia Tech described the research on carbon capture and sequestration in his presentation to the Energy Technology Summit. His remarks begin a little over one-minute into the Summit Video 16 linked below where he discusses a test sequestration project in Russell County.
Dr, Karmis continues with his presentation at Energy Rechnology Summit Videos 17, 18, and 19.

Administrator Skip Skinner Announces Appy America Energy Research Center

Wise County Administrator Glenn 'Skip' Skinner announced a new Appalachia America Research Center and its first potential tenant at the Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park at the Energy Technology Summit.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

News of the 1st Annual Energy Technology Summit Success

The Bristol Herald Courier's Debra McCown today reported on the new General Motors Chevrolet hydrogen-powered car on display at the Energy Technology Summit. The newspaper also provides an overview of the content of the summit with focus on keynote speaker Tom Farrell, II, CEO of Dominion Resources.

Likewise, The Coalfield Progress [subscription required] today reported on the Energy Technology Summit by noting that coal is vital to the nation's energy future. The Progress reporter Keith Strange also did a story on the business announcement made by Wise County Administrator 'Skip' Skinner at the summit relating to the Appalachia America Energy Research Center and its potential first tenant - NanoChemonics Corp. of Pulaski.

Meanwhile, State Senator Chapman 'Chap' J. Petersen blogged about his experience at the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council's Energy Technology Summit. The Senator spoke of his state legislation at the 2008 General Assembly session involving energy and alternative energy workforce development.

The organizers of the summit deeply appreciate the time, effort, and yes, the energy each presentor, Tech Council member-sponsor, and the news media put into making the event a complete success. Later this week, YouTube video of each presentation along with the Power Points should be displayed on this BLOG.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Can Automakers Build a 100-MPG Car?

What would a 100-mpg car look like? It could look a lot like ... the Aptera, the Cleanova, the Nissan Denki Cube the Electrum Spyder, the Elettrica, the Lumeneo Semera, the Mitsubishi i-MIEV Sport, the Phoenix, the Nissan Pivo2, the Smart, the Tango, the Think, the Zap, or the Zenn. But let us hope, it will look more like the Tesla, the Lightning GT Electric, the Volvo 3CC, the Audi R-Zero, the Chevy Volt or the Ford Airstream.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wise Exploring NanoTechnologies in New Coal-2-Energy Research Facility

Wise County is thinking small, really small - on the nano-scale. As new energy technologies emerge from the 21st Century, economic development officials are now planning a contemporary energy research facility called the Appalachia America Energy Research Center.

Strategic planners hope to locate the Appalachia America Energy Research Center at the the Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park near The University of Virginia's College at Wise before the end of the decade. The purpose of the new research facility will be to explore new concepts, ideas, and creations from new energy research using nanotechnologies, according to Carl Snodgrass, the economic development director for Wise County.

"The Center will bring together public and private sector expertise to plan, research, and implement strategies in coal gasification, use of nanotechnology for sulfur reductions in coal, and the use of nanotechnology as a catalyst to make existing forms of energy more efficient," the economic development planner noted. MORE to come at the Energy Technology Summit MONDAY!

ixEnergy Looking for Future in Wise

The Energy Technology Summit has a wonderful opportunity before it with the potential of launching an energy revolution with new business locations ranging from coal-to-solar.

ixEnergy is a renewable energy company focused on solar power project development and integration. A new solar manufacturing industry will require a 21st Century workforce and a new look at housing and commercial structure energy efficiency.

"I believe the opportunity for fabrication of photovoltaic modules would be a positive move for Wise County, and would provide a robust entry to a viable sector of the global economy while providing for continued job growth for this region," said Carl Snodgrass, Wise County's Economic Development Director.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Boucher to Lead Cap and Trade

The chairman of the US House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee told a Platts Energy Podium event in Washington recently that he supports a greenhouse gases (GHG) cap-and-trade system that would provide nearly all emission credits for free to electric utilities, oil refineries and other industrial operations.

Representative Rick Boucher, (D-Abingdon), said he believes the US should model its GHG control law on the country’s successful acid rain program that is designed to cut national sulfur dioxide emissions from electric utilities through a cap-and-trade system.

The SO2 system gives away 97% of its allowances and auctions off the remaining 3%, Boucher said. "We can look to the very successful sulfur dioxide program," he said, calling the acid rain program "fluid" and "transparent" noting that, "I think the burden of proof rests on those who think we would need to auction most of the allowances," Boucher said.

Boucher is seeking to pass economy-wide legislation that would reduce emissions 60% to 80% below current levels by 2050 and putting odds of getting the bill through Congress and passed by President George W. Bush at more than 50% but estimated a better probability next year. "In the next Congress, I think the prospects of passing cap and trade and having it signed into law will be 80% or better," he said.

The congressman said he would prefer that any GHG cap bill offer modest cuts in carbon emissions to 2025 with steeper reductions thereafter to allow coal-fired power generation to remain in the mix and permit the development of carbon capture and sequestration technologies.

Boucher is optimistic that permanent carbon storage could work. "This isn’t rocket science at all. It isn’t even auto mechanics," he said. "It will work. They’ve been storing CO2 in oil and gas fields for decades."

Roanoke Times: [Sen. John Warner] Changing the GOP on climate change

The Roanoke Times, Friday, April 11 edition carries an editorial entitled: "Changing the GOP on climate change: The Republican Party, as the party of national defense, has good reason to come around" commending the efforts of Virginia Senator John W. Warner on his climate change legislation. VIDEO

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cap-and-Trade May be Theme of 2009 Energy Technology Summit in Wise

A U.S. Federal Cap-and-Trade System, advocated by the so-called Warner-Lieberman bill, provides market incentives to lower our nations's carbon emissions and cut greenhouse emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 66 percent by 2050.

The climate bill pending before Congress - America's Climate Security Act - is sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and John Warner, R-VA. The measure is the only major climate legislation so far to be approved at the committee level, passing out of the Environment and Public Works committee on Dec. 5 on a vote of 11-8. It is scheduled for Senate floor debate in June.

Under the proposed Cap-and-Trade, the government would sell a fixed number of cabon pollution permits to American industry, with prices set at auction and then determined by trading on Wall Street.

The carbon trade market, or the emissions trading scheme (ETS), is among the themes now being considered for the 2009 Energy Technology Summit. The timing of the United Nations Climate Change Conference [Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009] where the adoption of post-Kyoto standards will certainly occur, makes the Warner-Lieberman bill relevant - just as it would the 2009 Energy Technology Summit in seeking to better understand regional implications of international cap-and-trade markets.

Energy Technology Summit to Begin

Over 125-members of the growing Southwestern Virginia Technology Council will gather as delegates to the Energy Technology Summit to be held at The University of Virginia's College at Wise on Monday, April 7, 2008 beginning at 8:30 AM.

While the Energy Technology Summit advance tickets have been sold out for nearly three weeks to the membership, this BLOG will open access to the public subsequently through YouTube video clips from each presentation. Access will encourage cooperation and innovation in futuristic energy technology development.

The Energy Technology Summit organizers expect the statewide print and electronic media to provide limited coverage, this BLOG will provide the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council members with in-depth start-to-finish video and photo journalism coverage of the outstanding summit agenda.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

2008 Energy Technology Summit to Hear Climate Change Talk by Boucher

Ninth Congressional District Congressman Rick Boucher will launch the 2008 Energy Technology Summit with a discussion of federal climate change policy.

The summit, sponsored by the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council, commences on Monday, April 7 at The University of Virginia's College at Wise in the C. Bason Slemp Student Union [6] beginning promptly at 8:30 AM EDT and following a light breakfast. [Boucher video]

A veteran Democratic Majority House legislator, the Congressman serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and chairs its Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality. Boucher will take a leading role this year in writing new climate change policy, clean coal technology measures, and provide essential national energy security leadership from his subcommittee.

LEAD Virginia Scholar and Wise County Deputy Clerk of Circuit Court Melanie Beth Salyer will introduce Congressman Boucher at the Energy Technology Summit to set the clever atmosphere.

Space-based Solar Energy Gains Traction at the Pentagon and in Wise

Space-based solar power [SBSP] is gaining traction among military leaders and planners at the Pentagon with Lt. Col. Paul E. Damphousse, USMC, Chief of Advanced Concepts of the National Security Space Office, leading the way, [National Public Radio].

Lt. Col. Damphousse will be the second speaker at the 2008 Energy Technology Summit, Monday, April 7 at The University of Virginia's College at Wise. He will discuss an October 2007 report released at the National Press Club promoting and renewing the possibilities of space-based solar power [video].

A would-be NASA astronaut, Damphousse will discuss the futruistic concept of space-based solar power [SBSP]; and, the possibility of coming tests of SBSP on the International Space Station.

NASA Langley Aerospace Summer Scholar and UVA-Wise software engineering student Jacob Atkins will introduce Lt. Col. Damphousse so as to get participant thinking off-the-ground.

Senator Chap Petersen Champions Alt. Energy Development in Virginia

Fairfax Senator 'Chap' Petersen (D-34th Dist.) will bring the message of alternative energy workforce development to the 2008 Energy Technology Summit on Monday, April 7 at UVA-Wise as the third morning speaker.

In the 2008 session of the Virginia General Assembly, Senator Petersen offered a measure to require that on July 1, 2020, and in subsequent years, 20% of the electric energy sold by each supplier to retail customers in the Commonwealth be generated from renewable generation energy sources and that the Secretary of Commerce and Trade be directed to develop incentives for renewable energy manufacturing in the coalfield region of Virginia. [Video]

While the robust Senator's bill was not reported to the floor of the Senate, the proxy-energy measure did gain the interest of the state's environmental community, according to Greg Edwards at the Richmond Times Dispatch. The Southwestern Virginia Technology Council took note of his bill because of the coalfield workforce provision. [Video]

Mountain Empire Community College's Vice-President of Academic and Student Services, Richard Phillips, will introduce the State Senator for his remarks to the Energy Technology Summit member-participants.

Alpha Entrepreneur Brings Message of Growth to Energy Technology Summit

Mike Quillen is no stranger to go-go energy having now built one of the largest coal-producing energy firms in America - Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (ANR) - with nearly $2-billion in annual revenue. [Video]

Quillen “is one of the most tested, experienced coal mining executives in the United States today…(he) emerged from a battered coal industry to forge Alpha Natural Resources, almost overnight, into Virginia’s largest coal producer – and one of its largest, most profitable companies,” according to Virginia Newswire’s editor, James Bacon.

A Virginia Tech engineering graduate, Quillen will bring his talent and insights on new energy technologies to the 2008 Energy Technology Summit Monday, April 7 as the summit's fourth speaker requiring innovative participant thinking to go underground.

Southwestern Virginia Technology Council Executive Director Esther Bolling will introduce the 2006 the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year and 2006 Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumnus to the membership/delegates attending the Energy Technology Summit. [Video]

Carbon Sequestration Expert to Give Overview of Technology Status

Dr. Michael Karmis is the region's leading expert in the development of coal carbon sequestration technologies and the final morning speaker at the 2008 Energy Technology Summit at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, Monday, April 7, 2008.

Concerns over climate change are promoting the development of carbon management strategies, including geologic carbon sequestration. Geologic sequestration options include direct injection into geological formations, including coal seams that cannot be mined, saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas reservoirs of which Dr. Karmis will discuss in relation to the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center.

Dr. Karmis, the fifth speaker and the last prior to the summit luncheon, will be introduced by Alpha Natural Resources CEO Mike Quillen.

Dominion Resources CEO Farrell to Keynote Energy Technology Summit

Thomas F. Farrell, II is the leader of Dominion Resources, the largest single electric power producers in Virginia, as it seeks to become an active corporate citizen in southwestern Virginia through construction of a $1.8 billion modern coal-fired energy generation plant in the St. Paul community of Wise County.

Farrell is expected to spark interest among the 2008 Energy Technology Summit participants with his summit luncheon remarks. He is expcted to address the energy firm's plans to permit the electric energy generation plant in the most significant single capital investments in Wise County's history.

A member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors (and former Rector), Farrell will be introduced by Wise attorney Don Pippin, a colleague on the University of Virginia's board. Following the luncheon remarks, Southwestern Virginia Technology Council President Donald Purdie will make a special award presentation to Farrell. [Video]

Equitable Resources Sr.VP to Talk Natural Gas Energy Technologies

Joseph (Ted) E. O'Brien, Senior Vice President of Equitable Resources, southwestern Virginia's leading producer of natural gas from hundreds of producing wells, will be the first post-lunch speaker to discuss the role of new technologies in enhanced natural gas productivity requiring fluid-thinking.

Equitable is an integrated energy company, with emphasis on Appalachian area natural gas production, gathering, processing, transmission and distribution. The firm has been increasing drilling and capital investment in Virginia's coalfields including a recent purchase of natural gas interest's from Penn Virginia Corp. in Wise County for $30-million last fall.

O'Brien, the seventh speaker, will be introduced to the Energy Technology Summit delegates by Wise County Chamber of Commerce Vice-President and Oliver Coal Sales leader Rita F. McReynolds.

Commercial Wind Farm Regulation by the State Corporation Commission Topic of Energy Tech Summit Interest

William H. Chambliss, the General Counsel of the State Corporation Commission, will relate to the 2008 Energy Technology Summit the recent regulatory approval of Virginia's first commercial wind energy permit issued by the SCC for the Highland New Wind Development, LLC last December.

The State Corporation Commission has granted conditional approval for the 39-MW Highland New Wind Development project that, if actually developed, will involve construction of twenty 400-foot turbines and associated infrastructure in the remote and ecologically unique northwest corner of Virginia’s Highland County.

Chambliss joined the Commission in 1992, serving first as a staff attorney in the Office of General Counsel and then as Assistant to Commissioner Hullihen Williams Moore. In April 1997, Mr. Chambliss was appointed Deputy General Counsel, with responsibilities over the Commission’s utility and telecommunication regulatory matters. Today he serves as General Counsel to the State Corporation Commission.

Southwestern Virginia Technology Council President-elect Shannon Blevins will introduce the General Counsel of the Virginia State Corpration Commission as the summit's eighth speaker. Summit delegates can count on this presentation not to drive your thinking-wits batty! [video 1 and video 2]

Left Blowing in the Wind, Highland New Wind To Tell Story of Permits

Tal McBride, who along with his father, Henry, launched Highland New Wind in 1999, will relate to the Energy Technology Summit his trials and tribulations in getting the first commercial wind farm permit through the state's regulatory system.

The 140-foot-high, wind turbines will soon provide about 40 megawatts of electricity - enough to power about 15,000 homes. A new substation will be needed to tie the turbines to a 69-kilovolt line owned by Allegheny Power.

In 2006, wind farms in 36 states generated less than 1 percent of the country's electric supply. Within 15 years, that figure is projected to grow to 2 to 7 percent.

The summit's ninth speaker, McBride will be introduced to the summit delegates by Southwestern Virginia Technology Council President-elect Shannon Blevins . Summit delegates can expect this presentation to be much more than hot air.

Alternative Energy Could be a Part of Local Economic Development Matrix

The 125-delegates of the Energy Technology Summit will warm-up to the talk from Ken Jurman of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. He is the manager of the Division of Energy’s renewable energy programs designed to enhance the regional and local economic development efforts and to promote the growth of alternative and renewable energy manufacturing.

Jurman also works with numerous public, private and non-profit organizations to increase the demand for, and use of, renewable and innovative energy technologies.

Jurman, the summit's tenth speaker, currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation, and the Small Wind Certification Council. He is a member of the American Solar Energy Society, and helped in the formation of the Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative.

Norton businessman George E. Hunnicutt, Jr. will introduce the leader of alternative energy development in Virginia.

Virginia Energy Plan Has 4-Main Goals

Stephen Walz is the Senior Advisor for Energy Policy in the Office of Governor Tim Kaine and will address the Energy Technology Summit about the new Virginia Energy Plan.

Waltz is the kinetic leader overseeing implementation of the Virginia Energy Plan, which sets out recommendations for state energy actions over the next 10 years. Mr. Walz also is Chair of the Governor’s Energy Policy Advisory Council.

Norton businessman George E. Hunnicutt, Jr. will introduce the state's chief energy counsellor to the governor. Waltz will be the eleventh peppy summit speaker.

Elecrtic Cars Challenge the Energy Grid

General Motors Corporation's Monica Murphy, a veteran auto industry representative, will electrify the 2008 Energy Technology Summit delegates with her lithesome descrption of the new hydrid vehicles coming on-line in the coming years - including the much-buzzed GM Volt [video].

New hybrid electric cars and SUVs are in high demand with the motoring public as gasoline prices advance to the $4 per gallon range. General Motors is working to meet the new demand early in the next decade. You can hear the sound of the future humming in an American manufacturing revolution as Ms. Murphy tells of the mirthful and jocund automotive era ahead.

One of the real questions faced by Detroit automakers is whether or not the elecrtic energy grid can sustain hundreds of thousands [if not millions] of autombiles being charged at night. Even if the electric vehicle can quite significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on foreign-produced oil in a V2G [vehicle to the grid] drive, sufficient off-peak electricity must be made available to recharge the automobile batteries.

NASA DEVELOP student Chelsea Rose will introduce the representatives from GM and Ford to discuss electric cars and conclude the 2008 Energy Technology Summit with new electric propulsion auto demonstrations.

The HOT 2011 Model GM VOLT May be Displayed at Energy Tech Summit


The Roanoke Times printed a Guest Commentary by one of the founders of the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council on electric cars. The Volt.

Ford Offers-up Hybrid SUV to Energy Technology Summit Attendees

Ford Motor Company will have on display a Ford Escape Hybrid E85 SUV on the campus of The University of Virginia's College at Wise for the 2008 Energy Technology Summit for both 21st Century driving students and energy business leaders to see. [video]

Energy Technoloy Summit Sets Ambitious Agenda for 125-Delegates

The Southwestern Virginia Technology Council-sponsored 2008 Energy Technology Summit will bring a wide array of energy innovations to the forefront on Monday, April 7, 2008 so as to enable local, regional, and statewide brainstorming on how best to proceed with energy technologies in the future.

The summit could not be held without the member-sponsored assistance to build the vision of our energy independent future as a vision without capital is a mere hallucination. Together, we embark on the road to an energy technology revolution starting in the HIGH-BTU corner of Virginia!