Entries by Richard T. Stuebi

Areva Has Arrived?

In her weekly column in New Power Executive, Diane Borska of The Borska Group often is able to surface insights that I might have otherwise missed. This week, she profiles Areva, the French company created in 2001 through the merger of CEA Industrie, Cogema and Framatome. Article on Areva in New Power Executive Diane makes […]

The View from Pew

I had the privilege last week of attending a speech given by Eileen Claussen, the President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Pew is a critical organization in constructively spreading awareness and promoting practical thinking among government and business leaders about the climate change issue. Ms. Claussen’s main message was that it was […]

Cleveland Rocks!

That’s the motto for Cleveland, it being the home of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. For those of us who care about the clean tech arena, Cleveland also rocks because the area is making bets on advanced energy technologies. Many local constituencies recognize that the clean energy sector represents a tremendous opportunity for […]

A National Crash Project for Alternative Energy?

It is sometimes suggested that the U.S. should undertake a no-holds-barred crash program for developing alternative energy technologies, similar in scope to the Manhattan Project for the atomic bomb or the Apollo Project for moon travel. While I agree that far more R&D on alternative energy technologies would be a good thing, and that the […]

What is Bush Talking About?

President Bush made a well-publicized speech at Johnson Controls in Milwaukee on Feb. 20, in which he touted advanced technologies that will radically reshape the energy sector. “We’re on the edge of some amazing breakthroughs,” Bush claimed. Bush Feb. 20 Speech I guess the good news is that the President is increasing his efforts from […]

On U.S. Greenhouse Gas Trading Markets

Earlier in my career, I was heavily involved in the establishment of the first wide-scale emissions trading program: the sulfur dioxide (SO2) allowances that were created as part of the acid rain mitigation provisions of the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1990. By virtually all accounts, the SO2 allowance market has been highly successful in […]

Cutbacks at NREL

Lost (to me) during the holiday season was the late December announcement by the Department of Energy of roughly a 10% budget and staff reduction at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Rocky Mountain News Article on NREL Cutbacks This announcement was accompanied by the expected indignant handwringing from local politicians worried about […]

Japanese Fuel Cell Expo

To catch up on the state of the fuel cell sector, I traveled to Tokyo last week to attend the grandly titled “2nd International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Exposition“. Below are a few observations from my visiting the Japan fuel cell expo: 1. There’s a lot of fuel cell activity in Japan right now — […]

Is Ethanol Good or Bad?

One of the most confusing aspects of the alternative energy industry has to be the story about ethanol. Simply put, is ethanol good or bad? Does it help or harm the environment? The confusion and controversy stems from evaluating the net effect on CO2 emissions of ethanol production and use, relative to the production and […]

Wind Turbine Manufacturers Getting Greedy?

An article in the January 2006 Windpower Monthly corroborates the rumors heard over the past year in the wind industry: the installed price of wind turbines is rising. Since the installed cost of the turbine is the dominant factor in wind energy economics, this means that the cost of wind energy is rising. Windpower Monthly […]

Goldman Goes Green

Just before Thanksgiving, the prestigious investment banking firm Goldman Sachs announced a broad-reaching environmental policy. Goldman Sachs Environmental Policy The policy contains several important pledges. Most tangibly, Goldman aims to make $1 billion available for investments in renewable energy (and this is not mere talk, as Goldman bought the wind developer Zilkha earlier in 2005). […]

The Forgotten Renewable Energy

When most people think of renewable energy, they think of hydro, or solar, or wind, or (increasingly) biomass. A few people think of geothermal. But that’s pretty much the list of renewables. The most forgotten form of renewable energy, and one which I think holds more long-term promise than any other, is ocean-based energy. The […]

Clean Coal: An Oxymoron?

To many people who are passionate environmentalists, the words “clean” and “coal” couldn’t be more polarized opposites. The thought of coal directly implies powerplant smokestacks belching carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants. Certainly, it is true that coal-burning powerplants have historically been largely responsible for high quantities of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions that […]

2005 Recap

Ah, the usual pundit’s retrospective at the end of the year. Here’s my take on the top 10 most significant developments in 2005 for the cleantech industry, in the usual descending Letterman format: 10. The Energy Policy Act. Sure, it’s a dog’s breakfast of incoherent and often contradicting provisions. And, it’s the most painfully arduous […]

Energy Executive Survey Findings

The consulting firm Capgemini recently polled 125 senior energy executives on a variety of topics concerning the future of the energy industry. Capgemini Energy Executive Survey Press Release Among the interesting questions and responses in the poll were: 1. “What is the technology that has the greatest potential to transform the energy industry by 2015?” […]

Auto Efficiency: A Huge Opportunity

Last Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of attending the holiday party and opening celebration for the Boulder office of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Rocky Mountain Institute Web Site For those who may not be familiar, RMI was founded by Dr. Amory Lovins, one of the few people in the energy arena who truly deserves […]

In Praise of BP

In contrast to ExxonMobil (whom I’ve ripped in a previous post), BP recently announced a significant increase in commitment — meaning, capital investment — in alternative energy. BP Press Release In forming the new business unit BP Alternative Energy, BP CEO Lord Browne also indicated an expected $1.8 billion of investment over the next 3 […]

Getting Serious About Efficiency

You know there’s a real opportunity to cost-effectively reduce energy consumption when the CEO of a supermajor oil company (David O’Reilly of Chevron) argues in national advertisements that improvements in efficiency must become an increasingly significant factor in meeting future energy needs. As additional evidence, consider the following recent letter to President Bush from Robert […]

A Must-Read

Even though I daily read many items of professional interest, very rarely do I come across a piece so important and cogently written that I forward it to a long list of friends and family in an effort to educate and shape opinions among a broader public. This week, I encountered a superb synopsis of […]

Renewable Energy and Big Business

A new report from a group with a horrifically unwieldy name — the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) — indicates a record level of investment in renewable energy worldwide. REN21 Report “Renewables 2005: A Global Status Report” The lead author of the report Eric Montinot claims that “Renewable energy has become […]