Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)

The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. DSIRE now includes state and federal incentives for energy efficiency.

Click on the link below to display a clickable state map of the United States, with databases for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.


China’s Embattled Environment

Simon Hunt of Simon Hunt Strategic Services reported on China’s environment after a recent visit. This cannot be good for tourism and the Olympics.

Link: InvestorsInsight : Thoughts From The Frontline.

Anyone who has traveled through the countryside will be appalled by the filth in the streams and rivers that run through towns and cities. China’s factories, other than some new higher-tech ones, belch pollution into the atmosphere making it difficult for ordinary people to live in many of these towns.

Howard French’s letter in the Herald Tribune of 9 March tells it all. "During a jaunt of several days through Hebei province (which this writer visited last September and can attest to this description), which borders on Beijing, I never once saw the sun in the sky. What I mean by this is that the air appeared thick as gruel, due to the heavy burden of particulates that come from coal mines, steel mills and other smoke-stacked industries."

The list of recent environmental accidents need not be repeated. Suffice to say that 70% of the country’s rivers and lakes are seriously polluted. WHO reports that two-thirds of Chinese cities have air quality below standard, of which nine are in the world’s top ten of the most polluted having the highest rates of carbon monoxide. Anyone who has visited some of these cities will know just how bad pollution has become. Chinese government estimates that around 400,000 people die each year of diseases related to air pollution.

But, in recent years government has put a lot of effort towards fighting air and ground pollution, often with its dictates being ignored by local governments. The Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) has been given added powers to overcome local government influence. One way, for instance, is by having the authority to freeze a company’s accounts if they ignore SEPA’s rules.

China is moving also on several fronts to limit air pollution. Its fuel efficiency standards for new cars are now stricter than those in the USA. Beijing has the largest fleet of natural gas buses in the world (1700); and China is undertaking research with W European companies to drastically reduce emissions from coal fired power stations. Furthermore, China’s nuclear Pebble-Bed Reactor (PBR) will be capable of producing clean electricity. These plants are small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough to be available in large numbers. They come with the ability of having no spent fuel rods and are meltdown proof.

China will no longer allow low-tech plants, which are environmentally unfriendly, to be built. This prohibition won’t be effective immediately, but it will become totally effective over a five-year period. We will see this in basic industries such as steel, aluminum and copper, for instance.

Government is also starting to impose export taxes on goods that are energy and/or natural resource intensive. The recent 10% tax on the export of certain copper and copper alloy semis is a start.

In short, both environmental issues and improving natural resource, including energy, usage has a very high priority. The first is because China will ruin itself if current trends to continually build low-tech industries persist; and the second is a need to husband precious resources.

Peak Oil

Jim Kunstler describes how advertising dollars trump expert opinion in the media. Who should we believe?

Source: Clusterf**k Nation by Jim Kunstler : Hustle and Flow.

…the New York Times ran an editorial last week titled "The End of Oil," by Robert B. Semple, stating starkly that the global oil production peak was for real. The catch was that the chickenshit Times editors only ran the piece on their Web edition, not in the printed newspaper. The next day, in the print edition, they ran a big display ad from Exxon-Mobil saying that peak oil was just a shuck-and-jive by a claque of alarmists. Of course, one of the wonderful things about democracy is that people are free to believe whatever they like.

Has the price of oil peaked?

The price of oil will NOT drop much in the future. Unless, of course, we have alternate sources of energy that make using oil obsolete. Read Jim Jubak’s column if you want to know why. Here are a few excerpts:

Well, at least somebody in the world has an energy strategy in place.

Unfortunately, for those of us who live in net oil-consuming countries, it’s the oil-producing countries that have the plan.

It will give oil producers more control over the world’s oil supplies. And it will put them in a position to control the price of refined petroleum products, just as they now control the price of crude oil.

And, quite frankly, I don’t see any reason why the oil producer’s energy strategy shouldn’t succeed. No government in any oil-consuming country has come up with a strategy for fighting back.

You’d think somebody is Washington, D.C., the home of our elected leaders, would be up in arms about a trend, which, if not countered, will push the United States even further down the oil well than it is now. But I don’t see concern, worry, panic, anger — any of the emotions that a politician needs to exhibit, and then tap, in order to move a country off dead center.

Source: MSN Money – Oil producers reach for more power – Jubak’s Journal

You can read a summary of Jubak’s column at my blog Trends I’m Watching.

If you don’t think we need to find alternatives to oil, read this.

The Saudi Arabian branch of al-Qaida this week provided religious justification for its attempt last Friday to car-bomb the huge oil-processing complex in the eastern Saudi town of Abqaiq. "Targeting oil interests is legitimate economic jihad," said a 63-page document posted on a militant Islamic Web site. "Oil is the basis of modern industry and the backbone of industries in infidel countries."

The missive was apparently written some time ago by Abdul Aziz bin Rasheed al-Anzy, a key al-Qaida propagandist now in Saudi custody. It sheds light on how terrorists plan to target oil interests.

"Pipelines may be the front line in a long-term war of attrition on oil and its interests," it says. "Pipelines are an easy target militarily. Their protection is virtually impossible because of their length." The al-Anzy document adds that "God’s wisdom has decreed that the oil wealth be concentrated in the Arabian peninsula and Iraq."

via IBD

Attention and Fear

Fred provides some advice. I want to live like Fred does (lots of free time to enjoy life), so maybe I should do what he recommends.

Source: The Lazy Way to Success: The Power of Attention

Using our attention wisely is the essence of self-empowerment. We should only focus our attention on those core values and processes that nourish our lives.

Fear is one of the greatest enemies to progress. It puts attention on what you do not want. It takes the focus away from the desired goal.

If we think of defeat, that’s what we get. We must just pick something great to do and do it and never think of failure at all….