Tai Robinson reports from:
WestGov.org North American Energy Summit

Thursday, April 22, 2004

No need to get kerried away, just pull the energy policy out from the bush and let everyone see it under the sun light of day.

Albuquerque, NM -- April 14 through 16 -- New Mexico Governor, and WGA Chairman Bill Richardson brought together a diverse group of movers and shakers for the North American Energy Summit, named a Solar Power Task Force and is quoted as saying.  "Some of these participants have fought a lot in the past - but I heard never a discouraging word, and there was some quality
listening happening all through this fine hotel."  Diversity and unity were on the floor of the Hyatt for Governors, Senators, Premiers, Tribal Leaders, etc... "We brought together entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, policy makers, industry, and clean energy advocates - and for three days we were
able to discuss common areas of agreement." 

The final act of this meeting was presenting policy drafts that were created by attendees during breakout sessions.  These recommendations will be brought forward.  "And now, I look forward to working with my Co-lead Governor on energy, Governor Schwarzenegger, whom I thank in absentia, to talk to our fellow Governors and develop a strong clean energy resolution that will be passed at the Western Governors' Association annual meeting to be held in Santa Fe from June 20-22."

A great form of energy is rising every morning.  Some mad scientists call it wireless, remote nuclear fusion. El Sol powers the wind, water cycle, rock and all the solar collecting arrays we can build.  Solar radiation is not a new idea, it just becomes a whole lot more desirable as crude oil prices
increase and natural gas supplies dwindle.  Odes Armijo-Caster of Sacred Power
http://www.sacredpowercorp.com showcased some of his company's solar devices at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.  The impressive display included an active tracking, shade producing car port of 25 megawatts that cuts $3,000 worth of electricity bills annually. 

All of the SP Sol-Park systems offer either seasonal tracking which follows the sun relative to the
height above the horizon, or daily tracking which follows the sun up to sun down providing sustained peak production.  With approximately 18,000 powerless Navajo Reservation homes, Sacred Power has designed the SP Hybrid, a mobile system to collect the sun, store it in batteries with a 2000 watt
inverter and provide a fuel source of either propane or hydrogen all on a compact deliverable tray.  Another Renewable Technology for Today, built for Homeland Security is their SP Tel-Sol communication shelter.  This is a box on a skid that can be delivered anywhere.  The SP Tel-Sol has a PV array and communications antennas deployed on top.  Housed inside is the battery bank
and vital computers.  To absorb the heat of the equipment throughout the day there are water tanks attached to the inside of the roof.  At night this thermal mass dissipates the heat out the top of the shelter to provide passive cooling.

The next company I learned about was Sterling Energy Systems,
http://www.stirlingenergy.com SES is a privately held company based in Phoenix, AZ.  They are testing a 25kw dish engine at Sandia National Laboratories on Kirtland Air Force Base.  With 14 million dollars raised they are gearing up for large scale production.  According to Robert Liden, the company is being taped for 6 new systems this year.  Deploying these 29% efficient devices in large groups ups the reliability and lowers both the installation and maintenance costs of the entire system.  These dishes track and focus the suns rays on an external combustion engine.  With heat and a motor the focused energy makes mechanical motion.  This motion can be used to pump water directly or create electricity.  In large fields of the solar rich south west these solar concentrating devices make economic sense today. The Sterling Engine provides an option for DG and off grid power, as well as hydrogen generation.  The desert South West has so much potential, according to Gov. Janet Napolitano, "Arizona could be the next Persian Gulf of solar energy."

Sandia Labs besides developing new technologies also gives back through corporate business development.  One such partnership is collaborating with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority,
http://www.ntua.com Sandra Begay-Campbell explained to me the role Sandia plays in assisting the Tribes in obtaining power for some of the many thousands of homes without electricity.  Sandia has served as an unbiased advisor to the Tribal leaders giving them the information they need to issue an informed request for proposals.  With proposals gathered from qualified bidders, Sandia again
helps in the evaluation of the bids and makes recommendations based on technical merit.  It has been a long time coming for many people of the Navajo Nation to get power.  In some cases the high voltage transmission lines were within sight of powerless homes so it was decided to build a
substation and distribute electricity from the grid. 

In other locations it made the most sense to bring in solar power modules to power the homes individually.  In this land of independence it is wise to offer single dwelling sustainable solutions over the expense and intrusion of wired infrastructure.  Begay-Campbell explains.  "Photovoltaics is a good option because it is a clean, quiet source of renewable energy that is in harmony with Native American Philosophy of Seven Generations.  That philosophy is to care for the earth and the people on it, care about future generations and live as sovereign people for seven generations to come.

Impulse Devices of San Francisco was looking for recognition of their effort to develop a clean fusion process called acoustic ICF.  This inertial confinement fusion offers the potential to be cheaper, and quicker to market than "cold" fusion.  The single bubble sonoluminescence, if you can imagine,
it is a glowing bubble of gas being both levitated and bombarded with sound in a tank of water.  The neutron flux in the Beta and Gamma radiation from this process equals a short activation time according to Steffen Frost of corporate development for
http://www.impulsedevices.com  This translates to mean their is no waste that would require storage.  We would also be able to stop leaving behind traces of our current energy addiction.

Efficiency and distributed power sources available to all was a good message to come away with from the WGA North American Energy Summit.  Governor Richardson's conclusion: "Here at the North American Energy Summit, we laid the foundation for greater regional cooperation toward sustainable energy policies that will reduce dependence on foreign oil and create a lot of jobs in our region."

Thanks for your support of my adventures with American Fuel Vehicles!

Tai W. Robinson
Intergalactic Hydrogen Solutions
9851 S. Borg Dr.
Sandy, UT 84092
801.201.7370 fax 801.944.3704

Monday, April 19, 2004

Ed Begley Jr. drove his Prius from LA to Scottsdale for Sol Fest South West on $12.00 of gasoline. He averaged 60 mpg. He talked about picking the low hanging fruit first. Do the easy and cheap things that increase efficiency before taking the big step. This may be right. In any system it is the small things that count. All the little actions people can take do add up. Thank you Ed for inspiring people to do their part. To inform people so they can make responsible decisions.

James Wolfe uses as daily driver 50 miles per day at flow of highway traffic speeds. A Chrysler built on assembly line 1 of 56. Driven over 70 miles without charge. 11 years old and batteries sold last 20 years. James, a Glendale resident, commutes to Scottsdale for work. Sold new for $100,000 & bought for substantially less at auction.

Owner Sam DiMarco of Scottsdale displayed a US electric car built for Virginia power.  Daily errand runner.

Dietrich Pfeifer of the Phoenix Electric Auto Association Chapter rode a 50mph 30 mile range etek with a 36 volt motor.

Other EVs include an EV Ferro, Eectric Cravan, E-Stang (Mustang), Civic IHA, Priuses and a custom built recumbant bike.

GEMs are used throughout the event as work horses.

Koycera is the title sponsor with solar panels. Small windmills are here too.

electric auto association @ sol fest south west

reporting live from sol fest sw

Wednesday the 14 of April 2004

Today the big news is a Protocol that was signed by Gov. Richardson and Alberta Premier Ralph Klein. This includes the members of the WGA US DOI, DOA, DOE and the council on Environmental Quality Governing the Siting and Permitting of Interstate Electric Transmission Lines in the Western US.

This morning, NM Gov. Bill Richardson signed executive order # 2004-019 declaring New Mexico the "Clean Energy State."  This order creates a Clean Energy Development Council that recommends task forces necessary to accomplish it's purpose.

In his keynote address at the dinner of the North American Energy Summit at the Hyatt in Albuquerque he said developing clean energy will create an economic tidal wave in the future.  He said this would be a tsunami on the world economy.

Bill also referred to NM, NV, AZ and So Cal as the Saudi Arabia of solar energy potential. He joked about creating a new OPEC to keep a stranglehold on this power.

He also suggested a North American Energy Strategy that would be like an energy NAFTA!  The energy policy of the last 30 years has failed us and needs to be upgraded to create jobs, electric reliability while utilizing energy credits.

Richardson wants to see 10% renewable energy in NM by 2010.  He would like to see office buildings designed to be 50% more efficient and encourages efforts to increase production and promote conservation.

A lot of what is being discussed here today is what Ecolonomics founder Dennis Weaver has been talking about for decades. We have to change our direction, or we will end up where we are headed.

Thursday the 15th of April 2004

The predominant theme of the event is energy unity. Bringing together the cities, states, regions and nations of our continent.

At first this may sound scary, who wants Mexico to tell the USA how to use there natural gas? Or, who wants Canada telling us how to use our wind power?

After hearing Senator Jeff  Bingaman (NM), US DOE Deputy Secretary Kyle E. McSlarrow and the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Patrick Wood speak about this I started thinking though.

If we can keep our individual nations sovereignty and get together to plan out energy strategies it might be beneficial. We could stream line the delivery of energy from the source to the consumer. We can have a set of standards so all power is plug and play.  We could be more secure in our energy supply from distributed sources.

But we must not give up our liberties in treaties to make this happen. Making a North American Energy Working Group could help stabilize supplies.

The supplies though must be renewable. And here I have heard more people saying what I have been saying about energy usage in quite awhile. And these are the movers and shakers. They can move and shake things. Wind, solar, clean coal, natural gas and hydrogen are all being talked about.

There is two geothermal groups here exhibiting, but no breakout sessions yet covering the topic. This is a little discouraging since geothermal is so predominant here in the West and it is so inexpensive. Maybe it is just a known and everyone wants to talk about the stuff that will take more effort.

So we are meeting and making policy recommendations to the WGA for them to think about and implement into their individual states regulations.

Some interesting notes:
- 250 years reserve of coal
- Yucca Mountain is moving forward
- Canada has 180 billion barrels worth of oil sands
- But oil refining has no spare capacity, we are producing at just about maximum load.

Premier of Alberta Ralph Klein and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today signed a protocol concerning the interstate electric transmission lines in the western US.  Colorado Governor Bill Owens was supposed to sign also but rumor is he may be getting orders to scuttle this whole thing.  Since the grid is already all interconnected this will create teams to insure security
and reliability of our power lines.

An update was given on the WREGIS Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System to track and register renewable energy generation and certificates regionwide.

Apparently they are on schedule to have this system operational in 2005. This may help smaller energy producers that have a slightly less expensive form of energy to deliver to the grid to get recognition and come to the table.

Without it the little guys are usually overlooked unless their energy is say 50% less expensive that coal or existing sources. I mean who puts out the effort to change something that is not broken.  Is it worth the effort to change ISP's to save 2 dollars a month? Kind of the same thing here.