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LINKS: Apple Patent Could Transform Wind Power Industry

A new regular feature on the Bail, John provides a weekly update on news in the green energy sector.


Groundbreaking Apple Patent Could Transform Wind Power Industry

A patent application the company filed last year, first revealed on Apple Insider, shows that some of that cash on which Apple is sitting could be invested in a new clean energy technology.

The application describes a set of rotating blades that converts rotational energy from a wind turbine into heat that is then stored in a vessel containing “low heat capacity fluid.” The system would then selectively transfer the heat as needed from that low heat capacity fluid to a “working fluid” and hence would generate electricity. Heat, not rotational energy, would would be the result of the turbine’s blades rotating; and even more exciting, energy could be used when needed, as when there is little or no wind.

The bugaboo of conventional wind power turbines is the inconsistent amount of energy generated due to the fluctuations in the speed of wind. There is not often enough wind during peak demand, and conversely turbines could produce excessive amounts of energy during periods of low demand. Plus the pesky issue of energy storage hinders the ability of wind power to contribute effectively to local grid systems. So according to the lead author of the patent application, Jean Lee, “what is needed is a mechanism for mitigating variability and/or intermittency associated with the production of electricity from wind energy.”

Carbon Tax Named Australia's 'Blunder Of The Year'

THE carbon tax has been branded 2012's biggest public relations disaster after an analysis of public reaction on social media and mainstream news sites.

EU carbon markets may decline to record LOW due to glut

European Union emission permits are poised to drop to a record low in the first half as member states in the world’s largest carbon market fail to diminish the biggest- ever glut.

Allowances will fall below the record 5.93 euros ($7.75) a metric ton reached last month, according to eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. That implies a decline of at least 8.3 percent from yesterday’s closing price. The surplus may rise 18 percent this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

World Bank to strengthen focus on climate change

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who took office in July, said the lender’s November climate change report already has had an effect on its 188 member countries.  "The response was quite surprising," Kim told Bloomberg. "It was as if ‘we’ve heard this all from the environmental groups, but my goodness, if the World Bank tells us this is an issue, then there must be something different to the story."

That report warned of cataclysmic changes resulting from heat waves, rising sea levels, decreased food supplies and a possible 4-degree Celsius temperature increase this century.  Kim said climate change would get a sharper focus as the World Bank becomes more selective about the programs it pursues.

Does NOAA keep two separate books for climate in the USA?

At issue is the difference between temperature data claims in the NCDC State of the Climate reports issued monthly and at year-end and the official NCDC climate database made available to the public. Please read on for my full investigation.

How the PTC Was Rescued - Obama Saves the Day

It took a last minute change to a highly controversial bill and the last vote of the 112th Congress for Big Wind to eke out one more extension to the Production Tax Credit (PTC). With the dust now settling, it has become clear: President Obama rammed through the extension without debate or compromise.

Top energy dept. advisor departs to become NY energy czar

Richard Kauffman, a top adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and expert in green technology finance, is leaving to become New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) “energy czar.”  Cuomo announced the “Cabinet-level” position in his annual “state of the state” address Wednesday.

Chu himself is widely expected to step down soon as part of the broader second-term turnover in President Obama’s Cabinet.  Kauffman will “coordinate the state's clean-tech agenda and oversee the state government's energy portfolio,” according to a summary of Cuomo’s remarks.  Kauffman’s the former CEO of the investment firm Good Energies, Inc. (which this year changed its name to Bregal Energy), and before that chaired the Global Financing Group at Goldman Sachs.

Brazil's Energy Crisis

Rousseff denies there is any risk of electricity shortages or rationing stemming from a historic drought that has left hydroelectric dams short of water. But some independent analysts disagree, saying it depends on whether summer rains finally arrive in coming weeks.

Even if the worst is avoided, the crisis has already pushed up electricity prices on the spot markets and could torpedo Rousseff's delicately balanced economic agenda. She is trying to revive an economy that likely grew less than 1 percent last year, while also keeping a lid on inflation now running above 5.7 percent.  Rousseff flew back to Brasilia on Tuesday and will sign off on steps to stem the crisis that energy officials are expected to propose on Wednesday.

Clinton lays out goal of integrated power gid in the Americas

It aims to achieve universal access to electricity by the year 2022 through electrical interconnection in the hemisphere, linking electrical grids throughout the hemisphere from Canada all the way down to the southern tip of Chile, as well as extending it to the Caribbean. The Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, all the countries in the Organization of American States have joined this project. It stems from a broader effort called the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, which I launched in 2010, which has sparked a wave of innovative partnerships across the hemisphere.”

Google invests 200 million in Texas spinning spur wind

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Google has made a $200 million investment in theSpinning Spur Wind Project 70-turbine wind farm located 35 miles from Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle built by EDF Renewable Energy.

Spinning Spur latest Google alternative energy investment

The Spinning Spur Wind Project was completed in December and consists of 70 wind turbines each capable of generating 2.3 megawatts of power, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The investment is part of Google's $1 billion portfolio of alternative energy holdings that include the Atlanta Wind Connection, an offshore wind project that is envisioned to stretch from New Jersey to Virginia and generate 7,000 megawatts, and a residential solar energy company called SolarCity.

Mega solar matchmaking in California

Flexing its billion-dollar muscles once again in the renewable energy space, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company (famously backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.) is buying two co-located solar projects in California from SunPower, billed as the world's largest permitted solar PV power development. The deal for Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP), totaling approximately 579 megawatts (AC) combined generation capacity, is for an unspecified amount between $2-$2.5 billion.

A spot on comment re: above story that mysteriously disappeared last night ...

"It looks like Caudill likes the Time of Delivery (TOD) factors that SCE is offering for RE projects- See CPUC Resolution E-4442 dated December 1, 2011. Mid America will be getting a pretty penny from you for many years to come as their cash flow will be rather nice during the summer at super peak times. Your costs for generation (actually it’s SCE costs, but you end up paying for it) will be give or take $0.2903 per kwh at super peak times in the summer months."

Shares of Buffett's Chinese electric car maker tumble

Shares of BYD, the Chinese battery and electric car maker in which Warren Buffett is a major investor, tumbled in Hong Kong trading Wednesday after an analyst in China slashed his firm's target price for the stock to virtually nothing.

Transmission operators fight for right to build grid

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Ferc) Order 1000 transmission policy, launched in July 2011 and currently receiving comments from industry, forces public transmission firms to take part in regional planning processes that consider the need for new grid links with reference to federal and state-level renewable energy targets.

A key issue in the policy is the question of who will build new lines, with Ferc facing opposition over its attempt to remove the right of first refusal (ROFR) for incumbent transmission-building utilities. Prior to Order 1000, incumbents used ROFR to sidestep competition by building lines themselves.

Two major transmission operators that between them operate lines in all or parts of 25 states - PJM Interconnection and Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) - are among those aiming to retain ROFR.

Why tamil nadus solar tender failed to attract more bidders

There were two major doubts in the minds of developers — (a) payment security given that the buyer of the power, TANGEDCO, is almost bankrupt (b) availability of grid, because wind power people in the recent past have been unable to sell their power because the grid was not made available to them. Neither issue was addressed adequately by TANGEDCO.

Caisse invests in US and Canadian wind

Pension fund manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec has invested about $500 million US in wind farms in the United States and Canada owned by Invenergy Wind. Chicago-based Invenergy said Tuesday that the portfolio of 11 operating wind farms in the United States and two in Canada have a combined output of about 1,500 megawatts.  One of the Canadian operations is the Le Plateau wind farm in Quebec's Gaspe region.  It has been in commercial operation since early 2012 and sells all of its renewable energy to Hydro-Quebec under a long-term contract. Invenergy said it remains the majority controlling shareholder following the transaction. 

First Wind projects 50% portfolio growth due to passage of wind tax credit

"With the passage of the wind energy tax credit extension, First Wind and other wind energy companies around the country have predictable federal policy in place that will allow for millions of dollars of investment in local communities over the next few years," said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. "We are planning to substantially expand our portfolio - by as much as 50 percent or more - with several projects starting construction by the end of 2013. That will mean jobs and investment, and consumers will be getting clean energy at a competitive price."

VIDEO: First Wind CEO boasts about getting expedited stimulus money

(NECN) - On This Week in Business, Paul Gaynor, the CEO of First Wind talks about the upturn in the IPO market and his meeting in Washington this week with Treasury Secretary Geithner and Energy Secretary Chu about the role stimulus money has played in helping his business. Gaynor also talks about how to determine whether to set up a wind farm on land or offshore.


Read Last Week's Green Energy Stories...


Diagram from Apple's wind patent.

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Reader Comments (28)

LINKS: Obama Gears Up For Carbon Tax Fight


Last week's stories from John - About 30 links
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:58 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Solar Firms Under Investigation For Stimulus Swindle


John's links from 2 weeks ago.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:59 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
This is an excellent round up John!
Jan 11, 2013 at 1:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterLadyLiberty
Thanks LL!

I have seen a lot of press about the new ipod chargers and nothing at all about apple's wind effort. Their new ipod chargers look to be really big...

That said, AAPL will achieve nothing with this. The principle is similar to that of a solar tower,


which has not worked out very well and will end up being another Rube Goldberg improvement.

Oh, and the picture of the statue of liberty holding a turbine was outstanding...you should see what else is on the drawing boards.

Jan 11, 2013 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Jan 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Here is a more concise article of what Apple is up to.



In addition to the company’s proposed wind energy storage system, Apple’s renewable energy portfolio also includes fuel cells and solar installations. In late 2012, Apple filed papers with North Carolina’s utilities commission to double the size of its fuel cell installation at its North Carolina data center. It plans to expand capacity from 5 MW of fuel cells, which are now running, to a maximum of 10 MW, biogas-powered fuel cells, and a 20 MW solar system.

The last real fuel cell installations (200kW) were done by IFC (Hamilton Standard) and went bust for two reasons:

First, these were were PEM type fuel cells and cell contamination from the fuel source (natural gas) proved to be a very big problem as contaminants in the gas 'clogged' up the cells.

Secondly they were not very good at handling non-linear loads (motor starting etc.).
Jan 11, 2013 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Green group endorses Rep. Markey



The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) endorsed Rep. Edward Markey on Friday to fill Secretary of State nominee John Kerry’s Senate seat, while other green groups are holding back on offering formal support for a candidate.
“There’s been no greater champion in Congress for the clean energy economy than Ed Markey. He has never stopped fighting for Massachusetts — promoting new technologies and green jobs, standing up to corporate polluters, and putting the health of our families first,” LCV Chairman Scott Nathan said in a statement...

...Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ousted Brown in the 2012 race, and Brown is considered the likely Republican candidate in the campaign for Kerry’s seat.
LCV spent $1.1 million on the Warren-Brown race, and Gohringer said the group would “pull out all the stops” to get Markey elected.


In lawsuit against Energy Department, two firms claim cronyism in ‘green car’ loan program



An electric car start-up and its sister company sued the Energy Department on Thursday, claiming Secretary Steven Chu and his agency awarded money to politically favored firms and strung along their firms and others in a “fixed” race for federal funds.

In addition to complaints of cronyism, XP Vehicles and Limnia said they have evidence suggesting the Energy Department improperly shared their patented technology with competing companies that won federal funding.

Jan 11, 2013 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
‘Shock and anger’ as New York Times eliminates environment desk



The New York Times plans to shutter its standalone environment “pod” -- a pool of editors and reporters dedicated to green issues and the climate -- and redistribute them to other teams. The paper’s top editors claim the move won’t affect the paper of record’s efforts to cover the climate, however.

...If they wanted to stop loosing readership and increase circulation, they should run our stuff instead .... ;)


The Boston Globe is also owned by the NY Times.
Jan 12, 2013 at 7:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
We have met the 1%, and he is us (a most outstanding read)



During this time, Helena kept telling me that I was rich. I always laughed and said no, no, in America I was a very poor man. And that was true, I was an itinerant sailor and fisherman and a boat bum. She just laughed back at me. But she never asked me for anything, not one penny, not one gift. Well that’s not quite true. She asked me for cigarettes for her father. So I kept her old man in smokes. I figured it was the least I could do. She had her pride... Oh, there was the cloth pallet on which she slept, but that scrap of sewn-together rags likely belonged to her auntie. And that was the sum total of her possessions, all contained in a minuscule room with one wall made of paper …

That was it … that was all that she owned. A few dresses and a picture of Jesus. Now I understood why she thought I was rich. Because by her terms, I most assuredly was rich. I was incredibly wealthy in her world.

... I note when we get there that he has two scrawny chickens wandering the yard. When we go in the house, he confers for a moment with his wife. She disappears. I hear squawking. I realize the man now has one scrawny chicken wandering the yard. The farmer and my associate and I drink sickly sweet tea and talk about the doings in the area. After a while, his wife brings in the chicken cooked up all nice, and offers it to us, the honored guests. The kids watch from the corners of the room.

But I can’t eat that damned bird. I can’t do it. I can’t bear the eyes of the kids. Don’t misunderstand me. It’s not like they are watching me with reproach in their eyes or anything, that wasn’t the problem at all. The thing I can’t bear is that the kids can’t take their eyes off of the chicken. Their eyes caress it, they watch that bird “as one who hath been stunned and is of sense forlorn” as the poet had it, they are blind to everything else. I can’t take it.

Plus I am shamed by the easy generosity of the man and his wife. They have nothing, and yet he offers us half of what they have without missing a beat. I am reminded of Rabelais’ will: “I have nothing, I owe a great deal, and the rest I leave to the poor”. The farmer’s wife has cooked and served the chicken, both of them temporarily appropriating the easy air of people who have hundreds of chickens, people who have chicken for dinner every night. My heart hangs, suspended. I hear the lone remaining chicken complaining outside.

...The difference between rich and poor, between developed and developing, is the availability of inexpensive energy. A kilowatt-hour is the same amount of work as a hard days labor by an adult. We’re rich because we have (or at least had) access to the hardworking servants of inexpensive energy. We have inexpensive electrical and mechanical slaves to do our work for us.
Jan 13, 2013 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
80% of Aussie Retailers feel their business has been negatively impacted by Labor’s Carbon Tax

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndy's Rant
Thanks for stopping by Andy! You have dynamite stuff at your site and would like to express my sincerest thanks to Steve Hunter for allowing us to use his fabulous artwork (with appropriate credit)!

Jan 13, 2013 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Newly unemployed lawmakers buzzing about million-dollar lobbying jobs



Some of the jobs in the mix include positions that opened up just this week, including at the American Gaming Association and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). Other major jobs include the top spots at the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the American Wind Energy Association and the Fertilizer Institute...

...Both SIFMA and the casino lobby jobs could bring serious paydays for the lucky hires.
At SIFMA, Ryan earned $2.9 million in compensation in 2010, according to the group’s tax form for that year. Frank Fahrenkopf, who is leaving the gaming lobby in June, earned $1.9 million that same year.

Other trade groups’ pay packages for their chief executives aren’t as hefty, but are still substantial.
As head of the wind energy group, Denise Bode took in close to $550,000 in compensation for 2010. Joe McInerney, whose contract is up in September for the hotel industry trade group, earned more than $440,000 in compensation for 2010. Ford West, who is leaving the Fertilizer Institute at the end of 2013, earned more than $400,000 in compensation for 2010.
Working for any of the trade groups would be a big pay hike for ex-lawmakers. House members and senators earned $174,000 in annual salary last year.
Jan 13, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Snouts in the Trough: Conflict of Interest Rife in UK Establishment



John Selwyn Gummer, AKA Lord Deben, chair of the Committee on Climate Change at the Department of Energy and Climate Change DECC, is paid £1750 per hour by a company which connects wind farms to the national grid, which used to belong to the British people until it was stolen and sold back to them as shares. He is also a member of the ‘World Future Council’, a shadowy organisation promoting unelected world governance.

Professor Bernie Bulkin, chairman of the DECC’s Office of Renewable Energy Development, which works closely with wind farm and other renewable suppliers to ‘accelerate development’ through financial incentives and ‘unlocking barriers to delivery’ such as obtaining planning permission. He is also paid an undisclosed sum by a giant renewable energy investment fund. Prof Bulkin is a ‘senior adviser’ to Vantage Point Capital Partners, whose £3 billion holdings include large stakes in some of the world’s biggest wind, solar and biomass firms.
Jan 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Former White House counterterrorism adviser says LPG project too risky for Searsport



The Islesboro Islands Trust this summer commissioned the study from Clarke’s firm, Good Harbor Consulting. The island land conservation group has opposed industrial development on Searsport’s Sears Island and the Mack Point port facility, where Denver-based DCP Midstream has proposed building the energy project.

Note: DCP Midstream is a Colorado based company...It's former chairman, Jim Mogg, who resides in Evergreen Co. is also chairman of First Wind, which was formerly known as Evergreen Wind when they started the Mars Hill Project in Maine...

More in my next edition...
Jan 15, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Interior Secretary Salazar to step down


...and retire to his ranch in...Colorado.
Jan 16, 2013 at 6:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Jan 16, 2013 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Skin, unfortunately I cannot take much stock in the site you have provided. The reason is that the individual who has posted other material that was proven quite wrong. One instance was so called outgassing 'plumes' in certain seismic zones. When I google earthed those areas, I saw power plants and what he said was outgassing from seismic activity, was actually steam coming from the evaporators/cooling towers of those power plants.

That may have been an honest error on their part and I believe the sinkhole is a bit overblown.

Jan 16, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
I will now introduce all to a new term that should be included in the Urban Dictionary...


We all know what happens when approached by a dog wagging its tail. When a cat wags its tail...look the f- out.

Patrick favors income tax hike
Broad-based levy vital to transit, education plans


We know that Massachusetts lost a shit load of tax revenue (and grant money) with all the green boondoggles, (with apologies to dogs), but after seeing how the fiscal cliff deal went, one has to wonder.

Barb put up a great article that went far and wide and as a refresher here it is:


Now for the meat of the matter. Legislation was written this last summer to keep the cronies and donors well covered when certain tax incentives should have expired. They were 'miraculously' resurrected when the fiscal cliff deal was done behind closed doors.

One can anticipate that the Carbon Tax is already written and ready to go when the GOP is forced into a negotiation on what I believe will be a TAX Relief Package. Keep an eye on blue states who will also be playing this "Full Court Press".
Jan 16, 2013 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Speaking of wagging the cat.... (from California).

Jan 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOE Secretary Chu to chat with mayors


I imagine it will be King Bloomberg (of the united states and 11 other countries), Prince Emmanuel of Chicago and Jester Menino (based on all the IBEW ads running in the Boston market) et al...
Jan 16, 2013 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
This morning I drove by the IBEW 103 building located by I-93 in Boston. Most of the time their 3 bladed UPWIND wind turbine , which is consistently out of commission due to one of the 3 rotors having a blade tip (aerodynamic) brake deployed. The unit is so poorly sited it is laughable (I've done this for 20 years)...This morning with very light wind, the unit (with the tip brake fixed once again), was spinning like the devil only that it was doing so in the DOWN WIND position (which is NOT what it was designed for to produce electricity) for PR purposes... It was consuming energy and not producing it like a fan as any induction generator would do...

Come on guys, let's see the production records and maintenance logs and net billing arrangements...

Here is testimony of how great these thing are,

Jan 16, 2013 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
UPC Renewables

www.upcrenewables.com/Website Under Maintenance.

go figure....
Jan 17, 2013 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Posted under...

MBNA/UPC/Ireland/Angus King/First Wind/Bank of America/Google.

what a bitch...
Jan 17, 2013 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Netherlands suspends U.N. emission project approvals



LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters Point Carbon) – The Netherlands will not approve CO2-cutting projects submitted by Dutch firms seeking U.N. carbon credits until new rules under the Kyoto Protocol become clearer, the country’s emissions registry said on Friday, dealing a further blow to investors.
Jan 19, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
It's amazing that Apple got that patent because the idea is very trivial and has been detailed many times.
And there is a simple reason it is not used: Electricity is a directed energy; heat is undirected energy. When trying to convert heat back to electricity you hit the limits of the Carnaugh cycle and gain back at most a third of the energy. Max. efficiency 33%.
How inefficient exactly the Apple contraption will be I don't know as the schematic does not explain a lot.
So if you can afford to lose 2 thirds of the energy go ahead.
Jun 22, 2013 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterDirkH
Ireland to close Apple's tax loophole, but leave bigger one open


(Reuters) - Ireland said on Tuesday it planned to shut down a much-criticized tax arrangement used by Apple Inc to shelter over $40 billion from taxation - but will leave open an even bigger loophole that means the computer giant is unlikely to pay any more tax.

A U.S. Senate committee investigation revealed in May that Apple had cut billions from its tax bill by declaring companies registered in the Irish city of Cork as not tax resident in any country. Senator Carl Levin said the company had achieved the "holy grail of tax avoidance" with the structures.

Irish leaders protested angrily against the committee's characterization of Ireland as a facilitator of tax avoidance.

Parliamentary hearings were subsequently held to review Ireland's tax rules amid concerns that damage to its reputation could jeopardize the foreign investment on which its economy relies heavily.

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Tuesday that he planned to make it illegal for a company registered in Ireland to have no tax domicile anywhere.

Interesting to see what happens to these guys:



Oct 15, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Italy investigates Apple for alleged tax fraud: sources


Note: We are seeing the same thing with UPC in Ireland. UPC (IVPC) was the wind firm that had over 1 billion in assets seized last year.
Nov 13, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

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