Archive for the ‘Bloom Energy’ Category

By now, many of you, especially those of you who live or work in New Castle County, are aware that Bloom Energy has been, over the last year or so, collecting fees from Delmarva Power ratepayers but not disclosing the cost to consumers; nowhere on people’s utility bills will you see any surcharge for Bloom Energy, though you have already been paying it. The cost? Over $1 BILLION in subisidies from both Delaware taxpayers and Delmarva Power ratepayers, combined. From the original article:

”      Delmarva and Bloom admitted electric ratepayers would be stuck paying above market prices for power. They said it would be worth it because of claimed economic development benefit of jobs at a new fuel cell factory, offsetting higher future electric prices for conventional power, the avoided cost of buying renewable energy credits, and environmental benefits. Two years down the road our predictions are coming true:

·         The cost will be at least three times expected and could go to a half billion dollars over the twenty year life of the project
·         Overall economic development potential will be one third expected and the Delaware solar industry has been decimated by the offsets in Solar Renewable Energy Credits
·         Environmental benefits would have been eight to ten times higher if a conventional natural gas power plant had been built and electric rates would have gone down instead of up”
Some are trying to argue that CRI and those who oppose the Bloom Energy deal are not giving the company time to develop its business model and hire the workers they promised to do. The problem is not just that they are behind; that would in of itself be the least of the problems. CRI has doubts there is any work going on at all in the plant, and an attempt by the News Journal’s Aaron Nathan to visit the site to inspect the plant was denied. Why would Bloom Energy not want Aaron to visit? It’s not like the facility was off-limits to outsiders. Secretary of DNREC Colin O’Mara was allowed to walk into the plant and announce that Bloom Energy was still on schedule to complete its stated objectives of operating their Delaware plant on schedule. Keep in mind the News Journal editorial board still supports the Bloom Energy deal, so it isn’t like Bloom is showing their facility to a hostile entity.
We hope our elected officials learn a lesson and realize that gambling with taxpayer money, even in the name of “investment in the future” “jobs” and “green energy” is not a smart idea. Had Bloom been required to have competed with other companies for the technology (Fuel Cell Inc. is suing Governor Markell and five members of the Public Service Commission for not giving other companies a chance to bid on the contract) and focused more money and time on building the facility and not lobbying, they may have been able to succeed. Instead, as CRI believes, Bloom will begin construction of their fuel cells in Delaware and then realizing the cost it would need to keep the operation going, will cease operations in Delaware and move them elsewhere.  As Dave wrote in “The Bloom Prophecy”:
“The first 6 megawatts of a 50 megawatt power supply contract with Delmarva Power can come from Bloom’s California manufacturing facility.  We expect Bloom will deliver the first 6 megawatts and then will pull out of the contract and abandon plans to manufacture in Delaware so the funds can be invested in India or elsewhere in Asia.  It makes no economic sense to build a manufacturing plant for one large order for fuel cells to be utilized by Delmarva Power.

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please enjoy another guest blog post from Lindsay Leveen, from greenexplored.com
No doubt Bloom Energy knows the way to San Jose.  They do not need Dionne Warwick to show them the way.  They were pleased to announce on their website on October 29, 2012 that they placed two boxes at the San Jose Pavilion where the Sharks play NHL hockey.
Bloom provided the Sharks spokesman the data in the press release that they will save 4.8 million pounds of CO2 emissions over a ten year period with the two boxes at the Pavilion.    I contacted the Sharks Spokesman (Jim Sparaco) by email and told him that if the PG&E data on the grid emissions only being 393 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour are correct and the data in the Bloom permit filing in Delaware are correct and if the boxes have an uptime of 95% then the Pavilion will in fact be adding 16.3 million more pounds of CO2 over the ten year period than the case where they continued to simply buy electricity off of the grid from PG&E.
The Sharks Spokesman replied to my email that he had contacted Bloom to ask about the discrepancy between the data Bloom provided him for his press release and the PG&E and Bloom Delaware data.  I am happy that the spokesman takes his job seriously and does not want to be the cause of greenwashing.
Today I sent an email to the spokesman as well as the Mayor of San Jose, Chuck Reed, and helped inform the Mayor of the possible greenwashing at the state-of-the-art arena.    You see the mayor was quoted in the press release as follows:  “Congratulations to HP Pavilion for being the first arena in the nation to implement Bloom Energy’s cutting-edge fuel cell technology.”  Yeah Mr. Mayor this cutting-edge technology may well be an illusion.
The City of San Jose owns the arena and they are therefore directly responsible for the emissions of CO2 and VOCs as well as the toxic and hazardous solid wastes that accumulate in the Bloom Boxes.  I am sure that the Mayor just like the spokesman was given misleading information by Bloom.
We now have evidence that Bloom gave the operators of the San Jose Pavilion the data on their emissions.  Bloom can either respond to the spokesman and the mayor that PG&E is fibbing about the grid emissions and / or that Bloom provided Delaware with incorrect information in a permit application submitted under penalty of perjury.  Or they can tell the city of San Jose that the boxes will not save 4.8 million pounds of CO2 emissions over the 10 years.
No matter what Bloom tells the Spokesman or the Mayor their data somewhere are not correct.  Won’t it be nice if they misled Delaware rather than San Jose?  That is a crime under penalty of perjury.  If they misled San Jose rather than Delaware that is a crime against me and my neighbors as we all pay money into the SGIP to lower carbon emissions.  We all breathe the crisp air in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Interestingly the population of Delaware (917,012) is similar to the population of the city of San Jose (982,765).  It looks like Bloom likes boondoggling in places with approximately one million people.  My congressman pretends to represent the 707,530 people living in the 2nd Congressional district of California.  While Mr. Huffman is a champion boondoggler, Bloom has him beat by an extra 275,235 people in San Jose and 209,482 extra people in the First State.
Now the zinger!!! The  Secretary of the Delaware  Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is Collin O’Mara.    Quoting from the DNREC web site “Prior to joining Governor Markell, Secretary O’Mara served as the Clean Tech Strategist for the City of San Jose, and was the primary architect of the city of San Jose’s Green Vision, built upon the belief that environmental sustainability and smart economic development are inextricably linked and entirely compatible. “
Wow there is a link between the San Jose Boondoggle and The Delaware Boondoggle.  It is Mr. O’Mara!!!  Honestly the whole thing reads like a novel called “Carbon Dioxide Into The Wind”.  Our hero is Green not Rhett and the leading high maintenance person is O’Mara not O’Hara.  But the key line from this book is “frankly my dear Scollin, I do give a damn!”

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For those of you who are unaware Governor Markell and five members of the Public Service Commission are being sued by an out of state company called Fuel Cell Inc. and a local resident John Nichols, you may want to attend the Wednesday, March 27 meeting of the Rail Splitter Society at the Ed “Porky” Oliver’s Golf Club in Wilmington beginning at 6pm. John will speak about the lawsuit and his battle against the government and Bloom Energy over their technology. This event is free and open to the public.

View the original invitation:

March 27 Rail Splitter meeting announcement


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Please enjoy another guest post from CRI contributor and author of greenexplored.com, Lindsay Leveen.

$40 million Of Green For Gangrene


Folks we are not talking about the pharmaceutical industry doing some ground breaking research on the horrible disease of gangrene.  We are talking about more misguided government policy to coerce people to buy electric plug in vehicles.
Several states led by the Once Golden State enacted legislation to impose “pollution” penalties on automakers who do not sell “enough” plug in cars.  Those makers that only sell plug in electric cars like Tesla can sell offsets to other manufacturers to avoid the state imposed penalties.  In 2012 Tesla collected $40.5 million in revenues from other auto manufacturers based on these cockamamie state penalties.  This equals approximately 10% of all of Tesla’s revenue.  This is a very sweet deal for Tesla that is teetering on the edge of survival.
Now let’s see if the state enacted legislation does any good for the environment or is simply another boondoggle to screw the poor in favor of the rich.    Tesla sold a total of 2,650 cars in 2012, hence the “pollution” credits equaled over $15,250 per car.  The IRS gave a $7,500 tax credit for the car and the state of California gave owners another $2,500.  Therefore each Tesla has a direct or indirect government subsidy of over $25,250.
These subsidies were all in the name of “green”.  The Consumers Report test drive of the Tesla showed the car needs 0.38 kilowatt hours per mile of battery power.  This equals 0.42 kwh/mile of grid power.  The Royal Society in the UK in a very recent publication calculated that each kwh of battery storage needed as much as 694 kwh of primary power to produce the lithium ion battery (the worst case scenario).  This means that each 85 kwh battery pack required 58,990 kwh of energy for their production.
Let us assume that each Tesla is driven 12,500 miles per year and lasts 8 years for a total of 100,000 miles.  Dividing the 58,990 kwh needed to produce the battery pack by the 100,000 miles we have to add 0.59 kwh/mile to the 0.42 kwh/mile to get the full kwh/mile to drive a Tesla.  This is 1.01 kwh per mile.
The average emissions for power in the grid in the US is approximately 1.3 pounds of CO2 per kwh.  The tesla therefore emits 1.313 pounds of CO2 per mile.  The pounds of CO2 emissions per gallon of gasoline including oil extraction, transportation and refining, as well as on board combustion is about 25 pounds per gallon.   Therefore the Tesla is no better than a gasoline car that achieves 25 divided by 1.313 or only 19.04 MPG.
The Federal and State governments are transferring over $25,250 of poor people’s money to the super rich for each and every car that only achieves the emissions equivalent of a car that achieves 19.04 miles per gallon.  I was disgusted with the waste of money in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I am not surprised by the utter waste of money in subsidizing the toys the rich buy in the name of green.  We are living aboard a ship of fools with the captain navigating using a moonbeam.

Post Script —-  I did some additional checking and the US DOE Argonne Lab states the primary power as 472 kwh not the high of 694 kwh in the UK report.  Using the 472 kwh we get hte 85 kwh Tesla battery pack will need 40,120 kwh of primary power.  Dividing by the 100,000 miles we have 0.401 kwh per mile for the production of the battery pack.  Add the 0.42 kwh/mile for the charge energy for a total of 0.82 kwh per mile.  Performing the same calculation to get the equivalent mpg for CO2 emissions the result is 23.45 MPG.  Therefore even in the best case using the most optimistic DOE data the policy still makes no sense

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2013 is already upon us, and three days in things are headed downhill. Congress just passed a bill to respond to the so-called “fiscal cliff” by increasing EVERYONE’S taxes at least a little bit, and a lot if you have a high income (note: if your money comes from investments and assets, such as Warren Buffett, your taxes will be unchanged). More battles will come up on the debt ceiling, automatic defense cuts, and future budget deals (if any come), and no doubt the partisanship will continue.

Delaware has its own problems to deal with: unfunded pension liabilities, out of control Medicaid spending, bad deals with Fisker and Bloom Energy, education performances moving sideways and not up, and taxes such as the gross receipts taxes which harm business growth. These are just a sample of the issues facing the state. While CRI would like to resolve every major issue within the state, that is not very likely.

Therefore CRI will spend 2013 focusing on three elements: improving education standards, discouraging corporate subsidies, and preventing the state from passing any legislation which pushes single-payer healthcare by abolishing private healthcare insurance.

Education reform will be CRI’s top priority in 2013. There is general consensus that the education system as currently structured is not serving the students well, particularly those in areas like Wilmington and Dover, where parents usually do not have the  financial means to send their children off to private schools, and who cannot be guaranteed a slot in the charter schools due to bureaucratic processes. CRI is calling for legislative actions to allow the money to “follow the student”, where parents have options such as Education Savings Accounts (ESA) that give parents the financial opportunity to choose where they want to educate their child. We hope to inform and engage the public and the legislators into some serious action this year that will give students a big victory for their future.

Our second goal is to reduce, if not eliminate, subsidies for preferred businesses and special interest friends of the government. Bloom Energy and Fisker Automotive are two prime examples of the government handing over “subsidies” for “investment” in these companies, meaning hundreds of millions in tax dollars to give to these companies, money we will in reality never receive payback for. There is no industry in Delaware receiving taxpayer money that can be said to be worth the corporate welfare. Our aim is to educate the public and legislators, and push Delaware to either reduce/eliminate current government subsidies to preferred parties, or else to agree to prohibit future government subsidies via “corporate welfare”.

Our third goal will be to discourage the Legislature from passing any bill which bans private health insurance in favor of “single payer” government. While CRI acknowledges the issues in containing healthcare costs, such as Tort reform, allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines, and using means-tested methods to determine who qualifies for Medicare or Medicaid as opposed to just handing it out to anyone who asks, there is no way the government can raise all the taxes needed to pay for this without destroying job opportunities or sending them out of state. Plus, the government will not be able to manage the insurance aspects of healthcare policy without setting up a massive, inefficient bureaucracy, just like they do with everything else.

What do you think? Are there any goals CRI should work for that are no mentioned above?

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Dover-The Caesar Rodney Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to providing scientific and economic analyses to public policy issues, is pleased to announce the affiliation of two well-known academics to our ranks: Willie Soon, PhD and David R. Legates, PhD.

Dr. Soon will join CRI to provide research related to public policy issues impacted by the climate.

Soon is an astrophysicist and a geoscientist based in Salem, Massachusetts, doing research for the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA.  His area of specialty is in solar and stellar physics for New Astronomy. He is the author of the book “The Maunder Minimum and the Variable Sun-Earth Connection” and is a co-author of the textbook “Introduction to Astronomy”.  He has provided expert testimony in front of the United States Senate and was recognized for “detailed scholarship on biogeological and climatic change over the past 1000 years” by the Smithsonian Institution.

He received his PhD  from the University of Southern California. Dr. Soon was awarded the Rockwell Dennis Hunt award from Southern California University in 1991. He was given the Petr Beckmann Award from the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness for “courage and achievement in defense of scientific truth and freedom.”

David R. Legates, PhD will become a member of CRI’s  Advisory Council and will collaborate with Dr. Soon in developing and presenting CRI’s positions on public policy issues influenced by climate.

Dr. Legates is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware and served as the Delaware State Climatologist from 2005 to 2011. He also is an adjunct faculty in the Statistics Program. He received his Doctorate in Climatology in 1988 from the University of Delaware.  He has been invited twice to appear before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and has given more than 120 invited professional presentations. He is recognized as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society.

For more information contact:

Samuel Friedman

Communications Coordinator


(302) 734-2700

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from the Caesar Rodney Institute:


Lawsuit against the Bloom Energy Deal to be Heard Next Week

Wilmington- The lawsuit against the Bloom Energy deal approved by Governor Jack Markell and five members of the Public Service Commission will be heard at the US District Court on Wednesday, November 14, at 2 PM. The hearing will be in Courtroom 6C on 844 North King Street in front of Judge Christopher J. Burke. The hearing is open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend.

The plaintiffs are John Nichols and Fuel Cell Energy of Connecticut. Mr. Nichols is a citizen who believes his rights as a taxpayer and local resident are being violated as a result of a government-backed deal to provide over $600 million in taxpayer stimulus. Fuel Cell Energy believes they were unable to sell their products in Delaware because Bloom Energy had already been chosen to take the deal offered by the government.

The plaintiffs are being represented by Cause of Action, a non-profit which works to protect the public and taxpayer interests in favor of government accountability and transparency. The Caesar Rodney Institute provided expert testimony in Mr. Nichols’ hearing at the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board on June 13 of this year. CRI’s testimony and research data on the Bloom Energy deal will be considered as part of the lawsuit.

Please contact:

Barrett Kidner

Chairman and CEO

(302) 734-4935


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