Tag Archives: turbine

Lebanon, Hezbollah Cut off from Iran

Juan Cole writes ‘With the alleged fall to the Islamic State of Iraq, and [in] Syria of Qa’im on Saturday, and of Talafar a few days ago, the border between Iraq and Syria has now been effectively erased.

A new country exists, stretching from the outskirts of Baghdad all the way to Aleppo.

The first thing that occurred to me on the fall of Qa’im is that Iran no longer has its land bridge to Lebanon. I suppose it could get much of the way there through Kurdish territory, but ISIS could ambush the convoys when they came into Arab Syria. Since Iran has expended a good deal of treasure and blood to keep Bashar al-Assad in power so as to maintain that land bridge, it surely will not easily accept being blocked by ISIS. Without Iranian shipments of rockets and other munitions, Lebanon’s Hizbullah would rapidly decline in importance, and south Lebanon would be open again to potential Israeli occupation. I’d say, we can expect a Shiite counter-strike to maintain the truck routes to Damascus.

He goes on to say ‘Syrian jets bombed eastern positions of ISIS near the Iraqi border, perhaps signalling a likely alliance of Damascus and Baghdad to put the Sunni radical genie back in the bottle’.

From a petro-political perspective I find myself asking the following questions;

  • What will be the reaction of Saudi Arabia with the Sunni forces in Iraq having both Damascus and Baghdad allied against them?
  • What will Iran now do to support Bashar al-Assad?
  • What will Iran do to keep their supply route to Hezbollah open?

The answer to these three questions will inform the price of oil going forward. According to Reuters Libya’s oil output has sunk back to a current 1.16 million barrels per day of oil due to disruption at fields and terminals, a senior industry source told stated on Tuesday. Iran put OPEC on notice of its plans to raise output swiftly with the help of foreign investors immediately after any lifting of sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Iran could increase oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day immediately after any lifting of sanctions. “Very quickly we can increase by half a million and after a couple of months we can increase it to 700,000 barrels per day,” he told reporters ahead of OPEC’s Wednesday meeting. He said Iran could pump 4 million bpd in less than three months after any lifting of restrictions. When sanctions may be lifted is the unknown factor.

For those of us living on Small Island Dveloping States (SIDS) and other states dependant on fossil fuel, the path towards alternative energy, i.e. solar, wind, OTEC and ocean current technologies looks more attractive with every passing day. Editor

 

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Pacific island states ‘must think beyond grid to electrify’

JAKARTA, Indonesia —- Despite advances in research and development on renewable energy, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific remain the most energy-poor in the world, with an estimated 70 per cent of the population still without access to reliable energy.

A paper from the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University lays the blame on the pervasive focus on traditional approaches to rural electrification that prioritise grid extension. Grid extensions connect a home to a local utility grid.

But extending the grid lines in the Pacific region whose populations are spread across tens of thousands of islands may not be suitable and cost effective, the paper says.

“Both utility agencies and the private sector need incentives to extend electricity grids and to set up off-grid systems in rural areas. To provide those incentives, government subsidisation of upfront costs is necessary instead of merely subsidising operation and maintenance costs,” says Matthew Dornan, the primary author of the report.

Dornan says off-grid electrification projects, which involve mainly renewable energy, may be more sustainable in the long term. However, it requires significant upfront costs that are often impossible for local households or government to shoulder, he says.

“In terms of off-grid technologies, the key is simplicity,” explains Dornan. “Technologies should only be installed where they can be supported by institutional arrangements, be that a utility agency or a community technician.”

Renewables may play a stronger role in low-density, off-grid networks, but only with large-scale support, experts say.

According to Linus Mofor, a spokesperson for the International Renewable Energy Agency, “institutional strengthening, increased collaboration among islands and enhanced coordination of development partners, donors, regional institutions and national authorities and institutions are essential for efficient use of resources for renewables deployment in the region.”

Though his paper focused on SIDS, Dornan believes that his findings can help governments and development institutions alike in tackling the challenges of energy poverty.

“Sub-Saharan African and Pacific island countries can learn from one another given the capacity constraints that governments in both regions share,” he notes. More

 

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Bladeless, funnel-based wind turbine claims huge efficiency gains

As governments all over the globe continue inching towardrenewable energy sources, there continue to be a few sticking points. One company out of Minnesota claims to have a new wind power generation technology that can alleviate most of the world’s concerns. SheerWind says its Invelox system can operate in a wider variety of conditions and is up to 600% more efficient than traditional wind turbines.

Those large wind turbines you’re used to see dotting the skyline in rural areas rely on fairly swift winds to function. Invelox can generate power from winds as gentle as 1-2 MPH. It does this by capturing passing breezes in large scoops at the top of its 40-50 foot tower. The wind is funneled down toward the ground through an increasingly narrow space. When the air is compressed, it speeds up and is used to power a small turbine generator.

The claim that Invelox is six-times more efficient than a turbine is more than a little shocking, so SheerWind is trying to prove its case, but it’s currently doing so with internal testing (so keep that in mind). The company tested its turbine both with and without the Invelox cowling. When it compared the values over time, that works out to energy production improvements anywhere from 81-660%. The average was 314%, but it should be noted this is actually the advantage SheerWind’s turbine gets from being inside the Invelox system. It’s not quite a comparison with “real” wind power turbines.

Fuzzy math aside, the company says it has been able to produce wind power at a cost of $750 per kilowatt, including installation. This brings it in-line with the final cost of energy from natural gas and hydropower. The energy industry is all about value, so if the Invelox technology is legit, it’s going to be huge. Invelox takes up much less space than traditional windmills, and it poses little to no risk to birds or curious children. More

 

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