Wednesday, May 31, 2017

BBC News: Fragile future for US nuclear power



Fragile future for US nuclear power - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40099324

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NASA Wants to Send the Fastest Spacecraft Ever Into the Sun

Still looking like the America i know and love in outer space.

NASA Wants to Send the Fastest Spacecraft Ever Into the Sun https://bloom.bg/2qBxzuk

Bloomberg foresees decline of Oil

Tesla's Solar Roof Is Cheaper Than Expected

Expensive, yes. But it is one vision of what the future will probably look like.

Tesla's Solar Roof Is Cheaper Than Expected https://bloom.bg/2pADjEb

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trump's European Misadventure

Verdict of Bloomberg's Editors.

Trump's European Misadventure https://bv.ms/2qDyFoE

Once Costly Deep-Sea Oil Turns Cheap, to OPEC's Dismay

Once Costly Deep-Sea Oil Turns Cheap, to OPEC's Dismay https://bloom.bg/2qDE7rz

Fwd: Trina IBC Solar Cell Record 'Significant' - Renewable Energy World

Agree significant.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "rebecca nichols" <rvan@tnag.net>
Date: May 30, 2017 2:01 AM
Subject: Trina IBC Solar Cell Record 'Significant' - Renewable Energy World
To: "Monty ​ Bannerman​" <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Cc:


Trina IBC Solar Cell Record 'Significant'

May 26, 2017

Freelance Writer
The 15-MW Sunshine Coast Solar Farm in Valdora powered by Trina Solar panels
         

The recent announcement by Trina Solar that it had reached a new solar conversion efficiency record of 24.13 percent in a Changzhou, China laboratory for an interdigitated back contact (IBC) mono-crystalline silicon cell, is a "significant achievement," according to a U.S. laboratory analyst.

"The efficiency is significant given the size of the cell at six inches," says Abasifreke Ebong, a professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The 156 millimeter (mm) ×156 mm solar cell reached a total-area efficiency of 24.13 percent as independently measured by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET).

Trina said that the n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a large-sized phosphorous-doped Cz (cubic zirconia) Silicon substrate with a low-cost industrial IBC process, featuring conventional tube doping technologies and fully screen-printed metallization.

Ebong notes that "the process of fabricating the cell is not outlined, which I believe is still the expensive lithography technology. Also, it is a laboratory demonstration which may take another year or so to implement in production." The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at the Charlotte Research Institute campus of UNC Charlotte, is a state-of-the-art research center that conducts applied research.

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The technical description of the cell test includes the following: "The champion cell presents the following characteristics: an open-circuit voltage Voc (overclocking) of 702.7mV (millivolt), a short-circuit current density Jsc (short-circuit current density abbreviation) of 42.1 mA/cm2 (milliamps per square centimeter) and a fill factor (FF) of 81.47 percent," Trina reported.

In April 2016, Trina Solar announced an improved industrial low-cost IBC solar cell with a total-area efficiency of 23.5 percent. Total-area efficiencies are always lower than aperture-efficiencies, due to efficiency losses related to the edges of the cells and electrical contact areas.    

In February 2014, Trina Solar and the Australian National University (ANU) jointly announced a world record aperture efficiency of 24.37 percent for a laboratory-scale 4.0 cm2 IBC solar cell, fabricated on a Float Zone (FZ) n-type substrate and using photolithography patterning. In December 2014, Trina Solar announced a 22.94 percent total-area efficiency for an industrial version, large size (156mm x 156mm, 6" substrate) IBC solar cell, the company noted.

"Over the last few years, our R&D team has managed to continuously improve the efficiency of our n-type IBC solar cells, pushing the limits and surpassing our previous records, and approaching very closely to the performance of our best small-area laboratory cell developed in collaboration with ANU three years ago," said Dr. Pierre Verlinden, Vice-President and Chief Scientist of Trina Solar.

"IBC solar cells are one of the most efficient silicon solar cells available today and are particularly suitable for applications for which the requirement of a high power density is more important than LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity). We are very happy to announce today that our industrial large area IBC cell has reached almost the same level of performance as the small-area laboratory cell made three years ago with a photolithography process," Verlinden added.

Lead image: The 15-MW Sunshine Coast Solar Farm in Valdora powered by Trina Solar panels. Credit: Trina.



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Monday, May 29, 2017

Fwd: SolarWorld Joins Case Seeking U.S. Duties on Cheap Solar Imports - Renewable Energy World






SolarWorld Joins Case Seeking U.S. Duties on Cheap Solar Imports

May 26, 2017
Renewable energy: solar panels
         

SolarWorld AG's U.S. unit joined a trade case asking the federal government to impose duties on low-cost imports that have fueled a nationwide boom in solar installations.

The company, which filed a separate trade complaint that led to U.S. tariffs on Chinese panels in 2012, become a co-petitioner Thursday in Suniva Inc.'s case before the U.S. International Trade Commission. Suniva, a bankrupt Georgia manufacturer, initiated the complaint in April, saying it's impossible to compete with cheap imports, predominately from Asia.

The case threatens to upend the American solar market and has drawn vociferous opposition from the industry's leading trade group. The duties Suniva is requesting would double the price of panels in the U.S. and hobble growth, analysts and industry advocates say. Yet Suniva and SolarWorld contend tariffs are necessary for them to compete with international rivals.

"We have hoped and waited for serious proposals for settling the overall U.S. solar industry's trade tensions with China, but we have received none," Juergen Stein, president of SolarWorld Americas, said in a statement. "Therefore, we have decided to join the case to pursue the best remedy available to us to restore fair competition in the U.S. market."

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Bankrupt German-based Solarworld AG owns a factory in Oregon.

Solar installations in the U.S. have soared in recent years, largely because of low-cost panels imported from Asia. The price of photovoltaic cells within these panels has declined nearly 50 percent since 2012, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Hugh Bromley.

SolarWorld and Suniva are the two largest U.S. manufacturers of polysilicon-based panels. Combined, they had the capacity to produce 1.5 gigawatts of solar modules and cells in 2016, accounting for 65 percent of U.S. production, according to Suniva's ITC complaint.

That capacity, however, pales in comparison to the output of panel makers in China, where the largest company, JinkoSolar Holding Co., shipped 6.7 gigawatts last year.

The earlier trade case filed by Solarworld prompted the Commerce Department to impose duties of as much as 250 percent on solar cells produced in China.

260,000 Jobs

Suniva has asked for import duties of 40 cents per watt for solar cells produced outside the U.S. and a floor price of 78 cents per watt for panels. That would more than double the price of cells, which currently sell for 25 to 33 cents per watt, depending on efficiency, Bromley said.

The Solar Energy Industries Association has warned that the move would devastate the industry, endangering an industry with 260,000 U.S. jobs. Suniva's majority owner, China-based Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd., has also objected, saying the move is "not in the best interests" of clean energy markets.

The ITC will conclude its investigation by Sept. 22, and send its recommendations to President Donald Trump for a decision later this year.

"The potential damage to the solar industry as a result of this petition could kill many thousands of American jobs and put a stop to billions of dollars in private investment," SEIA Chief Executive Officer Abigail Ross Hopper said in an emailed statement.


Sent from my BlackBerry - the most secure mobile device
--
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646.402.5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Repub. Boehner calls Trump "Disaster" and Cruz "Lucifer in the Flesh"

Boehner Says Apart From Foreign Policy, Trump Has Been 'A Complete Disaster' http://n.pr/2r6aV0p

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Fwd: BBC News: Britain's great explorations now online

Earliest film footage of Tibet and Shangri-la.

Britain's great explorations now online
The Royal Geographical Society is releasing films of its scientific explorations from the early 20th Century.
Disclaimer: The BBC is not responsible for the content of this email, and anything written in this email does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the email address nor name of the sender have been verified.


Sent from my iPad
--
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646.402.5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Fwd: Politics Alert: Senate Intelligence Committee requests all Trump campaign documents dating to 2015

Now we will see how he does on the other side of the email server thing.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "The Washington Post" <email@e.washingtonpost.com>
Date: May 26, 2017 7:38 PM
Subject: Politics Alert: Senate Intelligence Committee requests all Trump campaign documents dating to 2015
To: <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Cc:

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked President Trump's political organization to gather and produce all documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign's launch in June 2015, according to two people briefed on the request. The letter from the Senate arrived at Trump's campaign committee last week and was addressed to the group's treasurer.

The request to Trump's political operatives represents the first time that Trump's official campaign structure has been drawn into the Senate committee's ongoing bipartisan investigation.

 
Democracy Dies in Darkness
 
 
Politics Alert Fri., May. 26, 2017 7:37 p.m.
 
 
Senate Intelligence Committee requests all Trump campaign documents dating to 2015

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked President Trump's political organization to gather and produce all documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign's launch in June 2015, according to two people briefed on the request. The letter from the Senate arrived at Trump's campaign committee last week and was addressed to the group's treasurer.

The request to Trump's political operatives represents the first time that Trump's official campaign structure has been drawn into the Senate committee's ongoing bipartisan investigation.

Read more »
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Friday, May 26, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Renewable Energy Powers Jobs for Almost 10 Million People

Renewable Energy Powers Jobs for Almost 10 Million People https://bloom.bg/2qMiMzu

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fwd: This week in Trump's America: his two biggest scandals yet

Quite a score for one week.


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: VICE News <info@vice.com>
Date: Fri, May 19, 2017 at 12:22 PM
Subject: This week in Trump's America: his two biggest scandals yet
To: <Mbannerman@tnag.net>


Week 17, in one sentence: President Donald Trump questioned whether he should cancel all press briefings; threatened former FBI Director James Comey by hinting at "tapes"; released a letter about his business ties to Russia; reportedly shared highly classified information with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador; had his team categorically deny he shared intelligence with Russia, only to later reveal that he, in fact, did; faced perhaps his biggest scandal when it was reported that Trump asked Comey to drop the FBI's investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a potential obstruction of justice; flatly denied that he asked Comey to do so; reportedly considered a staff shakeup (again); found his travel ban back in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; bragged about saving the Coast Guard money on equipment it doesn't even use; dealt with reports that his campaign failed to disclose at least 18 calls and emails with Russian officials during the presidential race; came under investigation by a newly appointed special counsel for his campaign's possible collusion with Russia to influence the election; called the investigation a "witch hunt," a phrase Nixon used; and had his reputation defended by Vladimir Putin.

To get this weekly Trump update sent to your inbox, click here


Day 113 — May 12

"A very active President with lots of things happening"

In an early-morning tweet, the president questioned whether he should cancel all press briefings after Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders caught some flack for saying Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey based on recommendations from the attorney general and deputy attorney only to be contradicted by Trump himself, who later admitted he would have fired Comey no matter what because he was a "showboat."

"As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!…." read the first in a series of tweets.

Trump went on to threaten Comey, tweeting that the fired FBI director "better hope there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" The threat drew immediate comparisons to Richard Nixon. Trump also apparently has a long history of secretly recording calls.

Trump attempted to quell concerns over his business ties to Russia with a letter released by his lawyers stating that his tax returns (which the president has refused to release) show he has no meaningful ties with Russia or Russian entities "with a few exceptions": a property in Florida that Trump sold for $95 million to a Russian billionaire and $12.2 million he made from a Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a stiff mandatory-minimum sentence policy for presumably everyone who faces federal drug charges. Mandatory-minimums have largely caused the United States' prison population boom, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle decried the new policy.

Under the direction of its climate-deny head Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency cleared a path for copper and gold mining to start in a region of Alaska that Obama-era officials sought to protect.



Day 114 — May 13

Elle Woods for president

Trump gave his first-ever commencement speech as president at Liberty University, a Christian university with a president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., who openly supported Trump's campaign (although not without criticism.)

As Jimmy Fallon pointed out on "The Tonight Show," Trump's remarks sounded a lot like Elle Wood's graduation speech in "Legally Blonde." Aside from dropping cliche phrases like going "into the world" with "courage of your convictions" similar to those in the movie," Trump also yelled "I did it!" in the middle his address. Famously, Woods ended hers by squeaking, "We did it!" to the rest of her graduating class.



Day 115 — May 14

About those tapes...

Trump's threatening nod to tapes of his and Comey's conversations came back to bite the president when lawmakers, including some Republicans, requested that he turn over said tapes.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn't mince words when discussing Trump on CNN. He said that U.S. institutions are "under assault internally" and the system of checks and balances "is under assault and eroding."

Trump is reportedly considering a sweeping shakeup of his principal staff, including chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategy Steve Bannon, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer, because the president is "angry at everyone."


VICE News' coverage

4 ways Donald Trump's presidency could end early

Soaring ICE arrests under Trump are only the beginning

7 things to know about the special counsel investigating Trump

Democratic leaders can't hide their confidence as they gleefully savage Trump

A special counsel has been named in the Russia investigation: former FBI Director Robert Mueller

How the Comey memo could lead to Trump's impeachment



Day 116 — May 15

A leak from a man who hates leaks

Trump shared highly classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a meeting in the Oval Office last week, U.S. officials told the Washington Post. The president reportedly revealed that the Islamic State group has plans to use laptop computers to target commercial flights, which could jeopardize Israel, reportedly the source of the information. Intelligence experts speaking to VICE News called the leak a "complete nightmare."

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, however, said he was at the meeting and "at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly."

Trump's travel ban popped up for the second time in his least favorite court: the 9th Circuit. Judges and attorneys discussed Trump's past comments about Islam, including a campaign promise of a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." An attorney arguing against the ban even acknowledged that the executive order may have gone through if Trump hadn't previously promised to ban Muslim travel.

Trump, whose main campaign promise was cracking down undocumented immigration, reportedly reassured farmers that he was not going after their workers.

The Trump administration dramatically cut U.S. aid (by about $8.8 billion) to international healthcare providers that support abortion rights.



Day 117 — May 16

Trump's "absolute right" to leak

The president seemed to contradict McMaster by declaring on Twitter that he did, in fact, share some intelligence with Russia, which he had the "absolute right to do." Foreign officials didn't respond well — some said they'd stop sharing information with the U.S.

But that wasn't even Trump's biggest Russia-related scandal of the day.

Back in February, Trump asked Comey to end the FBI investigation of Flynn, according to a memo written by Comey shortly after meeting with the president. "I hope you can let this go," Trump told Comey, according to the memo.

It's the most significant piece of evidence yet that Trump has attempted to interfere with the FBI's investigation of his campaign's ties to the Kremlin — and it's possible he committed obstruction of justice, immediately spurring conversations about a potential impeachment. Even Republicans are calling for James Comey to testify about his before Congress. While experts say that's likely still a long way off, bookies are offering much better odds.

The piling scandals are causing chaos in the White House. Reporters heard Trump's aides shouting behind closed doors, and Trump reportedly blasted his staff — including son-in-law Jared Kushner — as "incompetent."

Jeff Sessions applauded the 49-year sentence for 29-year-old Josh Vallum, who was convicted of the first federal hate crime for murdering his trans girlfriend. While in Congress, Sessions opposed the law that was used to convict Vallum, arguing that it could be used to prosecute "thought crimes."



Day 118 — May 17

Anyone? Anyone? Mueller?

In place of Sessions, who recused himself from any related decisions, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as the Trump campaign's possible collusion with the Kremlin. The role also gives Mueller the authority to look into Trump's firing of Comey — although Rosenstein (or his replacement if he gets fired) can also fire Mueller as well.

Like any friend would, Putin stepped in to defend Trump by citing a transcript that apparently proves the U.S. president didn't leak highly classified information to Russia.

Trump's transition team knew Flynn was under federal investigation for his secret lobbying work for Turkey weeks before the inauguration, the New York Times reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan visit to the White House was overshadowed by dramatic scenes of violence as his bodyguards clashed with protesters at the Turkish ambassador's residence in the U.S. capitol shortly afterward.

Trump used his invitation to deliver the commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy to brag about how much money he's supposedly saving the military branch — except it doesn't use either piece of equipment the president mentioned: the F-35 fighter jet or the USS Gerald R. Ford, which is an aircraft carrier in the Navy.

"I won't even talk about how much I saved you on the F-35 fighter jet. I won't even talk about it," Trump said to the crowd of graduates and their families in Connecticut.

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke — who once said Black Lives Matter may team up with ISIS — announced that he had accepted a job offer as assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, though DHS hasn't confirmed yet.



Day 119 — May 18

Trump has no chill about special counsel

Trump apparently isn't as calm and collected about the special counsel investigating his campaign's ties to Russia as he previously let on. After releasing an unusually measured statement Wednesday regarding former FBI Director Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel, the president started tweeting Thursday morning …

"The single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" Trump tweeted

"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!" the president also tweeted.

At a joint news conference with Colombia's president, Trump flatly denied that he had asked Comey to drop the FBI investigation of Flynn. "No, no," Trump said. "Next question."

The Trump campaign made at least 18 undisclosed connections with Russian officials during last year's presidential race, according to a Reuters' investigation published Thursday just hours after the DOJ announced a special counsel to investigate collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Between April and November 2016, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges, members of the campaign traded previously undisclosed calls, text messages, and emails with Russia that focused on easing the sanctions, curtailing China's growing influence, and fighting ISIS.

Six of the exchanges were reportedly between Russia's Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, and Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced out of the White House after lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with Kislyak in December.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein briefed the Senate on the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, and it seems to be getting more serious.

"It was a counterintelligence investigation before now. It seems to me now to be considered a criminal investigation," said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Flynn reluctantly accepted the job of national security adviser at Trump's behest, even after warning the president that he was under investigation for undisclosed foreign lobbying, according to the Daily Beast, The Daily Beast reported. Trump also apparently wants Flynn back in the White House once the investigation concludes.

Last week, the Senate intelligence committee subpoenaed Flynn for documents related to his ties to Russia, and the committee's chair initially said the former national security director wouldn't comply. But that's apparently incorrect because the Chairman Richard Burr reversed his prior statement and said Flynn's attorneys "have not yet indicated their intentions." The Flynn Intel Group, an intelligence consulting firm Flynn started in 2014, also faces federal grand jury subpoenas in Virginia.

Former Fox News executive and conservative political leader Roger Ailes died at the age of 77. He left behind of a legacy of billions in profits as well as sexual assault accusations from multiple women, which forced him out of the news network last year.


This week in POTUS tweets:

--
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646.402.5076
www.arcstarenergy.com