Future Energy eNews    IntegrityResearchInstitute.org        Feb. 15, 2007       

1) Energy Budget Released  US energy research goes to military mostly
2) World Energy Demand - McKinsey Report is a valuable resource
3) Clean Power Under Our Feet - Geothermal can provide all of our energy
4) MIT Backs Geothermal for US Energy Earth is the best energy source
5) Bioelectromagnetic Toothbrush - Acousto-optic toothbrush hits the gumline
6) "Global Energy Seminar" - Foundation for the Future has Valone as panelist
7) Planktos on ABC News - Challenges Branson for $25 million CO2 prize

1) White House Budget to Cut Energy Research

Kevin Bullis, February 09, 2007 Technology Review http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/18157/

In President Bush's proposed 2008 budget, weapons development wins big while overall funding for research suffers.
President Bush's 2008 budget, which was released earlier this week, proposes a record high amount of federal research and development (R&D) funding. But an increase in weapons-development funding is largely responsible for the record R&D spending: overall support for long-term research is down. And expenditures for energy-related R&D are less than the anticipated 2007 levels.

This is according to a new analysis <
http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/prel08p.htm> of the budget by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In general, says Kei Koizumi, director of the R&D Budget and Policy Program at the AAAS, the administration's 2008 budget reinforces a trend away from research and toward development. "Overall R&D would hit a new record of well over $140 billion," Koizumi says. "But the bulk of the money and the bulk of the increases would go toward the D side--both defense and development."

Department of Defense (DOD) spending on new weapons systems increases by 5.5 percent, adding $3.5 billion to these development efforts. The DOD's research-oriented science and technology programs would receive a severe 20 percent cut. Likewise, NASA funding for space-station construction and the development of a space-shuttle replacement is strong in the budget, while many science programs would face cuts.

Overall spending on energy R&D at the Department of Energy (DOE) will reach $1.3 billion, which is a cut when compared with a 2007 funding resolution that passed the House at the end of January and is likely to pass the Senate, the AAAS report says.

Under the 2008 budget, select energy-related programs, such as nuclear-fusion research, will receive a boost. And energy R&D is up significantly from 2006 levels. One big winner is funding for R&D on using biomass for fuels: funding for such research has doubled since 2006. Indeed, if the 2008 White House budget is passed, overall renewable-energy research funding would have increased about 31 percent over 2006 levels. Funding related to nuclear energy would also jump markedly, more than doubling since 2006.

Still, many of the energy programs that receive increased funding--such as those for hydrogen fuel-cell and fusion R&D--are longer-term projects. And some experts say that these will not likely have a significant impact on the consumption of oil or greenhouse-gas emissions for decades. George Sterzinger, executive director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C., says that what's needed is funding for transforming new technology into commercial products, such as more-efficient power plants. Without such support, he says, "one, the technologies will languish, and two, they'll move offshore. And both of those things are happening. Given the urgency, it's scandalous."

Indeed, in December the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report concluding that then-current spending on energy research was likely inadequate to "reverse our growing dependence on imported oil or the adverse environmental effects of using conventional fossil energy." According to the GAO report, research on renewable, fossil, and nuclear energy has dropped off since 1978, when it was $5.5 billion, after adjusting for inflation. The president's Advanced Energy Initiative funding in the 2008 budget comes to $2.7 billion.

Meanwhile, spending on weapons development will reach a record $68.1 billion. "The trend that stands out," Koizumi says, "is that, because weapons development continues to grow and grow, that means industry--military contractors--are getting a lot more R&D money these days."

2) Survey: Productivity of Growing Global Energy Demand. 
                   A Microeconomic Perspective
McKinsey.Com, November, 2006
Reduced or avoided consumption of energy is our key future source of energy.
On the one hand, there is Russia which following its recent run-in with Belarus stopped oil supplies to Western Europe for the second time in recent months. On the other hand, the impact of climate change and the finiteness of natural resources can no longer be ignored. Thus, using energy efficiently has become more pressing than ever. Furthermore, Germany has promised to use its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2007 to make this issue a top priority.
McKinsey also recently emphasised the urgency of the debate on energy: Their survey “Productivity of growing global energy demand. A microeconomic perspective” was published in November 2006.
 Its detailed global case-sector studies make it a useful background material for discussions on global energy demand and its complex dynamics.

3) Hot clean power under our feet

New Scientist Print Edition, 27 January 2007, http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19325883.000-hot-clean-power-under-our-feet-.html 
America can kick its addiction to fossil fuels by drilling more wells, says a panel of experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Not for oil, but to tap Earth's heat.

Converting geothermal heat into electricity by pouring water onto hot rocks underground and using the steam to turn turbines is arguably the most promising - and renewable - source of "green" energy on the planet. So concludes the MIT experts' report, released on Monday, which examines what geothermal energy could do for the US in the 21st century.

The 18-member panel calculated that there is more than enough extractable hydrothermal energy available to generate the entire 27 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy consumed in the US in 2005. In fact, a conservative estimate of the energy extractable from the hot rocks less than 10 kilometres beneath American soil suggests that this almost completely untapped energy resource could support US energy consumption, at its current clip, for more than two millennia to come.

Developing a new generation of geothermal plants is thus a top priority for tackling global warming, the panel says. "By any kind of calculation, this is an extremely large resource that is technically accessible to us right now," says the study's lead author, Jefferson Tester. "It doesn't require new technology to get access to it. And there's never going to be a limitation on our ability to expand this technology because of limits of the resource."

From issue 2588 of New Scientist magazine, 27 January 2007, page 4

4) MIT-Led Panel Backs 'Heat Mining' as Key U.S. Energy Source

January 22, 2007 http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/geothermal.html

A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact.

An 18-member panel led by MIT prepared the 400-plus page study, titled "The Future of Geothermal Energy" (PDF, 14.1 MB). Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, it is the first study in some 30 years to take a new look at geothermal, an energy resource that has been largely ignored.

The goal of the study was to assess the feasibility, potential environmental impacts and economic viability of using enhanced geothermal system (EGS) technology to greatly increase the fraction of the U.S. geothermal resource that could be recovered commercially.

Although geothermal energy is produced commercially today and the United States is the world's biggest producer, existing U.S. plants have focused on the high-grade geothermal systems primarily located in isolated regions of the west. This new study takes a more ambitious look at this resource and evaluates its potential for much larger-scale deployment.

"We've determined that heat mining can be economical in the short term, based on a global analysis of existing geothermal systems, an assessment of the total U.S. resource and continuing improvements in deep-drilling and reservoir stimulation technology," said panel head Jefferson W. Tester, the H. P. Meissner Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT.

"EGS technology has already been proven to work in the few areas where underground heat has been successfully extracted. And further technological improvements can be expected," he said.

The expert panel offers a number of recommendations to develop geothermal as a major electricity supplier for the nation. These include more detailed and site-specific assessments of the U.S. geothermal resource and a multiyear federal commitment to demonstrate the concept in the field at commercial scale.

The new assessment of geothermal energy by energy experts, geologists, drilling specialists and others is important for several key reasons, Tester said.

First, fossil fuels--coal, oil and natural gas--are increasingly expensive and consumed in ever-increasing amounts. Second, oil and gas imports from foreign sources raise concerns over long-term energy security. Third, burning fossil fuels dumps carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Finally, heat mining has the potential to supply a significant amount of the country's electricity currently being generated by conventional fossil fuel, hydroelectric and nuclear plants.

The study shows that drilling several wells to reach hot rock and connecting them to a fractured rock region that has been stimulated to let water flow through it creates a heat-exchanger that can produce large amounts of hot water or steam to run electric generators at the surface. Unlike conventional fossil-fuel power plants that burn coal, natural gas or oil, no fuel would be required. And unlike wind and solar systems, a geothermal plant works night and day, offering a non-interruptible source of electric power.

Prof. Tester and panel member David Blackwell, professor of geophysics at Southern Methodist University in Texas, also point out that geothermal resources are available nationwide, although the highest-grade sites are in western states, where hot rocks are closer to the surface, requiring less drilling and thus lowering costs.

The panel also evaluated the environmental impacts of geothermal development, concluding that these are "markedly lower than conventional fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants."

"This environmental advantage is due to low emissions and the small overall footprint of the entire geothermal system, which results because energy capture and extraction is contained entirely underground, and the surface equipment needed for conversion to electricity is relatively compact," Tester said.

The report also notes that meeting water requirements for geothermal plants may be an issue, particularly in arid regions. Further, the potential for seismic risk needs to be carefully monitored and managed.

According to panel member M. Nafi Toksöz, professor of geophysics at MIT, "geothermal energy could play an important role in our national energy picture as a non-carbon-based energy source. It's a very large resource and has the potential to be a significant contributor to the energy needs of this country."

Toksöz added that the electricity produced annually by geothermal energy systems now in use in the United States at sites in California, Hawaii, Utah and Nevada is comparable to that produced by solar and wind power combined. And the potential is far greater still, since hot rocks below the surface are available in most parts of the United States.

Even in the most promising areas, however, drilling must reach depths of 5,000 feet or more in the west, and much deeper in the eastern United States. Still, "the possibility of drilling into these rocks, fracturing them and pumping water in to produce steam has already been shown to be feasible," Toksöz said.

Panel member Brian Anderson, an assistant professor at West Virginia University, noted that the drilling and reservoir technologies used to mine heat have many similarities to those used for extracting oil and gas. As a result, the geothermal industry today is well connected technically to two industry giants in the energy arena, oil and gas producers and electric power generators. With increasing demand for technology advances to produce oil and gas more effectively and to generate electricity with minimal carbon and other emissions, an opportunity exists to accelerate the development of EGS by increased investments by these two industries.

Government-funded research into geothermal was very active in the 1970s and early 1980s. As oil prices declined in the mid-1980s, enthusiasm for alternative energy sources waned, and funding for research on renewable energy and energy efficiency (including geothermal) was greatly reduced, making it difficult for geothermal technology to advance. "Now that energy concerns have resurfaced, an opportunity exists for the U.S. to pursue the EGS option aggressively to meet long-term national needs," Tester observed.

Tester and colleagues emphasize that federally funded engineering research and development must still be done to lower risks and encourage investment by early adopters. Of particular importance is to demonstrate that EGS technology is scalable and transferable to sites in different geologic settings.

In its report, the panel recommends that:

Besides Tester, Blackwell, Toksöz and Anderson, members of the panel include: geomechanics expert Anthony Batchelor, managing director of GeoScience Ltd. in the United Kingdom; reservoir engineer Roy Baria from the United Kingdom; geophysicists Maria Richards and Petru Negraru at Southern Methodist University; mechanical engineer Ronald DiPippo, an emeritus professor at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth; risk analyst Elisabeth Drake at MIT; chemist John Garnish, former director of geothermal programs of the European Commission; drilling expert Bill Livesay; economist Michal Moore at the University of Calgary in Canada, former California energy commissioner and chief economist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; commercial power conversion engineer Kenneth Nichols; geothermal industry expert Susan Petty; and petroleum engineering consultant Ralph Veatch Jr. Additional project support came from Chad Augustine, Enda Murphy and Gwen Wilcox at MIT.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 24, 2007 (download PDF).


Patti Richards
MIT News Office
Phone: 617-253-2700
E-mail: prichards@mit.edu


The Future of Geothermal Energy – Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States in the 21st Century - (full report, 14.1 MB, PDF file)

Jefferson W. Tester - MIT Department of Chemical Engineering

More: Chemistry and chemical engineering

More: Earth and atmospheric sciences

More: Energy

More: Environment

More: Physics

5) Acousto-Optic Toothbrush Hits the Gumline
Pro-Medic, January, 2007, http://www.pro-medic.us/toothbrush.php
A new electromagnetic toothbrush combines sound and light to provide multiple benefits to the teeth and gums.
Visible and Infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) pulsing at 4 MHz ultrasonic frequency for effective tooth whitening, reduction in gum bleeding and gingivitis, and antibacterial and rejuvenating effects within centimeters below the gum line.
The Pro-Medic Professional Toothbrush Multiplex Energy Technology uses advanced patented acousto-optic technology (U.S. Patents Pending 10/846,886 and 11/135,939) coupled with patented dual sonic frequency technology (U.S. Provisional Patent 60/730,820) to provide multiplicative effects to oral care.
MicroPulsar and MacroOscillator operating at sonic
frequencies for effective breakage of
bacterial plaque and gum massage
Ergonomic design and Non-Slip handle for more controlled brushing
Nanotechnology Antibacterial material on the bristle
Brushing option (manual) with only light and ultrasound for sensitive teeth or gums
  • 4MHz ultrasound
  • Blue & IR Light Emitting Diodes
  • MicroPulsar & MacroOscillator at Sonic Frequencies
  • Nanotechnology Antibacterial Treatment on the bristle head
  • Non-Slip TPE handle
  • Two more bristle heads include
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Dual Voltage 110/220V 60/50 Hz Charger included
  • Manual
  • Limited 1-year warranty

  • 6) Energy Challenges: The Next Thousand Years
    Thomas Valone, Integrity Research Institute, February 14, 2007, www.futurefoundation.org/programs/hum_home.htm
    Bellvue, WA - Humanity 3000, established in 1998, brings together at regular intervals a changing roster of some of the world’s most prominent thinkers to assess the current state of humanity and to identify the significant factors that may affect life a thousand years into the future. This year's Humanity 3000 Seminar is entitled "Global Energy" and is also part of the "Energy Challenges: The Next Thousand Years" workshop to be held at the Westin hotel in Bellevue, WA on March 29 - April 1, 2007. It will feature the following distinguished participants and panelists (five of whom were speakers at the Second Conference on Future Energy in Washington DC):

    Mr. Howard Bloom = International Paleopsychology Project

    Dr. Dennis Bushnell = NASA

    Dr. Eric Chaisson = Wright Center for Innovative Science Education

    Mr. Russ George = CEO, Planktos

    Dr. Jerome Glenn = AC/UNU/Millennium Project

    Mr. Gustov Grob = International Clean Energy Consortium

    Dr. Martin Hoffert = NYU Physics Dept.

    Dr. Feng Hsu = NASA

    Dr. Thorsten Ludwig = Technical University of Berlin

    Mr. John C. Mankins = Space Power Association

    Dr. Fabrizio Pinto = Interstellar Tech. Corp.

    Mr. Darel Preble = Chair, Space Solar Power Institute

    Sir Crispin Tickell = Chancellor, University of Kent

    Dr. Thomas Valone = President, Integrity Research Institute

    Dr. Craig Venter = The Center for Advancement of Genomics

    Dr. Paul Werbos = National Science Foundation

    Seminar, Symposia, and Workshop Series

    The Foundation For the Future convenes annual Humanity 3000 seminars and bi-decadal symposia. The seminars typically convene 25 to 35 participants. The first symposium, in August 2000, brought together 70 scholars from 40 disciplines and 20 countries. In addition, smaller workshops are conducted periodically to provide a knowledge base for seminar and symposia participants.

    Virtually all physical, biological, and social sciences are represented in Humanity 3000 dialogues, which are focused on human life in the thousand-year future. Each seminar is designed to be an exercise in creative and contemplative thought, and every effort is made in the selection of participants to ensure a wide representation of worldviews.


    The purpose of each seminar is to facilitate a free exchange of ideas about the future of our species, with an emphasis on informed understanding of what science tells us about the key factors that may affect the long-term future of humanity, as well as how the scientific view integrates into the whole. Participants not only identify and explore these key factors, but also map the past and current territory, and attempt to outline the future trajectory of each factor, as currently understood, in view of foreseeable future problems and opportunities.

    Humanity 3000 participants are asked to address the following: In the context of Homo sapiens' evolutionary past, present, and thousand-year future:

    • What are the threats to the survival of humanity?

    • What are the opportunities that offset/mitigate the threats?

    • What are the emergent priorities to ensure the future well-being of humanity?

    Scholars interested in participating in seminars and/or symposia are invited to contact the Foundation for additional information:

    Kathy Carr
    123 105 Ave SE
    Bellevue, WA 98004

    7) ABC Reports Planktos' Winning Approach to Branson's $25 million
    Earth Challenge Prize
    Russ George, Planktos Inc., Feb. 12, 2007
    ABC News Features CEO Russ George
    Answering the challenge by Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines and Virgin Galactic to award $25 million to the one who has a solution to worldwide CO2 pollution, Russ George sent a letter to say his company, Planktos Inc. can do the job. In the one minute ABC News broadcase, Mr. George explained that his process of seeding iron powder to the sea can cause artificial plankton blooms that will absorb and permanently sequester millions of tons of CO2. Watch the news broadcast online at
    Who Is Planktos?
    The world's leading ecorestoration firm, Planktos, Inc. is a for-profit company that generates carbon offsets in two ways: by restoring plankton populations in the world's oceans and by planting new "climate forest parks" with its EU subsidiary KlimaFa.

    Carbon Offsets
    Plankton and trees both capture CO2 through photosynthesis and store the carbon in their tissues. Once sequestered, this CO2 converts to carbon credits that Planktos can sell in global emission markets.

    Ecosystem Restoration
    Restoration of trees and seas reduces atmospheric CO2, the primary cause of global warming, and revives essential ecosystems and habitats. All living creatures benefit from the resulting cleaner air, improved water quality, and enhanced biodiversity.
    US Headquarters
    1151 Triton Dr. Suite C
    Foster City, CA 94404

    Tel: 650-638-1975
    Fax: 650-393-6184
    Canadian Office
    925 W. Georgia St. #145,
    Vancouver, BC V6C 3L2

    Contact List
    Human Resources
    Russ George, CEO
    William G. Coleman, COO/Marketing
    Michael Chinn, CFO/CIO
    David Kubiak, Communications

    Sent as a courtesy from www.IntegrityResearchInstitute.org where you may request a FREE 35-minute DVD on "Future Energy" by email iri@erols.com or online order page.