Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Guarded Optimism from a Pessimist

by DeAnander Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 09:37:55 AM EST

Until recently I guessed that the maximum contribution from renewables would be something like 50%: beyond that point the difficulties of storing electricity and balancing the grid could become overwhelming. But three papers now suggest that we could go much further...

Brought over by afew

    Last year, the German government published a study of the effects of linking the electricity networks of all the countries in Europe and connecting them to North Africa and Iceland with high voltage direct current cables. This would open up a much greater variety of renewable power sources. Every country in the network would then be able to rely on stable and predictable supplies from elsewhere: hydroelectricity in Scandanavia and the Alps, geothermal energy in Iceland and vast solar thermal farms in the Sahara. By spreading the demand across a much wider network, it suggests that 80 percent of Europe's electricity could be produced from renewable power without any greater risk of blackouts or flickers.

    At about the same time, Mark Barrett at University College London published a preliminary study looking mainly at ways of altering the pattern of demand for electricity to match the variable supply from wind and waves and tidal power. At about twice the current price, he found that we might be able to produce as much as 95 percent of our electricity from renewable sources without causing interruptions in the power supply.

    Now a new study by the Center for Alternative Technology takes this even further. It is remarkable in two respects: it suggests that by 2027 the United Kingdom could produce 100 percent of our electricity without the use of fossil fuels or nuclear power, and that it could do so while almost tripling its supply: British heating systems (using electricity to drive heat pumps) and transport systems could be mostly powered by it. It relies on a great expansion of electricity storage: building new hydroelectric reservoirs into which water can be pumped when electricity is abundant, constructing giant vanadium flow batteries and linking electric cars up to the grid when they are parked, using their batteries to meet fluctuations in demand. It contains some optimistic technical assumptions, but also a very pessimistic one: that the UK relies entirely on its own energy supplies. If the German proposal were to be combined with these ideas, it's possible to see how one might reliably move towards a world without fossil fuels.

    If Hansen is correct, to avert the meltdown that brings the Holocene to an end we require a response on this scale: a sort of political "albedo flip." The British government must immediately commission studies to discover how much of our energy could be produced without fossil fuels, set that as its target then turn the economy round to meet it. But a power shift like this cannot take place without a power shift of another kind: the UK needs a government which fears planetary meltdown more than it fears the CBI.


as we all know there is a long tradition of asserting that an automobile can be run on water, the evil oil companies just suppressed the miracle carburetor...

however in this case, we have efforts by many people -- Nomad and my humble self making a tiny contribution -- to figure out how much energy is really necessary for a pleasant, healthy and decent life;  and we have new research and new ideas surfacing that suggest we can meet that baseline (and much more!) with renewables (tide, solar, wind).

however, it is genuinely true that industry and finance capital have a stranglehold on government throughout the world, except perhaps in a few backwaters like Cuba or Bougainville or Tikopia which contribute nearly nothing to the problem.  and there is far more money to be made by investing in, and profiting from, a last desperate flare-off of the remaining fossil fuel reserves at steeply climbing prices, than in using them to retool for sustainable energy production in future.

there is going to be entrenched resistance to a shift to renewable energy sources.  how to overcome it?

yeah, i've always felt that the resistance was psychological, and that the solution would be, to quote the tantric saying, 'it's the same way up, that you came down'.

in other words, personal, more than political...if the problem is located within man's mind, then the solution surely must lie there too.

with ripple as analogy, we can generate more and bigger effects, once we have put our own house in order, and our waves join with others heading in the same direction.

when the waves get big enough, the force enters into a political plane, the arena where personal balance or psychosis is writ large, with knock-ons and blowback that affect millions.

so a lot of folks gradually take the higher ground, leading by example, till the 100th monkey effect kicks in...

starting to happen, smells like the third act from down here in the stalls!

people are duped into thinking they have no power, and that their actions are so minute as to be entirely negligable.
that's so not true.

this reality that's coming down will be quite ruthless in rejecting energy models that depended on public apathy and knee-jerk compliance to survive.

what's left, after the tarot tower has fallen, will be those little islands of sanity that are mostly drowned in noise right now, but whose signals might well be all we have to reboot with.

thanks for the encouraging news, it is a bright ray of hope that more people are articulating such ideas...we need to dare to think out of the box more often.

if we're serious about survival.

as you so obviously are...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jul 12th, 2007 at 09:54:44 PM EST
If someone knows where to find the German report, I'd love to read it.

For a while, I was trying to get a modest feel for what would happen if all non-mobile energy users relied on electricity. I've never been able to find a decent load model. Complete dry hole. Could have been bored by GWB in his Arbusto days.

If that report is serious, it has a serious load model. Yummy!


I've just had a quick look at the summary (pdf) of Barrett's proposal and it seems to rely very heavily on large behavioral changes

That's a complete no-go. End of the story

Behaviors will change only under strong constraints, with a full-blown supply crunch and it will be way, way too late to do anything about the real problem: global warming.

Peak oil/gas/coal are coming but not fast enough to force us to save our hide.

by Francois in Paris on Thu Jul 12th, 2007 at 11:00:03 PM EST

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 05:01:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Sorne Hill wind farm

The Sorne Hill wind farm is a wind farm located in Buncrana, Inishowen Donegal Ireland and erected in 2004. The farm is run by Tapbury Management Limited.

Phase 1 of the farm has 16 wind turbines with a 60 metre hub height and 70 metre rotor diameter giving a total capacity of 32 megawatts. Phase 2 of the farm will which is an additional 6.9 MW of wind power for which turbines have been ordered and are due to be installed in the autumn of 2007. This will make Sorne, at 38 MW, one of the largest wind farms in Ireland.

In one of the largest contracts for an energy storage system in the wind power industry, VRB Power Systems Inc. has contracted to supply a 1.5 MW x 8 hour Vanadium redox battery system. This will be driven from phase 2 of the wind farm and will enable surplus electricity to be generated when demand is low, and will improve consistency or supply to the electricity network


says the cost of the battery system is $6.3 millions.

French 2006 average grid power use is 55GW (peak use was 87GW), so 1.3TWh per average day.

Cost of storing one average day of France electricity use by this system is thus 682 billions USD (37% of 2006 France GDP). Of course we don't have to store all of it in batteries but this gives a reference number :).


says that sales of batteries amount was 48 billions USD in 2005.

Hydro (pumped or not) is a nice storage too:


Source for french grid power use:


which has 1996 to now electricity grid use at 30 minute sampling available as zipped excel file.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 11:16:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Assuming it's 1.2 MWh at $2.5 millions it's four time more expensive per MWh than the vanadium battery described in the parent comment.

May be some technical information is missing somewhere though.


A test case in West Virginia

American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest U.S. utilities, has been using a 1.2 megawatt NaS battery in Charleston, W.Va., the past year and plans to install one twice the size elsewhere in the state next year. Dozens of utilities are considering the battery, says Dan Mears, a consultant for NGK Insulators, the Japanese company that makes the devices.

"If you've got these batteries distributed in the neighborhood, you have, in a sense, lots of little power plants," Walker says. "The difference between these and diesel generators is these batteries don't need fuel" and don't pollute.

The NaS battery is the most advanced of several energy-storage technologies that utilities are testing. The oldest and most widespread form of energy storage in the USA, pumped hydroelectricity, collects water after it spins a turbine and uses a small amount of electricity to send it back and repeat the process.

Lead-acid batteries -- the same kind used in cars -- were installed by Southern California Edison in 1988. But the batteries, though inexpensive, typically fill warehouse-size buildings and last about five years. That's because the acid that connects positive and negative electrodes corrodes components.

An NaS battery, by contrast, uses a far more durable porcelain-like material to bridge the electrodes, giving it a life span of about 15 years, Mears says. It also takes up about a fifth of the space. Ford Motor pioneered the battery in the 1960s to power early-model electric cars; NGK and Tokyo Electric refined it for the power grid.

Since the 1990s, Japanese businesses have installed enough NaS batteries to light the equivalent of about 155,000 homes, says Brad Roberts, head of the Electricity Storage Association. In the USA, AEP is using the 30-foot-wide by 15-foot-igh battery to supply 10% of the electricity needs of 2,600 customers in north Charleston, says Ali Nourai, AEP manager of distributed energy. The battery, which cost about $2.5 million, is charged by generators from the grid at night, when demand and prices are low, and discharged during the day when power usage peaks.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:14:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is busy investing in renewable energy these days. $100bn last year, and growing at record rates. And this is one sector where I expect that the coming financial crash will only have a limited impact upon.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 04:54:56 AM EST
80 percent of Europe's electricity could be produced from renewable power without any greater risk of blackouts or flickers.
95 percent of our electricity from renewable sources without causing interruptions in the power supply.
Why is this required? Would 'civilization' collapse if we were unable to guarantee uninterrupted power? How about reconfiguring electricity distribution systems with robustness to handle intermittent power? (As it is now, I believe, the power grid does not cope well with interruptions. Nor is it well setup for powering various subparts independently, I think...) If we are truly serious about renewables and sustainability I don't see why 'full power all the time' should be kept as a non-negotiable requirement.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 05:11:29 AM EST
excellent point, someone!

what if i want to use my electric toenail clippers at 3 am?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 07:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 a sort of political "albedo flip.

What is needed is a financial "albedo flip".

A move from a deficit-based financial system to an "asset-based" system.

This is achievable through direct investment in the future production of renewable energy through units in "Pools" of future production.

Exchanging Value now for future energy production, and creating fungible/ exchangeable energy units which are capable - on a suitable market platform and within the legal framework of a "Clearing Union" - of becoming a form of energy-based currency.

Ideally such Pools would be funded in part by a levy or tax (carbon tax)on the use of non-renewables - collected at the clearing level. Until carbon credits - another deficit-based system, but one advocated widely, and also in the CAT study - are shown up for the complete bollocks they are by an alternative that actually works, then that won't happen.

I am sure Jerome and most others on ET are fed up with me saying this, but most of the "investment" currently made in renewables, and in which he is a leading exponent - is not "investment" at all but secured lending.

A big difference. In fact, all the difference in the world. The wrong "polarity".

Such deficit-based financing constitutes a future claim over renewables based upon virtually NO real Value now other than the small amount of Capital required by the Bank of International Settlements (pursuant to Basel Accords I and II).

So only a very small amount of the "investment" - "Equity" in companies "owning" the assets, and the tiny amount of bank capital backing the credit - consists of Value, as opposed to its antithesis - an IOU or claim over Value.

That is the fact of it: banks rarely "invest" - they create credit and lend it - and for so long as they are credit intermediaries, rather than service providers - then they are part (the greater part) of the problem, not part of the solution.

I'll try not to say it again today: but I'm going to keep on saying it!

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 05:37:29 AM EST
Jerome may have more to say on this, but:

Last month, FPL Energy, the Florida company that won the bid to build, own and operate the 40-turbine wind farm 3.5 miles off the Island's South Shore, said in a letter to LIPA that it was adjusting the anticipated costs for the project to $697 million. The original projection, in 2003, was $356 million.

A perfect example of how markets operate. Since wind power is cheaper than other forms the equipment makers can raise their prices until they are just slightly better than the alternatives. But since the cost of the competitors can't be foreseen over long periods of time it raises the risk level for these new projects. The same thing is happening with nuclear as the price of Uranium has been rising rapidly.

This affects plans for alternative energy because risky investments are less likely to get built.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 09:17:29 AM EST
Seems to me that what's needed now are "Not for Loss" wind turbine manufacturers, because they present ones are becoming both a bottleneck and a source of inflation (and "super-profits" - the flip side of demand led inflation.

When it comes down to it, the current system is all about rents and rentiers, so let's get do it cooperatively, without the rentiers..

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 09:26:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Its worth noting that the electric utility on Long Island is a public sector company, and its owners (the citizens) have been demanding renewable energy supplies and an effort at conservation.  
by corncam on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 10:21:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 10:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really. After the collapse of the nuclear power project owned by LILCO the company was taken over by a public entity. This is mostly a fiction designed to allow for public financing of the sunk costs.

LIPA owns nothing and buys it power from private companies. I'm not sure who owns the distribution system, it may be LIPA. In the present US climate taking over a private company and making it into a true municipal one doesn't happen even in cases as extreme as this one.

Regardless of how obvious the examples of the value of non-profit enterprises for certain key sectors of society, the US keeps selling off the publicly owned resources and getting higher prices and lower quality as a consequence. The new owners do get rich however having been handed effective monopolies.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 11:08:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why a "Community Trust" is necessary.

Assets should be "owned" by "Custodians" in the public interest, because ideologies of local government change, and, therefore local government can't be trusted not to sell off the Crown Jewels, while the private sector can't be trusted not to melt them down and sell off the precious metal and gems...

"Melting down" being very much to the point...

It's then a simple matter for the funders and users of funding to form a partnership and agree a reasonable rate for whatever needs doing.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 11:43:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Btw. I don't say "Not for Profit", but rather "Not for Loss"

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 11:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in the wind sector have come from a combination of factors:

  • very real increases in the cost of inputs (steel, cement);

  • a relative scarcity in the market, caused by a combination of (i) lowish investments by manufacturers stung by the previous boom a couple years ago that ended in tears when the US Congress failed to renew the PTC and destroyed the market - twice - leaving manufacturers first with over capacity for a year, then with painful pression to deliver quickly the next and (ii) massive long term orders by financial investors who are effectively hoarding production capacity and then allocating to their own projects or passing it on to other projects (often by buying them out, using their access to turbines)

  • high liquidity in the markets, which allows investors to borrow a lot, pay more for projects, and bid up the price for turbines when necessary.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 10:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
actually, there is some of the 'profit taking' at play.  But, there is also a global price increase going on with all capital projects -- raw materials skyrocketing in price (PRC+ demand), shortages in industrial capacity for many components (globally), etc ...

The "cost" increase is only, imo, partially attributable to people 'gouging' system (but, after all, isn't capitalism about trying to maximize profits?).

Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart. NOW!!!

by a siegel (siegeadATgmailIGNORETHISdotPLEASEcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 11:02:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(but, after all, isn't capitalism about trying to maximize profits?).

you got that right, baby...see ya in vegas

no, seriously, silly bunny, it's about killing the goose to get the egg inside her, it's about burning the family's heirloom furniture to stay warm, cuz yer too lazy to collect the firewood right outside the door, it's about a giant fuck-you to all the have-not 4/5ths of the world population, and it's all about growth, growth, growth, (plenty of work for oncologists) while whipping a dead horse of an old paradigm.

capitalism is at best a kind of social software beta, fulla bugs; maybe there will be a paul hawken-style v.2. out of the ashes, when building a shovel to last more than one season is not simply a design option.

we need landrover type durability built and designed into everything we touch and use...maglites, kevin kelly as global quality control tzar.

planned obsolescence should be regarded as eco-treason, much more serious than spy vs. spy international le carre stuff.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 15th, 2007 at 12:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
..is of course one of the mainstays of capitalism. He who controls the power stations has the power. Neither the Industrial Age nor the Information Age could have been born without it.

Fuel Cells were going to be the answer to decentralized energy that would allow Africa to light-industrialize in its own model (rather than taking the W*stern model). Let's see.

While agreeing there is some cause for optimism with this report (above) it has to be counterbalanced by individual houses and communities contributing their own energy savings, combined with feasible moves toward self-sufficiency (Solar, Wind, heat pumps etc). I would imagine that adding together long term personal energy savings of 10% or more, plus personal investment in renewable energy sources that could supply 10% of needs, would go a long way to making a dent in our slavish reliance on centralized energy.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 11:17:42 AM EST
has been used because there are what's called economies of scale and you can thus get your stuff more efficiently, and more cheaply, by doing it in a centralised way.

A typewriter "centralises" all your writing where the typewrite is, whereas with a "decentralised" pen, you ca nwrite anywhere...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 11:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A typewriter!? What's that? ;-)

That was precisely my point. Do we need economies of scale any more?

I was just reading of a new type of enterprise in the US. Offices and industrial premises with roof space can get rather a large amount of energy from a well-designed and large solar array.

The business model is that the entrepreneur analyses the needs of the office and then installs the entire system gratis - but the ordering company then pays for the energy they get, at more or less going rates for electricity off the grid. Where they gain is that when power is generated by the rooftop system surplus to requirements, it is sold back to the grid supplier, and benefits both the entrepreneur and their client.

According to the report, the main bone of contention is the unit price of the sellback which so far has been closer to the retail price (ie the grid utility company becomes a consumer). On the other hand, the utility companies have found these new systems to help quite a lot with peak loading - saving them from starting up expensive reserve generators etc.

But it is an interesting model...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 12:55:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Weird. Have you got the link?

That is almost EXACTLY the self financing "Energy Pool" model I advocate, and which sinks without trace every time I mention it, probably because it's categorised in the "It's just Chris banging on again" box.

Oh well.

It does require smart metering, though, and the sort of IP these guys



I saw them recently re "partnerising" what they are doing: there's hope for us Brits yet.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:08:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard a report on NPR while driving, about 7-10 days ago. Sorry I don't remember any more about it.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:18:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This sounds like the report I heard. It links to a replay of the original radio report.


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW I'll get back to the Monster model when the Finns get back from summer vacation ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:21:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great stuff.

How did the film-making go? There must be a Diary or Two in that?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's probably some kind insight to be unravelled, but maybe first I need some perspective.

Today I had my last day of shooting sketches - finally in the inner sanctum - the HQ of Yle. Not so much sketches as tidying up the backstory for the last episode. There's  still one scene where our Gypsy King meets the Channel Director and finally decides to reject the digital world (to which Finland converts, in reality, at the end of the series) The closing line is 'We are analogue people' ;-). But unfortunately one actor is unavailable except when I am away to I have allowed the producer to direct it ;-)

I've also been working on a 45 second animated tribute to our other star who died during production. This is meant to come before the final end credits.

Oh, and today we had one of Finland's leading gangsters on set for a bit part. I've been working with an American colleague on a new comedy series called 'Behind the 8-Ball' which is about a gang of bikers made up of ex-businessmen gone wild. We needed to do some research on 'clubhouses' etc and I asked the Man if he could help. He made one call and I am now booked to spend some time with a rather notorious biker gang in August. I have no qualms - if I go with his recommendation, I'll be safer than out on the streets ;-)

I have described before my interest in people who live outside the law. This guy is charming, intelligent - even wise, and very funny. We had a day of laughs.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:55:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

World's biggest solar farm planned in California
Fri Jul 6, 2007 7:45PM EDT

 LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A San Francisco company said Friday it plans to build the world's largest solar power farm near Fresno, California.

The 80-megawatt farm is to occupy as much as 640 acres (260 hectares) and upon completion in 2011 will be 17 times the size of the largest U.S. solar farm, said Cleantech America LLC, a privately held 2-year-old company.

The farm will also be about seven times the size of the world's biggest plant and double the largest planned farm, both in Germany.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:04:12 PM EST
Old post (200603) but still relevant AFAIK (if we move out of liquid fuel for transporation and go for batteries).


 Sugar Cane vs. Solar Panels

As I was reading the crazy ideas about the future in The Singularity is Near, I had a crazy idea of my own: what if humans could be solar powered? Right now, humans use plants to capture the sunlight's energy and convert it into carbohydrates which we can digest and use to power our bodies. What if we could cut out the middle man? What if we could wear a solar paneled hat or body suit that would capture the sunlight and turn it into the glucose that the body needs for energy? And if it were possible, how large of a solar paneled hat would you need?

And this lead me a second question: which collects more usable energy, an acre of sugar cane or an acre of solar panels?

So I ran the numbers. I chose sugar cane because it produces the largest number of calories per acre of any agricultural product. From sucrose.com we learn that you can harvest 10 tons of sugar per hectare = 10,000 kg/10,000m^2 = 1 kg /m^2. This means a square meter of sugar can yields a kilogram of sugar a year. As there are 4 calories (or kcal) per gram this gives you 4,000 kcal/m^2.

At this site we learn that a square meter of 11% efficient solar panels collects around 550Wh a day in Austin Texas. So for a whole year that gives you 550 * 365 = 200 kWh/yr/m^2.

Then as everyone knows (or knows how to use Google Calculator knows) 1 kcal = 1.16222222 watt hour. So our 4,000 kcals of sugar = 4.65 kWh. That means the 11% efficient solar panel generates 200/4.65 = 50 times more usable energy a year than the sugar cane does. And as you can now get 22% efficient solar panels that would go up to 100 times.

Solar panels are therefore 2 magnitudes of order better at creating usable energy per m^2 than sugar cane

by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:07:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Brammo Launches First Production Battery-Electric Motorcycle; Uses Valence Li-Ion Batteries    

8 July 2007

Brammo Motorsports announced the Enertia, the world's first production zero-emissions battery-powered plug-in electric motorcycle. 

The chassis integrates six Valence lithium-phosphate batteries in a 3.1 kWh battery pack that powers a permanent magnet DC pancake motor to drive the Enertia to a top speed of more than 50 mph (80 kph). The range of the Enertia is 45 miles (72.4 km), and it requires 3 hours to fully recharge.

Brammo chose Valence for three primary reasons, according to Chairman and CEO Craig Bramscher:

  • Safest available batteries for a motorcycle;

  • Best packaging and integration; and

  • Best availability for mass production in the near term.

Bramscher also noted that "We are always looking at all of the battery/companies, but Valence is clearly our best match right now."

At its quickest setting, the Enertia accelerates from 0 to 30 mph (48 kph) in 3.8 seconds.

Borrowing from racing technology, the Enertia utilizes a carbon fiber chassis producing an ultra-strong, light-weight vehicle platform of just 275 lbs.

We believe consumers are eager to adopt vehicles that have a fraction of the carbon footprint of a today's cars. Our Enertia electric motorcycle empowers people to make this choice today.

Brammo has begun taking orders in the US for a limited production model featuring hand-built carbon-fiber chassis and bodywork. Shipping date is 1Q 2008. The standard edition goes for $11,995 and is expected in 3Q 2008.

Brammo's Enertia is the first of a line of plug-in electric commuter, commercial and recreational vehicles under development.


by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:18:44 PM EST
The "Think" (electric) Car in Norway was one hell of a saga.

Ford pulled the plug on it once the environmental regime was loosened, and it all closed down, amidst much Norwegian hubbub and recrimination.

But it appears to be back, with a new generation of battery technology etc


and it now appears to be THE fashion accessory for the trendy (Wo)Man-about-Oslo.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:51:42 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]