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Harriet Green of Cityam reports Warren Buffett was spending $15bn on renewable energy. He’s now upped that to $30bn.


Speaking at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual convention in Las Vegas, the guru investor turned to deputy Greg Abel for a reminder of the figure, before coming back with, as reported by Bloomberg: “There’s another $15bn ready to go, as far as I’m concerned.”

"We’ve poured billions and billions and billions of dollars in retained earnings, and several billion of additional equity… And we’re going to keep doing that as far as the eye can see", he said.

The firm’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy has $70bn in assets and over 8.4m customers globally, operates power grids here in the UK, and natural gas pipelines stretching across vast swathes of the US.

One of Buffet's investments is a solar farm in California that will be one of the largest in the world when it is finished.

 photo EEPro-Carports-offer-solar-power-for-parking_zps93ceaacf.jpg
Image: Courtesy of EEPro Solar.

Tina Casey, a specialist in military and corporate sustainability, writing in Clean Techinica tells us that Solar Power Transforms Parking Lots into Green Job Generators, taking advantage of space that is currently being wasted.  

EEPro creates more green jobs with solar power parking lotsWhile fossil fuel companies in the U.S. are busily wrecking vast sections of the country’s natural heritage, a new energy resource has been quietly emerging from an unlikely source: parking lots.  More parking lots are being converted into solar energy farms that create clean, renewable power while also creating more green jobs in solar cell manufacturing, installation, and sales.

One relatively new player in the U.S. solar parking lot field is EEPro, an offshoot of the German company EEPro GmbH, which started up operations in North Carolina last year. Its main product consists of photovoltaic units mounted on steel frames, which dovetails neatly with support for renewable energy by the United Steelworkers and other labor groups that see a rich trove of new green jobs in the emerging green economy.

The basic idea behind a solar parking lot is simply to incorporate solar panels into a carport, which is basically an open-sided shed with a roof.  Solar carports can be small enough to fit a single car at a residence, or scaled up for commercial and institutional purposes. The main benefit, of course, is to generate renewable energy that can be used to lower utility costs on site, for example at a mall or office complex.  Depending on the scale, the installation could also yield excess energy in the form of electricity for sale.  A solar carport can also help reduce the “heat island” effect of parking lots and contribute to a cooler community, and by providing protection from the elements it can help enhance vehicle lifespan.

 photo Windwaddler_zpscd861e4a.jpg

Thanks to Lefty Coaster who sends us this Helical ‘Wind Wandler’ Turbine Provides Quieter Domestic Wind Energy, from German designers who avoided the usual point blade wind designs that create to much noise for many urban uses by creating "vortexes of turbulence" as the blade cuts through the wind.

Though, I have to admit I am puzzled by a 2005 publication date, and I can not find a current alternative reference. Is this one of those "ghost products" that gets a lot of upfront hype and then disappears? I'll crowd source this mystery to any cyber sleuths who wish to help.

Wilhelm Hermann Josef, the Managing Director of MatroW,  also used advanced ceramic materials in the design of the Windwaddler to improve its efficiency.  

The helical turbine designed in contrast to the more common bladed design is claimed to be a more efficient form of developing wind energy for domestic users. The wind turbine has been given the name the 'Wind Wandler' and was developed by a small German company called MatroW based in Ladenburg.

The first production units consist of two spiral vanes of glass fibre reinforced materials which are 1m in diameter, 1.39m long and sit in a hemispherical yoke so they are supported at both ends. Output at 14m/s is about 1 kW. The disk armature generator is rated at 3.5kW and, unlike bladed turbines, they do not have to be stopped in high winds. Rotation speed at 24m/s wind is 1,400 rpm, but remains the same at 30m/s because surplus high speed air then tends to spill round the rotating turbine. The turbines turn naturally into the wind.

The turbines are designed to be quieter when they rotate, which he says, is because they have no blade tips to shed vortices. Total weight of turbine and generator without mast is 39kg. Noise level at 1400 rpm is 42 dBA. The company is selling the units at a price of 6,300 euros each.

The Managing Director - designer says "they are 53% efficient, as opposed to 46% for conventional bladed turbines, and the theoretical maximum efficiency that can be attained is 59%."

I suspect the company may have been bought up and the product may be out under a different name.

I'll post some additional articles in an update if there is sufficient interest.

We don't need to be weatherpeople to know which way this wind is blowing.

Originally posted to SciTech on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Good News.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 0-)

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:18:02 PM PDT

  •  Y'know If I Had a Choice Between Investing In (7+ / 0-)

    an arms company whose clientele is steadily shrinking, vs. renewable energy businesses whose clientele will be expanding for the next several lifetimes,

    --what to do, what to do?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:21:35 PM PDT

  •  the wandler seems silly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, ladybug53

    if you look, it looks like a play on this

    they've been doing some very clever stuff in conventional 3 axis wind turbines.

    lets stay with that

    •  I've published on that one a few times and have (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, Albanius, hbk

      this article and some more updates on it including prices ign another post coming soon patbahn.

      I'm mostly packing this week for our move to Florida, and did not expect to post at all this week, but I found a few minutes to rest for bit before another run to the dump.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:33:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good luck w/your move - it is encouraging that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        someone as well informed as you are on the climate crisis is still willing to move to FL, a big sandbar much of which is liable to be under water if we lose.

        IMO, as extreme weather disasters pass a tipping point of non-deniability, maybe in the next year or so if there is a major El Nino, public opinion will undergo a phase change, as for secondhand smoke in the 90's and same sex marriage currently.

        In that case, there is still the technical and economic capability to ramp down fossil folly short of the point of no return, at which runaway positive feedbacks would kick in.  

        When people like Buffett invest heavily in renewables, a lot of other big players pay attention.

        There's no such thing as a free market!

        by Albanius on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 03:44:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you, but I thought it might be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      interesting to hear from engineers like yourself and also compare prices, and get the idea out that getting silent turbines to open up residential wind could be a big frigging deal.

      Also this design was original used for underwater use, so I'm thinking this may explain its curious shape.

      The authors argue that by using composites they are able to reduce the weight of the "blades" providing efficiency advantages, however, I have not studied the details.

      Maybe you've solved the mystery for why it seems to have disappeared.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:37:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this may be quieter as the Archimedes is (0+ / 0-)

        but, i doubt the solidity factors or hub to tip ratio is very good.

        it probably disappeared because it's a bad idea, or very very very niche or impossible to build cheaply,

        personally i think extraordinary cliams require proof.

        We are doing amazing things in simple horizontal 3 blade wind turbines.  that's now the standard to measure
        everything else.

  •  it's funny how "Conservatives" are anti green (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, HoundDog


    they are probably going to start going around shooting out
    solar panels soon enough.

    •  Yikes don't give them any ideas. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV, glb3, hbk

      But if solar and wind start becoming super profitable, they very well may claim they thought of it all along.

      I would think Libertarians, and conservatives would be the most positive group about small scale residential solar and wind because of the potential of being able to go "offgrid" and free oneself from one of the big utility companies which have become yet another long "tentacle" of big government intrusion and control of our lives.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:41:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Solar and wind power is all about FREEDOM. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, hbk

        ...from fossil fuels, oil companies, wars, etc.

        How do you tell your pet slug that you had escargot for dinner?

        by glb3 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:54:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  it's dissonance. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The same conservatives who scream about
        how we shouldn't preserve ANWR or Polar
        bears aren't endangered by climate change,
        are out there howling that wind turbines are
        killing golden eagles.

        Suddenly they are the 1,000% ornitholigist
        when they can stop a hydro or wind project.

        They hate socialism until PV comes along then
        they are screaming that Solar PV should pay
        grid taxes.

  •  Looks like Comrade Buffet's secret mission... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, DRo, Justus, hbk proceeding nicely.

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:36:33 PM PDT

  •  Looks similar to some at Altamont Pass windfarm. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:57:06 PM PDT

  •  Good luck with your packing and moving, (0+ / 0-)

    But when you come back to visit your diary, could you please correct the spelling of the name of your diary subject? It's Buffett with TWO t's. Not the word for a self-serve restaurant meal. Thanks.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 03:27:02 PM PDT

  •  Just Remember (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Buffett is also heavily invested in Bakken shale oil via (at least) BNSF Railroad, which has a near monopoly on shipping it out of North Dakota.

    Still, the Oracle of Omaha sees profit in renewable energy sources, so you know there will not be lockstep opposition to development thereof by capitalists.  That could be good news.

    Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. -Michael Hudson

    by Justus on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:26:21 PM PDT

  •  Doing well by doing good? Got to love it! (0+ / 0-)


    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:53:17 PM PDT

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