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Space Energy Newsletter May 2010

 

 

World Leading Expert in Advanced Aerospace Systems Joins Space Energy Team

The Space Energy Group is extremely proud to announce the very valuable inclusion of Dr. Neville Marzwell to our Board of Advisors. Some of Dr. Marzwell’s many accolades include being Manager for Advanced Concepts and Technology Innovation at NASA´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA.  He has 36 years experience in defense and aerospace systems technologies in which he initiated various technology breakthroughs and paradigm innovations. As a result of his expertise, he has made significant contributions to power generation, energy beaming, energy management and storage, smart grid, automation and robotics, sensors, guidance, navigations and controls.

Presently, he is a consultant to major Aerospace and government agencies and also a Senior Adjunct Professor of Strategic Management at the University of La Verne. He has published 137 papers, is refereed in numerous professional journals and has served on various national and international panels, workshops, conferences and symposium committees for NASA, DOE and DOD.

A former NASA colleague and teammate of Dr. Hsu´s within the NASA SBSP demonstration project, it is with great excitement and honour that Dr. Marzwell joins our distinguished Board of Advisors.  A historically significant meeting between the two and CEO Stephan Tennsel earlier this month facilitated a discussion of many critical issues regarding the developmental strategy of SBSP. Such is Dr. Marzwell´s caliber that we are fully confident his profound professional experiences and technical achievements will greatly add to the tremendous momentum of Space Energy’s business and technical plans to develop the world’s first solar power satellite.

Stephan Tennsel to meet with Henry Kissinger

Space Energy´s CEO, Stephan Tennsel is delighted to reveal that he has had the honour of receiving an invitation to meet with Henry Kissinger in New York at the end of May.  Formerly Secretary of State, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, member of the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy of the National Security Council and Defense Department, Dr. Kissinger is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board of the U.S.

Among the many awards Dr. Kissinger has received, three are quite notable: the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973; the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation's highest civilian award) in 1977; and the Medal of Liberty in 1986.

Peter Sage Speaks at Exclusive Global Entrepreneurship Forum of INSEAD´s Leadership Summit

On the 14th of May our Principal and Director of Global Communication and Marketing, Peter Sage, was at INSEAD in Paris to present Space Energy at the Global Entrepreneurship Forum.  A very high-profile event, some of the key thinkers and investors from across Europe were present.  The format in this ‘once a year’ event allows for only eight Entrepreneurs to have a seven minute slot, each securing support for their transformational innovations.  The eight places are carefully selected based on the participant’s current position, credibility and potential.  The fact that Space Energy was chosen is a significant testimony to the level of regard with which the company is held in high-level commercial and international circles.
 
Arguably the world’s top business school for entrepreneurship, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world to change lives and transform organisations that need leaders with the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere in the world.

This academic year is an important milestone as a half century of success is celebrated. Fifty years ago, INSEAD pioneered the concept of international business education – and they’re still innovating across all of their programmes, not to mention their cutting-edge research. The world and INSEAD have developed dramatically in the course of the last fifty years, but the core values on which they were founded have remained constant. These principles have enabled an entrepreneurial spirit to evolve and the school has grown into a truly global force.

Dr Feng Hsu Speaks at CleanTech Forum XXVII, Paris

Before recovering from the jetlag of a trans-Pacific flight from Beijing after the successful SICES 2010 energy summit in China, Space Energy’s Sr. VP Dr. Feng Hsu continued his demanding travel schedule on a trans-Atlantic flight to participate in the 2010 CleanTech Forum XVII held in Paris from April 26 to April 29.  As an invited speaker, Dr. Hsu gave a successful presentation to an auditorium packed with a very enthusiastic global audience on the topic of Space Based Solar Power and its inevitable impact on the world economy and future of humanity. The presentation was followed by an hour long interactive Q&A session regarding solar power satellites as the audience showed a profound level of interest in this game-changing clean energy technology.  Dr. Hsu´s attendance and contribution to this increasingly influential clean energy forum proved historic as it took Space Based Solar Power and Space Energy straight to top of the agenda of this global event for the very first time.  Indeed, immediately after the SBSP session held by Dr. Feng Hsu, Mr Sheeraz Haji, President of the CleanTech Group commented to him that he was “so pleased that SBSP has been introduced to the world audience at this CleanTech Forum in Paris” and that he would do everything he could at the CleanTech Group “to help educate the world public, investors and policy-makers alike, about such paradigm-changing alternative energy options like SBSP for sustainable human development on the planet and beyond."

Also due to the very compelling and convincing nature of the presentation, Space Energy was approached by numerous investors and other clean-tech Capital Groups throughout the event.   Dr. Hsu not only had the chance to meet up with many old acquaintances but also forged many new friendships with influential figures from the industrial sectors of clean energy technologies and governments.  All in all, the event proved to be a success truly beyond expectation. 

Space Energy Terrestrial Nears Power Purchase Agreements

SET is currently pursuing multiple Power Purchase Agreements in locations throughout the United States.  Negotiations and due diligence are ongoing for up to 90 MW’s (approximately $450 million dollars in construction) towards our current goal of 160 MW’s.


On our existing New Jersey 10 MW planned facility we are moving towards our Interconnection Agreement and final feasibility studies.  Our goal is to have the pre-planning for this project completed during May.  An interesting aspect of this particular site is that it falls under the classification of the Cleanfields Act of 2010 often referred to as the bill of triple incentives.  Sen. Frank Lautenberg introduced the bill on May 6th which would provide utilities with incentives to build renewable energy facilities on `Brownfield´ sites rather than building on undeveloped green and open spaces.  “It´s a win-win for local communities and the environment” said Lautenberg, who chairs the Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  “Thousands of contaminated sites across the country are dragging down property values and creating health risks for residents.  By incentivizing clean energy projects on Brownfields, we can create new jobs, reduce the use of dirty fossil fuels, and lift up our neighborhoods."
 
The American Clean Energy and Leadership Act aims to establish a nationwide renewable electricity standard, requiring utilities to produce 15 percent of their electricity by 2021 from renewable sources.  Lautenberg's proposed legislation would triple a utility's credits toward meeting the renewable electricity standard if it developed a brownfields property as a renewable energy source.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 4,100 brownfield sites nationwide have potential for renewable resource development.

NREL Releases Newest Version of Solar Advisor Model (SAM)

  For all our proposed ground based solar park sites, Space Energy Terrestrial are currently in the process of utilizing the new Solar Advisory Model (SAM) software of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  This comprehensive solar technology system analysis model is rapidly becoming the standard in PV production analysis, and is widely used by developers, utilities, financial institutions and contractors.  It supports development of program priorities and direction, and the subsequent investment needed to support solar R&D activities.  But, of greatest importance, it promotes the use of a consistent methodology for analysis across all solar technologies, including financing and cost assumptions as it allows users to investigate the impact of variations in physical, cost, and financial parameters to better understand their impact on key figures of merit.  Such figures include system output, peak and annual system efficiency, levelized cost of electricity, system capital, operations and maintenance (O&M) costs and hourly system production.

The Solar Advisor Model uses a systems-driven approach (SDA) to establish the connection between market requirements and R&D efforts and also demonstrates how specific R&D improvements contribute to the overall system cost and performance. This SDA allows managers to allocate resources more efficiently.

Dr Feng Hsu Invited to Speak at High Profile Conference - The National Space Society´s 29th Annual International Space Development Conference

The National Space Society's International Space Development Conference is where astronauts, scientists, entrepreneurs, government officials, activists and other citizens who look forward to the opening of the “final frontier” gather each year to discover the future of space exploration.

Held in Chicago, the conference hosts the Space Investment Summit, the Council of Chapters of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), the first Commencement ceremony of the Kepler Space University, a Living in Space symposium organized by the AIAA Space Colonization Technical Committee, and a two day Space Solar Power Symposium featuring top space solar power experts from around the world.

The Space Solar Power Symposium promises to be a highlight of the conference, given the large number of prominent space solar power researchers who are participating.  Space Energy´s Dr Feng Hsu is among the Principal speakers along with a host of leading lights in the industry – Buzz Aldrin, Charles Bolden, James Logan, John Mankins, Ralph Nansen & Mike Snead to name a few.

Evolving Ideas with Ralph Nansen

Evolving Ideas is the name of Elaine Smitha´s much listened to weekly internet radio show on the Progressive Radio Network which focuses on conversations with cutting edge thinkers and is delivered in such a way that it is accessible to everyone.  Having joined Space Energy as a guest for our recent energy summit in China (SICES 2010), Elaine followed up with a broadcast on the 20th of April covering Solar Power Satellites.   Ralph Nansen was the guest for the show, as he gave a presentation during SICES 2010 on behalf of Space Energy entitled “The History of Solar Power Satellites and their Commercial Prospects."
 
As Boeing Solar Power Satellite Program Manager between 1975 and 1980 and author of two books -  SUN POWER: The Global Solution for the Coming Energy Crisis; and ENERGY CRISIS: Solution from Space (covered in October Newsletter), Ralph is  well positioned to talk on the subject. The recording is both fascinating and insightful.  To listen to the show click here.

Stephan Tennsel Interview with Radio Munot

Recently Space Energy AG (SEAG) CEO gave an interview on Radio Munot in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.  Addressing the local population, Stephan explained that “SEAG´s project costs are approximately 1 billion Swiss Francs.  The goal of the project is to launch satellites from earth into space that will transmit energy to earth.  After many years of research, these satellites which act as an energy power plant will be a reality in the very near future.  One of the most challenging parts of the Space Energy project is sending the energy from space back to earth, so SEAG is contracting the largest manufacturer of laser and radar equipment from the U.S. in order to handle this process.  SEAG is headquartered in Switzerland, which is recognized globally for their transparency in financial matters and is funded by investors who support the project.  With only a limited number of employees, SEAG will soon be expanding and hiring employees locally.  The Space Energy project is incredible and has the potential to create real energy solutions for all countries including those of the Third World.”

Space Solar Power Satellite Design Competition To Be Launched at ISDC 2010

Having just completed a successful collaboration in the publication of SpaceJournal Issue No.16: Solar Power Satellites, The National Space Society (NSS) and The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) will be announcing the launch of an International Space Solar Power Design Competition at the upcoming NSS International Space Development Conference in Chicago May 27-31, 2010
The competition is set to run for three years and the design challenge for the first segment is related to the `Visualisation of SPS and the Desalination of Fresh Water.’  This theme is based on W. Kent Tobiska's article in Space Journal Issue No.16: Solar Power Satellites entitled "Vision For Producing Fresh Water Using Space Power.”  The following segments over the next two years will follow themes that have yet to be formalised whilst Issue No.17 and later issues of Space Journal are set aside as a place-holder for design solutions emerging from the competition.

The SpaceJournal, in partnership with the Ohio University GRID Lab (Games Research and Immersive Design Laboratory), is putting its weight behind the proposition to provide the public with a visual presentation for Space Based Solar Power. By using the power of digital media visualisation technology, art, and engineering, a more efficient and compelling story can be told.  Based on the ideology that ‘seeing is believing,’ digital media has emerged as a universally powerful new language.
 
Editor of Online Journal of Space Communication, Don Flourney suggests, “The generation-divide is something we are going to attempt to bridge in our Journal over the next three years. With a visualization competition, we think we can motivate our future professionals and their mentors to come up with innovative solutions of delivering space energy to earth in ways that the public can understand and endorse.  Our strategy is to encourage university-based digital media labs, wherever in the world, to engage in the competitive visualization of solar power satellite systems, their component parts and processes.  The SPS Competition will take two paths in pursuit of contestants.  One, the managers of digital media and computer design labs will be invited to consider taking on the visualization of Solar Power Satellites as a specialization. To complement their strengths, they will be asked to enter into partnerships with those professors, industry professionals and others who have expert knowledge in SPS who will be willing to help them choose an area in need of further development and who will advise and mentor them in creation of innovative and competitive designs.  From the other side, academics, scientists, engineers and others who teach, consult, research and write about SPS-related topics will be asked to consider seeking the help of such labs to bring animation to their displays and create visually instructive approaches to the communication of their ideas. The intended result will be to resurrect stalemated SPS solutions and propel forward underdeveloped concepts, as competitive submissions in the search for answers to how to bring SPS to operational reality.”

Buzz Aldrin Supports Obama´s New Space Program

While some commentators have failed to fully understand the opportunities presented by the bold new direction of President Barrack Obama´s Civil Space Program, you certainly cannot count one of the most respected and revered – Buzz Aldrin – amongst their number.

Speaking at NASA headquarters to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Buzz chose the occasion to congratulate the President for the “fabulous new opportunity unfolding before us” as a result of his vision for the future.
 
The goals are to increase the prospects and support for all space entrepreneurs, develop the design of an advanced heavy lift launch vehicle within the next 5 years, develop a new deep space vehicle to rendezvous with an asteroid by 2025 and carry out manned missions to the moons of Mars and then the Red Planet itself thereafter.

Buzz´s mission is to now get Congress behind the President´s plan and he encourages us all to do the same.  For the full article, click here.

 

Mike Snead: "Update on Future U.S. Energy Needs"


Space Energy has the pleasure of receiving a preliminary update from Mike Snead, one of Space Energy´s key technical advisors, following his acclaimed white paper of 2008 entitled “The End of Easy Energy and What to Do about It,” highlighting the looming energy gap by looking at the macro U.S. and world energy needs and supplies.

One illustration from the update speaks volumes, showing the land mass required in the U.S. that would need to be covered if wind and ground solar farms were the primary source used to meet energy needs in 2100.  Pictured above, the inner circle shows 609,000 square miles of land needed for wind and ground solar farms with 100% land use. The outer circle assumes 50% land use. The underlying map from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows the distribution of renewable energy potential across the country. Note that most is located west of the Mississippi River.

This model only assumes a medium population growth per the U.S. Census Bureau and about a 15% reduction in per capita energy use by 2100. Nuclear energy is increased from today's 105 GW to 175 GW, hydroelectric is increased by the practical limit of 30 GW, geothermal is increased from 4 GW to 100 GW, and all of the waste biomass from all farmland and accessible forestland (1.8 million square miles) is collected and converted into fuels. These steps would provide about 27% of the United States 2100 electricity and fuel needs. The balance would be presumably met by wind and ground solar. 317,000 sq. mi. of wind farms (about five 2.5-MW 500-ft tall turbines per sq. mi.) and 292,000 sq. mi. of ground solar farms would be needed to close the gap. This assumes a 33% improvement in panel net photovoltaic efficiency over the best commercial panels today.  Mr. Snead shows in his energy model a clear necessity for Space Based Solar Power.

Sparking an Energy Revolution

Recently, Bill Gates (chairman of Microsoft Corp.) and Chad Holliday (chairman and chief executive of DuPont from 1998 to 2009) authored an article highlighting the current major shortfall in American investment in energy innovation and the serious implications this presents.  Compared to health ($30 billion) and defense ($80 billion) they state that federal spending on clean energy research is relatively small at less than $3 billion annually.

Relying on yesterday´s energy technology just exacerbates the economic and national security problems that we face today and will do little to preserve the environment and tackle the climate issue.  “We need a vigorous strategy to invent our future and ensure its safety and prosperity.  In the realm of energy, as with medicine and national defence, that requires a public commitment.” 
While it may be understandable why private sector investments in clean energy technology are so small , Gates and Holliday have joined forces with other concerned business leaders to create the American Energy Innovation Council because they state there is, “a vast opportunity in energy” and a critical need for “very large scale renewable energy.”

“The core force of innovation - vision, experimentation and wise investments - has led to thousands of breakthroughs that benefit us all. A serious commitment to innovation can be transformative, as we saw with the effort to replace chlorofluorocarbons two decades ago. We need the same serious commitment in the energy sector to developing the original American energy supply: innovation.”

For the full article click here.

Central Government of China determined to be Energy Efficient

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has restated his commitment to ensure that the national target reduction in energy intensity is met by the end of this year, telling governments at all levels to eliminate inefficient enterprises.  Over the past four years, the use of energy per unit of GDP has fallen by 14.38 percent, but this is still far short of the national goal of a 20 percent drop during the five years ending in 2010.

According to the State Council, during the first quarter of 2010, the country's energy intensity increased by 3.2 percent per year, as a result of the rapid growth in the six energy intensive sectors: thermal power, iron and steel, nonferrous metal, building materials, petrochemical and chemical industries.  Therefore, a total of 83.3 billion Yuan ($12.2 billion) from the central government will be directed to energy efficiency and pollution treatment projects by the end of this year.

China has also introduced a market-based mechanism to balance economic development with nature conservation. It works by charging regions and industries that benefit from the exploitation of natural resources for the damage they cause to the environment and ecosystem.  In some areas, mining companies are charged "ecological compensation fees" to support nature conservation and pollution treatment which are then put into a "sustainable development fund.”  By May of 2009, the fund pooled a total of 34.8 billion Yuan, of which 11.3 billion was spent on environmental protection projects. 

For the full story, click here.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Disaster – An Editorial by Dr. Feng Hsu

Space Energy´s Risk Modelling expert, Dr Feng Hsu, passionately emphasised that “the losses and damages to humanity from the unfolding Gulf of Mexico oil disaster cannot be measured with money or any financial terms at all.  It is simple devastation - an irreversible destruction to the planet, to humanity and to our long-term survival!  Who knows what the true risks and huge uncertainties of cascading environmental impacts and damages to our planet´s ecosystem will be?  We humans so far understand very little about the complex inter-dependencies of our natural environment let alone do we have a full understanding of what this disaster is really going to mean for our future.  The clear solution is harnessing the energy of the Sun with as little disturbance to our own environment as possible. That is why I am not supporting the nuclear option as a long-term solution, why I am against the proposals to pressurize GHG´s under the earth´s surfaces and also against drilling wells for geo-thermal energy.  Please trust my vision that we as a civilization on this planet can no longer afford to carry on destroying our environment like this.”

Over the past couple hundred years, humanity has started to master the powerful forces that modernized tools and machines yield.  But what's the make-or-break point for us all under the incredible capacity of modern humans? The only critical indication is whether or not we are doing things in a constructive or destructive manner.  The problem is that there is a lot of historical data (evidence) in the last few decades to show that the risks of our own destruction are increasing in a nonlinear fashion and our collective wisdom and capabilities to avoid such devastating risk scenarios have not been encouraging!”

I hope that all of us reading this will agree that it´s time to ‘drill up, not down.’  The fourth energy era of Space Based Solar Power cannot come soon enough.”

To see an 'InfoGraphic' of the Gulf Oil Spill Catastrophe, click here.

 

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"Those who say it cannot be done should not interfere with those of us who are doing it."

-S. Hickman


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