Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

BrightSource CEO talks about building carbon-free future

September 9, 2009

John Woolard, the chief executive of solar thermal energy company BrightSource, sat down at Reuters’ Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco to talk about energy efficiency, project financing and the future  of carbon-free power.

His advice: build fast!

(Editing/video by Courtney Hoffman)

Comments

Last month, all renewables combined (wind, solar, biomass and mainly waterpower) exceeded nuclear in power generated. Globally, wind is being added at several nuclear plants a year, but that will greatly accelerate in the US. Why? Because between the Atlantic, Great Lakes and Great Plains, the US has enough undisputed wind space to double in average terms its currant average power draw of 430,000 MW. Also, current new nuclear has a wholesale power price (per recent EU report) of 9.7 cents/KWH. But that dies not include future escalations in that nuclear power cost. Wind can survive quite nicely on 9.7 cents average on a 20 year fixed price contract, providing we change our technology to lower cost gearless reliability, which China is fast doing, already with two factories producing gearless turbines. We have none, but that can change dramatically and fast with my new gearless turbine and fast offshore deployment barge IP (both to be announced soon). New software, very high voltage dc grids, better wind power planning with new weather forecasting tech to predict day ahead wind capability when and where will all revolutionize wind so that it can dominate the grid power feed. It has to; we can’t depend just on nuclear (because it’s next impossible to get approval and construction accomplished) and carbon to meet 2050 power needs.

Posted by Lloyd Weaver | Report as abusive
 

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