Energy Alternatives: The BIG multi-dimensional--technical, political and economic -- Picture!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 10/28/2004 - 18:00.
09/30/2004 - 16:00

Alternatives: The BIG multi-dimensional--technical, political and economic --
09-30-04. Student
lead forum with a panel of topical experts juxtaposing a fossil-fuel centric
viewpoint with realistic
summaries of state of the art Wind, Solar and Fuel Cell technologies,
wrapping up with what public energy policy might look like in the future.

If you are business, government or
a concerned citizen - come together to ask the big questions: What is the
magnitude of the problem? How much do these technologies cost? What
breakthroughs are needed and their likelihood? How can you get involved here in
Cleveland in helping to shape the future in
this area? All welcome. Bring a colleague!


Tom Zawodzinski, Exec. Dir., CAPI,
Case: Fuel Cells, the Mobil/Exxon view of the world

Jeff Buster, REI: Wind energy and

Gary Murphy, REI: New car sharing models for Cleveland

Prof. Phil Taylor, Physics, Case:
Solar Energy

Sponsored by:
Advanced Power Institute (CAPI), Center for Regional Economic Issues
(REI), the Student Section of the American Institute
of Chemical Engineers and the Materials Science Graduate Student

Time &

Thursday, September 30, 4 P.M. to 6:00 P.M., Nord Hall, Room 310.

& Open to the public


Nord Hall, Room 310

Notes from the Meeting

I'm over at Case right now, wifi'ing from the Student led energy meeting at Nord Hall. I just learned GE will make over $ billion this year from their wind turbine business, which they bought fire sale from Enron, and the presenter, a Case professor (Prof. Phil Taylor, Physics, Case) confirmed GE uses their clout and legal aggressiveness to constrict the US industry (note, for scope reference, building wind turbine towers is the second largest use of steel in Germany, after automobiles). Also interesting, while there are no import duties and tariffs to import fossil fuels, there are high importation costs for solar and other alternative fuel technologies.

Really excellent presentation and presenter. One slide he showed illustrates federal spending for alternative fuel programs over the years, which have been wiped out since a bubble, after the 70's fuel crisis. This professor is proud to have solar panels on his home (and he showed his fuel bill to illustrate the benefit), and he drives a hybrid car.

Another interesting subject an economics professor (Gary Murphy, REI) has proposed is a program for Cleveland for car sharing - a fleet of cars made available on a pooled use basis (as an alternative to everyone owning their own cars). They want to get this program going here (it is successful in SF, for example) - interesting idea.

Now another professor (Tom Zawodzinski, Exec. Dir., CAPI,
Case) is talking about Case strategy developing fuel cells and how that would compliment the car sharing idea.

An attendee from all the last three alternative fuel related Case meetings (Phil Lane, Analog Motors of East Cleveland)  is now talking about biodiesel, which is another opportune subject for Case students (and this session is largely designed for engineering students).

Consider from this message a few things. First, I'm in a meeting real time sharing important information with the outside world - and recording important content for future reference - and the meeting is not being recorded or filmed and despite being full of students no one else here is using a PC or even pen and paper to keep notes - all this talk is lost and gone when the session ends - no knowledge management except this message. That is a serious problem - a huge waste of resources and potential. Note, the discussion has raised many actionable opportunities that will be lost. We need action.