flexible solar panel by modestmouse

VIEWS: 179 PAGES: 1

									                                                                                                             Iran Daily                       December 25, 2004                    8



                                                                        Russia's
               proposed takeover of state-owned oil compa-                                                                                                                                                 complex, and this is not even possible now," Shuvalov



A             ny Rosneft by the state-controlled natural-gas
              monopoly Gazprom is close to completion.
              On November 11, the Russian cabinet gave
              its approval to the proposal, under which
                                                                                                                                                                                                           said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Many oil-and-gas analysts and politicians, however,
                                                                                                                                                                                                           think that globalization is not the key issue driving these
                                                                                                                                                                                                           developments. Instead, they point out how the Kremlin


                                                                    Energy Conquest
Rosneft will be traded for an increase in the government's                                                                                                                                                 has used Gazprom to advance its political goals in such
stake in Gazprom to 50% plus one share.                                                                                                                                                                    places as Belarus, Georgia and Armenia, and say it intends
  On November 2, Gazpromneft, a fully owned subsidiary                                                                                                                                                     to use the newly formed Gazpromneft for the same.
of Gazprom, was registered in St Petersburg with 30 mil-
lion rubles (US$1 million) in capitalization. Gazpromneft                                                                                                                                                    'Lever of influence'
will unite all of Gazprom's oil-sector holdings, including                                                                                                                                                   Last February, the Moscow Times reported a speech
Rosneft and, according to some reports, state-owned
Zarubezhneft. Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov
was appointed general director of the new company,
whose main activities will include oil-and-gas-condensate
production, transportation and storage, atimes.com report-
                                                                    Begins At Home                                                                                                                         Putin delivered at a reception marking the 10th anniver-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           sary of the founding of Gazprom. "Gazprom, as a strate-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           gically important company, should be kept, and has been
                                                                                                                                                                                                           kept, as a single organism," Putin told the gathering.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           "Gazprom is a powerful political and economic lever of
ed.                                                                                                                                                                                                        influence over the rest of the world."
  Gazpromneft is expected to produce 34 million tons of                                                                                                                                                      The use of Gazprom as a "lever of influence" has not
oil in 2004, while Bogdanchikov told Interfax that                                                                                                                                                         gone unnoticed throughout the region. At a Polish parlia-
"Rosneft plans to produce 8 billion cubic meters and                                                                                                                                                       mentary hearing last month, former Polish foreign-intelli-
Gazprom 540 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2004".                                                                                                                                                  gence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski said, "We are facing
Gazprom chief executive officer Aleksei Miller has said                                                                                                                                                    a restoration of the Russian empire through economic
the company intends to boost oil production to 45 million                                                                                                                                                  means and by the principle of 'yesterday tanks, today oil'."
tons annually over the next few years.                                                                                                                                                                       A recent study by the Organization for Economic
  On November 3, embattled Yukos, Russia's largest oil                                                                                                                                                     Cooperation and Development titled "Russia's Gas Sector:
exporter, informed its shareholders that it will hold an                                                                                                                                                   The Endless Wait for Reform" points to yet another rea-
extraordinary shareholders' meeting on December 20 to                                                                                                                                                      son the Kremlin is taking oil companies under its control
discuss initiating bankruptcy proceedings in the wake of a                                                                                                                                                 by subsuming them into Gazprom. Production at
new Russian government demand that it pay $9 billion in                                                                                                                                                    Gazprom's major gas fields is declining dramatically and
back taxes. Yukos CEO Steven Theede told Interfax that                                                                                                                                                     to offset this, it is critical for new supplies to come from
the 2002 tax claim of $11.5 billion against Yukos and                                                                                                                                                      low-cost sources within Russia and abroad. "This points to
Yuganksneftegaz, its largest production unit, was strange                                                                                                                                                  an increasing role for the oil companies and the indepen-
since Yukos's total revenues that year amounted to just                                                                                                                                                    dents," the study concludes.
$11.4 billion.                                                                                                                                                                                               An important goal for the Russian government is to sup-
  Adding to the sense of the impending doom for Yukos                                                                                                                                                      plement Gazprom's current production with associated gas
was an announcement in late October by the State                                                                                                                                                           from oil drilling. Therefore the merger with Rosneft,
                                                                                                                          Many oil-and-gas analysts and
Property Fund that Yuganskneftegaz would be auctioned                                                                     politicians point out how the                                                    which is currently producing 8 billion cubic meters of gas
off with the starting price considerably less than the $18                                                                Kremlin has used Gazprom to                                                      annually, will help to make up for Gazprom's future pro-
billion evaluation made by investment bank Dresdner                                                                       advance its political goals in                                                   jected production declines. This is the cheapest way for
                                                                                                                          such places as Belarus,
Kleinwort Wasserstein. Many observers in Russia have                                                                      Georgia and Armenia.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Gazprom to make up for dwindling production, one that
predicted that Yuganskneftegaz will be sold to Gazprom                                                                                                                                                     avoids spending billions of dollars that it does not have for
and that it will go for far below its market value. The sell-                                                                                                                                              start-up costs and new pipelines.
off has been seen as the beginning of the breakup of                                                                                                                                                         Apparently, Putin has mastered Lenin's axiom of com-
Yukos. Government officials have said other Yukos sub-                                                                                                                                                     bining internal and external policy goals. The addition of
sidiaries could go under the hammer as well.                      break up Yukos and gain even greater control over                     that the merger of Gazprom and Rosneft is connected to             Gazpromneft, with or without Yuganskneftegaz, could
  Reacting to the spate of articles in the world press criti-     Russia's energy sector, presidential aide Igor Shuvalov               Russia's integration with the global economy. "We are not          turn the notoriously opaque Gazprom into a much more
cizing President Vladimir Putin's apparent decision to            told a conference in Moscow toward the end of October                 striving to gain full control over Russia's fuel-and-energy        "powerful political lever" than anyone has imagined.



 US Group Eyes                                                                                                                       Global Goal: Coal
                                                                          ne big dirty secret about US energy production is             New York Times survey, are up for approval nationwide              on this issue from the rest of the world. With Russia's

 Synthetic Gas                                                    O       that coal is about to play an even larger role.
                                                                          Already more than 50 percent of US electricity
                                                                  comes from plants burning coal, the fossil fuel that emits
                                                                                                                                        will be expected to meet up-to-date federal requirements
                                                                                                                                        on such pollutants as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.
                                                                                                                                          But unless Congress passes the bipartisan bill spon-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           recent ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on global
                                                                                                                                                                                                           warming, the treaty will go into effect in less than three
                                                                                                                                                                                                           months. Nations will begin taking steps to cut back
         ushing to boost nat-     pipeline authority heard a      the greatest amount of the most common greenhouse                     sored by Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman                 greenhouse gas emissions and trading credits for doing


P        ural gas exports, the
         state should also
         consider a possible
future in synthetic gases
derived from coal, accord-
                                  pitch from Clear Energy
                                  Solutions LLC, which
                                  wants to develop synthetic
                                  fuels from Wyoming coal.
                                    "Our problem is the infra-
                                                                  gas, carbon dioxide. Coal's share in the power picture is             that curbs global warming by regulating carbon emis-               so while the United States goes on a spree of new coal
                                                                                                                                                                                                           plant production. In the past year, US companies have
                                                                                                                                                                                                           planned more new coal plants than they did in the previ-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           ous 12 years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             One organization that is leading a campaign to rally
ing to the Wyoming Natural        structure we need to reach                                                                                                                                               support for the McCain-Lieberman bill--whose limits on
Gas Pipeline Authority.           the market. We want to go                                                                                                                                                carbon emissions are much milder than Kyoto's--is
  The group will ask the          south and west of here. And                                                                                                                                              Environmental Defense. Its director, Peter Goldmark,
Legislature next month to         we need transmission                                                                                                                                                     spoke convincingly to leaders of Boston's business and
expand its bonding authori-       access, because we cannot                                                                                                                                                investment community last Monday on the scientific
ty to include pipeline con-       rely on rail transportation,"                                                                                                                                            consensus behind global warming and the role that car-
struction for "syngas" and        said Daniel Fessler, manag-                                                                                                                                              bon dioxide is playing in it. Just one of the effects he
possibly other enhanced-          er of Clear Energy                                                                                                                                                       cited is reduced grain production in three of the world's
coal products.                    Solutions.                                                                                                                                                               breadbasket areas, including the North American plains
  "Our country is dependent         Fessler                said                                                                                                                                            region.
upon incremental energy           Environmental Protection                                                                                                                                                   Goldmark said that if he were speaking anywhere
infrastructure, and the state     Agency standards to lower                                                                                                                                                except the United States he would not have to explain
is dependent upon moving          emissions from vehicles                                                                                                                                                  the science behind climate change, so universal is accep-
its mineral resources to mar-     will boost the synthetic fuel                                                                                                                                            tance elsewhere of the role of man-made gases. But
ket. I think that is, in          market in the next five                                                                                                                                                  there continue to be skeptics in the United States, espe-
essence, what we're looking       years. His company's goal is                                                                                                                                             cially in the Bush administration, who believe that
to assist other industries in,"   to construct a 25,000-bar-                                                                                                                                               action to curb carbon emissions is either unnecessary or
said Bryan Hassler, execu-        rels-per-day-capacity plant                                                                                                                                              unaffordable.
tive director of the pipeline     here by 2008. That would                                                                                                                                                   There are also more than 50 global-warming ostriches
authority,      casperstartri-    consume 7 million tons of                                                                                                                                                in the Senate. The last time that body voted on McCain-
bune.net reported.                coal annually.                                                                                                                                                           Lieberman, just 43 senators backed it. Environmental
  Sen. Bill Hawks, R-               The process also provides      Already more than 50 percent of US electricity comes from plants burning coal.                                                          Defense and other backers of carbon limits have their
Casper, will introduce the        opportunities for super-low-    projected to spike upward in coming years as utilities                sions, there is nothing in federal law to force the power          work cut out for them. If they fail and 100 coal plants
legislation, according to the     emissions electrical genera-    turn to coal as an alternative to increasingly scarce nat-            companies to limit the carbon dioxide they will pump               bloom, the planet's attempt to stop its uncontrolled
pipeline authority.               tion and sequestration of       ural gas.                                                             into the atmosphere, boston.com reported.                          experiment in climate change will suffer a severe set-
  The group has $1 billion in     carbon dioxide, which helps       The more than 100 new coal plants that, according to a                Lamentably, the United States is further isolating itself        back.
bonding authority to help         in secondary oil recovery.
finance new pipeline con-
struction aimed at pumping
more Wyoming natural gas
to market. As natural gas
                                                                                              Pliable Solar Cells on a Roll
production rises in the state,        magine wearing a            Solar (H-AS).                    H-AS cells are only                  newscientist.com report-             atoms. Electrons in the       micrometer thick it is            The     Swedish      and
export capacity must keep
up, or intense competition
for available space on
                                  I   jacket or rucksack
                                      that charges up your
                                  mobile phone while you
                                                                    The new solar panels
                                                                  will be cheap, too,
                                                                  because they can be
                                                                                                   about 7% efficient. The
                                                                                                   researchers think effi-
                                                                                                   ciency is worth sacrific-
                                                                                                                                        ed.

                                                                                                                                          Electron knockout
                                                                                                                                                                             phosphorus-doped (N-
                                                                                                                                                                             type) layer migrate
                                                                                                                                                                             across the boundary to
                                                                                                                                                                                                           flexible," Kroesen says.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Today's solar panels are
                                                                                                                                                                                                           typically      somewhere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Dutch-owned company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Akzo-Nobel, a partner in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the H-AS research,
pipelines can drive down          take a walk. Or a tent          mass-produced in rolls           ing for a cell that is going           Conventional solar pan-            occupy holes left in the      between 4 and 10 mil-           already has a pilot plant
the wholesale prices that         whose flysheet charges          that can be cut as               to be more generally use-            els are made of pairs of             boron-doped       (P-type)    limeters thick.                 producing rolls of silicon
Wyoming            producers      batteries all day so            required and wrapped             ful, though they still hope          sheets of semi-conduct-              material, setting up a          The process of produc-        cells 40 centimetres
receive.                          campers can have light          around clothes, fabrics,         eventually to reach 10%              ing silicon, doped with              voltage across the bound-     ing H-AS films involves         wide. A projected full-
  Wyoming exports about           all night. Or a roll-out        furniture     or      even       e f f i c i e n c y ,                phosphorus and boron                 ary between the two lay-      temperatures of up to           scale      manufacturing
4.3 billion cubic feet of nat-    plastic sheet you can           rooftops. "This technolo-                                                                                  ers. When photons hit the     200°C, which would melt         plant would produce pan-
ural gas every day. That's        place on a car's rear win-      gy will be a lot easier to                                                                                 silicon in a cell they        a plastic substrate. So         els at a cost of about 1
enough gas to serve 43,000        dow shelf to power a            handle than the old glass                                                                                  knock electrons out of its    instead of depositing the       euro per watt. An A4-
homes for one year.               child's DVD player.             solar panels," claims                                                                                      crystal structure, generat-   doped layers directly           size panel sewn onto the
  The Wyoming Legislature           Such applications could       Gerrit Kroesen, the                                                                                        ing a current that is col-    onto plastic they are first     back of a jacket and cost-
revived the pipeline authori-     soon become a reality           physicist             from                                                                                 lected by a mesh of metal     deposited onto aluminum         ing less than 10 euros
ty in 2002 in the interest of     thanks to a light, flexible     Eindhoven University of                                                                                    contacts.                     foil.                           would charge a mobile
maintaining competitive           solar panel that is a little    Technology       in     the                                                                                  The H-AS solar panels         After the assembly has        phone during a summer
prices, which in turn gener-      thicker than photographic       Netherlands who led the                                                                                    are constructed in a simi-    cooled, a plastic carrier       stroll. The company has
ate more revenue to the           film and can easily be          development team.                                                                                          lar way, but they are         layer is added underneath       not yet decided to go
state. However, the group's       applied to everyday fab-          Kroesen's team has                                                                                       made just 1 micrometer        it and the aluminum is          ahead with the plant.
bonding authority does not        rics. The thin, bendy           made its solar cells bendy                                                                                 thick by depositing poly-     removed and recycled.             Jeremy Leggett, chief
include syngas.                   solar panels, which could       simply by making them                                                                                      morphous silicon at high      Contacts are then added,        executive of the UK solar
  Hassler said it's apparent      be on the market within         thin. But this has                                                                                         pressures and tempera-        followed by a protective        cell     supplier   Solar
that Wyoming's exports will       three years, are the fruit      involved a trade-off.                                                                                      tures. "Polymorphous sil-     plastic layer on top, too.      Century, is impressed,
someday include gas               of      a     three-nation      While the best solar cells                                                                                 icon is as rigid as crys-     This sequence lends itself      describing the 1 euro per
derived from coal. On             European Union research         are now working at effi-         flexible solar panel is a little thicker than photographic film and can   talline    silicon.    But    to continuous production        watt price point as
Tuesday in Casper, the            project called H-Alpha          ciencies above 20%, the          easily be applied to everyday fabrics.                                    because it is less than a     on rolls of plastic film.       "breathtaking".

								
To top