Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Old News Part 1

I signed up for Google News when I started this blog as a way to stay abreast on what was happening in the hydrogen world. It was not only indispensable for my productivity as a blogger but also useful for my self-appointed position as representative (diplomat? advocate? activist? fanatic?) of alternative fuels. It was my intention to stay literate on the technology and current on the happenings. After a while, once my blogging stopped abruptly, the reading went the same way. I still managed to collect all the Google News emails in my work inbox (all 357 of them) and always intended to go back and take a look at them. "Old News" is my attempt to make good on that intention. Yeah, you're welcome.... I know the world has been holding its breath :rolleyes:


According to News Blaze (that's quite the site name):

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman and South Korean Minister of Commerce, Industry & Energy, Sye Kyun Chung, today signed an agreement making South Korea the second country, after India, to join the United States in the FutureGen International Partnership. Korea has pledged $10 million to help build and operate the world's first zero-emissions coal-fired power plant and will sit on a government steering committee to oversee this initiative. Once operational, this plant will remove and sequester carbon dioxide while producing electricity and hydrogen, making it the environmentally cleanest fossil fuel fired power plant in the world.

How is that going these days? According to IndiaTimes:

Serious differences with US on patents may mar India's participation in the prestigious $2 billion FutureGen project being set up to generate power and hydrogen from clean coal technologies and sequestration of carbon dioxide. China and South Korea, two other key members, in this major initiative are in tune with India on the putting the patents to technologies, software and related know-how in public domain rather than US unilaterally taking ownership....The major provisions under the act provide for US Government "retaining a non-exclusive license to practice the patent throughout the world. The Government (read US Government) retains march-in rights".

Why is our government being greedy about the patents? Mostly because "US energy majors dominate this alliance." While it makes sense, conceptually, that the lion's share of the credit should go to the source of the most work, this kind of project should be so much more than just a patent argument. It is too bad, IMHO, that something this globally important could be stymied by the same mindset you see in daycare: "THAT'S MINE!"


In other news:

...smoother and softer, and it saves the environment," the Indio woman said.

Nope, that article isn't about me, it's about a hydro hybrid bus being tested in N. Cali. What is so cool about it is that they have their own infrastructure to create the hydrogen from natural gas. According to their site (http://www.sunline.org/), the bus is still up and running. They even have an alt fuel station open to the public!

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