The California Energy Commission, formally the Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, is California’s primary energy policy and planning agency. Created in 1974 and headquartered in Sacramento, the Commission has responsibility for activities that include forecasting future energy needs, promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards, and supporting renewable energy technologies. The Commission is a division of the California Natural Resources Agency, which is under the direction of Cabinet Secretary John Laird. One of its prominent responsibilities is maintenance of the California Energy Code. Wikipedia.
News Article | May 11, 2017
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District will hold an event on its all-electric school bus initiative May 12th at 10am, at Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy. "The Sacramento Regional School Bus Deployment Project is a great example of how our climate policies are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs here in California," said Senator Bob Wieckowski, the chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, whose district includes the City of Hayward, where Motiv Power Systems manufactures its powertrains. "Motiv Power Systems all-electric powertrain kits are increasing the number of students who are transported in zero emission vehicles. This is especially beneficial to disadvantaged communities where poor air quality has severe health impacts for many residents. This grant puts us on the road to a cleaner California." Diesel-powered vehicles and equipment account for more than two-thirds of all PM emissions from US transportation sources. PM irritates the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, contributing to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. It's also estimated that tens of thousands of people nationwide die prematurely each year as a result of particulate pollution. However, research has found that children see improved lung function and have fewer sick days when schools implement cleaner fuel technologies. "Health and safety standards are always important and even more so when transporting our future generations. So seeing Motiv and its partners gain approval for both Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and California Highway Patrol Certification was paramount in providing our district with the right all-electric buses to fit our requirements," said John Clements, retired Director of Transportation at Kings Canyon Unified School District. "Motiv Power Systems has worked with customers and built a great reputation for providing safe, clean and California standard-approved buses in this market. We're pleased to see more districts adopting the all-electric school bus technology we were first to deploy." The new all-electric buses will be powered by Motiv's award-winning all-electric powertrains, which are both designed and manufactured in California, supporting local manufacturing jobs. The buses, Trans Tech's all-electric eSeries built on the Ford E450 chassis, will be distributed by First Priority GreenFleet. "We are thrilled that our partnership with Motiv Power Systems allows us to bring our all-electric eSeries to Sacramento County and the state of California," said Trans Tech President, John Phraner. "The eSeries is a tremendous complement to our proven lineup of fuel-efficient conventional school buses. Combining our signature aerodynamic design with the Motiv Power Systems powertrain and Ford E450 chassis provides customers interested in an all-electric Type-A school bus the best choice on the market." "As a father of three small children, it excites me that improving air quality surrounding school transportation is increasingly within reach for many fleets," said Motiv Power Systems CEO Jim Castelaz. "The trend of transitioning from diesel to zero-emission busing is the future, and these 13 buses will be proof of that. We're proud to be working with the Sacramento City school district and hope that more school districts throughout the country follow this movement." As the only all-electric technology approved by Ford for its commercial chassis, the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain has successfully been scaled from school buses in California and New York, to shuttle buses funded by Google and the California Energy Commission, delivery walk-in vans for AmeriPride and North America's only all-electric refuse truck deployed by the City of Chicago. Founded in 2009 and based in Foster City, CA, the award-winning Motiv Power Systems designs and builds flexible and scalable All-Electric Powertrains for commercial medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. As a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier, Motiv partners with existing truck builders who manufacture electric versions of their traditional fossil-fueled vehicles on their current assembly lines using the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain. Common vehicle types from these builders include work, delivery and refuse trucks, as well as school and shuttle buses. The Motiv All-Electric Powertrain is installed at the time of vehicle manufacture, similar to a natural gas or propane upfit. In 2014, Motiv All-Electric Powertrain was named one of Popular Science's Best of What's New technologies. For more information and career opportunities, please visit www.motivps.com and follow us on Twitter @motivps, Facebook and LinkedIn.
News Article | May 17, 2017
Patrick Dean, Kenworth chief engineer said, "Within the next decade, hybrid-electric powertrains are expected to be required to satisfy emissions regulations in several major U.S. metropolitan areas. For example, California is considering regulations that will require zero-emission levels for port drayage trucks operating in specifically designated areas. We look forward to playing a leadership role to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead." Jason Hanlin, Director of Technology Development at the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) noted, "The strength of this project comes from a team that is comprised of leaders in their respective fields – Kenworth for their heavy-duty truck design and manufacturing experience, BAE Systems for their powertrain integration and component supply experience, and Ballard for their extensive fuel cell supply experience. Working with this team on the technical development of a fuel cell drayage truck has been nothing short of impressive and inspiring." The fuel cell engine in the Kenworth truck will be used to recharge onboard lithium-ion batteries, which power a dual-rotor electric motor to drive the rear tandem axle through a 4-speed automated transmission. The truck will have an electric-only range of approximately 30 miles, and onboard hydrogen fuel will provide sufficient range for a full day in regional haul applications. The development and demonstration project is the San Pedro Ports Fuel Cell and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), a nonprofit organization that develops technologies and implements solutions to achieve energy and environmental sustainability, lead the proposal development effort and is acting as project coordinator. About Ballard Power Systems Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel cell programs. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com. This release contains forward-looking statements concerning planned product deployments, provision of services, market adoption and demand for our products and available subsidies. These forward-looking statements reflect Ballard's current expectations as contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any such forward-looking statements are based on Ballard's assumptions relating to its financial forecasts and expectations regarding its product development efforts, manufacturing capacity, and market demand. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Ballard's actual results to be materially different, including general economic and regulatory changes, detrimental reliance on third parties, successfully achieving our business plans and achieving and sustaining profitability. For a detailed discussion of these and other risk factors that could affect Ballard's future performance, please refer to Ballard's most recent Annual Information Form. Readers should not place undue reliance on Ballard's forward-looking statements and Ballard assumes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward looking statements, other than as required under applicable legislation. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities. The Ballard Common Shares have not been registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.
News Article | May 17, 2017
Back in March, GTM broke the news that California regulators are considering some big changes to the state’s energy landscape, including the possibility of returning to some form of competitive retail choice for electricity -- as long as it doesn’t repeat the mistakes that led to the Enron-engineered energy crisis in 2001. This week, the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission will be holding their first hearing to talk through this contentious but timely issue. To guide that discussion, the CPUC and CEC released a white paper to “frame a discussion on the trends that are driving change within California’s electricity sector and overall clean-energy economy.” The joint white paper doesn’t give any answers to the questions it raises -- that’s coming later. But it does lay out a compelling case for why California must act soon to deal with the issue. While California’s big three investor-owned utilities remain the provider of last resort for the state’s energy consumers, an increasing share of their customers are being lost to existing retail energy access programs, to city and county community-choice aggregators (CCAs), and of course, to the rising share of power generated by rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources. Between rooftop solar, CCAs and large “direct access” customers that work with energy service providers, as much as 25 percent of retail electric load will be effectively unbundled and served by a source other than an investor-owned utility sometime later this year, the paper noted. And these trends are only accelerating. Over 85 percent of retail load could be served by sources other than the investor-owned utilities by the mid-2020s -- effectively putting the state on a path toward a competitive market for consumer electric services. But this change is now occurring “without a coherent plan to deal with all the associated challenges that competition poses, ranging from renewable procurement rules to reliability requirements and consumer protection,” the paper noted. That means California must “now look at long held assumptions in their regulatory frameworks and examine the role of the electric utility at the center of this system.” CPUC President Michael Picker shared his thoughts on this imperative on GTM's The Interchange podcast back in March, when he first floated the idea of looking at retail energy access. Compared to the state’s previous “top-down” attempts at deregulation between 1995 and 2001, today “we're starting to see retail choice come into being simply because of technology and the commodity on renewable electricity allowing it to take place,” he said. “It’s being hollowed out by innovation and technology rather than by policy regulation.” California’s current struggles are a byproduct of the success of its energy-efficiency policies, which have have sharply reduced growth in demand for electricity, and its policies supporting utility-scale solar and rooftop solar. The state’s net energy metering regime has helped more than 550,000 customers to go solar since 2007, adding about 4,500 megawatts of generation on the edges of the grid. Programs like the Self-Generation Incentive Program have “furthered market transformation for additional technologies like fuel cells, thermal storage and lithium-ion battery storage, allowing customers to produce their own power and/or to reduce their peak energy consumption,” the paper noted. Meanwhile, large commercial and industrial customers have been clamoring to be added to the relatively small number of customers who were grandfathered into the state’s post-energy crisis direct access program. Finally, after a slow start, CCAs -- entities formed by cities and counties to buy their electricity outside of the traditional utility framework -- are really starting to take off. Marin Clean Energy formed California’s first CCA in 2010 and now serves 255,000 customers in Marin County, Napa County and six cities. Along with others such as Sonoma Clean Power, Lancaster Choice Energy, Clean Power San Francisco and Peninsula Clean Energy, 915,000 customers currently get their retail energy through CCAs. This is deeply worrying to investor-owned utilities. The state's IOUs are seeing a decline in their volumetric sales of electricity, which pay for the “vast network of connected infrastructure and services” that keep the lights on in California. This could end up shifting an increasing share of the costs of maintaining the network for fully bundled customers -- thus raising rates, and potentially pushing more customers to seek alternative sources of energy, in what industry observers have dubbed the utility death spiral. Below are the main questions regulators are considering as part of this examination: Listen to Michael Picker talk about the retail choice imperative on The Interchange podcast:
News Article | May 17, 2017
Action Heating Air Conditioning & Electrical, a heating, cooling and indoor air contractor based in Toledo, announced a full range of updated services for clients looking to prepare for the coming summer and revealed their top 5 ways to prepare an air conditioner for summer. More information can be found at http://needactionfast.com. Interior temperature regulation is essential during excessively hot days, which is why many Toledo residents and business owners opt for different types of AC systems. Like all electronic devices, HVAC systems are prone to malfunction, and they need appropriate maintenance and repair to ensure safe and reliable performance throughout the year. Having an air conditioning unit malfunction during the summer months is not only uncomfortable it can also be dangerous for at risk members of the population like the elderly. Action Heating Air Conditioning & Electrical is a professional HVAC contractor offering comprehensive AC maintenance and repair services for the summer season. As part of its awareness campaign on high-quality HVAC services they have revealed their top 5 ways to prepare an air conditioner to minimize problems before the summer season arrives. According to a spokesperson for the Toledo company, summer often sees many homeowners unprepared when it comes to their AC systems. Filter cleaning is necessary at least once a month to ensure proper AC functioning, while it is recommended to have overall air conditioning system maintenance scheduled at least twice each year. Additional maintenance procedures necessary to prepare the AC system for the summer season include cleaning the A/C condenser coils, checking the coolant lines, the thermostat and the condensation lines. Replacing mercury switch thermostats with digital models is also helpful, as it has been shown to save up to $100 per year, according to the California Energy Commission. Another prevalent problem has been that of unscrupulous HVAC contractors replacing the entire air conditioning system, rather than simply changing a malfunctioning part. This leads to significant unnecessary financial cost for air conditioning system owners. This highlights the importance to Toledo homeowners to ensure they work with licensed and professional HVAC contractors. Action Heating Air Conditioning & Electrical strives to provide comprehensive and professional summer preparation and maintenance services for all types of HVAC systems, including AC systems, furnaces, water heaters, boilers and various other heating and air conditioning units. These services are essential to minimize the financial costs associated with full HVAC system replacement, and they can also prevent against potentially life-threatening electrical malfunctions. Action Heating Air Conditioning & Electrical works exclusively with professional, licensed and certified experts to ensure safe, prompt and reliable services. Emergency services are available 24/7. Interested parties can find more information by visiting the above-mentioned website. For more information, please visit http://needactionfast.com/
News Article | May 19, 2017
One of the most brilliant theorists of his time, Pierre Binétruy, passed away on 1 April. Binétruy received his doctorate on gauge theories in 1980 under the direction of Mary K Gaillard, and held several positions including a CERN fellowship and postdocs in the US. In 1986, he was recruited as a researcher at LAPP in Annecy-le-Vieux and, four years later, he moved to the University of Paris XI. Since 2003 he was a professor at Paris Diderot University. He helped to found the Astroparticle and Cosmology Laboratory (APC) in 2005 and was its director until 2013. We also owe to him the involvement of the APC in space sciences, Earth sciences, and the realisation of the importance of data science. Binétruy’s research interests evolved from high-energy physics (notably supersymmetry) to cosmology and gravitation, and in particular the intersection between the primordial universe and fundamental theories. His recent interests included inflation models, dark energy and gravitational-wave cosmological backgrounds. During his prolific career, he published seminal papers that approached 1000 citations each and received several awards, including the Thibaud Prize and the Paul Langevin Award. But he will also be remembered for his spirit and courage. He knew that it was necessary not only to seek scientific truth but also to have the courage to prepare the community for the scientific goals that this truth demands and to fight to defend them. Older members of IN2P3 remember the extraordinary intellectual atmosphere that animated the Supersymmetry Research Group, which he proposed and directed from 1997 to 2004, transforming it into an unprecedented crossroads for experimenters and theorists. By that time, when the detection of gravitational waves was for many a distant dream, he also had the intuition to involve France in the field of gravitational-wave detection via the LISA Pathfinder programme – a scientific choice to which he devoted great dynamism right up to his death. Binétruy was also an inspiration to hundreds of students. Through the MOOC Gravity project, which he developed in collaboration with George Smoot, his courses reached tens of thousands of students. He viewed MOOC not just as a simple way to improve the visibility of the university, but as a revolution in the way knowledge is diffused. In parallel with these activities, Binétruy found time to be president of the Fundamental Physics Advisory Group (2008–2010) and the Fundamental Physics Roadmap Committee (2009–2010) of ESA; the French consortium of the LISA space mission; the theory division of the French Physical Society (1995–2003); and the theory section of CNRS (2005–2008). He was also a member of the IN2P3 Scientific Committee (1996–2000) and numerous other panels. Alongside his scientific activities, which he pursued with enthusiasm and unfailing rigor, Binétruy had a deep appreciation and knowledge of broader culture. He had a profound knowledge of the arts, where he was the driving force behind several interactions between art and science. As one of his eminent colleagues said of him: “Pierre was one of those very exceptional people who was at the top of the game and, at the same time, a remarkably pleasant colleague.” Our mentor, colleague and close friend Gösta Ekspong passed away peacefully on 24 February at the age of 95. His life as a particle physicist covered the nuclear-emulsion epoch, the bubble-chamber years, experiments at CERN’s Large Electron–Positron (LEP) and Super Proton Synchrotron colliders. In his retirement he closely followed the results from the LHC, in particular the search for the Higgs boson. In 1950 Ekspong was working with Cecil Powell’s group in Bristol, UK, which had become a world-leading centre for cosmic-ray emulsion work. In a brilliant experiment with Hooper and King he identified the decay π0 → γγ. By observing e+e– pairs from the conversion of the photons close to cosmic-ray interactions, it was possible to determine the mass of the π0 and set an upper limit for its lifetime. Ekspong obtained his doctorate at Uppsala University, Sweden, in 1955, and immediately took up a postdoc position in Emilio Segré’s group at Berkeley where he was involved in the discovery of the antiproton at the Bevatron. Scanning emulsions one evening, he found the first evidence for an annihilation interaction in an emulsion, and on the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the antiproton he was invited to Berkeley to talk about the discovery. Ekspong was appointed to the first chair in particle physics in Sweden, at Stockholm University, in 1960. There he founded a large particle-physics group that over the years made important contributions to many experiments with data mostly from CERN. He strongly supported the use of CERN, where he was a member and chair of the Emulsion Committee in the early 1960s and a member of the Scientific Policy Committee from 1969 to 1975. He was Swedish delegate to CERN Council for many years and was a catalyst for the development of Swedish particle physics. He was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1969 and was a member of its Nobel Committee for physics from 1975 to 1988, chairing the committee from 1987 to 1988. His deep knowledge of statistics allowed Ekspong to clarify general features of high-energy interactions. Data from CERN’s Proton Synchrotron and bubble chambers had suggested that the multiplicity distributions of charged particles obeyed so-called “KNO” scaling, but this relationship was found not to be valid in later collider data recorded at higher energies with the UA5 experiment. In a discovery reported and discussed by him at many conferences, Ekspong showed that the distributions instead followed a negative binomial distribution. In the early studies of physics possibilities at the planned LEP collider, Ekspong also made a convincing contribution to the search strategy for observing the Higgs boson by carefully examining the experimental mass resolution. This strategy was later employed by the LEP experiments to exclude the Higgs mass up to about 115 GeV. He also took part in the technical development of one of the LEP experiments, DELPHI. Gösta Ekspong inspired many with his lectures, discussions, and stories about Nobel-prize discoveries. In many articles in Swedish he made physics available and understandable for the general public. Gareth Hughes joined the high-energy physics group at Lancaster University in 1970, following his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Oxford University. He was born in Wales and was a proud supporter of the Welsh Rugby Union team, although he had never played the game. He used to say that he was among the few Welshmen who never played rugby, who could not sing and who did not like leeks. Ironically, he died on the feast day of St David, the patron saint of Wales. Following his appointment in Lancaster, Gareth played a central role in the work of the Manchester–Lancaster experiment (dubbed “Mancaster”) at Daresbury Laboratory to study the electro-production of nucleon resonances (by which the components of the nucleon are converted to more highly energetic states). He subsequently went on to work on the JADE experiment at DESY, the ALEPH and then ATLAS experiments at CERN – all of which have been key in establishing the Standard Model of particle physics. Gareth’s main strength was computing. In the 1990s, as well as being a member of the CERN Central Computing Committee, he was chairman of the committee that produced the policy on computing for UK particle physics. This was a very rapidly changing field at the time but a subject in which Gareth’s insight and guidance was to prove invaluable. He was also a prominent member of the Particle Physics Grants Committee and other bodies that manage funding for UK particle physics. He was an excellent teacher, his gentle sense of humour and infinite patience making him a much sought after member of staff by both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He eventually became director of undergraduate courses within the physics department at Lancaster. Gareth’s quick grasp of a situation and clear insight made him an extremely valuable colleague with whom to discuss problems. He was widely known and, in turn, seemed to know everyone. This proved to be a great help on numerous occasions. He retired from the physics department in 2007 but continued his involvement with the ATLAS experiment as an emeritus staff member until his death following a short illness. He will be sorely missed by us all but especially by his wife Jane, daughter Siân and son Owain, and his four grandchildren. Thomas Massam received his undergraduate degree in physics in 1956 at the Chadwick Laboratory, Cambridge, and his PhD at the University of Liverpool in 1960. Jovial but very serious and tireless at work, Tom devoted his life to experimental-physics research and to his family. I had the privilege of meeting Tom at the Fermi Summer School of Physics in Varenna, Italy, in 1962. The topics discussed at the school were the results of the Blackett group on the unexpected V particles, later called “strange” by Gell-Mann, and the effects of “virtual physics” in properties of the elementary particles and the experimental-plus-theoretical research needed. Tom was the most active student of the school, and soon afterwards he joined my group at Bologna University and remained there until his retirement in 2002. Together we performed experiments in all of the important laboratories in Europe, including CERN, DESY, ADONE and Gran Sasso. Tom had an extraordinary intelligence, work capacity and “scientific fidelity”. He is also one of the founders of the Ettore Majorana International Centre for Scientific Culture, established at CERN in the early 1960s with its headquarters in Erice, Sicily. In 1972, Tom initiated an International School of Theory Application of Computers. Tom played a major role, contributing with his extraordinary experimental talents, in experiments that established evidence for the Standard Model during the 1960s and afterwards. He helped to set up the first large-scale non-bubble-chamber facility at CERN, and was a close collaborator in our adoption of electromagnetic calorimeters as a tool to separate leptons from hadrons to allow searches for new particle states. Together, we started the first heavy-lepton search and developed a new technology to measure the time-of-flight of particles with a very high precision, leading to the first experimental observation of anti-deuteron production. Tom, research director in the INFN unit of Bologna, was also giving regular physics courses to the students at the ISSP International School of Subnuclear Physics in Erice, established in 1963. Tom is no longer with us. On 1 December 2016 he left his beloved family, Veronica with three children Peter, Steven, Paul, and his friends and colleagues with the unforgettable memory of his extraordinary life. Arthur H Rosenfeld, a long-time member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, and distinguished senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, passed away in Berkeley on 27 January at the age of 90. A student of Enrico Fermi, he was a leading participant in the revolutionary advances in particle physics in the 1950s and 1960s before striking out in a new direction, where he became legendary. A fitting tribute to Art was the award in 2006 of the Enrico Fermi Award of the US Department of Energy “for a lifetime of achievements ranging from pioneering scientific discoveries in experimental nuclear and particle physics to innovations in science, technology, and public policy for energy conservation that continue to benefit humanity. His vision not only underpins national policy but has helped launch an industry in energy efficiency”. Art’s first impact on the physics community was with Jay Orear and Robert Schluter, when the three of them produced the book Nuclear Physics consisting of the notes from Fermi’s course at the University of Chicago. Art came to Berkeley from Chicago and was part of Luis Alvarez’s team, which used bubble chambers to discover many of the meson and baryon resonances, including the omega meson and the Σ*(1385), which led to the recognition of SU(3) flavour symmetry. Art co-authored papers not only with experimenters, but also with Murray Gell-Mann, Shelly Glashow, and Sam Treiman. The 1957 Annual Review of Nuclear Science paper with Gell-Mann, “Hyperons and Heavy Mesons (Systematics and Decay)”, was the beginning of the Particle Data Group. Today’s Particle Data Group and the Review of Particle Physics are, 60 years later, Art’s legacy to the physics community. Much greater still is Art’s legacy to the US and international communities, which benefit today from his relentless pursuit of increased efficiency in the use of energy through both technological advances and political advocacy. The oil embargo of 1973 led Art to wonder why he saw so many obviously wasteful practices in the use of energy. He devoted the rest of his career to rectifying this. That per-capita usage of energy in California remained essentially constant from 1973 to 2006, while it rose by 50% elsewhere in the US, was given the name “The Rosenfeld Effect,” because of Art’s success in getting the state to adopt policies encouraging efficient use of energy. Art, together with a number of nuclear and particle physicists, and with the backing of Andrew Sessler, the director of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the mid-1970s, developed programmes in energy efficiency for buildings, appliances and lighting, which became a major part of the Laboratory’s programme. Art’s efforts extended beyond the laboratory. He was a founder of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a non-profit organisation that continues today to push for policies that increase energy efficiency. Art served in the Clinton administration from 1994 to 1999 as senior adviser to the DOE’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and subsequently as commissioner at the California Energy Commission under two state administrations. Among the numerous honours Art received was the National Medal of Science and of Technology and Innovation presented by president Barack Obama in 2011 for “extraordinary leadership in the development of energy-efficient building technologies and related standards and policies”. Art showed that the analytical skills and pragmatism the physics community values could be put to use on practical problems facing humanity. The result of his dedication was profound and lasting contributions to energy efficiency. Despite Art’s ever growing fame, he remained an unassuming colleague, and we remember him as a friend whose achievements transcended the scope of our ordinary research endeavours. Durga Prasad Roy, or DP as he was popularly known, passed away on 17 March in Cuttack, India, after a brief illness. He was active until his last days, having posted a review on the arXiv preprint server in August 2016, participated in conferences in 2017 and having given a series of lectures on the Standard Model at the University of Hyderabad just a few days before he fell ill. DP completed his PhD in particle physics in 1966 at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California (1966–1968), CERN (1968–1969) and the University of Toronto (1969–1970). He moved to the Rutherford Laboratory in the UK (1970–1974), and was a reader at Visva Bharati University, India, from 1974 to 1976. He joined TIFR in 1976 and retired 30 years later in 2006. He then became a member of the Homi Bhabha Centre of Science Education. Scientifically, DP had an instinct for recognising what is important. He made pioneering contributions in particle- and astroparticle-physics phenomenology. His early research work was in the area of “Regge phenomenology and duality”, which addresses the dominant part of cross-sections for hadron–hadron collision processes. Using these ideas, DP predicted exotic mesons called baryonium (now termed tetraquarks) as well as exotic pentaquark baryons – robust predictions that continue to attract the attention of experimentalists and lattice-QCD experts. Along with his collaborators, he suggested to look for a hard isolated lepton and jets as a signature of the top quark, a methodology widely adopted at the CERN and Tevatron proton–antiproton colliders. He also worked extensively on many popular theories of physics beyond the Standard Model, such as supersymmetry. He suggested a promising signature with which to search for charged Higgs bosons using tau decays and the distinctive polarisation of these particles, which is currently being used in the ongoing search for charged Higgs boson at the LHC. Likewise, the missing transverse-momentum signature for supersymmetric particles suggested by DP is being widely used in the ongoing collider searches for these particles. DP and collaborators, and other groups, employed global fits of the solar-neutrino data, including the SNO neutral-current data from 2002, to pin down the large-mixing-angle (LMA) Mikheyev–Smiron–Wolfenstein (MSW) solution to the solar-neutrino problem. This was tested by two impressive sets of neutrino-spectrum results published by the KamLAND experiment in 2003 and 2004. Incorporating these data further in their analysis, and focussing on the LMA–MSW solution in the two-neutrino framework, DP and collaborators ruled out the high-mass-squared-difference LMA solution by more than three standard deviations and converged on the low-mass-squared difference LMA as the unique solution. His scientific achievements were recognised by the Meghnad Saha Award and the SN Bose Medal. He was elected fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and National Academy of Sciences. Along with his colleague Probir Roy, DP started a series of workshops in high-energy physics phenomenology called WHEPP that still initiate a lot of collaborative work today. He was passionate about undergraduate teaching, but also had many interests outside science. He was a weightlifting champion of Orissa, an expert swimmer, and a connoisseur of Indian classical music and dance. His passion for adventure always showed up in the after-work evening activities at WHEPP workshops. He also had strong views on the lack of experimental investigations in ancient India, and published them in an article in the Indian Journal of History of Science in 2016.
News Article | May 24, 2017
FRESNO, CA--(Marketwired - May 24, 2017) - CALSTART in partnership with the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) unveiled a model program providing solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in 13 rural incorporated cities in Fresno County. This is the largest deployment of solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in the San Joaquin Valley, and the first to link all the rural cities in one single county. FCRTA selected the CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center to help them develop and implement the concept. Both the SJVAPCD and FCRTA provided funding for the actual purchase and deployment of the solar charging stations that include back-up energy storage for emergency services, if needed. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is funded, in part, by a grant from the California Energy Commission. The FCRTA funding was provided, in part, by Caltrans. "This project is a great model of what can be done via partnerships and cooperation to develop truly sustainable transportation. The California Energy Commission, thru its support of the CALSTART center, is very pleased to be part of this project that makes cars powered by the sun a reality in rural Fresno County," said Commissioner Janea Scott. An electric vehicle powered by the California electricity grid, on average, on a total cycle basis, emits about one third of the greenhouse gas emissions as a comparable size gasoline car. When an electric vehicle is recharged by solar panels, the total emissions level is effectively zero. The solar powered charging stations will provide no-cost charging for Valley EV drivers, helping to make electric cars more affordable for Fresno County residents. 12 of the 13 units are located in disadvantaged communities. The solar powered charging stations are manufactured by Envision Solar, a California-based company with facilities in San Diego, CA. "This is an important project that demonstrates that running cars powered by the sun is not a dream but an actual reality. CALSTART is very appreciative of the funding support provided by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the California Energy Commission, Caltrans, and the Fresno County Rural Transportation Agency," said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel. "We view this as an important step in building the electric vehicle market in the San Joaquin Valley," said CALSTART's San Joaquin Valley Regional Director, Joseph Oldham. "We are very interested in replicating this project in the other counties in the valley," said Oldham. About CALSTART CALSTART and its more than 160 member companies are dedicated to growing the clean transportation technology with the goals of creating high quality jobs, making the air healthy, building a more secure energy future, and protecting the climate. With a grant from the California Energy Commission in mid-2015, CALSTART has been operating the San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center. In its first full year of operation, CALSTART developed and secured funding for more than $14 million in new San Joaquin Valley based clean transportation projects. The Center's office is located in Fresno, near the Chandler Executive Airport. For further information visit http://www.sjvcleantransportation.org/projects.html.
News Article | May 25, 2017
David Hochschild knows a thing or two about renewable energy. Hochschild currently serves on the California Energy Commission (CEC), the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. Prior to being appointed to the commission, Hochschild served as a special assistant to San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in 2001, where he launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings. He went on to co-found Vote Solar and served as executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers. He worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. And he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Fresh off of his recent TEDx talk, Hochschild also sat down for a discussion this month with the solar software company Aurora Solar. Chief of Staff Sunny Wang and Content Marketing Analyst Gwen Brown spoke with the commissioner about the current state of solar and clean energy policy in California and beyond. Aurora: Do you think that California is feeling an added pressure to double-down on its climate and clean energy efforts? Hochschild: Oh, absolutely. I think the will has never been stronger than it is right now. California has the sixth-largest economy in the world and is home to 40 million people -- we're larger in many metrics than most countries in the world. I think particularly given recent events, leadership on renewables has shifted to the states. Fortunately, most of the policies that really matter -- in terms of accelerating renewable energy -- are actually still made at the state level. By that I'm referring to renewable portfolio standards, net metering, interconnection standards, rate design, state tax credits, etc., that really dictate the markets for clean energy around the country. I think the will is very strong to continue what we've started, and I have actually seen an increase in activity and interest here in California. Aurora: Speaking of renewable portfolio standards, California’s RPS sets the ambitious goal of obtaining 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Can you provide a quick update on where we are? Are there major hurdles for California to overcome in order to achieve this target sustainably? Hochschild: Today, 27 percent of the state’s electricity is from renewable sources; that's up from 12 percent renewables in 2008. And we're on a path not just to hit 50 percent, but to exceed it. There are hurdles to overcome, however. One of these issues is renewable energy integration. That involves a number of different levers, including energy storage, regionalization and load control options. Regionalization -- having a broader balancing area to be able to draw on and send renewable energy to -- gives you more flexibility. Load control enables us to better align electricity demand with times of high renewable energy production. This includes demand response measures, as well as electric vehicles that are designed to charge intelligently and at times of the day that support the needs of the grid. You could think of the process of achieving high levels of renewables as having two phases. The first chapter of this work was really bringing down the cost of renewable technologies. That work has largely been successful, particularly with solar and wind. The prices of solar and wind have both fallen about 80 percent in the last decade, so we’ve seen really substantial cost reductions, which are very good for the future of the market. The second chapter is integrating renewables successfully onto the grid. Another related challenge that goes hand-in-hand with renewable integration is electrification. We want to see a migration of services that are now fueled by natural gas, diesel, and gasoline to being powered by this new, clean electric grid. That's everything from vehicles -- we have 275,000 electric vehicles on the road today (a trend I am happily now participating in as of about a month ago) -- to all-electric homes, electrified rail, etc. Aurora: Continuing on the topic of California renewable energy policy, part of the California Solar Initiative that the Energy Commission is advancing is the New Solar Homes Partnership program. Can you share some updates on the program and its successes? Hochschild: The way to understand this program is that it’s really the glide path for California to reach zero net energy in [building] code. The goal originally was 2020 as our date to mandate zero net energy in code, and you don't want that to be an abrupt change. You want homebuilders already building a significant number of homes with solar before that becomes a mandate. This incentive program was created to help get that going. One of the main challenges with new construction is that the homebuilder is not the occupant of the home. The builders’ main goal is typically to contain costs so adding extra features is often not what they are seeking to do. This program helped kick-start that market, and in Southern California, about a quarter of the new homes being built today are being built with solar. Aurora: Our energy markets to date have been built around fossil fuels -- which differ significantly from renewables. From a market perspective, what will need to change about how we buy and sell electricity in order for our energy markets to function with higher levels of renewables on the grid? Hochschild: Well, I think the first realization is that along with renewables comes distributed generation and a distributed model. Where California used to have just a couple hundred power plants providing all the electricity, today we have roughly 600,000 when you count all the rooftop solar. As a result, intelligent infrastructure that's designed to allow for a friction-free market for distributed generation is essential. That includes having the ability to meter distributed generation. It also includes having smart inverters that have telemetry and voltage regulation capabilities. So, for example, we can send signals to rooftop solar systems to tell them to adjust voltage to help support the grid. I think that's one of the main changes that is needed. I also think you're going to increasingly see a movement among utilities toward more of a "pipes-and-wires" model, where their focus shifts from generation to managing the interactivity of all these other generators and consumers. We need the utilities to succeed -- I want to be clear about that. I think it's really in everybody's interest to have the utilities succeed, but what they are doing is going to change. I also think that, increasingly, the role of utilities is going to shift toward transportation. I believe the electrification of the vehicle fleet is one of the single most exciting potential developments in the next few years. It offers great promise -- not just to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our transportation sector, which is California’s greatest source of emissions right now -- but also to help facilitate higher penetration of renewables. Aurora: Do you believe it’s possible to supply 100 percent of our electricity from renewable sources? Hochschild: I absolutely believe it is possible. I think it's actually inevitable. The real question is whether we get there fast enough to make a meaningful difference on climate change. Here's the big picture. Over the long haul, basic laws of economics hold that as reserves of finite resources like fossil fuels -- whether they are reserves of coal, or petroleum, or natural gas -- become constrained, the prices go up. Technology, on the other hand, as it scales, prices go down -- whether we're talking about cell phones, flat-screen TVs, electric vehicles or solar panels. The foundational technologies of the clean energy future are all going down very steeply in price: solar PV, wind, energy storage, LED lights...that is reason for great optimism about our ability to achieve this future. There will be a lot of adjustments to be made. We're going to have to be much more nimble about things like load control, for instance. The traditional model has been that electric load (electric demand) drives electric generation -- your factory turns on, and you have to turn on a fossil-fuel burning power plant. Now, for some subset of that load, it's actually going to switch; renewable generation is going to drive electric demand. For instance, if you have a fleet of electric vehicles and you have some flexibility in the time of the day you charge them, or you have a building that needs to be cooled but you can do some precooling, you have windows of time for electric demand that can be aligned with renewable generation. That will become a much more refined science. There are plenty of other technology hurdles to cross as well -- but there is nothing about the transition to 100 percent renewable energy itself that is outside the realm of a solvable problem. It's all solvable; it's just new types of problems, and our ability to solve these problems has gotten infinitely better. I look at our capabilities and where we are in our technology development at the moment, and even if innovation were to basically halt and we were just working with current pricing and current technology, we could get to 100 percent. The good news is it's actually getting better. Every year, we're getting larger and more efficient wind turbines, more efficient solar panels, and cheaper batteries with longer duration. The technologies are all getting incrementally better every year, so I have no doubt we will get there. And now there are cities, like San Diego, and whole states, like Hawaii, that have mandated 100 percent renewable energy. San Diego is the first major city in the United States to mandate 100 percent renewables by 2035, and Hawaii has mandated it by 2045. That's already underway. Aurora: The solar industry requires cooperation between different actors, such as businesses, utilities and policymakers. In your career, you've worked in the solar energy space from many different perspectives -- including public, private and nonprofit. What are your thoughts on the state of cooperation among key solar players? Hochschild: Well, I think there is room for greater coordination in the industry. Early on, the solar industry was fractured in terms of industry associations; there were multiple overlapping associations. That has gotten somewhat better, but it is not entirely resolved. The parallel is made, for example, to the NRA. There's not a National Pistol Association and a National Shotgun Association, right? And the NRA is pretty effective. I think there is more maturing necessary, and I would like to see more "pan-renewables" advocacy and collaboration where everyone unifies around the vision of 100 percent renewable energy and the electrification of almost everything. I think there's a role for all technologies that serve that purpose, whether it be geothermal, solar, wind, or biomass energy, energy storage or electric vehicles. Aurora: Where do you think we can expect to see new or significantly refined policies encouraging solar adoption in the next few years -- either within or outside the United States? Hochschild: One area is Mexico, which the California Energy Commission has been working with quite a bit on promoting clean energy policy and sharing best practices. The CEC has signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Mexican states of Aguascalientes and Jalisco to cooperate around clean energy, and it collaborates with Mexico’s Ministry of Energy under a 2014 MOU signed by California Governor Brown and Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell. We've seen some very exciting developments in renewable energy pricing, and as a result, we're now seeing Mexico think seriously about renewables. For example, they're now looking closely at energy storage -- what its role should be in the future of Mexico and what policies they should adopt. These are things that weren’t under serious consideration about two or three years ago because renewables were seen as too expensive. Aurora: What developments under these MOUs are you particularly excited about? Hochschild: One of the most exciting things is how greater participation in clean energy markets is leading to financial innovation. Banks and other financial institutions have to think about how to finance renewables and that has a cascading effect, even to educational institutions. Until recently in Mexico, you could not get a master’s degree in renewable energy. Now a university in Guadalajara, Jalisco just launched the country’s first renewable energy master’s degree program. All of these changes are happening right now before our eyes. It's changing so quickly it’s hard to track. For example, the states of Jalisco and Aguascalientes, which the California Energy Commission has signed MOUs with, have both recently adopted fleets of electric vehicles. Those are the some of the first states in Mexico, if not the first, to formally adopt fleets of electric vehicles, and that is thanks to some of the collaborative efforts between the Commission and Mexico. Aurora: What is the most innovative solar design you have ever come across? Hochschild: That’s a good question. […] There have been many of them. I've been involved in solar for my whole career, and some of the most innovative things I’ve seen were things that didn't ultimately work in the market. But, the truth is, the things that I'm most excited about are not what I'd call revolutionary innovation, but rather what I'd call evolutionary innovation. It's things that are not particularly sexy or noteworthy, but which are the incremental improvements driving the whole market. Every year, the efficiency of solar panels and inverters has been going up. The early solar panels had 5 percent efficiency, right? Now they're roughly 20 percent. The early inverters had about 60 percent efficiency --so you would lose over a third of the power just converting it from DC to AC. Now, utility-scale inverters are at 99 percent efficiency. It wasn’t an overnight change; literally every year they became 1 or 2 percent more efficient, with little tweaks and improvements. That evolutionary progress is what I find most exciting. That’s what's been working and I'm optimistic that will continue. This article was originally published on the Aurora Solar blog.
News Article | May 26, 2017
« Mitsubishi Motors delivers 635 Outlander PHEVs to Ukranian police; largest PHEV fleet order yet for MMC | Main | Wärtsilä to install hybrid system on LNG-powered offshore supply vessel » The Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA), San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Energy Commission (CEC) and CALSTART unveiled a program providing the Envision Solar EV ARC solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations in 13 rural incorporated cities throughout Fresno County. This is the largest single deployment of solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations in the County and the first to link all the rural cities in one single county. FCRTA selected Envision Solar’s EV ARC product, which is the only rapidly deployable, transportable solar powered EV charger available while simultaneously being the only renewably energized EV charging solution which provides both EV charging and emergency power during a grid failure. State of California contract #1-15-61-16 was awarded to Envision Solar to supply EV ARC products to State of California Departments and other local governmental agencies or entities. Both the SJVAPCD and FCRTA provided funding for the purchase and deployment of the EV ARC products, which include back-up energy storage for emergency services. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is funded, in part, by a grant from the CEC. The FCRTA funding was provided, in part, by Caltrans. The EV ARC products will provide no-cost charging for San Joaquin Valley EV drivers, helping to make electric cars more affordable for Fresno County residents. 12 of the 13 units are located in disadvantaged communities. The EV ARC fits inside a parking space and generates enough clean, solar electricity to power up to 225 miles of EV driving in a day. The system’s solar electrical generation is enhanced by EnvisionTrak which causes the array to follow the sun, generating up to 25% more electricity than a fixed array. The energy is stored in the EV ARC product’s energy storage for charging day or night and to provide emergency power during a grid failure. Because the EV ARC product requires no trenching, foundations or installation work of any kind, it is deployed in minutes and can be moved to a new location with ease.
News Article | May 26, 2017
SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - May 26, 2017) - Envision Solar International, Inc. ( : EVSI) ("Envision Solar," or the "Company"), the leading renewably energized EV charging, outdoor media and energy security products company, announced that the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA), San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Energy Commission (CEC) and CALSTART unveiled a program providing the Company's EV ARC™ solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in 13 rural incorporated cities throughout Fresno County. This is the largest single deployment of solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in the County and the first to link all the rural cities in one single county. FCRTA selected Envision Solar's EV ARC™ product, which is the only rapidly deployable, transportable solar powered EV charger available while simultaneously being the only renewably energized EV charging solution which provides both EV charging and emergency power during a grid failure. State of California contract #1-15-61-16 was awarded to Envision Solar to supply EV ARC™ products to State of California Departments and other local governmental agencies or entities. Both the SJVAPCD and FCRTA provided funding for the purchase and deployment of the EV ARC™ products, which include back-up energy storage for emergency services. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is funded, in part, by a grant from the CEC. The FCRTA funding was provided, in part, by Caltrans. "This project is a great model of what can be done via partnerships and cooperation to develop truly sustainable transportation. The California Energy Commission, through its support of the CALSTART center, is very pleased to be part of this project that makes cars powered by the sun a reality in rural Fresno County," said Commissioner Janea Scott. An electric vehicle which is recharged by EV ARC™ products has a total emission level which is effectively zero. The EV ARC™ products will provide no-cost charging for San Joaquin Valley EV drivers, helping to make electric cars more affordable for Fresno County residents. 12 of the 13 units are located in disadvantaged communities. "This is an important project that demonstrates that running cars powered by the sun is not a dream but an actual reality. CALSTART is very appreciative of the funding support provided by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the California Energy Commission, Caltrans and the Fresno County Rural Transportation Agency," said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel. "We view this as an important step in building the electric vehicle market in the San Joaquin Valley," said CALSTART's San Joaquin Valley Regional Director, Joseph Oldham. "We are very interested in replicating this project in the other counties in the valley," said Oldham. "Fresno County has shown great leadership in providing our EV ARC products to their constituency," said Desmond Wheatley, Envision Solar's CEO. "Free solar powered EV charging is a fantastic fit in this hard-working area of the State where pollution is high and incomes are low. We look forward to fulfilling many more deployments for Fresno County." Invented and manufactured in California, the EV ARC™ fits inside a parking space and generates enough clean, solar electricity to power up to 225 miles of EV driving in a day. The system's solar electrical generation is enhanced by EnvisionTrak™ which causes the array to follow the sun, generating up to 25% more electricity than a fixed array. The energy is stored in the EV ARC™ product's energy storage for charging day or night and to provide emergency power during a grid failure. Because the EV ARC™ product requires no trenching, foundations or installation work of any kind, it is deployed in minutes and can be moved to a new location with ease. EV ARC™ products are manufactured in the Company's San Diego facility by combat veterans, the disabled, minorities and other highly talented, mission driven team members. Envision Solar, www.envisionsolar.com, is a sustainable technology innovation company who's unique and patented products include the EV ARC™ and the Solar Tree® with EnvisionTrak™ patented solar tracking, SunCharge™ solar Electric Vehicle Charging, ARC™ technology energy storage and EnvisionMedia solar advertising displays. Based in San Diego the company produces Made in America products. Envision Solar is listed on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol [EVSI]. For more information, visit www.envisionsolar.com or call (866) 746-0514. This Press Release may contain forward-looking statements regarding future events or our expected future results that are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. All statements in this Report other than statements of historical facts are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are generally accompanied by terms or phrases such as "estimate," "project," "predict," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "target," "plan," "intend," "seek," "goal," "will," "should," "may," or other words and similar expressions that convey the uncertainty of future events or results. Statements contemplating or making assumptions regarding actual or potential sales, market size and demand, prospective business contracts, customer orders, trends or operating results also constitute forward looking statements. Our actual results may differ substantially from those indicated in forward looking statements because our business is subject to significant economic, competitive, regulatory, business and industry risks which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Our operating results, financial condition and business performance may be adversely affected by a general decline in the economy, unavailability of capital or financing for our prospective customers to purchase products and services from us, competition, changes in regulations, a decline in the demand for solar energy, a lack of profitability, a decline in our stock price, and other risks. We may not have adequate capital, financing or cash flow to sustain our business or implement our business plans. Current results and trends are not necessarily indicative of future results that we may achieve.