Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Strong and Lightweight Material Provides New Use for Coal Ash

Each year, coal-burning power plants, steel factories and similar facilities in the United States produce more than 125 million tons of waste, much of it fly ash and bottom ash left over from combustion. Mulalo Doyoyo has plans for that material.

An assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Doyoyo has developed a new structural material based on these leftovers from coal burning. Known as Cenocell, the material offers attributes that include high strength and light weight – without the use of cement, an essential ingredient of conventional concrete.

With broad potential applications and advantages such as good insulating properties and fire resistance, the “green” material could replace concrete, wood and other materials in a broad range of applications in construction, transportation and even aerospace.

“Dealing with the ash left over from burning coal is a problem all over the world,” said Doyoyo. “By using it for real applications, our process can make the ash a useful commodity instead of a waste product. It could also create new industry and new jobs in parts of the world that need them badly.”

Fly ash is composed of small particles removed from combustion gases by pollution control systems. Most of it must now be disposed of as a waste product, though certain types of fly ash can be used to replace a portion of the cement used in conventional concrete.

Cenocell, produced from either fly ash or bottom ash in a reaction with organic chemicals, requires none of the cement or aggregate – sand and rock – used in concrete. And unlike concrete, it emerges from curing ovens in final form and does not require a lengthy period to reach full strength.

“This is a new material very different from concrete,” Doyoyo said.

Because it uses what is now considered a waste material to replace cement – which generates carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas – the new material is considered an asset to the environment. The material can have a wide range of properties that make it competitive with concrete, especially the new classes of autoclaved lightweight concrete.

For instance, specific densities range from 0.3 to 1.6, and the material can be manufactured to withstand pressures of up to 7,000 pounds per cubic inch. The properties can be controlled by choosing the proper ash particles size, chemical composition, and the curing time, which can range from three to 24 hours.

“We have a wide range in terms of texture, properties, performance and applications,” said Doyoyo. “The possibilities for this material are very broad.”

Among the potential applications for the material are:

Building and construction industry – infrastructure materials that provide sound, crash and fire barriers; permeable pavements; drainage fillers; ultra-light truss stiffeners, foam, wood and concrete replacements in residential and commercial buildings; and acoustical tiles. Cenocell is lighter than most “lightweight” concrete, and lightweight versions can be machined and cut with standard band saws.

Transportation industry – cores for shock and crash absorbers; fillers for trailer floors or b-pillars in vehicle frames.

Aerospace industry – ultra-light heat shielding.

Protective installations – fireproof blast walls or structural fillers for hazardous fluids.

Though for competitive reasons he won’t disclose the precise chemical composition of Cenocell, Doyoyo says the processing involves mixing the ash with organic chemicals. The chemical reaction produces foaming, and results in a gray slurry that resembles bread dough. The material is then placed in forms and cured in ovens at approximately 100 degrees Celsius until the desired strength is attained.

“We form a final compound through a combination of chemical and mechanical processes,” Doyoyo explained. “Once it comes out of our process, it is ready to go and does not continue to change over time.”

Unlike concrete, which remains a mixture of materials held together by chemical bonds, Cenocell is a homogenous material. The cell sizes and final strength depend on both the curing time and size of the ash particles used. Estimates suggest the material could be manufactured for an average cost of $50 per cubic yard.

Doyoyo and his research team – which also includes Paul Biju-Duvall, Julien Claus, Dereck Major, Rolan Duvvury and Josh Gresham – have so far made only small samples for testing. They are working with a Georgia-based maker of autoclaved concrete to produce larger samples for additional testing. Large-scale manufacturing could be done with the same equipment now used to make autoclaved concrete, he says.

Doyoyo will present information about the material at the inception workshop of the Resource-Driven Technology Concept Center in South Africa (RETECZA) December 1-3, 2008, and at the World of Coal Ash meeting May 4-7, 2009.

“We are focusing a lot on the construction industry,” Doyoyo said. “When this material is used to build a structure, it will save a lot of energy for heating and air conditioning because of its good insulating properties.”

A native of South Africa who was educated at the University of Cape Town, Brown University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Doyoyo sees value beyond the re-use of a waste material. He believes Cenocell could provide low-cost housing in developing countries and economic development impact from a new industry.

“This material could help develop communities by allowing people living near coal-burning facilities to create a new industry and new jobs,” he said. “This could be an engine of development for people who have been struggling. It really is a material with a social conscience.”

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Georgia College Football Game Goes Green

When rival football teams from the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech take the field Nov. 29 in Sanford Stadium for one of the biggest games of the year, the grass in the stadium won't be the only thing that's green.

The University of Georgia has partnered with Georgia Power who will provide Green Energy for the game. It will be the first time that electricity for a University of Georgia football game has been generated completely by renewable sources.

"The University of Georgia is an emerging leader in research on development of renewable energy sources, and we are significantly lowering energy usage on campus through conservation and use of alternative sources," said UGA Athletic Director Damon Evans. "Using electricity from the Green Energy program fits well with our commitment to energy conservation and we are pleased to join with Georgia Power in this innovative program."

By using environmentally friendly Green Energy, UGA will help protect the environment, conserve natural resources, help promote the use of renewable energy in Georgia and support domestic energy self-reliance.

"Georgia Power looks forward to providing Green Energy for one of the great annual match-ups in college football," said Chris Womack, Georgia Power's Executive Vice President of External Affairs. "This partnership demonstrates the University of Georgia's commitment to the development of renewable energy in the state."

The electricity for the game will displace traditional forms of energy such as coal and natural gas from the power grid. The majority of the electricity in Georgia Power's Green Energy program currently comes from the Seminole Landfill methane gas facility in DeKalb County.

Since Georgia Power began the Green Energy program in October 2006, almost 4,000 customers have committed to purchase in excess of 18 million kilowatt-hours of Green Energy annually. Residential customers can purchase 100-kilowatt-hour blocks of Green Energy for $3.50 per block, which is added to their monthly electricity bill.

Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia is America's first chartered state university and Georgia's largest and most comprehensive educational institution.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Online Database Resource Provides Detailed Information for Over 2,600 Renewable Energy Power Plants, Operating, Under Construction and in Development

/PRNewswire/ -- The C Three Group, LLC (C Three) has developed the continuously updated, web-enabled, U.S. Renewable Energy Power Plant Database, providing information on more than 2,600 U.S. renewable power plant projects. Plants included in this database range from those under development to those that have been in operation for years.

Each project profile provides detailed information on:

-- Ownership (including ownership transaction details)
-- Capacity
-- Initial Month/Year of operations
-- Transmission and interconnection information
-- Current plant status
-- NERC, RTO/ISO location
-- State, county location
-- FERC status
-- Status (development, permitted, under construction, operating, etc.)
-- Turbine vendor
-- Generation queue
-- Profiles cover wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, bio-fuels and other
renewable energy sources



New renewable energy power plants, particularly wind energy, are announced daily. Finding these projects before being "publicly announced" requires digging through state and federal regulatory filings, local media searches and other information sources such as the SEC and the Bureau of Land Management. C Three's highly experienced analysts continuously do the tedious and time-consuming process of keeping this information up-to-date. You can access the database from anywhere at anytime through a password protected website.

Users are able to create custom reports by filtering data from the 23 data fields. These reports are confidential and easily downloadable into spreadsheet format for analytical purposes. Sample reports are available through C Three by request.

An annual subscription includes web-enabled, password protected access for up to three users. For more information, visit www.cthree.net or call (404) 233-8555.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Georgia Tech Plays Key Role in Global Energy

Energy and sustainability experts at the Georgia Institute of Technology have taken a leadership role in the U.S. contribution to a 36-nation effort aimed at developing an international standard that would bring consistency to energy management systems worldwide.

The effort has implications for the public and private sectors alike, providing a process for managing energy use and implementing sustainable practices that would help hold down costs and minimize environmental impacts. This first-ever international energy management system standard – to be known as ISO 50001 – would also level the playing field for companies competing in the global marketplace.

With broad applicability across economic sectors, the standard could ultimately affect as much as 60 percent of the energy used in the world.

“Effective implementation of an energy management system standard often yields resource and cost savings, as well as risk avoidance,” explained Bill Meffert, manager of energy and sustainability services at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. “Reduction in the use of non-renewable fuels provides environmental benefits to the nation, improves security and leads to use of more sustainable sources of energy. Process and behavioral changes from targeted energy management projects frequently result in reduced raw materials usage, less waste generation and disposal, and lower air emissions.”

Beyond the direct benefits, adoption of ISO 50001 could also lead to long-term cultural changes that benefit organizations in other ways. “An energy management system standard establishes a culture of continual improvement to sustain the gains made, placing the organization in a position to realize even greater energy efficiencies and further savings,” Meffert added.

The U.S. Department of Energy is supporting the effort through a combination of active participation in the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and through financial support for the administration of the U.S. TAG. The U.S. TAG is responsible for developing the U.S. consensus position on the proposed standard.

Rising energy prices have made managing energy a higher priority for industrial, commercial and governmental organizations worldwide. Beyond helping manage costs and controlling environmental impacts, large energy users may be driven to adopt the voluntary standards as evidence of their good corporate citizenship.

“Many countries around the world will use the standard as the basis for national programs that encourage large energy users to demonstrate their environmental stewardship,” Meffert said. “It is expected that national incentives – taxes, credits and similar vehicles – will be used to promote its use and adoption.”

Companies that adopt the new standard may also gain a public relations and marketing advantage.

“Companies that conform to an international energy management system standard will be publicly stating that they have adopted best practices for managing their energy supply and use, which helps make them competitive,” Meffert added. “They are also showing that they are managing their natural resources wisely. Many companies will also want to ensure that their suppliers and partners are environmentally responsible.”

In general, Meffert noted, standards are useful to helping organizations establish the order and consistency to manage key business components, whether they address quality, environmental protection or energy issues.

“By applying this standard, the organization uses the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ steps of the continual improvement framework to manage energy resources, incorporating energy management into everyday business operations and strategies,” he said. “This framework encompasses both the management and the technical elements of energy management. The effective management of energy requires both to be present and integrated.”

While industry has driven development of the new standard, it could be used by any energy-consuming organization. The standard will define a management system for all energy sources – including electricity, liquid and solid fuels, renewable sources, steam, compressed air and chilled water.

The new ISO 50001 is being developed through a consensus process of the International Standards Organization (ISO) that involves representatives from national standards organizations in more than 36 countries who develop proposals, discuss issues, build consensus – and adopt the final standard.

The United States and Brazil are leading the overall effort under ISO’s framework. In addition to member nation representatives, two liaison members – the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the World Energy Council – are also contributing to the effort.

The ISO/PC 242 committee established to develop the standard held its first meeting in Washington in early September, and will hold additional meetings on a regular basis. The goal is to have ISO 50001 ready for publication by the end of 2010, said Deann Desai, project manager with the Enterprise Innovation Institute who serves as secretary to the U.S. TAG.

“Excellent progress was made during the first meeting, and a working draft has already been developed,” she noted. “Among the issues discussed was the need to ensure compatibility between the new ISO 50001 and existing ISO management standards.”

Georgia Tech was heavily involved in developing the existing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) MSE 2000:2008 standard for energy management systems. That standard has seen limited adoption in the United States, but Meffert said globalization of commerce now requires an international standard that will be widely adopted.

“Many businesses today are multinationals that have facilities and/or trading partners overseas,” he explained. “When conducting business on a multinational basis, it is important that the competitive playing field be as even as possible – which is what standardization attempts to accomplish.”

Georgia Tech worked closely with the Department of Energy in activities leading up to the formal launch of the ISO 50001 development effort. Members of Georgia Tech’s energy and sustainability staff helped develop a comparison document that was used to facilitate initial international meetings, and they participated with ANSI in the process of producing an application to ISO explaining the need for the new standard.

Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute is administering the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ANSI. The group is composed of many energy management experts and helps shape the U.S. position for the international standard.

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News to Use in Fayetteville, Atlanta, Macon, Peachtree City and all of Georgia

Celebrating 25 Years of Energy Assistance to Georgia Families

/PRNewswire/ -- Heating Energy Assistance Team, Inc., an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization that is Georgia's oldest statewide fuel fund, recently celebrated 25 years of providing energy assistance to Georgians statewide, thanks to H.E.A.T.'s partnership with community-minded organizations like AGL Resources, Georgia Natural Gas, SCANA Energy, Gas South, the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, and many more.

During the past 25 years, H.E.A.T. has raised nearly $17 million in energy assistance for more than 82,000 families. "It's a mighty good thing that a program like H.E.A.T. does such good work," H.E.A.T. recipient Evelyn Gregory told celebration attendees. "I've been able to get help with my heating bills at the beginning of the heating season, and I'm so grateful of that." Gregory, a widow of 10 years, lives on a fixed income and often has to choose between buying groceries and staying warm during the winter. Thousands of Georgians face that choice every year.

H.E.A.T., originally established by Atlanta Gas Light Company in 1983, has helped address the energy needs of low-income Georgians by joining forces with concerned citizens, businesses and state government. When the Georgia General Assembly deregulated the state's natural gas industry, H.E.A.T. became a separate 501 (c) (3) nonprofit tax-exempt entity in May 2000.

Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Chuck Eaton, keynote speaker at the celebration, praised H.E.A.T. and said that the best way the commission could help Georgians is by keeping the cost of heating down. "Electricity demand is growing by 1,000 megawatts a year in Georgia," he said. "Coal, nuclear and natural gas can be used to manufacture electricity, but there are pro's and con's to each of those. In 2007, 33 percent of natural gas use was for electric generation, so that caused upward pressure on prices. We have to be diversified and keep all options on the table - not just natural gas, but also coal, nuclear, biomass, solar and wind. There's no easy answer, but it's a mistake to oversimplify this problem."

During the celebration Joan Martin, wife of U.S. Senate candidate Jim Martin, spoke on his behalf, emphasizing that her husband was actively involved with H.E.A.T. beginning in January 1983. In his prepared remarks, he said, "The partnership between the Georgia Department of Human Resources, the community action agencies, the federal government, the PSC and H.E.A.T. is the envy of the nation. Federal, state, nonprofit, private individuals and business working together to assist the elderly, disabled and poor stay warm. It is simply a miracle."

H.E.A.T. staff and the board of directors, consisting of volunteer business and consumer leaders from around the state, work diligently to raise funds throughout the year. "Thousands of families cope with poverty, unemployment and high energy costs every winter," says H.E.A.T. Board Chairman Chris Strippelhoff. "With the generosity of Georgia citizens and the energy industry, H.E.A.T. has helped so many families in need - but there remains much to be done."

For more information about H.E.A.T. or to donate online, go to www.heatga.org .

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Global Wind Industry Milestone: GE Energy Ships its 10,000th 1.5-Megawatt Wind Turbine

(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE Energy today announced the shipment of its 10,000th 1.5-megawatt wind turbine, a global wind industry milestone. Over the past decade, GE’s 1.5-megawatt machines have been installed in 19 countries and have accumulated more than 130 million operating hours, producing more than 78,000 gigawatt-hours of cleaner, wind-generated electricity.

The 10,000th unit was shipped to FPL Energy, the largest U.S. generator of wind power, for the Ashtabula Wind Energy Center located in North Dakota. The milestone shipment was announced during a press conference today in Orlando.

GE’s fleet of 10,000 1.5-megawatt machines can power more than five million homes and produce more than 50 million megawatt-hours annually. Compared to other power generation sources, this represents a savings of more than 27 million tons of CO2 emissions each year, the equivalent of removing more than five million U.S. cars from the road.

“We’re very pleased to share this milestone celebration with FPL Energy,” said Victor Abate, vice president-renewables for GE Energy. “Like GE, FPL Energy is firmly committed to increasing the supply and quality of wind power as a vital step on the road to energy security and energy independence for our country.”

“GE Energy is an industry leader and a valued partner,” said Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of FPL Energy. “Having a reliable supply of wind turbines to meet our customers’ growing demand for clean and renewable wind energy has been an important ingredient in the growth and success of our wind business.”

Offering proven performance and reliability, GE’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine is the most widely used megawatt-class wind turbine in the world and is recognized as the industry workhorse. This machine has been proven in nearly every wind regime, terrain and climate worldwide. GE continues to invest in technology improvements that will build upon the vast experience gained from a 10,000+ unit installed base. These investments continue to drive even higher levels of wind turbine reliability and efficiency.

Since entering the wind business in 2002, GE has continued to advance the performance and reliability of the 1.5-megawatt wind turbine through GE-designed technology including pitch systems, blades and gearboxes; improved component robustness; and better diagnostic capabilities and controls. The result is continuous improvement in overall fleet availability to a level over 98% for units commissioned since 2007.

GE’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine platform continues to evolve and benefits from GE’s core power generation expertise. The XLE model of the 1.5-megawatt class turbine offers a 15% increase in swept area, resulting in greater energy output.

Delivering worldwide services technology and fast parts fulfillment is critical to maintaining reliable performance of the 1.5-megawatt fleet. GE’s customer support and remote monitoring centers in Schenectady, N.Y. and Salzbergen, Germany provide continuous monitoring and diagnostic services seven days a week. The mission of these centers is to increase equipment availability and reduce downtime and operational costs. In addition, GE has opened a parts operation center near Memphis, Tenn. with fleet-wide critical parts for overnight delivery, when needed.

As the penetration of wind-generated electricity grows, it is increasingly important that wind farms have the capability to contribute to power system stability. GE has developed several products for the 1.5-megawatt wind turbine that address this requirement, including Wind RIDE-THRU, which allows uninterrupted wind turbine operation through many types of grid disturbances.

“Since 2002, we have invested more than $800 million to drive reliable and efficient wind turbine technology,” said Abate. “Continuing this investment is part of our overall commitment to wind power, which will be an integral part of the world energy mix throughout the 21st century.”

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Cleaner Coal Technology Key to the World’s Energy Future

(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE Energy and the University of Wyoming today announced an agreement to further cleaner coal technology, making coal-fired power generation more viable in America. Under the agreement, GE and the university will develop the High Plains Gasification Advanced Technology Center to accelerate the commercial use of cleaner coal technology.

In the United States, coal supplies more than 50 percent of the country’s current electricity generation and it plays an important role in meeting the nation’s energy needs. Coal is an abundant, low-cost, domestic, natural resource that continues to be a significant part of America’s energy mix.

Wyoming is uniquely positioned in the nation’s energy landscape and has vast coal resources capable of supporting a substantial portion of the nation’s energy needs. The state produces approximately 40 percent of all of the coal used in the United States to generate electricity.

The new center will include a small-scale gasification system that will enable researchers from GE and the university to develop advanced gasification solutions for Powder River Basin and other Wyoming coals. The research is expected to expand the range of coals that can be used with GE’s integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology for power plants. The facility is expected to be operational by 2012.

To create a path forward for coal, future climate change policy will be needed to incentivize the deployment of already-available low carbon technology and to foster further improvements that will bring down the cost of carbon capture and sequestration.

“This project underscores the commitment of both the University of Wyoming and GE to work toward U.S. energy independence and plan for future energy needs,” said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Energy’s Power & Water business. “We believe that our country’s energy and environmental policies should promote a balance of available, reliable, cleaner and low-cost energy. The use of cleaner coal technology helps create jobs, support economic growth and positively impacts the environment.”

GE is a world leader in IGCC technology and has been at the forefront of IGCC technology since the Coolwater project, a 120 MW technical demonstration IGCC project started in 1984. GE's IGCC technology also has operated at the 250 MW TECO Polk I station in Florida for more than 12 years. Today, GE offers a 630 MW IGCC reference plant that produces 75 percent less SOx, 33 percent less NOx, 40 percent less particulate matter, uses 30 percent less water and offers 90 percent mercury capture, compared to a traditional pulverized coal plant.

In addition to providing a cleaner alternative for power generation, IGCC is well-suited for carbon capture. Carbon capture technology is in use in GE’s industrial gasification applications around the world today. IGCC technology will offer cost and efficiency advantages for carbon capture and storage, once clear policies and regulations are in place to support storage and an economically viable value is established for carbon.

Although IGCC technology is relatively new, gasification is more than a century old. The process uses pressure, heat and steam to convert carbon-based materials like coal into a synthesis gas (syngas) that has a variety of uses including the production of chemicals or fertilizers and power generation.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chevron Announces First Oil From Blind Faith Field in Gulf of Mexico

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) today announced that it has started crude oil production from its Blind Faith Field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. First oil from Blind Faith was achieved on Nov. 11, 2008. Daily production is expected to ramp up to approximately 65,000 barrels of crude oil and 55 million cubic feet of natural gas over the next three months.

Blind Faith utilizes a deep-draft semisubmersible hull located about 160 miles (250 kilometers) southeast of New Orleans, La., on Mississippi Canyon block 650. Chevron’s deepest offshore production facility, Blind Faith is located in 6,500 feet (1,981 meters) of water, and with subsea systems located in 7,000 feet (2,134 meters) of water in Mississippi Canyon blocks 695 and 696.

“Blind Faith is one of several major near-term upstream projects that will allow us to grow our reserves and production,” said George Kirkland, executive vice president, Global Upstream and Gas, Chevron. “It is another demonstration of how Chevron is leading the industry in the selection and execution of major capital projects.”

Gary Luquette, president, Chevron North America Exploration and Production, said, “First oil from Blind Faith is another milestone in Chevron’s efforts to tap the vast deepwater energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico. Chevron is the largest leaseholder in the Gulf of Mexico, where we have a robust program of exploration and production activities, especially in the deep water.”

Steve Thurston, vice president, Deepwater Exploration and Projects, Chevron North America Exploration and Production, added, “The Blind Faith team delivered a world-class project that will bring on new supplies to help the nation meet its energy needs.”

The Blind Faith discovery well was drilled in June 2001 and encountered more than 200 feet (61 meters) of net pay in Miocene sands at depths of 20,900 feet (6,370 meters) to 24,300 feet (7,407 meters). A successful appraisal well was drilled in 2004. The field has an estimated gross resource potential exceeding 100 million barrels of oil-equivalent. Chevron holds a 75 percent working interest in Blind Faith and is the operator, and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) holds the remaining 25 percent working interest.

Chevron Corporation is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business across the globe. The company’s success is driven by the ingenuity and commitment of approximately 59,000 employees who operate across the energy spectrum. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops and commercializes the energy resources of the future, including biofuels and other renewables. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.

Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Information for the Purpose of "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Some of the items discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements about Chevron's activities in U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Words such as "anticipates," "expects," "projects," "intends," "plans," "targets," "projects," "believes," "seeks," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward- looking statements. The statements are based upon management's current expectations, estimates and projections; are not guarantees of future performance; and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the company's control and are difficult to predict. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are changes in demand for and supply of crude oil and natural gas; selection and successful execution of development plans; actions of competitors; government-mandated sales, divestitures, recapitalizations, industry-specific taxes, changes in fiscal terms or restrictions on the scope of the company's operations; the potential disruption or interruption of project activities due to war, accidents, political events, civil unrest or severe weather; and general economic and political conditions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Unless legally required, Chevron undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules permit oil and gas companies to disclose only proved reserves in their filings with the SEC. Certain terms, such as "resources," "gross resource potential, " "oil-equivalent resources," "oil in place," "potentially recoverable volumes," "recoverable reserves," and "recoverable oil," among others, may be used in this press release or other public disclosures that are not permitted to be used in filings with the SEC.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

The Brattle Group Projects $1.5 to $2.0 Trillion Investment Needed in the U.S. Electric Utility Industry by 2030

PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. utility industry will have to invest between $1.5 and $2.0 trillion between 2010 and 2030 to maintain current levels of reliable energy service for customers throughout the country, according to a new report issued today by The Brattle Group. The findings are detailed in "Transforming America's Power Industry: The Investment Challenge 2010-2030," presented today by Peter Fox-Penner, a principal of The Brattle Group, at the Edison Electric Institute's 43rd Financial Conference. The report was sponsored by the Edison Foundation.

"This study highlights the investment challenges confronting the power industry in the coming decades," said Dr. Fox-Penner. "The industry is facing enormous investment needs during a period of modest growth, high costs, and very substantial policy shifts," he explained.

All types of new generation capacity will be needed, including natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables. Nearly 40 gigawatts of new renewable capacity will be needed just to meet state requirements. Significantly, capital spending to upgrade distribution and transmission facilities nationwide may surpass investment in new generation, the study found. Spending on "smart grid" technologies to ramp up efficiency -- along with new power lines to integrate renewable electricity sources -- will account for much of that spending.

"The good news is that as a result of this very significant investment, our economy and utility customers will get more efficiency and control over their electricity use, lower-carbon generation, and a higher-technology, more resilient and reliable electric grid," Dr. Fox-Penner said.

The report, which follows highly publicized preliminary results introduced in April 2008 at an Edison Foundation conference, analyzes four possible scenarios that measure the impact of energy efficiency and demand response program implementation on investment needs and new plant construction. In the base case scenario, which does not account for new climate policies, the total investment needs are projected to reach $1.5 trillion. Implementation of a federal carbon policy would significantly increase the capital cost and change the mix of new generation capacity; for instance, a simplified model of one scenario with carbon controls would require an increase in total capital spending to $2 trillion.

Another key finding in the study is a large potential reduction in the need for new generation capacity, due to the faster than previously estimated implementation of energy efficiency and demand response programs. In the preliminary results, energy efficiency was estimated to potentially reduce new capacity by 17%. In the final results, the potential reduction in new capacity is projected to be approximately 38%. However, reductions in new required capacity will not correlate to an equal reduction in total investment due to the offsetting costs of implementing the efficiency programs.

"It is important to emphasize that while energy efficiency and demand response programs can significantly reduce the need for new generation capacity, they cannot eliminate the need for new power plants," Dr. Fox-Penner observed.

Marc Chupka and Robert Earle, principals of The Brattle Group, directed the study which is available at www.brattle.com and www.edisonfoundation.net.

The Brattle Group provides consulting services and expert testimony in economics and finance to corporations, law firms, and public agencies worldwide. Areas of expertise include antitrust and competition; electric power, natural gas, and petroleum; valuation and damages; and regulation and planning in network industries. For more information, visit www.brattle.com.

The Washington-based Edison Foundation is dedicated to bringing the benefits of electricity to families, businesses, and industries worldwide.

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