Friday, May 14, 2010

Renewable Energy News, May 14, 2010

National News:

E.P.A. Issues Final Emissions Rule - Green Blog -
The Environmental Protection Agency just issued a final rule for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from major stationary sources like refineries, power plants and cement production factories. The lower emissions thresholds take effect next January.

David Doniger, from NRDC, has a more detailed post on the new carbon pollution regulations.
More Reaction to the Kerry Lieberman Climate Bill:
How Fast a Transition from Oil?| Energy Outlook

Geoffrey Styles takes a close look at what it would take for the U.S to reduce reliance on oil:
The Gulf Coast oil spill remains the top energy story this week, eclipsing a $10 drop in oil prices that should soon ripple through to gas pumps near you. With BP's latest effort to contain the spill having run afoul of a slush buildup composed of methane hydrate crystals, the deepwater well continues to leak at an undetermined rate. The longer the spill continues, the greater the chances for severe environmental consequences, and the likelier that it will become a perception-altering milestone event as some environmentalists have already suggested. However, even if the spill were to galvanize public opinion in a manner similar to the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, what options do we have that could realistically reduce our reliance on oil produced from offshore platforms?
Local Vermont & Regional News:

Biomass plant proposed at former Pownal track - Bennington Banner
A Massachusetts company has signed a lease agreement with the owners of the former Green Mountain Race Track property, planning to construct a large biomass plant and wood pellet manufacturing facility.

Chic Paustian, of Southern Vermont Energy Park, the firm that owns the former track, said he believes the biomass plant will be a 29-megawatt facility and will have about 75 full-time employees, in addition to the hundreds of jobs generated during the facility’s construction.
Middlebury College and Vermont farm energy company partner to explore use of bio-methane gas at the college | Middlebury
Middlebury College and Integrated Energy Solutions (IES), a Vermont developer of farm-based methane energy, have agreed to explore a bio-methane gas collection and delivery system that could help Middlebury further reduce its use of fossil fuels.

Middlebury has agreed to purchase bio-methane gas from IES over a 10-year period, with the agreement contingent on the college raising money to build storage facilities for the gas on campus and retrofit its current heating plant to burn the new fuel, and on IES attracting financing for construction of bio-methane production facilities at farms in Addison County. The project would cost about $9 million, with $2 million coming from Middlebury and $7 million from IES.
Are Wind Turbines Hazardous to Your Health? Docs Disagree | Seven Days
Is “wind turbine syndrome” a bona fide medical condition?
Our Wish List (for power pricing, that is): CLF issues joint statement on the pricing of power from Cape Wind | CLF Scoop
The news this week that National Grid has officially filed its contract proposal with Cape Wind is great news for everyone in our state who breathes the air and believes we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels in general. Any estimate of the real costs of Cape Wind must factor in the economic, environmental and public health benefits to consumers and the Commonwealth over the long-term. In addition to knowing how much the power from Cape Wind will cost, the public should also know how much it will save them. To accurately estimate the value of our investment in Cape Wind, we can’t just focus on short-term increases to electric bills – pennies per day, on average – but must consider the savings over time.
Cape Wind foes eye law -
Opponents of the Cape Wind project are planning to launch a multi-pronged legal attack that could include a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law forcing utilities to buy much of their renewable-energy only from firms that produce power within Massachusetts.

The possible legal assault, based on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, would be in addition to opponents’ already stated intent to challenge Cape Wind on alleged violations of endangered species, ocean and energy laws.

A Canadian energy company that owns wind farms in Maine has already filed a lawsuit challenging a provision of the state’s Green Communities Act mandating that renewable energy purchased by utilities be produced within the Bay State’s borders, a requirement some think was partly aimed at helping Cape Wind.
VIDEO: The Future of Building Integrated Solar PV: CEO of Wakonda Technologies — The Green Light Distrikt
An interesting video of Les Fritzemeir's presentation at the recent "Clean Tech Kingpins" meetup in Boston.

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