Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Renewable Energy News, July 27, 2010

Nuclear Energy Loses Cost Advantage - NYTimes.com
PARIS — Solar photovoltaic systems have long been painted as a clean way to generate electricity, but expensive compared with other alternatives to oil, like nuclear power. No longer. In a “historic crossover,” the costs of solar photovoltaic systems have declined to the point where they are lower than the rising projected costs of new nuclear plants, according to a paper published this month.

“Solar photovoltaics have joined the ranks of lower-cost alternatives to new nuclear plants,” John O. Blackburn, a professor of economics at Duke University, in North Carolina, and Sam Cunningham, a graduate student, wrote in the paper, “Solar and Nuclear Costs — The Historic Crossover.”
RI, Mass. sign agreement on wind power projects - Boston.com
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rhode Island and Massachusetts have agreed to coordinate on potential wind power projects in a designated 400 square miles of federal waters.

An agreement announced Monday identifies an area for development that starts 12 miles southwest of Martha's Vineyard and reaches 20 miles into Rhode Island Sound.
St. Lucia aspires to tap volcanic Caribbean island's geothermal power, diversify energy supply - WPIX
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The volcanic island of St. Lucia plans to tap geothermal power trapped beneath sulfur springs and roiling mud pools in a rare attempt at developing alternative energy sources in the Caribbean.

The chief of Qualibou Energy Inc. said Monday that the company has signed a 30-year contract with St. Lucia's government to extract geothermal power in a remote area where fumaroles are flooded with water heated by hot rocks below.

Stephen Baker, CEO of the renewable energy development company based in Nevada, said the area of underground cauldrons has proven reserves of 30 megawatts and potential reserves of an additional 140 megawatts.
Comment and Debate: Vermont gubernatorial candidates talk about the state's energy future | The Burlington Free Press | Burlington, Vermont
In No. 9 in a series of questions put by The Burlington Free Press to six candidates in the election for governor, they were asked: What must the next governor do in his or her first term to secure stable and reasonably priced electricity for the next five, 10, 20 years? Four of the candidates mentioned Vermont Yankee. Two did not mention Vermont Yankee.
Energy efficiency financing faces hurdles in Vermont | The Burlington Free Press | Burlington, Vermont
The summer scramble for efficiency upgrades to homes and businesses — always lively in Vermont — warms up this week as Congress works to overcome resistance from federal mortgage regulators.

Need an attic-full of fresh insulation? Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing was designed to allow building owners to pay for the improvements over time, in the form of an addition to the local property tax bill.

It sounds simple: The new owner takes over the tax assessment when the property changes hands.

But there’s a catch: The federal mortgage brokers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have raised a red flag.

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