Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Renewable Energy News, July 28, 2010

Energy Bill, Focusing on Conservation, Can't Shake Calls for RES - NYTimes.com
The Senate's small energy package unveiled last night flirts with Republican opposition and turns its cheek to clean-power Democrats. Its first vote, nonetheless, is planned for next week.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) resisted mounting efforts in his own party to include a renewable electricity standard (RES) in his last-ditch attempt to pass an energy bill this summer, even as several Democratic senators openly questioned his assertions that the electricity standard lacks support.
California's clean energy future threatened by federal delays, state officials say - latimes.com
Plans for a massive expansion of clean energy in California are being jeopardized by federal foot-dragging, according to state officials who say that more than 20 nearly shovel-ready solar and wind projects are being held up by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Seven major solar-mirror projects — enough to provide power to 3 million Southern California homes — along with plans for at least a dozen wind-turbine and solar-panel complexes have been cleared or almost cleared by state authorities and the U.S. Department of Interior.

The projects are valued at as much as $30 billion, according to estimates by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office.

But the Department of Energy's laborious procedures to guarantee loans threaten to stymie construction financing for many of the projects, and builders could lose out on more than $10 billion in federal stimulus funding if they can't start digging by the end of the year.
New York's Solar Thermal Plans | Renewable Energy World
London -- By unveiling a solar heating and cooling programme that could create 25,000 new green jobs, generate US$2.6 billion in revenue and see 2 GW of new solar thermal capacity installed in the state over the next decade, New York has revealed its ambition to become America’s national leader in solar heating and cooling.

Setting out its solar thermal roadmap, which was published at the NYSEIA conference in May 2010, the Solar Thermal Consortium (STC) plan focuses on improving uptake of solar thermal technologies through consumer education and incentives, installer training, promotions to attract manufacturers, investments in R&D, and permitting improvements.

Developed by more than 130 industrial, academic and governmental representatives, the Solar Thermal Roadmap creates a path to move New York State toward the equivalent of 1 million solar hot water collectors, or half a million residential systems, by 2020.
Ground broken for wind energy project in Mojave - Salon.com
Renewable energy developers broke ground Tuesday for a major expansion of wind-power generation in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles.

The Alta Wind Energy Center is planned as the world's largest wind project, with nearly 600 turbines capable of producing 1,550 megawatts of electricity when completed, with the potential to be doubled, according to developer Terra-Gen Power LLC of New York City.

The currently funded first five phases will produce 720 megawatts, according to a company statement.
GM Announces MSRP for Chevy Volt, EV Competition Heats Up
The unusual electric car concept that we started following a few years ago is now close to arriving at auto dealerships as the 2011 Chevy Volt. And today, Chevrolet announced the manufacturer's suggested retail price for the Volt will be $41,000. With the full $7,500 federal tax credit, the price comes down to $33,500, and even lower with additional state incentives.

Nissan has tried to position itself as the competitor to GM with its all-electric Leaf, and that is playing out in a number of ways. While the list price of the Volt is several thousand dollars more than the Nissan Leaf, both vehicles will be available for lease at almost identical cost: $350/month for the Volt or $349/month for the Leaf.

Furthermore, on the same day that GM announced the pricing for the Volt, Nissan fired back with an announcement that it, too, would offer a warranty similar to the eight year, 100,000 mile warranty GM has announced for the Volt's battery systems.
Worldchanging: Renewables Global Status Report 2010: A Clear Picture of an Energy Economy in Motion
No longer a mere suggestion of what might be, renewable energy is hitting a tipping point, with far-reaching implications. For the first time, understanding the scale and patterns of renewable energy development has become essential to any full analysis of trends that will shape the global energy economy and the health of the planet.

That is the story told by a new report that the Worldwatch Institute helped research and write: the Renewables Global Status Report 2010. Produced by the REN21 network of governments, NGOs, and industry associations, the report paints a remarkable picture of a booming new economic sector that has powered its way through a deep global recession, emerging stronger than ever.

Buoyed by hundreds of new government energy policies, accelerating private investment, and myriad technology advances over the past five years, renewable energy is breaking into the mainstream of energy markets. Over the past two years, the United States and Europe have both added more power capacity from renewables than from coal, gas, and nuclear combined, according to the report. Worldwide, renewables accounted for one-third of the new generating capacity added.


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