Thursday, July 08, 2010

Renewable Energy News, July 8, 2010

Solar-Powered Plane Flies for 26 Hours -
PARIS — Slender as a stick insect, a solar-powered experimental airplane with a huge wing span completed its first test flight of more than 24 hours on Thursday, powered overnight by energy collected from the sun during a day aloft over Switzerland.

The organizers said the flight was the longest and highest by a solar-powered craft, reaching an altitude of just over 28,000 feet above sea level, at an average speed of 23 knots, around 25 miles per hour.
Solar Industry May Get Reprieve From German Tariff Cuts
German policy makers look poised to deliver the solar industry a jolt of good news.

A compromise plan to reduce the country’s generous solar feed-in tariff would cut the subsidies less than expected. With the plan gaining ground in the parliament, German solar stocks moved higher, though solar stocks traded in the United States did not follow suit.

The new proposal would trim subsidies for power that rooftop solar panels feed into the grid by 13 percent, instead of the 16 percent previously anticipated.

Subsidies for ground-mounted systems would fall 12 percent, instead of 15 percent, and military and industrial installations would see an 8 percent cut instead of an 11 percent one.
CBO says climate bill would cut deficit by $19 billion; Reid pushing for energy legislation | The Reno Gazette-Journal
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional budget experts say a climate and energy bill now stalled in the Senate would reduce the federal deficit by about $19 billion over the next decade.

The report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office was the second positive analysis of the bill by a government agency in a month, but is likely to carry more weight than a similar report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. The CBO is the entity responsible for providing Congress with nonpartisan analyses of economic and budget issues, and lawmakers rely on it for guidance.

The CBO report was immediately hailed by the bill's sponsors, who are struggling to move the climate measure through a divided Congress. Lawmakers have quietly begun considering a more modest approach that would target the electricity sector, in case the more sweeping measure fails.
DOE and DOI to Spur Offshore Renewable Energy Projects
DOE and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 29 that will strengthen the working relationship between the two agencies regarding future development of commercial renewable offshore energy projects on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Together, DOI and DOE will use this agreement to spur the development of offshore wind and water resources. The MOU states that within 30 days of its signing, an interagency working group will develop an action plan covering the development of attainable deployment goals for offshore wind energy and marine and hydrokinetic energy. The action plan will also address siting and permitting, resource assessment, technical standards, data exchange, and public engagement.
Wind power draft hits regulation snag - Bangor Daily News
BANGOR, Maine - A Canadian energy firm's bid to expand a western Maine wind farm is in jeopardy after state regulators indicated Wednesday they could not support the effort to open more scenic mountain land for the project.

But the Land Use Regulation Commission agreed — after lengthy debate — to consider a similar request from another company hoping to build a third industrial wind power facility on the borders of Penobscot and Washington counties.

During a straw vote, the majority of LURC members said they likely would vote to deny a request by TransCanada Corp. to add 631 acres in Franklin County to the list of locations where industrial wind energy projects benefit from a streamlined permitting process.
Cape Wind: Made in Rhode Island? -
For years, the Patrick administration and Bay State union leaders who backed the Cape Wind power project have touted the nearly 1,000 construction and installation jobs that the developer promised it would create.

Now, there’s a good chance those jobs will be created in Rhode Island, even though a Bay State union leader thinks Massachusetts laborers will still get the work.

Yesterday, Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said the developer of what could be the nation’s first offshore wind farm is still deciding between New Bedford and Quonset Point, R.I., as the staging area to assemble 130 turbines for the plant, which still faces some hurdles.

Quonset Development Corp. spokesman David Preston said he’s hoping to land the Cape Wind assembly project, but “there’s no agreement.”

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