Thursday, August 05, 2010

Renewable Energy News, August 5, 2010

Installing wind turbines on Lake Erie could generate thousands of jobs, study says |
Creating an industry to build and maintain hundreds of power-generating turbines on Lake Erie by 2030 would support up to 8,000 jobs and cost $31 billion, an economic-impact study says.

An existing supply of manufacturers for land-based turbines makes the region and Ohio a plausible fit for the risky offshore industry, says the analysis commissioned by NorTech, which supports local high-tech development.

The analysis renders no judgments on the feasibility of or the prospects of success for efforts to erect five massive turbines on Lake Erie by 2012, potentially paving the way for up to 1,200 more lake turbines by 2030.
Four US States Now Get More Than 10% of Electricity From Wind Power
Though the US still imports a significant amount of the equipment used for wind power projects, that figure is declining. In 2009, $4.2 billion of wind power products were imported, down from $4.6 billion in 2007 and $5.4 billion in 2006.

Texas still leads the nation in wind power capacity at 2.29 GW--we've known that through previous reports for a while now. What's interesting to note is that 28 states saw new wind power projects break ground, and four states now get more than 10% of their electricity from wind power: Iowa (20%), South Dakota (13%), North Dakota (12%), Minnesota (11%).
World’s largest solar project brought step closer to reality in California
A BrightSource project that is set to be the world’s largest solar plant has reached an important milestone having been recommended for state approval by the California Energy Commission’s siting committee, moving it a step closer to construction and securing financing.

Thermal solar project developer BrightSource recently received a conditional commitment from the US Department of Energy for $1.37bn in loan guarantees to support the financing of its planned 392MW Ivanpah Solar Electric project.

The proposed decision marks the beginning of a 30-day public comment period, after which the project will be put before the full California Energy Commission for a final decision.
EERE News: DOE Awards $188 Million to Small Business for Clean Energy
DOE announced on August 2 that it will award $188 million—including $73 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding—to small businesses in 34 states to develop clean energy technologies with potential for commercialization. Funded through DOE's Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR), the selections are for Phase II work. That means the 201 awards in 76 targeted topics will support the development of prototype or pilot operations for innovative technologies that have successfully passed the proof-of-concept stage. Targeted technology topics include the smart grid, energy efficient buildings, industrial energy use, and high performance computing.
Germany expects fast growth of renewable energy - BusinessWeek
Germany is expecting to get 20 percent of its total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 -- which would double its current share within 10 years.

Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said Wednesday the use of clean technologies such as wind, solar or biomass will likely grow faster than expect
32 Senate Democrats Call for RES in Energy/Spill Bill - The Washington Independent
With this week’s delay on the energy and oil spill bill, lawmakers are renewing their push to include a renewable energy mandate in the legislation. Politico notes this morning that 32 Democrats sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling for inclusion of an a renewable energy standard in the bill.

Lawmakers sent a version of the letter to Reid last month; this one includes five more signatures. The lawmakers call for the passage of the “strongest possible” RES and discourage Reid from allowing other “non-renewable energy sources,” like nuclear or coal coupled with technology to reduce its emissions, to count in such a standard. Republicans have long called for a so-called “diverse energy standard,” which would take into account nuclear and “clean coal.”
EPA Names City of Houston Largest Municipal Purchaser of Renewable Energy in the U.S.
The City of Houston has been designated the number one municipal purchaser of green power and the fourth largest overall purchaser in the nation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA this week released its list of top 50 green power partners using the most renewable electricity and named the City of Houston as a crucial leader in the alternative energy trend.

“Houston is already known as the energy capital of the world, but we are committed to becoming the alternative energy capital of the world as well,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This ranking confirms we are taking the right steps in the right direction, and it’s going to benefit everyone.”
$800 million in renewable energy coming to Montana
Wednesday morning a Spanish energy company, NaturEner, announced it has secured financing for an $800 million renewable energy project to begin in Montana.

The 309 megawatt wind energy project called Rim Rock is being financed through San Diego Gas and Electric, which will receive renewable energy credits for their investment.
Scaling Up Solar: The Global Implications of a New Study that Says Solar Power Is Cost Competitive with Nuclear Power
The sunshine of North Carolina, a state on America’s Atlantic seaboard, has long been a draw for tourists seeking a little southern warmth on the region’s beaches. But holiday companies are not the only ones trumpeting a good local deal. The price of the state’s solar-generated electricity has fallen so far that it is now cheaper than new nuclear power, according to a report published in July by researchers at the state’s Duke University. The authors say their figures indicate a “historic crossover” that significantly strengthens the case for investment in renewable energy – and weakens the arguments for large-scale, international nuclear development.

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