Monday, November 29, 2010

Renewable Energy News, November 29, 2010


Making the Consumer an Active Participant in the Grid
The chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jon Wellinghoff, is a lawyer and a public servant. But he is also a visionary, which makes him something of an oddity.

In his view, the energy future of the United States looks radically different from its past. Most notably, he sees consumers as active parts of the grid, providing energy via their own solar panels or wind turbines, a system called distributed generation; stabilizing the grid by adjusting demand through intelligent appliances or behavior modification, known as demand response; and storing energy for various grid tasks. He thinks consumers should get paid to provide these services.

While energy buffs have been trying to implement many of these ideas for some time, Mr. Wellinghoff, with his solid experience in renewable energy and efficiency, is now in a position to make it happen.
Maine regulators to consider new Kibby wind plan
Maine land use regulators are going to consider a revised plan to add 11 more wind turbines to the Kibby region of western Maine near the Canadian border.

The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission is scheduled to meet next Wednesday to consider a proposal by TransCanada Maine Wind Development to add 11 more turbines to the 44 producing power or under construction on Kibby Mountain and in the Kibby Range.

The turbines would be capable of generating 33 megawatts of electricity.
Solar energy jobs growing quickly
New Hampshire's unemployment rate continues to decrease, a situation that can, in part, be attributed to the sun.

In October, the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit solar energy research organization, released an analysis of the solar energy workforce in the U.S. entitled "National Solar Jobs Census 2010: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce."

According to the Solar Census, as of August, there were more than 16,700 solar employment sites and 93,000 solar energy-related jobs in the U.S.
Conference to address Maine offshore wind power
Offshore wind is a hot topic this December in Maine.

This Wednesday, Maine unions, port officials, manufacturers and environmental groups plan to release a report that tallies the region’s clean energy potential offshore and identifies major opportunities for economic, environmental and energy benefits from offshore wind.

It is being prepared by the National Wildlife Federation and co-sponsored by more than 35 organizations along the Atlantic Coast.

On Dec. 14, an offshore wind conference will take place in Belfast. Organizers say the conference will help coastal stakeholders weigh the related costs and benefits of offshore wind development in Maine.
As nations dither on climate change, big cities step up
Global megacities such as Mexico City, Seoul, Paris and Los Angeles are more populous than scores of countries, and devour huge amounts of energy, but they've carried no weight in United Nations climate change talks.

Until now.

This week, when envoys come together in Cancun for a follow-up session to last year's rancorous U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen, Mexico City's mayor will be on hand to trumpet how the world's great cities are finding ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for higher global temperatures.

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