Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Renewable Energy News, December 1, 2010


Cap-and-Trade Market Spanning North America Weighed by States
California, New Mexico and 10 U.S. Northeastern states may try to create a North American carbon market on their own now that President Barack Obama has given up on cap-and-trade legislation that stalled in Congress.

The emissions-trading system would be based on a planned carbon market in California, the most populous state, and an existing regional cap-and-trade program for power plants in the Northeast, according to state environmental officials. Three Canadian provinces have also shown interest in a cross-border carbon-trading system, the officials said.

“The key is to have as large and as liquid a market as possible,” John Yap, British Columbia’s climate-change minister, said in a telephone interview. Under cap-and-trade, the government creates a market for pollution rights by issuing a limited number of carbon-dioxide permits, which companies can buy and sell.
Presidential Report Provides Roadmap for Transforming U.S. Energy System
The United States should prepare a federal energy policy and update it regularly, according to a report released on November 29 by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies Through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy provides a roadmap for the federal role in transforming the U.S. energy system within one to two decades. In the report, PCAST calls for regular strategic Quadrennial Reviews of energy policy similar to the quadrennial reviews produced regularly by the U.S. Department of Defense. The first one is targeted for early 2015. The group—which includes presidentially appointed experts from academia, non-governmental organizations, and industry—recommends a DOE-level version of the review by June 1, 2011, focused on DOE's activities. The federal plan is needed because of economic competitiveness, environmental stewardship, and national security, the authors said.
EPA Finalizes 2011 Renewable Fuel Standards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on November 29 finalized the 2011 percentage standards for the four categories of fuel under the agency's renewable fuel standard program, known as RFS2. The four fuel categories are cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and renewable fuel. Based on an analysis of expected market availability, EPA set a 2011 cellulosic volume that is lower than the statutory target. Overall, EPA said it remains optimistic that the commercial availability of cellulosic biofuel will continue to grow.
Google Energy Guru Will Head Policy Center at Stanford
Dan W. Reicher, a former assistant secretary of energy, has left Google, where he spent the last four years as director of climate change and energy initiatives. In that post he helped develop Google’s goal of seeking to make renewable energy less expensive than coal, abbreviated as RE<C.

Among his other accomplishments there were fielding the proposal that led Google to invest in a proposed underwater transmission grid off the Atlantic coast, running from Virginia to New Jersey. He also supervised the development of a fleet of Toyota Prius and Ford Escape hybrids. These were modified so their batteries could be plugged into the grid rather than charged by gasoline engines. The cars were parked under carports with solar cells on the roofs, and charging could be started or stopped with remote signals.

Now Mr. Reicher is moving on to Stanford, where he will be the executive director of a new interdisciplinary center for energy policy and finance that will straddle the law school (where Mr. Reicher earned a degree) and the business school.
Tokyo Electric's Eurus Unit Plans 50% Expansion in Wind, Solar Capacity
Eurus Energy Holdings Corp., a unit of Tokyo Electric Power Co., may invest as much as 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) to expand wind and solar energy generation by more than half and meet rising demand for cleaner power.

Japan’s biggest wind farm operator plans to increase output from renewable energy projects by 1,000 megawatts from 1,950 megawatts in the U.S., Asia and Europe in five years, Tetsuro Nagata, president and chief executive officer, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday.

“In the coming few years, the U.S. will be the most attractive market” after President Barack Obama called for more investments in renewable energy, Nagata said. The company may invest in wind farms in states including Texas, Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma and Colorado that often experience strong winds, he said.
Mass. Gov. Patrick’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs to step down
Governor Deval L. Patrick’s environmental secretary, Ian Bowles, said he is stepping down from his Cabinet post, ending a four-year tenure during which he led the administration’s efforts on groundbreaking energy initiatives, including Cape Wind and other renewable energy projects.

Bowles, who is seen by administration insiders as one of Patrick’s most effective Cabinet officers, becomes the first high-ranking member of the Patrick administration to leave as the governor begins his second term.

Senior administration officials said that Bowles’s decision to step down is his own and that the governor would have welcomed his remaining in his position. Patrick issued a statement praising his secretary of energy and environmental affairs, saying Bowles has been a “star in this administration.’’
SC's Santee Cooper dedicating first wind turbine
South Carolina's state-owned electric utility is dedicating its first wind turbine.

Santee Cooper's 2.4-kilowatt turbine is located at North Myrtle Beach's Oceanfront Park and is being dedicated on Tuesday.

The turbine is part of the utility's Wind Education Project which is designed to show the viability of wind power and promote awareness of the power source.
Harnessing wind to help South Dakota's economy
South Dakota's wind energy industry is confident that if given the right incentives, short-term production gains would be a boon for the state's economy, and in 15 years, the state could be producing 10 times as much energy from wind as it is today.

If the state's annual wind-power production were to increase by 1,000 megawatts - less capacity than most neighboring states, but significantly more than its current output of 313 megawatts - this would create more than $2 billion in economic activity and create thousands of jobs in the state, according to an economic report prepared for the South Dakota Wind Energy Association's annual meeting in Mitchell.
Ship covered in solar panels is making waves
What's 100 feet long by 50 feet wide, cost $17.5 million to build and runs on 38,000 photovoltaic cells? It's the Turanor PlanetSolar, a massive catamaran powered solely by the sun.

The what? Turanor is a word taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" saga and translates into "the power of the sun". PlanetSolar is the team of 100 engineers and others working to be the first to circumnavigate the globe with a solar-powered boat.

"This is a milestone in the progress of solar mobility," Immo Stroher, a German investor who partnered with Swiss adventurer Raphael Domjan to bankroll the showcase for solar power, said in a statement. "It is my vision to see solar power take its rightful place — not only on rooftops, but also on the roads, seas and in the skies of the future."

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