Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Renewable Energy News, January 25, 2011

100 Percent Renewable Energy Achievable By 2030: Study
Could the world reach a 100 percent renewable energy goal in less than 20 years? New research says we can.

A report published in the journal Energy Policy claims that by 2030, the world can achieve 100 percent renewable energy if the proper measures are taken.

What exactly are these measures? According to PhysOrg, over 80 percent of our world's energy supply currently comes from fossil fuels. We would need to build approximately four million wind turbines, nearly 2 billion solar photovoltaic systems, and about 90,000 solar power plants. The 5 MW wind turbines needed are up to three times the capacity of most of our current wind turbines. Doable? Perhaps. Formidable? Most certainly.

But Mark Delucchi and Mark Jacobson believe that if the will exists, there is a way.
Carol Browner, Director of Policy on Climate Will Leave White House
Carol M. Browner, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change policy, will leave the administration shortly, officials confirmed Monday night. Her departure signals at least a temporary slowing of the ambitious environmental goals of President Obama’s first two years in the face of new Republican strength in Congress.

Ms. Browner, a former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was charged with directing the administration’s effort to enact comprehensive legislation to reduce emissions of climate-altering gases and moving the country away from a dependence on dirty-burning fossil fuels. That effort foundered in Congress last year, and Mr. Obama has acknowledged that no major climate change legislation is likely to pass in the next two years.
Green energy to get attention in State of the Union
Green energy is earning Gary and Robert Allen a trip to Washington and a coveted spot at the State of the Union speech tonight.

The brothers -- Gary is the CEO and Robert is the president of Luma Resources in Rochester Hills -- will get a moment in the spotlight, sitting with first lady Michelle Obama to hear President Barack Obama's annual address to the country.

"When the White House called on Friday, I first thought it was a prank call," Robert Allen said. "It must be somebody who's looking for money."

The speech, which begins at 9 tonight, is expected to highlight the economy and the need to ramp up efforts to help create jobs.

In a video message to supporters previewing the speech, Obama said, "My principal focus is going to be making sure we're competitive, that we're growing and that we're creating jobs."

Luma Resources is a good example of creating jobs in one of Obama's favorite sectors: green energy.
As Expected, U.S. Wind Installations Down 50% in 2010
Hurt by falling natural gas prices, low demand for power and lack of a long-term renewable energy target, the American wind industry saw installations fall almost 50% last year, according to figures released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Wind developers constructed 5,115 MW of wind capacity in 2010, down from 10,000 MW in 2009. Activity has already increased, however; AWEA reports that 5,600 MW of projects are already in the construction phase in 2011.

The new activity was spurred by an extension of the Treasury Grant Program, which allowed developers to take a cash payment for 30% of equipment costs in lieu of the production tax credit. AWEA projects installed wind capacity to grow in 2011 compared to 2010.

The tough year for wind in America caused the country to slip in the global standings; The U.S. now has 40,180 MW of wind capacity – 620 MW short of China's overall capacity.
Forest Service extends comment period on Vermont wind project
The Green Mountain National Forest is extending the public comment period on a plan for a mountaintop wind project in the southern Vermont towns of Readsboro and Searsburg.

The Forest Service is seeking public input as part of its deliberations to decide whether to approve plans by Deerfield Wind to build and operate a 17-turbine, 34 megawatt commercial wind energy facility on up to 80 acres of national forest land.

Computer problems prompted the Forest Service to extend the public comment period from Feb. 18 until March 4

The U.S. Forest Service is reviewing the proposal. The Vermont Public Service Board has approved a 15-turbine project.

A public meeting on the project is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Readsboro Central School.

Disclosure: SDRS represents Deerfield Wind in this matter.
New York State offers $250M for renewable energy projects
Some $250 million in state funding is available for renewable energy generation projects, officials announced Monday.

The funding will be awarded competitively for electric generation projects related to wind, hydroelectric, biomass and other clean energy resources, state officials said.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the state Public Service Commission are coordinating the funding. An announcement on awards is scheduled for April, officials said.
Wyoming legislative committee tables wind energy eminent domain bill
Wyoming's ban on giving wind developers eminent domain powers will likely expire this summer after legislators shelved a proposal to extend the ban.

The House Minerals Committee on Monday indefinitely postponed legislation that would have imposed another one-year moratorium on non-utility companies' ability to use eminent domain when building collector lines to wind turbine sites.

State lawmakers voted last year to create a one-year moratorium on the practice; that moratorium ends July 1.
California firm to begin offering solar leases in Maryland
A California-based solar energy company announced Monday it is expanding to Maryland, where it plans to offer homeowners and businesses the option to lease rather than buy photovoltaic systems.

SolarCity, headquartered in San Mateo, has acquired Clean Currents Solar, the solar installation division of Clean Currents, an independent green energy company based in Rockville that now markets solar and wind power in the mid-Atlantic region.

Claiming more than 10,000 customers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Texas, SolarCity said it plans to begin offering zero-down, 20-year solar leases in Maryland and Washington, D.C., in mid-February. SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said the firm, which has 1,000 employees, anticipates hiring 30 to 40 in Maryland in its first year.
Talk to Secretary Chu Live This Wednesday | DOE Blog
After the State of the Union address this week, Secretary Steven Chu will host an online town hall to discuss President Obama's clean energy agenda.

We hope you'll join us this Wednesday, January 26 at 12:45pm EST, at energy.gov/livechat.


Two weeks ago, Secretary Chu asked what you most hoped to see the Department discussing. You responded with more topics than I have room to list, ranging from electric bicycles and LED lighting, to nuclear power, high-speed rail and energy independence.


And so we're happy to say that Wednesday's town hall won't just be a single one-hour event, but will be kicking off a new year-long series called Energy Matters, in which experts from the Department will talk about the issues you've asked to hear more about, and answer your questions live online.


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