Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Renewable Energy News, July 12, 2011

New incentives ramp up Connecticut's commitment to solar
State officials are hoping to encourage homeowners in Connecticut to invest in solar energy, setting a goal of installing the energy panels on about 3,000 homes by 2022.

The government will also be promoting commercial solar projects, such as solar farms, and require Connecticut utility companies to get more of their energy from renewable sources.

State officials are debating how those different programs will end up being administered, but that they are coming is a good sign for the renewable industry in Connecticut, attorney Brad Mondschein said.

Residential panels will be paid for through surcharges already on residents' electric bills, while commercial projects will be paid for with a new surcharge.
Shumlin: New England can work with Canada on renewable energy
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is optimistic the New England states can reaffirm their commitment to renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gases.

Speaking on a Monday conference call from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Shumlin said a regional collaboration of New England states and eastern Canadian provinces has taken steps to develop a more complete renewable energy portfolio and strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The development of reliable, "green" energy will have a special focus in Vermont regarding hydropower generated in Canada.

"We're going to leave here with a commitment to work together with the ambassadors here and with the New England governors and Eastern premiers to really push the envelope on the question of how we get green, reliable hydro as an able source of power for New England," Shumlin said.
U.S. Interior Dept. seeks public comment on proposed wind turbines off Mid-Atlantic coast
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) on Monday announced it is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment on potential environmental and socioeconomic effects of issuing renewable energy leases for wind turbine development off the New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coasts.

“America’s offshore wind resources offer great potential for helping power the Eastern seaboard and spurring new jobs and innovation,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. “The ‘Smart from the Start’ initiative will help companies identify areas offshore that are best suited for wind development, while also reducing the potential for costly delays and red tape. With today’s announcement, we are taking another step toward ensuring that renewable development along the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf becomes a reality.”
Chinese renewable energy firms have their eye on Japan
With Japan looking to hedge its bets on nuclear energy by exploring other renewable energy sources, Chinese companies are eagerly vying for a seat at the table, anteing up its leadership in wind and solar power technology.

While Japan has built 54 nuclear reactors, China has grown into a global power in renewable energy, although its domestic market is fraught with problems. China also has 13 nuclear reactors and is building 28 more.

Top manufacturers such as Goldwind Science and Technology Co. and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. are looking to break into the Japanese market as wind and solar power gets renewed attention following the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The Chinese government has committed public funds to improving the international competitiveness of manufacturers of renewable energy facilities.
Brazil Reaches Wind Energy Milestone
Brazil has reached a renewable energy milestone, among the first of many as the nation pushes to meet its ambitious pledge to reduce carbon emissions. Beginning in June, Brazil now generates 1 gigawatt of electricity from wind turbines, sufficient to power around 1.5 million homes, and is the first in South America to do so. Currently, 51 wind farms are in operation throughout the Brazilian northeast and southern states and over thirty more are currently under construction thanks to a program of government incentives which is expected to add an additional $15 billion in clean energy investments -- though there still may be a long way to go before its full potential is met.

According to the Brazilian Association of Ecological Energy ABEEĆ³lica, by 2013 the nation is on track to produce as much as 5.3 gigawatts of electricity through wind farm projects, and an eight-fold increase in capacity over the next five years -- the highest growth potential in South America, says Renewable Energy Focus.
Kodiak, Alaska looks to renewable sources to generate electricity
Kodiak is moving forward with a plan to have more than 95 percent of electrical power generation come from renewable sources within just a few years.

The Kodiak Electric Association is upgrading its hydro-electrical plant at Terror Lake, according to the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Company chief executive Darron Scott said the plan is to build a third turbine.

The addition of a third hydroelectric turbine would increase the capacity of the Terror Lake plant from about 22 megawatts to nearly 34 megawatts. It also would allow the local electric cooperative the ability to cover even peak needs for power generation, such as when canneries are running, with hydro power alone.

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