Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Latest from: CleanTechnica

Latest from: CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

Republican-Majority House Votes Trade War against Europe

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 04:44 PM PDT

us eu flight trade war

While we may take a keen interest in politics, such events may not always enter the realm of clean tech. Studies have shown that you are more likely to die of airline pollution than a plane crash. Recently passed house bill HR2594 specifically tells airlines to break the law (of Europe) in order to do nothing about such pollution.

The Takeoff

NRDC’s Switchboard reports that International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – the U.N. coordinating body for international aviation — tried to develop regulations for 15 years to reduce carbon emissions. Frustrated with their failure, the EU unilaterally decided to incorporate aviation emissions into their existing cap-and-trade system and extend it to include reductions from all airlines using European Airports starting January 1, 2012. If an airline exceeds the cap, allowances must be purchased from EU member states or other airlines.

We have similar carbon concerns in the US that lack national redress for global climate issues. Cities and states have enacted their own policies. This sort of unilateral law-making is not without precedent elsewhere. The US also requires road vehicles here to meet certain safety and pollution standards and pass tests not seen in other parts of the world. This is one of the reasons why we don’t have European-style diesel vehicles in the US.

The European law has been reviewed and is considered legal. This is the version of events offered by the Environmental Defense Fund. It is clear that there is focus in the US on wealth and the economy, while in Europe there is more concern with quality of life, but new action by the House of Representatives, and promoted by the airlines, seems to go too far. They specifically focus their attention on a problem that is killing people… and consciously decide to do nothing.

The legislation:

NRDC’s Switchboard tells us this Republican House, by passing HR2594, directs:

"The Secretary of Transportation shall prohibit an operator of a civil aircraft of the United States from participating in any emissions trading scheme unilaterally established by the European Union…

The Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and other appropriate officials of the United States Government shall use their authority to conduct international negotiations and take other actions necessary to ensure that operators of civil aircraft of the United States are held harmless from any emissions trading scheme unilaterally established by the European Union."

The Effect

The law would make it “illegal for U.S. airlines to comply with the EU ETS requirements.” We are told the effect of this would be to start a trade war with Europe.

Sometimes, what is left out is as important as what is included. In this case, what is not as mentioned is this provision of the bill:

(2) United States airlines and other United States aircraft operators will be required under the ETS to pay for European Union emissions allowances for aircraft operations within the United States…

… this does not sound particularly fair that US carriers should pay money to the EU if they operate non-compliant flights outside the EU… in America. But international law “requires that you apply a common standard to all flights that use your airports.” The US may not want US carriers to pay into the European trade if that puts the airlines at a disadvantage to theoretical companies who do not fly to Europe. But all airlines that do fly to Europe would be at a disadvantage if the US is exempt.

The bottom line for the Europeans is to reduce carbon. I am sure they would have been happy if the UN body accomplished this in the last 15 years. It is beyond the scope of this article to review the politics of that lack of decision. The unilateral action that has been taken is legal. There is a mandate to apply it evenly. Studies have shown that a majority of people in the US would favor more action on climate change. But what is right or just is not always similar to the existing lines of power and control.

The Solution

Airlines have lobbied for relief. The EU has said that they will stand firm on this issue, as it is part of a much larger scope of environmental regulations. So, at a time of economic distress, this Republican House is interested in starting yet another war. This one economic. There is a very easy solution. The US could enact similar legislation which would then exempt it from the European scheme. Like a child looking for its sugar fix, this Republican House seems unable to let go of its carbon addiction, as it continues to be the Republican House that only “knows” how to say “NO.”

More information on Airport Carbon Accreditation News

Photo Credit: wikimedia commons

Related posts:

  1. Nearly 4,000 Airlines Must Reduce Emissions or Are Banned in the EU
  2. Largest Airplane Order in History – American Airlines Orders Low CO2 Planes
  3. China Even Beats US to Cap and Trade, Due to Republican Opposition to Climate Legislation

Clean Green China? Maybe

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 04:35 PM PDT

cleaner greener China?China is taking another step toward being greener and cleaner. While recycling technology continues to improve, efforts to curb and perhaps even reduce greenhouse gas emissions are well under way, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The Xinhua news agency is state-backed, which makes it a little suspect as an objective source of information regarding the Chinese government. Still, the detailed plans to set binding regional caps on energy consumption do sound promising.

Energy consumption caps have been mentioned before — the Chinese government has announced plans to reduce its carbon intensity by at least 40% before 2020, and the consumption caps are reportedly an integral part of the current 5-year phase of the longer-term plan.

As reported by Business Green:

[Xinhua] reported that the proposals for energy quotas would be released in the near future, although it added that the plans would need approval from China’s State Council.

No hard numbers have been released, through the Xinhua news agency or any other source, but the head of the planning department for the National Energy Administration, Jiang Bing, has been quoted as saying that the caps would apply only to energy derived from fossil fuels. In other words – solar, wind, and hydro power remain unlimited (increasing the Chinese market for solar panels, perhaps?).

While the Chinese government has promised what's been called "draconian legislation" with regard to its energy targets, the sheer amount of plans released make those quotas a little hard to track. Also according to Business Green, reports emerging in the last thirty days include a resource tax on oil, gas, coal, and other scarce raw materials, a higher renewable energy target, and tighter air pollution standards.

Any personal exposure to China and how green it is or isn't? Let us know in the comments, below.

Source: Business Green | Image via Wikimedia Commons

Related posts:

  1. China Got Over 1/4 of Its Electricity from Clean Energy in 2010
  2. Wow, China IS Serious About Clean Energy!
  3. Coal Shortages Speed Up China’s Clean Power Plans

Airborne Wind Turbines Win Award

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 04:27 PM PDT

airborne wind turbine small

Tall, white wind turbines with long blades are not the only ones out there. People are working on wind turbines of all sorts to try to help solve our climate, energy, and environmental problems. Ben Glass, CEO of Altaeros Energies, and Adam Rein, co-founder of Altaeros Energies, are developing wind turbines that float up high with the rainbows, hundreds of feet above the ground. The turbines, called Altaeros Airborne Wind Turbines, can be deployed in 24 hours, and they just won the 2011 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize, awarded jointly by ConocoPhillips and Penn State.

The wind turbines are like “stationary blimps” and are able to take advantage of the consistent, high-speed winds that exist so high up in our blue skies. Hence, even despite their small size, they can each produce 100 kilowatts of clean, electrical power.

airborne wind turbines win award

“These floating wind turbines can be used in remote areas where they arrive in a box and, once inflated with helium, rise into the air, tethered by a conducting cable,” Penn State Live reports.

The small turbines can remain up in the air for months without replacing the helium.

“While initially the company plans to sell these elevated turbines for remote uses such as military applications, emergency power and other remote installations, eventually they will form the basis of offshore, deep-water wind farms floating high above the waves.”

Will they ever be competitive with tremendously cheap wind energy options available today? Hard to know at this point, but they clearly serve some niche locations and purposes.. and look pretty cool.

More on these small, airborne wind turbines or the runners-up for the 2011 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize is available on Penn State Live.

Images via Penn State Live

Related posts:

  1. New Floating Wind Turbines to Make Wind Energy Cheaper, More Reliable?
  2. New Floating Wind Turbine Harvests Energy from on High
  3. US Students Testing Deepwater Floating Offshore Wind Platforms for Wind Turbines in Netherlands {VIDEO}

Growing Pains for Electric Vehicle Manufacturers

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 11:38 AM PDT

Tesla embodies the growing pains of many EV manufacturers

One estimate says more than 600,000 EVs could be on U.S. roads by 2014, but that's a speck in the rear-view mirror compared to the 140 million passenger cars Americans already drive. And, high vehicle costs combined with range anxiety makes many consumers leery to get off gasoline. So is the EV industry accelerating or running out of juice?

energyNOW! correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan looked at the independent carmakers and big auto companies trying to charge up the transition to EVs and convince American drivers that going electric is really worth it. You can watch the full segment by clicking the video below:

Electric vehicles hold great promise for reducing both emissions and our dependence on foreign oil. Almost 30 percent of America's energy use is for transportation, and almost all of that comes from oil, costing $300 billion per year. When compared to an Electric Power Research Institute estimate that running an EV costs 20 percent filling up a car with gasoline, and EPA's estimate that EVs are half as carbon-intensive as gas-powered vehicles, the benefits of electric are clear.

But many potential EV owners are concerned about the higher up-front price of electric cars (despite them being cost-competitive or cheaper in the long term) and their limited range compared to gasoline-fueled models. Buying an EV can cost anywhere from $32,000 to $120,000, a tab somewhat mitigated by the $7,500 federal tax credit. And, most EVs get about 100 miles on a single battery charge, compared to 400 miles per tank for internal combustion engines. A recent study from Deloitte found that only 20 percent of U.S. drivers say they would buy an EV with a 100-mile range.

Perhaps no company embodies the EV industry better than Tesla Motors. Despite a successful launch of its Roadster model, the company was running on fumes until a Department of Energy low-interest loan enabled it to raise $600 million in private capital, build a massive factory, and launch its second vehicle, the Model S. "This is the first car that will have over 300 miles of electric range," said JB Straubel, CTO and co-founder of Tesla Motors.

Several other notable EV manufacturers weren't as fortunate as Tesla over the past year, however. Fisker Automotive had several delays in launching its extended-range EV, and both Modec and Think Automotive declared bankruptcy. Major automakers like Nissan and Chevrolet debuted their EV models this year, but have only sold half as many Volts and Leafs as expected.

These difficulties aren't a surprise to Straubel. "It's an extremely hard activity," he said. "The tooling required, the investment, the years of engineering and validation, it's all very, very difficult."

But a brighter future may be just around the corner for America's EV industry. At least five new EV models will debut from automakers like Ford, SmartCar, and Mini. And as more models hit the road, collaboration is occurring between manufacturers, which drives down costs. Tesla currently makes battery packs and chargers for Daimler AG and Mercedes, and will soon make the motor for Toyota's electric RAV4.

"Our vision is to drive down the price of electric vehicles and the technology that makes them possible, relentlessly," said Straubel. "Everything we're doing internally is reducing the cost of battery packs, reducing the cost of motors."

Related posts:

  1. Cost to Run a Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Vehicle: $233 a Year; $0.82 a Gallon
  2. Car Manufacturers Might be Getting Ahead of Themselves in Electric Vehicle Production
  3. Electric Buses that Charge at Each Stop

Solar Power: Highest Return on Investment of Renewable Energy Options

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 11:26 AM PDT

Solar power, as I’ve reported more times than I can count, has seen rapidly dropping costs in recent years. Also, with a lot of suppliers elbowing for a place in the market, prices have come down even more. A new report released by SBI Energy finds that solar power has the best return on investment (ROI) of any renewable energy option. (Reminds me of the 1BOG NJ solar power versus stock market ROI infographic below from 2010.)

solar power return on investment rocks

The cost of solar power is projected to reach $1 per watt by 2020 and the payback time for a typical solar power installation has come down to 3-5 years (from 7-10 years not long ago).

The cost of solar power is projected to be cut in half from 2020 to 2030, as well, making it $0.5 per watt by then.

Now, does that mean one should wait to install a solar power system? I certainly wouldn’t say so. Current government incentives may be dropped in the future, and if you wait to go solar, you might also miss out on the money you could be making in just a few years time.

But this is a global report, and the best thing you can do to determine your best choice right now is look into the solar energy government rebates available to you, see if you have group discount options (UK option, if you live there) or other innovative solar buying options in your area, and figure out what you would pay and how long it would take you to get that money back (from your much lower electricity bills or even payments from your utility company to you).

“During 2011-2012, we expect a short-term lull in the European Union PV market, primarily due to FiT rate cuts and regulations on farm land usage for ground mount installations,” states Arun Kumar, SBI Energy analyst and author of the report. “But this will be offset by installations in the high growth markets of North America and Asia, and China in particular.”

The new solar power report — which covers the PV component market (including a detailed analysis of PV cells, modules, wafers, polysilicon and inverters), historical developments in PV inverter markets, as well as growth, size, volume of business, and general trends in technological developments in the market – is titled Global Solar Inverters Markets.

Image Credit:

Related posts:

  1. When Picking Solar Power Options, It’s the Water, Stupid
  2. UNEP: Renewable Energy Investment Grows 32%, Reaches Record High
  3. China Leading US in Renewable Energy Investment Attractiveness (Top 10 Lists)

Wind Energy Driving Down Consumer Electric Rates

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 10:56 AM PDT

wind power decreases cost of electricity

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Wind energy is more affordable than ever, and new installations across the country are saving consumers money on their electric bills, as utilities rush to lock in long-term favorable rates.

"This is what a successful business looks like with stable tax policy. Utilities are locking in a great deal for their electric customers while it's available. We're keeping rates down all across the U.S., even in the heart of the South," said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), pointing to recent wind power purchases by the Southern Company in Alabama, Austin Energy in Texas, and Xcel in Colorado as examples.

The U.S. wind industry installed just over 1,200 megawatts (MW) in the third quarter, and about 3,360 MW on the year so far – but has more than 8,400 MW under construction. That is more than in any quarter since 2008, as the federal Production Tax Credit has driven as much as $20 billion a year in private investment.

"This shows what we're capable of: adding new, affordable electric generation," said Bode. "Traditional tax incentives are working. There's a lot of business right now, people are employed, and manufacturers are looking to expand here in the U.S."

The third-quarter results released today by AWEA indicate the year will finish strong, somewhere between the industry's high point of 2009 and the recent dip in 2010 amid turmoil in federal tax policy.

Years of technological innovations and an influx of U.S.-based manufacturing have driven down the cost of wind energy and saved further on transportation. Including incentives, which all forms of energy get, U.S. wind is now close to cost-competitive with all other energy sources – even shale gas at today's unsustainable prices.

Even so, policy uncertainty has many leading wind developers saying they have no projects scheduled for 2013, which is starting to threaten both development companies and the U.S. wind energy supply chain.

"In hard economic times we're delivering affordable power to ratepayers," Bode stressed. "A lot of people will be surprised by how inexpensive wind energy rates are now, because it's happened so fast." But she cautioned, "We could lose all these consumer benefits and a brand new, growing manufacturing sector if Congress allows the Production Tax Credit to expire."

Bode said she'll be asking lawmakers, "Do you want to raise rates on consumers in a bad economy by raising taxes on wind? Do you want to be the one to say that we just shut down a new manufacturing sector, and an industry that could support 500,000 jobs in less than 20 years, just as it was getting a foothold in the U.S. market?"

Data highlights:

Other highlights of the U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter Market Report 2011 that AWEA released today include:

  • The U.S. industry during the third quarter installed 1,204 megawatts (MW) of electrical generating capacity versus 671 MW during the same period last year, up 79%.
  • Year-to-date installations of 3,360 MW exceeds installations as this point in 2010 by 75%.
  • In the third quarter of 2011, Colorado installed the most new wind capacity, with 501 MW; then Minnesota with 103 MW; Oklahoma with 130 MW; West Virginia with 98 MW; and Texas rounding out the top 5 states with 88 MW.
  • Over 2,000 MW of new construction were started during the third quarter, bringing total under construction figures to over 8,400 MW, one of the largest under construction figures since the height in 2008.
  • Significant under-construction numbers were reported in numerous states: More than 1,200 MW are under construction in California; more than 800 MW in in Oregon; over 700 MW in Oklahoma and Iowa; and over 600 MW in Illinois, Kansas, and Washington.
  • The U.S. wind industry now totals 43,461 MW of cumulative wind capacity, able to supply electricity to the equivalent of 10 million American homes and producing 3% of the nation's electricity through July of 2011.

State success stories:

ALABAMA: Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, recently signed their first wind power purchase agreement with the Alabama Public Service Commission finding that wind was lower cost than procuring energy from its own resources:

"Specifically, the delivered price of energy from the wind facility is expected to be lower than the cost the Company would incur to produce that energy from its own resource (i.e. below the Company's avoided costs), with the resulting energy savings flowing directly to the Company's customers…  In Staff's view, this information demonstrates that the Chisholm View PPA reflects an opportunity to procure rights to a cost-effective renewable energy resource that can be expected to yield positive net benefits to customers over its term."[1]

TEXAS: Austin Energy was recently approved for new wind projects and authorized to negotiate for additional wind project contracts, which now have comparable costs to current natural gas power.

"The Austin City Council today approved two new wind contracts totaling 291 megawatts (MW) and authorized Austin Energy to negotiate a third wind contract of an additional 200 MW…. The new projects are priced in the $35 to $45 per megawatt-hour range which is comparable to current and near-term pricing for natural gas power. These prices reflect a significant drop in power prices in general and in wind since 2008."[2]

COLORADO: Xcel Energy's recent testimony on their Limon II wind power purchase agreement found that:

"The net benefit (cost savings) of the Limon II PPA, over the entire 25 year term on a nominal basis, is projected to be nearly $278 Million, or nearly $102 Million on a net present value ("NPV") basis... These savings are a direct result of the very low wind prices currently available due to the expected expiration of the federal Production Tax Credit at the end of 2012…Since wind energy primarily displaces natural gas generated energy, reducing the quantity of natural gas purchases (displaced with fixed price wind purchases) acts as a hedge against future volatility of natural gas prices. By displacing natural gas with fixed priced wind energy, the Company has less exposure to potentially volatile natural gas pricing."[3]

The third quarter market report can be found here: http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/reports/AWEA-US-Wind-Industry-Market-Reports.cfm. AWEA member companies can access a members-only version of the report by logging on to the member center at awea.org.

This post comes to us from AWEA. AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, with more than 2,500 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show, WINDPOWER, to be held next in Atlanta, June 2-6, 2012.

Photo Credit: www.CGPGrey.com

[3] Supplemental Direct Testimony & Exhibits of Kurtis J. Haeger, Public Service Company of Colorado. September 19, 2011. http://www.awea.org/newsroom/pressreleases/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=11168

Related posts:

  1. U.S Wind Installations Top 2,000 MW in First Half of 2011
  2. U.S. Installs 1,400 Megawatts of Wind Energy in 3rd Quarter – Heading for Another Record Year
  3. US Becomes Largest Wind Power Producer in the World

60-90% of UK Electricity Could Come from Renewable Energy

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 10:31 AM PDT

renewable energy uk could provide 60 90 percent electricity

A new report published by WWF UK finds that 60% to 90% of the UK’s electricity could come from renewable energy sources such as wind, tidal, and solar energy by 2030.

“By using this amount of renewable energy, we can decarbonise the power sector without resorting to new nuclear power. We will also be able to maintain system security – that is, provide enough electricity at all times to make sure there's never a risk of the 'lights going out',” the report states.

Like the US, the UK has many “aging” power plants that will soon be decommissioned. These power plants produce about 25% of the UK’s electricity. With a directive from the Climate Change Act to be carbon-free by 2030, this poses a challenge but also a great opportunity to lead the world in renewable energy.

Here’s more from WWF UK’s executive summary on the new report:

We commissioned GL Garrad Hassan (GL GH) to investigate this question by developing six scenarios for where the UK's electricity will come from in 2030. The scenarios all achieve the near decarbonisation of the power sector by 2030 without new nuclear power. The generation mix differs according to the level of electricity demand and the use of different methods for ensuring system security as shown in the table opposite.

In all cases, the scenarios make full provision for ambitious increases in electric vehicles (EVs) and electric heating. Energy efficiency and behavioural change lead to the reductions in demand in the ambitious demand scenarios.

The volume of renewable capacity installed by 2020 in all scenarios is similar to that set out in the government's Renewable Energy Roadmap in July 2011. However, critically, the scenarios envisage installation continuing at a similar rate during the 2020s. This will avoid the risk of 'boom and bust' in the UK renewables sector – lots of work being done to install renewable capacity up until 2020 and then work falling off a cliff after that – and mean renewables provide at least 60% of the UK's electricity by 2030.

The amount of renewable capacity the UK can and should build is determined by economic constraints – not available resources or how fast infrastructure can be built. GL GH assumes that it is economic to supply around 60% of demand from renewables. Going beyond 60% depends on whether there's a market in other countries for the excess electricity the UK would generate at times of high renewable energy production. Therefore, given uncertainty over future markets, in the core scenarios (A and B) GL GH has not assumed a European market for UK renewable power despite the construction of high levels of interconnection under the B scenarios. By contrast, in the stretch scenarios (C), we assume that interconnection creates a European market for the UK's excess power, and that it becomes economic to build much more renewable capacity in the UK.

More details here: Positive Energy: how renewable electricity can transform the UK by 2030.

Image Credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by telex4

Related posts:

  1. Unprecedented UN Report: Renewable Energy Costs to Drop, Use to Grow Substantially by 2030, but…
  2. Renewable Energy Myths Busted by New Landmark Report
  3. Utility Scale Electricity Storage Ramps Up with Growing Renewable Energy Use

Greece Looking to Repay Debts with.. Solar Power

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 10:09 AM PDT

greece solar power debt

Sunny-lucky Greece has not been doing well financially, as I think you know. But it’s looking to tap into that solar treasure chest in order to pay back some of its financial saviors, such as soon-to-be-nuclear-free Germany.

EU's energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger, the director general for energy Philip Lowe, and the head of the EU's Athens task force Horst Reichenbach have been discussing this idea in recent weeks.

Apparently, not many EU nations or companies have been gung-ho about this right off the bat. Germany is the core potential client at the moment. But Philip Lowe has now been asked to look into the potential here in more detail.

"Several German companies have expressed interest in the idea but it would clearly be more interesting if several member states were involved," EurActiv reports.

Interesting facts at the moment:

  • Greece has 50% more solar potential than Germany;
  • Germany produces about 80 times more solar power than Greece;
  • Athens announced Project Helios in September, a plan to go from 206 MW of solar power capacity today to 2,200 MW in 2020 and 10,000 MW in 2050 (a project projected to create 30,000-60,000 jobs) — the goals are far from sure, but the plan is a significant step forward and signifies the country’s strong interest in following solar leaders Spain, Italy, and Germany in order to realize more of its solar potential.

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, mentioned this potential trade with Greece while calling for German solar subsidies to be reduced at the beginning of October. And Philipp Rösler, Germany’s economy minister, further promoted it in Athens.

"In the spirit of solidarity, it is the task of all Europeans to help Greece get back on its feet economically," Rösler said. "And we want to take German firms to Greece."

We’ll see what comes of this. It’s definitely an interesting proposal that could solve a number of problems facing Greece, the EU, and the world.

Photo credit: AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by Egui_

Related posts:

  1. World’s Biggest Solar Farm Coming to Greece?
  2. Lowe’s Bringing Solar Power to More People (with Help of Sungevity)
  3. Google Invests $5M in German Solar Power Plant

$40 Million for Floating Wind Turbine in UK

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 09:28 AM PDT

We’ve written about floating wind turbines a few times here on CleanTechnica. Key benefit of these is that they can go in deeper waters, where there’s often more consistent and stronger winds. Key downside: they are still costly. But a new £25 million ($40 million) investment from Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is looking to cut those costs.

The investment is in a floating wind turbine platform I’ve written about before. ETI, a public-private organization, is now looking for someone to develop, install, and commission a completely operational, full-scale demonstration project. It wants the demo project to be in place by 2016.

Note: video above is Dr David Clarke, ETI Chief Executive, talking about ETI and floating wind turbines in 2010.

"Offshore wind must be affordable and cost competitive with alternatives and although large, floating turbines will have high capital costs, they can access near-to-shore, high wind speed sites off the west coast of the UK which overall brings down the cost of electricity generation for the long term,” Dr Clarke said for the announcement today.

"Our studies have shown that access to high wind areas which are close to shore should be an attractive investment compared to some existing UK sites which are further from the coast in areas of lower wind.  We also expect there is likely to be a considerable global market for floating wind turbines which can be developed in the UK.”

The UK is especially likely to benefit from floating wind turbines, as it has near-shore, deep-water areas with good wind resources.

The ETI news release on this reports that the demonstration project “will be operated for at least two years to show it can generate high levels of electricity, be maintained without using specially designed vessels and to verify the predicted technical and economic performance.”

A Request for Proposals (RfP) was released today. The deadline for submitting a proposal is January 6, 2012 and the closing date is January 27, 2012.

Here are some more details:

The deadline for the notification of intention to submit a proposal is 6 January 2012 and the closing date is 27 January 2012. A project briefing event will be in December 2011 for organisations wanting to know more about the project.

Participants chosen to take part in the project will be capable of providing an offshore wind turbine in the 5MW to 7MW range that can be installed on the foundation.

Source: Energy Technologies Institute

Related posts:

  1. 1st-of-Its-Kind Floating Wind Turbine Technology to be Deployed by Vestas & WindPlus [VIDEO]
  2. New Floating Wind Turbines to Make Wind Energy Cheaper, More Reliable?
  3. First Full-Scale Floating Wind Mill

Maine Solar PV Growing in Popularity… Why?

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 08:37 AM PDT

QUICK NEWS: Solar PV is blowing up in Maine. A recent piece in Maine’s Portland Press Herald gives some explanation as to why, as does the video above.

ARUNDEL – On the lawn behind the Solar Market offices here, 144 solar-electric panels are mounted across a 100-foot-long run of wooden racks. No surprise, really, to see a photovoltaic system outside a company that sells the hardware

But this set-up is way larger than needed to run lights and appliances. And therein lies the surprise: These solar panels generated enough power last winter to supply nearly 70 percent of the building's warmth — with electric heat.

The falling price of photovoltaic panels, along with the advent of special heat pumps and super insulation, is creating an opportunity in Maine that energy experts could hardly imagine a few years ago. Now some of the state's leading solar installers, including Solar Market, have begun installing so-called PV panels on homes and businesses to harvest sunshine for baseboard heaters.

The new economics of PV panels also has some companies moving away from promoting solar-thermal collectors designed to heat water, a mainstay of the business in Maine for 30 years.

PV module prices are down 50 percent in the past three years; they’ve fallen by roughly one-third in the past 12 months. Manufacturing growth in China, among other factors, has led to overcapacity and financial losses. Trade publications predict that competition will continue to drive down prices next year, as the industry struggles to consolidate and match supply with demand.

Maine solar installers are taking advantage of this environment, as well as state and federal laws that encourage the use of renewable energy. A visit to Solar Market’s 3,500-square-foot office shows one way to do it.

This is not unique to Maine, as solar has been blowing up across the country. But this is a fun micro-example of what’s going on. More on the Maine story here: Solar rising with tax credits, lower costs.

h/t Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Related posts:

  1. New Report Forecasts Solar Boom in NC — "Growing Solar in North Carolina"
  2. Rooftop Solar Installations Growing Faster than Utility-Scale Solar
  3. Falling Solar Panel Costs are Great for Buyers, Bad for Producers (sort of)

No comments:

Post a Comment