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NREL Uncovers Clean Energy Leaders State by State

In Bioscience, cleantech, Energy, Environment, greentech, Power Grid, Solar, Sustainable on November 22, 2009 at 11:33 pm

via NREL: News Feature – NREL Uncovers Clean Energy Leaders State by State.

 

 

The State of the States project was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, NREL and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). It is funded by the Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

While states such as California and Texas with abundant resources continue to rank among the leading states in terms of total renewable electricity generation, the study shows that a range of other states are demonstrating strong growth in the clean energy sector, including those with historic fossil fuel legacies, such as Oklahoma and Illinois.

Wind energy accounted for the largest percentage of nationwide growth in renewable generation between 2001 and 2007, including a 30 percent increase in 2006 and 2007.

Biomass generation continued to expand across most regions, with states as disparate as Delaware, Utah, Minnesota and Alaska showing the most recent growth in the sector. Biomass generation continued to be strong in southeastern states, including Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

Key Findings

* Non-hydro renewable electricity generation as a percent of total electricity generation increased 33.7 percent between 2001 and 2007, reaching a national total of 105 million megawatt-hours.

* California led the nation in terms of total non-hydroelectric renewable generation in 2007; Maine is No. 1 when also considering state population and gross state product.

* Washington led in total renewable generation in 2007 if hydroelectric resources are included.

* South Dakota ranks first in overall growth in non-hydro renewable energy generation between 2001 and 2007.

* Geothermal electricity generation in the Lower 48 is concentrated in California, Nevada and Utah.

* Solar capacity is concentrated in the southwestern and northeastern states.

* Leading wind energy states are Texas, California, Iowa, Minnesota, and Washington. However, sparsely populated Wyoming leads in per-capita wind generation.

 

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Time For Change: Reframing the Conversation on Energy & Climate

In Energy, Environment, Science, Solar, Sustainable on November 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Time 4 Change Reframing the Conversation on Energy & Climate.

Bolton Hill Consulting is helping plan “Time for Change: Reframing the Conversation on Energy and Climate” At the release of MIT’s Innovations journal special issue on energy & climate

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Time: 1:00 – 6:45PM (Event: 1-5:40PM; Reception: 5:45-6:45PM)
Place: The National Academy of Sciences, 2100 C Street, NW (21st and Constitution Avenue), Washington, DC 20001(Foggy Bottom Metro)
Cost: Free of charge – Register here

Event Description
The goal of this meeting is to contribute to reframing the conversation on energy and climate by illuminating opportunities inherent in the transition away from carbon intensity. The meeting will focus on how technologies already in use can be combined with common-sense policies and 21st century modes of organization to create jobs, advance innovation, and enhance international cooperation. The meeting will take place at the National Academy of Sciences and will engage leaders from business, government, and academia in a discussion of the societal possibilities inherent in the in the creation of climate solutions. The event is timed to take place two weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and coincides with the release of the Innovations journal special issue on energy & climate titled “Energy for Change.” Led by the Science Adviser to the President of the United States, John Holdren, and informed by a year-long project on energy & climate at the National Academy of Sciences, the meeting will be organized into a set of forward-looking conversations respectively emphasizing opportunities for business, for the United States, and for the global community of nations.

Featured speakers include:

  • John Holdren, Science Adviser to the President of the United States and former Director of the Belfer Center’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program
  • Thomas Schelling, 2005 recipient of the Nobel Prize in economics
  • Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka, Innovators for the Public
  • Richard Meserve, President of the Carnegie Institution
  • Iqbal Quadir, Founder and Director of MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship

Met Office Global Warming Map – 4 degrees

In agriculture, Environment, Science, Sustainable on November 2, 2009 at 8:48 am

Published by Met Office

Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655 E-mail: Press Office, Met Office Customer Centre: 0870 900 0100, If you’re outside the UK: +44 (0)1392 885680

4-degrees-large-map-final (application/x-shockwave-flash Object).

4 degrees Global Warming Map

A new map illustrating the global consequences of failing to keep temperature change to under 2 °C was launched today by the UK Government, in partnership with the Met Office.

The map was developed using the latest peer-reviewed science from the Met Office Hadley Centre and other leading impact scientists. The poster highlights some of the impacts that may occur if the global average temperature rises by 4 °C above the pre-industrial climate average.

Ahead of December’s international climate change talks in Copenhagen, the Government is aiming for an agreement that limits climate change as far as possible to 2 °C. Increases of more than two degrees will have huge impacts on the world.

The poster shows that a four degree average rise will not be spread uniformly across the globe. The land will heat up more quickly than the sea, and high latitudes, particularly the Arctic, will have larger temperature increases. The average land temperature will be 5.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The impacts on human activity shown on the map are only a selection of those that may occur, and highlight the severe effects on water availability, agricultural productivity, extreme temperatures and drought, the risk of forest fire and sea-level rise

Agricultural yields are expected to decrease for all major cereal crops in all major regions of production. Half of all Himalayan glaciers will be significantly reduced by 2050, leading to 23% of the population of China being deprived of the vital dry season glacial melt water source.

The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband said: “We cannot cope with a four degree world. This map clearly illustrates the scale of the challenge facing us today — climate change is a truly global problem that needs a global solution and it is a solution we have within our grasp.

“But to tackle the problem of climate change, all of us — foreign ministries, environment ministries, treasuries, departments of defence and all parts of government and societies — must work together to keep global temperatures to two degrees. It is only by doing this that we can minimise the huge security risks presented by a future four degree world.”

Ed Miliband, Energy and Climate Change Secretary said: “This map shows that the stakes couldn’t be any higher at the Copenhagen talks in December. Britain’s scientists have helped to illustrate the catastrophic effects that will result if the world fails to limit the global temperature rise to two degrees. With less than 50 days left before agreement must be reached, the UK’s going all out to persuade the world of the need to raise its ambitions so we get a deal that protects us from a four degree world.”

Vicky Pope, Head of Climate Change Advice at the Met Office, said: “If emissions continue at the current rate the global average temperature are likely to rise by 4 °C by the end of this century or even substantially earlier. The science tells us that this will have severe and widespread impacts in all parts of the world, so we need to take action now to reduce emissions to avoid water and food shortages in the future.”

Northeast Adds 17 Gigawatts of Renewable Power to Meet RPS : CleanTechnica

In cleantech, Energy, investment, maintech, Power Grid, Sustainable on November 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm

 

Written by Susan Kraemer for CleanTechnica.com

 

Renewable energy comprised more than half the energy added this year to the Northeast grid, comprising part of Canada and 6 US states. 17 GW of renewable energy projects in the region will be completed in the next five years.

It is no coincidence that each of these states has a state renewable portfolio standard which requires utilities to add an increasing percent of renewable power to the grid each year. New York’s RPS requires 24% by 2013, Maine:40% by 2017(met), Vermont:20% by 2017, New Hampshire:16% by 2025, Rhode Island:16% by 2019, and Connecticut:27% by 2020 )

The Renewable Portfolio Standard is a sure way to get more homegrown climate-friendly renewable power on the grid and is up for votes yet again this year (in the American Clean Jobs & American Power Act) after multiple previous attempts to pass it.

>>Find local group discounts on solar power for your home.

Democrats have attempted to pass a Renewable Portfolio Standard multiple times, for example here and again. Each time Republicans have defeated it by calling coal renewable, or filibustered it to prevent passage. (Renewable energy is defined as energy that is from a resource that is renewable and that has low carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas.)

It is included again in the current renewable energy bill in the Senate now (CEJAPA) and is the closest it has been to having the critical mass needed to pass it.

Maine has a RPS and has more renewable energy on the grid than any state in the nation; 55%. Collins and Snowe of Maine are two of the four Republicans who have reliably sided with Democrats on renewable energy. However the other two were both voted out last year; Smith of Oregan and Coleman of Minnesota.

Even when states don’t meet them, having an RPS requirement has been proven to get more power on the grid than not having one.

Image: Flikr user Katerina

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Tags: American Clean Jobs & American Power Act, Connecticut 27% by 2020, Maine:40% by 2017(met), New Hampshire:16% by 2025, Northeast 17 Gigawatts renewable, NY: 24% by 2013, Renewable Portfolio Standard, Rhode Island:16% by 2019, Vermont:20% by 2017

via Northeast Adds 17 Gigawatts of Renewable Power to Meet RPS : CleanTechnica.

Tiny agency has big role in energy debate – KansasCity.com

In cleantech, Energy, Power Grid, Science on November 1, 2009 at 11:50 am

By BARBARA BARRETT
McClatchy Newspapers


As energy increasingly dominates the economy, a quiet little agency in Washington holds the responsibility for tracking the particles that conduct, fuse, blow, heat, combust and convert the earth, wind and water into the energy that makes our society run.

The man behind the quiet data-crunching enterprise is Richard Newell, a Duke University economist and energy enthusiast.

He sits in a glass-walled office a block off the National Mall, between the president who hired him and the congressional lawmakers who hammer his numbers into policy. He visits his wife and two young daughters in North Carolina every weekend, reads massive amounts of analysis and tries to know, always, the big picture about what’s going on in the world.

Newell took over Aug. 3 as the administrator for the Energy Information Administration. Utility companies make decisions about whether to build new power plants based in part on the EIA’s long-term projections of energy use. The office is responsible for dozens of daily, weekly and monthly reports on all aspects of energy.

It tracks how much energy comes from solar, geothermal and biomass sources. It follows the production and use of coal, natural gas and petroleum. It tracks greenhouse gas emissions.

Its work can shake financial markets and propel legislation.

It does all this, by law, in a nonpartisan, neutral fashion. The only political appointee is the director: Newell.

“Energy is a part of so many aspects of our daily lives, our economy,” Newell said in an interview in his Washington office. “It’s the car you drive. It’s when you turn the lights on, drive the kids to school.”

“Environmental issues are increasing in attention and importance over the last decade or two,” he said. “So I think there’s a lot of interest on the part of policymakers and society in how we meet our energy needs in a way that allowed the economy to keep running and addresses environmental concerns. I think we can do all that.”

A friendly man with wavy hair and a fashionable beard, Newell sports just enough gray to give the 44-year-old gravitas in the very serious town of Washington. When he smiles, which is often, his eyebrows shoot above his glasses, crinkling his forehead.

The work he does at the EIA, though, is very serious.

“They’re not trying to spin the facts,” said Ron Planting, an economist at the American Petroleum Institute, an advocacy group for the oil industry in Washington. “They’re trying to gather the best data available. From their data you can get a picture of what’s happening in U.S. energy consumption.”

via Tiny agency has big role in energy debate – KansasCity.com.

Solar power from Sahara step closer | Business | guardian.co.uk

In cleantech, Energy, Power Grid, Solar, Sustainable on November 1, 2009 at 11:31 am

by Ashley Seager for guardian.co.uk, Sunday 1 November 2009 14.20 GMT

The German-led Desertec initiative believes it can deliver power to Europe as early as 2015

The technology is not new – it is the scale of the Desertec initiative which is a first…

A $400bn (£240bn) plan to provide Europe with solar power from the Sahara moved a step closer to reality today with the formation of a consortium of 12 companies to carry out the work.

The Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) aims to provide 15% of Europe’s electricity by 2050 or earlier via power lines stretching across the desert and Mediterranean sea.

The German-led consortium was brought together by Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer, and consists of some of country’s biggest engineering and power companies, including Siemens, E.ON, ABB and Deutsche Bank.

It now believes the DII can deliver solar power to Europe as early as 2015.

“We have now passed a real milestone as the company has been founded and there is definitely a profitable business there,” said Professor Peter Höppe, Munich Re’s head of climate change.

“We see this as a big step towards solving the two main problems facing the world in the coming years – climate change and energy security,” said Höppe.

The solar technology involved is known as concentrated solar power (CSP) which uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays on a fluid container. The super-heated liquid then drives turbines to generate electricity. The advantage over solar photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight directly to electricity, is that if sufficient hot fluid is stored in containers, the generators can run all night.

The technology is not new – there have been CSP plants running in the deserts of California and Nevada for two decades. But it is the scale of the Desertec initiative which is a first, along with plans to connect North Africa to Europe with new high voltage direct current cables which transport electricity over great distances with little loss.

via Solar power from Sahara step closer | Business | guardian.co.uk.