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jpak

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Member since: 2002
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Letter: Facts point to success of higher wind energy standards

http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20130711/OPINION03/307110033/Letter-Facts-point-success-higher-wind-energy-standards

Carl Langner’s July 7 letter on wind power and Senate Bill 252 (“Rural energy standard is unachievable”) contains a number of errors.

Wind energy reduces electricity prices by displacing output from the most expensive and least efficient power plants. According to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, a single wind energy purchase in the state “will save ratepayers $100 million” and allow them to “lock in a price for 25 years.”

In 2012, wind energy provided more than 20 percent of the electricity in Iowa and South Dakota, and more than 10 percent in seven other states, while European countries are even higher. Langner’s claim that wind energy cannot provide more than 8 percent of the electricity on the power system is therefore demonstrably untrue.

Changes in wind energy output occur slowly and predictably. As a result, utility system operators can reliably accommodate large amounts of energy with only minimal increases in the use of the reserves they have always used to accommodate changes in electricity supply and demand.

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Wind to Double and Solar to Triple in 6 Years (IEA)

http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/wind-and-solar-energy-rush-goes-global-130712.htm

Renewable electricity generation is expected to double or triple in the next six years and outpace natural gas and nuclear power as a global source for electricity as early as 2016, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). If that happens, renewables will be second only to coal for electricity generation.

“Globally, renewable generation is estimated to rise to 25% of gross power generation in 2018, up from 20% in 2011 and 19% in 2006,” the IEA reports. That growth is being driven mostly by the expansion of wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) generation.

As hyperbolic as that might sound, it’s probably an understatement, say some energy watchers.

“It’s a remarkably bullish outlook compared to most forecasts,” commented greentechmedia energy analyst Chris Nelder in a thorough post about the new report. “It’s particularly remarkable for the IEA, whose conservative outlook on renewables has historically lagged behind reality.”

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Wind farm takes shape off Fukushima as Japan seeks non-nuclear energy

http://www.euronews.com/2013/07/12/wind-farm-takes-shape-off-fukushima-as-japan-seeks-non-nuclear-energy/

The first phase is complete of a plan to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm near the Fukushima nuclear plant that was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The first turbine has been delivered to the area and the facility is due to become operational in October.

It is part of plans by Fukushima Prefecture to ditch nuclear energy and move towards total reliance on renewable sources over the next 25 years.

By 2020 scores of giant turbines 200 metres high should produce twice as much power as the world’s current biggest offshore windfarm at Greater Gabbard off the UK’s Suffolk coast.

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Government clears RWE to build world's biggest offshore wind farm (UK)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/07/11/uk-britain-power-wind-idUKBRE96A0F120130711

(Reuters) - The government has approved RWE Innogy's 1,200 megawatt Triton Knoll offshore wind farm, a project with capacity comparable to that of a large nuclear power plant.

The 3.6 billion pound project will house 288 wind turbines 20 kilometres off the coast of Lincolnshire in the east of England.

When it opens towards the end of the decade the offshore wind farm will be the world's biggest, surpassing the London Array project officially opened by Prime Minister David Cameron last week.

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The Triton Knoll project will create about 1,130 jobs in Britain and produce enough power for 820,000 homes.

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Xcel: Wind deals to save $590M

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2013-07-10/xcel-customers-save-590m-wind-deals

Xcel Energy expects to save customers about $590 million in fuel costs over the next 20 years with new wind energy contracts it announced Wednesday.

The company’s subsidiary, Southwestern Public Service, has made three deals that will more than double its wind energy purchased under contracts to nearly 1,300 megawatts. The company will have a total of 2,200 megawatts in its system serving Texas and New Mexico.

“The rest of the wind energy on our system is not under contract but instead is purchased daily at market prices,” Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves said.

The company’s Harrington and Nichols generation stations northeast of Amarillo have a generation capacity of almost 1,500 megawatts using natural gas and coal. The deal will add almost 700 megawatts of wind energy.

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An Epic Battle Between Solar Firms and Power Utilities Could Leave One Side Unplugged

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2013-07-11/news/an-epic-battle-between-solar-firms-and-power-utilities-could-leave-one-side-unplugged/

The nonprofit company, which manages bowling alleys and seven recreation centers in the politically powerful Phoenix-area retirement community, has a large solar-panel project going up at its facilities.

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"The anticipated savings is about $15 million," Higgins says from the lobby of RSCS' corporate office at Lakeview. She adds that the electricity generated from the photovoltaic panels could power an estimated 347 homes.

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Rooftop solar is a no-brainer to power utilities like APS, too.

They say they're getting screwed in deals like these.

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Solar Market Seen Exceeding $134 Billion by 2020, Navigant Says

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-10/solar-market-seen-exceeding-134-billion-by-2020-navigant-says.html

Developers will spend more than $134 billion annually by 2020 on solar-energy systems, up 51 percent from this year, as falling panel prices make electricity produced from sunlight cost-competitive with power from other sources, according to a report from Navigant Consulting Inc. (NCI).

Growing demand for photovoltaic systems in emerging markets including Chile, South Africa and Saudi Arabia will be bolstered in other regions by increased use of both large, utility-scale power plants and smaller, distributed generation systems, the Chicago-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

“By the end of 2020, solar PV is expected to be cost-competitive with retail electricity prices, without subsidies, in a significant portion of the world,” Dexter Gauntlett, a Navigant analyst, said in the statement.

The company expects a total of 438 gigawatts of solar capacity to be installed from this year through 2020.

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Rooftop solar takes off across California as costs come down

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_23635595/costs-come-down-rooftop-solar-takes-off-across

California's groundbreaking efforts to encourage homeowners and businesses to install rooftop solar panels were so successful in 2012 that the program is now effectively winding down, according to a new report.

A record 391 megawatts of solar power were installed statewide in 2012, a growth of 26 percent from 2011, according to a report by the California Solar Initiative released Wednesday.

"The program has made solar affordable for ordinary Californians," said Susannah Churchill of the San Francisco-based solar advocacy group Vote Solar. "Solar is a classic California success story."

In January 2007, California launched an unprecedented $3.3 billion effort to install 3,000 megawatts of new solar over the next decade and transform the market for solar energy by reducing the cost of solar-generating equipment.

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IPA concedes wind farms successful in displacing coal

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/ipa-concedes-wind-farms-successful-in-displacing-coal-53517

The anti-wind campaigners sometimes have difficulty getting their facts in the right order. One of their most common complaints is that wind energy does nothing to reduce emissions as it doesn’t actually result in any fossil fuel generation being switched off, because fossil fuel needs to keep running as “back-up” in case the wind stops blowing.

Of course, this is not true. As the Australian Energy Market Operator notes in South Australia, where wind energy accounts for around 25 per cent of both capacity and demand, coal fired generation – both local and imported from Victoria – has fallen dramatically. There hasn’t even been any need for new peaking power stations and the use of gas has not increased since the state started building the first of its 1,200MW of wind energy.

The Institute of Public Affairs, one of the most powerful and influential anti-wind groups, whose former head is now the WA state energy minister, is a strong proponent of the “continuous” back-up claim. But at the recent, lightly attended anti-wind rally in Canberra, its director of deregulation, Alan Moran made a crucial admission: wind energy is forcing conventional coal generation out of the market, because it is making it uneconomic.

“(Renewables) are in fact squeezing out conventional energy, conventional, predictable and reliable energy, because they are “must run”, and conventional energy is automatically backed off,” Moran said, according to a transcript published on the anti-wind website Stop These Things. “This is leading to the retirement of coal fired stations, as subsidised wind makes them not profitable.”

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Sioux Tribes Collaborate on Biggest US Wind Farm (1-2 GW)

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25036

In an unprecedented move, six Sioux tribes are coming together to develop the largest wind farm in the US and one of the world’s largest.

The six South Dakota tribes want to develop an interconnected grid of wind farms totaling a massive 1-2 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, over at least six reservations.

Funding for the project, which will cost between $1.75 billion to $3 billion, would come from the sale of bonds by a new Multi-Tribal Power Authority.

The project was revealed during the Clinton Global Initiative last month. "It gives Native tribes who aren't in populous areas and don't have casino revenue a chance to earn some real money that can then be used to reinvest into the community to diversify the economic base that exists," said President Clinton at the event, according to SF Gate.

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