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jpak

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,460

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Use of wind power for electricity generation rises as coal declines

http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2013/06/26/iowa-releases-new-data-on-sources-of-electric-power-generation-wind-increasing/article

n consecutive stories this week – here on Tuesday and here on Wednesday – the Des Moines Register has cited 2010 data on the sources of electric power generation in Iowa.

Those figures were the best available as of deadline Tuesday evening, and showed the state reliant on coal-fired power plants for 71.8 percent of its power, while drawing 16 percent from wind.

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In short: coal power is falling while the wind is rising.

Here’s the new data:

Coal: 67.82 percent
Wind: 19.0 percent
Natural Gas: 1.76 percent
Fuel Oil/Petroleum: 0.25 percent
Nuclear: 9.25 percent
Hydro: 1.64 percent
Other Renewables: 0.28 percent.

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What to do with the world's unwanted wind turbines?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-23048093

The study was commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage, which is expected to issue new guidance on dealing with old turbines later this year.

The research looked at the decommissioning of the machines, the restoration of wind farm sites and also how turbines, towers and the various components can be recycled.

Dealing with the massive devices when they are replaced by more efficient ones is expected to become an increasingly weighty issue.

The SNH-commissioned report quotes a forecast that by 2034 there will be a need to recycle about 225,000 tonnes of rotor blade material every year worldwide.

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U.K. Moves Toward Bigger Solar Plants as Costs Drop

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-17/u-k-moves-toward-bigger-solar-plants-as-costs-drop.html

Solar-energy developers in the U.K. are installing bigger power plants after the cost of panels dropped quicker than the government reduced subsidies, the British Photovoltaic Association said.

More than half of projects in development are sized 5 megawatts or bigger, up from about a third in the first quarter, when installations reached 520 megawatts, Reza Shaybani, the head of the British Photovoltaic Association, said today in an interview at a conference in Munich.

Investors can generate returns of “between 8 percent to 12 percent, depending on what you install,” he said. The plunge in prices for solar systems eclipsed the feed-in-tariff cuts of about 50 percent, he said in a speech at the gathering.

Britain seeks to install as much as 22 gigawatts of solar energy by 2020 as part of a target to get 15 percent of its energy from renewables by the same year. While the U.K. is “well on track” to achieve its 2020 solar target, the BPVA is asking the government to suspend further cuts to the feed-in-tariff and the Renewables Obligations Certificate for 12 months because of the European Union’s anti-dumping tariffs on China that are hurting sales, he said.

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The business case for wind power: Opinion (Google)

http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2013/06/the_business_case_for_wind_pow.html

People sometimes ask why an Internet company like Google has chosen to invest in the Atlantic Wind Connection — a multi-billion-dollar electric transmission “backbone” designed to carry power from offshore wind farms. The answer is simple: At Google, we believe investing in renewable energy makes business sense.

Energy is a critical driver of our business. We receive more than 3 billion search queries a day, show 6 billion hours of video on YouTube every month, and serve 5 million businesses with Google Apps — and all that takes energy. As a company, Google is committed to using that energy efficiently and sustainably. Our data centers use half the energy of typical data centers, we build our campuses to the most efficient design standards, and we’ve purchased more than 260 megawatts of wind power.

Beyond our own operations, we want to help the transition to that clean energy future in another way — by investing directly into projects. This allows us to diversify our capital while contributing to a clean energy future — for ourselves, for the local communities in which we operate, and for our users around the world.

Since 2010, Google has committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy projects, including some of the world’s largest land-based wind farms, the largest solar power tower in the world, and both utility scale and residential scale solar photovoltaic systems.

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(Califronia) Solar power generation hits record levels (2071 MW at noon)

http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/06/09/solar-power-generator-hits-record-levels/#axzz2VwiUCov2

SAN DIEGO — With Southern California’s largest electric generating station broken and scheduled for removal, solar generation levels have reached a record level in California, state officials said Sunday.

Solar power generation on California’s grid set a new all-time high output of 2,071 megawatts at 12:59 p.m. Friday, said officials at the California ISO, the state agency that balances customer demand on regulated power utilities with power generation from commercial vendors.

That nearly equals the 2,250 megawatts of nuclear-powered generation that was lost in January, 2012, when small amounts of radiation began leaking from Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, at Camp Pendleton.

San Diego Gas & Electric owns 20 percent of San Onofre, and has historically received one fifth of its power from the iconic nuclear plant, 65 miles north of San Diego. SDG&E has reassured its customers it can import sufficient replacement power from natural gas, wind and geothermal plants in the Imperial Valley via its new Sunrise Powerlink transmission line.

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2013 Q1 Update: U.S. Solar Industry Keeps Chugging Along (723 MW installed)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdetwiler/2013/06/11/2013-q1-update-u-s-solar-industry-keeps-chugging-along/

GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association released numbers this morning suggesting that the solar juggernaut is not slowing down. Consider this: in the first three months of the year, the U.S. installed 723 MW, just under half of all new generation capacity installed across the country, and the best first quarter yet for solar.

The utility solar market scored big, with 318 MW installed under the direction and ownership of the electric utilities. However, the residential market saw 164 MW installed, with 53% year-over-year growth.

The biggest development driving this trend is the explosive growth of third-party owned solar, which removes the upfront financing obstacle. Companies such as Solar City have approached this problem head on. In the past two months alone, Solar City announced a $500 mn lease financing agreement with Goldman Sachs, as well as a zero down financing program for homebuilders wishing to include solar in new construction. The GTM/SEIA report notes that these third-party models supported two-thirds or more of all residential solar installation in some states.

As one might expect, the ‘left coast’ had a major role to play, especially in the residential sector. In California, residential installations actually eclipsed non-residential additions, driven largely by the increasingly favorable economics. With the benefit of the 30 percent federal investment tax credit, solar is now cost-effective when compared with relatively high California utility rates.

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