Friday, January 25, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 25 January 2013

Swiss want early nuclear phase out
January 24, 2013 - Switzerland is getting the chance to vote on a proposal to phase out nuclear power earlier than the government wants.

An initiative brought forth by an alliance of environmental groups, political parties, anti-nuclear organizations and trade unions, including the Green Party and Greenpeace Switzerland, seeks to impose a statutory limit of 45 years on the operating lives of the country's nuclear power plants and a ban on new construction. If approved, nuclear power would ultimately be phased out by 2029.

The government had previously decided, after Japan's deadly Fukushima accident, to phase out the five nuclear reactors which generate 40 percent of the country's electricity -- by 2035. Further, the reactors would not be replaced at the end of their productive lives. read more>>>

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Iberdrola confirms commitment to Wind Energy in United States by installing three new Wind Farms
Jan. 22, 2013 - IBERDROLA, world leader in wind power, has commissioned three new wind farms in the United States, where it is already the second operator in the Renewables sector in terms of installed capacity, with over 5,700 megawatts (MW).

To be more specific, these new wind power facilities are: Manzana (California), Groton (New Hampshire) and Hoosac (Massachusetts) and their combined capacity is over 265 MW.

The Manzana wind power complex is one of the company's largest wind farm facilities in the world, with an installed capacity of 189 MW. It is located in a very windy area of Kern County, close to the towns of Rosamond and Tehachapi. It is equipped with 126 wind turbines manufactured by the U.S. multinational General Electric, each with a unit capacity of 1.5 MW. read more>>>

Microgrid Capacity To Increase Significantly Through 2022
January 21, 2013 - According to two recently released reports, growth of microgrids across industry sectors is expected to be robust over the next ten years. Microgrids integrate a range of distributed energy technologies into a controlled system that is designed to manage energy generation, transmission, distribution, and usage on a small scale, as compared to the conventional grid. Such technologies include renewable and conventional generation, energy storage, and advanced controls, metering and communications systems. One key driver for microgrid development is the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The DOD has a strong interest in improving energy security through microgrid technology, stemming from its heavy reliance upon all forms of fossil fuels -- often imported from regions of the world hostile to U.S. interests.

Indeed, the DOD's efforts may be the strongest driver for the overall microgrid market today, especially in terms of control technology for these smart grid networks based on a bottoms-up distributed model for the U.S. military's operational and tactical deployments of microgrid technology. According to a new report from Pike Research, the total capacity of DOD microgrids will surpass 600 megawatts (MW) by 2018, a 50 percent increase over 2012. read more>>>

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A call for $700 billion in sustainable infrastructure investments
January 23, 2013 - As the global population expands to 9 billion by 2050, we are set to spend trillions of dollars on supporting infrastructure that is likely to damage our climate. The good news is that spending more up front on making that infrastructure sustainable will pay off in the long run and provide new growth opportunities.

That's the conclusion reached by a group of multinational businesses and institutions -- called Green Growth Alliance -- tasked by the G20 to consider green growth. To make that vision a reality, though, governments would need to spend $130 billion -- an amount that could, if well directed, mobilize another $570 billion of private finance, the group argues in a report released this week. read more>>>

Major Climate Threat to Global Supply Chains Identified by New Research from the Carbon Disclosure Project and Accenture
Jan. 22, 2013 - Seventy percent of companies believe that climate change has the potential to significantly affect their revenue, a risk which is intensified by a chasm between the sustainable business practices of multinational corporations and their suppliers, according to research published today by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

“Reducing risk and driving business value” is based on information from 2,415 companies, including 2,363 suppliers and 52 major purchasing organizations who are CDP Supply Chain program members. These members include Dell, L’Oreal and Walmart, and they represent a combined spending power of US$1 trillion. The research marks CDP Supply Chain’s most comprehensive annual update on the impact of climate change on corporate supply chains. read more>>>

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DOI identifies land for responsible renewable energy development
January 23, 2013 - The Department of the Interior has identified 192,100 acres of public land across Arizona it believes could be suitable for utility-scale solar and wind development.

This phase of the Restoration Design Energy Project ends a three-year statewide analysis of disturbed land and other areas with few known resource conflicts that could accommodate commercial renewable energy projects.

The lands identified in Arizona include previously disturbed sites (primarily former agricultural areas) and lands with low resource sensitivity and few environmental conflicts. Additionally, the areas selected had to have reasonable access to transmission lines and load centers as well as be situated near areas with high electricity demand. read more>>>

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