Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 13 February 2013

Major Climate Change Bill Coming to the Senate
February 12, 2013 - Only an hour before President Obama is expected to deliver his State of the Union address—in which he might “go big” on the issue of combating climate change—two Senators announced they will introduce comprehensive climate change legislation this week, presenting a possible vehicle in the Senate for Obama’s ambitions.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer will outline the legislation on Thursday morning. Details are scant, though it’s being billed as “major” and “comprehensive” legislation, and will have a carbon tax, per a statement from Sanders’s office:

Under the legislation, a fee on carbon

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More utilities buying, owning wind power
February 13, 2013 - In 2012, for the first time in the U.S., wind energy was the top source for new electricity capacity at 42 percent of new capacity added, accounting for the majority of the 55 percent total of combined renewable energy installed in the U.S. Today, U.S. wind energy accounts for 6 percent of the country's electric generating capacity, according to PA International.

Much of the capacity was driven by a sense of urgency to get wind projects in the works before the Production Tax Credit deadline.

To put it in perspective, in August 2012, the U.S. had 50 GW of wind capacity installed. Today, wind capacity is more than 60 GW and enough to power 15 million homes. In 2012, more than 13.2 GW of wind turbines were installed with 5.5 GW added in December alone. read more>>>

4 policies for a greener financial system
February, 2013 - The shift to a green economy is not just about redirecting investment. It is also about changing our financial system architecture so that it builds, rather than undermines, a greener and fairer economy.

Our financial markets are currently guided by short-term goals and an overreliance on financial derivatives. This sends the wrong signals to investors and the real economy. The reform financial markets, which is already underway, needs to go beyond financial stability alone to address how the markets can build greener, fairer economies. The question is how? read more>>>

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Northeast States to Lower CO2 Emissions Cap 45 Percent
February 11, 2013 (ENS) – The Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI, have proposed to reduce the 2014 regional emissions budget of carbon dioxide, CO2, by 45 percent.

This means power plants in the nine-state region would be allowed to emit a total of 91 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2014, down from the 165 million tons now permitted.

The nation’s first market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, RGGI is a five-year-old cooperative effort among the states of: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Together, these states have capped and will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector at least 10 percent by 2018. read more>>>

The $188 Billion Price Tag from Climate-Related Extreme Weather
February 12, 2013 - The United States was subjected to many severe climate-related extreme weather over the past two years. In 2011 there were 14 extreme weather events—floods, drought, storms, and wildfires—that each caused at least $1 billion in damage. There were another 11 such disasters in 2012. These extreme weather events reflect part of the unpaid bill from climate change—a tab that will only grow over time.

CAP recently documented the human and economic toll from these devastating events in our November 2012 report “Heavy Weather: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle- and Lower- Income Americans.” Since the release of that report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has updated its list of “billion-dollar”-damage weather events for 2012, bringing the two-year total to 25 incidents. read more>>>

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GE, Google Launch Mapping Partnership for Smart Grid, Energy
GE’s industrial internet meets Google’s mapping and mobile might.

Google, the world’s richest mapmaker (among other things), has just thrown its hat in the smart grid ring with General Electric, in a new partnership aimed at seizing ground in the field of next-generation geospatial tools for oil, gas, energy and telecommunications.

The two companies announced Tuesday morning that they’re integrating Google Maps data into GE's Smallworld electrical, telecommunications and gas applications -- a set of geospatial analytics tools and software that GE has adapted for Web, mobile and desktop use. On the smart grid front, GE is building Google’s mapping content into its grid distribution management system (DMS) and outage management system (OMS), and it’s also tapping Google’s Android platform to augment its existing mobile products, mainly to give them better, more information-rich maps. read more>>>

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