Saturday, February 2, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 2 February 2013

Duke Energy Closing Two Coal Plants Ahead Of Schedule
February 1, 2013 - Duke Energy is shutting down two coal-fired power plants this spring. The plants are in Rowan and Gaston counties, and they're closing two years ahead of schedule.

The plants are really old, barely used and kind of dirty. The one in Rowan County is called Buck Steam Station and began burning coal in 1926. Three years later, Riverbend Steam Station in Gaston County powered up.

Now neither of them operates more than 80 days a year, and they wouldn't meet new environmental standards in 2015 without major changes.

So Duke Energy spokeswoman Erin Culbert said it's cheaper and greener to shut them down. read more

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Green economy cannot bloom without incentives
29 January, 2013 - According to new estimates, US$100 trillion is required by 2030 to finance infrastructure needs worldwide. This investment needs to be made greener - its design must rely on less carbon and fewer natural resources - if we are to avoid an unsustainable increase in global temperatures of 4 degrees Celsius or more in the coming decades.

At least in the short term, green investment costs more than business-as-usual investment - about US$700 billion more a year worldwide, according to the G20-inspired Green Growth Action Alliance.

These costs are insignificant compared to the economic and other damage implied by unrestrained climate change. But someone still needs to put up the extra money.

Investment in clean energy has increased, with global spending on renewable energy rising sixfold since 2004. But the total remains far too small. While active government support remains crucial to advancing green investment at scale, widespread fiscal weakness is pulling in the opposite direction. read more>>>

GE introduces first 'brilliant' wind turbine with energy storage
01 February 2013 - General Electric has unveiled its new 2.5-120 wind turbine that includes an integrated energy storage feature and a data-driven system that the firm says could boost the turbine's efficiency as much 25 percent higher than its most efficient current turbine.

GE isn't being shy in heralding its new technology, dubbing it the "first brilliant wind turbine,” and releasing artwork to the media with the indelible, integrated headline "GE wind power is brilliant."

The global firm said the 2.5-120 turbine also represents a 15 percent improvement in power output.

“Our 2.5-120 is the first wind turbine that utilizes the Industrial Internet to help manage the intermittency of wind, providing smooth, predictable power to the world regardless of what Mother Nature throws its way,” said Vic Abate, vice president of GE’s renewable energy business. ”Analyzing tens of thousands of data points every second, the 2.5-120 integrates energy storage and advanced forecasting algorithms while communicating seamlessly with neighboring turbines, service technicians and customers.” read more>>>

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Technical assistance expanded for tribal energy projects in US
01 February 2013 - The US Department of Energy announced the second round of the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program, which provides federally recognized Tribal governments in the United States with technical assistance to accelerate clean energy project deployment. Applications are due by March 15, 2013.

Additionally, the DOE is seeking information from Tribes interested in launching or expanding utility services in their own communities, which will help establish a new START Utility Program (START-UP).

“Building on our all-of-the-above strategy to deploy every available domestic energy resource, the new technical assistance opportunities announced today will strengthen our partnerships with Tribal communities, create good jobs and protect our planet,” said Office of Indian Energy Director Tracey LeBeau. read more>>>

Scottish government announces plan to decarbonise power sector by 2030
29 January 2013 - Scotland will attempt to cut carbon emissions from its electricity generation by four-fifths underlining a huge market for offshore wind beyond 2020

The Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, announced the new target while speaking at the Scottish Renewables-Scottish Enterprise Offshore Wind & Supply Chain Conference, Aberdeen. In the same speech he also announced the signing of a new Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between the Highland & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and four key ports in the region in order to develop the Scottish offshore wind sector. The partnership are hoping to attract investment of around £100 million for the Highlands.

A target of 50g carbon per kWh by 2030 has been outlined within Scotland’s revised Offshore Wind Route Map, published today. This is in line with independent advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change and also with the Scottish government’s draft second report on proposals and policies (RPP2) to meet emissions targets. read more>>>

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US carbon emissions fall to lowest levels since 1994
Energy-saving technologies and a doubling in renewables led to the reduction in climate pollution, new figures show

1 February 2013 - America's carbon dioxide emissions last year fell to their lowest levels since 1994, according to a new report.

Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 13% in the past five years, because of new energy-saving technologies and a doubling in the take-up of renewable energy, the report compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) said.

The reduction in climate pollution – even as Congress failed to act on climate change – brings America more than halfway towards Barack Obama's target of cutting emissions by 17% from 2005 levels over the next decade, the Bloomberg analysts said.

By the end of last year, America's emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions had fallen 10.7% from the 2005 baselines. read more>>>

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