Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 13 August 2013

State renewable-energy laws turn out to be incredibly hard to repeal
August 8 2013 - With Congress deadlocked, a huge chunk of the action on clean energy in the United States is happening at the state level. Some 29 states and Washington D.C. have renewable standards requiring utilities to get a chunk of their power from sources like wind or solar.

Over the past year, conservative groups have made a big push to try to repeal these laws, arguing that the mandates drive up electricity prices (since wind and solar can be pricier than coal or natural gas in many cases).

What’s surprising, though, is that these attempts have been so unsuccessful — even in deeply conservative red states. read more>>>

GE drops plan to build $300 million solar plant
Aug 8, 2013 - General Electric Co. has abandoned plans to build a solar manufacturing plant in Colorado, but New York will benefit under a new deal.

An oversupply of solar panels in the market prompted GE to sell its solar technology for making cadmium telluride solar panels to Tempe, Arizona manufacturer First Solar, according to the Denver Business Journal, a sister publication of The Business Review. read more>>>

How clean energy became a major force in the U.K. economy
Aug 08 2013 - Massive wind farm is Britain's latest entry in the move away from fossil fuels.

On Aug. 1, Britain opened a massive 270-megawatt offshore wind installation that will provide enough electricity to power 200,000 homes. In opening the Lincs wind farm off eastern England, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced a further $100 million fund to help spur the offshore wind energy industry in Britain, focusing on research to reduce costs and setting up an offshore wind investment organization to attract investment from the private sector.

This is just the latest in a long line of developments that have made the clean energy industries an increasingly major player in the U.K. economy. read more>>>

Xcel, Minneapolis agree on green energy goals
August 9, 2013 - Xcel Energy has agreed to explore new energy commitments with Minneapolis that make a proposed vote on replacing Xcel with a city-run utility unnecessary.

The commitments were outlined in an exchange of letters between Mayor R.T. Rybak and the utility released late Thursday.

Under state law, Xcel has exclusive rights to sell electricity in Minneapolis. The only other option for the city is a municipal utility, something that would require spending millions of dollars to buy Xcel's properties. read more>>>

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Energy Summit's message: Keep the momentum going
August 8, 2013 - The United States has been “going green” for years now, and Clean Energy Summit 6.0’s message is this: Keep going.

The sixth annual conference will take place Tuesday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, where clean energy innovators and policymakers will give five panel discussions ranging from surveys of current green energy trends and technologies to one topic that speaks particularly to Las Vegas — adaptability to extreme weather.

That talk will cover the Carpenter 1 fire, droughts and if man-made seawalls are a good idea. read more>>>

U.S. Electrical Grid Report Calls For More Spending; Cites Climate Change And Aging Infrastructure
08/12/13 - The cost of weather-related power outages is high and rising as storms grow more severe and the U.S. electric grid gets older, according to an Obama Administration report that calls for increased spending on the nation's electric power system.

Power outages cost the economy $18 billion to $33 billion per year, according to the report, a figure that has been rising steadily over the past 20 years. That can rise to $40 billion to $75 billion in years with severe storms such as 2008's Hurricane Ike and last year's Superstorm Sandy. read more>>>

wind turbines

Sustainable: BlueGreen Alliance trains a green workforce
August 5, 2013 - Ham Lake-based Micron Metal Works was looking for a training program last year that would help upgrade the sheet metal skills of its employees.

The company found Anoka Green, a program that not only provided sheet metal training but also an educational element that encouraged employees to look for ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste.

Paul Engen, Micron’s plant supervisor, said when employees returned they suggested ways to reduce set-up times before the start of sheet metal projects. read more>>>

US Wind Power Prices Down To $0.04 Per kWh
August 11th, 2013 - Anyone who tells you wind power is expensive is bad-shit crazy. Wind power is the cheapest option for new electricity generation in many if not most places in the world, including much of the US. That would indeed help to explain why the US installed more wind power capacity than power capacity from any other source in 2012, 42% (or 43%?) of all new power capacity in the country.

In announcing a recent report released by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Berkeley Lab actually noted that, “The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged $40/MWh for projects negotiating contracts 2011 and 2012, spurring demand for wind energy.” read more>>>

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How will global warming affect the spread of disease?
August 12, 2013 - The recent mountain pine beetle epidemic in the northern Rocky Mountains has highlighted how a warming climate can intensify the spread of pests, a trend that reaches well beyond the realm of forests.

Climate change is affecting the spread of infectious diseases, including those that affect humans worldwide, according to an international team of leading disease ecologists, with serious impacts to human health and biodiversity conservation. In the journal Science, the scientists said it could be important to model how disease systems respond to climate variables.

The information could help public health officials and environmental managers predict and mitigate the spread of lethal diseases, they concluded. The biggest challenge may be in separating the effects of a warming world from other factors that influence the spread of disease. read more>>>

Fighting Climate Change Denial: Climate Disruption in Perspective
31 July 2013 - Introduction

Oxford Research Group’s work on ‘sustainable security’ is centred on four trends that are likely to influence international and intra-national conflict in the coming decades – climate change, socio-economic divisions, resource scarcities and militarisation. It addresses a dysfunctional security paradigm that is centred on responding to threats rather than concentrating on and preventing the underlying causes. The first of these, the issue of climate change, is one that has overwhelming scientific support, yet arouses very strong and determined opposition. The recent report from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on global climate weather trends from 2001-2010, published on 3 July 2013, may help tip the balance in favour of responding in time to the risks of climate disruption. read more>>>

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