Friday, August 30, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 30 August 2013

Ameren Illinois opens smart grid testing center in Illinois
08/22/2013 - Ameren Illinois opened a $3.3 million testing facility to assist with research and development of smart grid technologies. The Technology Applications Center (TAC) will provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with the infrastructure and resources needed to test programs, technologies, business models and other smart grid-related energy improvements on a live electric grid.

The TAC is a component of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) passed by the General Assembly in 2011. Under EIMA, also known as the smart grid act, Ameren Illinois is investing an additional $643 million over 10 years, through its Modernization Action Plan, or MAP, to make improvements to the electric grid to make it more efficient and reliable and to create hundreds of new jobs. read more>>>

More Renewable Power Coming, Thanks to State Initiatives
Installations of wind and solar projects is expected to increase

August 22 2013 - U.S. investment in clean energy was down in 2012 after breaking records all through 2011, but rapidly declining installment costs mean deployments are likely to continue to rise, according to new analysis from Ernst & Young LLP, a multinational accounting firm.

The report ranked the renewable energy "attractiveness indices" for all 50 states, and those numbers remained similar -- California and Texas continue to dominate the market, with Hawaii making the strongest jump last year through significant solar and wind gains. read more>>>

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AWEA: Tax Reform Talks Provide Best Opportunity To Extend PTC
August 22 2013 - The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) will be looking to include an extension of the production tax credit (PTC) as part of upcoming Capitol Hill discussions on tax reform. Tom Kiernan, the association's CEO, revealed the plans at the 10th Annual American Renewable Energy Day (AREDay), recently held in Aspen, Colo.

Appearing on a panel with Susan Reilly, CEO at RES Americas, and Susan Innis, senior manager of public affairs at Vestas, Kiernan highlighted for attendees the extraordinary success the U.S. wind industry experienced in 2012, a record-breaking year that included more than 13 GW in installed capacity. read more>>>

A Quest for Even Safer Drinking Water
August 26, 2013 - On a muggy Friday afternoon in a strip mall parking lot, as thunder echoed in the Alleghenies and cottonwood seeds floated on the breeze, Lee Stanish, 32, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Natalie Hull, 24, a lab manager, stepped out of a white van, its hood plastered with dead insects.

After a brief conversation with a chain store manager, the two women retrieved a large black container from their van and wheeled it into the bathroom. Ms. Hull opened the faucet and let the cold water run. The two snapped on disposable gloves, unpacked their equipment, and began collecting tap water. read more>>>

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Green Jobs for Young Marylanders
August 27, 2013 - It's not easy landing that first job, but it just got easier for a few dozen young Marylanders interested in improving the environment. Today in Annapolis, the Chesapeake Bay Trust is announcing the names of 26 newly-selected members of its Conservation Corps.

According to Trust executive director Jana Davis, the participants will be helping schools, nonprofits, and businesses launch environmentally-friendly initiatives, while boosting their own career prospects. read more>>>

Obama administration announces plan to boost NJ Transit energy grid
08/26/13 - The Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Monday that it was forming a partnership with New Jersey Transit to improve the state agency's energy grid.

The effort is part of President Obama's attempts to guard grid transit agencies that were damaged during Hurricane Sandy against future storms, the DOE said.

“The President’s Climate Action Plan calls for making our nation’s infrastructure smarter and stronger so that it can withstand new and more serious environmental threats and increasingly severe weather events,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement. read more>>>

When a wind turbine comes knocking: Wind farms have no impact on home values
August 27, 2013 - Wind turbines are the fastest growing energy source in the US and as wind farms spread across the landscape there have been worries that they’ll affect the value of nearby homes. No need to worry say researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

That’s good news since wind turbines are sprouting up like dandelions. read more>>>

China Power Seen Doubling With Renewables as Coal Holds Sway
Aug 26, 2013 - China’s generation capacity will more than double to 2030, with half of all new plants powered by renewable energy and coal remaining the most important fuel, analysts said.

China may add 1,583 gigawatts of capacity and attract $1.4 trillion in renewables investment by that year, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. Coal will still account for more than 50 percent of power generation, the London-based researcher said. read more>>>

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Jackson firm helping Wayne State University with project aimed at reducing harmful emissions from electricity
August 27, 2013 - Imagine being able to program your washing machine to run when it will be less harmful to the environment by releasing less toxic emissions.

To make this a reality, Jackson-based Commonwealth Associates was selected to be part of a Wayne State University research team looking at ways to utilize a recently developed technology that shows in real-time the amount of harmful toxins released into the environment when running electricity. read more>>>

Exide to begin testing for dangerous metals buildup in neighborhood
Responding to Exide neighbors' health concerns, California ordered Vernon battery plant to test for toxic substances in soil and dust.

August 27, 2013 - State officials have ordered a Vernon battery recycler to begin testing dust and soil in the neighborhood around its plant to determine whether dangerous metals have accumulated and are posing a health risk to the community.

In April, the state tried to close the Exide Technologies facility, after an analysis released by the South Coast Air Quality Management District showed that arsenic emissions from the plant were posing an increased cancer risk to as many as 110,000 people in Boyle Heights, Maywood, Huntington Park and other places. The state also contended that the plant was continuously leaking hazardous waste through a faulty pipeline. read more>>>

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