“Time is of the essence. We are facing what could be the greatest threat or the greatest opportunity of our lifetimes. We can choose the path of opportunity if we work together and focus. If we don’t move on this, mother nature will force us to.” –Sir Richard Branson, co-founder of Carbon War Room – http://www.carbonwarroom.com/
Greenpeace Blimp in Cincinnati 2012
The Jordan Cove LNG Export facility is based on more fossil fuel infrastructure that is outdated before it even begins and in need of renewal anyway. The energy revolution is already underway and fossil fuel energy sources which have reached their peak and currently come with hefty fluctuating unstable prices and availability will soon be replaced with cheaper, cleaner, more reliable and secure renewable energy resources.
WHY WOULD JORDAN COVE THINK THAT RATEPAYERS WOULD WANT TO PAY MORE FOR KILOWATTS PRODUCED FROM OUTDATED, UNRELIABLE AND POLLUTING FOSSIL FUELS WHEN CHEAPER, CLEANER, MORE RELIABLE KILOWATTS ARE READILY AVAILABLE?
The economics are just not there… nor will they be there in the future. A decentralized energy system that can be democratized with local ownership will be what spreads the production of energy in the future and the economic benefits of that are as far and wide as the renewable energy resource is itself, and we now know renewable energy can literally be found in every square inch of the world.
“Fuel” is a vital, superbly assembled documentary that presents an insightful overview of America’s troubled relationship with oil and how alternative and sustainable energies can reduce our country’s and the World’s addictive dependence on fossil fuels. More info at www.thefuelfilm.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsP5EmMrTqk (2:17 min)
Clean Energy Plan for San Francisco Bay Area Will Reduce Emissions, Lower Energy Bills, and Create Jobs
March 12, 2012
Pacific Environment released a report on March 12, 2012, “Bay Area Smart Energy 2020” (BASE 2020), which details how the San Francisco Bay Area can move to a locally-based, clean energy economy and leave fossil fuels behind. Currently available energy technologies, coupled with existing state policies, can transform the 9-county Bay Area electricity grid to achieve the following by 2020:
A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of over 60 percent from the electricity sector, or 12 million tons per year.
25 percent of Bay Area homes and businesses being “zero net energy,” creating the power they need on-site, leading to huge energy cost savings.
Tens of thousands of new jobs building the energy grid of the future.
Cleaner, healthier air in the Bay Area…
The report provides a “how-to” guide for how the region can maximize local resources to dramatically reduce fossil fuel dependence. It emphasizes roof-top solar and energy efficiency strategies, and recommends policies that can create the best incentives for residents and businesses to maximize energy production on their own site. It favors local energy projects owned by residents and businesses over those controlled by utilities….
100 Percent Renewable Energy Achievable By 2030: Study
By Joanna Zelman - Originally Posted: 01/25/11 – Updated 05/25/11
“…Could the world reach a 100 percent renewable energy goal in less than 20 years? New research says we can.
A report published in the journal Energy Policy claims that by 2030, the world can achieve 100 percent renewable energy if the proper measures are taken.
What exactly are these measures? According to PhysOrg, over 80 percent of our world’s energy supply currently comes from fossil fuels. We would need to build approximately four million wind turbines, nearly 2 billion solar photovoltaic systems, and about 90,000 solar power plants. The 5 MW wind turbines needed are up to three times the capacity of most of our current wind turbines….”
(Read entire article, link to report, at link above)
A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables
Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world’s energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here’s how
By Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi | October 26, 2009
“…Scientists have been building to this moment for at least a decade, analyzing various pieces of the challenge. Most recently, a 2009 Stanford University study ranked energy systems according to their impacts on global warming, pollution, water supply, land use, wildlife and other concerns. The very best options were wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and hydroelectric power—all of which are driven by wind, water or sunlight (referred to as WWS). Nuclear power, coal with carbon capture, and ethanol were all poorer options, as were oil and natural gas. The study also found that battery-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles recharged by WWS options would largely eliminate pollution from the transportation sector…”
Energy Self-Reliant States 2nd edition (also new wind estimates May 2010)
Energy Self-Reliant States: Second and Expanded Edition ; Originally Published October 2009 -
“…How self-sufficient in energy generation could states be if they relied only on their own renewable resources? In November 2008, ILSR began to address this question in the first edition of Energy Self-Reliant States. That report included a limited set of resources – on-shore wind and rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) – and also examined the potential for biomass-derived transportation fuels.
This updated edition of Energy Self-Reliant States narrows the focus to electricity, but includes virtually all renewable resources (on shore and off shore wind, micro hydro, combined heat and power, geothermal, rooftop PV). The report also discusses the potential gains from improving energy efficiency and estimates the per kWh costs for each state to become energy independent.
The data in this report suggest that every state could generate a significant percentage of its electricity with homegrown renewable energy. At least three-fifths of the fifty states could meet all their internal electricity needs from renewable energy generated inside their borders. Every state with a renewable energy mandate can meet it with in-state renewable fuels. And, as the report discusses, even these estimates may be conservative….”
The U.S. Department of Energy’s report concludes that the U.S. possesses sufficient and affordable wind resources to obtain at least 20% of its electricity from wind. Wind energy generates electricity from a domestic, safe and inexhaustible source. Wind energy can reduce natural gas demand by 50% in the electric sector and 11% overall, relieving supply and price pressure in the domestic natural gas market and potentially reducing future need for imported liquefied natural gas. Wind energy potentially reduces U.S. reliance on foreign oil by generating electricity that can be used for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Lots of Solar Power May Reduce, Not Increase, Electricity Prices
John Farrell | Updated on Apr 4, 2012
“…Whether German feed-in tariffs or U.S. tax incentives, opponents of solar rail at its perceived high cost. But a story making rounds this week, “why power generators are terrified of solar,” presents a powerful image that may flip this conventional wisdom on its head. Building lots of solar power can actually reduce electricity prices, to the dismay of utilities….”
Renewables From Vestas to Suntech Plan Profit Without Subsidy
January 27, 2012, 2:47 PM EST
By Alex Morales and Jacqueline Simmons
(Click DAVOS at link above for more on the World Economic Forum.)
“…(Bloomberg) — Renewable energy companies are approaching the point where they can generate electricity at a price competitive with fossil-fuels without subsidies, the biggest wind and solar manufacturers said.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Chief Executive Officer Zhengrong Shi said solar will reach parity with fossil fuels on electric grids by 2015. Vestas Wind systems A/S expects its turbines to compete without incentives “in the coming years,” said Peter Brun, head of governmental relations.
“Wind in some cases already is, or can in coming years, be fully cost-competitive with fossil fuels,” Brun said yesterday by e-mail from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland…”
“…Solar power will be “very competitive” within a decade, and in some places, it’s already near “grid parity,” meaning it can compete without subsidies, Trina Solar Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Jifan Gao said in an interview in Davos. He spoke through an interpreter.
“We see costs coming down and manufacturing efficiency being improved all the time,” said Gao, whose company is the fifth biggest maker of silicon-based solar panel. “In places like Australia, this year they will reach grid parity; next year Italy will, and in 2014 regions like California.”
Gao’s comments support those of Suntech’s Shi, who told Bloomberg television that with government support, the industry has made “tremendous progress,” and solar prices have been cut in half in a year.
“We believe that by 2015, there will be around 50 percent of countries where it reaches grid parity,” Shi said….”
“….For that matter, another facility in New York, the Shoreham nuclear power plant, had to be decommissioned before it ever went online, partly because planners failed to account for population growth in nearby suburbs. Ratepayers were stuck with the tab and the facility still sits there, sucking up valuable real estate…. ….Apparently, NRG’s partner Toshiba is still intending to move ahead with the permitting process. Toshiba signed onto the project just two years ago in 2009, which is pretty much a blip on the screen in nuclear construction terms, so it’s no surprise that the company hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. However, given that wind power is set to take off not only in western U.S. states but all up and down the East Coast as well, the prospects for nuclear look pretty dim….”
(Emphasis added – Read entire article at link above)
Proposed new nuclear plants would generate power at a cost of 14 to 18 cents per kilowatt-hour. But commercial-scale solar developers are already offering utilities electricity at 14 cents or less per kWh. A report, “Solar and Nuclear Costs — The Historic Crossover,”by Dr. John Blackburn, finds that states with open competition for electricity sales are rejecting new nuclear plants for solar, wind, cogeneration and energy efficiency.
(Read more, link to report, at link above)
Easing the Natural Gas Crisis: Reducing Natural Gas Prices through Increased Deployment of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency;
ERNEST ORLANDO LAWRENCE
BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY; Ryan Wiser, Mark Bolinger, Matt St. Clair; Environmental Energy Technologies Division;
Riches of Renewable Energy in U.S. Revealed by Free Online Atlas
By Tina Casey
January 7, 2012
“…A free online atlas of renewable energy resources in the U.S.A. is now available courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Though designed for policymakers and planners, the new “RE Atlas” is a user-friendly interface that provides anyone who can use a computer with a vivid picture of the vast potential this country has for safe, low risk forms of energy including solar, wind and geothermal…”
Two new concepts for floating wind turbines put the future of wind energy out to sea.
By Stephanie Warren
December 22, 2011
“…The best place to build the wind farms of the future is the open ocean. While the breeze can be frustratingly variable on land, if you travel just 20 miles off the coastline, the wind blows at a consistent clip of around 33 feet per second…”
(Read entire article, view prototypes, at link above)
14 Million Acres of Land in U.S. for Solar Energy and Wind Farms
Source: Clean Technica
By Tina Casey
June 26, 2010
“…If you take all the abandoned and classified former industrial sites and dumps across the U.S. and add them together, you get 14 million acres of cheap, available land that could be used as sites for new solar installations and wind farms. Right now the U.S. EPA is pushing forward with just such a plan, with the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) helping to assess brownfields and Superfund sites for renewable energy. The program is called Re-Powering America’s Land. It also has a green jobs angle, through Recovery Act funding. Many of the potential sites are located in or near existing communities and could provide new jobs for local residents.
But wait, there’s more. In addition to providing new green jobs and clean energy for local use or the wider grid, the program also focuses on green remediation, which uses renewable energy to power equipment used for site cleanup. When you add that up – harvesting clean energy from land that is blighted and usable for not much else, while creating jobs and restoring the site, you gotta wonder why anybody would want to continue blowing up America’s mountains, compromising our water supply, and destroying the Gulf of Mexico in pursuit of fossil fuels….”
“Biogas wrongly ignored as an alternative source of energy”
by Warren Weisman, The Register Guard; Monday, Nov 2, 2009, page A9; Guest viewpoint:
“…If you have never heard of biogas, you are not alone. Widely used throughout Europe and Asia, this little-known alternative energy source produces many times more British thermal units than solar panels or wind turbines, at a fraction of the cost…”
“…Biogas is a combination of gases, consisting mostly of methane, produced during the natural decomposition of organic matter in an airtight environment. Methane is the same flammable component found in the fossil natural gas — only instead of taking 65 million years to make, biogas can be made in 48 hours to 72 hours…”
Air Algae: U.S. Biofuel Flight Relies on Weeds and Pond Scum
The U.S.’s first commercial jet flight powered by biofuel runs one engine on African weed mixed with a smidgen of algae
By David Biello | January 7, 2009
“…Continental jet 516—a two-engine Boeing 737-800—completed a two hour test flight out of Houston today with one engine powered by a 50-50 blend of regular petroleum-based jet fuel and a synthetic alternative made from Jatropha and algae….”
“…In fact, the alternative jet fuel—known as synthetic paraffinated kerosenes—has as good or better qualities than Jet A refined from petroleum: It does not freeze at high-altitude temperatures, delivers the same or more power to the engines, and is lighter, as well. And the refiners, UOP, LLC, a division of Honeywell, can turn almost any plant oil into the alternative jet fuel. “They’re all the same as far as we’re concerned. We’re feedstock agnostic,” says chemist Jennifer Holmgren, UOP’s general manager of the renewable energy and chemicals business.. “If the feedstock is available, we can process it to make fuels of the same capability.”…”
“…”Crude oil is nothing but algae from 10 million years ago during a great algae bloom that got transported underground and today we call it crude oil,” says Tim Zenk, vice president of corporate affairs at Sapphire Energy. “We take that process and speed it up by 10 million years and produce green crude.”…”
The Associated Press The World | Posted: Monday, March 5, 2012
“…PORTLAND — Gov. John Kitzhaber has a new 10-year plan he hopes will be able to reactivate green energy in Oregon.
Despite the state’s embrace of wind and solar companies, they’re not making much of a contribution to the state’s energy needs.
The Columbia Plateau is now draped in wind turbines, but they supply only 3 percent of Oregon’s electricity. Solar and geothermal make a small contribution. Existing hydro-electricity is a big contributor, but fossil fuel plants still contribute half the state’s electricity.
The governor hopes his new plan will change those numbers, The Oregonian reports in Sunday’s newspaper…..”
Clean Economy Study Reveals Substantial Job Creation Potential for the West Coast
“…Clean economic growth has the potential to raise GDP contributions to $142.7 billion in the United States’ West Coast region by 2020, growing clean economy jobs by 200 percent over current numbers, according to a report published by Globe Advisors with RBF grantee the Center for Climate Strategies. The report, “The West Coast Clean Economy: Opportunities for Investment & Accelerated Job Creation,” was commissioned by the Pacific Coast Collaborative. It identifies three key sectors with the highest potential for job growth: energy efficiency and green building, environmental protection and resource management, and clean transportation…”
Regulators Say No to More Fossil Fuel Power Generation in California
Thursday, April 19, 2012
“…After determining that the existing electricity supply can meet the state’s system needs through the year 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously today to defer any new procurement of fossil fuel generation. This ruling establishes for most of the state, that California’s long-term energy needs do not require building more fossil fuel infrastructure, which contributes to global warming.
“What this decision is really about is our society saying no to dirty fossil fuels, and yes to clean energy,” said Alex Levinson, Executive Director of Pacific Environment. “The decision affirms California’s critical leadership in building the clean energy economy of the future.”
The CPUC decision found there is clear evidence that “additional generation is not needed by 2020.” The decision further explains that “[w]hile the focus of this proceeding extends out to 2020, it is important to note that the record similarly does not support a finding of need for additional generation beyond 2020. Accordingly, it is also reasonable to defer procurement of generation for any estimated need after 2020.”…”
Oregon Governor Kitzhaber delivers keynote address to Future Energy Conference
Future Energy Conference - April 25, 2012
“…Today over 508,000 Pacific Coast residents from California to British Columbia are cashing “green job” paychecks every week. We therefore reject the myth that jobs and the environment are in conflict – because our own experience and hard data shows otherwise. We know what other regions have yet to learn:
That the cleanest form of energy is the energy we don’t use and that there is tremendous economic potential in significantly scaling up investment in energy efficiency and conservation;
That the real potential of our extraordinary natural assets lies not in their exploitation, but in their restoration; and
That the global market is hungry for technologies, products and services that get things done more efficiently and at a lower cost — the keys to a clean economy.
Here are the facts: Job creation rates in the clean economy are well above those for other shrinking sectors of the economy. They pay better. And they have been more resilient to the downturn of the Great Recession.
And now the new West Coast Clean Economy Opportunity Study – commissioned by the Pacific Coast Collaborative – estimates that the regional clean economy could triple in size to $147 billion by 2020.
Our success in meeting that goal will depend on our willingness to develop regional partnerships; and our willingness to pioneer ahead and embrace change – tempered with a dash of west coast stubbornness to stay the course no matter which way political winds blow…..”
“….The goal is clear: to prioritize and act on initiatives to reduce our dependence on carbon-intensive fuels and foreign oil; to develop home-grown renewable energy resources; to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; to improve energy efficiency and create local jobs; and to boost Oregon’s economy through investment and innovation….”
(Read entire speech at link above)
SUCCESSFUL RENEWABLE ENERGY PROGRAMS ARE ALREADY UNDERWAY IN OTHER COUNTRIES
The City of Freiburg is internationally well known for its environmental approach and its extensive use of solar energy and other renewable sources. Freiburg Green City can share experiences gained over many years and showcase a multitude of effective technical and organizational solutions related to sustainable energy management.
Freiburg Green City – Approaches to Sustainability Brochure (PDF, 3 MB)
World’s Largest Solar Powered Ship Completes Record-Breaking Circumnavigation
By gCaptain Staff On
“…On Friday the world’s largest ship running solely on the power of the sun cruised into Hercule Harbor in Monaco, officially completing the world’s first circumnavigation for a 100% solar powered ship…”
India flips the switch on world’s largest solar power plant
By Jess Zimmerman
April 20, 2012
“…The Indian state of Gujarat has built the world’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant, a field of solar panels the size of Lower Manhattan. After only 14 months of preparation, they’ve just switched it on, adding 600 megawatts of power to the grid. That’s enough to power a medium-sized city’s worth of homes. Thing is HUGE.
The 5,000-acre solar park should help India meet its ambitious plans for moving to sustainable energy. The country aims to be at 15 percent renewables by 2020 — right now it’s only at 6 percent. Projects like the Gujarat plant will help by taking advantage of India’s intense sunshine…”
Offshore Wind Farm – Giving Bremerhaven a Tail Wind| Made in Germany:
Apr 20, 2011 - deutschewelleenglish
Report by Marion Hütter
German harbors are counting on offshore wind farms. The Bremen Wind Energy Agency estimates that wind turbines will be installed at sea producing ten gigawatts of power by 2020 – the same amount of energy as 15 power plants. Because the giant structures are so hard to transport, they’ll be manufactured right there on the coast. That’s a shot in the arm for the economically underdeveloped region.
(View story at link above)
“…Just last month we witnessed a gigantic skyscraper / solar tower hybrid that generates a whopping 390-kilowatts of energy, but even that looks like child’s play compared to the 40-story solar power plant that resides in Spain. The expansive system consists of a towering concrete building, a field of 600 (and growing) sun-tracking mirrors that are each 120-square meters in size, and a receiver that converts concentrated solar energy from the heliostats into steam that eventually drives the turbines. Currently, only one field of mirrors is up and running, but even that produces enough power to energize 6,000 homes, and the creators are hoping to see the entire population of Seville (600,000 folks) taken care of solely from sunlight. So if you’re eager to see what’s likely the greenest solar power plant currently operating, be sure to slip on some shades, tag the read link, and peep the video….”
(Read more, link to videos, at link above)
The Pearl River Tower in China is slated to be completed in 2012 and is being designed to produce more energy than it consumes – .
Pearl River Tower: China to flaunt world’s greenest skyscraper
Posted by: Aditi Justa | Mar 30 2010
“…We at Greendiary have introduced you to many skyscrapers in the past, where some boosted their unparallel beauty, the others exhibited their extraordinary design and sustainable features. This time around, I bring to you a skyscraper that could be tagged as the world’s greenest skyscraper. The “zero energy” Pearl River Tower erected at the in Guangzhou, China is designed the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The structure makes use of the best sustainable technology, passive wind and solar design, and innovative structural techniques in order to get a near zero energy tag….”
“…LISBON — Five years ago, the leaders of this sun-scorched, wind-swept nation made a bet: To reduce Portugal’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, they embarked on an array of ambitious renewable energy projects — primarily harnessing the country’s wind and hydropower, but also its sunlight and ocean waves.
Today, Lisbon’s trendy bars, Porto’s factories and the Algarve’s glamorous resorts are powered substantially by clean energy. Nearly 45 percent of the electricity in Portugal’s grid will come from renewable sources this year, up from 17 percent just five years ago.
“…“The experience of Portugal shows that it is possible to make these changes in a very short time.”…”
“…Portugal was well poised to be a guinea pig because it has large untapped resources of wind and river power, the two most cost-effective renewable sources. Government officials say the energy transformation required no increase in taxes or public debt, precisely because the new sources of electricity, which require no fuel and produce no emissions, replaced electricity previously produced by buying and burning imported natural gas, coal and oil. By 2014 the renewable energy program will allow Portugal to fully close at least two conventional power plants and reduce the operation of others….”
“…So far the program has placed no stress on the national budget” and has not created government debt, said Shinji Fujino, head of the International Energy Agency’s country study division…”
(Read Entire Article at Link Above. -A version of this article appeared in print on August 10, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.)
Using Waste, Swedish City Cuts Its Fossil Fuel Use
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
Published: December 10, 2010
“…KRISTIANSTAD, Sweden — When this city vowed a decade ago to wean itself from fossil fuels, it was a lofty aspiration, like zero deaths from traffic accidents or the elimination of childhood obesity.
But Kristianstad has already crossed a crucial threshold: the city and surrounding county, with a population of 80,000, essentially use no oil, natural gas or coal to heat homes and businesses, even during the long frigid winters. It is a complete reversal from 20 years ago, when all of their heat came from fossil fuels.
But this area in southern Sweden, best known as the home of Absolut vodka, has not generally substituted solar panels or wind turbines for the traditional fuels it has forsaken. Instead, as befits a region that is an epicenter of farming and food processing, it generates energy from a motley assortment of ingredients like potato peels, manure, used cooking oil, stale cookies and pig intestines…”
“…Once the city fathers got into the habit of harnessing power locally, they saw fuel everywhere: Kristianstad also burns gas emanating from an old landfill and sewage ponds, as well as wood waste from flooring factories and tree prunings….”
“…“It’s a much more secure energy supply — we didn’t want to buy oil anymore from the Middle East or Norway,” said Lennart Erfors, the engineer who is overseeing the transition in this colorful city of 18th-century row houses. “And it has created jobs in the energy sector.”…”
(Read Entire Article at Link Above. - A version of this article appeared in print on December 11, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.)
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