Home » FERC » Debating Our Energy Future and Other Important Updates – Sept 27, 2012
Debating Our Energy Future and Other Important Updates – Sept 27, 2012
Doing the Right Thing with Energy…
“It is only a matter of political will….. nothing else….”
- Herman Scheer
[Herman Scheer believed that the continuation of current patterns of energy supply and use will be environmentally damaging, with renewable energy being the only realistic alternative. The main obstacle to such a change was seen to be political, not technical or economic. In 1999 he was one of the initiators of the German feed-in tariffs that have contributed to the rise of renewable energy in Germany.]
This offshore wind farm became operational in late 2008 off the coast of Lincolnshire, England. This Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farm generates power for 130,000 homes. [Photo source: http://ecoble.com/2009/09/08/the-worlds-most-amazing-wind-farms/]
The answers seem so simple but as you will see they are not so simple in Coos County, Oregon
The best way to start off explaining this debate is by giving people a clear example of what we should be doing…
If you do nothing else but watch the following you will have accomplished a lot…
A climate change solutions movie [that doesn't even care if you believe in climate change]
More examples of energy solutions are also posted futher below…
Wind Turbine Moratorium and Debate in Coos Bay Continues….
On September 11th (9-11), 2012, the same night as the Oregon Department of Energy meeting on the Jordan Cove South Dunes Power Plant, the Coos Bay Planning Commission had a work session on wind turbine development. Two years ago the City of Coos Bay put a moratorium on wind development within the City Limits until they could develop an ordinance. This issue has finally come back once again and the Coos Bay Planning Commission on September 11th recommended continuing that moratorium and ban.
They had all kinds of fears, particularly with the turbines falling over onto someone else’s property and potentially hurting someone and/or fears that the turbines would be eyesores and/or that they would have flickering issues. They did admit that part of the problem was that they just don’t know enough to make an ordinance…
They have since scheduled a follow-up worksession for October 9th, 2012, the same night as the the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s second round of scoping hearings on the Jordan Cove Energy Project. What are the odds that they would conflict twice with meetings on the Jordan Cove LNG Export project…?
Citizens living in North Bend /Coos Bay /Empire /Charleston /Barview and Glasgow, Oregon can take part in a Wind Turbine Survey that is currently being put out by the City of Coos Bay for the people living in our area. Click on the following link to take the survey:
Winds of Change Blowing at Sam’s Club in Palmdale, California
FERC Announces a second round of scoping meetings for the Jordan Cove / Pacific Connector Project
Citizens protest at Pacific Connector’s proposed pipeline crossing along the Rogue River. Photo from Lesley Adams – Rogue Riverkeeper
On September 21, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) annouced a second round of scoping meetings across Southern Oregon for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG Export Project and the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.
Why a second set of meetings?
At the North Bend Scoping meeting held on August 27th, 2012, Holly Orr of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) told meeting attendees that there had been a problem in the way the original Notice of Intent on the proposed Jordan Cove / Pacific Connector LNG Export Project had been published in the Federal Register. When that original Federal Register Notice was published under FERC on August 13th, 2012, there was another notice that should have come out under the BLM and the Forest Service. That second notice was not properly published, so in order to be in line with Federal rules and regulations the process is being redone. Comments that were made during the first round of scoping meetings back in August will also still count.
Dates and times of the upcoming FERC meetings are posted further below
Designed by an Arizona State University student, freeway sign wind turbines like these could generate enough electricity to supply a small apartment at low wind speeds and require no additional land usage.
October 9, 2012
* Wind Work session:
The Coos Bay Planning Commission will hold a follow-up public work session on the subject of Wind Turbine Development in the City of Coos Bay on Oct. 9th , but the time and place have yet to be determined according to the World article on this.
Lawmakers step up pressure on DOE over natural gas exports
By Zack Colman – 09/25/12
A bipartisan group of 16 House members from Heartland and Western states added their voices Monday to calls on the administration to expedite natural gas exports.
Lawmakers from Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming urged Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a letter to accelerate approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
“[A]llowing natural gas — like other U.S. commodities — to have the opportunity to sell its product on the worldwide market will create new jobs and help balance our trade deficit,” the letter said….
(Read entire article at the link above)
NOTE:Isn’t it ironic how some of our legislators won’t pass clean energy legislation that could put thousands of people back to work but when it comes to more fossil fuel infrastructure, the ink isn’t even dry before they are insisting that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hurry it up and charge blindly ahead approving a long list of potential fossil fuel energy boondoggles.
How soon they have forgotten what happened in 1983 when the Washington Public Power Supply System — known locally as Whoops — defaulted on $2.25 billion in bonds on four nuclear power plants they had rushed to build.
Jobs… Jobs…. Jobs… or is it?
What these House members are saying essentially is that the U.S. DOE should forget about doing their due diligence and doing what’s best for the public or the next generation or the country or the environment or manufacturing or U.S. ratepayers. They want the DOE to do what is best for the international gas and oil industry that is pushing these LNG export projects. So when these same House members talk about the value of energy independence, we can be assured that it is just political lip service and nothing else.
If these House members want to put a potential fossil fuel boondoggle in their own states they can feel free to try and do so, but we would rather do what is right for our future, for our country and for the public interest in the State of Oregon.
WASHINGTON | (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Monday once again delayed release of a report on expanding liquefied natural gas exports, likely pushing beyond the election a decision on the potentially contentious issue of sending U.S. gas abroad.
Commissioned by the Energy Department to examine the economic impact of LNG exports, the report by an unidentified third-party contractor is now expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Any decision on natural gas exports will likely be made by the victor in the November 6 presidential election – either President Barack Obama or his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
The department, which has said it will not make any decision on allowing further LNG exports until the analysis is completed, had previously pledged to release the report by late summer.
“The Department of Energy takes its statutory responsibility to make public interest determinations on natural gas export applications very seriously and is committed to taking the time necessary to get the decisions right,” the department said in a statement.
It was the second delay of the report, which was initially expected in March.
“This is a complicated economic analysis assessing a dynamic market,” a department official said regarding the postponed report. “We’ll release the report once it’s complete.”…
(Read entire article at link above)
NOTE: Way to go! – Holly Stamper, Jan Dilley and J.C. Williams for your excellent quotes in Rueters article below…
COOS BAY, Oregon | (Reuters) – When federal officials arrived in this scenic but economically struggling port a few weeks ago for hearings on a proposed liquefied natural gas plant, some residents had a sense of déjà vu: it was only six years earlier, in the same auditorium, that they had already discussed the pros and cons of an LNG plant.
But there was one big difference this time around: the 2006 plan was designed to bring gas in, while the current project calls for shipping gas out….
…”HOPE WE DON’T DO IT AGAIN”
When Coos County resident Holly Stamper shuffled up to a microphone at the first meeting on August 27, she carried the weighty EIS for the now-defunct import plan, which explained in its 1,123 pages why the United States needed more natural gas.
“Those arguments now become arguments against the project for exporting our gas,” she said, before telling the officials: “Welcome back to Coos Bay. I hope we don’t do it again.”
Jordan Cove’s capacity is half that of Cheniere’s $5 billion Sabine Pass LNG export plant in Louisiana, which was approved in April ahead of a 2015 startup that analysts said alone would do little to lift gas prices.
Coos Bay would welcome about 90 LNG ships every year. Jan Dilley of nearby North Bend found the idea of exporting energy jarring in light of the planned Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. “Even our presidential debate now is we’re too dependent on foreign oil,” she told the meeting of about 80 people….
…For many, however, the logistics of exporting energy sources are beside the point in a country that has had to import large amounts of oil for half a century. “The American people want energy independence,” North Bend resident J.C. Williams told the meeting on Jordan Cove. “This will defeat that goal.”…”
(Reporting by Braden Reddall; Editing by Jonathan Weber, Patricia Kranz and Bernard Orr)
(Read the entire article, which also covers issues with exporting coal, at the link above)
Offshore wind energy could power entire U.S. East Coast, Stanford scientists say
Stanford scientists deliver the first-ever quantitative analysis of offshore wind energy on the U.S. East Coast. They conclude there is enough wind energy to fulfill one-third of the U.S. energy demand.
Solar Means Business: Top Commercial Solar Customers in the U.S.
by Solar Energy Industries Association
Sep 11, 2012
Solar energy is being deployed on a massive scale by the most iconic brands and best-managed companies in the U.S. in order to help lower operating costs and increase profits. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Vote Solar Initiative (Vote Solar) have unveiled a report naming the companies using solar on their facilities in the U.S., ranked by cumulative solar energy capacity.
What do Walmart, Costco, IKEA, McGraw Hill, Johnson & Johnson and FedEx have in common? They know a smart investment when they see one, and are all adopting solar energy in a big way. From the largest corporations to small businesses, U.S. companies are installing solar energy to take control of their energy costs and improve their bottom line. As of mid-‐2012, businesses as well as non-‐profit organizations and governments across the United States have deployed more than 2,300 megawatts (MW)1 of solar electric (photovoltaic or PV) systems on more than 24,000 individual facilities—and this number is growing rapidly; during the first half of 2012, over 3,600 non-‐residential PV systems came online, an average of one every 72 minutes…. (Emphasis added )
Wind Energy Could Meet Global Demand 20–100 Times Over, New Study Finds
September 10, 2012, By Nathan
All of the world’s energy needs could be provided for solely by wind power, according to new research from the Carnegie Institute and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The winds are capable of providing more than enough energy to meet all of the world’s demands. The potential of atmospheric turbines is a part of that, capable of converting the much faster and steadier high-altitude winds into electricity (rather than ground- and ocean-based units).
The new research from the Carnegie Institute investigates what the actual limits of wind power are; how much could potentially be harvested; and what the effects of such large-scale, high-altitude wind power would be — could they affect the whole climate themselves?…
….“Looking at the big picture, it is more likely that economic, technological or political factors will determine the growth of wind power around the world, rather than geophysical limitations,” Caldeira said.
The research was just published on September 9th in the journal Nature Climate Change….
A new study suggests there’s more potential in wind power than previously thought
September 10, 2012
By Jason Koebler
Wind energy could provide up to half the world’s power supply with little environmental impact, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Delaware and Stanford University.
The study debunks previous assessments that suggested wind wouldn’t be a feasible way to power much of the world’s grid due to environmental and power output concerns. According to the University of Delaware’s Cristina Archer, about 4 million turbines could provide the world with 7.5 terawatts of energy annually, about half of the estimated power necessary to run earth’s power grids in 2030….
…”Four million turbines is a lot, but it’s not impossible. We have to decide whether we want to do it. The benefits are immense—we’d have a clean economy and we’d be getting rid of pollution,” Archer says. “If society wants to do it, the technology is there—it’s not like we have to invent cold fusion from scratch.”… (Emphasis added )
Renewables From Vestas to Suntech Plan Profit Without Subsidy
January 27, 2012
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….
(Read entire article at link above)
EXAMPLES OF ENERGY SOLUTIONS ALREADY UNDERWAY…
Be sure to check out the many energy solutions also posted at the following blog posts:
Driving through this small Indiana town of close to 500, there are no indications that it’s the center of cutting edge technology. This town of Reynolds is being powered from something that will never be in short supply around here – manure.
“We are taking gas from poop and running the big engines and making electricity,” says local farmer and president of BioTown Ag Brian Furrer. He is overseeing the project that has peaked the interest of people all over the world.
“People in the corporate world and throughout are talking about sustainability on a day to day basis, and I’m not sure they understand the true definition of sustainability and to me sustainability means we have a never ending supply and that’s really what we are truly trying to do on this farm.”
At heart, Furrer says he’s just a farm boy despite working to make Reynolds the first energy self-sufficient community in America….
California High School Targets Grid Neutrality with Wind, Solar Power
By Michael Popke
Architect Jorge de la Cal can’t definitively say that the new net-zero high school he designed in San Pedro, Calif., is the first of its kind. But he’s pretty sure there will be nothing else like it when the 115,000-square-foot facility opens in September 2012.
Los Angeles Unified School District’s South Region High School #15, conceived by L.A.-based CO Architects (of which de la Cal is a principal) will hold up to 1,200 students and serve as an annex to nearby San Pedro High School. It is expected to achieve LEED Gold status with its grid neutrality — meaning that the $74 million facility will produce as much electricity as it consumes. More than 32,600 square feet of solar panels covering nearly every possible square foot of roof space, along with 36 bird-safe Vertical-axis wind turbines, will harness the sun and wind. Other sustainable elements include shaded and operable windows, daylighting, highly efficient HVAC systems and air filters, water-saving installations, interior materials featuring recycled content, energy-smart fluorescent lights, and low-emitting ceiling tiles, flooring and insulation.….
…One of the greatest challenges with this net-zero project, de la Cal says, was working through the bureaucracy of the nation’s second-largest public school district and developing a district sustainability team to champion the cause…. (Emphasis added)
The German town of Dardesheim has become the first in the world feeded one hundred percent on renewable energies, installed Aeolian turbines near the town and photovoltaic solar panels installed in the tile roofs of these houses, instead of farms as it happens in other places or cities, for example, the case of Ontario, in Canada.
In this case, according to the Web “Renewable Energies”, in this town there are 4,000 houses that need energy with a cost among 120 and 130 million kilowatts/hour (kWh).
According to the local authorities this model of power consumption “is completely possible and if the idea works, it will also be tried in other small localities of the zone”.
In addition, Dardesheim wants to attract tourists interested in the sector of renewable energies and and they will open an information center and they will install a turbine with an observation platform.
One of the aeolian turbines made by the German company Enercon and it is considered the most powerful of the world, the “E-112”, is installed in this locality. It is a gigantic turbine designed to produce 6 megawatts per hour (until now the secured maximum was 4-5 MW/h), enough energy for the consumption of 4,000 homes.
The name “E-112” comes from the diameter of its rotor: 112 meters. It has an innovating mechanism, without gears, that allow it to work without oil. The shape of the shovels has been designed to avoid the noise emission.
City of Dardesheim, Germany - Status of the Dardesheim Renewable Energy Projects (2012):
18 years of Success:
Biogas Production at Fairgrove Farm.
Fairgrove Farms in Michigan, a 720-head dairy farm, produces biogas from manure and earns a profit after providing all the electricity needed for the farm. In the following video, shot in 1991, production had at that time gone largely uninterrupted for 18 years. The facility is an example of a fairly low-tech design which needs little repair or renewal over time.
Uploaded by dginia
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