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By John Upton
Original source: http://grist.org/news/batteries-included-new-wind-turbines-and-solar-panels-come-with-built-in-storage/?utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&sub_email=dkschultz%40gmail.com
If you want to use solar power at night or wind power on calm days, you need batteries that can store energy after it’s produced. But why bother with two pieces of equipment when you could have one?
Engineers are now beginning to build batteries directly into wind and solar systems.
Combined renewable generation-storage systems are just starting to be deployed in the wind sector. From a report last month in Quartz:
[W]hat if every wind turbine became a node in an energy internet, communicating with the grid and each other to adjust electricity production while storing and releasing electricity as needed? That’s the idea behind General Electric’s new “brilliant” turbine, the first three of which the company said … will be installed at a Texas wind farm operated by Invenergy.
The 2.5-MW windmill is something of a technological leap in an industry where turbines have gotten bigger and bigger but not necessarily smarter. The turbine’s software captures tens of thousands of data points each second on wind and grid conditions and then adjusts production, storing electricity in an attached 50 kilowatt-hour sodium nickel chloride battery. If, say, a wind farm is generating too much electricity to [be] absorbed by the grid—not an uncommon occurrence in gusty west Texas—it can store the electricity in the battery. When the wind dies down, the electricity can be released from the battery and put back on the grid.
“This provides a path for lowering the cost of energy even more,” Keith Longtin, general manager of GE’s wind product line, told Quartz. “We think by being able to integrate the storage into the turbine and by being able to provide predictable power it’s going to minimize a lot of the balancing the grid has to do today.”Share This Post
The inventor of renewable energy credits has something else up his sleeve.
Stephen Lacey: June 14, 2013
The renewable energy credit, or REC, is a staple in the retail energy sector. But fourteen years ago, when the tool was first being crafted, very few people understood its potential.
"I heard consistently that it couldn't be done. But then we closed our first transaction and we saw this huge shift in thinking from 'You can’t do that' to 'How did you do that?'" said Rob Harmon, who, as chief innovation officer at the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, helped create the first RECs in 1999.
Now Harmon, who is CEO at the Portland, Oregon-based company EnergyRM, believes he and his team have a tool for deploying energy efficiency that will be far more revolutionary.
Meet the MEETS, also known as the metered energy efficiency transaction structure. Think of it like a power purchase agreement for energy efficiency.
Harmon says the structure breaks down nearly every conceivable conflict between landlords, tenants, investors and utilities that stand in the way of deep efficiency retrofits.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/This-May-Be-the-Most-Innovative-Energy-Efficiency-Financing-Tool-Yetkj?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDailyShare This Post
M&A drivers in the LED industry vary widely, according to Jim McHale of Memoori.
Jim McHale: June 14, 2013
Jim McHale founded Memoori in 2008, a consultancy company based in London that provides market research, business intelligence and financial deal tracking services to clients across several industries. The Business of LED Lighting in Buildings 2013 to 2017 report highlights important conclusions, supported with facts, as to what is shaping the future of the LED lighting industry.
Over the course of the last five years, Memoori has been closely monitoring developments in the LED market, tracking a total of 238 significant deals. Although we cannot claim that this list of deals is exhaustive, it certainly paints a picture of the mood in the market and the strategies of its respective major players.
The total value of deals where disclosure was made during this period was nearly $8 billion, peaking in 2008 at over $4 billion. The number of deals completed over the five-year period remained fairly consistent.
The median value of deals also fell slightly over the period of analysis, ranging between a maximum of $18.3 million in 2008, to a minimum of $11 million for 2013 data to May.
Our analysis also shows that the strategy for growth through acquisition has cooled off since 2011. We believe there are three reasons for this:Share This Post
By John Upton
A major spill of toxic oil waste has wiped out trees and vegetation across a 104-acre swath of Alberta, Canada. The apparent cause of the spill: The rupture of a five-year-old pipeline that was designed to last at least 30 years.
The pipeline spilled 2.5 million gallons of a waste mixture of oil and water, which the company responsible, Houston-based Apache Corp., downplayed as “salty water” with “trace amounts of oil.”
Whatever you call it, it’s nasty stuff. “Every plant and tree died” in the area touched by the spill, says the chief of the nearby Dene Tha First Nation, while The Globe and Mail reports that “aerial photos show a broad strip of trees that have turned brown.”
It’s unclear when the pipeline started spilling. Judging by the damaged trees in the area, the Dene Tha say the leak might have been sprung in the winter. But the spill was only revealed publicly this week by the province’s energy regulators following media reports.Share This Post
by Chris Clarke
on June 17, 2013 3:38 PM
The head of the safety division of California's ratepayer protection agency has blasted Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) over the utility's reaction to a proposed $2.25 billon penalty stemming from a 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people. In a reply to PG&E's calling the proposed penalty "excessive," the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) Emory J. (Jack) Hagan repeatedly referred to the utility's "lack of remorse," saying "It's time to throw the book at PG&E."
The September 9, 2010, explosion, which destroyed 38 homes and damaged 108 more in the San Francisco suburb, was traced to an aging, insufficiently maintained 30-inch buried gas pipeline. The explosion left a 30-foot crater, and flames lept 1,000 feet into the sky during the course of the resulting fire, which was worsened due to a 90-minute delay in getting gas turned off to the ruptured pipeline. In the end, 58 people were seriously injured, and 8 killed -- including Jacqueline Greig, a veteran CPUC staffer who worked as a natural gas utility expert in the Commission's Ratepayer Advocates office, as well as Greig's daughter.
Since the disaster, PG&E has admitted it had no idea the ailing section of pipeline was there, and the utility has said to regulators that it can't guarantee there aren't other similarly neglected and forgotten gas mains elsewhere in the company's service territory. The CPUC's Safety and Enforcement Division pointed to decades of flawed or nonexistent record keeping on ailing pipelines as part of the reason for its recommendation that PG&E pay the record $2.25 billion penalty, which it would be forbidden from recouping from ratepayers. Rather than go into state coffers, the Safety and Enforcement Division's recommendation is that PG&E be forced to spend the sum on immediate improvements to its infrastructure to help prevent a future San Bruno.Share This Post
As effects of the nuclear plant's shutdown are evaluated, officials examine how to to satisfy region
By Morgan Lee2:47 p.m.June 16, 2013
A future without nuclear energy has been on the drawing board for Southern California since a radiation leak shut down San Onofre in January 2012.
With the recent announcement of the facility’s permanent retirement, diverse architects of the state’s power grid are acting on those plans.
Utility executives last week resubmitted a previously spurned application for a major new natural-gas plant on the southern outskirts of San Diego, as engineers look to shore up power supplies across an area larger than the state of Maryland.
Any solutions will have to navigate increasing technological challenges and a complex landscape of environmental and clean-energy mandates in California.
The cost implications are unclear for ratepayers, who already are underwriting the state’s aggressive green-energy makeover. Utility engineers in San Diego County and the Los Angeles Basin are studying how to make up for San Onofre, which generated enough electricity to power 1.4 million homes.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/16/power-of-uncertainty/Share This Post
Published: June 17, 2013
As keeping the mobile life going becomes ever more important — both to wireless customers and the providers who serve them — AT&T says it has a new way to keep New Yorkers connected free.
Starting Tuesday, 25 solar-powered charging stations will sprout in parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces in the five boroughs, part of a pilot project from the wireless provider in partnership with the city. The stations — 12.5-foot steel poles with three petal-shaped solar panels fanning out on top — can accommodate up to six devices at a time regardless of wireless carrier, with dedicated ports for iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys and standard USB charging cables.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/18/technology/att-to-introduce-solar-powered-charging-stations.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=0Share This Post
By Matt Weiser
Published: Monday, Jun. 17, 2013 - 12:46 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 17, 2013 - 5:44 pm
A plan intended, at least in part, to resolve decades of water conflict in the Delta has instead spawned a flood of lawsuits, with at least five separate suits filed against the plan in recent days.
The Delta Plan, as it is known, was required by 2009 state legislation, which also created the Delta Stewardship Council, the organization that adopted the plan on May 16.
Environmental groups, local organizations and water users have filed at least five lawsuits in recent days against the plan. They claim, among other things, that the plan fails to satisfy the legal requirements laid out for it and also violates the California Environmental Quality Act.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/17/5503446/lawsuits-hit-new-delta-plan-from.htmlShare This Post
11:53 a.m. | Updated below |
June 15, 2013, 12:23 pm
As Coloradans grappled with the impact of the state’s latest wildfire disaster, some writers were quick to call this “the new normal” due to greenhouse-driven climate change.
Global warming is almost surely contributing to drought and heat in ways that exacerbate fire risk, but the prime driver of losses in these recent fires is a heavily subsidized burst of development in zones of implicit fire danger.
And assertions that such losses are the new normal distract from glaring opportunities to cut unnecessary (and costly) exposure to this danger in the West, even as the grander task of curbing emissions of greenhouse gases proceeds.
This Twitter item and the Storify post it links to provide my quick take on the prime lessons and opportunities related to Colorado’s latest fire:Share This Post
Published: June 12, 2013
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ambitious proposal to protect New York’s 520 miles of shoreline and fortify the city against storms that could be worse than Hurricane Sandy will require intense planning, engineering, community input and all sorts of adjustments. But Mr. Bloomberg has done the city a great service by pushing for the necessary short-term repairs and mapping out a broader strategy that takes into account many of the worst consequences of climate change.
About 400,000 New Yorkers live in flood-prone areas. City analysts estimate that, by the 2050s, 800,000 people will live within those areas. As Mr. Bloomberg said of the need to start working immediately: “Whether you believe climate change is real or not is beside the point; the bottom line is we can’t run the risk.”
The main challenge, of course, will be finding enough money to build the walls, bulkheads, levees and other fortifications to minimize the effects of future storms. Mr. Bloomberg estimated that his complex plan, with 250 proposals, would cost almost $20 billion over the next decade. That figure will almost certainly rise, and his estimate does not include some proposed items, like a new residential complex on Lower Manhattan’s East Side that would add affordable housing and have a flood-control function.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/13/opinion/the-storm-next-time.htmlShare This Post
By Dana Milbank, Published: June 11
The Mall has monuments to heroism, freedom and sacrifice. Pretty soon it will also have a monument to failure.
Drive on 17th Street NW, just south of Constitution Avenue, and you’ll see concrete footings, a mound of dirt and jersey barriers — all part of an oft-delayed project to build a floodwall to protect downtown Washington from a rising Potomac River.Share This Post
Special to The Bee
Kevin Johnson is mayor of the city of Sacramento and chairman of the Resilient Communities for America campaign. Learn more at resilientamerica.org.
Published: Monday, Jun. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 9A
In my 12 years as a professional basketball player in the NBA, I learned a lot about resilience. You lose a tough game one night, and find a way to come back strong and win the next. Resilience is a quality you have to develop with your team, and as mayor of Sacramento, it's now a key priority for my city.
There is a new movement emerging in cities, towns, and counties to become more resilient and able to bounce back from serious disruptions and disasters. If you look at the past two years, it's not hard to see why.
More frequent extreme weather, fueled by a changing climate, has cost us untold lives and a staggering $188 billion in 2011-12. And it has arrived on top of devastating job losses and economic recession.
Local governments were on the front lines in these challenges, and we can't afford to ignore them. That's why one of the most important questions for any mayor in 2013 is: How resilient is my community?
With extreme weather on the rise, how do we protect the elderly and other vulnerable populations, as well as our businesses and infrastructure? When the inevitable swings in energy prices return, how can we lessen the impact? With our economic recovery still uncertain, how can we strengthen and diversify our local economy?
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/17/5499998/sacramento-can-lead-the-way-in.htmlShare This Post
Kitty Felde | June 16th, 2013, 6:00am
Original source: http://www.scpr.org/blogs/politics/2013/06/16/13997/la-democrat-pushes-white-house-on-climate-change/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+893KpccSouthernCaliforniaNews-Politics%2FpublicAffairs+%28KPCC%3A+Politics+News%29
LA Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman wants President Obama to limit pollution at power plants.
Democratic hawks on climate change are putting pressure on the White House to use executive power to cut emissions. And L.A. Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman is doing some of the pushing.
Waxman was the author of a 2009 climate change bill that passed the House, but died in the Senate. Now that he's in the minority party, he's been frustrated trying to move similar legislation. So he and fellow Democrat, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, have been meeting with top White House staffers to discuss climate strategies President Obama can use.
Waxman says the Clean Air Act allows the Environmental Protection Agency to limit pollution from new and existing power plants and oil refineries. "The administration can insist on greater efficiency in our use of energy," he says, "not just by the government itself, but in setting efficiency standards for appliances and other items."
Waxman applauded the recent hydro fluorocarbon agreement between President Obama and the President of China, agreeing to work together to reduce and eliminate HFCs.
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By Juliet Eilperin, Published: June 14
A pair of fundraisers just 90 minutes apart in the San Francisco Bay Area last week laid bare the competing forces of politics and policy that President Obama is grappling with as he prepares to unveil a slate of major initiatives on global warming in late June or in July.
In public comments at the beginning of the first session, Obama made it clear that he considered climate change “one of the most important decisions we make as a nation,” according to a transcript released by the White House.
But during the second event, according to several people familiar with his private remarks at the home of clean-tech entrepreneur Vinod Khosla, Obama expressed concerns about the political pain involved, saying that “dial testing” of his State of the Union speech showed that the favorability ratings “plummeted” when he vowed to act on climate change if Congress refused to do so.
The two comments highlight the White House’s quandary as it prepares to take more aggressive steps on the environment. Activists and some of Obama’s most loyal supporters are demanding strong efforts to curb greenhouse gas buildup before it’s too late to prevent catastrophic drought, sea-level rise and ocean acidification. But the public remains more concerned with the economy, and Obama is committed to developing North American energy supplies, which may mean disappointing his most ardent backers on a signature environmental issue: whether to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
As his second term takes shape, the president has fallen back from the broad clean-energy agenda he envisioned when he first took office and now faces tough political choices on how to achieve some of what remains a top administration priority.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/as-obama-moves-forward-on-climate-he-faces-a-tough-political-task/2013/06/14/050ab062-d4fc-11e2-8cbe-1bcbee06f8f8_story.html?wprss=rss_campaignsShare This Post
The Huffington Post | By Chris Gentilviso
Posted: 06/13/2013 12:33 pm EDT | Updated: 06/13/2013 2:54 pm EDT
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11:
Back in January, President Barack Obama proclaimed in his State of the Union speech that if Congress did not act on climate change, his administration would. In a recent Office of Management and Budget order, the administration did just that -- in quiet fashion.
On May 31, the Department of Energy announced new efficiency standards for microwave ovens. The change was lauded as a move that would "dramatically reduce harmful carbon pollution."
A large part of the ability to accomplish that goal was an adjustment by the Obama administration to increase the social cost of carbon. The Hill reported on June 5 that a directive was executed by the Office of Management and Budget, and Bloomberg added on Wednesday that the jump will go from $23.80 to $38 per metric ton by 2015.
In a Monday report, Inside Climate News explained how the term is the figure used to calculate the price society incurs as a result of carbon dioxide emissions. At that increase of nearly $15 per metric ton, that figure could significantly affect anything and everything from the aforementioned microwave ovens to the Keystone XL pipeline. It also brings the possibility of a carbon tax into play.
Last Thursday, the Washington Post's Brad Plumer characterized the decision as "more than an accounting change."
"In essence, the White House is now saying that global warming will be more damaging than previously estimated, mainly because of new data on the effects of the rise in sea level," he wrote.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/13/obama-administration-carbon_n_3435458.htmlShare This Post