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Texas is number one.
AOL Energy, Conway Irwin: May 14, 2013
Texas led the pack in state-level energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from 2000-2010, having produced more than 7.5 billion metric tons of CO2 over the period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The EIA has begun to provide state-level energy-related carbon dioxide emissions data, showing that over the 2000-2010 period, Texas far outpaced other states in energy-related CO2 emissions, exceeding total emissions from its closest competitor, California, by over 75%.
But Texas’ emissions also showed the largest absolute decline from 2000-2010, at 58.8 million metric tons. And on a per-capita basis, Texas lagged far behind the number-one emitter Wyoming in 2010, with just 25.9 million metric tons per person, compared to Wyoming’s 118.5.
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions refers to emissions from energy consumption, not energy production. That means not only that these emissions are not produced as part of drilling, mining or other upstream processes, but also that when a power generation facility in one state supplies energy to another state, consumption is attributed to the state with the generation capacity.Share This Post
By John Upton
Original source: http://grist.org/news/coal-power-plants-driving-thousands-of-north-carolina-suicides-study-suggests/?utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&sub_email=dkschultz%40gmail.com
North Carolina’s numerous coal plants might be driving Tar Heel State residents to kill themselves.
Suicide is a leading killer in America, and links between air pollution and suicide rates have been known for years. Breathing in bad air might drive people to take their own lives by worsening their health problems, affecting their nervous systems, or generally lowering their life satisfaction.
So Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researcher John Spangler set about trying to understand how polluting coal-fired power plants might affect county-by-county suicide rates in North Carolina, where the statewide rate is higher than the national average [PDF]. What he discovered was an alarming correlation.Share This Post
The conflict between electric utilities and distributed energy — mainly rooftop solar panels — is heating up. It’s heating up so much that people are writing about electric utility regulation, the most tedious, inscrutable subject this side of corporate tax law. The popular scrutiny is long overdue. So buckle up. We’re getting into it.
I wrote about the fight a while back — “solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities ” — but it’s worth taking a closer look at what’s under dispute. Some bits are unavoidably wonky and technical, but it’s important to understand exactly what’s happening. This is a pivotal issue, a trial run for many such struggles to come.
There’s a short-term problem and a long-term problem. The former is about how electricity rates are structured, specifically how utilities compensate (or don’t) customers who generate power with rooftop solar PV panels. The latter is about developing an entirely new business model for utilities, one that aligns their financial interests with the spread of distributed energy. The danger is that fighting over the former could delay solving the latter.Share This Post
Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter
ClimateWire: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Makers of computers and other electronics could be forced to cut how much power those products use as the California Energy Commission looks at mandates for lower consumption.
The agency has taken preliminary steps toward devising new rules that would shrink how much energy 15 different products can consume. Those include computers, monitors, game consoles and set-top boxes as well as several kinds of lighting, faucets, toilets, water meters, commercial clothes dryers, pool pumps and motors.
It's the latest move on power consumption by the Golden State, which previously has required manufacturers nationwide to reconfigure televisions and refrigerators. Last year it completed first-in-the-nation rules for plug-in battery chargers like those that power mobile phones, cameras and power tools.
California's actions typically have wide implications. The Department of Energy began looking at consumption rules for battery chargers not long after the state imposed its mandate.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059981095Share This Post
Kroger Co.'s anaerobic digester in Compton takes unsold food from Ralph's and Food 4 Less and converts it into 13 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.
By Tiffany Hsu
May 15, 2013, 6:40 p.m.
What happens to the 40% of food produced but never eaten in the U.S. each year, the mounds of perfect fruit passed over by grocery store shoppers, the tons of meat and milk left to expire?
At Ralphs, one of the oldest and largest supermarket chains on the West Coast, it helps keep the power on.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ralphs-energy-20130516,0,7330815.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedlyShare This Post
Out of the basement and into the fire
Katherine Tweed: May 15, 2013
The home hot water heater is hardly the cool kid in the appliance schoolyard. It doesn't receive daily human interaction. It mostly dwells in the basement. There is no former Apple designer bringing us a new, sexy water heater.
But that doesn't mean the appliance is completely forgotten. There is a tussle brewing in Washington over the second-largest energy hog in the house. The lowly hot water heater has long been part of load control programs run by electric utilities. Some hot water heaters also receive significant rebates as part of utility energy-efficiency programs. Now the two programs are potentially pitted against each other because of proposed energy conservation standards for residential hot water heaters put forth by the U.S. Department of Energy.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/hot-water-heaters-when-energy-efficiency-fights-demand-response?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDailyShare This Post
By Morgan Lee4:24 p.m.May 15, 2013
Will public hearings be held before the possible restart of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station? The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a written transcript of comments on the pivotal issue by Chairman Allison Macfarlane.
Quasi-judicial hearings, with sworn expert testimony and cross examinations, could delay by months Southern California Edison's proposal to restart San Onofre at partial power in attempt to contain accelerated damage to the plant's steam generators. The plant operator has warned that without a restart decision from regulators mounting costs could force a decision by year's end on shutting reactors permanently.
An independent authority within the NRC, known as the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, announced Monday that the review of the restart amounts to an amendment of the plant's operating rules -- creating the opportunity for public hearings.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/may/15/daily-surprises-san-onofre/Share This Post
And they’re all factors outside of the CSI, according to SunCentric CEO Glenn Harris.
Glenn Harris: May 15, 2013
The announcement that PG&E has stopped taking applications for its portion of the CSI residential program has caused a bit of nostalgia and something of a feel-good moment among some in the solar industry.
In our opinion, however, the CSI residential program would still be languishing had it not benefited from battles won and lucky breaks that could barely be imagined when the CSI program was being created. The three biggest are:
- Changing the federal residential Investment Tax Credit from a maximum of a $2,000 tax credit to a 30 percent unlimited tax credit in October 2008.
- A glut of PV capacity that drove prices down from above $2 per watt to well below $1 per watt.
- The rise of third-party financing that gained serious traction in 2010.
The first chart below shows PG&E’s CSI residential cost and demand activity. The purple and green lines illustrate the first point. A 30 percent unlimited residential tax credit was a pipe dream and had all sorts of opposition, including from the IRS, which was concerned it would encourage fraud. However, when miraculously implemented, it had the effect of dropping installed costs by more than $1 per watt. Solar businesses immediately started selling the new incentive.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Three-Reasons-PGE-is-Reaching-its-California-Solar-Initiative-Targets?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDailyShare This Post
Solar is particularly susceptible to rate design as the industry begins its transition to a post-subsidy reality.
Carolyn Campbell: May 14, 2013
GTM Research's just-released white paper looks at the impact of utility rate design on distributed solar project economics and shows that tariff design can to make or break PV project economics.
Solar is particularly susceptible to rate design as the industry begins its transition to a post-subsidy reality.
Though less frequently discussed than net metering, rate design is an equally important issue in the brewing battle between PV advocates and utilities. Yet one important piece of this debate that we’ve yet to discuss is the capacity caps placed on “solar-friendly” tariffs in California.Share This Post
Every dollar invested by APS in its net metering program earns it $1.54, according to a new analysis.
Herman K. Trabish: May 14, 2013
Net metering of rooftop solar creates value for society and the utility. Every dollar invested by Arizona Public Service (APS), the state’s dominant utility, in its net metering program will earn it $1.54, according to a new cost-benefit analysis of Arizona solar.
By 2015, the APS net metering program will produce $34 million in net benefits yearly.
The Benefits and Costs of Solar Distributed Generation for Arizona Public Service, a report from R. Thomas Beach and Patrick G. McGuire of Crossborder Energy, is the latest in a series of studies undertaken to size up the benefits of the 43 net metering programs that are in place around the country. The first was the landmark Austin Energy (AE) Value of Solar Tariff (VOST) study by Clean Power Research.Share This Post
May 7, 2013
The City Council is expected tonight to approve the construction of a solar panel farm on about four acres of land at Sutter's Landing Park in midtown.
City officials had originally proposed placing a much larger solar farm atop the former landfill in the park. But that plan was opposed by environmental groups, who said the old dump is a pivotal feeding ground for the threatened Swainson's hawk.
The scaled-back solar facility will now be placed on 3.7 acres of asphalt next to the dog park at Sutter's Landing. Solar panels will also be placed in the dog park for shade and on a carport structure in a nearby parking lot.
To read the entire article go to: http://blogs.sacbee.com/city-beat/2013/05/solar-panel-farm-planned-for-sutters-landing-park-in-midtown.htmlShare This Post
By Curtis Tate
McClatchy Washington Bureau
Published: Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 - 2:57 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 - 4:20 pm
WASHINGTON -- In a rare display of bipartisanship on major legislation, the Senate passed a bill Wednesday to move forward on a variety of water infrastructure projects throughout the country.
The Water Resources Development Act, the first law of its kind in six years, would authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with flood control efforts, port improvements, wetlands restoration and coastal storm protection.
The $12.5 billion bill drew overwhelming support from Democrats and Republicans. The vote was 83-14. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who sponsored the legislation, told colleagues that she was gratified.
“This type of a bill is not easy to get through,” Boxer said. “Every state has its own needs. We were able to meet the needs of the entire country.”
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/15/5423715/senate-overwhelmingly-approves.html?storylink=lingospot_related_articlesShare This Post
By Jon Ortiz
Published: Thursday, May. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1A
California officials say the state cannot retain enough trained workers to efficiently run and maintain its complex water delivery system, a problem that has consequences for cities and farms statewide.
State pay for some key jobs, they say, has fallen so far behind the industry's standard that the Department of Water Resources serves as a farm system for private utilities and other government entities.
The problem costs taxpayers extra tens of millions of dollars each year to move water around the state, officials say, because facilities aren't managed efficiently.
"There has been a talent drain in some critical areas," said Daniel Curtin, who sits on the California Water Commission, a panel appointed by the governor. "There are key facilities that are unmanned. That tells you that we could use a few more players, but the salaries are lagging behind industry standards."
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/16/5424586/california-short-on-key-state.htmlShare This Post
By Edward Ortiz
Published: Thursday, May. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am
A centuries-old farming technique called dry farming - once the order of the day in the Central Valley - is once again drawing the interest of some of the region's farmers.
The technique is as simple as it is risky. Dry farming relies solely on rainwater to keep crops growing throughout a dry season.
Used for centuries in the Mediterranean region to grow crops like olives and grapes, the technique is not for the faint of heart. A year such as this, with a dry winter, can devastate crop output and put an onerous dent in a farmer's wallet.
"Dry farming would be a hard life because you're at the whim of the rains," said Jay Lund, director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis. "It would have to be a fairly small-scale farm, and in some cases, it would be a good road to poverty."
Yet dry farming has its adherents. Many are small farmers and vintners who either lack irrigated water or believe that dry farming produces better tasting fruits and vegetables.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/15/5424007/dry-farming-draws-interest-of.htmlShare This Post
Arctic Council grants China observer status. The eight-member Arctic Council will be key to regulating the anticipated resource rush as warming temperatures further open the Arctic to oil and gas drilling and fishing.
By David J. Unger, Correspondent / May 15, 2013
China asserted its Arctic presence at a meeting of the Arctic Council Wednesday, advancing the ascendant superpower's expanding interest in the region. The Arctic Council granted China "permanent observer" status, giving it influence over decisions made by the group's eight member nations.
Why It Matters
Energy: The Arctic is home to some of the world's largest untapped oil and gas resources.
Environment: Melting Arctic ice threatens local wildlife and coastal communities vulnerable to rising seas.
David J. Unger is a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, writing primarily for the Monitor's Energy Voices.
It comes as melting Arctic ice opens new shipping lanes and access to oil and gas. Once an undesirable, obscure destination, the Arctic is quickly emerging as a critical frontier in the global quest for resources. The accelerating interest has many concerned for the future stability of a region already undergoing rapid environmental change.
"Eyes are on the Arctic right now," said Chris Krenz, Arctic campaign manager and senior scientist at Oceana, an international ocean conservation organization based in Washington. "It’s really a big resource rush. We have the opportunity to decide how and if that resource rush happens."
Oil and gas are the obvious targets. The region lays claim to 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil resources and nearly a third of its undiscovered natural gas. That captures the attention of an economic juggernaut in search of alternatives to its dependence on coal power and foreign oil.
"China fears that supply disruptions or shortages could derail its continued economic momentum, thus causing social unrest and threatening the survival of the regime," according to a paper on China's Arctic strategy published in the Naval War College Review this spring. "Chinese leaders, tremendously anxious at the prospect of such an economic downturn, have identified oil as a component of China’s national economic security since 2003."Share This Post