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April 23rd, 2012 Archives
April 20, 2012 By Steven Greenlee
--Steven Greenlee is a California Independent System Operator spokesperson
Original source: http://www.cacurrent.com/storyDisplay.php?sid=6058
The nature of electricity is that it is consumed nearly the instant it is generated. Emerging technologies, such as advanced batteries, are developing and will make the dream of storing electricity a reality. Until they mature, though, staying one step ahead of electricity needs is a critical task because supply and demand meets in real time in the California Independent System Operator control center. Our operators need to know megawatts will be there when Californians need them.
Currently, we are facing the summer peak demand season with a sudden and unusual challenge of finding replacement resources to make up for the loss of 2,250 MW if the San Onofre nuclear units remain off line. With summer heat around the corner, CAISO and others in the industry are working together on a mitigation plan to reduce the risk for local reliability issues in San Diego and parts of the Los Angeles Basin.
A summer without San Onofre is a perfect example of why we should not take megawatts for granted. If everything goes as planned, the two retired units at the Huntington Beach Power Plant will be brought back to life in the next month. This is absolutely critical to maintaining reliability if the nuclear plant remains shut down this summer. We will still be challenged when heat waves hit and are already promoting the conservation savings of Flex Alerts, which create a way for consumers to reduce the strain on the power grid.Share This Post
April 20, 2012 William J. Kelly
Original source: http://www.cacurrent.com/storyDisplay.php?sid=6063
The Senate Environmental Quality Committee advanced legislation aimed at establishing a regulatory system for carbon capture and sequestration plants in California by a 6-0 vote April 16. As a condition of approval, however, bill author Sen. Michael Rubio (D-East Bakersfield) agreed to substantively amend SB 1139 in the coming month.
“I’m not sure we can expect a good result from regulation,” said panel chair Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), unless the bill outlines goals for what the rules should achieve.
Simitian noted that the procedural agreement will keep the bill alive for potential enactment this year.Share This Post
04/20/2012 By Wayne Barber
The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) is making headway on its $782m effort to replace 1960s vintage generating units at the Haynes station in Long Beach with 600 MW of peaking capacity from new gas units that can reach full capacity within minutes.
To read the entire article go to: http://generationhub.com/2012/04/20/ladwp-advances-on-haynes-plant-repowering-projectShare This Post
04/20/2012 By Barry Cassell
One of three coal-fired units at the Naughton power plant, the 330-MW Unit 3, could be switched to natural gas to meet various clean-air needs, PacifiCorp spokesman Dave Eskelsen told GenerationHub on April 20.Share This Post
By Morgan Lee Thursday, April 19, 2012
State regulators are allowing San Diego-area utility customers to opt out of wireless “smart meters” that relay detailed information about home electricity use by radio frequency to the local power company.
San Diego Gas & Electric residential customers who do not want a wireless meter, for whatever reason, can choose to have an analog electric meter or gas meter or both, under provisions approved Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission.
Opt-out customers will be assessed an initial fee of $75 and a monthly charge of $10 thereafter. Low-income and other customers enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy program pay a $10 fee and a monthly charge of $5.
The charges and fees do not come close to covering the expense of maintaining analog equipment inventories and personnel and could be increased during upcoming proceedings about implementation costs.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/apr/19/utility-customers-can-refuse-wireless-meters/Share This Post
Boulder company's plan to create power in parking lots wins praise
Posted: 04/19/2012 01:00:00 AM MDT
By Mark Jaffe The Denver Post
By Erin Geegan's calculation, there are more than 3,500 square miles of parking lots in the United States, and her aim is to put up solar trees — 33-foot-by-33-foot solar arrays on 9-foot columns — to cover as much of that space as she can.
To do that, Geegan, 48, created Boulder-based Zam Energy a year ago, and that, in turn, led to her being recognized today at the White House as one of 10 "Champions of Change."
It isn't new technology that Geegan is bringing to the market — she is selling a solar tree developed by San Diego-based Envision Solar — but she has a new business model.
"This is all about the financing," Geegan said. "Solar doesn't need grants if you finance it properly."
To read the entire article go to: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_20429171Share This Post
Posted: 04/21/2012 07:09:54 AM PDT
California solar firms collected nearly $1.2 billion worth of venture capital investments last year, accounting for 62 percent of worldwide venture investments in solar panel, according to a new study.
The San Francisco-based Next 10, a group that advocates for green technology, presents that figure and other data as evidence that solar power continues to have a viable future in California even as some recent news from the industry has focused on the solar industry's challenges.
Next 10's 2012 California Green Innovation Index included a special section on solar power specifically because of recent bad press for the solar industry, particularly surrounding the bankruptcy of a company called Solyndra.
"There is no single company that's going to make or break the solar industry," Next 10 founder F. Noel Perry said.
In addition to nearly $1.2 billion in venture capital investments, Next 10's data also includes a count of 105 solar patents recorded by California inventors in 2010, or about double the number of patents California inventors claimed the previous year.
California also surpassed the 1,000-megawatt mark for installed solar capacity last year, and Next 10 predicts San Diego will next year become the first California city where solar-generated electricity is no more expensive than power generated from other sources.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_20449966?source=rssShare This Post
Consumption drops to lowest level in decade; behavior changing in response to price
By Steven Mufson The Washington Post
Originally published April 22, 2012 at 12:01 a.m., updated April 20, 2012 at 6:37 p.m.
Are American motorists finally changing their gas-guzzling ways?
As prices have neared and in some cases topped $4 a gallon, drivers across California and the nation have cut their consumption of gasoline to its lowest levels in a decade, driving less and buying cars that are more fuel-efficient.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/apr/22/tp-gears-are-shifting-on-gasoline-use/Share This Post
By Steven Mufson, Published: April 19
Two years after a blowout on BP’s Macondo well killed 11 men and triggered the largest oil spill in U.S. history, oil companies are again plying the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Forty-one deep-water rigs are in the gulf. The vast majority of them are drilling new holes or working over old ones, while the other behemoths are idle as they await work or repairs. A brand new rig — the South Korean-built Pacific Santa Ana, capable of drilling to a depth of 7.5 miles — is on its way to a Chevron well.
But three recent incidents in other parts of the world show just how risky and sensitive offshore drilling remains.
In the North Sea, French oil giant Total is still battling to regain control of a natural gas well that has been leaking for nearly four weeks. Meanwhile, Brazil has confiscated the passports of 11 Chevron employees and five employees of drilling contractor Transocean as they await trial on criminal charges related to an offshore oil spill there. And in December, about 40,000 barrels of crude oil leaked out of a five-year-old loading line between a floating storage vessel and an oil tanker in a Royal Dutch Shell field off the coast of Nigeria.
Many experts say that even with tougher regulations here in the United States, such incidents are inevitable.Share This Post
Cammy Clark | The Miami Herald
last updated: April 23, 2012 06:59:11 AM
In Cuba’s North Basin, the Spanish company Repsol has begun risky exploration for oil and natural gas on a semi-submersible rig, now just 77 nautical miles from Key West and even closer to the ecologically sensitive Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. In a month or so, Repsol expects its drilling through 5,600 feet of seawater and about 14,000 feet of layered rock will reach the reservoir.
That’s frightening for many who live and work along the island chain.
Here, the memory is still fresh of the psychological hysteria and economic havoc caused two years ago by the explosion of Deepwater Horizon — despite the reality: No oil from the 4.9-million-barrel spill reached the Keys. For just the scare, British Petroleum has paid out more than $200 million in claims filed by businesses and residents of South Florida, the bulk of them in Monroe County.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/04/23/146339/offshore-oil-drilling-near-cuba.htmlShare This Post
Cristina scrapes the barrel
Nobody will suffer from the nationalisation of Argentina’s oil giant more than Argentines themselves
Apr 21st 2012 | from the print edition
HAVING felt adrift ever since Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez fell ill last year, Latin America’s populists suddenly have a new champion. Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, has long been a chavista-lite, harassing private business, rigging national statistics and gutting state institutions. Of late she has shifted further in Mr Chávez’s direction, raiding central-bank reserves, imposing currency controls and raising trade barriers. Her most brazen move yet came this week with the nationalisation of 51% of YPF, the former state oil company, belonging to Spain’s Repsol. For Argentina, it is a disaster.
Perhaps Ms Fernández will enjoy a boost in popularity at home (see article). YPF is a symbol of national pride, and her cash-strapped government would welcome its revenues. Moreover, Argentina faces an energy shortage that the government has plugged with expensive imports, devouring the country’s budget and trade surpluses. Under state ownership, YPF may try to squeeze yet more out of dwindling fields.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.economist.com/node/21553031Share This Post
By ISMA’IL KUSHKUSH April 20, 2012
KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan claimed Friday that its military had been victorious in forcing South Sudanese soldiers to pull out of a contested oil region as tensions between the two African neighbors remained high.
In a defiant speech at a rally in the capital, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir labeled South Sudanese leaders as “insects” and dismissed their statements that they were voluntarily withdrawing troops from the disputed Heglig oil field. “We thought these people wanted peace,” Mr. Bashir cried out in Green Square here. Thousands of people gathered in the square late on Friday evening to celebrate the announcement that after taking over Heglig last week the South Sudanese were ceding the territory to respond to international demands.
The United States, the United Nations and the African Union all condemned South Sudan for sending troops into Heglig last week and bringing the two countries to the brink of war. But South Sudan, which calls the area Pantho, said it considered the area part of the south.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/21/world/africa/sudan-says-military-evicts-souths-army-from-oil-area.html?_r=1Share This Post
April 23, 2012 | 5:52 am
JERUSALEM -- Egyptian officials said they are suspending natural gas shipments to Israel due a contract dispute arising from the two countries' controversial multibillion-dollar supply agreement.
The move announced Sunday is the latest sign of souring relations between the Camp David peace treaty partners. Egypt accuses Israel of failing to make payments on gas deliveries in recent months. Israel denies the claim.
Shipments have been interrupted more than dozen times over the last year due to sabotage attacks and explosions along the pipeline through the Sinai Peninsula.
To read the entire article go to: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/04/egypt-halts-gas-shipments-israel.html?track=latiphoneappShare This Post
By ISABEL KERSHNER April 20, 2012
KETURA, Israel — Arriving at this bone-dry kibbutz in the Arava Desert late one afternoon in August 2006, Yosef Abramowitz, a social activist, Jewish educator and multimedia entrepreneur from Boston, opened the door of his van and was hit by a wall of heat.
“The sun was setting, but it was still burning,” he said. “I remember the sensation.”
Later, unable to sleep, he rose about 5 a.m. and stepped outside as the sun was coming up over the mountains of Jordan. “It was so hot already,” he recalled. “I said to myself, ‘This whole place must work on solar power.’ ”
Then he found out that was not true.
So Mr. Abramowitz, who had spent six months at Ketura in the early 1980s as part of a Young Judaea program, quickly abandoned his plans to spend a quiet family sabbatical with his wife and children in southern Israel. Instead, he went into partnership with Ed Hofland, a businessman from the kibbutz, and David Rosenblatt, an investor and strategist from New Jersey, to found the Arava Power Company, now the leading commercial developer of solar power in Israel.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/21/world/middleeast/kibbutz-in-israeli-desert-turns-to-solar-power.htmlShare This Post