Archive for December, 2009
Austin American Statesman
December 30, 2009
BEFI: PUTTING CENTRAL TEXAS AT FOREFRONT OF ENERGY INNOVATION
The U.S. Department of Energy recently recognized Austin’s Pecan Street Project for its visionary leadership in the development of smart-grid systems with a $10.4 million stimulus-funds award. The project will deliver electricity more efficiently to consumers using two-way digital flows that can save energy and reduce costs. It will also provide a model for a clean-energy economy in Central Texas — a key improvement because between 6 percent and 10 percent of energy is lost because grids are not sufficiently intelligent.More >
Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) — Consumer backlash and cost concerns may cause delays in the nationwide rollout of “smart” utility meters at the center of the Obama administration’s $8 billion push to update the U.S. electricity grid. PG&E Corp., owner of California’s largest utility, halted meter installations in Bakersfield, north of Los Angeles, after hundreds of customers complained that readings weren’t accurate. The meters, part of a so-called smart-grid initiative billed as clearing the way for more renewable-energy use, are designed to help consumers conserve power during periods of peak demand.
Two days before going into effect, France’s Constitutional Council rejected a tax on carbon emissions because of too many exemptions for major industrial polluters, reports the New York Times.
The council also said the bill, backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, threatened to make tax collection unfair, primarily raising the cost of fuel for vehicles and heating, reports the New York Times. The tax was set at 17 euros ($24) for each ton of carbon dioxide.
In particular, the council opposed the ruling that 93 percent of industrial emissions, including the emissions of more than 1,000 of France’s top polluting industrial sites, would More >
With large emitters scheduled to begin collecting their emissions data Jan. 1, companies are gearing up to ensure their compliance. But that hasn’t stopped critics from ramping up their rhetoric.
On Sept. 22, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would require about 10,000 facilities that emit about 85 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gases to begin collecting their emissions data.
The largest emitters will have to submit annual reports of their emissions, starting in 2011, with information from the 2010 calendar year. Vehicle and engine manufacturers are getting a one-year reprieve. They don’t have to start reporting until model year 2011. For More >
Classes are filling up as fast as colleges can add new major and minors in green programs, as students demand the courses and employers wanted trained students, reports USA Today.
More than 100 majors, minors or certificates were added this year in energy and sustainability-focused programs at colleges nationwide, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), reports USA Today. This is up from three programs added in 2005. Click here for AASHE’s list of academic programs in sustainability.
As an example, the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University started an undergraduate program in sustainability More >
Entergy’s Retail Regulators have announced the formation of the Entergy Regional State Committee designed to provide collective retail regulatory agency input on the operations of and upgrades to the Entergy Transmission System as well as operations and functions of the Independent Coordinator of Transmission (ICT) in the Entergy region. The members of the E-RSC are five retail regulators of Entergy operating companies: Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC); Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC); Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC); Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT); and the city of New Orleans’ City Council (CNO). The formation of the E-RSC follows …
IEEE has published its latest energy transmission standard: IEEE C57.12.38, “IEEE Standard for Padmounted-Type, Self-Cooled, Single-Phase Distribution Transformers; High Voltage, 34 500 GrdY/19 920 V and Below, Low Voltage, 240/120 V; 167 kVA and Smaller.” This standard covers certain electrical, dimensional, mechanical characteristics and safety requirements of single-phase, 60 Hz, liquid-filled, self-cooled, padmounted, compartmental-type distribution transformers. These transformers are rated 167 kVA and smaller, with the high voltages of 34 500 GrdY/19 920 V and below for operation between one phase and grounded neutral, and low voltage of 240/120 V.More >
on December 29th, 2009 in Climate Change, policy, politics
A new climate bill proposal with bi-partisan and moderate-Democrat support changes a few critical features from previous proposals, but it still seems to keep to the aim. Supposedly, the (Cantwell-Collins) bill would achieve a 20% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 and an 83% reduction by 2050.
NASHUA, N.H., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ – The conference program for the Photovoltaics World Conference & Expo, to be held February 23-25, 2010 in Austin, Texas, has been finalized. Recent advances in photovoltaics technology and manufacturing processes will be addressed, as well as emerging applications for photovoltaic-based solar power generation systems. Information will be presented in two different tracks and seven sessions over a three-day program. The conference will be held in conjunction with PennWell’s Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America, which covers all forms of renewable energy, including the wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal, ocean/tidal/wave, bio-power, bio-fuels hydrogen and More >
December 29, 2009 The economic stimulus story threaded its way through the calendar year in 2009. by Carl Levesque, AWEA
Over 7,000 MW of wind power are expected to be installed this year in the U.S. That’s down from 2008′s record 8,545 MW, but that still would make it the second best year in the history of the industry. Not bad, at a time when the rest of the economy tanked and the value of your primary financial policy driver became all but worthless.
What events drove those highly respectable numbers? What pushed them down and, likewise, what kept them up? What other industry More >