Archive for December, 2011

Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/30/11)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 30th, 2011

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/30/11)

  1. At DeSmogBlog, Farron Cousins reviews “The Year in Dirty Energy: Coal.” According to Cousins, “When it comes to coal, two major issues dominated the environmental news front this year in particular: Mountaintop removal mining (MTR) and coal ash.”
  2. Renewable Energy World reports, “Heightened trade tensions between American and Chinese manufacturers spilled into the wind industry Thursday as a U.S. coalition filed petitions that seek stiff tariffs on towers coming into the U.S. market.”
  3. Greentech Media asks, “How Low Can the Price of Wind Go?”  The answer: “A recent study of solar found that a properly calculated levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) is now competitive, and an LCOE presentation by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) researchers confirmed that wind is now at $33 to $65 per megawatt-hour and falling.”
  4. According to Platts, “Transmission lines to connect two renewable energy facilities in the US West to the electric grid won approval from the federal Department of the Interior on Thursday, Secretary Ken Salazar announced. The department’s Bureau of Land Management signed off on rights of way applications for the lines, which will provide transmission for the projects. Both projects are being constructed on private land, but the transmission lines would cross federal land, necessitating BLM’s approval.”
  5. Bloomberg reports, “Crude futures headed for a third yearly advance on speculation escalating tension in the Middle East may disrupt supplies as a recovery in the U.S. economy bolsters demand.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/29/11)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 29th, 2011

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/29/11)

  1. MediaMatters gives Rush Limbaugh its “Climate Change Misinformer of the Year” award for “shield[ing] his brain from 18 years of mounting evidence that humans are changing the climate.”
  2. ProPublica has its year-end wrapup, entitled, “Fracking Cracks the Public Consciousness in 2011.”
  3. The New York Times reports, “Two years ago, Indian policy makers said that by the year 2020 they would drastically increase the nation’s use of solar power from virtually nothing to 20,000 megawatts — enough electricity to power the equivalent of up to 15 million modern American homes during daylight hours when the panels are at their most productive. Many analysts said it could not be done. But, now the doubters are taking back their words.”
  4. According to Platts, “The Massachusetts high court on Wednesday upheld a power purchase agreement between offshore wind project Cape Wind and National Grid, saying the PPA appears to be in the public interest.”
  5. AP reports, “North Dakota utilities and coal interests agreed to pay up to $500,000 of the state’s cost in challenging a Minnesota law that restricts imports of coal-generated electricity, but the state will still bear the brunt of the expense, documents show.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/28/11)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 28th, 2011

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/28/11)

  1. At GreenBiz.com, Michael Kanellos has his “10 Predictions for Cleantech and Sustainability in 2012.”
  2. Stephen Lacey of Climate Progress writes that “[n]ew satellite images show the dramatic expansion [of tar sands production] that has taken place from 2001 through 2011.”
  3. The New York Times Green blog reports, “In the heated debate over fracking in New York, it is often forgotten that conventional natural gas drilling has been taking place in the state for decades,” and that “conventional vertical and horizontal drilling has its safety issues as well.”
  4. According to Yale’s envionment360, “If energy cost trends remain consistent — with the price of retail electricity rising and solar power falling — solar energy could become cheaper than power from the grid in most major U.S. metropolitan areas by 2027, according to a recent projection.”
  5. CleanTechnica reports, “Scotland could produce almost a third of its electricity needs from renewable sources by the end of this year.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/27/11)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 27th, 2011

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/27/11)

  1. Brad Johnson of Think Progress Green reports, “Attached to the payroll tax deal was a provision forcing President Obama to decide within 60 days whether or not to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, before its route is even finalized. The deadline runs out on February 21, 2012.”
  2. According to Bits of Science, “a new assessment by NASA and Caltech published in the journal Climatic Change shows that by 2100 some 40 percent of ´major ecological community types´ – that is biomes like forest, grassland, tundra – will have switched to a different such state” due to climate change.
  3. Per CleanTechnica: “Trina Solar Limited has teamed up with McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey, in an eight minute video that discusses solar power and its usefulness in communities.”
  4. The Daily Press (Virginia) reports, “Companies considering building wind farms off Virginia’s coast will likely be asked next month to submit proposals to the federal government. The plan, stated during a conference call Tuesday by Tommy Beaudreau, director of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, would place Virginia among the front runners of Atlantic Coast states vying to develop the renewable energy resource.”
  5. CleanTechnica has an article analyzing “the economic benefits of solar,” arguing that “By educating consumers about solar’s role within electricity markets and emphasizing solar economics relative to conventional power — specifically natural gas — the solar industry can attain some pricing power and be a non-trivial part of the energy market.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/23/11)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 23rd, 2011

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/23/11)

  1. The Washington Post reports, “An oil spill near the coast of Nigeria is likely the worst to hit those waters in a decade, a government official said Thursday, as slicks from the Royal Dutch Shell PLC spill approached the country’s southern shoreline.”
  2. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Coal Age Is Nearer To Its End.” The main reason: “Inexpensive natural gas is the biggest threat to coal…Nothing else even comes close.”
  3. Huffington Post writes, “The sinking of a floating oil rig that left more than 50 crew dead or missing is intensifying fears that Russian companies searching for oil in remote areas are unprepared for emergencies – and could cause a disastrous spill in the pristine waters of the Arctic.”
  4. At Greentech Solar, Eric Wesoff has his “Solar Power Year in Review 2011.” Top stories include “Solar PV panel pricing has plummeted” and “The U.S. joins the one gigawatt club.”
  5. The New York Times reports, “Internal government documents show that Canada’s scientific and environmental bureaucracy does not share the Conservative government’s view that oil sands projects in Alberta have relatively little negative impact on the environment.”
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