March 6th, 2014
Good news, albeit just the tip of the iceberg.
One of the nation’s largest coal producers [Alpha Natural Resources] will pay a $27.5 million fine and is set to spend $200 million to reduce illegal toxic discharges into waterways across five Appalachian states.
The government says the company and its subsidiaries violated water pollution limits in state-issued permits more than 6,000 times between 2006 and 2013.
The government says they discharged heavy metals harmful to fish and other wildlife directly into rivers and streams.
Unfortunately, there are many more fossil fuel companies that are busy, right now, polluting the air, endangering water supplies, and contributing to dangerous climate change. That includes companies like Duke Energy, Freedom Industries, BP, and many more. It’s long past time that the government take strong action against all of them.
March 6th, 2014
Here are five recommended reads for today (3/6/14).
- Greentech Media reports: “From sub-Saharan Africa to Bangladesh, the off-grid solar market is posting impressive growth rates. But access to finance has choked the sector’s ability to truly scale. That’s why a new Series C investment in industry leader d.light is worth paying attention to. This latest (and largest) investment in off-grid solar sends a message about the ability of companies in this space to raise serious investment”
- The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is out with its 2013 year in review for solar power.
- Climate Progress reports, “Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show, has changed his mind and become the latest prominent opponent of approving the Keystone XL pipeline.”
- The Guardian asks, “Will fossil fuels melt the global economy?”
- Time Magazine reports: “Energy harvested from the Sun was the second-biggest source of new electricity generation capacity in 2013, but there are clouds on the horizon as a trade war between the U.S. and China stands to throw a monkey wrench in the works.”
March 5th, 2014
A bit earlier today, Joseph Desmond of BrightSource Energy appeared on EETV to talk about how the recently-inaugurated Ivanpah concentrating solar power (CSP) facility is not only “relevant,” but a model for future projects. Asked whether “a project of this nature is no longer relevant or would no longer to be relevant to be built new starting today,” Desmond responded:
No, I actually think it’s quite the opposite. So the tower technology itself is an evolution of previous trough technology, and the reason we went to the tower was to achieve higher temperature and higher pressures, which allow us to use more efficient turbines. But when you look at the technology, what we’re really talking about is being able to create solar steam, and that steam can be used for certainly renewable energy, but also enhanced oil recovery, desalinization and industrial market processes. So as we think about the technology itself going forward, there are still opportunities to improve both in its performance, in the ability — how it’s controlled, in the optimization. So there’s still room for improvement.
…we have several projects in the pipeline that are based on the tower technology, one in Southern California going through the permitting process. But we’re also working internationally, and as BrightSource we’re now very much a technology company. So we provide the solar field engineering services, layout and design, and the core software that controls that, and we look to partner with other companies.
You can click on the image above to view the entire interview with Joseph Desmond. Also, check out Tigercomm Executive Vice President Mark Sokolove’s recent post talking about how Ivanpah is both “inspirational and aspirational” for CSP worldwide.
March 5th, 2014
Here are five recommended reads for today (3/5/14).
- The New York Times reports on “Bangladesh’s Coal Delusion.”
- DeSmogBlog asks: ”How much has the economy benefitted from this [oil and natural gas fracked] drilling surge?” The answer: “Not much, according to a report presented to the European Union Parliament last month, which found ‘no evidence that shale gas is driving an overall manufacturing renaissance in the US.’”
- Reuters reports, “The controversial Keystone XL pipeline will receive President Obama’s blessing and be built to transport crude oil from Canada to Texas, TransCanada Corp. Chief Executive Russ Girling predicted on Tuesday.”
- According to Greentech Media: “Continuing its explosive growth, the U.S. solar industry had a record-shattering year in 2013….photovoltaic installations continued to proliferate, increasing 41 percent over 2012 to reach 4,751 megawatts. In addition, 410 megawatts of concentrating solar power came on-line.”
- The Denver Post reports, “Xcel Energy said Tuesday that it plans to buy power from a $200 million solar installation to be built near its power plant in Pueblo County.”
March 4th, 2014
Here are five recommended reads for today (3/4/14).
- Renewable Energy World reports: “Tesla made a splash last week with its proposed $5 billion “Gigafactory” and its eye-popping numbers…so it makes sense for Tesla to have other plans in case the market doesn’t quite take off and it’s stuck with overcapacity. The answer: allocate some of that capacity to stationary energy storage systems for backup power, peak demand reduction, demand response, and wholesale electric market services.”
- According to Kate Sheppard at the Huffington Post: “The State Department’s final environmental impact analysis for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline downplays the significance the pipeline would have for development of the Canadian tar sands, according to a new analysis from a United Kingdom-based group. The analysis also argues that the State Department underestimated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would come with that development.”
- Greentech Media reports, “SolarReserve’s 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes solar power tower is due to come on-line this year. It will be the biggest solar power tower technology project in the world that incorporates molten salt storage.”
- According to USA Today, “The Environmental Protection Agency announced rules Monday to slash sulfur in gasoline by two-thirds as a way to reduce smog and the respiratory problems that it can cause.”
- Stephen Lacey reports at Greentech Media about some of the “Cool Stuff You Can Do With Consumption Data From Buildings.”