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Peak Energy: Alternative energy faces power line "bottleneck" in U.S. West - 0 views

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    Reuters has a report on some of the roadblocks obstructing grid expansion (and thus construction of many large scale renewable energy projects) in the US - Alternative energy faces power line "bottleneck" in U.S. West. President Barack Obama aims to double alternative energy production over three years, but how much "green" power will come from the U.S. West is uncertain if the sunny and wind-swept region cannot overcome a shortage of power lines. Installing large solar installations and dotting landscapes with wind turbines across the western United States would be, technically speaking, straightforward, and potentially popular with the renewed interest in domestic energy sources amid rising economic, environmental and security concerns.
Energy Net

Obama likely to boost alternative energy: ENN -- Know Your Environment - 0 views

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    Barack Obama's election has members of the alternative energy world sounding positively giddy, an enthusiasm not shared by their competitors in the oil industry. Obama's energy plans read like a wish list for the companies that make solar cells, wind turbines or alternative fuels. He wants to pump money into energy research and force all electric utilities to use renewable power. He has proposed creating a cap-and-trade system that would put a price on the greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning fossil fuels.
Energy Net

- The Futility of Alternative Energy in the Midst of Hyper-Population Growth (Connectin... - 0 views

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    Most Coloradans and Americans plow through their daily lives without a clue as to their future or their children's outlook concerning America's energy crisis. However, last summer, a glimpse of the future confronted them. At $4.20 per gallon of gas, they squirmed on their wallets while complaining, "These prices are insane, ridiculous, crazy…." When a barrel of oil reached $140.00 in August 2008, Americans limited their driving, so much so, they drove 12 million less miles that month. They bought more fuel efficient cars. They carpooled. They clamored for alternative fuels. "We must move toward wind, solar, nuclear and coal for our energy needs," screamed our politicians. "We must provide for future generations and keep our economy growing."
Energy Net

Peak Energy: Alternative Energy Still Facing Headwinds - 0 views

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    The Washington Post has an article on forces encouraging and opposing renewable energy in the US - Alternative Energy Still Facing Headwinds. I like that Obama is still using his "end the tyranny of oil in our time" line. The late afternoon light is shining golden on the high chaparral as Donna Tisdale stands near a faded 1800s ranch house, scans the unblemished surrounding hills and sees trouble on the horizon. "The ridge right there will have turbines on it," she says, squinting west into the setting sun. Turning north and east, where a pristine ridgeline meets the sky, she points out the route of a $1.9 billion electricity transmission line whose 150-foot towers will march 123 miles from the Imperial Valley to energy-thirsty San Diego.
Energy Net

Political winds buffet California ballot measures on energy [National Wind Watch] - 0 views

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    Two of the world's richest men bankroll alternative-energy initiatives on the November ballot. Each is opposed by some of the very champions of those alternatives. Adding to the confusion, both measures carry "renewable energy" in their titles.
Energy Net

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! | Gristmill - 0 views

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    Global recession? Must be time for the media's alternative-energy backlash My father used to say of his profession that newspaper editors are the people who come down from the mountaintop at the end of the battle and shoot the wounded. A massive credit crunch and a drop in the price of fossil fuels can mean only one thing to the editors of the traditional media -- an excuse for their favorite activity in the whole world, the backlash story. Faster than you can say "Joe the Plumber" isn't a licensed plumber, his name isn't Joe, and he has a tax lien against him, you can be sure that if the media ever lets itself fawn over you for even a nano-second, it will turn its coverage on a dime and run the minute a few whispy short-term clouds appear in the horizon. And so we have the New York Times story, "Alternative Energy Suddenly Faces Headwinds," which is supposed to be a clever headline, but the NYT, which accompanies the story with a picture of wind turbines, seems to have missed the irony that wind turbines like strong winds.
Energy Net

GasHole the Movie: History of Oil Prices and Alternative Energy : Sustainablog - 0 views

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    Auto and Oil Industries' Impacts on Energy Has the United States government actually colluded with major auto manufacturers to keep fuel economy down over the past few to several decades? Has the government actually scratched backs with the oil industry in manipulating prices, alternating between wallet-crushing peaks and consumer-pacifying lulls in pricing?
Energy Net

GOP: Alternative energy alone won't meet US needs - National Business - MiamiHerald.com - 0 views

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    A GOP senator from the nation's leading coal-producing state contends Democrats will increase energy costs and make the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil if they focus solely on alternative energy. In the party's weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said Republicans support a more comprehensive energy plan that would increase funding for energy research, develop U.S. oil and gas resources and promote clean coal and nuclear power.
Energy Net

BBC NEWS | All change as gas reserves soar - 0 views

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    With coal being too dirty and wind farms and nuclear power plants arriving late, it seems the world is left with a stark choice: keep on polluting or turn out the lights. Unless, that is, someone comes up with an alternative. Energy executive Rune Bjornson thinks he has the answer. "Natural gas, more than any other fuel, is an option we have here and now," he tells the BBC in an interview. And, he adds, there is plenty of it around - unlike scarcer resources such as oil and coal.
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    With coal being too dirty and wind farms and nuclear power plants arriving late, it seems the world is left with a stark choice: keep on polluting or turn out the lights. Unless, that is, someone comes up with an alternative. Energy executive Rune Bjornson thinks he has the answer. "Natural gas, more than any other fuel, is an option we have here and now," he tells the BBC in an interview. And, he adds, there is plenty of it around - unlike scarcer resources such as oil and coal.
Energy Net

95 Californias or 74 Texases to replace offshore oil | Energy Bulletin - 0 views

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    "As the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster continues to unfold, the peak oil community has a "teachable moment" in which it can illuminate the reality of our energy plight. The public has had a crash course in the challenges of offshore oil, and learned a whole new vocabulary. They are more aware than ever that the days of cheap and easy oil are gone. What they do not yet grasp are the challenges in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables. The Greens (anti-fossil fuel agitators) want to end offshore drilling, but don't realize that their alternatives are in the wrong scale or the wrong time frame to make a difference. The Browns (the fossil fuel industry) are in full damage-control mode while rapidly losing the public trust. Meanwhile, the politicians are focused on who's to blame and who will pay, while skirting the fundamental problem of our addiction to oil."
Energy Net

The future of energy - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com - 0 views

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    If the plans being laid for the economy and the environment work out the way President-elect Barack Obama's advisers hope they do, the future of energy can be summed up in one word: electricity. That one word covers a lot of policy twists, however: What will the economic downturn mean for initiatives to cut down on greenhouse-gas emissions? What will the recent drop in gasoline prices mean for efforts to boost alternatives to fossil fuels? Can the electrical grid handle increased demand? How do you smooth out the highs and lows of power generation? Where will all that power come from?
Energy Net

Department of Energy - Draft Environmental Impact Statement Available for Public Review - 0 views

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    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the issuance of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the West Valley Demonstration Project in western New York, naming Phased Decisionmaking as the Preferred Alternative. Issuance of this Draft EIS is a significant step forward in cleaning up the site. The document, entitled "Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship at the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center (DOE/EIS-0226-D (Revised)), is a revision of the 1996 Cleanup and Closure Draft EIS.
Energy Net

Peak Energy: The Clean Energy Economy - 0 views

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    Technology Review has a post on the benefits and challenges facing a new clean energy economy - The Clean Energy Economy: A New Industrial Revolution Rising From Challenging Times. In the last five years, many venture capitalists (myself included) have committed to backing entrepreneurs who aspire to build the next generation of clean energy companies that will endure. Thousands of companies have formed to harness alternative forms of energy like wind, solar and biofuels; and to reduce man's carbon footprint. Billions of dollars have been poured into this fledgling entrepreneurial ecosystem with the vision of creating significant wealth, millions of jobs, and energy security for our nation. When the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed, entrepreneurs focused on the communications sector, and within a decade companies like Google, Yahoo and EBay became household names and changes heretofore unseen since the Industrial Revolution occurred. It's time for another Industrial Revolution, fueled by clean energy.
Energy Net

San Francisco Bay Guardian: A flawed energy bill - 0 views

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    Who's going to control the local electric grid, and thus the city's energy future? Two months after Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spent $10 million to defeat a clean energy measure on the San Francisco ballot, Sup. Sophie Maxwell has stepped into the battle, introducing a mild ordinance that lifts some of the language from the Clean Energy Act but would accomplish very little. We're glad to see Maxwell stepping up her efforts to close the dirty Mirant Power Plant in Potrero Hill, but her legislation needs some significant amendments. Maxwell's ordinance, cosponsored by Sup. Aaron Peskin (who is one meeting away from being termed out), would make it city policy to "take all feasible steps" to close the Potrero plant. That's a laudable goal. It also borrows the aggressive environmental goals from the Clean Energy Act, stating that the city needs to meet all its energy needs by 2040 with renewable power. But unlike the Clean Energy Act, Maxwell's mandate ignores PG&E, which supplies the vast majority of the electricity in San Francisco and which can't even meet the state's weak alternative energy standards. Her requirement would apply only to the city's own power supplies, which come mostly from the Hetch Hetchy hydroelectric project and thus already meet the 2040 standards.
Energy Net

Can Renewable Energy Be Sustained? - 0 views

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    Engineers and entrepreneurs are rushing to explore alternative sources of efficient and renewable energy in New Jersey and elsewhere in the country. A Rutgers School of Business-Camden professor has strong words of caution as projects involving wind farms and photovoltaic cells proliferate.
Energy Net

The Oil Drum | Thoughts on the New Energy Team - 0 views

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    Dr. Chu's record indicates to me that he easily fills my three criteria. Dr. Chu is currently director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Among his accomplishments there was to secure a $500 million partnership with BP to do alternative energy research. (See this story from Salon for more details.) This suggests someone who can work with industry on next generation energy technologies. I am not sure how quickly he feels we can transition away from oil, and therefore whether we need additional exploration and drilling. I couldn't find anything regarding his position on drilling. However, he has been outspoken over his opposition to coal, and his concerns about global warming. Some quotes on these topics from Dr. Chu. First, his position on coal is pretty clear: "Coal is my worst nightmare." He favors nuclear energy over coal (it should come as no suprise that a physicist like Dr. Chu is pro-nuclear):
Energy Net

2008 Energy Roundup - 0 views

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    Here is a list of energy news items that the WattzOn team found most interesting in 2008: * CO2 is officially a pollutant (maybe) - In a ruling by the Environmental Appeals Board (a panel within the EPA), it was decided that the EPA has no valid reason to not limit CO2 emissions from coal plants. Confusingly, the EPA has recently overruled itself by stating that officials cannot consider greenhouse gas outputs in judging applications to build new coal-fired power plants. So, it's back up in the "air." * We need to be at 350 PPM of CO2 - James Hansen of Columbia University, and NASA's head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, published a landmark paper: "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?" in which he argues for an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 350 parts per million (PPM) for humanity to be safe on this planet. As some background, pre-industrial Earth had a CO2 concentration of around 275 PPM, and for years policy makers have set a target regulatory goal of 550 PM - twice that number. More recently, 450 PPM has been proposed as a better goal by the EU and a few others. Unfortunately, recent evidence has shown that the Arctic sea is melting at an alarming rate and a giant ice sheet in Greenland is starting to slide into the ocean. This is the reality with the world today at 383 PPM. Hansen points out that this means we set overly lax targets and proposes the 350 PPM goal with tons of paleo-climatic data to back him up. We need to bring the CO2 in our atmosphere back down to this concentration. * Energy scientists primed to enter government - US President-Elect Obama has nominated Steven Chu to be the Secretary of Energy, and named John Holdren as the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology / Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy / Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. As the President-Elect puts it, "Today, more than
Energy Net

New study: Ethanol is worst form of renewable energy | Midwest Voices - 0 views

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    A fascinating new study ranks alternative energies from best to worst -- and showing up last is ethanol. It's time to ban all federal subsidies for this wasteful taxpayer investment in Midwest farmers and this inefficient use of corn to power vehicles across America.
Energy Net

Project Vote Smart - HR 6899 - Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Extending Certain Rene... - 0 views

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    Vote to pass a bill that expands offshore drilling leases and extends renewable energy tax credits. Official Title of Legislation: HR 6899: To advance the national security interests of the United States by reducing its dependency on oil through renewable and clean, alternative fuel technologies while building a bridge to the future through expanded access to Federal oil and natural gas resources, revising the relationship between the oil and gas industry and the consumers who own those resources and deserve a fair return from the development of publicly owned oil and gas, ending tax subsidies for large oil and gas companies, and facilitating energy efficiencies in the building, housing, and transportation sectors, and for other purposes. Highlights:
Energy Net

Project Vote Smart - HR 7060 - Renewable Energy Credits and Other Business and Individu... - 0 views

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    Vote to pass a bill that extends energy efficiency tax credits, as well as various individual and business tax credits. Official Title of Legislation: HR 7060: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes. Highlights: - Extends tax credits for wind facilities until January 1, 2010, and credits for qualified biomass, geothermal or solar, small irrigation power, landfill gas, trash combustion, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities until October 1, 2011 (Sec. 101, 102). - Extends residential energy efficient property credits for solar electric, solar water heating, and fuel cell property expenditures until December 31, 2016 (Sec. 104). - Extends the residential energy efficient property credit allowable against the alternative minimum tax to the taxable year starting in 2007 (Sec. 104). - Reduces the maximum income tax deduction allowed for domestic production of oil and gas (Sec. 401). - Extends the business research credit through December 31, 2009 (Sec. 221). - Extends tax deductions for college tuition payments through the taxable year ending December 31, 2009 (Sec. 202). - Allows a base credit of $3,000 for plug-in electric motor vehicles, with up to an additional $2,000 for vehicles drawing propulsion energy from a battery of 5 or more kilowatt hours of capacity (Sec. 124). - Encourages bicycle commuting by allowing tax-free reimbursements to cover expenses such as the purchase of a bicycle and maintenance if the bicycle is regularly used to travel between the employee's residence and place of employment (Sec. 126). - Extends the Federal Unemployment Tax Act surtax that employers pay with respect to individuals they employ through 2010 (Sec. 404). - Extends tax credits for solar energy property until January 1, 2017 and credits for fuel cell and microturbine pr
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