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Solar power cheaper than new nuclear plants, study says | Chattanooga Times Free Press - 1 views

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    "Aided by federal and state tax breaks, solar energy will be cheaper than building new nuclear power plants, according to a North Carolina study released today. Dr. John Blackburn, the emeritus chair of economics and former chancellor of Duke University, said the costs of new nuclear plants continues to rise while electricity generated from solar voltaic panels is only half the cost of 12 years ago. In a study commissioned by the environmental group NC Warn, Dr. Blackburn estimates that the cost of new nuclear plants is now about 16 cents per kilowatt-hour and headed higher while solar energy can be generated with rooftop panels and solar farms in North Carolina for a comparable rate and solar costs are trending down. Solar costs are cut by about one-third because of state and federal tax credits, but Dr. Blackburn said the nuclear industry also benefits by federally backed insurance, loan guarantees and research assistance. "The message is that solar is here and now and not something exotic for the future," Dr. Blackburn said."
Energy Net

Solar Photovoltaics (PV) is Cost-Competitive Now | The GW Solar Institute - 0 views

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    "I hear that PV really costs about 40 c/kWh, at least that's what so many people who have their 2 cents to add to the energy debate have to say about it. And then all of Chicago cringes, and with them, the Obama administration. I would quit if PV cost 40 c/kWh. After 30 years of working in PV, I would quit. It's true that it's hard to understand what PV costs, since we don't know what dollars per watt means in cents per kWh, and we don't know what it means in different locations. Put simply, there are some locations where PV costs 40 c/kWh; and there are some where it costs a third of that. There is no one price for PV, because sunlight varies, and system costs vary with size and design. Large systems are cheaper than small ones. So some nudnik from the oil or coal industries can stand up and say, PV is 40 c/kWh and not be lying. And I can say it is 13 c/kWh and not be lying, and all without a cent of incentives, not even traditional depreciation."
Energy Net

DOE study says wind farms don't hurt property value - Business | Tri-City Herald : Mid-... - 0 views

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    Wind farms have no measurable effect on nearby property values, according to a government report published Wednesday. In the latest study, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory spent three years examining nearly 7,500 sales of homes in 10 communities near two dozen wind farms in nine states. The findings, however, are unlikely to cool the debate over the placement of massive wind turbines which to some represent progress, but to others an intrusion. Questions about the integrity of the $500,000 Berkeley study were aired even before the report was released.
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    Wind farms have no measurable effect on nearby property values, according to a government report published Wednesday. In the latest study, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory spent three years examining nearly 7,500 sales of homes in 10 communities near two dozen wind farms in nine states. The findings, however, are unlikely to cool the debate over the placement of massive wind turbines which to some represent progress, but to others an intrusion. Questions about the integrity of the $500,000 Berkeley study were aired even before the report was released.
Energy Net

Report looks at hidden health costs of energy production - Politics AP - MiamiHerald.com - 0 views

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    Generating electricity by burning coal is responsible for about half of an estimated $120 billion in yearly costs from early deaths and health damages to thousands of Americans from the use of fossil fuels, a federal advisory group said Monday. A one-year study by the National Research Council looked at many costs of energy production and the use of fossil fuels that aren't reflected in the price of energy. The $120 billion sum was the cost to human health from U.S. electricity production, transportation and heating in 2005, the latest year with full data. The report also looks at other hidden costs from climate change, hazardous air pollutants such as mercury, harm to ecosystems and risks to national security, but it doesn't put a dollar value on them.
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    Generating electricity by burning coal is responsible for about half of an estimated $120 billion in yearly costs from early deaths and health damages to thousands of Americans from the use of fossil fuels, a federal advisory group said Monday. A one-year study by the National Research Council looked at many costs of energy production and the use of fossil fuels that aren't reflected in the price of energy. The $120 billion sum was the cost to human health from U.S. electricity production, transportation and heating in 2005, the latest year with full data. The report also looks at other hidden costs from climate change, hazardous air pollutants such as mercury, harm to ecosystems and risks to national security, but it doesn't put a dollar value on them.
Energy Net

New NRG nuclear plant to cost $10 billion | Reuters - 0 views

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    The cost to build a new nuclear power plant in Texas has risen to $10 billion, up from early estimates, but much below price tags of other proposed U.S. nuclear projects, an executive with NRG Energy Inc's nuclear development arm said on Tuesday. The "all in" cost to build two 1,350-megawatt nuclear reactors in South Texas has risen 40 percent from 2006 estimates which did not include financing costs, Steve Winn, chief executive of Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA), told the Reuters Global Energy Summit. While higher, NINA's current estimate is more than $10 billion under estimates from other nuclear developers that operate in states where regulators determine how much money utilities can charge customers for new power plants.
Energy Net

The Associated Press: Highlights of House-Senate economic stimulus plan - 0 views

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    Highlights of a $787 billion compromise version of President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan. Additional debt costs would add about $330 billion over 10 years. Many provisions expire in two years.
Energy Net

guardian.co.uk: Energy chiefs debate the cost of energy - 0 views

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    Energy leaders at the World Economic Forum debated the true cost of fuel on Thursday as they grappled with the implications of world recession and how to navigate out of it. Record-high oil prices close to $150 a barrel in July last year added to the pain of economic slowdown, and now much cheaper prices of near $40 a barrel could help the global economy to rally. But for consumers, producers and the planet, oil at that level could be too cheap as it slows investment in new supplies of fossil fuel as well as in alternative energy. Saudi Arabia, the world's leading oil exporter, said late last year $75 was a fair price for crude -- at the top end of the $60-$80 a barrel many in the industry consider a desirable level. "That seems to be what you need to get investment," BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward on Thursday told the forum in Davos, with reference to the $60-$80 range.
Energy Net

Economic stimulus bill pushes renewable energy | Reuters - 0 views

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    The $825 billion economic stimulus package unveiled by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday contains billions of dollars in tax breaks for renewable energy and spending for energy efficiency and transmission. The legislation, aimed at boosting the recessionary U.S. economy, would provide $20 billion in tax cuts for alternative energy including a multi-year extension of the production tax credit for wind, geothermal, hydro power and bioenergy. The bill also contains tax credits for research and development on energy conservation and efficiency.
Energy Net

Bailout of the Day: Automakers to get $17.4 Billion, Detroit Auto Show Still On : TreeH... - 0 views

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    Lame duck president George W. Bush has approved today a $17.4 billion bailout for the Detroit automakers, proving once again that in this bizarro-Keynesian world, if you run your big business well, you get nothing, and if you don't, you get a reward. "The government will have the option of becoming a stockholder in the companies, much as it has with major banks, in effect partially nationalizing the industry." Read on for more.
Energy Net

California study shows high cost of renewable power | Reuters - 0 views

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    If California expands its renewable power generation to be a third of electricity delivered in the state by 2020, it may cost $60 billion, the state's utility regulator said in a report issued on Thursday. It is more costly to make electricity with renewable power -- solar, wind, geothermal and other sources that emit no or low amounts of global-warming greenhouse gases -- than with natural gas, nuclear and coal power plants.
Energy Net

Solar sector shakeout looms as credit crunch bites: ENN -- Know Your Environment - 0 views

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    Many of the world's solar energy companies could fail or fall into the arms of stronger rivals as the financial crisis raises borrowing costs and as solar module prices fall. Any such shake-out would in turn precipitate consolidation in the industry, which has for years been attracting heavy investment and government subsidies that have driven supply ahead of demand.
Energy Net

Black & Veatch Report Outlines Issues Faced By U.S. Utility - 0 views

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    A newly released Black & Veatch analysis addresses issues faced by U.S. electric and natural gas utilities in light of the country's financial uncertainties. A special edition of Black & Veatch's Energy Strategies newsletter (http://www.rjrudden.net/EnergyStrategies.pdf) outlines how utilities are currently in the midst of a variety of risks and other fundamental cross currents. "The utility industry is not immune to the current financial conditions that government, business and consumers face, even though utility securities are often considered safe havens in times of economic difficulty," said Richard Rudden, Senior Vice President of Black & Veatch's Enterprise Management Solutions Division.
Energy Net

The Oil Drum | The Borg: A Financial Allegory - 0 views

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    This is an allegory explaining some of the monetary issues associated with the current financial crisis. It was written by Jason Bradford. Jason was an academic biologist who "retired" at a young age to become a community organizer and learn how to farm with peak oil in mind. He also hosts a biweekly radio show on public radio called The Reality Report.
Energy Net

The Oil Drum | Energy Margin Calls- Chesapeake CEO Forced To Sell All His Stock - 0 views

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    As people following our energy situation are aware, many if not most energy stocks are down 60-70% or more from their summer highs. In a bizarre but not completely surprising announcement after the close (we knew someone was liquidating), Chesapeake, (the US largest natural gas producer) CEO Aubrey McClendon has been involuntarily liquidated out of his rougly 30,000,000 remaining shares of CHK in the past 3 days due to margin calls. CHK, which in July was over $70 per share, hit as low as $11.99 today, and then had a 38% rally to close at $16.52 on 5 times normal volume.
Energy Net

'Dirty fuels' profit by bailout bill's tax breaks for renewable energy - Los Angeles Times - 0 views

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    The renewable-energy tax incentives tucked into the financial bailout package passed by the House on Friday include billions of dollars in breaks for old-fashioned fossil-fuel processes such as liquefying coal and squeezing petroleum out of sand and rock. These "dirty fuels" are making a tentative comeback among policymakers. Such ventures are aimed at "unconventional" deposits once deemed too expensive or technologically difficult to tap. Backers of the tax breaks believe the substantial incentives might boost these technologies and spur invention of new ones.
Energy Net

California Energy Blog: Limping Economy Threatens Clean Tech Gravy Train - 0 views

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    Clean Technology startups enjoyed another banner quarter in Q3, taking in $2.6 billion in venture capital investments, with 43% of that going to California companies. The most active investors were all from the Bay Area and included four venture capital funds and Google. So far, $6.6 billion has been invested in clean tech startups this year-- more than all of last year. Year over year, investment in Q2 and Q3 was up 17% and 37%, respectively.
Energy Net

The Oil Drum | The Energy Return of Nuclear Power (EROI on the Web-Part 4) - 0 views

  • The seemingly most reliable information on EROI is quite old and is summarized in chapter 12 of Hall et al. (1986). Newer information tends to fall into the wildly optimistic camp (high EROI, e.g. 10:1 or more, sometimes wildly more) or the extremely pessimistic (low or even negative EROI) camp (Tyner et al. 1998, Tyner 2002, Fleay 2006 and Caldicamp 2006). One recent PhD analysis from Sweden undertook an emergy analysis (a kind of comprehensive energy analysis including all environmental inputs and quality corrections as per Howard Odum) and found an emergy return on emergy invested of 11:1 (with a high quality factor for electricity) but it was not possible to undertake an energy analysis from the data presented (Kindburg, 2007). Nevertheless that final number is similar to many of the older analyses when a quality correction is included. Figure 9. EROI for nuclear power plotted vs. year of analysis. (Source Robert Powers). Click to Enlarge. Tyner was the author (or co-author) on the 1988 and 1997 reports which are examples of the lower EROI numbers -- less than 5:1. Tyner’s 1997 paper reported an “optimistic value” of 3.84 and a “less-optimistic” value of 1.86 and may be based on “pessimistic” cost estimates.
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    This is 4th in a continuing series of articles by Professor Charles Hall of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and his students, describing the energy statistic, "EROI" for various fuels.
Energy Net

ENN: The World Spends $300 Billion Subsidizing Fossil Fuels - 0 views

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    The world is spending $300 billion every year to subsidize fossil fuels that pollute the air, wreck the climate ... and run the world's economy. So what if we, as taxpayers, stopped spending $300 billion on coal, oil and natural gas, and started spending it instead on wind, sun and water?
Energy Net

Dollars & Sense blog: Elasticity! Why cutting gas taxes won't lower prices, but will fa... - 0 views

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    When Clinton and McCain proposed cutting gas taxes, I asked my environmental economics students, "So how much do you think drivers will save?" The students diligently Googled the numbers. "Well," said one, "the federal gas tax is 18.4 cents and the average state tax is 28.6 cents, so that's 47 cents a gallon drivers will save!" "But what about elasticity of demand and supply?" I asked. "Oh!!! Forgot about that!"
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