Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Wind energy could provide 20 percent of the electricity for the eastern half of the United States by 2024, but only if the nation makes a significant financial investment, according to new government report.
About $90 billion would be required to install a network of land- and sea-based wind turbines and about 22,000 miles of new power lines, according to the study published by U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The report said that the government would have to provide a significant portion of that investment through programs such as loan guarantees.
Friday, January 15th, 2010
Nine years into a regulatory battle that has been fought in virtually every legal , political and bureaucratic venue imaginable, Secretary of State Ken Salazar said today that the stakeholders must come to a compromise by March 1 or he would intervene and make the final decision on the proposed offshore wind farm in the waters of Nantucket Sound near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Salazar reiterated that if the timeline he laid down last week wasn’t met, he would consult with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent party, to make a final decision.
In a series of meetings with about three dozen representatives of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Native American groups, Cape Wind and the primary opposition group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, Secretary Salazar said “the public, the applicants and all the stakeholders deserve resolution,” calling the nine-year process an example of government failure. (more…)
Thursday, January 14th, 2010
A period of extremely cold, windless weather has brought home to the British the drawbacks of relying on wind power and the need to keep a supply of natural gas in reserve. While the cold spell has strained natural gas supplies, leading in some cases to cutoffs to industrial users, it also has highlighted the unpredictability of wind power. Although Britain’s wind farms are supposed to provide 5 percent of the country’s electricity, they were in fact only providing 0.2 percent during the recent run of frigid, still days.
Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
Who would ever have thought that wind blower fans in a cow barn would spark an idea to create innovated vertical wind turbines?
It turns out that a small, clean technology startup company located in a kibbutz near Ramat Hasharon, Israel may be developing a new stackable wind turbine that could compete with the giant propeller ones currently in use around the world.
Coriolis Wind is the brain child of its 3 co-founders Dr. Rafi Gidron, an entrepreneur from Precede Technologies, an entrepreneurship and investment firm focused on high growth markets such as alternative energy; Orni Petruschka, also with Preclude; and Dr. Shuki Sheinman, formerly connected with NASA, Scitex and El Op.
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
There are many advantages to wind power, the least of which is zero-emissions electricity. Now, several innovative companies worldwide are exploring the idea of creating floating wind turbines anchored to platforms far out to sea that connect to the seabed to harness the power of the ocean winds.
In September, the first full-scale floating wind turbine was launched in the North Sea off Norway. Called Hywind, the 2.3-megawatt wind turbine was hauled six miles out to sea by tugboats and installed on a floater traditionally used for production platforms and offshore loading buoys. The turbine’s tower is bolted to a steel cylinder that extends more than 300 feet below the surface and is connected to the seabed with three anchor points. (more…)
Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Living near wind farms does not pose adverse health effects, according to a new study.
The research, conducted by a seven-member panel of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other institutions, was funded by the American and Canadian wind industry associations.
The 85-page report says there is no medical basis for concerns that the audible or “subaudible” sounds of spinning wind turbines cause physiological harm to people who live nearby.
Sunday, November 15th, 2009
For years now, many members of Congress have insisted that cutting carbon emissions was difficult, if not impossible. It is not. During the two years since 2007, carbon emissions have dropped 9 percent. While part of this drop is from the recession, part of it is also from efficiency gains and from replacing coal with natural gas, wind, solar, and geothermal energy.
The United States has ended a century of rising carbon emissions and has now entered a new energy era, one of declining emissions. Peak carbon is now history. What had appeared to be hopelessly difficult is happening at amazing speed.
For a country where oil and coal use have been growing for more than a century, the fall since 2007 is startling. In 2008, oil use dropped 5 percent, coal 1 percent, and carbon emissions by 3 percent. Estimates for 2009, based on U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) data for the first nine months, show oil use down by another 5 percent. Coal is set to fall by 10 percent. Carbon emissions from burning all fossil fuels dropped 9 percent over the two years.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
Turkey’s alternative energy potential is huge, but it remains locked – at least so far. Earlier this month, Ankara hosted the International Energy Congress on Renewable Energy where the Turkish energy sector was the main discussion point. The congress attracted a record number of participants from public and private sectors, including the Turkish Minister of Energy and members of the country’s Parliament. It was once more observed that the potential of investments in Turkey is by far exceeding the enthusiasm of the bureaucrats and the readiness of the Turkish infrastructure.
Monday, October 12th, 2009
A recent Jewish Telegraphic Agency article by Dina Kraft on clean technology takes a good look at a number of projects by Israeli clean tech industries and Israel’s military branches in the realm of renewable and alternative energy.
“Beating swords into green plowshares in Israel,” the article talks about solar energy energy companies such as Bright Source Energy, which is involved in building solar energy plants in California’s Mojave Desert and other locations; and Rotem, which utilizes technologies developed in Israel’s aeronautical defense industry.
Monday, October 12th, 2009
A battle over whether to place wind turbines within sight of France’s famous abbey, Mont-Saint-Michel, has touched off a dispute within the country’s environmental community over the visual impact of the alternative energy source.
A coalition of local and national conservationists has opposed locating the wind turbines within view of the abbey on the Normandy coast, even though the windmills would be roughly 10 miles from Mont-Saint-Michel.