Dept of Interior Holds Inaugral Lease Sale for Renewable Energy in Federal Waters

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News
WASHINGTON, D.C. – …Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau today held the nation’s first-ever competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters.  

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The provisional winner of today’s lease sale, which auctioned two leases for a Wind Energy Area of 164,750 acres offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts for wind energy development, is Deepwater Wind New England, LLC. When built, these areas could generate enough combined energy to power more than one million homes.

“When you think about the enormous energy potential that Atlantic wind holds, this is a major milestone for our nation,” said Secretary Jewell. “A lot of collaboration and thoughtful planning went into getting to this point, and we’ll continue to employ that approach as we move forward up and down the coast to ensure that offshore wind energy is realized in the right way and in the right places. Offshore wind is an exciting new frontier that will help keep America competitive, and expand domestic energy production, all without increasing carbon pollution.”

The Wind Energy Area is located 9.2 nautical miles south of the Rhode Island coastline and has the potential to support 3,395 megawatts of wind generation. BOEM will hold its next competitive lease sale for offshore wind on Sept. 4, which will auction nearly 112,800 acres offshore Virginia, and is expected to announce additional auctions for Wind Energy Areas offshore Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey later this year and in 2014.

Maps for these areas are available on BOEM’s website.<

See on www.doi.gov

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Taking energy efficiency seriously

Energy Efficiency on the rise.

duanetilden

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Operations – Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning

Despite the lack of attention paid to the issue during this year’s presidential campaign (at least, before Sandy came along), Barack Obama’s first term was a bit of a quiet revolution for climate change policy in America…

“More than 13 percent of the $700 billion American Recovery Act went to energy spending, most of it green. … the largest portion – $32 billion –went to energy efficiency and retrofitting projects. This was the biggest such investment in the history of history. It may even have finally heralded the arrival of a “Negawatt Revolution”….”

“Still, the right incentive structures to encourage the necessary investments in energy efficiency are not yet in place. Energy bills are still viewed by customers in terms of monthly costs that would go up because of short-term investments rather than yearly ones that…

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US Senators back new bill pushing Energy Efficiency Legislation

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

By SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN and SEN. ROB PORTMAN | 7/29/13 9:25 PM EDT

For the past three years, we have worked together to develop the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, legislation that will go a long way toward making the United States more energy efficient and more economically competitive.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

According to the Sen. Shaheen & Portman:

>Our bill curbs inefficient energy practices that cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars and millions of jobs every year. According to a recent study by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, we waste an astonishing 86 percent of the energy we consume. Upgrading the energy efficiency of U.S. buildings alone could save $1 trillion over the next decade. Cutting down on energy waste represents an untapped resource that we have long ignored. Our legislation helps to change that.

Our bill promotes energy savings that Americans across the political spectrum can get behind. Energy efficiency has broad, bipartisan support from business, energy and environmental advocates alike, and the legislation we have developed helps to promote energy efficiency through a smart, pragmatic plan that can be implemented immediately.

There is one mandatory component to the bill: We are going to make Washington practice what it preaches. We’re going to make the federal government — the largest energy user in the country — adopt energy-saving techniques and best practices that make its operations more efficient. […]

These provisions will save money, make America more energy-independent and lower harmful emissions. For the private sector, the tools our bill deploys are entirely voluntary. This legislation will also not add to the deficit and its costs are fully offset.<

See on www.politico.com

Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency Standards Cost Less than Estimated

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Washington, D.C.—A new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) finds that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been overestimating the impact that energy efficiency standards for appliances and other products have on their price tags.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Today’s study, entitled Appliance Standards: Comparing Predicted and Observed Prices, looks at nine appliance standards that took effect over the 1998-2010 period and found that DOE overestimated price impacts in every case, usually by a wide margin. ACEEE and ASAP found that across the nine rulemakings, DOE estimated an average increase in manufacturer’s selling price of $148. On average the actual change in price was a decrease in manufacturer’s selling price of $12.

Estimates of the overall benefits of energy efficiency standards for consumers will likely have to be revised as well. In 2012, ACEEE and ASAP released a study estimating that standards for appliances and other equipment would save consumers more than $1 trillion cumulatively by 2035, even after subtracting estimated increases in product prices.

“Energy efficiency standards are proving to be an economic powerhouse, driving even more consumer savings than we realized,” said report co-author and ASAP Executive Director Andrew deLaski.<

See on www.aceee.org

Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World (2013) | UCSUSA

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

This report shows how the U.S. can build an electricity system that protects our water resources and dramatically reduces global warming emissions.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The country stands at a critical crossroads. Many aging, water-intensive power plants are nearing the end of their lives. The choices we make to replace them will determine the water and climate implications of our electricity system for decades to come.

Today’s electricity system cannot meet our needs in a future of growing demand for power, worsening strains on water resources, and an urgent need to mitigate climate change.

[…]

Energy-water collisions are happening now, and are poised to worsen in a warming world

  • The heat waves and drought that hit the U.S. in 2011 and 2012 shined a harsh light on the vulnerability of the U.S. power sector to extreme weather, and revealed water-related electricity risks across the country.
  • When plants cannot get enough cooling water, they must cut back or completely shut down their generators, as happened in 2011 and 2012 at plants around the country.
  • Nationally, the 2012 drought was the worst in half a century. Amid soaring temperatures in the Midwest, several power plant operators got permission to discharge exceptionally hot water rather than reduce power output.
  • Electricity-water collisions are poised to worsen in a warming world as the power sector helps drive climate change. Extreme weather conditions that have historically been outliers are expected to become standard fare.<

See on www.ucsusa.org

Net Metering And Rooftop Solar For The Utility Of The Future

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Net metering makes small-scale renewable energy, such as rooftop solar panels, more affordable by crediting the “distributed generation” owners for the excess energy they produce.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Why the new focus on net metering?  The cost for rooftop solar panels has fallen 80% since 2008, including 20% in 2012 alone.  Installed rooftop solar energy has increased by 900% between 2000 and 2011.  As consumers install more rooftop solar panels and net meter them, utility revenues will decrease.

Net metering policies vary from state-to-state, including the amount of the payback for excess energy.  The most favorable policy for distributed generation owners is an excess energy credit equal to the full retail energy rate consumers pay for energy, i.e. the amount consumers are charged for using energy.  Most states use this measure.  However, utilities claim this prevents them from recovering their full costs and overpays distributed generation owners, unfairly shifting costs to other consumers.  Utilities say the credit should be equal to the utilities’ wholesale energy cost at the time of day when excess energy flows back to the grid.

Despite attempts by utilities to change net metering policies, state regulators are keeping these policies intact.  Earlier this month, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission rejected Idaho Power’s request to pay less than the full retail rate and to impose higher charges on net metering consumers.  Last month, the Louisiana Public Service Commission rejected similar requests by Louisiana utilities.  More recently, Arizona Public Service Company raised the issue in a ne[…]<

See on blogs.edf.org

Companies Fined for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reporting Errors | The National Law Review

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Nine companies were issued fines by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for violating the State of California’s Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule. The ARB adopted the reporting rule in 2007.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The companies cited for violations were not concentrated in one industry sector.  Sources receiving fines included a refinery, a biomass generating plant, an oil and gas production company, a utility company, a lime manufacturing company, and a cement company, among others. <

See on www.natlawreview.com

Glut of Natural gas squeezes biofuel market

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Farm Power Northwest has built five anaerobic digesters in Oregon and Washington in recent years, but the brothers who founded the company say the outlook for new projects has lost its luster.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The Mount Vernon, Wash.-based company, founded by brothers Daryl and Kevin Maas, uses manure from dairy farms to create methane gas, then burns it in generators and sells the resulting electricity to power utilities.

[…]

While power utilities paid up to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour several years ago for digester-produced electricity, the rate has now fallen to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, said Kevin Maas.

The reason is the price of natural gas — a common fuel for electrical generation — has plummeted as domestic production has skyrocketed. Natural gas is now trading at below $4 per thousand cubic feet, compared with nearly $13 per thousand cubic feet in 2008.

That’s because new technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has greatly increased the amount of natural gas that can be economically extracted from the ground.

With the cost of natural gas so much lower, other energy feedstocks like biogas from digesters become less competitive, experts say.<

See on www.capitalpress.com

Integration: Net-zero energy design | Consulting-Specifying Engineer

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

-ASHRAE has a goal: net-zero energy for all new buildings by 2030. What do engineers need to know to achieve this goal on their projects?

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>As net-zero energy and low-energy design projects become more prevalent, engineers must be prepared to collaborate with all members of a project team including architects, energy specialists, lighting designers, builders, and owners in order to accomplish net-zero energy goals with little to no cost premium. Is this possible today or will it take another 10 or more years to get there?

There are many examples of completed projects demonstrating that not only is this possible, but it has been done in all regions of the country using readily available building products and common construction methods. So what’s the secret? It’s all about the design.<

See on www.csemag.com

Renewable Energy or Efficiency for the Data Center: Which first? #GreenComputing

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

New advancements in green technology and design are making the idea of a green data center into a reality.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Without doubt, the facility is a triumph of advanced environmental design and will serve as a template for future construction. Indeed, activity surrounding renewable-based data infrastructure is picking up, with much of it being led by the burgeoning renewable energy industry itself. VIESTE Energy, LCC, for example, has hired design firm Environmental Systems Design (ESD) to plan out a series of data centers across the U.S. that run on 100 percent renewable energy. A key component of the plan is a new biogas-fed generator capable of 8 to 15MW performance. The intent is to prove that renewables are fully capable of delivering reliable, cost-effective service to always-on data infrastructure.

The question of reliability has always weighed heavily on the renewables market, but initiatives like the VIESTE program could help counter those impressions in a very important way, by establishing a grid of distributed, green-energy data supply. In fact, this is the stated goal of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which has gathered together a number of industry leaders, including AMD, HP and GE, to establish a network of distributed, green data centers that can be used to shift loads, scale infrastructure up and down and in general make it easier for data users to maintain their reliance on renewable energy even if supply at one location is diminished. In other words, distributed architectures improve green reliability through redundancy just as they do for data infrastructure in general.

But not everyone on the environmental side is convinced that renewables are the best means of fostering data center efficiency. In a recent article in the journal Nature Climate Change, Stanford researcher Dr. Jonathan Koomey argues that without populating existing infrastructure with low-power hardware and data-power management technology first, data operators are simply wasting precious renewable resources that could be put to better use elsewhere. For projects like the NWSC and VIESTE, then, renewables may make sense because they power state-of-the-art green technology. But not as an industry-wide solution–renewables won’t make sense until hardware life cycles run their course.<

See on www.itbusinessedge.com