QUICK NEWS, March 27: PRES CHALLENGES OPPONENTS OF NEW ENERGY; BIG CHANGES IN MATURING WIND INDUSTRY; GUANTANAMO GOES SOLAR
PRES CHALLENGES OPPONENTS OF NEW ENERGY
Obama knocks GOP over solar power
David Jackson, March 21, 2012 (USA Today)
"…[On his energy policy tour last wee], President Obama said…Republicans would cause gas prices to rise even higher by withholding federal support for alternative energy sources."
[The President:] "If some politicians have their way, there won't be any more public investment in solar energy…There won't be as many new jobs and new businesses…As long as I'm president, I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy…"
A recent Pike Research poll showed the public overwhelmingly agrees with the President. (click to enlarge)
"…[The tour included stops at oil and gas fields in New Mexico, an oil pipeline project in Oklahoma, and an energy speech in Ohio…With gas prices rising, Republicans said Obama is not doing enough to promote domestic oil production. They also criticized his alternative energy investments, particularly the now-bankrupt Solyndra…
"Obama is promoting what he calls an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy, one he said includes developing new sources as well as increasing oil production…Domestic oil production is up, Obama said, but ‘drilling alone’ will not solve the problem of higher gas prices…"
BIG CHANGES IN MATURING WIND INDUSTRY
Wind Energy Update: End of Warranty Requirements for Wind Energy
March 24, 2012 (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Over 100,000MW of wind energy capacity is set to come out of warranty by 2020 forcing operators to either repower or retrofit their wind farms or lose money… the Retrofitting, Reliability & Repowering report 2012…[found that of the countries with turbines] between 8 and 20 years of age and either entering or approaching post-warranty status… China leads the way with over 40,000MW capacity followed by the US with 37,000, Germany with 15,000MW and the UK's 4000MW…
"The report…assesses how wind farm operators can best measure the reliability of their operations post warranty and… what they can do…[R]etrofitting…[which is] improving…existing turbines efficiency and capacity by fitting new technology such as better grid connections or the latest blade designs…[is compared with] repowering…[which is] decommissioning…existing turbines and building [more modern turbines]…"
click to enlarge
"…[O]perators need… [to understand] failures that occur when a turbine warranty ends and the [productivity and profitability impacts of paying] for their repairs… 42% of events after a warranty ends are related to component failures…21%...relate to control system failures…
"…The cumulative number of failures in a year for a single wind turbine is 2.43 with the most affected parts being the Electrical System (0.57 failures per year) and the Electronic Control (0.43 failures per year). The most reliable component is the drive train…[but] the biggest loss of downtime, lethal to site profitability, at an average of 6 days is [from] the gearbox…"
GUANTANAMO GOES SOLAR
Solar Source Installs PV At Guantanamo Bay
15 March 2012 (Solar Industry)
"…Solar Source has completed construction on a 1,200-panel solar power system at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The solar array, which is the first of its scale on the island, will produce electricity to power a new fitness center for military personnel…Solar Source provided engineering, procurement and construction for the approximately 300 kW system, which required six-foot screws, custom engineering and pre-drilling to penetrate the dense shell and rock ground. The turnkey solar installation is part of a larger military effort to save money by lowering power bills."
A view of the Guantanamo solar array after security redaction. (click to enlarge)
"The military base at Guantanamo Bay has produced its own electricity since the 1960s, when Rear Adm. John Bulkeley spearheaded the base's efforts to become independent from Cuba's water and power supplies. However, electricity is expensive for the base, with diesel fuel shipped in from overseas…The naval base is undergoing several conservation measures."