Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

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The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.


  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How California Is Easing Off NatGas With New Energy
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Illinois cloud computing debate could open utility rate reform

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Value Of Transportation Elecrification
  • QUICK NEWS, December 12: The “Fight-Climate-Change” Diet; Market For Advanced EV Batteries To Quadruple By 2026; The Low Lifecycle Costs In New Energy

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How The New Energy Marketplace Is Growing And Shifting
  • QUICK NEWS, December 11: N.C. Millennial Women Unite For Climate Fight; The White House Threat To New Energy; What’s Bad News In The Tax Bill For New Energy

  • Weekend Video: Tesla Adds World’s Biggest Battery To Aussie Wind
  • Weekend Video: Solar And The Next Utilities
  • Weekend Video: Wind Builders On Wind

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Gourmet
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-UK Study Says Yes To Solar-Powered Electric Trains
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-First Aussie Ocean Wind Project Gets $8BIL Funding
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-EU Solar Goes Digital To Open New Services
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, December 13:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How California Is Easing Off NatGas With New Energy
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Illinois cloud computing debate could open utility rate reform

    Monday, April 23, 2012


    HOW COAL IS SUBSIDIZED Top Three Ways That American Taxpayers Subsidize Dirty Coal Development Jessica Goad and Stephen Lacey, April 13, 2012 (Climate Progress)

    "Environmentalists and public health advocates often talk about… externalities…[whose] total economically quantifiable costs…[are estimated at] some $345.3 billion, adding close to 17.8¢/kWh of electricity generated from coal….borne by the general public…[M]ore tangible ways the coal industry is being subsidized by the American taxpayer…[include] tax breaks, public land loopholes, and subsidized railroads that help them continue being ‘cheap.’

    "…1. Tax breaks…[include] three tax preferences for coal would save $2.6 billion between 2013-2022…Expensing of exploration and development costs…incurred by locating coal ore deposits…Percentage Depletion for Hard Mineral Fossil Fuels…[that] cover the costs of investments in mines…[and] Capital Gains Treatment for Royalties…so they are taxed at a lower rate."

    "…2. Public land loopholes…43.2 percent of U.S. coal comes from public lands. However, the coal industry benefits from a number of loopholes that make obtaining leases on public lands easier and cheaper…[T]he nation’s largest coal producing region, the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, is not legally classified as a ‘coal-producing region’…which shortchanges taxpayers for the value of the land and the coal underneath it…[Also,] the non-public process by which the Bureau of Land Management determines fair market value for coal on public lands…[puts the value]…much lower than would the market would command…

    "…3. Subsidized railroads…Coal is…47 percent of tonnage and 25 percent of revenue for U.S. railroads…U.S. railroads get loans and loan guarantees from government agencies like the Department of Transportation/Federal Railroad Administration and have received numerous tax incentives for investments in new infrastructure…[Also, trains carry coal for export] to Asian countries…[suggesting that] American taxpayers [are] subsidizing the coal boom in countries like China…"

    CAES IN TEXAS As Texas worries about power generation, is answer underground? Laylan Copelin, April 8, 2012 (Austin American Statesman)

    "…Chamisa Energy…[is planning] compressed air [energy] stored [CAES]…Generators will use wind-generated electricity, mostly at night when power demands are low and prices are cheapest, to compress air into salt caverns that will be carved 2,000 feet below the surface. As the demand for electricity rises during the day, the process is reversed. A mixture of compressed air and a small amount of natural gas would generate power.

    "…[It] became possible with a recent decision by the Public Utility of Commission of Texas that allows all storage technologies to pay wholesale rates…[S]torage technologies — from batteries to flywheels to compressed air — are coming to the forefront as a way to maximize solar and wind generation that are intermittent…Chamisa officials expect to be operational by 2014, just as the state completes 2,300 miles of high-voltage transmission lines…to bring more wind-generated electricity from West Texas to the rest of the state where it is needed…"

    "…[W]ater demand for cooling [the] plant is much less than other generation types — a plus in the arid Panhandle…The 270-megawatt facility would come online just when state officials are projecting a shortage of electricity generation for Texas…[It] could be expanded to 810 megawatts in phases by creating more caverns…[and] initially would be able to run continuously for 36 hours but could operate up to 100 hours if more caverns are added…There even could be the ability to store and generate power simultaneously…[The] only question is whether the technology is viable with… natural gas prices…well below $3 per million British thermal units…"

    "ERCOT officials must keep the supply and demand of electricity almost perfectly balanced, or the grid would crash and the lights would go out…To do so, power must be added or taken off the grid quickly…The [CAES] facility will be able to ramp up 26 megawatts almost instantaneously and could be at the full 270 megawatts within 10 minutes…[T]he facility can [also] ramp down quickly…[and] would be able to turn on and off frequently…[T]hat flexibility is the strength of energy storage…[T]he next four years are [expected to be] pivotal as the industry comes to grips with whether energy storage can be a full-fledged, financially viable segment of the market…"

    CHANGES IN THE ECONOMY MEAN CHANGES FOR NEW ENERGY Hard Economic Times Hit State Renewable Energy Goals Angela Beniwal, 27 March 2012 (Renew Grid)

    "Renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have been a big driver of getting more renewable electricity onto the grid. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has estimated that by 2015, generation resulting from RPS will surpass 150 million MWh…[but] a soft economy has led some states to water down their mandates, while the current political situation makes passage of a federal renewable energy standard next to impossible…

    "…Maine introduced legislation in 2011 that would significantly reduce its RPS…[A] bill proposed in Washington state in 2011 could temporarily suspend the state's 15% by 2020 RPS during the slow economy…Other states have tried to expand the definition of ‘eligible resources’ in order to make compliance easier. Iowa includes plasma gasification, Maryland considers waste-to-energy a Tier 1 resource, and Oregon now includes nuclear and hydropower…"

    click to enlarge

    "Nonetheless…Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee…[recently revived federal] clean energy legislation…The Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012…include[s] a federal clean energy standard (CES)…In addition to renewable energy, such as wind and solar, the legislation includes other low-emissions and clean energy resources such as renewable biomass, natural gas, hydropower and nuclear power, as well as "clean" coal with carbon-capture technology…[but insiders are] not optimistic about the legislation being enacted…

    "Twenty-nine states plus Washington, D.C., have an RPS, while eight states have voluntary goals or targets. California has the most ambitious RPS, 33% by 2020, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., in 2011 and is 86% in compliance]…Legislation signed in 2011 means that the state's RPS now applies to publicly owned utilities and retail sellers…Colorado is another state with an impressive RPS [and in compliance]…As of 2010, Minnesota was in complete compliance with its RPS, which is 30% by 2020 for Xcel Energy and 25% by 2025 for all other utilities…"


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