NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, May 21: U.S. EMISSIONS DROP AS ELECTRICITY OUTPUT RISES; THE SPACES BETWEEN THE WINDS; WTO RULES FOR IMPORTED SUN

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  • TTTA Thursday- Greenpeace Report Card On IT Green
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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  • FRIDAY WORLD, October 20:

  • Global New Energy Rising Fast
  • India To Buy 4.5GW Of Wind
  • Saudi Study Finds High Hopes In Kite Wind
  • The EV Future Is At Hand

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    QUICK NEWS, May 21: U.S. EMISSIONS DROP AS ELECTRICITY OUTPUT RISES; THE SPACES BETWEEN THE WINDS; WTO RULES FOR IMPORTED SUN

    U.S. EMISSIONS DROP AS ELECTRICITY OUTPUT RISES Groups credit natural gas, renewables with steep emissions cuts in power sector

    Dan Lowry, May 15, 2013 (SNL)

    “U.S. power plant emissions from the nation's largest generators continued to fall in 2011 even as overall electricity output rose…Since Congress passed major amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990, power plant NOx emissions have fallen 70% and SO2 emissions have dropped 72%. Carbon dioxide emissions have declined 7% from 2008 to 2011…The highest CO2 emission rates came from states that are heavily reliant on coal, including Wyoming and Kentucky…

    “…[T]he steep emissions cuts [were due] to a shift away from coal-fired generation toward lower-emitting energy sources, such as renewables and natural gas. Between 2000 and 2011, natural gas generation rose 69% in the U.S. and renewable generation grew 44%. Coal generation dropped 12%, but still represented 44% of the power generated by the 100 largest generators, by far the largest…”

    “The top 100 power producers own more than 2,600 power plants and account for 86% of domestic electricity generation…Air pollution emissions from power plants, while declining overall, are highly concentrated primarily among three power producers: Southern Co., American Electric Power Co. Inc. and NextEra Energy Inc...

    “…AEP and Southern have been preparing to retire thousands of megawatts of coal-fired capacity, convert coal units to natural gas or installing emission control equipment on certain units, in order to reduce emissions and meet new federal air regulations…AEP plans to retire about 6,000 MW of coal-fired capacity and install additional pollution controls on more than 10,000 MW of capacity by 2020…[Cuts in] NOx and SO2 emissions…[are ahead of cuts in] mercury and CO2 emissions. Coal-fired plants were responsible for 81% of CO2 emissions, compared to 18% for gas-fired plants…Texas was the leading emitter of CO2, followed by Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and Indiana.”

    THE SPACES BETWEEN THE WINDS Wind Energy’s Shadow: Turbines Drag Down Power Potential; Renewable-energy experts maintain the world is far from reaching a saturation point.

    David LaGesse, May 16, 2013 (National Geographic)

    “…[S]ome scientists are…arguing that the laws of physics will limit wind's potential for meeting the world's energy needs. The controversy arises from the turbines themselves…[R]esearchers have explored the issue of turbines stealing energy from the wind, creating drag or a ‘wind shadow’ of air slowed by the spinning blades. Each turbine added to a particular landscape captures less energy…[At a point, more turbines may produce] no more energy…

    “…[But the potential of wind] is far above the levels we are seeing harvested in even the most aggressive wind-energy countries today…Many proponents of replacing fossil fuels count on wind power as the single biggest source of renewable energy for the nation's future. Industry experts, for example, have predicted wind could supply a third of the world's electricity by 2050…[and it would take billions of turbines worldwide] for wind energy to become oversaturated to the point that it undermines its own effectiveness…”

    “…[The Jacobson and Archer] study projected that producing half the world's energy needs in 2030, or six terawatts of energy, would take some four million 5-megawatt (MW) turbines…Jacobson contends that even that large number of turbines could be spaced in such a way to keep them from robbing each other of efficiency…Even eight megasize wind farms, each with a half-million turbines, would prove efficient enough to output a total of four terawatts, or about a third of the world's projected energy needs in 2030, according to his paper…[Four million turbines] spread among thousands of wind farms…would boost the turbines' efficiency enough…[to] provide at least half the world's energy needs, Jacobson said…

    “Geography and politics will combine to limit turbine placement to certain areas, and the question of diminishing returns from dense arrays will become a significant factor [other researchers say]…No doubt, the models will be refined as research continues [they argue]…”

    WTO RULES FOR IMPORTED SUN World Trade Organization Delivers Blow to Solar PV Domestic Content Proponents

    Michael Barker, May 15, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “…[T]he World Trade Organization (WTO) released its final ruling in the dispute concerning Ontario, Canada’s local content requirements (LCRs) for its internal FIT program…[T]his ruling ends a process that was initiated almost three years ago when Japan first filed a complaint – in September 2010 – alleging that Ontario’s LCRs violated trade agreements. It then took more than two years for a decision upholding the complaint…

    “The ruling immediately affects the Canadian market…[L]ess than 50% of [the PV project application pipeline in Ontario of almost 1 GW] has actually received notice to proceed. This means that the Ontario market – which is almost wholly responsible for Canadian market demand – could become moribund within a few years as the PV project pipeline is exhausted and not renewed…[The] ruling could also have implications beyond Canada, as domestic content requirements (DCRs) exist…[in eight of the top 30 global markets] representing almost 60 GW of PV demand over the next five years.”

    “…[The ruling means] many of the content requirements in place will be found to be in violation of WTO rules. In fact, there are currently several cases very similar to the Ontario dispute already under investigation by the WTO; concerning countries such as India, Italy, and Greece.

    “The current ruling against such policies may drive more complaints being filed…increasing the scope of the current global trade disputes. Also, many PV incentive programs are being implemented as a broad economic policy, intended to stimulate both upstream and downstream PV industry activity. If countries are forced to abandon the former part of this strategy, it is possible that they will also remove the latter, thus jeopardizing future demand…”

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