NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, February 2: NEW ENERGY TOPPED 2014’S NEW POWER; ARIZONA WIND, THE SUPERBOWL’S POWER; SOLAR FINDS A PLACE TO PARK

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  • How Solar Serves The Heartlands

    Monday, February 02, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, February 2: NEW ENERGY TOPPED 2014’S NEW POWER; ARIZONA WIND, THE SUPERBOWL’S POWER; SOLAR FINDS A PLACE TO PARK

    NEW ENERGY TOPPED 2014’S NEW POWER Renewables Provide Half of New U.S. Generating Capacity In 2014; Beat Out Natural Gas – More Than A Quarter Of New Capacity From Wind; Solar Provides Over 20%

    January 29, 2015 (Sun Day Campaign)

    Ending a year-long race that had been nip-and tuck every month, renewable energy sources cumulatively provided more new electric generating capacity in 2014 than did natural gas…According to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind) provided nearly half (49.81% - 7,663 MW) of new electrical generation brought into service during 2014 while natural gas accounted for 48.65% (7,485 MW)…[I]n 2013, natural gas accounted for 46.44% (7,378 MW) of new electrical generating capacity while renewables accounted for 43.03% (6,837 MW). New renewable energy capacity in 2014 is 12.08% more than that added in 2013…New wind energy facilities accounted for over a quarter (26.52%) of added capacity (4,080 MW) in 2014 while solar power provided 20.40% (3,139 MW). Other renewables - biomass (254 MW), hydropower (158 MW), and geothermal (32 MW) - accounted for an additional 2.89%...[J]ust a single coal facility (106 MW) came on-line; nuclear power expanded by a mere 71MW due to a plant upgrade; and only 15 small ‘units’ of oil, totaling 47 MW, were added…” click here for more

    ARIZONA WIND, THE SUPERBOWL’S POWER Wind: Arizona's overlooked energy source

    Amanda Ormond, January 30, 2015 (The Arizona Republic)

    “The Super Bowl [was] powered by wind energy…It shows that [the wind industry has] arrived. Wind power costs have come down more than 50 percent in the past five years, and nine states generate over 10 percent of their electricity from wind…The wind normally dies down at night, when the game is played. How does this work? Wind energy is just one energy source in a diverse utility portfolio…The Super Bowl at night in the winter is not a period of high demand for electricity, like hot summer afternoons. During low demand a utility has many resource options. They choose wind and other renewables first because they are low-cost and clean…Arizona's best wind sites are in some of our most economically distressed counties, where wind provides needed tax revenues to local governments and payments to land owners…Wind turbines use very small amounts of land so…can be built on farms and ranches without displacing agriculture or cattle. It's another cash crop…[N]ew, low-speed wind technology that can produce more energy from lesser-quality wind is creating new opportunities...[Unfairly, wind’s] federal tax incentive, which is based on energy production, expires every year or two…[w]hile, for more than 40 years, the coal, natural gas, petroleum and nuclear industries have received government subsidies that never expire…” click here for more

    SOLAR FINDS A PLACE TO PARK The best idea in a long time: Covering parking lots with solar panels

    Chris Mooney, January 28, 2015 (Washington Post)

    “…According to research conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, most cities’ surfaces are 35 to 50 percent composed of [pavement]. And 40 percent of that pavement is parking lots…Asphalt and concrete absorb the sun’s energy, retaining heat — and contributing to the “urban heat island effect,” in which cities are hotter than the surrounding areas…[Covering parking lots with solar panels would] cut down on that heat, cool down the cars that park in these lots, power up those parked cars that are electric vehicles (like Teslas), and generate a lot of energy…[O]ne vast solar carport installation at Rutgers University is 28 acres in size and produces 8 megawatts of power, or about enough energy to power 1,000 homes…[T]he problem is cost…It’s the most expensive type of system to build...According to Scott Moskowitz of GTM Research, which released a study of the sector last year, by the end of 2014 there were an estimated 600 megawatts (or 2.5 billion dollars) worth of solar canopies installed in the U.S…The Hoover Dam has a capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts, the world’s biggest coal plant is close to 6,000 megawatts, and even the world’s largest solar plant is 550 megawatts…” click here for more

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