NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, February 24: VIRGINIA FINALLY MOVES ON SOLAR; WIND TURBINE MAKERS BREAKING RECORDS; GEOTHERMAL COULD GET HOT

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    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, February 24: VIRGINIA FINALLY MOVES ON SOLAR; WIND TURBINE MAKERS BREAKING RECORDS; GEOTHERMAL COULD GET HOT

    VIRGINIA FINALLY MOVES ON SOLAR Bill heads to Senate in effort to establish solar development authority

    Jacob Geiger, February 23, 2015 (Richmond Times Dispatch)

    “...[The Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority will go before the state Senate]…The authority would encourage the solar energy industry in Virginia by developing programs that make it easier for solar energy projects to get financing. And it would also help Dominion Virginia Power…the state’s largest electric utility…invest $700 million in large-scale solar photovoltaic projects in a number of locations. The projects would generate at least 400 megawatts of power by 2020…An amendment approved [in committee] was tailored specifically to Dominion. It charged the authority with assisting Dominion’s plans by ‘providing for the financing or assisting in the financing of the construction or purchase of such solar energy projects’ authorized by state law…[A Dominion lobbyist who was previously a Republican delegate from Fairfax County…said the amendment will help Dominion develop solar power plants as cheaply as possible...[because] much of the solar power industry relies on tax-exempt financing or government grants for which Dominion is not eligible. The changes to the proposed solar development authority will help Dominion and private developers who might build the projects…” click here for more

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    WIND TURBINE MAKERS BREAKING RECORDS 2014 a record breaking year for wind turbine manufacturers

    Charlotte Malone, February 23, 2015 (Blue&Green)

    “For wind turbine manufacturers, 2014 was a record breaking year…[though] the sector could see a fall in demand in 2016 because of regulatory uncertainty…Global Wind Market Update – Demand & Supply 2014 [from FTI Consulting reports]…that global wind capacity reached more than 50 gigawatts in 2014, over 40% growth on 2013. The record breaking growth is mainly driven by China, Germany and Brazil. All ten of the top wind turbine original equipment manufacturers have benefitted from the growth, reporting individual records for installations…[T]he wind industry is continuing to see a transition away from feed in tariffs and towards more ‘market-reflective’ support mechanisms in 2014. Despite the progress made last year, it adds that the global wind market is likely to fall next year, partly due to uncertainty in regulations…” click here for more

    GEOTHERMAL COULD GET HOT Now is the time to invest in real geothermal energy; Thousands of drilling rigs are idle. Why not put laid-off roustabouts to work drilling for renewable energy?

    Lloyd Alter, February 22, 2015 (Mother Nature Network)

    “…[Geothermal energy systems use the Earth's underground heat] to make steam, which drives turbines, just like coal or nuclear plants do. This heat is close enough to tap at geologic faults, so the hot spots are along the Pacific rim and Iceland, the geothermal capital of the world…[T]hanks to the drop in the price of oil, now might be a good time to drill…[D]rillers are parking rigs as oil prices collapse and have laid off thousands of workers…[I]n Alberta, Canada, the] head of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA), Alison Thompson, is teaching drillers how to adapt oil technology to geothermal drilling…Tech transfer from the oil industry is actually happening in the geothermal world; Norway's Statoil is drilling for geothermal in Iceland, and Chevron is a big player in geothermal…[Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)] can provide base-load electric power and heat at a level that can have a major impact on the United States, while incurring minimal environmental impacts. With a reasonable investment in R&D, EGS could provide 100 GWe or more of cost ¬competitive generating capacity in the next 50 years…” click here for more

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