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

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.


  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: 'The future grid' and aggregated distributed energy resources
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Renewable Portfolio Standards offer billions in benefits
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Powered by PTC, wind energy expected to keep booming

  • TODAY’S STUDY: On The Way To 100% New Energy In Hawaii
  • QUICK NEWS, October 18: The Lack Of Climate Change In The Election; Trump And Clinton On Climate Change And New Energy; New Energy Keeps Booming

  • TODAY’S STUDY: New Energy For New Urbanists
  • QUICK NEWS, October 17: Chemical Mulitnationals Bet on Climate Solutions; World Wind Gets Bigger; SolarReserve Power Plant Possibilities Rising

  • Weekend Video: High Water Everywhere
  • Weekend Video: Chasing Extreme Weather To Catch Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: Wind Power On The Land

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Climate Change And Crazy Weather
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World Cities Thinking Urbanized New Energy
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Google’s African Wind


  • TTTA Thursday- Bob Dylan, 2001 – Highwater - For Charlie Patton
  • TTTA Thursday- Bob Dylan, 1989 – Political World
  • TTTA Thursday- Bob Dylan, 1978 – Where Are You Tonight (Journey Through Dark Heat)
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews


    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns


    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart




      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • How Climate Change Is A Health Insurance Problem
  • World Wind Can Be A Third Of Global Power By 2030
  • First U.S. Solar Sidewalks Installed
  • Looking Ahead At The EV Market

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015


    How new turbine technology will open up the Southeast to wind development; New NREL maps, fact sheets reveal an 82,000-plus MW opportunity in the region

    Herman K. Trabish, January 15, 2015 (Utility Dive)

    Wind turbine technology is about to open up an almost untouched sector of the U.S. market.

    With over 82,000 MW of coal, natural gas, and nuclear capacity in the region being generated by infrastructure that is over 40 years old, the economic opportunity could be enormous.

    “A new set of resource maps show the impact of turbine technology on the viability of wind in the southeast,” explained Southeastern Wind Coalition President Brian O’Hara. “The present looks a lot better than the past but the future looks even better.”

    The past map assumes the last generation of wind technology’s 80 meter hub height and not much wind potential shows up in the Southeast, O’Hara said. “That’s why there hasn’t been much wind development in the region.”

    The present map assumes today’s more common 110 meter hub height. “The trend in machines has been to taller towers and longer blades, which can be productive in lower wind speed areas,” O’Hara said.

    The future map reflects turbine manufacturers’ plans for wind technology in the coming 5 years to 10 years. “Hub height goes to 140 meters and blades will be longer,” O’Hara said. “That really lights up regions on maps of the Southeast that could produce wind at a 35% or higher capacity factor.”

    What the maps mean to utilities and developers

    The maps won’t change wind developers views, O’Hara said. “They know what is available.”

    What is available is lower costs and a big market advantage.

    Even in the short term, explained Renewable Energy Systems Americas CEO Glen Davis, the recent downward trend in wind’s cost is likely to continue from increased deployment of the newer turbines because they supply more power at the same cost.

    Power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind-generated electricity at a twenty year fixed rate can also be a very important hedge against fossil fuel price volatility, according to a recent Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) study.

    In North Carolina, both Iberdrola Renewables’ proposed 300 MW Desert Wind project and Apex Clean Energy’s proposed 300 MW Timbermill Wind projectare on hold until the developers can interest a utility in a PPA. Apex also has proposed projects in South Carolina and Tennessee that are unlikely to advance without PPAs.

    The fact sheets and maps, developed by research scientists at the U.S Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), are tools intended “to restart the discussion,” O’Hara explained.

    The fact sheets show the data behind the maps. They highlight things like the current electricity mix, the current age of generators in the states, and the supply chain for wind in the states, he explained.

    “For regulators and utilities not familiar with how much and how quickly the technology has changed," he said, "the message is that wind energy could be a more significant generation opportunity in this region than you thought.”

    For policymakers, both on the state and local levels, the maps and fact sheets will challenge old assumptions and re-open the discussion about wind energy as a viable energy generation option and economic development opportunity, O’Hara said.

    For officials at the county and municipal level, O’Hara added, the message is tostart educating yourself for when the opportunity presents itself.

    Advantages for wind in the Southeast

    Besides the 82,000 MW potential opportunity from aging fossil and nuclear infrastructure, there will be opportunity in the region's rising electricity demand. Southeastern states have 5 of the 6 fastest growing populations and 5 of the 6 biggest electricity markets on the East Coast. They already account for62% of the total East Coast electricity consumption.

    Because the costs for building new fossil and nuclear generation are dominated by federal emissions and safety regulations while building new wind is largely a matter of development and construction costs, the Southeast’s lower labor and materials prices are likely to advantage wind.

    The Southeast’s vertically integrated, regulated utilities will play a critical role in the region's wind growth, according to the Southeastern Wind Coalition. Utilities will see opportunity in owning projects. That will allow for longer-term, more stable development planning that avoids boom-bust cycles. It will also drive larger-scale deployment that will streamline the emergence of a stable supply chain and job market and grow economies of scale that drive costs down further and faster.

    First looks at Southeastern wind

    After Southern Company subsidiaries Alabama Power and Georgia Power signed PPAs for Oklahoma wind that proved more advantageous to the utilities than expected, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved expenditures for further investigation of the in-state resource, O’Hara said. As one of the first on-the-ground resource assessments in the region, it will be crucial to see if results match the NREL projections.

    Georgia Power also issued a Request For Information (RFI) to investigate wind options.

    Responses were due in early January and will be reported to regulators late in February. Wind PPA prices have reached “all-time lows” and the “relative competitiveness of wind” has continued to improve in comparison to wholesale electricity prices, according to LBNL’s most recent Wind Market Technologies Report. But LBNL was only able to evaluate six contracts and one installation in the Southeast.

    Because of the new technology, that will sooner or later change. “The maps and fact sheets highlight this technology trend that is already under way,” O’Hara said. “The future maps light up pretty broad swaths of the states.”

    Development in the Southeast will, however, not be “anywhere and everywhere,” O’Hara added. “Developers will only go where it is appropriate to site projects and generally developers only want to develop where they are welcome.”


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