QUICK NEWS, 3-30: TEXAS CAN BURN NEW ENERGY, CUT WASTE; WIND CONSOLIDATING IN CHINA; SOLAR PANEL MAKER PICKS CA FOR PLANT; EPA WANTS GHG ACCOUNTING
TEXAS CAN BURN NEW ENERGY, CUT WASTE
Texas Weighs Efficiency, Solar Mandates
Kate Galbraith, March 29, 2010 (NY Times)
"Texas regulators may soon ramp up mandates requiring tougher energy-efficiency standards and development of renewable energy sources other than wind power.
"Earlier this year, the state’s Public Utility Commission proposed requiring utilities to offset 50 percent of their growth in electricity sales with energy-efficiency measures by 2014. That would be well above the current requirement of 20 percent…The utility commission has also put forward an early-stage proposal that would require 500 new megawatts of power in Texas to come from renewable energy sources like biomass, geothermal, solar and hydro in 2014…"
Texans know better than to squander energy resources like this. (click to enlarge)
"Texas leads the nation in wind development, but under the proposal, 50 megawatts of nonwind renewables in 2014 would have to come from solar projects. Texas currently has less than seven megawatts of solar power…
"Both proposals are still receiving comments, and must be approved by the three commissioners, who are appointed by the Texas governor. Environmentalists, however, are hopeful…If the regulations get approved, they will be doing essentially what the the Texas legislature had contemplated doing a year ago. So many prosolar bills were filed in last year’s legislative session that it was dubbed the “solar session.” Several efficiency bills also were introduced…[But] only one clean-energy bill, which promoted property tax-financed solar and retrofit measures for homes, made it to the finish line."
Efficiency will save Texans money. (click to enlarge)
"…[S]ince the Texas legislature does not convene again until next year, advocates are worried that the window for attracting renewable energy projects — and manufacturers of solar panels, who might favor locating in a big market — is closing…
"Kirk Watson, a state senator from Austin who sponsored one of the ill-fated renewables bills last session, said that he was glad that the Public Utility Commission was moving forward with their renewables rule, even if it only requires one-third as much development as his bill called for…"
WIND CONSOLIDATING IN CHINA
Far East Wind Power Announces LOI to Acquire 700MW Wind Farm Development Rights in China
March 29, 2010 (CNN Money)
"Far East Wind Power Corp…has entered into a Letter of Intent ("LOI") with Wuhan Guoce Nordic New Energy Co. Ltd. of Wuhan, China ("Guoce") to acquire…development stage wind farm projects located in Jilin Province and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region ("Inner Mongolia").
"The proposed projects will be acquired from Guoce for cash and other considerations…Guoce is a manufacturer of wind turbines and has been assembling a 700 megawatt ("MW") portfolio of project locations and working with local, regional and national agencies as well as regional grid operators to acquire requisite permits and approvals necessary for development…[Far East Wind Power] has agreed to exclusively use wind turbines manufactured by Guoce should the projects proceed and to position Guoce as a strategic partner…"
Absorbed by a bigger player in a consolidating industry in...(click to enlarge)
"The most advanced-stage project of the portfolio is known as the TianHe 1 Project and is a proposed 50MW development with all approvals in place and a site ready for construction commencing in April. This Inner Mongolia location has been determined to be a robust wind resource…The TianHe Phase 2 project is planned for an additional 50MW later this year subject to permitting and approvals…"
...A rapidly expanding marketplace. (click to enlarge)
"Additional projects as part of the Guoce portfolio include a number of locations in Jilin Province. They include a proposed 100MW development site at the Min Ying Development Zone, and a planned 500MW program dispersed across the proposed Taonan Project Phases 1-5. All sites have been identified by various government agencies as recognized wind resource development locations…which could offer short lead times to development.
"Far East's mission is to develop wind farms with the highest rates of return on investment in the industry by working with strategic partners to develop or acquire innovative solutions to drive cost out of the turbine manufacturing process…"
SOLAR PANEL MAKER PICKS CA FOR PLANT
Solar Power, Inc. Selects McClellan Business Park for Manufacturing Facility and New World Headquarters; Governor Applauds Solar Power, Inc.'s Move to Help Bring Jobs to the Region and Advance Energy Independence
March 29, 2010 (Business Wire via MarketWatch)
"Solar Power, Inc…has selected McClellan Business Park as the site for its U.S. manufacturing facility…[T]he Company has received an initial commitment of $24.7 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds ("RZFB") from Sacramento County and plans to use the proceeds from the sale of these bonds to help finance renovation and outfitting of the manufacturing facility to build its high-performance solar panels…
"…A portion of the RZFB Bond proceeds, upon successful placement, will also go in part towards the development of a utility-scale photovoltaic solar system in Sacramento County that will exceed 10 megawatts and have an estimated value of $50 million."
How does the map of states with strong solar polices compare to...(click to enlarge)
"Solar Power, Inc.'s…plans to open a major manufacturing operation in Sacramento…[were heralded by California] Governor Schwarzenegger…"
...the map of states with strong solar business development? (click to enlarge)
"The proposed manufacturing facility at the McClellan site will be approximately 100,000 square feet with an annual production capacity of 50 megawatts of Solar Power, Inc.'s top-ranked solar panels. It is estimated that the facility will bring 120 new construction jobs to the region during the 9-month construction period and 100 full-time skilled workers and office staff to the facility upon completion. Together with Solar Power, Inc.'s current manufacturing facility in China, the McClellan facility is expected to double the Company's annual production capacity to 100 megawatts…
"Solar Power, Inc. anticipates receiving the bond proceeds and beginning construction on the new headquarters and manufacturing facility in July with completion in early 2011…"
EPA WANTS GHG ACCOUNTING
EPA proposes oil, gas sector should track its emissions
John-Laurent Tronche, March 29, 2010 (Fort Worth Business Press)
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed adding emissions data from oil and gas operations to a list of 31 other sectors from which the agency collects greenhouse gas emissions information.
"The EPA is proposing for the first time a national mandatory greenhouse gas reporting system to…[better understand GHG sources]…The information also will help the EPA and businesses draft policies and programs to reduce emissions…"
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[Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, EPA:] “Gathering this information is the first step toward reducing greenhouse emissions and fostering innovative technologies for the clean energy future…It’s especially important to track potent gases like methane, which traps more than 20 times as much heat as carbon and accelerates climate change. Once we know where we must act, American innovators and entrepreneurs can develop new technologies to protect our atmosphere and fight climate change.”
"The 31 sectors covering 85 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would be joined by the oil and natural gas sectors, industries that emit fluorinated gases and facilities that inject and store carbon dioxide underground for geologic sequestration or enhanced oil and gas recovery."
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[EPA:] “Methane is the primary GHG emitted from oil and natural gas systems and is more than 20 times as potent as CO2 at warming the atmosphere, while fluorinated gases are even stronger and can stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years…Data collected from facilities that inject CO2 underground would enable EPA to track the amount of CO2 that is injected and in some cases require a monitoring strategy for detecting potential emissions to the atmosphere.”
"Collecting emissions data would begin at the start of 2011…[Oil and gas industry] trade groups have bristled at the suggestion that their operations should be held accountable for greenhouse gas emissions, arguing new federal rules would throw the industry and economies into nothing short of total calamity…"