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.


  • Weekend Video: New Energy Means New Jobs
  • Weekend Video: Better Communication About The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: VW Affirms Driving Is Ready To Go Electric

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Crisis Is The World’s Biggest Worry – Survey
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Record New Energy Global Growth In 2020


  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Search For A Successor Solar Policy
  • TTTA Wednesday-Local Governments Still Driving New Energy

  • Monday Study: PG&E’s Plans To Mitigate Wildfires

  • Weekend Video: Denial Goes Oh So Wrong
  • Weekend Video: Solar On Schools Can Pay For Teachers
  • Weekend Video: DOE Secretary of the Solutions Department Jennifer Granholm
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



    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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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, April 12:
  • SoCalEdison’s Newest Plan To Mitigate Wildfires

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010


    Ocean Power Technologies Completes First-Ever Grid Connection of a Wave Energy Device in the US
    September 27, 2010 (Business Wire via MarketWatch)

    "Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. [OPT]…has completed the first-ever grid connection of a wave energy device in the United States at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii [MCBH], in conjunction with the US Navy. This connection demonstrates the ability of OPT's PowerBuoy(R) systems to produce utility-grade, renewable energy that can be transmitted to the grid in a manner fully compliant with national and international standards.

    "The PB40 PowerBuoy is part of OPT's ongoing program with the US Navy to develop and test [OPT]'s PowerBuoy wave energy technology. The project began as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Key program goals include demonstrating system reliability and survivability, and the successful interconnection with the grid serving MCBH."

    The PowerBuoy (click to enlarge)

    "The PowerBuoy was deployed on December 14, 2009 approximately three-quarters of a mile off the coast of Oahu in water depth of 100 feet…[It] has operated and produced power from over 3 million power take-off cycles and 4,400 hours of operation. The PowerBuoy grid interface was certified in 2007 by an independent laboratory, Intertek Testing Services, as compliant with national and international standards, including the safety standards UL1741 and IEEE1547, and also bears the ETL Listed mark."

    How it connects (click to enlarge)

    "The system has numerous on-board sensors that monitor a wide variety of system performance variables, external conditions and lifecycle parameters. Data collected by on-board computers is transmitted to a shore-based facility via a fiber optic cable embedded in the submarine power transmission cable and then transmitted via the Internet to OPT's facility in Pennington, New Jersey….[OPT] engineers have collated much of this data and compared it to…proprietary models which analyze the performance given actual in-coming wave conditions. This information has provided a strong correlation between the 'actual' and 'expected' system performance, which serves to confirm OPT's models for its higher output PowerBuoys, including the PB150.

    "The wave power project at MCBH underwent an extensive environmental assessment by an independent environmental firm in accordance with the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) that resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI is the highest rating assigned. The project has utilized local Hawaiian subcontractors…for the installation, test and servicing of the systems…"

    California OKs tougher renewables target
    Sarah McBride (w/Carol Bishopric), September 23, 2010 (Reuters)

    "California regulators voted…to boost the state's renewable energy target to 33 percent by 2020, which could provide a big boost to the alternative-energy industry in the nation's most populous state…But the goal, approved in a vote by California's Air Resources Board, faces significant challenges.

    "Industry veterans say this goal is more achievable than a prior target of 20 percent by 2010, but will require faster approvals for plants and continued government help for developer financing…"

    The stronger the New Energy requirement, the more the state's economy benefits. (click to enlarge)

    "Hitting the increased objective - the highest in the nation - will require more investment in infrastructure and transmission, and a shorter lead time for projects…The approval process in California now takes years…Given the state of credit markets, financing for plants remains a major issue. Currently developers can tap into government help, but…developers complain about the slow pace of review for Department of Energy loan guarantees. And…[the popular] Treasury Department grant for up to 30 percent of the cost of renewable-energy projects…expires at the end of the year.

    "Yet another question is whether the 33-percent regulation will even stay on the books. An initiative on November's ballot aims to overturn the law that authorizes regulators to create the 33 percent target…[And the] state's governor has the right to suspend provisions of the law, including the new target, for up to a year. Republican candidate Meg Whitman has said she would do this…"

    The stronger the New Energy requirement, the more the state's economy benefits. (click to enlarge)

    "Even if the regulation stands, utilities' track records on meeting their targets has been less than excellent. Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison each will end this year at 18 percent renewable energy…San Diego Gas and Electric, which was hit hard by transmission issues, will end the year at 14 percent…[To push them along,] California regulators have approved almost 2,000 megawatts of solar power…

    "Problems with reaching the earlier 20-percent target included utilities signing contracts with alternative-power developers whose projects never acquired the necessary financing…Other projects turned out to be technologically impractical…or required new transmission lines that were not built. Now, the transmission issues are being resolved…"

    Virtual Power Plants – Demand Response, Supply-Side, Mixed Asset, and Wholesale Auction VPPs: Market Analysis and Forecasts
    Peter Ausmus and Brian Davis, 3Q 2010 (Pike Research)

    "…Virtual power plants (VPPs) rely upon software systems to remotely and automatically dispatch and optimize generation or demand-side (or storage) resources in a single, secure web-connected system. In the United States, VPPs not only deal with the supply side, but also help manage demand and ensure the reliability of grid functions in real time through DR and other load-shifting approaches…VPPs represent an ‘Internet of Energy,’ tapping existing grid networks to tailor electricity supply and demand services…

    "Without any large-scale fundamental infrastructure upgrades, VPPs can stretch supplies from existing generators and utility demand reduction programs…When compared to the fossil fuel based central station power plants that dominate electricity markets worldwide, the primary advantages of VPPs are…[1] They can react quickly to changing customer load conditions…[2] They are dynamic…[3] They deliver value in real time..."

    click to enlarge

    "VPPs and microgrids share… an 80% commonality…Yet, there are some defining differentiators…[1] Microgrids can be grid-tied or off-grid (VPPs are always grid-tied)…[2] Microgrids can “island” themselves from the larger utility grid…[3] Microgrids typically require some level of storage…[4] Microgrids are dependent upon hardware innovations…whereas VPPs are software dependent…[5] Microgrids encompass a static set of resources in a confined geography…[6] Microgrids typically only tap generation resources at the retail distribution level…whereas VPPs…[are] a bridge to wholesale markets)…[7] Microgrids still face regulatory hurdles…

    "Developing market forecasts for a nebulous technology category of “virtual power plants” is…[full of] complexity and uncertainty…The market forecasts in this report divide the VPP universe into four distinct segments…[1] DR-based VPPs: This is the largest commercial segment in the United States …[2] Supply-side VPPs: Europe, particularly Germany, has led the world in this category…[3] Mixed asset VPPs: This is the ultimate goal of the VPP. This segment brings distributed generation and DR together…[4] Wholesale auction VPPs: Unique to Europe, VPP auctions have been used in the region as a condition of mergers…"

    click to enlarge

    "Pike Research has developed market forecasts for each of these four segments. All told, the VPP capacity worldwide in 2009 was 19,428 MW. The largest segment is wholesale auctions (exclusively in Europe), which represents 51% of the total VPP market. The next largest segment is the DR-based VPPs, which dominate the North America market, with 44% of the total global capacity. The supply and mixed asset segments split the remaining 5% of the VPP market virtually equally.

    "Over time, it is expected that many supply-side VPPs will morph into mixed asset VPPs as more cost-competitive storage enters the market and as DR resources continue to grow…Ultimately…the lines between the DR-based, supply-side and mixed asset VPPs profiled will blur… Pike Research estimates that the total revenue from VPPs worldwide is almost $5 billion, with the vast majority (90%) of that revenue stream captured by the wholesale auction VPP segment."

    Today’s Energy Standards for Refrigerators Reflect Consensus By Advocates, Industry to Increase Appliance Efficiency
    September 27, 2010 (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)

    "Advocacy groups and appliance manufacturers hailed a 25 percent increase in energy efficiency for most new refrigerators, starting in 2014, thanks to new efficiency standards that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced…continuing a 40-year trend of improving energy efficiency for this essential home appliance.

    "The groups said the new standards are the first step in the department’s implementation of the recommendations they proposed to DOE in July for new minimum efficiency standards, tax credits, and ENERGY STAR incentives for smart appliances affecting six major categories of home appliances…"

    click to enlarge

    "According to the proposed rule, a typical new 20-cubic-foot refrigerator with the freezer on top would use about 390 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, down from about 900 kWh/year in 1990 and about 1,700 kWh/year in the early 1970s. On a national basis, the new standards would, over 30 years, save 4.5 quads of energy, or roughly enough to meet the total energy needs of one-fifth of all U.S. households for a year. Over the same period, the standards will save consumers about $18.5 billion. DOE will finalize the standards by year’s end, and they take effect in 2014…

    "Based on
    the July agreement, home appliance manufacturers and efficiency, environmental and consumer advocates have agreed to jointly pursue with Congress and the Administration new standards for six categories of home appliances (refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and room air conditioners), a recommendation that ENERGY STAR qualification criteria incorporate credit for Smart Grid capability and a package of targeted tax credits aimed at fostering the market for super-efficient appliances…"

    click thru for more info

    "While DOE or Congress can act on the standards, the extension of the manufacturers’ tax credit for super-efficient appliances requires new legislation. EPA and DOE will consider the recommendation to jump start the Smart Grid through incentives for the deployment of smart appliances through the ENERGY STAR program.

    "As part of the new refrigerator standards, ice maker energy consumption also will be reflected in product energy-use ratings, giving consumers a better way to gauge actual energy use when making a choice among refrigerators…Several prior refrigerator standards, including those put in place in 1993 and 2001, are also the result of joint industry/advocate agreements…"


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