QUICK NEWS, 9-29: PRES WANTS 2011 ENERGY BILL; THE POWER OF EASTERN WIND; IT AND THE EV; COAL WAR HEATS UP
PRES WANTS 2011 ENERGY BILL
Obama's climate push for 2011
Juliet Eilperin, September 28, 2010 (Washington Post)
"President Obama hasn't given up on climate and energy legislation altogether, according to a new Rolling Stone interview…with the magazine's editor, Jann Wenner…Obama said he would make passage of ‘an energy policy that begins to address all facets of our over-reliance on fossil fuels’ one of his ‘top priorities’ for 2011…"
[President Obama:] "We may end up having to do it in chunks, as opposed to some sort of comprehensive omnibus legislation. But we're going to stay on this because it is good for our economy, it's good for our national security, and, ultimately, it's good for our environment…We've not made as much progress as I wanted…It is very hard to make progress on these issues in the midst of a huge economic crisis."
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"While Obama has identified reducing greenhouse gases and promoting renewable energy as among his top priorities in the past, the administration failed to make a major push in the Senate on legislation after the House passed a comprehensive bill…The House bill passed on a largely party-line vote, and its backers in the Senate failed to win over any GOP support for a cap on carbon…Wenner asked Obama if he would launch a lobbying campaign similar to the one on behalf of health care last year…"
[President Obama:] "…Not only can I foresee [a similar lobbying campaign], but I am committed to making sure that we get an energy policy that makes sense for the country and that helps us grow at the same time as it deals with climate change in a serious way."
THE POWER OF EASTERN WIND
Study finds huge wind energy potential off Eastern U.S.
Scott Malone (w/Matthew Lewis), September 28, 2010 (Reuters)
"The densely populated U.S. East Coast could meet close to half its current electric demand by relying on offshore wind turbines…North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia offer the most potential for easily captured wind energy, according to [Untapped Wealth: Offshore Wind Can Deliver…], which estimates that the 13 coastal states could together generate 127 gigawatts of power.
"That represents the potential for far more wind power than the United States currently generates… At the end of 2009, the nation's land-based turbines…[produced] some 35,000 megawatts of power -- enough to meet the needs of 28 million typical American homes."
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"Investment in new wind turbines has surged in recent years…However, all the U.S. wind farms built so far are on land. Advocates of offshore wind installations, led by backers of the Cape Wind facility proposed off the Cape Cod beach area in Massachusetts, have been working for almost a decade to try to win approval to build [the nation's first offshore wind farm]…Opponents of Cape Wind argue that it could harm fisheries as well as sully views. [Developers are also working on projects off Rhode Island, Delaware and New Jersey]…
"Oceana argues that wind offers an attractive alternative to offshore oil and natural gas drilling, particularly in the wake of the April BP Plc rig explosion, which led to an undersea leak that poured oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico for 153 days…Oceana [also] argued the electricity generated by wind off the East Coast would save $36 billion in energy costs over a 20-year period and create 133,000 to 212,000 installation and maintenance jobs a year…"
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"Hitting the 127 gigawatt number could mean installing 30,000 to 50,000 of the spinning turbines along the U.S. East Coast. That would be the equivalent of more than 200 projects the size of Cape Wind [but that estimate could well decline as turbine sizes increase from today’s 2.5 megawatts to 4 megawatts]…
"Oceana's analysis…leaves out the New England states of New Hampshire and Maine [and the West Coast], because their shorelines drop away quickly to deeper waters where it would be more difficult for developers to install turbines…"
IT AND THE EV
Electric Vehicle Information Technology Systems; Vehicle, Smart Grid, and Utility IT Systems for Data Analytics, Smart Charging Management, and Customer Information Management
John Gartner and Clint Wheelock, 3Q 2010 (Pike Research)
"…The second comeback of the electric vehicle (EV) in little more than a decade has a much greater likelihood of success and will have a transformative effect on driving habits as well as the automotive and electric power industries. Automakers are planning to produce hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year that plug in starting in 2012. By 2015, Pike Research forecasts that more than 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and EVs will be sold annually around the world, and during that year, more than 3 million EVs sold to date will be plugging in to recharge their batteries.
"EVs can draw power via standard 110 V outlets, but the vast majority of charging sessions are expected to occur via electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) that will monitor power quality and can deliver power much faster than a standard outlet when Level 2 (up to 6.7 kW) charging is utilized. Both residential and commercial EVSEs monitor power quality and contain intelligence that enables charging to be scheduled based on the time of day, grid conditions, or the cost of electricity. Investments in EVSE have begun in advance of EV sales, and are expected to be sold on a greater unit basis than the vehicles. By 2015, more than 4.7 million charge spots (residential and commercial) will be installed."
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"The majority of EVSEs will be networked and managed via IT and communications systems that aggregate power demand and enable a coordinated response to changing grid conditions…EVs will not immediately impact utilities' ability to keep up with the aggregated demand, the impact on distribution assets that deliver power to customers could be immediate in some areas…EVs are expected to be purchased in clusters around neighborhoods that have historically seen high adoption of hybrid vehicles…As thousands of EVs begin to plug in daily, peak demand at the conclusion of the work day could be increased if intelligence is not built into the charging process…
"Utilities view EV IT systems as key to maximizing the use of renewable power, such as wind energy, which is generally strongest at night when demand is low. Through a smart charging system, EVs can absorb excess renewable power, and also be used as a replacement for fossil fuel power plants for grid services…EV IT systems that enable customers to schedule charging based on price signals, allowing EV owners to reduce their cost of charging and specify the use of only renewable energy will prompt future EV sales…"
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"Investments in EV IT systems are initially focusing on collecting data and presenting it to consumers, with $125 million invested globally in 2010. By 2015, we forecast that annual investment will grow by more than tenfold as data analytics and integration with utilities' internal information systems becomes paramount. Investments in EV IT in the United States will grow to $371.9 million in 2015, representing 24.5% of the global market ($1.5 billion). The Asia-Pacific region, led by China, will be the largest market by far for EV IT…
"By 2013, utilities will begin investing in EV IT systems and services so that the aggregated load of EVs can be managed as an asset and integrated into their demand response (DR) and other energy management systems. The focus in investment will shift towards data analytics and integration applications, making up more than half of EV IT investment globally by 2015…The lack of standards today will encourage many companies to hold off on investment until interoperable products are released…The strong regulation of utilities in the United States will also slow adoption of EV IT
Systems…The understanding of the benefits of EV IT across all aspects of grid operations including load management, the use of renewable power, and being able to avoid capital investment in generation and transmission equipment, are not well known today. Greater knowledge of the lifetime value of EV IT systems including the financial benefits from reducing carbon emissions would make it easier for utilities to justify the investment…"
COAL WAR HEATS UP
Mass Arrests in DC: We Shall No Longer Be Crucified Upon the Cross of Coal
Jeff Biggers, September 27, 2010 (Huffington Post)
"Over one hundred protesters from the Appalachian coalfields were arrested in front of the White House…defiantly calling on the Obama administration to abolish mountaintop removal mining. As part of the Appalachia Rising events, the coalfield residents took part in a multi-day series of events to bring the escalating human rights, environmental and health care crisis to the nation's capitol.
"Kentuckians for the Commonwealth leaders Teri Blanton and Mickey McCoy, the first arrested in today's nonviolent act of civil disobedience, were joined by allies from around the country, including NASA climatologist James Hansen. Meanwhile, protesters led by the legendary Rev. Billy Talen staged a nearby sit-in at the office of the PNC bank, which remains one of the last major financiers of coal companies engaged in this extreme form of strip-mining in Appalachia…"
She knows why she's fighting coal. (click to enlarge)
"In a stark reminder of the national connection to the coalfields, the Obama administration officials looked on from their White House offices, as their electricity came from a coal-fired plant generated partly with coal stripmined from Appalachia.
"As a litmus test of the administration's commitment to science and the rule of law, Appalachian residents are calling on the EPA to halt any new permit on the upcoming decision over the massive Spruce mountaintop removal mine…Mountaintop removal coal only provides, in fact, less than 10 percent of all coal production."
"You shall not crucify us any longer upon a cross of coal." (click to enlarge)
"Fed up with the regulatory crisis and circumventions by outside coal companies, coalfield residents have been rising up against reckless strip-mining practices against the country, from Alaska to Alabama to Arizona…In southern Illinois, scores of black crosses were found at coal mines, strip mines, coal-fired plants, coal ash piles, and at the Southern Illinois University Coal Research Center."
"Citing Illinois as the birthplace of the coal industry, and 'ground zero in the Obama administration's plan to dangerously experiment with carbon capture and storage technologies for coal-fired plants,' a new Black Cross Alliance campaign announced plans to construct symbolic black crosses at coal mining and coal-burning landmarks in the state and across the nation to serve as a public warning [that it] is no longer acceptable for the Obama administration--and state and regional government officials---to be complicit in maintaining deadly coal mining and coal-burning communities as shameful national sacrifice areas in 2010 [and declared: You shall not crucify us any longer upon a cross of coal]…"