NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, 2-28: NORTHWEST WIND RECORD; GREENING SUN WITH CHEMISTRY AND RECYCLING; LI-ION BATTERIES REDUX; ALL ABOUT U.S. GEOTHERMAL

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

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YESTERDAY

THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY, April 14:

  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Differences Between Energy Markets
  • TTTA Wednesday- Biden Admin To Ensure Jobs Plan Protects Equity – DOE Head
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • SoCalEdison’s Newest Plan To Mitigate Wildfires
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • 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
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

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

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY, April 7:

  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Search For A Successor Solar Policy
  • TTTA Wednesday-Local Governments Still Driving New Energy
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    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

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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  • FRIDAY WORLD, April 16:
  • Paying Fairer Shares In The Climate Fight
  • New Energy Can Improve Global Health Care

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    QUICK NEWS, 2-28: NORTHWEST WIND RECORD; GREENING SUN WITH CHEMISTRY AND RECYCLING; LI-ION BATTERIES REDUX; ALL ABOUT U.S. GEOTHERMAL

    NORTHWEST WIND RECORD
    BPA cheers new record for wind generation in the Northwest
    Rocky Barker, February 23, 2011 (Idaho Statesman)

    "The Bonneville Power Administration is taking a clearly different approach to its growing wind resource than Idaho’s public utilities…[I]t generated over 3,000 megawatts on its grid for the first time [February 22 from ~2,100 turbines on 35 privately developed wind farms primarily east of the Columbia River Gorge,] producing enough electricity to serve a city three times the size of Seattle for an hour.

    "Like Idaho Power, BPA has seen wind power grow at an astounding rate, more than 1,500 megawatts of capacity have been added in just the last two years…Idaho Power Co., Avista Utilities and PacifiCorp successfully petitioned the Idaho Public
    Utilities commission to reduce the cap for wind and solar projects they have to buy power from at a set rate from 10 megawatts to 100 kilowatts. The utilities argue that they have so many wind projects coming on line they could end up having more power than they can use or sell at some parts of the year."


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    "Wind generation on BPA’s system surpassed the new milestone at 2:55 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, reaching a new all-time peak of 3,006 megawatts. BPA expects to have between 5,000 and 6,000 megawatts of this clean, emission-free, renewable resource connected to its system by 2013…[and] unlike Idaho utilities it is celebrating this growth in renewable energy…

    "…[To] accommodate 6,000 megawatts or more of wind, BPA is expanding and reinforcing the transmission system to support wind integration. The agency is exploring additional measures to balance wind more effectively, other sources of generation to balance wind and is developing partnerships with other utilities and the wind community to expand wind integration even further."


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    "…[T]o be fair, Idaho Power is not against wind power, it is seeking to ensure this intermittent power doesn’t cost its ratepayers too much. There is a good debate before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission about how it can keep these new home-grown energy sources growing without making electric customers pay more than they would on other new sources of electricity…With[out] carbon sequestration technology [for coal], and nuclear power too big for Idaho’s needs…the choices are renewables and natural gas…

    "…To make [wind] power more useful, BPA is developing a state of the art wind speed and wind generation forecasting system. The new system will forecast more accurately up to three days in advance rather than the previous [one-hour ahead] forecast service…That will allow BPA to integrate wind into its other power sources better and more cost-effectively…"



    GREENING SUN WITH CHEMISTRY AND RECYCLING
    Making Solar Panels Greener; Producing photovoltaic panels more sustainably will require reducing energy consumption, toxic substances
    Sarah Everts, February 21, 2011 (Chemical & Engineering News)

    "…[I]t’s worth taking a measured look at the environmental impact of photovoltaic technology from cradle to grave…[Makers of] crystalline silicon-based photovoltaic solar panels, which currently boast about 80% of the global market…have borrowed much of their technology from the electronics industry, which relies on an abundance of chemicals and energy-intensive steps that pose risks to human and environmental health.

    "..[T]hey must instead choose more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and plan for the panels’ safe disposal…[C]ompanies are increasingly setting up programs that will collect and recycle panels after their 20–25-year lifespan, with some businesses committing to not sending their products to developing nations in which other electronic waste is processed unsafely…"


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    "…[C]ompanies are looking to reduce the amount of energy required to produce photovoltaics, thereby improving the bottom line and environmental profile of manufacturing. Researchers in both academia and industry are also starting to scrutinize the photovoltaic production process to figure out which chemicals could and should be replaced.

    "…[C]rystalline silicon must be in use about two years before the cumulative energy they supply to the grid balances the energy required to produce them—the so-called energy-payback time…Many scientists have tried developing more-energy-efficient ways to purify and crystallize silicon…But none of the fledgling processes outperform the industrial status quo…[W]orse, much of the crystallized silicon goes to waste…Finding a way to recycle…would reduce waste across the industry…Turning a cut wafer into a usable solar panel involves a series of wet-chemical etching steps…[M]ore benign chemicals…[are being tried but few] perform to industry standards…"


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    "[C]rystalline silicon dominates the photovoltaic market…[but] other technologies, particularly thin-film cadmium-telluride-based photovoltaic cells, are gaining a significant foothold. CdTe photovoltaic panels pay back their consumed energy in about a year, twice as fast as crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells…[and] don’t require as many chemical processing steps…[but] [c]admium is a [toxic] carcinogen…And tellurium is so rare that some people consider it unsustainable…

    "As companies figure out how to establish effective recycling programs for retired photovoltaic panels, as well as how to make those panels in more sustainable ways, they will have to continue to balance priorities that are sometimes at odds. Improving the energy efficiency of cells will make the energy payback time shorter…[but require mopre chemicals and water.] Resolving these challenges will ensure that photovoltaics don’t just produce renewable energy but are themselves renewably produced."



    LI-ION BATTERIES REDUX
    Reuse and Recycling of Electric Vehicle Batteries will Ensure the Completion of ‘Green Car’ Tag; Analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that EV battery recycling will become a significant part of the value chain by 2016, when significant quantities of EV batteries will come through the waste stream for recycling.
    February 24, 2011 (PRLog)

    "…[T]here is little economic sense to recycle lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries…[because they] contain only a small fraction of lithium carbonate as a percent of weight and are inexpensive compared to cobalt or nickel…[but] if the number of electric vehicles (EVs) and their associated battery packs increase in the long term, recycling and reuse will help validate the tag, ‘green car’. Reuse and recycling ensure that the energy source of EVs are in a closed loop and complete a full lifecycle.

    "…[New analysis] finds that EV battery recycling will become a significant part of the value chain by 2016, when significant quantities of EV batteries will come through the waste stream for recycling. The EV Li-ion battery recycling market is expected to be worth more than $2 billion by 2022, with more than half a million end-of-life EVs’ battery packs becoming available for recycling through the waste stream…"


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    "For second life, Li-ion batteries will have to compete with dedicated batteries used for current second-life applications such as stationary grid storage. They will have to compete in terms of cost, power and energy storage, as most of the characteristics of Li-ion batteries with regard to their degradation at reuse are still uncertain…"

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    "Though lithium is 100 per cent recyclable, the battery-grade lithium from the recycling process is costlier than lithium from direct sources. Lack of price incentives…[restrictions on] lithium recycling…[and] limited incentives for utilities using energy storage…[hinder] reuse activities…The lack of valuable materials in batteries [also] often limits the potential for recycling.

    "The advent of Li-ion batteries is expected to spur automotive and utility industries to sell a common fuel electricity to consumers. Furthermore, with second life applications, Li-ion batteries are poised to contribute to further net reductions in emissions…beyond those achieved by using an EV…"



    ALL ABOUT U.S. GEOTHERMAL
    Islandsbanki U.S. Geothermal Industry Overview
    10 February 2011 (Islandsbanki)

    "…With [the first U.S. Geothermal Industry Overview report, they] provide an overview of the U.S. Geothermal industry´s landscape from plants in operation, to those in development and the companies involved."

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    "The U.S. has the largest geothermal industry in the world as it has both the largest installed capacity and the largest development pipeline. While the universe of companies developing new geothermal plants in the U.S. is fairly wide and fragmented, installed capacity is tightly controlled, with the top four operators of geothermal power plants in the U.S. owning 85% of the total capacity."

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    "International players have an important role in development of geothermal power generation in the U.S. About 25% of planned capacity is being developed by companies listed on Canada´s Toronto Stock Exchange."

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