NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, 3-31: OBAMA CALLS FOR “CLEAN” ENERGY; WAVE-TIDAL-CURRENT KNOW-HOW GROWS; 25% NEW ENERGY ON OAHU; CUTTING OCEAN WIND COSTS

NewEnergyNews

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.

YESTERDAY

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Paying Fairer Shares In The Climate Fight
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Can Improve Global Health Care
  • THE DAY BEFORE

    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 THE DAY BEFORE

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

  • 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 LAST DAY UP HERE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Crisis Is The World’s Biggest Worry – Survey
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Record New Energy Global Growth In 2020
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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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  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, April 17-18:
  • Time To Bring New Energy Home
  • The Return Of Big Solar
  • New Ways To Get At Geothermal

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    QUICK NEWS, 3-31: OBAMA CALLS FOR “CLEAN” ENERGY; WAVE-TIDAL-CURRENT KNOW-HOW GROWS; 25% NEW ENERGY ON OAHU; CUTTING OCEAN WIND COSTS

    OBAMA CALLS FOR “CLEAN” ENERGY
    An Energy Plan Derailed by Events Is Being Retooled
    John Broder, March 30, 2011 (NY Times)

    "…President Obama has seen the major elements of his energy and climate-change strategy demolished by a succession of economic, political, technical and natural disasters…[He wanted a] market-based [cap-and-trade] system to combat global warming and encourage development of alternative energy sources…The plan’s complex structure depended on an expansion of offshore oil drilling and nuclear power generation, creation of a trillion-dollar market in carbon pollution credits, billions of dollars of new government spending on breakthrough technologies and a tolerance for higher energy prices by consumers and businesses…But one after another the pillars of the plan came crashing down…Huge Republican gains in the midterm elections also dashed hopes…

    "Cap and trade has morphed into a 'clean energy standard,' under which 80 percent of electricity in the United States would be generated from clean sources by 2035…In a speech at Georgetown University…the president went further to try to recapture the initiative on energy policy…Mr. Obama set a new goal — to reduce American oil imports by one-third over the next decade…He called for producing more electric cars, converting trucks to run on natural gas, building new refineries to distill billions of gallons of biofuels and setting new fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. He also said that the United States would continue to rely on nuclear power for decades and would have to find a way to burn coal with fewer climate-altering emissions…"


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    "The president acknowledged that his energy proposals would require legislation and new money for innovative technologies and that getting either would be difficult…Some early efforts toward the president’s plans are now under way in Congress…Senate Democrats are trying to write legislation to meet part of the president’s goal, but the Republican majority in the House seems determined to thwart any energy policy that does not begin with a major expansion of domestic coal production and oil and gas exploration…[T]he administration has fallen back on a two-pronged strategy of discouraging dirty, old energy sources through regulation and encouraging clean, new technologies by heavy spending on innovation…

    "…[Secretary of Energy] Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics, is a technology enthusiast and says the nation can produce the innovations in clean energy necessary to meet the president’s goals if the right incentives are in place…[First is] legislation that will require utilities to produce a growing proportion of electricity through clean sources — nuclear, natural gas, hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal and new technology players to be named later…[Second] is a robust federal research and development program…"


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    "The president’s plan includes $36 billion in new loan guarantees for building nuclear power plants, in addition to the $18.5 billion for the program left from the Bush administration…[though] the rules of the game for nuclear power in the United States might change, just as regulations for offshore drilling were tightened after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill…

    "The other part of the strategy, federal regulation of greenhouse gases and other pollutants from conventional power sources, also faces a tough challenge. Most Republicans in Congress are skeptical about the science of global warming, some even declaring it a hoax perpetrated by a coterie of self-interested scientists. Hefty Republican majorities oppose virtually any form of federal regulation of the greenhouse gases that contribute to the problem…The House Energy and Commerce Committee has already passed a bill that would forbid the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing any nationwide standard on emissions…The full House is expected to endorse the measure soon, although it is unclear whether Republicans can muster the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster in the Senate…"



    WAVE-TIDAL-CURRENT KNOW-HOW GROWS
    Understanding the Effects of Ocean/Tidal/Stream Power
    Russell Ray, March 29, 2011 (HydroWorld)

    "Generating electricity from river currents, ocean waves and tides is a budding industry…The Earth’s oceans and rivers could supply us with a lot of clean energy…

    "Wave energy technologies developed by Aquamarine Power, Ocean Power Technologies and Pelamis Wave Power are ready for commercial operation…Still, hydrokinetic energy devices are largely unproven and require extensive testing, especially to determine their effect on the environment."


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    "In a report to Congress, the U.S. Department of Energy identified the potential environmental effects of hydrokinetic energy devices that need further monitoring and testing. The report also identified ways to mitigate the adverse environmental effects related to the installation and operation of hydrokinetic projects…

    "Among other things, the report points to concerns about installation, electromagnetic fields, spinning turbines, accidental leaks and changes in currents and waves. All of these could alter migration paths, transform beaches and bays, injure marine life, disturb the seabed and diminish food availability…[But] few devices have actually been deployed and tested in rivers and oceans in the U.S. For some environmental issues…effects will prove minor…The report encouraged the use of adaptive management principles…[that] would require the developer to adjust the project to mitigate any unacceptable environmental effects."


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    "The DOE is funding several efforts to assess the environmental effects…[and] improve the siting…[M]ore support for research and assessment in the U.S. is needed. The U.S. is far behind the UK…[which] plans to install 300 MW of new hydrokinetic capacity in the next five years while the U.S. plans to install 50 MW…

    "The technical potential of ocean wave power in the U.S. is 90,000 MW, according to estimates by the Electric Power Research Institute. If the U.S. adopted a national renewable electricity standard of 25 percent, more than 13,000 MW of that potential could be realized by 2025, according to a study by Navigant Consulting..."



    25% NEW ENERGY ON OAHU
    Wind & solar can reliably supply 25% of Oahu’s electricity need, new study shows
    March 17, 2011 (Hawaiian Electric Company)

    "When combined with on-Oahu wind farms and solar energy, the Interisland Wind project planned to bring 400 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Molokai and Lanai to Oahu could reliably supply more than 25% of Oahu’s projected electricity demand, according to the Oahu Wind Integration Study (OWIS).

    "…[The OWIS] studied the impact on the Oahu grid of a total of 500 MW of wind energy and a nominal 100 MW of solar power, though a good deal more utility-scale and customer-sited solar power is expected on Oahu…[It] found that the 500 MW of wind and 100 MW of solar power could eliminate the need to burn approximately 2.8 million barrels of low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) and 132,000 tons of coal each year while maintaining system reliability, if a number of recommendations are incorporated including…"


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    "…[1] Provide state-of-the-art wind power forecasting to help anticipate the amount of power that will be available from wind…[2] Increase power reserves (the amount of power that can be called upon from operating generators) to help manage wind variability and uncertainty in wind power forecasts…

    "…[3] Reduce minimum stable operating power of baseload generating units to provide more power reserves…[4] Increase ramp rates (the time it takes to increase or decrease output) of Hawaiian Electric’s thermal generating units…"


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    "…[5] Implement severe weather monitoring to ensure adequate power generation is available during periods of higher wind power variability…[ and, 6] Evaluate other resources capable of contributing reserve, such as fast-starting thermal generating units and load control programs.

    "…[A]ssuring reliability will require further studies, upgrades to existing and new infrastructure, as well as specific requirements on the wind farms to be connected to the Oahu system. With these and other proposed changes, the technical analysis suggests, Oahu can accommodate increased wind and solar projects with minimal limits on output of renewable resources…"



    CUTTING OCEAN WIND COSTS
    Keeping the lid on offshore installation costs
    Andrew Williams, 28 March 2011 (Wind Energy Update)

    "Several sector-wide factors have raised the underlying costs for offshore wind over the last few years, including rising commodity prices, currency fluctuations and bottlenecks in the supply chain. At the project level, a sluggish planning and consenting process has also eaten into budgets…

    "At the installation stage, day rates for hiring installation vessels are also very high, so it is essential that developers maximise utilisation rates [by avoiding fabrication and weather delays to ensure vessels aren't sitting idle]…[O]ver-optimistic planning schedules for installation, that don’t consider the compounding impact of delays on other elements of the project, and delays on milestone payments and income from generation, are another cause of cost overruns…"


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    "Planning for weather effects is complex. The impact of a delay in good weather can deliver a one-two punch to project schedules - one at the time, and another later when the installation schedule slips in to periods where the likelihood of weather down time is higher…

    "In an effort to minimise costs and reduce risks…wind energy companies should ensure they devote sufficient time and resources to making the best technology choices and…[do] ‘front end’ engineering design…[along with] more effective project teams and detailed project development process schedules, including integrated contracting strategies and project control mechanisms…"


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    "Another effective strategy is to engage early with experienced installation companies on the wind farm layout and installation infrastructure. This would allow cable manufacturers, foundation manufacturers and installers to collaborate…for optimal installation…[L]ogistics providers…should bring more value to projects…by proposing commercial models that would spread the risk and minimise installation times…[such as] building interesting partnerships with the supply chain, including turbine manufacturers, fabricators and installers - essentially taking lessons from oil and gas to align incentives to minimise system costs…

    "…[A] more rigorous, detailed and integrated approach to the planning, management and execution of key project stages could well pay dividends for forward thinking companies."

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