QUICK NEWS, March 5: THE RETURN OF THE CLEAN ENERGY STANDARD; ALL ABOUT NO CAROLINA OCEAN WIND; GERMANS BUY IRISH WAVEPOWER
THE RETURN OF THE CLEAN ENERGY STANDARD
A Welcome Return: Bingaman Reintroduces Clean Energy Standard
Laura DiMugno, 1 March 2012 (Solar Industry)
"After several unsuccessful attempts in recent years to pass a renewable energy standard (RES), Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is resuscitating efforts that many assumed were dead in an election year…The Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012…amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act to include a federal clean energy standard (CES).
"The legislation…does not limit the mandate to renewables like wind and solar, but includes several other low-emissions and clean energy resources such as renewable biomass, natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power or qualified waste-to-energy, as well as "clean" coal with carbon-capture technology…[B]eginning in 2015, large retail utilities - excluding those in Alaska and Hawaii - would be required to obtain 24% of the electricity they sell through clean energy sources, with the mandate increasing by 3% each year through 2035, resulting in what would be a doubling of clean energy by that year."
click to enlarge
"Energy generators would be rated according to their carbon emissions, with more credits being given to those that generate the fewest emissions…[T]he market will determine the optimal mix of technologies and fuels…Utilities would also be allowed to provide clean energy credits and/or make alternative compliance payments (ACPs) to meet the standard. Utilities that fail to meet the CES requirement would be charged a penalty of 200% of the ACP for each kilowatt-hour they sell in violation of the CES…
"According to a report from the Energy Information Administration, Bingaman's CES plan would result in a 20% reduction in harmful emissions by 2025, and a 40% emissions reduction by 2040, compared to a business-as-usual scenario. Notably, in the first decade of the program, the CES would have little to no impact on the average national electricity rate, according to the EIA report…"
ALL ABOUT NO CAROLINA OCEAN WIND
North Carolina Offshore Wind: The Risks, Rewards And Recommendations
Laura DiMugno, 23 February 2012 (North American Windpower)
"…North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue released a comprehensive study on the state's potential for offshore energy, including the pros and cons of developing offshore wind power…North Carolina has the best offshore wind resource on the U.S. East Coast, accounting for 26% of the total [less than 30 meters] East Coast resource...[I]f the entire resource were to be developed with a 42% average capacity factor, it would meet the annual electricity demand of every coastal state from Florida to Maine…
"...That estimate, however, does not take into account how much of that area can be developed, nor does it consider the many hurdles to developing wind power off North Carolina’s coast...[T]here are 506 developable federal lease blocks off the North Carolina continental shelf in waters with depths of less than 40 meters…[amounting] to 4,554 square miles available for wind power development…[N] o endangered avian species would be affected by the addition of offshore wind turbines, the study says…[O]ther species…that live in the potential development zones are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, and could be affected [but could also benefit]…"
click to enlarge
"…[R]ed tape burdens North Carolina’s potential for offshore wind development…[Another] major barrier to offshore wind development in North Carolina is the lack of adequate transmission to bring the energy produced by the generation facilities to end users…Not taking into account the necessary transmission upgrades, however, North Carolina is the cheapest state in the nation in which to develop offshore wind energy, with costs estimated to be between 20% and 25% lower than in other East Coast states…Developing offshore wind farms would also benefit the state by adding job opportunities…workforce development programs for the wind energy supply chain…[and] revenue obtained from offshore wind leases and wind-related tourism…North Carolina’s investor-owned utilities…[may not be able to meet the mandated 12.5% renewables by 2021] without offshore wind power…
"…[The governor’s panel made several recommendations for offshore wind development…North Carolina should streamline its regulatory procedures…facilitate the development of the transmission infrastructure…attract to North Carolina a wide range of supply-chain facilities and jobs associated with the emerging wind energy industry…[and] create a program for research and data collection…[A]lthough there are still major challenges in the development of offshore wind farms off the North Carolina coast, the rewards trump the risks…"
GERMANS BUY IRISH WAVEPOWER
Siemens buys majority stake in ocean energy company MCT
February 12, 2012 (PennWell via hydroWorld)
"Energy corporation Siemens has acquired the majority stake in Britain’s Marine Current Turbines Ltd. (MCT)…Siemens increased its stake in the company to 45% in November 2011 but has raised its involvement even further for an undisclosed amount. Siemens first acquired a minor stake in the company in February 2010."
click to enlarge
"MCT has already demonstrated its SeaGen technology at Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough. The two units were installed in November 2008 and have a total capacity of 1.2 MW…[A]n 8-MW project at Kyle Rhea in Scotland and a 10-MW project at Anglesey Skerries in Wales are in the planning stage."