NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, May 31: BALD EAGLES SAFE IN WIND; NEW MONEY MODELS IN SUN; TEXAS WORRIES ABOUT ELECTRICITY

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    Thursday, May 31, 2012

    QUICK NEWS, May 31: BALD EAGLES SAFE IN WIND; NEW MONEY MODELS IN SUN; TEXAS WORRIES ABOUT ELECTRICITY

    BALD EAGLES SAFE IN WIND American Wind Wildlife Institute releases eagle white paper

    Carl Levesque, May 25, 2012 (Wind Energy Weekly)

    “…[The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI)-released white paper on eagles and wind power…Eagles and Wind Energy: Identifying Research Priorities…[from] leading conservation organizations, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and members of the wind industry…[is intended] to help resolve challenges relating to wind energy development and eagle protection…

    “…AWWI developed the white paper with extensive input from eagle experts…and the group continues to work with experts, agency staff, conservation organizations, and wind energy industry partners to advance this goal and implement its eagle initiative…AWWI’s white paper synthesizes current knowledge of eagle population status and trends, as well as of human-related causes of fatalities including wind energy, and identifies priorities…”

    “Findings…[included]…[1] Bald eagles are thriving, while the status of golden eagle populations is uncertain…[2, Data] of known eagle fatalities recorded between 2006 and 2011 from all anthropogenic sources suggests that electrocution for golden eagles (50 percent), and poisoning for bald eagles (36 percent), are leading sources. Wind turbine collisions in the Altamont Pass account for 21.5 percent and wind turbines at other sites 0.5 percent of all golden eagle fatalities…

    “…[Research topics included]…gaps on demography and status relevant to calculating take thresholds…estimates of eagle mortality…siting and operational strategies that avoid or minimize eagle fatalities…compensatory mitigation…coordinating and enhancing existing collaborative research...The white paper concludes that AWWI should focus over the next 12 months on expanding options for compensatory mitigation while continuing to identify, support, and collaborate with other research initiatives…”

    NEW MONEY MODELS IN SUN Solar Finance Re-Invented: How Today's Projects Lure New Market Players

    29 May 2012 (Solar Industry)

    “Financing of U.S. solar projects is in the midst of a transformation, with new business models, new investors and new financing vehicles gaining sway, according to new research [in Re-Imagining U.S. Solar Financing] by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (commissioned by Reznick Group).

    “U.S. solar projects have historically been bankrolled by some combination of energy sector players, banks and the federal government, but the landscape is rapidly changing. New business models are emerging, with an emphasis on third-party financing, the report says. New investors, including institutional players, are entering. New financing vehicles - such as project bonds and other securities - are being assembled to tap the broader capital markets…”

    “The evolution toward a broader investor base is expected to help maintain growth for U.S. solar deployment. Asset financing for U.S. PV projects has grown by a compound annual growth rate of 58% since 2004 and surged to a record $21.1 billion in 2011, fueled by the one-year extension of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Section 1603 cash-grant program…Funding the next nine years of growth (2012-2020) for U.S. PV deployment will require about $6.9 billion annually on average, the report says.

    “Two factors are predicted to drive the evolution. First, traditional players [like eurozone banks and the Department of Energy's loan-guarantee program] are scaling back their participation…Second, thanks to the continuing low-interest-rate environment, nontraditional investors are becoming more interested, lured by the risk-return profiles of solar projects that employ well-proven PV technology…”

    TEXAS WORRIES ABOUT ELECTRICITY ERCOT Report Reinforces Future Electricity Adequacy Concerns

    29 May 2012 (Renew Grid)

    “The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) says it foresees potential electricity shortages within the coming decade as electricity use in Texas continues to hit new records…The newly revised Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) report shows a reserve margin of 9.8% by 2014. That is well below ERCOT's 13.75% target for electric generation capacity that exceeds the forecast peak demand on the grid. The 2014 outlook includes slightly more than 75 GW of power to serve an anticipated peak demand of 68 GW.

    “By 2015, projected reserves are expected to drop to 6.9%, with 76.6 GW of resources available to serve a peak demand of 71.6 GW. The 13.75% target-planning reserve margin, approved by ERCOT's board in 2010, is set to ensure enough power is available for contingencies such as extreme weather and unplanned power plant outages…”

    “Peak electricity use in the ERCOT region is driven by high temperatures and economic conditions. The mid- and long-term peak-demand forecast is based on a 15-year average weather profile combined with economic factors such as per capita income, population, gross domestic product and various employment measures. The report does not include the outlook for this summer…

    “…[T]he outlook for summer 2013 actually has improved since the previous CDR was released in December 2011…[because] about 1.2 GW of previously "mothballed" capacity has returned to service…[including] nearly 600 MW of new renewable power [105 MW of biomass, 432 MW of wind power and 59 MW of solar power]…By 2016, the forecast includes 3.6 GW of new gas-fired capacity, more than 2 GW of new wind power, about 900 MW of new coal-fired generation and 60 MW of solar power…New wind power will include about 600 MW of coastal wind, which has historically provided significant power to the grid when it is needed most - late in the afternoon on hot summer days…The grid operator has also incorporated an increase in demand-response (DR) services...”

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