From hydroelectricity to zero net energy buildings to climate change, get the latest news from the energy industry in this week’s Friday Fastbreak.
UN Report Calls For Massive Reform to Combat Global Warming
Released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN-sponsored report laid out nearly 1,200 solutions to combat ever-increasing global warming dangers. If these measures aren’t taken soon, the report says battling climate change down the road could be even more difficult. Major concerns include extreme heat waves, fewer crops and rising ocean levels.
Check out the latest innovations in the renewable energy industry in this weeks’ Friday Fastbreak.
IKEA Invests in U.S. Wind Power
The company known for affordable furniture is breaking into the U.S. wind market. As part of its initiative to produce more renewable energy than it consumes by 2020, IKEA made its largest global renewable investment by purchasing a wind farm in Illinois. The wind farm is expected to produce 380 GWh per year starting in 2015, according to the company. This accounts for roughly 130 percent of energy usage by IKEA stores in the U.S. and 10 percent of IKEA’s global energy usage.
Flying Wind Turbine Brings Energy Innovation to Alaska
Alaskans might soon be paying lower electricity prices, thanks to a flying wind turbine. Created by Massachusetts-based Altaeros, the Buoyant Airborne Turbine is a 60-foot blimp that captures wind 1,000 feet above the ground (where it blows more powerfully) and transfers it to wind power centers via wires attached to its surface.
Altaeros says this turbine is an ideal wind power source for areas that can’t accommodate traditional renewable energy devices. The company is slated to introduce its wind turbine-powered energy to 12 homes in Alaska, which could provide energy at 18 cents per kilowatt-hour instead of the current 35 cents per kilowatt-hour. Currently, Alaska gets less than one percent of its energy from wind power.
Here’s what happened in the renewable energy industry for the week of March 24.
Kansas Lawmakers Disagree On Renewable Energy Mandate
Since passing a renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) in 2009, Kansas has been ramping up its renewable energy usage. Under the bill, cities in the state are expected to generate 15 percent of their energy through renewable resources by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020. While the intentions are good, not everyone agrees on the method. Several attempts to repeal the RPS have been shot down, including the most recent instance earlier this week. Continue reading…
The African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) announced earlier this week that it is committing $100 million to its renewable energy projects. This funding will go to small and midsize independent power producers that provide small hydro, wind, geothermal, solar, biomass and waste gas.
Berkeley Energy Africa Limited, a fund managing company, is managing the AREF and will target energy providers that commit to projects between $10 million and $30 million. Sponsors for the fund include the Africa Development Bank, Sustainable Energy for Africa and the Global Environment Facility, among others. You can read more about the AREF here.
From a revolutionary power plant to nuclear radiation, here’s what you need to know for the week of March 10, 2014.
Support for Renewable Energy at Astounding High
Clean Edge and SolarCity released results from a nationwide study they conducted that found a whopping 88 percent of American homeowners think renewable energy is “very or somewhat important” for the future.
We’re starting a new feature, the Friday Fastbreak. Each week we’ll bring you a round-up of the biggest news in the energy, oil and gas industries. Here’s what you need to know for the first week of March.
Commentary Period for Keystone XL Ends
Today ends the 30-day period for the public to comment on the Keystone XL Pipeline before President Obama makes his decision later this year. Earlier this week, hundreds of college students handcuffed themselves to the fence surrounding the White House and created a mock oil spill in protest of the KXL, resulting in hundreds of arrests. Pro-Pipeliners have bolstered their arguments to approve the project by using examples of bipartisan support for the KXL.
Sen. Wesley Jones might have died 81 years ago, but he’s still making new enemies in the oil and energy industries and friends in the maritime industries.
Thanks to Jones, propane sold in Houston can’t be shipped easily or economically to the frozen tundra of the Northeastern United States, where a remarkably hard winter has depleted the propane supply for three to five percent of the regions’ homes to dangerously low levels. The same goes for rock salt, which has been used in huge quantities by states as far south as Georgia and Mississippi to de-ice roads during record-breaking winter storms.
The United States’ involvement in World War II – the greatest undertaking in the history of mankind – lasted 45 months. But it has been 64 months since TransCanada asked the U.S. government for permission to build a 1,179-mile long pipeline from northern Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Neb. From there, crude from Alberta’ tar sands would be sent through an existing pipeline to Cushing, Okla., and, eventually to Nederland, Texas and the many refineries along the Gulf Coast.
No doubt building such a long pipeline over difficult land that, in some cases, is environmentally sensitive, is a big challenge that deserves careful environmental review. But compared with fighting and winning a two-front global war to defeat two fanatical, racist, egotistical power cabals, reviewing the Keystone XL project is about as difficult as building a robot out of Legos.
Recently, the Interior Department (DOI) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced their third auction for offshore wind projects, this time off the cost of Maryland. The area for sale spans roughly 80,000 acres about 10-30 miles offshore from Ocean City with the potential of 850 to 1,450 MW of wind power capacity, according to NREL estimates. Continue reading…