Despite Conservative Attacks, States Continue to Realize the Benefits of Renewable Energy Standards: “States’ adoption of renewable energy standards—which require electric utility companies to produce a portion of their electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources—has considerably driven clean energy advances in recent years. Though Congress has failed to enact a nationwide standard, policymakers at the state level have enthusiastically filled the void, with 29 states and the District of Columbia adopting hard targets for renewable energy production and another eight states setting renewable energy goals. Standards place an obligation on electricity-supply companies to reach set targets, while renewable energy goals are voluntary for companies—although states might incentivize a utility for reaching a set goal.
“Those mandates have brought a wide range of benefits, ranging from robust clean energy economies to lower carbon emissions and improved public health. Since the beginning of 2009, eight states—California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas,Nevada, New Jersey, and New York—have increased their standards, while three states—Indiana, Oklahoma, and West Virginia—have established voluntary goals. Six other states—Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington state—have beaten back attempts to repeal their standards. Most of the states with renewable energy standards on the books are meeting or are close to meeting their interim targets.”
Greece Backs Second Renewable-Energy Tax Increase in Five Months: “Greece’s energy regulator approved higher renewable-power taxes for consumers, backing a second increase in five months to bolster funds at market operator Lagie SA.
“The levy, which compensates Lagie for guaranteeing fixed power prices to clean-energy producers, will rise to an average 9.30 euros ($12.35) a megawatt-hour from 7.50 euros, the watchdog said in a statement on its website. The increase is backdated to Jan. 1 and valid for six months.“
“Danish Bicycle Pioneers: Larry vs Harry from Copenhagenize on Vimeo. The second portrait in the series of Danish Bicycle Pioneers for Bicycle Innovation Lab. The first was a portrait of Carl Georg Rasmussen – father of the modern velomobile. This time it’s Lars Malmborg and Hans Bullitt Fogh - Larry vs Harry - designers of the Bullitt cargo bike. Probably the hottest bicycle on the planet right now. The classic Danish longjohn, which transformed cargo bike culture back in the early 1920s, remained unchanged for more than 85 years. Nobody thought to make it better, lighter, faster. Until Larry vs Harry.”
Cyclists’ protests can be a good thing arising out of a bad thing. Confused? Click the link above.
Gamesa Secures 10-Year O&M Agreement for 264 MW Wind Farm in Virginia, USA: “Gamesa, a global technology leader in wind energy, has secured a 10-year, full service operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement with NedPower, to service their 264-megawatt Mount Storm Wind Farm in West Virginia, USA.
“The 264 MW Mount Storm Wind Farm is one of the largest wind farms in operation in the eastern United States, featuring 132 Gamesa G80-2.0 MW turbines.“
Video – First Turbine Erected at Tasmanian Wind Farm: “The folk at Hydro Tasmania are clearly chuffed by developments at the 168MW Musselroe Wind Farm project which is under construction in the north-east of the Apple Isle. This week it announced the completion of ‘topping out’ of its first wind turbine, which essentially means putting all the components in place atop an 80m high tower.”
EU Energy Efficiency Directive & Germany: “Kevin Meyerson kindly asked in a comment what Germany could do more on energy efficiency. One simple answer is to point to the recent EU Directive on energy efficiency adopted on October 25 last year.
“This area is actually the one 2020 goal the EU is not firmly on track to achieve. The three goals are 20% CO2 reduction, 20% share of renewable energy, and 20% reduction of energy use. The first two goals will be achieved, energy efficiency will still require some extra effort (EU Commission ‘Citizens’ Summary’).”
U.S. Military Gets Serious About Microgrids… Which Is More Exciting Than It Sounds: “The Department of Defense has bases in the U.S. and forward operating bases in theaters of war like Afghanistan. In both cases, providing reliable electricity, a strategic and tactical necessity for an increasingly wired military, is a challenge. One way the military is meeting that challenge is developing microgrids, which are way cooler than they sound.” (Note: we here at CleanTechnica do think microgrids are super exciting — I’ve even considered creating a category for them. If interested, take a stroll through our microgrids archives.)
Geothermal Takes Technological Step Forward: “Geothermal energy developers working on the flanks of an ancient Oregon volcano say they have taken an important technological step toward expanding geothermal energy from a small niche into a potential major source of homegrown power, but more work needs to be done.”
Utility-Scale Wave Energy Test Facility to be Built in Oregon: “The first utility-scale wave energy test facility in the U.S. will be built in Newport, Oregon. The Pacific Marine Energy Center will supply energy to the local power grid.
“The test facility will be located about five miles offshore, in the same area as the Ocean Sentinel. While providing power to the local community, the PMEC will allow researchers to learn how well the facility can stand up to storm waves in the Pacific and about any environmental or community impacts.”
The Vile and Evil American Shale Gas Revolution: “John Hanger thinks it is an “American triumph” and the “top energy fact of 2012″ that America has reduced CO2 emissions in the short term somewhat by switching much electricity generation from coal to gas.
“I agree that this is a significant fact. But I don’t think it’s a triumph. It is a disgrace. The Americans should be ashamed of themselves.“
Gas for Electricity is Like Smoking “Light” Cigarettes: “In my last post about the “vile and evil” American shale gas revolution I forgot to mention that firing gas instead of coal reduces greenhouse gas emissions only if methane leakage is under control, as Joe Romm points out in detail here.
“There is no guarantee that that is actually happening.
“Joe Romm, being interested in rhetoric, uses the metaphor of a ‘bridge to nowhere’ for gas.
“I came up with another one. Using gas is like smoking a ‘light’ cigarette. It may contain slightly less harmful substances, but it will still kill you. That’s why the European Union has a ban in place on using words like ‘light’ or ‘mild’ in connection with cigarettes since 10 years ago.”
What Are The Tar Sands?
Koch-Funded Study Finds 2.5°F Warming Of Land Since 1750 Is Manmade, ‘Solar Forcing Does Not Appear To Contribute’: “The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) has finally published its findings on the cause of recent global warming. This Koch-funded reanalysis of millions of temperature observations from around the world, ‘A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011,’ concludes:
“… solar forcing does not appear to contribute to the observed global warming of the past 250 years; the entire change can be modeled by a sum of volcanism and a single anthropogenic [human-made] proxy.“
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on your favorite social network, go to: zacharyshahan.com