According to new research from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the notion that wind energy presents an unending supply of power might be a bit misleading. While there may be no end to breezes and gusts, the way we harness them could be counterproductive, according to applied physicist David Keith. His latest research, which applies mesoscale atmospheric modeling, finds large-scale wind farms will not be as effective as previously thought. His conclusions have now been published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
Former Cabinet officials and lawmakers from both parties are among the 37 signers of an open letter released today that highlights the potential impact of climate change on geopolitical stability and U.S. national security. Former Sens. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) were among those calling on their former colleagues in the Partnership for a Secure America letter to “support American security and global stability by addressing the risks of climate change in vulnerable nations.”
The global generating capacity of wind farms has been overestimated and the world may not have access to as much wind power as thought, U.S. researchers say. “People have often thought there’s no upper bound for wind power — that it’s one of the most scalable power sources,” Harvard University applied physicist David Keith says.
Solar panels, windmills and biomass facilities made up all the new generation that came online last month, compared to fossil-heavy contributions in January 2012, according to a new federal report. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its monthly infrastructure update that found more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy went into operation in January. The findings are based on data from Ventyx Global LLC. In comparison, coal- and gas-fired plants made up the bulk of new generation in January 2012, with lesser contributions from wind and solar facilities, according to the report.
An environmental group released a report today promoting offshore wind energy as a smart investment for coastal states. The Natural Resources Defense Council report faults the United States for failing to provide incentives to develop offshore wind.
Over the objections of Republican lawmakers, the House of Delegates on Friday approved Gov. Martin O’Malley’s bill to create incentives for development of a wind energy project off the coast of Ocean City.
Electricity generated by wind farms powered more than 350,000 Pennsylvania homes last year, and that number is expected to grow. “There’s demand,” said Titus North, executive director of Squirrel Hill-based Citizen Power.
In 2001, Jim Gordon, a well-heeled developer of natural gas plants in New England, took up a long-discussed but never-pursued idea that advocates said would usher in a new era of clean energy in America: an ocean-based wind farm off the shores of Cape Cod. The advantages of the site seemed plain: Relentless, hard-driving winds, shallow shoals several miles offshore on which to anchor large turbines, and, perhaps most importantly, a left-leaning population inclined to support what was already viewed at the time as an overdue migration away from dirtier sources of electricity.
How many tourists would travel to Atlantic City to view the nation’s first offshore wind farm? Fishermen’s Energy, which has proposed building five giant turbines about 2.8 miles off the resort city’s beaches, estimates 4.5 million people a year would visit the site, according to a consultant’s report that recommends the state should turn down the project because it is too costly.
Energy and climate are THE challenges of our time – both globally and here in the Pacific Northwest – and no set of challenges will have a greater impact on our nation’s economy, environment and quality of life in coming decades. Indeed, no other issues have bigger implications for the planet and coming generations. The central question is whether we will shape our energy future through intentional policy, investment and development, or whether it will shape us. Answering this question is urgent, because the toll of our fossil fuel dependence is rising fast. We are struggling to make the complicated transition from 20th century energy infrastructure to new business models that can unleash the job-creation potential of low-carbon energy innovation.