News

Whirlpool Windmill Produces Power Without Blades

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2015

A 1940 clip of the Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge in the United States stretching like chewing gum in a gale captured the imagination of a Spanish engineering student who became obsessed with how he could turn that chaos into power. Twelve years later, David Yanez is part of a team inspired by the motion that collapsed the bridge to create a bladeless wind turbine – an inverted-cone-shaped structure half the cost of a conventional machine. “You could see a structure with no gears or bearings capable of absorbing large quantities of wind energy,” David Yanez recalls of the footage of the bridge. He was standing on a hill in central Spain in front of a slim, gently oscillating prototype, the size of a small tree.

Comment: Setting the record straight on the wind energy tax credit

Source: By Mike Garland and Susan Reilly, The Hill • Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2015

Don Nickles recently misrepresented the position of the American Wind Energy Association on the Production Tax Credit (PTC). Let us be clear: As AWEA has consistently stated, and as the Government Accountability Office recently confirmed, without a long-term PTC extension U.S. wind power installations will drop, many communities will miss out on the economic opportunities that come with new wind farms, and American consumers will lose out.

Massive wind project aims to save the sage grouse 

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2015

The project will be capable of producing 3,000 megawatts of electricity — enough to power more than 1 million homes and businesses. “This is a legacy project,” Miller said. “We’re pushing the boundaries of renewable energy.” But there’s a catch: The proposed project must share the landscape with the imperiled greater sage grouse. Scientists say Western sage grouse populations have plummeted from as many as 16 million birds in the early 19th century as few as 200,000 today. The bird’s leading threats are habitat destruction and fragmentation from residential growth, energy development, wildfires, invasive species and poorly managed livestock grazing.

Navy to install solar arrays at Washington, D.C., base 

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus today announced the service’s first solar project at an urban installation, with a 6- to 8-megawatt project planned at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. The Navy is already well ahead of schedule to meet its goal of producing half of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.

New study outlines path to 100% renewables in all 50 states 

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Wind, water and sunlight could meet demand for all energy — not just electricity — in every state by midcentury, according to a new report. The study, published yesterday in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, concluded that the path to a cleaner future is technically feasible and affordable and would save thousands of lives from avoided pollution and averted disasters stemming from greenhouse gas emissions. All the while, the jobs created in the renewables sector would more than offset layoffs from shuttered coal mines and dismantled nuclear power plants.

Texas, Colo. show how to integrate renewables as carbon plan looms — report

Source: Edward Klump, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Electric systems in Texas and Colorado are demonstrating that a range of actions can be used to successfully and reliably integrate large amounts of renewable energy, according to a new report completed for the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. The study, which is being made public today, was conducted with a focus on two entities — the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), that state’s main grid operator, and certain Xcel Energy Inc. operations in Colorado. Both states have seen increasing amounts of wind energy and both have kept electricity flowing.

Utility-savvy lineman’s son sees storage, greener grid taking Senate stage 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2015

“I just grew up surrounded by electricity and utility issues and sort of a thirst for ‘what’s next?'” Heinrich said. Heinrich is at the center of a growing discussion with other grid-savvy members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, focused on how to bolster utility-scale renewables, energy storage and distributed generation in a comprehensive energy package.

Court Gives Obama a Climate Change Win

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2015

A federal court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by the nation’s largest coal companies and 14 coal-producing states that sought to block one of President Obama’s signature climate change policies. The lawsuit, Murray Energy v. E.P.A., challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. If enacted, the rule could shutter hundreds of such plants, freeze construction of future plants and slow demand for coal production in the United States. The lawsuit was the first in a wave of expected legal challenges to the E.P.A. climate change rules. Legal experts say they expect some of those challenges to make it to the Supreme Court.

Wind Energy Jobs on the Rise as U.S. States Chart a Clean Path to Fight Climate Change

Source: By Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Director of Programs, Natural Resources Defense Council • Posted: Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Something historic is happening across the country. Wind and solar power provided 47 percent of all the new electric generating capacity installed across the country last year. In April of this year, every bit of our new capacity came from the wind and sun. Prices for solar panel installations are down nearly 50 percent over just the past five years, and wind turbine costs have fallen even more.

Editorial: The Case for a Carbon Tax

Source: By New York Times Editorial Board • Posted: Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

A carbon tax would raise the price of fossil fuels, with more taxes collected on fuels that generate more emissions, like coal. This tax would reduce demand for high-carbon emission fuels and increase demand for lower-emisson fuels like natural gas. Renewable sources like solar, wind, nuclear and hydroelectric would face lower taxes or no taxes. To be effective, the tax should also be applied to imported goods from countries that do not assess a similar levy on the use of fossil fuels.