Clear Skies From Wind Power

Source: By Tom Kiernan, American Wind Energy Association • Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016

Did you know over 17 million Americans have asthma? Or that every year it’s responsible for more than 10 million doctor visits and 1.8 million trips to the emergency room? Health professionals tell us one of the biggest triggers for an asthma attack is air pollution. “Unhealthy air is hazardous to our families and even can threaten life itself,” according to the American Lung Association’s Healthy Air Campaign.

New Antarctica ice loss model doubles sea-level rise estimates

Source: Camille von Kaenel, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016

A melting Antarctica alone could raise oceans by more than 3 feet by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continued unabated, roughly doubling previous total sea-level rise estimates, according to new research. Scientists previously thought glacial melt in Antarctica would raise sea levels only by a little or only in the far future. But that’s changing as researchers learn more about the different ways the continent’s ice sheets could dump water into the oceans.

CPS Energy Sets One-day Record for Wind Energy Powering San Antonio

Source: By Mark Reagan,San Antonio Current • Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016

CPS Energy reports that 45 percent of San Antonio’s daily energy needs on Tuesday were met through wind energy generated from seven contracted farms. “The wind record and decreased coal generation demonstrate the power of having a diverse generation portfolio,” Cris Eugster, EVP and chief generation and strategy officer, says in a blog post. “This diversity gives us the flexibility we need to pivot with our generation choices and make decisions that keep rates steady, which benefit our community in more ways than one.”

China eyes export opportunities for global super grid

Source: By Kathy Chen and David Stanway, Reuters • Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016

China’s biggest power transmission company has signed deals with three Asia-Pacific investors to help push its ambition to build a cross-border energy super grid that will help combat climate change, integrate renewable energy sources and boost exports. The State Grid Corp of China has been urging authorities to give the go-ahead for more cross-country ultra-high voltage (UHV) power lines to connect coal and hydropower plants in China’s remote west to the energy-hungry eastern coast.

How Wall Street’s Favorite Solar Company Spent Itself to the Brink

Source: By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016

Just nine months ago, SunEdison Inc. was Wall Street’s favorite clean-energy company. It sopped up every dollar it could come by to finance a breathtaking buying binge of wind and solar farms, and in the process became the world’s largest renewable-energy company. Now, SunEdison is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy protection, its stock below $1. The company’s fall is largely its own doing, the almost inevitable result of an ascent that was built on financial engineering and cheap debt. But it had plenty of enablers in the form of bankers, who pocketed fees with each acquisition, and investors, who reaped attractive dividends in a protracted stretch of low interest rates.

China pushes for mandatory integration of renewable power

Source: By Kathy Chen and David Stanway, Reuters • Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016

China has ordered power transmission companies to provide grid connectivity for all renewable power generation sources and end a bottleneck that has left a large amount of clean power idle, the country’s energy regulator said on Monday. The grid companies have been ordered to plug in all renewable power sources that comply with their technical standards, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said.

Solar group finds renewables win with independent voters

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016

Conservative candidates trying to woo independent swing-state voters should talk more about the virtues of solar power, according to new polling released last week by the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC). A survey of 600 independent voters in 11 states found that 90 percent of respondents favor increasing the use of solar energy, while 58 percent strongly favor the renewable energy resource.

Editorial: A new spring for renewable energy

Source: By Milwaukee Wisconsin Sentenintal Editorial Board • Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016

Wisconsin’s renewable energy landscape has been pretty much frozen for the last five years, especially when it comes to wind farms. While neighboring states have been blossoming with wind development in recent years, Wisconsin has become almost a “black hole” of development, according to one renewable energy advocate.

Wyoming wind tax collections fall by 15 percent

Source: By Benjamin Storrow, The Billings Gazette • Posted: Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Wyoming wind revenues fell by 15 percent in 2015, an unwelcome drop at a time when the the state is already suffering the effects of a pronounced downturn in the oil, natural gas and coal sectors. The Cowboy State became the first in the nation to tax wind production when it passed a $1-per-megawatt-hour tax in 2010. Tax collections have bounced around ever since, rising from $2.6 million in 2012 — the first year the levy was imposed — to $4.4 million in 2014. Last year, the state collected $3.7 million.

Nev. plant solves quandary of how to store sunshine

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The Crescent Dunes solar plant stands like a beacon in the midst of vast desert. By day, the plant’s 10,000 billboard-sized mirrors focus sunlight onto the top of a Washington Monument-sized tower, heating molten salt to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The salt is kept in a massive insulated tank until it’s needed to generate electricity. When released, the salt heats water to steam, which drives a turbine that generates power. But unlike most solar plants, Crescent Dunes can deliver electricity long after the sun has dipped below the horizon. Fittingly, the plant sent its first electrons to the grid last October during the night.