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The Renewable Energy Renaissance

The real Renaissance is in renewable energy whose sources could meet 25% of the nation's energy needs by 2025. Renewable technologies can help restore political and economic stability as well as save money…and the planet.

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Sunday
Oct172010

Low prices for natural gas undermine new reactors, but also renewables like wind

As the Associated Press reports, low prices for natural gas associated with "hydraulic fracturing" ("fracking") have helped make new atomic reactors even less economical than they already were. However, wind power is also feeling the competition, as the hazardous chemicals used in "fracking," and their risks to drinking water supplies, seem to be getting a pass, as is the prospect of even more widespread natural gas usage becoming "the next big climate problem." Of course, Arjun Makhijani's Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy has shown since 2007 that phasing out not only nuclear power, but also all fossil fuels, including natural gas, is not only technically feasible but also affordable. Those dirty, dangerous and expensive energy sources can be replaced with efficiency and renewables, it's simply a matter of political will.

Sunday
Oct172010

Efficiency and renewables can replace cancelled Calvert Cliffs 3 reactor

Johanna Neumann of Maryland Public Interest Research Group, an ally of Beyond Nuclear and others in the Cheseapeake Safe Energy Coalition which has fought against the proposed new reactor in Maryland, writes in a Baltimore Sun op-ed that efficiency and renewables like wind and solar can now flourish if the white elephant of Calvert Cliffs 3 is allowed to die.

Saturday
Oct162010

South Africa could develop world's largest solar park

South Africa is set to invest heavily in a new solar park that could become the largest of its kind in the world. The potential 5-gigawatt solar park development in the Northern Cape for South Africa's Department of Energy is being considered by the South African government with the assistance of Fluor – a specialist company for engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and operations of complex power-generation facilities.

Saturday
Oct162010

First solar project on U.S. federal land approved

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has approved the first large-scale solar energy project planned for federally managed public land in Nevada, according to The Solar Home and Business Journal. Construction of the solar photovoltaic power plant, a project acquired this year by Arizona-based First Solar Inc., is expected to create about 300 new jobs at the site near the gambling resort of Primm, about 40 miles south of Las Vegas. The Silver State North Solar Project calls for construction of a 50-megawatt power plant (60 MW of DC output), using First Solar's thin-film PV modules. It is the second large solar plant approved for the Ivanpah Valley near the California-Nevada state line in the past two weeks, and the fourth on desert land overseen by the federal Bureau of Land Management, part of the Interior Department.

Saturday
Oct162010

Renewables almost on par with nuclear in U.S. energy production

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports this month that U.S. renewable energy production is now at 11.14% compared to nuclear production at 11.19%. The gains have been made despite the inaction of Congress to pass climate change legislation that would support renewable energy development. As Ken Bossong, president of the SUN DAY Campaign, stated, "Renewable energy has proven itself to be a solid investment - growing rapidly and nipping at the heels of the stagnant nuclear power industry."