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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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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."

Tuesday
Oct122010

DOE Renewable Energy Lab predicts 20% windpower capacity by 2030

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab today predicted that the U.S. could generate 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy by 2030 if it develops offshore wind farms in the coastal waters of 26 states. The report concluded that if offshore wind farms are densely developed along the U.S. coastline, such installations could theoretically provide four times the electricity capacity that now exists in the U.S. 

Tuesday
Oct122010

Google backs massive wind power project

 

Google has announced that it will invest in the development of the Atlantic Wind Connection, a $5 billion, 350-mile backbone transmission project that will stretch from New Jersey to Virginia and have the ability to connect 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines. The line would run in shallow waters several miles offshore and enable offshore wind farms by first building the transmission capacity for the power generated. Google estimates the capacity of the transmission line to be 60 percent of the wind energy installed in the U.S. last year and enough to power nearly 2 million homes. According to the New York Times, construction could start by 2013, and a 150-mile portion of the project from New Jersey to Delaware (costing $1.8 billion) could go into service by early 2016. The remainder won’t be finished until at least 2021.

Tuesday
Oct122010

Nuclear companies turn to wind

Exelon, the country's biggest nuclear utility, has presumably seen the writing on the Nuclear Retreat wall. It has announced an investment of as much as one billion dollars on wind turbines. Exelon is purchasing tractor-maker John Deere's John Deere Renewables, a wind energy manufacturer, whose 700+ megawatts of power capacity (when the wind's blowing) and 200MW+ of projects will be added to Exelon's power-generation division.