David Kirkpatrick

October 13, 2010

3M is improving solar panels

Filed under: Business, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:34 am

This sounds like a pretty significant breakthrough.

From the link:

For years solar companies have wanted to make lightweight, flexible panels that are cheap to ship and easy to install (by unrolling them over large areas). But they’ve been held up by a lack of good and affordable glass substitutes.

Now 3M thinks it’s found a solution. This week the company unveiled a plastic film that it says can rival glass in its ability to protect the active materials in solar cells from the elements and save money for manufacturers and their customers.

The protective film is a multilayer, fluoropolymer-based sheet that can replace glass as the protective front cover of solar panels, says Derek DeScioli, business development manager for 3M’s renewable energy division. Manufacturers laminate the sheets onto the solar panels to seal them tight and shield them from moisture and other weather elements that can be deadly to the solar cells inside.

Solar protection: This polymer film seals out water far better than other plastics—it can protect solar panels for decades.
Credit: 3M

 

October 28, 2009

ARPA-E

Government funded skunk works for energy.

From the link:

Its mission is to identify “revolutionary advances in fundamental sciences,” then translate these advances into “technological innovations,” particularly in areas where industry won’t do this on its own because the technology is considered too risky. In some ways ARPA-E is supposed to be for energy technologies what DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is for the military. That agency had its hand in the development of a number of revolutionary new technologies, including Arpanet, the precursor to the Internet.

The first batch of ARPA-E projects is certainly fascinating. It includes projects that could improve the performance of current energy technologies by many times, slashing the cost of solar panels and batteries, for example. If they succeed, the world could be a different place. Renewable energy could out-compete fossil fuels without the help of subsidies and long-range electric cars could become widely affordable, challenging the dominance of the internal combustion engine.

 

July 1, 2009

Sony going big in carbon reduction

Look for many more press releases like the one below from Sony. It’s been pretty hot lately for companies to rave about solar and other alternate power initiatives, and reducing the carbon footprint is the latest buzzy “green” option for firms to use as proof of being good global citizens.

The release from this morning:

Sony Reduces Approximately 100,000 Tons Worth of CO2 Emissions Through Use of Renewable Energy in FY2008

Sony Europe Achieves 100% Renewable Energy, U.S. Continues to Expand Efforts, 50% of Electricity Usage at Sony Group Headquarters in Japan to also Go Green

TOKYO, July 1 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Corporation is continuously working to increase energy efficiency in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As part of this effort, Sony is actively promoting the use of renewable energy.  By implementing initiatives such as the Green Power Certification System and the introduction of solar power generation systems, Sony reduced its global CO2 emissions by approximately 100,000 tons in fiscal year 2008.

Sony Europe has achieved independent certification that every facility with over 100 employees is powered by 100% renewable energy amounting to 190 million kWh or approximately 55,000 tons worth of CO2 emissions. Through continuous energy efficiency efforts, Sony’s European operations have reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 90% between fiscal years 2000 and 2008.

Sony Group companies in the U.S. purchased 42 million kWh of renewable energy in fiscal year 2008. This equates to a 25,000 ton reduction in CO2 from renewable energy usage. In April 2009, Sony DADC, a leading producer of optical disc media, announced that it is purchasing more than 83 million kilowatt-hours of green power in the U.S. annually – enough to meet 44% of the organization’s purchased electricity use.

Also in the U.S., continuous enhancements are being made to Sony Pictures Entertainment’s facilities and operations to increase efficiency and utilize renewable energy sources. For example, Sony Pictures is using 100% renewable energy for its Arizona data center and has installed solar photovoltaic cells on the roof of an existing building at its Culver City, California headquarters as part of a pilot solar energy program. The studio is also experimenting with renewable energy sources, such as biodiesel, in film production. According to researchers from Cornell University, the use of biodiesel fuel in production generators on the set of Columbia Pictures’ recent film, “The Taking of Pelham 123,” demonstrated the potential for a substantial decrease in carbon monoxide emissions, an element that makes up smog.

While renewable energy is less accessible in Japan, Sony today purchased Green Power Certificates equivalent to approximately 50% of the electricity to be used at Sony City (Sony’s Headquarters building in Tokyo) beginning October 1, 2009. This represents the entire daytime electricity usage at the building, and is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of approximately 4,400 households. This is the first time that green energy has been introduced at Sony City, and is expected to result in an annual GHG emission reduction of approximately 6,800 tons. In fiscal year 2008, the Sony Group in Japan purchased a total of 55.49 million kWh in renewable energy through the Green Power Certificate System. With today’s additional purchase taking this total to 70.94 million kWh, Sony continues to be the largest purchaser of green energy in Japan.

Sony will continue to promote the use of renewable energy and implement various measures across its sites and operations to ensure ongoing energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. All of these initiatives are part of Sony Corporation’s broader commitment to the environment, which extends from research and development of energy-efficient products, to responsible materials re-use and recycling.

Source: Sony Corporation of America
   

Web Site:  http://www.sony.com/

January 6, 2009

Hydrogen from ethanol

I’ll have to admit this sounds a little pie-in-the-sky. I’ve read way too much on various hydrogen schemes to give this any market relevance before I see/read about a whole lot more in terms of real costs, drawbacks and applications.

At the same time it’s good to see ongoing research into alternative energy sources. I have no problem with petroleum use, but it is a limited resource as things currently stand. And mankind’s power needs are only increasing at a phenomenal rate.

From the link:

Scientists have created an entirely natural and renewable method for producing hydrogen to generate electricity which could drastically reduce the dependency on fossil fuels in the future.

The breakthrough means ethanol which comes from the fermentation of crops can be completely converted to hydrogen and carbon dioxide for the first time.

The hydrogen generated would be used to power fuel cells – devices which convert fuels into electricity directly without the need for combustion.

The new method – which has the potential to be used to power homes, buildings and cars in the future – is the result of a 10 year collaboration project between scientists from the University of Aberdeen alongside international partner laboratories.

Over 90% of the hydrogen currently generated across the globe is made using natural gas found in fossils fuels.

The main concern with this method is the generation of large amounts of carbon dioxide increasing the risk of global warming.

This new production method uses ethanol which is produced by the fermentation of crops and is therefore carbon neutral meaning any carbon dioxide produced is assimilated back into the environment and used by plants to grow.

Professor Hicham Idriss, Energy Futures Chair at the University of Aberdeen who has led the study said: “We have successfully created the first stable catalyst which can generate hydrogen using ethanol produced from crop fermentation at realistic conditions.

October 1, 2008

Green Schools Initiative from CBS and EcoMedia

Today’s release:

CBS & EcoZone(R) Call for Entries in Their Green Schools Initiative

Schools nationwide will win ‘green makeovers’ valued at $250,000 in products and services

MIAMI, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ — EcoMedia, a leading environmental media company, and the CBS Corporation today kicked off the CBS and EcoZone(R) Green Schools Initiative.  One winning school in each city will receive a green makeover valued at approximately $250,000 in products and services and overseen by a professional “green schools coach.”  EcoMedia and CBS were joined by Miami Mayor and current President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Manny Diaz, and Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho, in a call for entries from schools in Miami, the Initiative’s first market.

“We are proud to launch this exciting initiative in Miami and happy to provide an opportunity for our students to think about what being environmentally responsible truly means,” said Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. “We are looking forward to the children’s responses and to soon awarding Miami students with the tools to ‘green’ their school.”

“We are proud that this effort will help increase environmental awareness with students across the country, while also challenging them to explore concrete ways to improve our environment,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.  “We look forward to the entries from students, teachers and administrators, and are pleased to highlight them across our broad range of media assets.”

“Together with our partner CBS, we’ve created a new model for advertising,” said Paul Polizzotto, Founder and CEO of EcoMedia. “By providing funding for environmental projects and technologies through the sale of advertising, our media can be procured and sourced like any other sustainable product. Now, in addition to energy saving light bulbs and recycled paper, the simple everyday purchase of advertising can be part of a corporation’s ongoing sustainability initiatives.”

EcoMedia has secured pre-sale sponsorships from a cross-section of traditional and non-traditional advertisers including Microsoft, TCP, O Organics, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Like all EcoMedia programs, the Green Schools Initiative is only made possible by the sponsors who purchase media through the world class advertising assets offered by EcoMedia and its media partners, including CBS, Kimco Realty, Worldwide Pants, and KIWI Magazine.  A significant portion of these sponsors’ media dollars will help fund the makeovers.

“We’re proud to help lead this extraordinary effort to create ‘green’ schools where students can learn real-world lessons on environmental responsibility simply by looking at the classrooms around them,” said Ellis Yan, CEO, TCP, Inc, official lighting sponsor.  “This is a shining example of how the public and private sectors can work together to inspire America’s youth to make smart decisions that will help protect our planet.”

Additional opportunities for sponsor involvement with the Green Schools initiative are available in Miami and markets where calls for entries will be launched over the next few weeks. EcoMedia and CBS expect this innovative public-private partnership to continue expanding to award green makeovers to schools across the country.

Students, teachers and administrators can enter the Green Schools Initiative by submitting a creative response that expresses what “being green” means to them, as well as filling out an application at http://www.ecozonemedia.com/greenmyschool/.  Winners will be chosen by a committee consisting of members of EcoMedia’s Advisory Board, including USGBC, NOAA EPA/Energy Star, Waterkeeper Alliance, city and school officials, corporate sponsors, and members of the CBS Corporation, and will be announced in January 2009.  In addition to the grand prize, a sustainable environmental program will be provided to all participating schools through Miami non-profit Dream In Green.

“Green schools are a powerful demonstration of our commitment to our children’s future,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, “and it’s the best way to show the next generation how we can all make a difference in this world.  We are excited about today’s announcements of the EcoMedia and CBS Green Schools Initiative and the launch of the Mayor’s Green Schools Alliance as important demonstrations of how we can leverage the creativity and influence of the media and mayoral leadership to deliver measurable, meaningful improvements for our environment and the students of our nation.”

The USGBC “Mayors Green Schools Alliance” includes Mayor Diaz in his capacity as current President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  Formation of the Alliance has also involved a dozen other leading mayors from across the country including Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Vice President of the USCM.

“As one of the Nation’s premier environmental science agencies, NOAA is proud to support the Green School’s Initiative,” said Jack Dunnigan, Assistant Administrator for NOAA.  “Environmental awareness is the thread that binds the wise use of our natural resources together with the strength of our economy. NOAA is proud to join with EcoZone as part of a partnership between industry and government to educate the public and promote improved awareness and action to benefit our environment.”

“The CBS & EcoZone Green Schools Initiative offers us a great opportunity to educate and inspire our youngest citizens to protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices,” said Mike Zatz, Manager of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program.  “We at ENERGY STAR are excited to participate in this partnership, and are pleased to contribute the analytical tools to help both the winning schools and others identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements, and measure the impacts of these improvements on the environment.

This program represents another clear example of EcoMedia’s innovative public-private partnership model: delivering media that does more than simply carry green messages and raise awareness, by actually funding real projects and technologies that lead to measurable environmental improvements in communities around the nation. Now, the procurement of media by leading corporations can also benefit the communities where their products and services are sold. Truly “Green Media” is media that actually greens.

About EcoMedia

EcoMedia is the world’s premier environmental media company, dedicated to innovative marketing and media programs that reach target consumers while generating the resources to help the public tackle critical environmental challenges. Founded in 2002, EcoMedia and its partners CBS, Kimco, and Worldwide Pants, offer clients world-class advertising assets and content that fulfills their marketing objectives while connecting their advertising to concrete environmental initiatives across the country through the EcoZone Program. Up to fifty percent of each sponsor’s media spend goes toward funding measurable efforts by local governments to improve the environment. Examples of EcoZone initiatives have included solar panel installations and lighting retrofits in public buildings, as well as runoff water filtration installations, all funded by sponsor media spends. All projects are approved and overseen by the EcoMedia Advisory Board, made up of environmental leaders such as EPA’s Energy Star and the U.S. Green Building Council, in cooperation with mayors and other local officials. The company’s latest program is the CBS & EcoZone Green Schools Initiative, which provides for “green makeovers” valued at $250,000 in products and services for schools across the country. Visit http://www.ecozonemedia.com/ for more information about EcoMedia, the EcoZone Program and the CBS & EcoZone Green Schools Initiative.

About CBS Corporation

CBS Corporation is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW — a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime and CBS College Sports Network), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Network Television and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), music (CBS Records), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products), video/DVD (CBS Home Entertainment), in-store media (CBS Outernet) and motion pictures (CBS Films). For more information, log on to http://www.cbscorporation.com/.

Source: EcoMedia

Web site:  http://www.ecozonemedia.com/
http://www.cbscorporation.com/

BP Solar announces fourth Wal-Mart installation

Filed under: Business, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:28 pm

Wal-Mart is proving its committment to renewable energy is more than simple lip service.

The release from today:

BP Solar Completes Fourth Installation for Wal-Mart

Glendora Sam’s Club Now Energized by the Sun

GLENDORA, Calif. Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ — BP Solar today announced the completion of a 546 kilowatt (kW) solar power system at the Sam’s Club in Glendora, California.  The system consists of over 3,122 modules and will provide approximately 27 percent of the store’s electricity.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000724/NYM120LOGO )

The Glendora installation is part of BP Solar’s commitment to develop 4.3 megawatts of solar energy systems for seven Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs in California.  Under the agreement, Wal-Mart will purchase all of the energy produced by the solar power systems and BP Solar will operate and maintain the systems.

“The Glendora Sam’s Club marks the fourth solar installation project we have completed for Wal-Mart,” said Felix Taubman, director of commercial development for BP Solar.  “Our commercial projects team is committed to completing the three remaining sites by the end of 2008, moving Wal-Mart one step closer to achieving their renewable energy goal.”

Since Wal-Mart announced its goal to be ultimately supplied by 100% renewable energy, and to significantly improve the energy efficiency of its operations in October 2005, BP has been working with the company on a growing range of sustainable energy solutions.  In addition to large-scale roof-top solar installations, these include the supply of biofuels to Sam’s Club gas stations and fuel-efficient lubricants to a portion of Wal-Mart’s UK truck fleet.

“We emphasize the importance of working together with Wal-Mart, because it generates lasting win-win successes,” said Mark Kerstens, vice president of BP’s strategic cooperation with Wal-Mart.  “Through our close cooperation, we are able to deliver a clean energy solution that saves Wal-Mart money when compared to grid power.”

“We are very pleased to partner with BP Solar on this and other projects that help Wal-Mart to reach its sustainability goals,” said David Ozment, director of energy for Wal-Mart. “This is another example of Wal-Mart’s commitment to making decisions that are good for the environment and good for business. This project is bringing us one step closer towards our goal of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.”

BP Solar’s commercial development team is focused on assisting corporations, such as Wal-Mart, to lower their energy costs while lessening the impact of their operations on the environment.  The company offers a variety of financing options for its business customers including power purchase agreements, leasing and traditional purchase plans.

  Notes to Editors:

  The following is a list of operational Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs facilities
   installed in California with BP Solar modules.

  Santa Ana, Wal-Mart       623.7kW
  Palm Desert, Sam’s Club   577.3kW
  Chino, Wal-Mart           591.6kW
  Glendora, Sam’s Club      546kW

  Photos available upon request.

BP Solar, part of BP Alternative Energy, is a global company with over 2,300 employees.  BP Solar designs, manufactures and markets products which use the sun’s energy to generate electricity for a wide range of applications in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.  With over 30 years of experience and installations in more than 160 countries, BP Solar is one of the world’s leading solar companies having 228MW annual manufacturing capacity in 2007, plus another 700MW capacity under construction.  BP Solar has solar cell and module manufacturing plants in Sydney, Australia; Bangalore, India; Madrid, Spain; and Frederick, MD, USA; and module manufacturing in Xi’an, China.  In Frederick it also has casting and wafering facilities. BP Solar invests more than $10 million annually in photovoltaic research and development.

BP Alternative Energy, launched in November 2005, combines all of BP’s interests in low and zero-carbon energy including wind, solar, hydrogen power with carbon capture and storage, natural gas-fired power generation, biofuels for low carbon transport and distributed energy for emerging markets.

  To learn more
  www.bpsolar.us
  www.bpalternativenergy.com

Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000724/NYM120LOGO
AP Archive:  http://photoarchive.ap.org/
Source: BP Solar
   
Web Site:  http://www.bpalternativenergy.com/
http://www.bpsolar.us/

September 30, 2008

Environmentally friendly batteries from EnerSys

Filed under: Business, Science — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:23 pm

The press release from today:

EnerSys Launches EcoSafe Batteries for Renewable Energy Generation Applications

READING, Pa., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — EnerSys (NYSE:ENS), the world’s largest manufacturer, marketer and distributor of industrial batteries, significantly broadened its product support for the fast growing renewable energy market with the recent launch of its EcoSafe product line. EcoSafe batteries, which use lead, nickel and lithium technologies, were developed specifically for renewable energy storage applications, including solar, wind turbine and other electricity-generation alternatives.

“EcoSafe batteries are important for EnerSys,” said John D. Craig, chairman, president and chief executive officer of EnerSys. “They strengthen our position as a global leader in energy storage and position us at the center of an important and emerging sector of this market. The strong links that we have forged already with the renewable energy industry will help ensure that we continue to develop the technologies and the products needed for the future.”

EcoSafe products include an enhanced line of lead chemistry batteries, as well as batteries that employ nickel and lithium technologies. EcoSafe batteries offer a selection of energy storage solutions designed to meet the requirements of the latest renewable power-generating operations.

This year, EnerSys is investing in its worldwide manufacturing facilities to expand capacity of lead-based products, including its proprietary thin plate pure lead (TPPL) technology. Recent investments also led to new developments in nickelbased products for solar and wind turbine applications and developments in new lithium-based solutions. These investments resulted in the acquisition and utilization of a comprehensive range of technologies, with particular attention paid to battery chemistry, manufacturing processes and quality control.

“We are seeing a broadening interest in all major energy storage technologies for renewable applications,” Craig said. “Our products and solutions are experiencing increased interest in a variety of applications from our customers, who are demanding more and larger energy storage components to make solar, wind turbine and other alternative electricity generation more productive for both in-grid and off-grid systems.

“We expect considerable growth for lead, nickel and lithium technologies and are committed to supplying solutions to meet our customers’ growing needs. Our sales for renewable energy storage will be presented as focused solutions in the expanding EcoSafe product line.”

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release (and oral statements made regarding the subjects of this release) contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, (i) statements regarding EnerSys’ plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements identified by words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “will” or words of similar meaning; and (ii) statements about the benefits of the product line, including any impact on our financial and operating results and estimates, and any impact on EnerSys’ market position that may be realized from this product line. These forward-looking statements are based upon management’s current beliefs or expectations and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. The foregoing factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forwardlooking statements. EnerSys may not realize benefits from these contracts. The statements in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, even if subsequently made available by EnerSys on its website or otherwise. EnerSys does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date such forward-looking statement is made. For a list of other factors, which could affect EnerSys’ results, see EnerSys’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” set forth in EnerSys’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008.

ABOUT ENERSYS

EnerSys, the world leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, manufactures and distributes reserve power and motive power batteries, chargers, power equipment and battery accessories to customers worldwide. Motive power batteries are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other commercial electrically powered vehicles. Reserve power batteries are used in the telecommunication and utility industries, uninterruptible power suppliers and numerous applications requiring standby power. The company also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers from more than 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. More information regarding EnerSys can be found at http://www.enersys.com/

Source: EnerSys
   

Web site:  http://www.enersys.com/

September 24, 2008

Senate renews solar tax credit for eight years

Filed under: Politics, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:54 pm

Good news for solar power and renewable energy enthusiasts.

From the link:

After nearly a year of squabbling, the U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to extend solar tax credits for the next eight years and also remove the $2,000 cap on residential projects.

What with all the political bickering, I was betting this wouldn’t ever get done before the November elections. But the hired help in Washington provided a pleasant surprise for a change. The bill, which includes an allowance for utilities to make use of the commercial credit, now goes to the House of Representatives for approval before everyone clears out of town next week. The current tax credit was set to expire at year’s end.

Doubtless there will be some ready to dun the agreement as yet another handout to an interest group. On the surface, that’s true. But after the government’s recent series of bailouts including–drum roll, please–Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, AIG, and the $700 billion or so the Treasury Department wants to buy illiquid mortgage-linked securities–this one should mollify the critics, according to Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Akeena Solar.

I would love in install solar on my home. I have a large expanse that gets a ton of sun year round. Decisions like this make the concept that much more feasible for me to consider.

September 17, 2008

Better newewable biofuel options

Here’s an article from PhysOrg on two better biofuel options — camelina and switchgrass. Two companies are teaming up to expand global biofuel operations — INEOS Enterprises and Great Plains-The Camelina Company.

From the link:

Camelina and Switchgrass are making news in the bio-fuel industry. Camelina is a seed crop whose history goes back some 3500 years in Europe. Camelina is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and is currently undergoing various stages of research and development as a bio-fuel in the Pacific Northwest. Switchgrass has been used for years in many Western states farmers for livestock forage or for use as deterrence for soil erosion.

Camelina and Switchgrass have the advantage of being able to grow in arid conditions unsuitable for most food crops. It isn´t an exaggeration to say that both crops grow like weeds almost anywhere and under the most harsh weather conditions. This is particularly true of Camelina which seems to have a high tolerance for cold weather.

According to the Department of Energy, Switchgrass has a distinct advantage due to its fast growing, low maintenance propensities and ability to absorb carbon dioxide as it grows. It has the ability to seek out water sources far beneath the soil surface and adds organic material to the soil as opposed to depleting it. Research is continuing in various labs including Auburn University to increase the yield and improve gasification technology. The goal is to create direct methods to produce alternative fuels like synthetic gasoline, diesel fuel, hydrogen and fertilizer, solvents and plastics. Additionally, Switchgrass is a suitable and stable feed crop.

August 28, 2008

Alternative energy meets gridlock

From KurzweilAI.net — The limits of the electricity grid are running into alternative energy goals, such as this case involving wind power.

Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits
New York Times, Aug. 26, 2008

Expansive dreams about renewable energy from wind power and other sources are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.

An EnergyDepartment plan to source 20 percent of the nation’s electricity from wind calls for a high-voltage backbone spanning the country, but it would cost $60 billion or more and would be contrained by multistate regulatory restrictions.

 
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