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jpak

jpak's Journal
jpak's Journal
January 26, 2012

Wind firm says Vt. project exceeding expectations

http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2012/01/25/wind_firm_says_vt_project_exceeding_expectations/

SHEFFIELD, Vt.—Vermont's newest commercial wind power project is starting to pay dividends to the town where it's located.

Earlier this month the town of Sheffield received a payment of $117,000 for hosting the First Wind project on Sheffield Heights. The project is obligated to pay $520,000 a year for the life of the project, which began producing power in October.

The Caledonian Record ( http://bit.ly/yi6Ixp) reports operations Manager Andy Doak says the project has generated enough energy since October to power the equivalent of 16,500 homes daily.

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Sheffield VT - population 709

Talk about yer windfall profits...

January 26, 2012

The U.S. wind energy installed just over 6,810 megawatts in 2011

http://www.evwind.es/noticias.php?id_not=16262

The U.S. wind turbines industry’s fourth quarter results show that wind power is forging ahead into new states like Ohio and Nevada while doubling down on installations in existing strong wind farm markets.

The U.S. wind turbines industry’s fourth quarter results show that wind power is forging ahead into new states like Ohio and Nevada while doubling down on installations in existing strong wind farm markets in California, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas.

Illinois was a very strong performer in 2011, clocking in as #2 for installations in the last year and rising to #4 in wind power overall (the only mover in the overall top 10) and Kansas tops the under construction list with more than 1,188 megawatts of wind turbines scheduled to come on line in 2012. Ohio was another success story as the nation’s fastest growing state in wind power for 2011.

“This shows what wind power is capable of: building new projects, powering local economies and creating jobs,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Traditional tax incentives are working. This tremendous activity is being driven by the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) – which leveraged an average of more than $16 billion a year in private investment over the last several years and supported tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs.”

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January 26, 2012

Solar Cheaper Than Diesel Making India’s Mittal Believer

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/solar-cheaper-than-diesel-making-india-s-mittal-believer-energy.html

India is producing power from solar cells more cheaply than by burning diesel for the first time, spurring billionaire Sunil Mittal and Coca-Cola Co. (KO)’s mango supplier to jettison the fuel in favor of photovoltaic panels.

The cost of solar energy in India declined by 28 percent since December 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The cause was a 51 percent drop in panel prices last year as the world’s 10 largest manufacturers, led by China’s Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP), doubled output capacity.

“Solar is going mainstream in India, helped by Chinese pricing,” said Ardeshir Contractor, founder of developer Kiran Energy Solar Power Pvt. Kiran, whose investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, an early financier of Skype Technologies SA, won one of the largest projects auctioned by India last month.

India joins pockets of Italy, Spain and Hawaii where rising fuel costs and lower panel prices make solar pay for itself without state subsidies, New Energy Finance data show. Factories and homes in the Asian nation switch on emergency diesel-fired generators during chronic blackouts and to bridge gaps in the power-delivery grid as the government prepares a $400 billion program through 2017 to curb the shortfall and spur growth.

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January 26, 2012

Dumping Solar: The Case for CASE, Solar Growth and China’s Subsidies

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/01/26/dumping-solar-the-case-for-case-solar-growth-and-chinas-subsidies/

International trade tensions between the US and China have risen to become priorities at the national level recently, prompted by the October filing of anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions by the Coalition of American Solar Manufacturing (CASM).

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, Pres. Obama announced the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will investigate illegal trade practices and subsidy programs by countries, notably China, which along with the US is legally bound by domestic laws enacted in compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements.

To better understand the narrow and broad issues associated with CASM’s petitions, Clean Technica has been running a series of articles based on an interview and correspondence with the lead lawyer for SolarWorld Industries America in the CASM case, Wiley, Rein LLP’s Tim Brightbill.

This article gives equal time to the opposition, which has been substantial. It’s based on an interview with Kevin Lapidus, senior vice president of legal and government affairs for MEMC SunEdison, and the Podesta Group’s Ed Rothschild. Lapidus also serves as a board member of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, a coalition of US solar industry participants which has been conducting a government and public outreach campaign to discredit CASM’s claims and international trade petitions.

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Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/15oN8)
January 26, 2012

US Navy preps massive solar project

http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-features/61040-us-navy-preps-massive-solar-project

SunPower broke ground this month on a big solar installation at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California. 



Though it's not a utility scale system of the magnitude being developed elsewhere in the desert – like the 392-megawatt (MW) Ivanpah concentrating solar plant, for instance – at 13.78 MW it is large enough to hint at the kind of solar development the military would like to see take place on its bases in the California desert.


<snip>

By going with a 20-year power-purchase agreement (PPA) – a first for a military project, SunPower said – the Navy will get the electricity "at up to 30 percent below the rate available through the more traditional 10-year PPA."

In dollar terms, SunPower said the system will help the Navy "reduce costs by an estimated $13 million over the next 20 years." 
The China Lake system will use SunPower's Oasis Power Plant product, which integrates the SunPower T0 Tracker with the SunPower E19/425 Solar Panel.


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January 24, 2012

KB Home Offering Solar as Standard Feature on New Florida Houses

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-24/kb-home-offering-solar-as-standard-feature-on-new-florida-houses.html

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- KB Home, the Los Angeles-based builder that targets first-time buyers, will offer solar power systems as a standard feature on houses it’s building in some parts of Florida.

The first KB house with rooftop panels will be available next month at its Fisher Plantation development in Apopka, George Glance, president of KB Home’s Central Florida division, said today in a phone interview.

The 52-home community is the first in the region to include solar power as a standard feature, according to a company statement. Rooftop panels reduce homeowners’ monthly costs and increase resale value, and will make KB’s houses stand out in a tough real estate market, Glance said.

“We can create value in a new home that consumers couldn’t otherwise get from our competitors or on the resale market,” Glance said. The owner of a one-story, three-bedroom home may save as much as $1,200 a year on energy costs, KB Home said.

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January 24, 2012

Natural-Gas Futures Extend Gains

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203718504577180781984236586.html

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Futures added to Monday's gains that were sparked by Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s decision to cut production in response to low gas prices.

"This is continued momentum from yesterday's announcement from Chesapeake," said Matt Smith, an analyst with Summit Energy. "This has set in a concrete level where production will start to come off."

After gas fell to the lowest price in nearly a decade last week, signs that producers are prepared to turn off the taps have motivated investors to take profits generated from bets on falling prices, a move known as covering a short position.

Chesapeake on Monday said it will immediately curtail 0.5 billion cubic feet a day of gas production, or about 8% of its total output, adding that it could cut an additional 0.5 billion cubic feet a day.

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free market manipulation

yup
January 21, 2012

Federal reports highlight untapped energy potential of Maine tides, waves (

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/20/business/federal-reports-highlight-untapped-energy-potential-of-maine-tides-waves/?ref=latest

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The waves and tidal currents off the coast of Maine represent a vast, largely untapped energy resource capable of producing more than 15 trillion watts of electricity per year, according to two federal reports.

Maine’s turbulent oceans and surging tidal rivers have long been regarded as enormous pools of renewable energy. Two recent reports from the U.S. Department of Energy attempt to attach a figure to that potential in Maine and across the country as both policymakers and energy developers seek new, more environmentally friendly ways to meet the nation’s energy demands.

The two separate assessments of potential wave energy and tidal energy sources in Maine determined that if developed to their maximum potential those sources could contribute more than 15 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. Nationwide, the total theoretical generation capacity was more than 1,400 terawatt-hours per year, which is roughly one-third of the nation’s annual electricity use.

Federal officials acknowledged that those are theoretical figures and that not all the potential resources could realistically be tapped. But they said the reports showed the potential for expanding the nation’s use of hydropower of all types to generate electricity — and that Maine could play a major role in that expansion.

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January 21, 2012

New York State Expands Solar Incentives

http://www.solarnovus.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4176:new-york-state-expands-solar-incentives&catid=45:politics-policy-news&Itemid=249

Last week in the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address, he announced an initiative with a goal of quadrupling solar energy installations by 2013. In New York’s budget plan that was unveiled yesterday, details of the two new tax credits in what’s being called the “NY-Sun Initiative” were released.

First off, commercial customers would be exempt from state sales tax on solar electric systems. Local governments can opt to waive their local sales tax as well. This expands the current tax credit that is only for residential customers.

Leased systems will also quality for a state income tax credit of a proposed 12.5%, or half of what homeowners currently get for a purchased system.

Carol E. Murphy, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York said the group “applauds Governor Cuomo’s call for energy efficiency and the expansion of our renewable resources.”

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January 21, 2012

Profit from China’s renewed solar appetite (will eat our lunch)

http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2012-01/profit-from-chinas-renewed-solar-appetite-jaso-csiq-yge-tsl.aspx?storyid=115423

China's Ministry of Commerce is considering including solar products such solar panels and solar water heaters in its home appliance subsidy scheme for rural buyers in hopes to boost domestic consumption of solar companies and the green industry as a whole.Currently farmers are allegeable to receive subsidies equal to 13% of the price of designated types of electrical home appliances in the plan.

The shift in sentiment should benefit the China's solar industry, a sector that has been doing well in recent years driven by various governments' efforts to promote alternative energy. However, many of China's solar companies have suffered on Wall Street, given slow growth in the industry globally, overcapacity and shrinking foreign demand.

The Ministry of Commerce is considering more policies to stimulate domestic consumption and some "fiscal incentives" could be given to drive the sale of household solar products, MOC spokesman Shen Danyang told a press conference Wednesday.

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