Tag Archives: energy storage

Are US automakers falling behind vehicle technology trends?

Ask a Scientist – December 2017, Union of Concerned Scientists 

This month we asked Dave Cooke, a UCS senior vehicles analyst, to set the record straight on the status of US automakers. Cooke, who has a PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of the new report, “In Need of a U-Turn: Automakers’ History of Intransigence and Opportunity for Change.”

Read more here.

Dave Cooke is a senior vehicles analyst in the Clean Vehicles Program, specializing in both light- and heavy-duty fuel economy.  He conducts research on fuel efficiency technologies and the implications for oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across the transportation sector. Dr. Cooke received his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to this, he received his BS in physics from Harvey Mudd College in 2002 and his MS in physics from the University of California, San Diego in 2004.

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Solar Power Is Blooming in Minnesota

 By Madeline Ostrander, Sierra Club

In the past few years, several other states—including New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Illinois—have passed laws enabling solar garden programs. But Minnesota’s is currently the biggest and arguably most successful, in part because it places no upper limits on the amount of solar that can be developed in the state. “The success speaks for itself at this point,” says John Farrell, a Minneapolis-based energy expert for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “We’ve got more community solar than any other state. We’re going to continue to lead for quite a while.” Although Minnesota is hardly known for sunny weather, so far its residents seem to have an insatiable appetite for solar energy production. Read more here.

Photo by XXLPhoto/IStock 

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For clean-energy jobs, sky’s the limit

Written by Mike Hughlett, Minneapolis Star Tribune,
Published by Wisconsin State Journal

Wind service technician is by far the fastest-growing occupation in the country, with an expected growth rate of 108 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency says the median annual pay for a wind service technician in 2016 was $52,260.

[Will] Osborn, a 43-year-old Nebraska native, served 12 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and afterward got a wind turbine technical degree from a community college. He’s been working for Vestas since 2011 and is the company’s lead technician at the Black Oak wind farm near Sauk Centre. Click here to read more.

Photo:: Nebraska native Will Osborn, left, and Shane Keck work on a wind sensor that was out of alignment while Chris Berg works inside near Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Credit: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Energy industry associations tell FERC that DOE proposal to subsidize coal, nuclear power plants is unsupported by record, would throw a costly wrench into electricity markets

American Wind Energy Association Press Release

Joint filing from broad array of groups takes aim at financial “Beneficiaries” as the only entities to support the DOE proposal – and whose filings fail to establish that the proposed subsidies are needed or legally valid. Read more here.

Press Release: USDA Invests $2.5 Billion in Rural Electric Infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced [yesterday]  that USDA is investing $2.5 billion in rural electric infrastructure improvements to help create jobs and support economic development in 27 states.

“These significant investments will help develop and maintain modern, reliable electric infrastructure that businesses and rural communities need in a 21st Century economy,” Perdue said. “The loans I am announcing today will help utilities and cooperatives build new transmission and distribution lines, upgrade networks and facilities, and better manage the power grid.” Click here to read more.

Midwest States Receiving USDA Electric Loans: Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin

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COMMUNITY EVENT

The People’s Film Festival: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power will be shown Monday, November 6th at 7pm in the Common Room at First Unitarian Church, 3114 Harney Street in Omaha.

‘Landmark’ decision casts youth as official intervenors in pipeline case

By Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

It’s rare to see millennials attending a PUC hearing, or even someone not on the payroll of an organization involved in the process. But administrative law judge Ann O’Reilly accepted the argument by Youth Climate Intervenors that their generation will disproportionately feel the burden of climate change.

“In a landmark decision she granted us standing,” said Akilah Sanders-Reed, the 23-year-old who founded the group. “She acknowledged we (young people) had a stake in it and that we deserved a seat at the table. What that means is that the Youth Climate Intervenors have the same rights in that courtroom as Enbridge Energy does.” Read more here.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Moniz: Utilities should prepare for very low carbon future

Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

While the Trump Administration is taking a number of steps to bolster coal-fired generation and rescind climate regulations, electric utilities should prepare for a very low-carbon future, former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told Utility Dive at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas last week.

Despite the White House’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, “there is no going back on the fight against climate and the innovation prize is enormous,” Moniz said. “We are talking about multi-trillion-dollar markets. The real issue is that the U.S. needs to capture a big part of that market to keep its innovation edge.” Click here to read more.

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Elon Musk says he can rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid with solar

BBC News

The company says it has powered small islands, such as Ta’u in American Samoa. There, it installed a solar grid which can power the entire island and store enough electricity for three days without any sun. “The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico, too,” Mr Musk tweeted.
Click here to read more.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW APP

Right Light is a free app that helps you choose the right energy-efficient LED bulbs for your purposes.

This Pathway is the Best Opportunity for Corporate Utility-scale Solar PV Procurement

By Jennifer Deloney, Associate Editor, Renewable Energy World

A new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) said that innovation is enabling more corporate solar procurement, with new purchasing models, declining costs, and increased interest by corporate purchasers driving this segment.

NREL said that as of July, corporate customers have contracted for more than 2,300 MW of utility-scale solar PV. In addition, corporate procurement of utility-scale solar PV grew from about 1 percent of annual installed utility scale capacity in 2014 to 9 percent in 2016, and it accounted for 17 percent so far this year. Click here to learn more. 

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Future wind farm to benefit local economy

By Katie Stevenson, News Editor, Northwest Missourian

“Tenaska is developing a 200 to 300-megawatt wind project near Maryville in Nodaway County,” Ten Kley [Director of Strategic Development & Acquisitions at Tenaska] said. “Since we first started talking to landowners in April, we have signed agreements for the majority of the acres needed to construct the project, and we are driving toward completion of our leasing efforts.”

The Tenaska wind farm will boost the local economy, according to Ten Kley. The total estimated construction will cost between $200 million to $300 million but will also increase tax revenue to the local government. Continue reading.

Photo: Tenaska Headquarters in Omaha

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