As it gets ever cheaper, wind energy will play a huge role in our clean-power future. Written by Maureen Hand, a senior engineer with the Strategic Energy Analysis Center of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Published by MIT Technology Review
Last May I attended an international meeting on wind energy in Portugal, where 100 percent of that country’s electricity demand was met by renewable energy—a combination of solar, wind, and hydro—for four days. There have also been several short periods in which wind generation alone has exceeded 40 percent of demand in U.S. regional systems in places like Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. Continue reading.
Wind turbines on a farm between Odell and Diller in southeast Nebraska, part of the Steele Flats wind project. Photo Credit: James R. Burnett / Omaha World-Herald
Six Midwestern cities are among 22 communities nationwide that were commended on Monday for taking innovative approaches to streamlining solar development. Their actions were aimed at reducing the “soft costs” of solar installation – the costs outside the actual hardware – and are estimated by the federal Department of Energy to comprise about two-thirds of the price of a solar installation . . . Although federal and state governments generally take the spotlight for offering tax breaks and other incentives aimed at fostering solar, “cities can do a lot about soft costs,” said Gayle Prest, Minneapolis’ sustainability director. Click to read more.
Photo: Sundial Solar / Minnesota Solar Challenge via Creative Commons