Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Future Energy Development

The Future Energy Development entry at Wikipedia provides some interesting perspective on the development of human energy use. For one thing, it puts energy development in a social/historical context. And it takes a look at all the known possible energy sources and discusses pros and cons. The article also speaks in terms of comparing the energy input and energy output of a system, and looking at the net efficiency of energy production options. Lots to think about.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pennsylvania Expands Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards

Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell signed House Bill 1203 on August 24, 2007. This bill: 1) requires installation of 850 MW of solar power by 2020; 2) adds solar thermal to the list of Tier I renewable resources; 3) ensures that generators will own Renewable Energy Credits unless they expressly sell these to third parties; and, 4) clarifies that Pennsylvania utilities must purchase renewable energy produced within Pennsylvania to satisfy their alternative energy purchasing requirements.

See also

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New York Planning Third RPS Solicitation

The New York Department of Public Service published a press release yesterday regarding its status report to the NY Public Service Commission on the success of its Renewable Portfolio Standard Program; this report also noted that the DPS plans to issue a third solicitation for renewable generation later in 2007. The two previous solicitations issued since the RPS was adopted by the Commission in 2004 have resulted in contracts for approximately 3 million MWh of renewable energy from 26 projects, with a total capacity of more than 800 MW. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which administers the RPS Program, estimates that the total new renewable capacity associated with the RPS program could exceed 1,213 MW by the fall of 2008. The 2004 RPS Order required that 25% New York's electricity come from renewable generation sources by 2013; in 2004, 19.3% of electricity generated in New York came from renewable energy generation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tidal Power in the UK

Construction of the world's first commercial tidal generator is expected to be completed before the end of 2007. Marine Current Turbines will be installing the 1.2 MW SeaGen turbine in Strangford Loughs, Northern Ireland. The SeaGen turbine relies upon large underwater turbines that are embedded in the ocean floor in locations with strong tidal flows or ocean currents; this technology is relatively quick to install and does not have the environmental drawbacks of tidal barrage generating systems, which are essentially hydroelectric dams that utilize the currents of tidal estuaries. The underwater turbines rotate relatively slowly, so they pose little threat to marine life, and they are feasible in any location that is 20-30 meters deep with an average current speed of 4.5-5 knots.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Renewable Energy Access

This web site is chock full of information and news on renewable energy.

Solar Tower

A company in Australia is planning a mammoth project to produce energy using what they call a solar tower (also known as a solar chimney). The idea is to enclose a great circle of desert with a covering of glass/plastic. When the air between the ground and the covering is heated by the sun, an airflow forms toward a central tower. As the air is drawn through the tower (which is planned to be 1000 meters, over 3000 feet, tall) it passes through turbines at ground level to produce electricity. Read more about it at the EnviroMission website.

There's a lot more general information (history, workings and comparisons to other technologies) at wikipedia.

Energy Evolution News Launch

This blog will provide links and original content related to the development of the energy industry.