Renewables & Efficiency

300 Stores In India Will Sell Renewable Energy

TESTINGShri Shakti Alternative Energy Technologies (SSAET) received US$2.2 million in seed money to open 300 energy retail stores across India. They will sell solar thermal and PV systems, solar cookers and water pumps, instant gas water heaters, and energy efficient products and appliances. SSAET is a subsidiary of Indias largest private distributor of liquefied petroleum gas. The company sells solar lanterns, power packs and home lighting systems, and offers customer financing and service. Two stores are already operating. One in Kakinada was financed by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and another in Hyderabad was financed directly by Shri Shakti. The seed money is a combination of loan, equity and grant, and comes from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), as part of the $25 million Photovoltaic Market Transformation Initiative. The Initiative was created in 1998 to spur solar energy markets in India, Kenya and Morocco. This marks the first investment; others are in the works for all three countries. Source: Environment News Service: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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Wind Power New York

TESTINGIt’s a little known fact but New York state is the second largest wind resource in the northeast (Maine is the first) and has as much energy potential as California. 13 wind energy companies have formed a new coalition, “Wind Power New York,” to direct wind projects to the state. New York has a potential 5,000 MW of wind capacity. $1 billion has been spent to locate windfarms in 12 states totaling 1,000 MW, none of them in New York. To encourage windfarms to locate here, the group is lobbying for a Renewables Portfolio Standard (sets a minimum percentage of electricity that must come from renewables), tax credits, and equitable transmission and connection rules for wind projects. Contact: David Wooley: dwooley@igc.org [sorry this link is no longer available]

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DuPont Commits to Major Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

TESTINGIn 1993, DuPont was the first company to sign on to the U.S. EPA/DOE Climate Wise program. Now, the company has reached its goal to reduce its global greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by the year 2000. Although production increased by over 35 percent during this period, total energy consumption remained flat. At a PEW Center for Global Climate Change conference this month, DuPont announced its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2010, while holding energy use at 1990 levels. Dennis Reilly, COO, also announced the company’s plans to supply 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2010. If DuPont were to meet 10 percent of its energy needs with renewable energy now, the company would consume 17 percent of total U.S. capacity and four percent of world capacity for wind energy. To increase renewable energy capacity significantly, Reilly emphasized the need for incentives. At current prices, using renewable energy carries a cost penalty. For DuPont, it would mean an increased cost of $60-90 million dollars a year. “Credit for early action” and other incentives offer the possibility of eliminating cost penalties and encouraging, and possibly accelerating, the growth of cost- effective sources […]

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How To's of Community Aggregation for Green Power

TESTINGBy combining small customers – business and residential – into a purchasing block, local governments can negotiate energy prices and other preferences such as green power. This policy statement by the American Solar Energy Society explains the concept and details how this strategy offers protection for small consumers in a deregulated market. It lays out steps to take at the state and local level, as well as ways for individuals and organizations to take action. For a copy, contact ASES

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Texas Home Owners Can Power With Fuel Cells

TESTINGThe Hunt family, Texas real estate developers, are offering home buyers the option to power their homes with fuel cells rather than electricity from traditional utilities in the 500 homes they are building each year through 2013. A $6,000 investment buys a fuel-cell generator (using natural gas or propane), which can produce electricity for less than what the local utility charges. “Our studies show,” says Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s Jack Phipps, “that if you can get to a thousand units manufactured, you’ll get your costs down to where they can compete with local electricity prices in areas where gas is relatively cheap and power is relatively expensive.”

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Worldwide, Wind Energy Progresses

TESTINGAccording to Danish wind consultants, BTM Consult ApS, world wind projects in the pipeline amount to $20 billion in revenue; leading installers come from Denmark, then Germany and Spain. They forecast that wind power capacity will more than triple over the next five years. Germany In 2001, private investors begin construction of the largest offshore wind farm in the world – it will rival the largest nuclear or coal-fired power station in size. It will produce a whopping 1,200 megawatts (Denmark’s offshore wind farm produces just 11 MW) and is scheduled to be completed by 2005. The park will cover an estimated 200 square kilometres (49,420 acres) in the North Sea. Wind energy is growing most rapidly in Germany. The industry is concentrated in the two northern states with the longest coastline, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. Both states have adopted a goal of installing 1,000 MW of wind capacity. UK Britain currently generates two percent of its energy from renewable sources; its goal is to expand the proportion to five percent by 2003 and to 10 percent by 2010. Research shows that more than 70 percent of residential customers are interested in buying green power and half would pay a […]

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Clinton Issues Energy Use Executive Order

TESTINGIn a June 3 Executive Order, President Clinton directed federal agencies to cut energy use 35 percent by 2010 compared to 1985 levels, expanding the current goal of 30 percent (of 1990 levels) by 2005. When the measures are fully implemented, taxpayers will save $750 million annually. Reportedly, about half the goal has been met. The federal government is the largest U.S. energy user, consuming 32 percent more per square foot than the average private sector building, and spends about $4.2 billion a year. The new policy covers about 500,000 government buildings, ranging from the Pentagon (which recently installed a 15 kW PV system) to local social security administration offices. The Defense Department accounts for 75 percent of the energy used. The Order also states that each agency must expand its use of renewable energy. As part of the Million Solar Roofs initiative, the President said the federal government is looking to install 2,000 solar energy systems at federal facilities by the end of 2000, and 20,000 solar energy systems at federal facilities by 2010. Provisions included in earlier drafts would have mandated the purchase of renewable energy to meet a minimum share of federal electricity needs. SMUD (Sacramento Municipal […]

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U.S. Citizens Give Renewable Energy Priority; Congress Cuts Funding

TESTINGJust two weeks before appropriation committees of the U.S. House and Senate voted to cut DOE’s programs for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and increase funding for nuclear and fossil fuels programs, a survey showed that Americans want the opposite. For the fifth year in a row, the Sustainable Energy Coalition survey found that a majority of all Americans (62%) give the highest priority to funding DOE’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. 31 percent of respondents indicated that nuclear power R&D should be the first program to receive budget cuts, followed by fossil fuels (21%). Some of the other results of the survey are: — 78% support including a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard requiring 10% of electricity be generated from solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass sources as part of federal electric utility restructuring legislation. — 59% favor creating a Public Benefits Fund, supported by a 2-3% surcharge on utility bills, to fund energy efficiency, low-income energy assistance, and renewable energy R&D programs. — 89% believe electricity suppliers should be required to disclose to customers the type of fuel used and amount of air pollutant emitted. — 76% believe electric utility shareholders, not customers, should be responsible for paying off […]

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Europe's Goal: $30 Billion to Boost Renewables

TESTINGThe European Commission is calling for $30 billion in private investment for renewable energy projects by 2003. The ‘Campaign for Take-Off’ would increase renewable market share to 12 percent by 2010. EU governments would increase funding over the next five years to reach a quarter of the funding necessary; current spending is $1.5 billion annually. Based on strong interest from the private sector, some officials predict renewables could capture 50 percent of the market in the near future. Funding would be divided evenly between solar, wind and biomass. The European Wind Energy Association, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Business Council for Sustainable Energy Future want the EU to set binding targets; 8 percent of energy in each nation by 2005, 16 percent by 2010, and a 2 percent increment each year after that. The groups claim that fossil fuel and nuclear energy receives 15 billion ECU in direct subsidies each year, ten times the support given to the renewable energy sector. Details in Greenpeace press release

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Green Power for a Green LA

TESTINGThis is the name of a program just launched by the largest municipal utility in the U.S. – the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. Customers can sign onto renewable energy sources for their power for about a 6 percent rate increase, or about $3 a month for the average home. But with energy efficiency rebates, customers can quickly make up the difference and lower their energy bills. Rebates are available for efficient lightbulbs, air conditioners, and refrigerators, and the department will perform free energy audits. In the month since the announcement, the Dodgers, Playa Vista developers, and Robinsons-May department stores – all large energy users – have signed up. And community organizations will be paid to recruit customers. The current energy mix is the dirtiest in the state; 60 percent of its electricity comes from coal. The department will use the income to develop new sources of solar, wind, biomass and hydro. Until then, small hydropower will be used. [sorry this link is no longer available]

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