Renewables & Efficiency

Canadian EnerGuide Label Now Available for Houses

TESTINGNatural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide label, in use for appliances and vehicles, is now available for houses. Experts audit houses and advise homeowners on ways to improve energy efficiency and the rating of their houses while maintaining or improving indoor air quality. As more homes are rated across the country, Minister Goodale predicts energy efficiency will become an increasingly important factor in Canadians’ building, buying and renovating decisions. The Sun Ridge Group received $105,000 from the Climate Change Action Fund to educate homeowners, renovators, real estate agents, community based groups and First Nations about how they can play a role in meeting Canada’s climate change commitments through the EnerGuide for Houses Program. The EnerGuide awards for vehicles recognize the most fuel-efficient vehicles in all categories and challenge car and truck makers to improve fuel efficiency. Every new vehicle in Canada carries an EnerGuide label which identifies its fuel efficiency rating. EnerGuide for Houses: Office of Energy Efficiency

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New Jersey Goes With Renewables Portfolio

TESTINGThe New Jersey utility restructuring law includes a Renewable Portfolio Standard of 3% by 2001, rising to 6.5% by 2012. A “benefits charge” on each kilowatt-hour of electricity sold begins in 2000 and continues for eight years, yielding $1 billion to support renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. 25 percent of this total is earmarked for renewable energy technologies. The law also includes a net metering provision and follows Colorado and California in its requirement that producers disclose a breakdown of its generating sources and environmentally-hazardous emissions associated with its fuel mix. Source: Sustainable Energy Coalition Weekly Update: kbossong@cais.com

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Generating Electricity From Waves

TESTINGSeveral countries are experimenting with wave power – Scotland, UK, and Japan. Wave power prices have been cut almost by half since about 10 years ago, and governments are beginning to take a new look at the technology, which works in areas with jagged coastlines. Machines with names like Whiplash and Limpet will pioneer the commercial development of wave power in Britain and Scotland. Government approval guarantees a market and premium price for generators of green power plants during the costly start-up phase. Whiplash is a steel tube 100 metres long and 3.4 metres wide, with about 15 special joints. It is moored into the ocean floor and it undulates with the waves. Pumps inside each segment force oil down the pipe to a hydraulic motor. The motor drives a generator and the electricity moves through an undersea cable to shore. Two Whiplash machines, able to generate 750 kilowatts, will be installed a mile offshore. Dr. Yemm, 30, the inventor, says, “This is a very important start for wave power. We are starting to get the same support as wind power.” European Commission studies indicate that Britain could generate all its electricity from waves if .1 per cent of the […]

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West Australian Green Power: The Choice Is Almost Yours

TESTINGWestern Power in West Australia is close to finalizing a green power option for customers from wind, biomass (tree plantation residues) and tidal power. It will be based on the successful New South Wales (NSW) initiative, Green Power, where customers pay a premium of 3 cents a kilowatt hour for renewable energy. The additional revenue will be used to develop further renewable energy sources. Almost 30,000 people in NSW opted for green power, representing .2 per cent of electricity sold in the State. The federal government targets an additional two percent from renewables by 2010, the equivalent of 50 wind farms.

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West Australian Green Power: The Choice Is Almost Yours

TESTINGWestern Power in West Australia is close to finalizing a green power option for customers from wind, biomass (tree plantation residues) and tidal power. It will be based on the successful New South Wales (NSW) initiative, Green Power, where customers pay a premium of 3 cents a kilowatt hour for renewable energy. The additional revenue will be used to develop further renewable energy sources. Almost 30,000 people in NSW opted for green power, representing .2 per cent of electricity sold in the State. The federal government targets an additional two percent from renewables by 2010, the equivalent of 50 wind farms.

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DOE Predicts 8% Market Share for Renewables

TESTINGEven with the growth currently occurring in many renewable energy sectors, DOE predicts only an 8 percent share of world energy use through 2020, according to its International Energy Outlook for 1998. As long as oil prices are low, it will be difficult to make much more progress, although the Kyoto protocol has increased interest. DOE expects renewable consumption to increase by 67 percent (from 1995), or 8 percent of the total market. The major increase will be in developing nations, where major hydro projects are in the works. The report notes positive developments such as Enron’s purchase of Zond and Tacke, BP’s plans to exceed solar sales of $1 billion a year within a decade, and Royal Dutch Shell’s plan to invest $500 million in renewables over the next five years. North America: renewable energy use will increase by 1.3% annually, to 10% of total energy use. In the U.S., municipal solid waste, wind and biomass will lead growth; wind capacity will double. In Canada, there will be a 30% increase in hydro between 2010-2020. Despite a range of Canadian initiatives, DOE expects only a small part of total energy needs will be met from renewables. Western Europe: renewables […]

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US Navy Goes Geothermal

TESTINGTwo U.S. Navy facilities in Virginia will be the first beneficiaries of a Department of Energy program to place performance-based geothermal heat pump projects at federal facilities throughout the nation. DOE expects the contracts to provide $500 million in jobs while saving 20-40 percent in energy consumption at each site. Any of the 500,000 federal sites in the U.S. may use the contracts. During the term of the contract, the selected companies finance and implement the projects in exchange for a percentage of the energy cost savings. After the contract expires, the government keeps all remaining cost savings. DOE expects to save close to $10 billion.

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ARCO Chairman Sees Writing on the Oil Wall

TESTINGSpeaking at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) meeting in Cambridge, MA., ARCO CEO Mike Bowlin said the world is entering “the last days of the Age of Oil.” Bowlin listed increasing problems with smog and a growing perception that fossil fuels are to blame for much of the world’s environmental problems, as two of the reasons for the change to new energy sources. “Ten or fifteen years from now there still will be a large and healthy market for oil – of course. But it is also true that the market share for oil will diminish, as the demand for other forms of energy grows.” Bowlin said, “The energy equations of the 21st Century, focusing on alternative fuels, will leave oil and gas companies with a critical choice: embrace the future and recognize the growing demand for a wide array of fuels or ignore reality and slowly – but surely – be left behind.” Full text of speech: http://www.arco.com/spark/1999-02Cambridge/index.html

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Colorado Joins California in Requiring Power "Nutrient" Label

TESTINGThe Colorado Public Utilities Commission passed new regulations which require the state’s two investor-owned utilities to disclose price and fuel source information as part of customer billing. The amounts of coal, natural gas, and other fuels must be itemized. Coal accounts for 93 percent of the electricity generated in the state. Making this information transparent to customers may encourage them to sign on to green power options.

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14 Renewable Resource Power Plants Get Funded in CA.

TESTINGThe California Energy Commission approved over $21.3 million for 14 renewable resource power plants. This is 30 percent of the $540 million renewables fund. Payments will be in the form of subsidies for power generated from the plants once they are completed. The facilities total 90 MW in capacity, including 62 MW from 100 new wind turbines, 22 MW from four landfill gas projects, and 3.8 MW from a agricultural waste biomass project. Source: Sustainable Energy Coalition Weekly Update: kbossong@cais.com

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