Archive | Energy

GE Turbines Picked for $1.4 Billion Wind Farm in Oregon

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (UPI) — The United States’ largest-ever wind farm will use $1.4 billion worth of turbines built by General Electric Co., the New York company said Thursday.

A total of 338 GE turbines will power Caithness Energy’s 845-megawatt Shepherds Flat wind farm on 30 square miles near Arlington in north-central Oregon. GE said on its Web site the alternative energy project has received the majority of the government permits it needs to operate and is ready to move into the construction phase with completion expected by 2012.

“This project underscores our commitment to harness the power of wind to meet present and future energy needs while reducing greenhouse emissions,” said Les Gelber, a partner at Caithness Energy. “The Shepherds Flat project will add more renewable energy to the west coast’s energy mix and help the region meet its demand for clean energy.”

The deal announced Thursday marks the U.S debut and largest single global order of GE’s 2.5xl wind turbines, said officials at the company founded by Thomas Edison, the developer of the common incandescent light bulb.

Steve Bolze, president and chief executive officer of GE Power & Water, said the project “highlights our ability to deliver integrated solutions in the clean energy space and it supports our overarching focus to provide first in class technology to our customers.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Energy, Energy & Fuels, Science, Space, & Technology, Wind0 Comments

China Moves Up in Renewable Energy

BEIJING, Dec. 10 (UPI) — China is the second most attractive place in the world to invest in renewable energy, says an Ernst & Young report released Wednesday.

China ranked just behind the United States and has moved ahead of Germany for the first time in the reports’ six-year history due to its increased commitments to reduce emissions through its carbon intensity reduction plans, according to the study. China’s ranking has progressed from number four in 2008 and number six in 2007.

China announced last month it would develop renewable and nuclear energies to increase the proportion of non-fossil-fuel power in China’s total primary energy consumption to around 15 percent by 2020 from 9 percent by 2008.

Nanri Island in Fujian province is just one example of China’s renewable energy initiatives.

Wind power from 19 massive turbines provides electricity to more than 50,000 people on the island. When another 57 turbines are installed next year, Nanri could reduce its coal usage by 67,000 tons, thus eliminating 94,000 tons of carbon emissions, Lin Yushu, an official with the local development and reform commission told Xinhua news agency.

The Nanri offshore wind power plant is just one of more than 100 wind farms built in China during the past five years, as the nation aims to reduce reliance on coal-fired power.

Last year China relied on coal for nearly 70 percent of its energy.

Shi Pengfei, vice president of the China Wind Energy Association, said China will have an additional 10 million kilowatts of installed wind power capacity this year, and the total installed capacity will exceed 30 million by 2010, a decade ahead of the target set in 2007.

The Global Wind Energy Council, based in Brussels, estimates China to become the world’s biggest producer of wind energy by 2013.

“I do see changes every time I visit China,” said Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the council, noting the increase in the country’s wind power.

“Certainly the main driver has been government policy and clear signals it has sent to the market, and I’m sure the spirit of Chinese entrepreneurs has also contributed to the rate of growth,” said Sawyer.

Yet China faces challenges in its wind energy sector. Up to 30 percent of the country’s wind capacity was not connected to the grid in 2008, according to a report by the China Greentech Initiative, a consortium of U.S. and Chinese companies, including Cisco Systems and Westinghouse.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Coal, Consumption, Electricity, Energy, Energy & Fuels, People, Wind0 Comments

Worldwide Energy Demand to Rise 35 Percent by 2030

IRVING, Texas, Dec. 9 (UPI) — Rising energy demand over the coming two decades will require investment in all potential sources of energy, Exxon Mobil said Tuesday in its latest report.

The report, “New Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030,” predicted energy demand would be about 35 percent higher in 2030 than it was in 2005, and meeting that demand will require “trillions of dollars of investment and a commitment to innovation.”

Exxon Mobil said it expects economies worldwide to grow and living standards to improve — implying increased use of automobiles and energy-dependent appliances.

As with other recent forecasts, Exxon Mobil said natural gas supply is set to expand, particularly in the United States. Unconventional gas supplies in the United States are expected to meet more than 50 percent of gas demand by 2030.

Analysts said rising energy demand and consumption would pose a major challenge as the clamor grows for cleaner and more renewable energy sources.

Although high prices, political commitments and campaigning groups have all pushed initiatives toward energy sources with a lower carbon footprint, achieving substantial results is set to be a major challenge through the next decades covered by Exxon Mobil’s outlook.

Fossil fuels — oil, natural gas and coal — are set to continue meeting most of the world’s needs in the near future “because no other energy source can match their availability, versatility, affordability and scale,” the report said.

“The fastest-growing of these fuels will be natural gas, reflecting its abundance, versatility and economic advantages as an efficient, clean-burning fuel for power generation.”

The oil company was upbeat about the future. “We see many hopeful things — economic recovery and growth, improved living standard and a reduction in poverty, and promising new energy technologies,” said Exxon Mobil’s Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer.

“But we also see a tremendous challenge, and that is how to meet the world’s growing energy needs while also reducing the impact of energy use on the environment,” Tillerson added.

Tillerson said supplies of all economic fuel sources need to be expanded to satisfy projected increases in global energy demand. With world population set to rise to almost 8 billion, there will also be greater demand for energy indirectly applied to serve the broader societies.

Exxon Mobil’s outlook includes an assessment of how potential carbon emission reduction policies will affect future energy demand and impact the fuel mix. The company says that imposing higher costs for carbon emissions would affect energy prices and prove to be an incentive to switch to less carbon-intensive fuels, such as natural gas.

Exxon Mobil said energy-efficiency gains are expected to accelerate between 2005 and 2030 when contrasted with historical trends. Gains in energy efficiency will curb energy demand growth through 2030 by about 65 percent, it said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Coal, Consumption, Energy, Energy & Fuels, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas, Other, Policies & Solutions0 Comments

Gas Drilling Boom Taints Water Supplies, Say Critics

DIMOCK, Pa., Dec. 8 (UPI) — Local U.S. drinking water supplies are being tainted in a push to drill for natural gas in previously untapped areas, critics say.

In some parts of the United States, such as Pennsylvania’s Appalachian hills, a new extraction method called hydraulic fracturing has resulted in contaminated local water supplies, The New York Times reported.

The tapping of new natural gas supplies through hydraulic fracturing in shale beds has boosted the country’s potential reserves by 35 percent in two years, but the drilling boom has also brought methane contamination to populous areas that have little history of coping with risks posed by drilling, the newspaper said.

While such cases of groundwater contamination have been few so far, environmental groups say that’s because local governments have been slow to react to the boom and aren’t looking hard. Gas companies, however, told the Times that while some of the concerns are valid, their hydraulic fracturing technology is essentially safe.

“It’s a very reliable, safe, American source of energy,” John Richels, president of the Devon Energy Corp., told the newspaper.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Drinking Water, Energy, Natural Gas, Science, Space, & Technology0 Comments

EPA Declares Greenhouse Gases as Public Health Hazard

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Monday declared greenhouse gas emissions a public health hazard that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

“These long-overdue findings cement 2009′s place in history as the year when the United States Government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said during a news conference. “Business leaders, security experts, government officials, concerned citizens and the United States Supreme Court have called for enduring, pragmatic solutions to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing climate change.”

She said the declaration allows the federal government to move toward clean energy reform that will cut greenhouse gases and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Greenhouse gases are the primary driver of climate change, which can lead to hotter, longer heat waves that threaten the health of the sick, poor or elderly. Climate change also increases in ground-level ozone pollution linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses, among other things, the EPA said in a release.

EPA’s final findings respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. The findings don’t impose any emission reduction requirements but allow the EPA to finalize the greenhouse gases standards proposed earlier in 2009 for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint rule-making with the Department of Transportation.

The endangerment finding covers emissions of six greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Air Pollutants, Energy, Human Health & Wellness, Other, Ozone, Transportation0 Comments

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Speaks on Green Technology in Washington

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Speaks on Green Technology in Washington

Energy Secretary Steven Chu (R), speaks alongside Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, speaks at a press conference where he announced new green technology initiatives, at the Commerce Department in Washington on December 7, 2009. Under the new plan the U.S. Trade and Patent Office would expedite the approval of new green technology. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Date Taken: December 7, 2009

Posted in Energy, Office0 Comments

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Speaks on Green Technology in Washington

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Speaks on Green Technology in Washington

Energy Secretary Steven Chu (R), speaks alongside Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, speaks at a press conference where he announced new green technology initiatives, at the Commerce Department in Washington on December 7, 2009. Under the new plan the U.S. Trade and Patent Office would expedite the approval of new green technology. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Date Taken: December 7, 2009

Posted in Energy, Office0 Comments

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Speaks on Green Technology in Washington

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Speaks on Green Technology in Washington

Energy Secretary Steven Chu (R), speaks alongside Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, speaks at a press conference where he announced new green technology initiatives, at the Commerce Department in Washington on December 7, 2009. Under the new plan the U.S. Trade and Patent Office would expedite the approval of new green technology. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Date Taken: December 7, 2009

Posted in Energy, Office0 Comments

China's Emissions Cut Pledge Unverifiable

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 7 (UPI) — China’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions aren’t binding and won’t be subject to international verification, Chinese officials said.

Climate change specialists said a key to success at the two-week U.N.-sponsored climate change summit that began Monday in Copenhagen, Denmark, would be whether China, the United States, India and the European Union could strike an accord to reduce their combined carbon emissions, The Washington Times reported Monday.

Observers said they expect negotiations would lead to individual countries pledging to lower carbon emissions and an agreement to keep discussions open in 2010.

China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, will be responsible for about 29 percent of total global emissions by 2030, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

China announced Nov. 26 it would cut carbon emissions per unit of its gross domestic product by between 40 percent and 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Xie Zhenhua, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top planning body, said the country’s carbon-intensity goals would be subject to an as-yet unspecified domestic accountability systems, and wouldn’t be internationally binding or subject to foreign international scrutiny, the Times said.

China will “reduce the speed of our emissions rise,” but still needs to balance environmental and economic factors, Xie said.

India announced last week a goal of reducing emissions by 20 percent to 25 percent from 2005 to 2020, which also would be tied to the country’s gross domestic product.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report released Dec. 1 indicated the United States, the European Union, China and India would account for 63 percent of global carbon emissions between 2000 and 2050.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Energy, Pollution & Toxins0 Comments

China Discusses Carbon Emissions and Greenhouse Gases Targets

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 7 (UPI) — As world leaders gathered for the Monday opening of the U.N. climate-change conference in Copenhagen, a Chinese minister said his country’s carbon emissions would peak between 2030 and 2040.

Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, told the Guardian he hoped the maximum output of Chinese greenhouse gases would come as soon as possible within that range.

While Wan’s comments to the newspaper are not official policy, it is the nearest China has ventured in setting a target for when emissions will begin to decrease. Various experts, research groups and academics in China have estimated that emissions could peak between 2020 or 2050, although the government has yet to officially announce a target.

Determining a peak date for developing countries, which are experiencing quickly rising emissions, is a crucial issue for some 192 world leaders meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec. 7-18 to agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Under Kyoto, China was exempt from any requirement to control emissions.

“There are some uncertainties here, so it is difficult to say whether it will be in the beginning, the end or the middle, but I can say for sure it will be within that range,” Wan said in predicting the emissions peak occurring between 2030 and 2040. “As the minister of science and technology I would say the sooner the better.”

Wan said unpredictable factors such as the pace of China’s economic growth, increases in urbanization, and the level of scientific strides would affect the timing of the emissions peak. Attaining the earlier date in the range, he added, would be possible if China continued to invest in renewable energy efficiency, implemented carbon capture technology and promoted changes in consumer behavior.

China, the world’s biggest emitter of carbon, will account for approximately 29 percent of total global emissions by 2030, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,

Beijing announced its first carbon intensity target Nov. 26, saying it would cut carbon emissions per unit of its gross domestic product by between 40 percent and 45 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels. Even with this cut, the country’s output of carbon dioxide is expected to increase by about 90 percent if the economy grows by 8 percent.

China’s Nov. 26 announcement “has assisted in triggering fresh momentum” in the days running up to the Copenhagen talks, Nick Nuttall, spokesman for the office of the U.N. Environment Program executive director, told state news agency Xinhua Saturday. “It underscores China’s determination to continue and accelerate the decoupling of CO2 emissions from economic growth,” he said.

Nuttall noted that China’s announcement, alongside commitments and pledges by other countries or blocs like the European Union, Brazil, Mexico and the Republic of Korea, is bringing the opportunity of a decisive agreement in Copenhagen much closer than perhaps was the case only a few months ago.

Xinhua predicts tough negotiations at the Copenhagen meeting.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Energy, Energy Efficiency, Office, Other, Pollution & Toxins, Science, Space, & Technology, Urbanization0 Comments

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