April 2013


I promised Emily Hois that I would link up with her organization, Solar Reviews, last week. Since I am only blogging once a week, it took awhile to honor her request.  So here it is. Great story about where the world is going.

http://www.solarreviews.com/blog/Report-Anticipates-220-Gigawatts-Distributed-Solar-by-2018-4-29-13/

Report Anticipates 220 new Gigawatts of Distributed Solar Generation by 2018

A recent Navigant Research report anticipates that the world will add 220 new gigawatts of distributed solar photovoltaics by 2018 as solar comes into parity with other energy sources, creating $540.3 billion in revenue in the process. That’s a significant jump in the amount of solar that’s currently installed throughout world, which the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) said reached 100 gigawatts at the end of 2012.

In recent years, much of the growth in solar is attributable to the giant PV projects being installed to meet utility demand in certain markets. The Navigant report anticipates that just the distributed generation projects—or projects under 1 megawatt in

size—being installed over the next five years will more than double the world’s total solar capacity that’s now online. “Used in applications ranging from residential to small commercial

to industrial settings, distributed solar generation offers significant benefits to consumers while adding resiliency to an electric grid evolving beyond the traditional centralized model,” says Dexter Gauntlett, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Though this market is still primarily driven by government incentives, distributed solar PV will continue its steady march toward grid parity in major markets over the next few years.”

The report anticipates the solar market is transitioning from one that relies on a financial and engineering model based on the wants and needs of utilities to own or source electric generation from large projects to a more diverse model. Under the emerging model, both the sources of generation and the ownership of the generation assets will be more diverse, include third-party financing from companies like SolarCity and SunRun and other new financing mechanisms. These changes will partly be driven by some of distributed solar’s advantages, which include generating electricity onsite to offset the need to build new transmission capacity while avoiding line losses, according to Navigant.

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Go there and read. Plenty to see. More next week.

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I think that the Smart Grid is a 2 edged sword. On the one hand it makes integrating renewable energy sources into the grid much easier. On the other hand it could be a step towards big brother. Whatever the case it is coming no matter what.

http://gizmodo.com/5995249/how-nest-will-save-you-more-money-by-teaming-up-with-utility-suppliers

How Nest Will Save You More Money By Teaming Up With Utility Suppliers

The smart thermostat from Nest just got a little smarter: by teaming up with utility providers, the device can now predict when power will be in high demand and price, and tweak your heating accordingly.

The new system links the device to a collective, cloud-based knowledge of utility companies. If you’re with an Energy Services-aware power company, the thermostat will learn of upcoming peak energy periods—where power is in high demand and prices rocket as a result—which are sometimes known as rush hours. With that data, it will fine tune your heating, using less energy while it’s expensive.

The cloud will also feed the device data about seasonal discounts, allowing it to fine tune the heating to save you as much cash as possible over the longer term, too. Sadly, only Austin Energy, Green Mountain Energy, Reliant and Southern California Edison have joined forces to make the scheme happen so far. There are deals to be had with provides, though—customers of National Grid can get a $100 rebate through Nest, and Reliant offer a free thermostat with some plans—and it seems likely that other provides will join the fold soon.

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Go there and read. More later.

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I got an email from Southern Illinois that said 30 big rigs had rolled through town yesterday morning. I figure that that is enough for 2 wells. It seems like some drilling company has decided to “go for it”. Which makes sick and disgusting sense. Many of the leases die at the end of April. I suspect that these will be test wells, because no one knows what is down there. It takes about  7 days to to drill a well and frack it. That would have the wells beginning to come in as the lease expires. This is what I said in print.

Thursday, April 11,2013

Letters to the Editor 4/11/13

Fracking and litter control act

By Letters to the Editor

 

A fracking site on the Marcellus Shale, located in the eastern United States covering parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and most of West Virginia.  - PHOTO COURTESY OF U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

FRACKING STINKS

I am writing to argue for a moratorium against fracking in Illinois (SB 1418). Chicago environmentalists argue that “fracking is going to happen anyway.” That is a total capitulation to the industry. The bill that the environmentalists endorse (HB2615) is amazing in the things it does not prevent. It does not force the frackers to recycle their water, allows for methane flaring, allows wells within 300 feet of water sources, allows wells within 500 feet of a house, does not allow adequate testing of produced waters especially for radiation and then allows that waste to be deep well injected and finally allows for the state to overrule counties and municipalities who do not want fracking or more protective measures.

Many states have tried to establish hydraulic fracturing regulations that would allow the industry to drill safely. The problem is regulations do not work. The industry always violates the regulations and when caught pays the fine as part of standard operating procedure. These violations include injecting radioactive water underground, open pit storage of fracking and waste waters even where not permitted, the production of toxic fumes and the sickening of residents, well water contamination and the direct dumping of toxic water into springs and streams. They have gone so far as to sell toxic water to county townships to suppress dust in the summer and to de-ice roads in the winter as if that was safe. Homeowners are duped into selling mineral rights without being told that it will make their houses impossible to sell and wreck their mortgages. In Pennsylvania their violations include:

– 224 violations of “failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual waste.”

– 143 violations of “discharge of pollutional material to the waters of Commonwealth.”

– 140 violations of “pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.”

This does not include the actual damage that they do to the environment, like damaging the roads where they work, and flaring the natural gas that should be harnessed as a fuel source and the constant noise pollution that the above activities produce. I was visiting a friend in Colorado when such a well was put in and the noise and smell alone were enough to sicken me.

Doug Nicodemus
Riverton

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Go there and read. They did a whole 5 page article on the issue. More later.

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This is so big that I just had to find the original source. Once I got to the source the article did not carry the same headline as the inflammatory piece from Washington Blog but in the last paragraph he does imply phasing out the nukes. He also points out that no upgrades have been ordered in response to Fukushima nor included in the new licenses issue. This IS the insanity of Nuclear Generation of electricity.

http://peakoil.com/alternative-energy/former-u-s-nuclear-chief-american-nuclear-plants-should-be-phased-out-cant-guarantee-against-accident-causing-widespread-land-contamination

But this is what the guy really said.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201303140050

 

INTERVIEW: Former U.S. nuke watchdog chair says regulators must stay independent

March 14, 2013

By SHIRO NAMEKATA/ Correspondent

As it is poised to impose strict regulatory measures on the operation of nuclear power plants, the Nuclear Regulation Authority is increasingly met by opposition that it is making the resumption of plants that are currently offline virtually impossible.

In a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Washington, Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), said it is crucial for a nuclear watchdog to stay independent from the nuclear industry.

Jaczko, who, unlike his four colleagues, opposed the first new construction and operation of a nuclear plant in the United States since the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, also discussed the future of nuclear energy. Excerpts from the interview follow:

 

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Go there and read. More next time.

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There are many things that environmentalists have said over the years. The 2 most consistently true ones are that there are too many people on this planet and the other is that we will pay a price for befouling our planet. This has led some to talk about the possibility of a human “die back”. Is this what the beginning of one might look like?

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/04/01/is_this_a_pandemic_being_born_china_pigs_virus

 

Is This a Pandemic Being Born?

China’s mysterious pig, duck, and people deaths could be connected. And that should worry us.

BY LAURIE GARRETT | APRIL 1, 2013

Here’s how it would happen. Children playing along an urban river bank would spot hundreds of grotesque, bloated pig carcasses bobbing downstream. Hundreds of miles away, angry citizens would protest the rising stench from piles of dead ducks and swans, their rotting bodies collecting by the thousands along river banks. And three unrelated individuals would stagger into three different hospitals, gasping for air. Two would quickly die of severe pneumonia and the third would lay in critical condition in an intensive care unit for many days. Government officials would announce that a previously unknown virus had sickened three people, at least, and killed two of them. And while the world was left to wonder how the pigs, ducks, swans, and people might be connected, the World Health Organization would release deliberately terse statements, offering little insight.

It reads like a movie plot — I should know, as I was a consultant for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. But the facts delineated are all true, and have transpired over the last six weeks in China. The events could, indeed, be unrelated, and the new virus, a form of influenza denoted as H7N9, may have already run its course, infecting just three people and killing two.

Or this could be how pandemics begin.

On March 10, residents of China’s powerhouse metropolis, Shanghai, noticed some dead pigs floating among garbage flotsam in the city’s Huangpu River. The vile carcasses appeared in Shanghai’s most important tributary of the mighty Yangtze, a 71-mile river that is edged by the Bund, the city’s main tourist area, and serves as the primary source of drinking water and ferry travel for the 23 million residents of the metropolis and its millions of visitors. The vision of a few dead pigs on the surface of the Huangpu was every bit as jarring for local Chinese as porcine carcasses would be for French strolling the Seine, Londoners along the Thames, or New Yorkers looking from the Brooklyn Bridge down on the East River.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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