Hawaii to Become 100% Renewable by 2045

Hawaii is the first state in the U.S. to pass legislation that will require 100 percent of all energy to sourced from renewable energy by 2045. Lawmakers voted 74-2 in favor of House Bill 623 requiring all electricity to be generated from clean sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal.

gI_59670_100 percent trend chart May15 sz800The measure, if enacted by Governor David Ige, would make Hawaii the first state in the nation with such a 100 percent renewable energy standard. Blue Planet Foundation, whose mission is to clear the path for 100% renewable energy, praised the move.

“As the first state to move toward 100% renewable energy, Hawaii is raising the bar for the rest of the country,” said Rep. Chris Lee, the Chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee and introducer of HB 623. “Local renewable projects are already cheaper than liquid natural gas and oil, and our progress toward meeting our renewable energy standards has already saved local residents hundreds of millions on their electric bills. Moving to 100% renewable energy will do more to reduce energy prices for local residents in the long term than almost anything else we could do.”

Senator Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee and a champion of the measure in the Senate, shares the sentiment. “With this bill, we’ll now be the most populated set of islands in the world with an independent grid to establish a 100% renewable electricity goal,” said Sen. Gabbard. “Through this process of transformation Hawaii can be the model that other states and even nations follow. And we’ll achieve the biggest energy turnaround in the country, going from 90% dependence on fossil fuels to 100% clean energy.”

House Bill 623 also increases the interim requirement to 30 percent renewable by 2020. Last year, Hawaii generated about 22 percent of its electricity from renewable resources. Continue reading

Vaisala Launches Nomad 3 for Wind Data

Vaisala has launched the Nomad 3 Data Logger, a flexible and highly portable data management device that makes wind measurement easier and more economical for developers and operators around the globe says the company. With intermittent issues around wind energy, early siting and ongoing investment and operational decisions are based on wind resource data and have a direct link to success of a wind project.

Vaisala wind data loggerAccording to Vaisala, current data loggers on the market are difficult to install and operate. They also cite current data technologies often fall short when it comes to performance in rough, remote locations and cross-compatibility with broad range wind measurement sensors employed throughout the renewable energy industry.

The Nomad 3 Data logger has been widely tested and the company’s first data logger was developed back in 1981. The new device, however, has been completely re-engineered with the current challenges of developers and operators in mind. According to the company, the Nomad 3 offers a Linux operating system, and a smaller, lighter design while remaining incredibly flexible and straightforward to use. It is compatible with all market-leading wind sensors, and is ideally suited for hard to reach regions of emerging markets like South America, Asia, and Africa, since it can be conveniently carried in a backpack to sites without road access.

The Nomad 3 Data logger also features wireless connectivity and Vaisala’s SkyServe wind data management service – a secure web portal that offers a range of fleet management tools. Online operating systems also make it accessible to any web-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

A number of partners and government laboratories have already started using the Nomad 3 as beta clients at locations around the world. These include: NIWE (India’s National Institute of Wind Energy formerly known as C-WET), Saiwind, and WISE Information Sentinel.

SheerWind Licenses Wind Tech in Denmark

SheerWind Inc. has signed a licensing agreement that will allow its technology to be marketed and deployed in Denmark. The agreement will allow wind-power developer E-Venturi to introduce SheerWind’s INVELOX wind delivery system. The first pilot project is expected to be built in Denmark before the end of the year.

INVELOX the New Face of Wind Power (PRNewsFoto/SheerWind)

INVELOX the New Face of Wind Power (PRNewsFoto/SheerWind)

E-Venturi, based in Slagelse, Denmark, will be the first company to market SheerWind’s technology in Europe. Denmark leads the world in wind energy penetration, with 39.1 percent of its electrical consumption coming from wind power. The Danish government plans to quadruple wind power production by 2050 and is pursuing a goal of complete independence from fossil fuels.

“We are thrilled to have the world’s wind leader distributing our technology. This is incredible validation of our technology and we look forward to a prosperous relationship that benefits both our countries for years to come,” said George Manos, the president of SheerWind.

According to SheerWind, the INVELOX technology is a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to conventional wind technology. The system uses no above-ground propellers. Rather, it employs a funnel-driven system that captures the wind and brings it to ground-level power turbines and rotors for safer, easier and cheaper operation and maintenance. The technology is safe for humans and wildlife, requires less maintenance than conventional wind systems, and produces more electricity per dollar invested than conventional systems, adds SheerWind.

“Denmark has a long history of introducing ground-breaking wind technology, and we are pleased to continue that tradition by making available within our company SheerWind’s better way to harvest wind energy,” added Lars Lindebjerg Peterson, the CEO of E-Venturi. “We plan to market this innovative solution to some of the world’s leaders in renewable and environmental advancements, and expect it to aid Denmark in reaching its renewable energy goals.”

DOE’s Moniz to Speak at WINDPOWER 2015

For the first time, U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz will speaking at WINDPOWER, the largest wind industry event in the U.S. The annual conference and expo is hosted by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and will be held this year in Orlando, Florida May 18-21, 2015.

Secretary Moniz will speak during the Welcome & Opening General Session on Tuesday, May 19, starting at 8:30 am. He is expected to discuss Wind Vision, the DOE’s definitive new report that shows how wind energy can create ample economic, environmental and health benefits and DOE Secretary Ernst Monizcontinue to provide key contributions to the nation’s energy portfolio. He will also explore advancements in wind turbine technology that could open up economic wind opportunities in many parts of the country.

Doug Greenholz, President of IKEA Property Inc., also confirmed he will be speaking during the Welcome & Opening General Session. Greenholz manages IKEA’s 40 existing stores and support units in the U.S. He is expected to talk about IKEA’s investment in U.S. wind farms and wind energy across the globe. The company announced late last year the purchase of a 165-megawatt Texas wind farm, the single largest renewable energy investment made by the company ever. The company is one of many to recognize the benefits of stably-priced, affordable wind power in recent years.

Click here for more information and to register.

EWEA Welcomes ETS Reform, Carbon Reserve Goals

The EU-28 Member States and the European Parliament have agreed to introduce a market stability reserve in 2019 to tackle a glut of over 2 billion excess permits in the Emissions Trading System (ETS). At hearing the news, the European Windy Energy Association welcomed the move made between lawmakers to reform the ETS before 2021.

ewea-logoAccording to EWEA, the surplus of allowances is currently suppressing the carbon price and failing to hold Europe’s worst polluters to account over their emissions.

Policymakers have also agreed to transfer the backloaded and unallocated allowances into the market stability reserve before they flood the market at the end of the decade. The number of these allowances could be as high as 1.7 billion according to analyst estimates.

Ivan Pineda, Director of Public Affairs at the European Wind Energy Association, said, “The start date of 2019 shows that Member States are prepared to compromise. It is also pleasing to see that a substantial number of excess allowances will not be returning to the market and will instead go directly into the reserve. But we have to acknowledge that Member States and the Parliament could have been far more ambitious in the shake-up of the carbon market and that much more comprehensive reform is needed in order for this instrument to provide a meaningful signal to investors.”

Pattern Energy Kicks off Amazon Wind Farm Project

Pattern Energy Group has announced the closing of financing on the 150 MW Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) and construction is in full swing. The project is located in Benton County, Indiana and has entered into a 13-year PPA with Amazon to supply electricity to the grids that service Amazon Web Services datacenters. Upon completion, the Amazon Wind Farm project is expected to generate approximately 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power annually.

“The Amazon Wind Farm project has successfully closed financing and is moving ahead on schedule,” said President and CEO of Pattern Development, Mike Garland. “We look forward to helping Amazon power its customers’ businesses with domestic clean energy harnessed from the winds of Indiana. We are now working with Amazon, Google and Walmart, demonstrating that America’s leading corporations are increasingly investing in, or buying power from, non-polluting energy sources like wind power. We see this growing trend driving the development of more new projects.”

AmazonPatternThe Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) project will be comprised of 65 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines with ‘Made in America’ components. The turbine blades are being manufactured at the Siemens factory in Ft. Madison, Iowa and the nacelles are being assembled at the Siemens facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. The turbine towers will be sourced from Michigan and Wisconsin. Transformers for the project will be manufactured at the Siemens facility in Richland, Mississippi.

“Siemens is proud that our ‘Made in America’ wind components will be used at the Amazon Wind Farm. Wind power is an increasingly important part of our nation’s energy mix, and this project is part of a growing trend we see in the U.S. of technology companies and leading corporations investing in wind power,” said Jacob Andersen, CEO Onshore Americas, Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. “Our goal is to provide the most efficient and reliable equipment to ensure that wind energy is both sustainable and affordable. We’re pleased to continue our long relationship with Pattern Development and Pattern Energy, and Siemens technicians will work to ensure optimal performance of this equipment.”

Renewables Exceed 75% Of New Gen Capacity

Renewable energy sources including wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower provided over 75 percent of the 1,1229 MW of new electrical generating capacity that went online in first quarter of 2015. The results were published in the recent “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects. The remaining 302 MW added was from natural gas. FERC reported no new capacity from biomass sources for the quarter nor any from coal, oil, or nuclear power.

© Kennytong | Dreamstime.com - Solar Panels And Wind Turbine Power Photo

© Kennytong | Dreamstime.com – Solar Panels And Wind Turbine Power Photo

During Q1 2015, eight new “units” of wind came online with a combined capacity of 647 MW — accounting for 52.64 percent of all new generating capacity. Solar provided 30 units (214 MW), geothermal steam provided one unit (45 MW), and hyrdropower provided one unit (21 MW). Five units of natural gas provided the new capacity from that sector.

According to the SUN DAY Campaign, the numbers for the first three months of 2015 are similar to those for the same period in 2014 when renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided 1,422 MW of new capacity and natural gas 159 MW while coal and nuclear provided none and oil just 1 MW. Renewable energy sources accounted for half of all new generating capacity last year.

Renewable energy sources now account for 16.92 percent of total installed operating generating capacity in the U.S.: water – 8.53 percent, wind – 5.65 percent, biomass – 1.38 percent, solar – 1.03 percent, and geothermal steam – 0.33 percent. Renewable energy capacity is now greater than that of nuclear (9.11%) and oil (3.92%) combined. Moreover, as noted, total installed operating generating capacity from solar has now reached and surpassed the one-percent threshold.

“The trend lines for the past several years have been consistent and unmistakable,” said Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Each month, renewable energy sources – particularly wind and solar – increase their share of the nation’s generating capacity while those of coal, oil, and nuclear decline.”

Alt Energy Consultant Lee Enterprises Expands

leeenterprisesThe world’s largest renewable fuels consulting group is expanding its team. Lee Enterprises Consulting has added five new engineers and two additional Ph.D’s to its worldwide team of experts. The company says it is also dividing itself into four internal teams to handle biodiesel, ethanol, emerging technologies and solar/wind projects.

“As the world’s largest consulting group of its kind, we have experts in virtually every area of alternative and renewable fuels”, says CEO Wayne Lee. He notes that the company has now grown to over fifty consultants, and has reached a point where each of these core businesses needed its own dedicated leadership. “[Dr. Gerald Kutney, who will lead the Emerging Technologies Team] is an imminently qualified expert, and his knowledge in the fields of pyrolysis, waste-to-energy (WTE), forestry bioenery/bioproducts, gasification and emerging technologies made him the perfect choice to lead the Emerging Technologies Team,” said Lee. “Likewise, [new Solar/Wind Team lead] Bob Parkins is a Civil Engineer and renowned solar expert, making him the perfect selection to lead our Solar/Wind Team”.

The group also owns National Business Brokerage, Inc., a full service business brokerage firm specializing in the buying and selling of alternative and renewable fuels plants.

Bennet Files Amendment for Bridge to Tax Reform

Trade groups are calling for national support of the Bennet Amendment for Bridge to Tax Reform. U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) has filed an amendment to the annual budget resolution being considered this week by the Senate that would make room for renewable and efficiency tax credits. The amendment specifies “a fund for “creating clean energy jobs, including extending over a reasonable period of time, as a bridge to tax reform, expired and expiring tax credits for renewable energy production and investment.”

The renewable tBennet Tax Reform Amendment Trade Group Supportersrade groups endorsed the amendment in a letter:

Dear Senator:

The U.S. Senate begins debate this week on the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Resolution. Senator Michael Bennet will be offering an amendment (#715) which expresses support for the extension of expired and expiring federal tax credits for renewable energy production and investment as the bridge to tax reform. On behalf of the thousands of American companies and over 500,000 Americans working in the renewable energy sector, we strongly encourage you to support the Bennet Amendment.

Over the past five years, nearly 44% of all new domestic power generation capacity has come from renewable energy resources, including more than 56% of all new power generation capacity in 2014 – surpassing all other energy sources. The investment tax credit (ITC) and the production tax credit (PTC) have been the primary federal policy drivers for this growth, spurring private sector investment, creating jobs, and driving down costs significantly, making renewable and clean technologies more cost competitive.

The clean energy sector has the potential to be one of the greatest engines of middle class job growth in the 21st century, while providing our nation with secure sources of clean and renewable domestic energy. To realize that objective, however, we must have a supportive and certain tax policy environment.

Again, on behalf of our thousands of member companies and more than half a million Americans working in our industries, we ask you to send an unambiguous signal of support for clean and renewable energy. Please vote for the Bennet Amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution in support of continuing tax incentives for clean and renewable domestic energy sources.

The letter is signed by representatives of the Solar Energy Industries Association, American Wind Energy Association, Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, Geothermal Energy Association, American Biogas Council, Energy Recovery Council, National Hydropower Association, Biomass Power Association, Distributed Wind Energy Association and Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association.

Wind Industry Reacts to Wind Vision

The Wind Vision report released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is spurring reaction across the wind industry. The report describes a new scenario for wind to reach 10 percent by 2020, 20 percent by 2030, and 35 percent by 2050, and provides a road map for government and industry to get there. Wind industry executives are going on record saying they can and will deliver the goals set forth in the plan.

“We can do this and save you money by doing it,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “This definitive report provides the wind industry with aggressive targets for the growth of wind energy Wind VIsion 2015 reportin America, and we stand ready to meet them. It starts with getting common-sense policies in place, so we can double U.S. wind energy in the next five years.”

In response to the report, AWEA along with the Wind Energy Foundation will set forth more than 50 industry executives and professionals to serve as ambassadors to educate Americans and elected officials about wind power benefits. In addition, over 400,000 supporters of wind energy have signed a petition calling on state and federal lawmakers to support the needed policies.

“This report documents how wind energy already provides major economic and environmental benefits to America, including protecting consumers against energy price spikes, and making deep cuts in pollution and water use,” added John Kostyack, executive director of the Wind Energy Foundation. “As wind becomes one of the country’s top sources of electricity, Wind Vision promises even bigger benefits for decades to come.”

Wind Vision envisions how consumers will immediately benefit from more stably priced energy. With more wind energy, electricity prices would be 20 percent less sensitive to fluctuations in the price of fossil fuels, the report finds. Consumers would see $280 billion in economy-wide savings from reduced natural gas prices alone. Investing in more U.S. wind turbines would pay further economic dividends, such as by creating more jobs and causing further reductions in air pollution. The up-front investment to achieve these benefits will cost electric consumers only pennies a month in the early years, the report shows. Continue reading