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February 4, 2011

American Wind Energy Association – Background on Texas Blackouts

Filed under: National News,News,Texas News — Tags: — admin @ 10:41 am


Wind power played a major role in keeping the blackouts from becoming more severe. Between 5 and 7 A.M. this morning (the peak of the electricity shortage) wind turbines was providing between 3,500 and 4,000 MW,

Many parts of the Texas experienced rolling blackouts, coinciding with unusually cold temperatures across many parts of the state. Millions of customers statewide appear to have been affected. Here are the facts as they are currently understood:

Wind energy played a major role in keeping the blackouts from becoming more severe. Between 5 and 7 A.M. this morning (the peak of the electricity shortage) wind farm power was providing between 3,500 and 4,000 MW, roughly the amount it had been forecast and scheduled to provide. That is about 7% of the state’s total electricity demand at that time, or enough for about 3 million average homes.

Cold and icy conditions caused unexpected equipment failures at power plants, taking up to 50 fossil-fired power plants totaling 7,000 MW of capacity offline.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

November 19, 2009

Wind energy conference touts opportunities for agriculture

Texas A&M’s AgriLife has a great write-up our own Dr. Vaughn Nelson and the future of Wind Energy…

Texas farmers and ranchers likely will see more opportunities come about in the future when it comes to wind energy, according to a Texas A&M System expert.

Dr. Vaughn Nelson, professor emeritus and director of the Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University, predicts small wind systems, those that produce one kilowatt up to 100 kilowatts or more, will receive more interest in the future when it comes to generating power for the farm and ranch, as well as tapping into potential power markets.

“My personal opinion is we may see in the future a farmer or rancher go to a banker some day and say they want to finance a wind turbine just like they would a farm implement,” Nelson said. “They would pay that off in five to seven years, (then be in a profitable situation.)”

Nelson was a panel speaker recently at the Texas/European Union Wind Energy Symposium sponsored by the European Union Center at Texas A&M University in College Station. Co-sponsors included Texas AgriLife Research.

Read the rest (and watch the video!) here!

October 9, 2009

National News: AEI’s Vaughn Nelson on Oil Dependence

Filed under: Economics,Local People,National News,News,Oil — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:02 pm

The Washington Times published an article by AEI’s Vaughn Nelson about how we can curb our dependence on foreign oil. Here is an excerpt:

Every president since Richard Nixon has touted energy independence; however, neither presidents nor Congress had the fortitude to require the sacrifices from the American people necessary for a rational energy policy.

Politically, even today, it is not feasible because it would require an energy policy that takes into account all costs for energy, new regulations and taxes that would require a major change for business and consumers.

Business entities always couch their concerns in terms of economics (“the bottom line”), but there are different types of economics: pecuniary (ordinary economics, dollars), social and physical. Social costs (externalities) are those borne by everybody, and they may be negative or positive.

You can read the rest of the article here.

The article was intended as a counterpoint to the oil company’s POV on the issue, but that counterpoint was not finished.

July 2, 2009

Fed works to speed solar development in Southwest

Filed under: National News,News,Solar Energy — Tags: — admin @ 2:55 pm

Got this link from our friends at Class 4 Winds! The Associated Press has a story out about the Fed’s attempts to speed up solar development. Here’s an excerpt:

The federal government’s top land steward said Monday that the United States will fast-track efforts to build solar power generating facilities on public space in six Western states.Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he has signed an order setting aside more than 1,000 square miles of public land for two years of study and environmental reviews to determine where solar power stations should be built.

“We are putting a bull’s-eye on the development of solar energy on our public lands,” Salazar said during an announcement with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, in a courtyard shaded by a solar power array at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Salazar and Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader, invoked President Barack Obama‘s call for rapid development of renewable energy.

“We hear a lot about doing something about the environment,” Reid said. “That’s what this is all about. We want to not be dependent on foreign oil. This will make America a more secure nation.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

June 25, 2009

National News: TIME – Can Wind Power stay up to speed?

Filed under: National News,News — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:25 pm

TIME recently released a great article on its website about the future of Wind Power that you should check out. Here’s an excerpt:

But for all the green talk and growth in wind power — it accounted for 42% of all new electricity generation added to the U.S. grid last year — wind still makes up less than 3% of America’s total electricity generation. Even at current rates of growth, that figure is unlikely to change soon. The question is, Will wind ever produce enough power to satisfy America’s energy needs?

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) says yes.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

May 14, 2009

National News: Lesser Prairie Chicken “endangered” status

Filed under: National News,News,Texas News — Tags: — admin @ 12:56 pm

Some news from the Hereford Brand, concerning wind turbines and wildlife…

The lesser prairie chicken has been under consideration by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for inclusion on the federal endangered species list for nearly 20 years, but the threat to the rare bird posed by hundreds of wind turbines could be enough to force the agency to move forward with a listing.

According to Wild Earth Guardians, a Santa Fe, N.M.-based environmental group that has petitioned the USFWS to “immediately” list the bird as an endangered species, populations of lesser prairie chickens have plummeted by an estimated 97 percent over the fowl’s historic range.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

October 3, 2008

National News: Gases on auction block

Filed under: National News,News — admin @ 1:50 am

In today’s Amarillo Globe News, there is an Associated Press story about the nation’s first auction of pollution credits aimed at curbing global warming.

Auction proceeds will go toward energy conservation and renewable energy programs in each of the 10 participating states: New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The program aims to hold carbon dioxide emissions steady through 2014 and then gradually reduce them; it is widely viewed as a model for future programs nationally and around the globe.

“It’s historic,” said Lance Pierce, climate program director of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The carbon markets have arrived in the United States. And carbon markets, if designed correctly, hold the promise for development of cleaner energy … and reductions in global warming pollution that benefit consumers, businesses and the environment, as well.”

Click here to read more about the greenhouse gas sales.

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