Sunday, July 31, 2005

Renewable Energy in the States and Abroad

Moving a little slow this morning, so I thought I'd provide a round-up of some recent news items in renewable energy...
  • Missouri Deploys Solar Energy in Schools: From, news that
Missouri has jumped into solar energy with a program to deploy PV arrays on 9 schools in 2005 and an additional 6 in 2006. With the first system operational and installation of the remaining systems well under way, the first 9 are expected to be complete by October. The solar arrays include educational data monitoring systems which display real time performance information at the schools and post data to an Internet accessible database. Environmental curriculum that utilizes the data from the PV systems is being developed by the Missouri Botanical Garden's Earthways Center.

Yet another reason to feel good about your contribution to Blogging 'Round the Clock...
"...the Illinois Commerce Commission adopted Governor Blagojevich's Sustainable Energy Plan. Under the ICC's plan, a new Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS, will require the state's electric utilities to draw on renewable energy sources for 2 percent of their electricity needs by the end of 2006. After that, the requirement will increase by 1 percent per year until 2012, when it tops out at 8 percent."

The plan also includes goals for energy conservation.

  • Arizonans Willing to Pay a Bit More for Renewable Energy: From the Arizona Daily Sun via ClimateArk, the results of a survey that shows "80 percent of those asked said they would pay up to an extra $2 a month to cover the cost of forcing utilities to use more renewable energy. That's the amount being considered for residential customers by the Arizona Corporation Commission."
  • Wind Power in Vermont: From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
The evergreen trees of the Green Mountain National Forest in southern Vermont could soon be dwarfed by 370-foot-tall wind turbines. A company wants to build up to 30 of the turbines in the forest in what would be the first-ever wind power project on U.S. Forest Service land. The project would produce enough electricity to power 14,000 to 16,000 homes.

This plan seems to be receiving a positive reception: while some have expressed concerns (and rightly so) over the potential to disrupt the habitat of birds and black bears, the article reports that a nearby installation of 11 wind towers "...[has] been well received by area residents."
  • Across the Pond in Great Britain: A piece of news that's already made the rounds in the Sustainable Blogosphere --
Queen Elizabeth II plans to use water from the River Thames to help power Windsor Castle in the Royal family's latest environmental project, Buckingham Palace announced Monday.

The 1 million pound (US$1.7 million; euro1.4 million) project, to be completed by the end of 2006, will power nearly one-third of Windsor Castle -- the largest occupied castle in the world. Buckingham Palace said it was pleased that approval had been granted to power the residence.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and other members of the Royal household have long embraced environmental causes and projects. The Queen's husband, Prince Phillip, uses a taxi powered by natural gas when he is driven around London. Previously he used an electrically driven minibus.

"We're constantly looking at ways of saving energy. We use energy efficient light bulbs at Buckingham Palace," an announcement said.
  • And Across the Other Pond: From Reuters, news that "South Korean utilities will invest a combined $1.1 billion in developing renewable energy sources over the next three years, amid high oil prices and on concerns about global warming,..."
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