Wind Power

Keystone ‘victory’ is nothing of the sort, say testy wonks

Enviros’ opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has succeeded in delaying or possibly even deep-sixing a project that would have carried oil from the tar sands in Canada to refineries in Texas (and over a drinking water aquifer and the epicenter of a bunch of earthquakes). But not everyone is celebrating. Professional wet blanket Michael Levi wants you to know that this is probably a pyrrhic victory, more likely to result in delays to the kind of action the U.S. needs to take to avert the worst of climate change's effects. And he has a point, sort of. If Keystone …

Renewable Energy

How electric vehicles can give a boost to local clean energy

A plug for plug-ins.This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. The Northwest could get an additional 12 percent of its electricity from local wind power if one in eight of the region’s cars used batteries. That’s the conclusion of a study [PDF] from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories investigating how electric vehicles can help smooth the introduction of more variable renewable energy into the grid system. The study examines the Northwest Power Pool, an area encompassing roughly seven states in the Northwest. With around 2.1 million electrified vehicles, …

Dalai Lama supports nuclear power, disses wind and solar

In a news conference in Tokyo, the Dalai Lama told his increasingly anti-nuclear hosts that nuclear power is an important solution for underdeveloped countries still grappling with basic energy poverty. His talking points were almost identical to those of stateside nuclear advocates, including discussions of the risks of nuclear accidents compared to other everyday risks. The Wall Street Journal reports: … [H]e warned that no amount of preparation can completely rule out danger. Riding a car, eating a meal, and even sitting in the very venue of the news conference always comes with a degree of risk: “There is still …

Wind Power

Wind could provide at least 25 percent of electricity for most states

At least 32 states could get 25 percent or more of their electricity from wind power generated within their own borders. This is an updated version of a map included in the report “Energy Self-Reliant States” from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Click on the map to see a larger version. State wind power potential (percent of electricity sales)

Energy Policy

California pushes back against energy imports

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Western grid operators have been making plans for large-scale renewable energy imports into the California electricity market, prompting the governor’s senior advisor for renewable energy facilities to write a “self-reliance” response. Here are a few highlights of his letter [PDF] to the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC): California has plenty of in-state development: “The California Independent System Operator [CAISO] indicates that renewable projects totaling 70,000 [megawatts] of installed capacity [nearly enough to meet all of the state's peak summer demand] are …

Fossil Fuels

U.S. carbon emissions down as renewable energy keeps growing

Cross-posted from Earth Policy Institute. Between 2007 and 2011, carbon emissions from coal use in the United States dropped 10 percent. During the same period, emissions from oil use dropped 11 percent. In contrast, carbon emissions from natural gas use increased by 6 percent. The net effect of these trends was that U.S. carbon emissions dropped 7 percent in four years. And this is only the beginning. The initial fall in coal and oil use was triggered by the economic downturn, but now powerful new forces are reducing the use of both. For coal, the dominant force is the Beyond …

Hypnotic video of wind turbine being erected in under 7 minutes

Turns out assembling a 364-foot-high wind turbine is just like playing with an impossibly enormous Erector set. This 1.5 MW turbine went up in Boston, where it will save its owner $350,000 in electricity costs every year.

Hybrid power plant turns wind directly into automotive fuel

Enertrag is a new hybrid power plant whose parent company invites you to "drive to [your] local petrol station and fill up with 50 litres of wind … !!!" Three exclamation points! Renewable energy has made Germans so adorable. Their website even has a picture of German chancellor Angela Merkel showing off a tank of hydrogen gas like it's a baby panda. The idea is simple: Use tried-and-true methods to transform wind power into electricity, which is used to electrolyze water and strip out the hydrogen, which can then be used as automobile fuel or burned in a combined heat …

Critical List: 7 billionth baby born; OWS to use green generators

The world's 7 billionth baby has been born in the Philippines. (How do U.N. arbiters know she's the seven billionth? They don't: it’s just symbolic.) It snowed on the East Coast, and "virtually every site north of Maryland to Maine … recorded their greatest October snowfall on record." An energy storage company that received a loan from the government filed for bankruptcy; fingers crossed that we can all talk about Herman Cain's (real, problematic) sex scandal instead of this. Occupy Wall Street could switch over to bike-powered generators. One's already running. Wind power wants its production tax credit extended. The …