[GWSG] Solar vs. nukes; 12 slides; DOE initiatives; Navigant on utilities; Annie Leonard; MIT on natural gas; EU to auction permits

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Thu Jul 15 09:25:53 EDT 2010

1.  An analysis co-authored by a former chancellor of Duke finds that by the time a nuclear plant could be built it would be more expensive than solar power (and, if externalized costs of liability and storage were to be taken into account, already is, by a literally incalculable amount).  Thanks to Tom Larson for the report. http://www.ncwarn.org/?p=2290  The global pv market is expected to read 14.6 gigawatts in 2010.  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/07/ims-global-pv-market-to-reach-14-6-gw-in-2010?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-July14-2010

2.   Greentech Media supplies 12 widely used slides in climate science.  The unreadable one at the top is a famous piece of graphic info representing Napoleon’s Russian campaign.   http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/ten-power-point-slides-that-shook-the-earth

3.  Abengoa is constructing a 250 megawatt 700° concentrating solar power plant in Arizona with $1.45 billion in government-backed loans.  It will be the first US plant to feature 6 hour thermal storage to produce power in the absence of sunlight.  http://www.energy.gov/news/9177.htm  The Department of Energy is also guaranteeing $400 million in loans for Abound Solar to produce thin film solar panels in two plants, one an idle auto plant.  When the project reaches full capacity in 2013, it will produce 840 megawatts in (cheap) panels each year.  http://www.energy.gov/news/9179.htm  A story adding a couple of details on these two significant moves:  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/07/us-to-invest-1-85b-in-abengoa-abound?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-July7-2010  Another DOE initiative establishes a 25 square mile test zone for solar technologies on old atomic weapons testing grounds in Nevada.  The intent is to help companies ready new technologies for commercial deployment.  http://www.energy.gov/news/9198.htm

4.  Utilities must adapt to the transition to renewable power sources if they wish to remain competitive, concludes a report from Navigant Consulting.  http://www.ceres.org/Page.aspx?pid=1263

5.  Annie Leonard, the Berkeley activist behind the 20 minute cartoon “The Story of Stuff,” is taking on bottled water and cap and trade.  She has begun urging people to recycle some of their politicians. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-me-story-of-stuff-20100713,0,5779944.story

6.  Beginning in the ‘90s natural gas was overbuilt in a combined cycle with coal.  Because coal has been cheaper, it is used in preference to natural gas: the natural gas part of the package is used to only 41% capacity.  If natural gas were to be preferred to coal, carbon emissions nationwide could be cut by over 10% (finding 5).  This MIT study notes that natural gas must be phased out, too, but in the short run we could cut carbon immediately.  The study recommends a level playing field for all sources of energy, and considers the environmental impact of fracking.  http://web.mit.edu/mitei/research/studies/release-natural-gas.pdf

7.  The European Union will auction carbon permits beginning in 2013.  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66D3PQ20100714?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2Fenvironment+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Environment%29

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