Archive: Renewables

Commentary: Renewable energy lessons from Europe

Europe has seen tremendous activity in the development of renewable energy as a response to climate change. As a result, some of the most important renewable energy firms operating in the U.S. are based in Denmark, Germany, and Spain. Stable, high-level policy is one reason Europe dominates this sector.

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Top Plants: Far West Rice Mill with solar electric system, Nelson, California

Many companies are finding that with solar energy, the sky’s the limit. As costs fall and mandates for renewable energy rise, solar energy is becoming an increasingly competitive source of power generation. Far West Rice Mill is a forward-thinking business that is taking advantage of this economic opportunity by powering its operations with a 1-MW photovoltaic system.

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Top Plants: Thermo Plant, Beaver County, Utah

Geothermal energy projects are gaining steam in many parts of the western U.S., in large part because geothermal power has the advantage of being a renewable energy source that provides baseload power with no emissions and no waste by-products. One example of the latest developments in geothermal power generation is the recently completed 10-MW geothermal plant in rural Utah, which uses innovative modular power generation units.

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Top Plants: Covanta Onondaga Waste-to-Energy Plant, Jamesville, New York

Covanta Energy Corp. doesn’t believe in wasting waste. Since 1995 the Covanta Onondaga waste-to-energy (WTE) plant has converted approximately 4 million tons of solid waste into 3 million MWh of clean electricity. Additionally, unlike power plants that use wind or solar energy, this 39-MW WTE facility operates 24/7, making it and similar WTE plants among the most continuously reliable sources of renewable electricity generation currently in operation.

UK takes offshore wind capacity crown from Denmark

Opening of the 194-MW Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms built by UK energy company Centrica off the coast of Skegness, in Lincolnshire, this October made the UK the worldwide king of installed offshore wind capacity. The farms raise the total electricity generated from offshore wind in the UK to 590 MW, beating Denmark’s 423 […]

Oregon wind turbine loses its bearings

The generator bearings on a wind turbine located in Oregon (Figure 1) first failed in May 2006, only 11 months after the tower was brought on-line. The company that owns and operates the wind farm replaced the bearings and slip rings, but the new bearings failed only five months later. Once again, new bearings and […]

California’s GHG plan gives power heaviest load

On Sept. 12, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Energy Commission (CEC) took the next step in the implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 32, California’s ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – reduction initiative, with the release of a 300-page proposed decision on GHG regulatory strategies.

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Advanced tidal stream project planned for UK coast

Scotland is strategically placed at the widening funnel in which the churning waters of the North Sea meet those of the Norwegian Sea. The region is thought to have 25% of Europe’s tidal power resources and 10% of its wave power potential. Recently, the Crown Estate, which owns the UK seabed and controls the rights […]

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Under construction in South Africa

This summary of power generation projects is a web-only supplement to the November 2008 special report titled “Whistling in the dark: Inside South Africa’s power crisis.”