Archive: Renewables


Global Monitor (June 2008)

Artificial photosynthesis for solar power? / Poultry litter to fuel 55-MW N.C. plan / First fuel cell-powered plane takes flight / First HTS transmission cable energized / PTC powers wind power industry / Renewing Greensburg / GAO deems coal-to-gas switch impractical / Assessing the Congo River’s power potential / POWER digest / Corrections


Growing a green economy

I believe there are three basic objectives for the energy industry in the modern era. First, to provide a reliable and ample supply. Second, to ensure that the supply is provided at the least cost to consumers. And third, to accomplish the first and second objectives with the least possible adverse effects on the environment. […]


The green trade-off

By Steven F. Greenwald and Jeffrey P. Gray These should be good times for environmentalists who focus on “green” energy policy. More than half the U.S. states have adopted renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that require utilities to meet specific renewable generation targets, and many are considering additional actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Such […]


Biofuels help green up gas turbines

Ethanol and biodiesel have become mainstream fuels that are increasingly used in combination with gasoline or petroleum diesel in automobiles. Now these same versatile fuels are starting to be used to power gas turbines. LPP Combustion LLC has developed a fuel preparation and delivery system that converts liquid fuels such as No. 2 fuel oil, biodiesel, ethanol, and coal liquids into substitute natural gas, which existing natural gas hardware can burn while enjoying reduced emission rates similar to those of natural gas.


A new wave: Ocean power

The idea of harnessing the vast power of Earth’s oceans has tantalized humans for more than a century. Today, the prospect of generating as much as 4,000 TW of clean energy from marine sources is fueling a resurgence of interest in a variety of technologies.


Global Monitor (May 2008)

National Grid divested of Ravenswood/ GE to sell Baglan Bay plant; From prairie grass to power/Renewables experience 40% growth/ The sustainable city/Solar recharger for developing countries/ Seeking CCS solutions/ Hoover Dam could stop generating/ Japan turns to fossil fuels/U.S. reactors produce record power/ POWER digest


Regulating wind power into a dispatchable resource

Perhaps the biggest shortcoming of wind power is its unreliability. Unconcerned with human needs, Mother Nature has decided that the wind usually blows strongest at just the wrong times, when electricity demand is lowest. However, using savvy negotiations to exploit a new provision in California’s renewable energy regulatory regime could make wind power more dispatchable during peak-demand periods and increase the capacity of wind farms at the same time.


Regulators should stop playing the greed card

In early February, Western GeoPower (WGP) announced its termination of a 20-year geothermal power purchase agreement (PPA) with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E). A WGP press release explains that the company terminated the agreement because a regulatory approval condition had not been obtained within a 180-day time period stipulated in the PPA. WGP’s CEO, […]


Global Monitor (April 2008)

Tenaska proposes first new coal-fired plant with carbon capture/ Concerns raised over growth of China’s CO2 emissions/ Sandia, Stirling Energy Systems set new world record/ Indonesia orders first Wärtsilä Gas Cubes/ First wind turbines on Galapagos Islands cut oil imports/ Harnessing waste heat for electricity/ POWER digest/ Correction


Congress failed to deliver a green Christmas

  Renewable power proponents exuded great confidence as the U.S. Congress approached its near-annual end-of-year task of extending the production tax credit (PTC) for wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal power beyond its current December 2008 expiration. The debate promised to bypass the threshold issue of simply extending the PTC. It was expected to focus on […]