Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources
News and Events October 25, 2012
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on October 10 announced that the Department has reached the President’s goal of authorizing 10,000 megawatts of renewable power on public lands. DOI hit the milestone with its finding that the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project site in southeastern Wyoming is suitable for wind energy development. The project is a proposed complex that could generate up to 3,000 megawatts of power. Developers expect the proposal to create an estimated 1,000 construction, operation, and maintenance jobs at peak construction, employ 114 permanent workers, and generate enough energy to power nearly 1 million homes.
The decision authorizes the Bureau of Land Management to proceed with site-specific environmental analyses for the Sierra Madre and Chokecherry wind farms and infrastructures. Additional environmental reviews will be needed for the turbine layouts. The proposed project would consist of two sites encompassing up to 1,000 wind turbines on approximately 219,707 acres of land about 10 miles south of Rawlins. It will be developed in phases and operated by Power Company of Wyoming LLC. When constructed, the wind complex is expected to have a footprint of less than 2,000 acres.
Since 2009, DOI has authorized 33 renewable energy projects, including 18 utility-scale solar facilities, seven wind farms, and eight geothermal plants, with associated transmission corridors and infrastructures that will enable the projects to connect to established power grids. When built, these projects will provide more than 10,000 megawatts of power, or enough electricity to power more than 3.5 million homes. They would also support an estimated 13,000 construction and operations jobs, according to project developers. See the DOI press release.
Expanded energy efficiency programs from utilities in six Southwestern states could save consumers $20 billion by 2020, according to a new study. The Colorado-based public interest group Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) on October 9 released The $20 Billion Bonanza: Best Practice Utility Energy Efficiency Programs and Their Benefits for the Southwest. The report finds that it is feasible to achieve a 21% reduction in electricity by the year 2020 through energy efficiency programs implemented from 2010 to 2020. The study also states that every dollar invested in energy efficiency programs returns more than two dollars in savings on business and household utility bills.
The report identifies the most effective utility energy efficiency programs across the country and analyzes the costs and benefits of implementing these programs in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The $20 Billion Bonanza notes that utilities in the Southwest have made considerable progress in helping their customers save electricity, but urges further action in related policy. See the SWEEP press release and the SWEEP website.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recently released its “Annual Energy Management Report” for Fiscal Year 2011. The 441-page document details DOD activities to promote energy security and leverage new energy technologies, focusing on energy at its fixed installations. The Department’s annual energy bill is approximately $4 billion, partly because it manages more than 500 installations comprising nearly 2.3 billion square feet of building space in 300,000 buildings throughout the United States and overseas. This annual report discusses a variety of energy issues, including DOD efforts to manage its facility energy program and reduce energy consumption in part by increasing the supply of renewable energy. See the DOD Installations and Environment webpage and the complete report.
In a new analysis of DOD investments in clean energy innovation, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a non-partisan research and educational institute, reported that DOD’s investments in clean energy innovation were second only to the Energy Department in 2012. The group’s report, Lean, Mean, and Clean II: Assessing DOD Investments in Clean Energy Innovation, released on October 16, finds that DOD has invested $5 billion in clean energy since Fiscal Year 2009. The study also found that DOD now invests nearly twice as much in procuring new clean energy technologies than it does procuring commercial, off-the-shelf technologies. Also, of all the branches of the military, the U.S. Navy invested the most in energy innovation by committing nearly $500 million in FY2012 to next-generation technologies in electricity, transportation, and alternative fuels. See the report.
A newly published technical standard could cut charging time for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) from eight hours to as short as 20 minutes. SAE International, a global industry association, announced on October 15 that its long-awaited voluntary standard, which was developed in a consensus with industry experts and Energy Department national laboratories, was approved and published.
The standard represents the future of charging technology and Smart Grid interaction, according to SAE International. The standard will help reduce the amount of time a consumer spends at public charging stations and enable consumers to travel greater distances in their PHEVs and EVs before needing to charge. Ford Motor Company, which participated in developing the standard, issued a statement praising the standard because it augments and is compatible with the existing electric vehicle charging standard employed by all automakers in the United States. See the SAE International press release, a standards summary , and the Ford Motor Company press release.
The Green Button Initiative aims to provide utility customers with their electricity usage data in a simple and standard format to help them save energy and money, and it might be coming to a utility near you. Kicked off back in January, the Green Button has already had quite a year, but it isn’t done yet. On October 1, the Energy Data Initiative announced a further expansion of the Green Button to include 12 new or expanded commitments from utilities and also the first steps toward allowing customers to directly transfer their electricity usage data to third parties, such as app developers.
First, in terms of the ability to download Green Button data, 12 new utilities and energy providers have joined 23 others that have already agreed to adopt the Green Button machine-readable data standard. In total, these 35 companies will enable more than 36 million households and businesses to use web and smartphone apps to pick the best rate plan for them, take advantage of customized energy efficiency tips, utilize tools to size and finance rooftop solar panels, and download virtual energy audit software that can cut costs for building owners and help get retrofits started sooner. That’s a growth of nearly 5 million new U.S. households and businesses! For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)