Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Future Power Generation Has Joined Google Subscribed Links

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Monday, 27 April 2009

The Energy Ecosystem And The Energy Risk

The Energy Ecosystem

A vision of the Smart Grid that focuses on the importance of energy efficiency, demand response and distributed generation, including viewpoints from: Acterra, Ausra Inc., Hydro One Networks, National Resource Defense Council, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, Stanford University and The Brattle Group.

Energy Risk - Marked Shift in Policy

Carbon constraints are coming to the United States. But the key question is whether Congress or the Environmental Protection Agency compels them. EPA now officially considers carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to be harmful to human health, which is the legal prerequisite to regulate those releases under the Clean Air Act. That designation is a marked shift in U.S. environmental policy and signifies a clear move toward regulating the heat-trapping emissions from all sources. But while EPA says that it is prepared to draft the official rules, it would rather defer to Congress.
"This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. This pollution problem has a solution, one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country's dependence on foreign oil. In both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem. The greenhouse gases that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act."
The pronouncement in mid-April begins a 60-day comment period in which all sides have a right to weigh in. At the end of that time period, the agency will release its regulations that all parties, once again, will be given time to respond. The pending regulations will pressure Congress to come up with its own laws by year-end. Limiting the level of greenhouse gases will assuredly affect the U.S. economy, touching everything that consumes fossil fuels from automobiles to power plants to manufacturing facilities. And while environmental organizations applaud the announcement, business groups remain cautious but say that they are willing to work with policymakers to arrive at an optimal solution. EPA's action comes amidst a U.S. Supreme Court decision rendered two years ago. That ruling said that the agency had the authority to regulate all greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if they were deemed to be harmful to human health or the public welfare. EPA now concludes man-made greenhouse gas emissions lead to global warming, which causes increased droughts and flooding as well as to poorer water quality. Even though the state of Massachusetts initiated the case and it pertains strictly to automobile emissions, EPA's position will apply to power plants as well. The move runs counter to that of the Bush administration, which had vigorously opposed regulating greenhouse gases. As such, the Bush White House never moved to make any formal declarations on the issue, although its own EPA scientists had determined that greenhouse gases were detrimental to human health.
"This proposal will cost jobs. It is the worst possible time to be proposing rules that will drive up the cost of energy to no valid purpose."

Official Recognition

EPA's decision will clearly put the focus on congressional efforts, where utilities and other industrials might have more sway. Those groups, in fact, have said that they would rather work with lawmakers so as to ensure any future bill makes gradual advances in an effort contain costs. That is unlikely to satisfy green groups, but they will nonetheless agree to such compromises. The practical effect of carbon limitations would be the setting of performance standards for all coal-fired power plants that are estimated to contribute about a third of all such releases. They would have to use the modern equipment that presumably would include both advanced coal generation and carbon sequestration tools. The ultimate goal is to capture all pollutants and then bury the carbon before it would leave the smokestack. Emitting carbon, meanwhile, will come at a cost. That is, industrials will either have to eventually buy allowances or pay taxes on such releases. That would force those businesses to shift to cleaner burning alternatives so as to bring down the level of carbon emissions -- a move that pits business and green groups against one another. The former is saying such policies will add to energy costs and thereby eliminate jobs while the latter is maintaining it will lead to a new era of innovation and job creation. Specifically, the notable draft now floating on the Hill has been authored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman of California and his environmental subcommittee chair, Edward Markey of Massachusetts. Their joint measure would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and by 83 percent by 2050. The Waxman-Markey bill endorses cap-and-trade but is silent on the issue of whether the credits should be auctioned or initially given away. The measure furthermore requires each utility to meet a renewable portfolio standard of 25 percent by 2025. Such a mandate is necessary if the country is to reverse warming trends, the bill's sponsors say. In an effort to placate lawmakers from coal states, the measure would also give $10 billion in financing to commercialize carbon capture and sequestration technologies. The two sponsors say that EPA's actions give its legislative initiative new momentum. The Pew Center on Global Climate Change agrees, noting that any future delays would only prove more costly for the environment and the economy.
"I applaud the EPA for officially recognizing that greenhouse gas emissions are a danger to our public health and welfare that, if unchecked, could have potentially serious impacts to our environment and well-being."
EPA's position now forces the industrial sector to get on board. And it will, recognizing that the agency would then go forward with its own carbon rules. By participating in the process, skeptics can influence an eventual bill -- one that they hope would slow down timetables and add financial assurances. That's the kind of measure that utilities will back and the type that can pass the full Congress.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

We've Just Started To Join Feedburner

Future Power Generation Has Joined Webrings

What Is A Webrings?

A webring in general is a collection of websites from around the Internet joined together in a circular structure. When used to improve search engine rankings, webrings can be considered a search engine optimization technique.

To be a part of the webring, each site has a common navigation bar; it contains links to the previous and next site. By clicking next (or previous) repeatedly, the surfer will eventually reach the site they started at; this is the origin of the term webring. However, the click-through route around the ring is usually supplemented by a central site with links to all member-sites; this prevents the ring from breaking completely if a member site goes offline.

Webrings are usually organized around a specific theme, often educational or social. Web rings usually have a moderator who decides which pages to include in the web ring. After approval, webmasters add their pages to the ring by 'linking in' to the ring; this requires adding the necessary HTML or JavaScript to their site.

At www.webringworld.org the webring concept is further explained and discussed.
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Thursday, 23 April 2009

Obama Talks About Wind Power On Earth Day

Offshore Wind Gets Major Boost

Just in time for Earth Day, the administration has issued a long-awaited set of rules that will significantly boost the development of offshore wind farms along the nation’s coastlines.

The regulations for the government to lease offshore acreage for wind and wave power (PDF) had been highly anticipated since Congress passed the 2005 energy bill. They will provide the main framework to develop offshore wind by giving the lead authority to the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency also in charge of offshore oil and gas development. The announcement was made by President Obama during a visit to a wind turbine tower manufacturing plant in Iowa, underscoring the administration’s commitment to developing clean energy sources. The visit also allowed the president to deliver a wide-ranging speech on energy and stump up support for a clean-energy and climate bill.
"It’s a win-win. It’s good for the environment, it’s great for the economy."
Jim Gordon, the president of Cape Wind, a company that has struggled for nearly a decade to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound, said.
"This is going to open up the whole industry.”
Offshore wind has yet to take off in the United States, in part because it is more expensive than traditional wind power on land. Offshore wind power is more widely developed in Europe, including in places like Denmark, Holland and Britain. Taken together, wind and solar currently only account for 3 percent of power generation in the United States, but industry advocates point out that American offshore potential could be significant. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for example, has estimated that offshore resources located between 5 and 50 nautical miles off the nation’s coasts could provide 900 gigawatts of generation capacity, which is roughly equal to the United States’ total current electrical capacity (PDF). The Department of Energy has laid out a more realistic scenario, in which wind power could account for 20 percent of the nation’s power generation by 2030. Offshore wind could reach 54 gigawatts of power, the energy department suggests, out of 300 gigawatts of total wind power expected in the United States by then. Several states, including New Jersey and Rhode Island, have already begun competitive bidding processes to develop wind power off their coasts.
"I think it is a Herculean step forward. What will happen now is that all the projects in design right now, off the shores of Delaware, of New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, will move forward because they will know the rules of the game."
Laurie Jodziewicz, who manages siting policy at the American Wind Energy Association, said that the new rules were necessary. But she also highlighted the need for a stable and consistent policy for wind, including the renewable energy production tax credit, and the adoption of a renewable energy standard which would mandate a share of alternative power for the nation’s grid.
"We’re quite excited to see this hurdle cleared. It’s been something we’ve been awaiting for quite some time now.

Related Posts from Green Inc.

No New Coal And Nuclear Plants Are Needed!

Energy Regulatory Chief Says New Coal, Nuclear Plants May Be Unnecessary

No new nuclear or coal plants may ever be needed in the United States, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said today.
"We may not need any, ever."
The FERC chairman's comments go beyond those of other Obama administration officials, who have strongly endorsed greater efficiency and renewables deployment but also say nuclear and fossil energies will continue playing a major role.
Bloomberg News

Jon Wellinghoff, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said renewables like wind and solar will provide enough energy.

Wellinghoff's view also goes beyond the consensus outlook in the electric power industry about future sources of electricity. The industry has assumed that more baseload generation would provide part of an increasing demand for power, along with a rapid deployment of renewable generation, smart grid technologies and demand reduction strategies. Jay Apt, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Electricity Industry Center, expressed skepticism about the feasibility of relying so heavily on renewable energy.
"I don't think we're where Chairman Wellinghoff would like us to be. You need firm power to fill in when the wind doesn't blow. There is just no getting around that."
Some combination of more gas- or coal-fired generation, or nuclear power, will be needed, he said.
"Demand response can provide a significant buffering of the power fluctuations coming from wind. Interacting widely scattered wind farms cannot provide smooth power."
Wellinghoff said renewables like wind, solar and biomass will provide enough energy to meet baseload capacity and future energy demands. Nuclear and coal plants are too expensive, he added.
"I think baseload capacity is going to become an anachronism. Baseload capacity really used to only mean in an economic dispatch, which you dispatch first, what would be the cheapest thing to do. Well, ultimately wind's going to be the cheapest thing to do, so you'll dispatch that first. People talk about, 'Oh, we need baseload.' It's like people saying we need more computing power, we need mainframes. We don't need mainframes, we have distributed computing."
The technology for renewable energies has come far enough to allow his vision to move forward, he said. For instance, there are systems now available for concentrated solar plants that can provide 15 hours of storage.
"What you have to do, is you have to be able to shape it. And if you can shape wind and you can effectively get capacity available for you for all your loads. So if you can shape your renewables, you don't need fossil fuel or nuclear plants to run all the time. And, in fact, most plants running all the time in your system are an impediment because they're very inflexible. You can't ramp up and ramp down a nuclear plant. And if you have instead the ability to ramp up and ramp down loads in ways that can shape the entire system, then the old concept of baseload becomes an anachronism."

'A lot that is still not understood'

Asked whether his ideas need detailed studies, given the complexity of the grid, Wellinghoff said the technology is already moving that way.
"I think it's being settled by the digital grid moving forward. We are going to have to go to a smart grid to get to this point I'm talking about. But if we don't go to that digital grid, we're not going to be able to move these renewables, anyway. So it's all going to be an integral part of operating that grid efficiently."
The North American Electric Reliability Corp. reported last week on challenges in integrating a twentyfold expansion of renewable power into the nation's electricity networks but did not specifically address whether additional baseload generation would be needed. A spokesperson for NERC did not have an immediate response to Wellinghoff's comments today. Revis James, who directs energy technology assessment for the Electric Power Research Institute, said recently that it is not clear how fast renewable energy can be added without creating reliability issues.
"No one knows what the magic number is. Are we moving too fast? On the policymakers' side, there's a lot that is not still understood about the implications of a large share of renewables."

Impact on nuclear power

Wellinghoff's statement, if it reflects Obama administration policy, would be a huge blow to the U.S. nuclear power industry, which has been hoping for a nuclear "renaissance" based on the capacity of nuclear reactors to generate power without greenhouse gas emissions. Congress created significant financial incentives to encourage the construction of perhaps a half-dozen nuclear plants with innovative designs, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu has promised Congress to accelerate awards of federal loan guarantees for some of these proposals. But a major expansion in U.S. nuclear energy would require a high effective tax on carbon emissions from coal plants, or an extended loan guarantee and tax incentive policy, according to the Congressional Research Service and outside consultants. The leading energy bills before Congress do not provide more loan guarantees.
"If expansion of nuclear plants is the nation's policy, then Congress has to recognize that the U.S. energy companies cannot afford to do this alone."
"The president needs to show his cards on nuclear energy. He cannot keep this industry, which must make investments with a 50-year or longer horizon, in limbo for much longer."
"I think [new nuclear expansion] is kind of a theoretical question, because I don't see anybody building these things, I don't see anybody having one under construction."
Building nuclear plants is cost-prohibitive, he said, adding that the last price he saw was more than $7,000 a kilowatt, more expensive than solar energy.
"Until costs get to some reasonable cost, I don't think anybody's going to [talk] that seriously. Coal plants are sort of in the same boat, they're not quite as expensive."

Can renewables meet demand

There's enough renewable energy to meet energy demand, Wellinghoff said.
"There's 500 to 700 gigawatts of developable wind throughout the Midwest, all the way to Texas. There's probably another 200 to 300 gigawatts in Montana and Wyoming that can go West."
He also cited tremendous solar power in the Southwest and hydrokinetic and biomass energy, and said the United States can reduce energy usage by 50 percent.
"You combine all those things together ... I think we have great resources in this country, and we just need to start using them,"
Problems with unsteady power generation from wind will be overcome, he said.
"That's exactly what all the load response will do, the load response will provide that leveling ability, number one. Number two, if you have wide interconnections across the entire interconnect, you're going to have a lot of diversity with that wind. Not all the wind is going to stop at once. You'll have some of it stop, some of it start, and all of that diversity is going to help you, as well."

Push for grid modifications

But planning for modifying the grid to integrate renewables must take place in the next three to five years, he said.
"If we don't do that, then we miss the boat. That planning has to take place so you don't strand a lot of assets, a lot of supply assets."
Unlike coal and nuclear, natural gas will continue to play a role in generating electricity, he said.
"Natural gas is going to be there for a while, because it's going to be there to get us through this transition that's going to take 30 or more years."
Chu reiterated before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today that he supports loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants and is working with the White House on the issue.
"I believe nuclear power has to be part of the energy mix in this century."
Chu also noted today that nuclear technology, along with renewables, is an area where the United States has lost its lead.
"We are trying to start the American nuclear industry again."
Coal currently provides half of U.S. power, while nuclear energy accounts for about 20 percent.
Senior reporter Ben Geman contributed.

For more news on energy and the environment, visit www.greenwire.com.

The funny thing in this article, I think, is that nobody mentions the most important energy source of the future, geothermal energy! Thanks to geothermal power, no new coal and nuclear plants will ever be needed again, I'm convinced!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

BP, Dominion laud success of Indiana wind farm venture

BP and Dominion Announce Full Commercial Operation of Largest Wind Farm in Midwest

BP Wind Energy and Dominion have announced full commercial operation of the first phase of the partners’ Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County, Ind., capable of producing 400 megawatts of electricity in optimum conditions — enough to power about 120,000 homes.

Lara neel / argus leader

BP and Dominion are currently assessing areas north of Big Stone Gap and Appalachia in Wise County for a potential wind farm project, as well as potential wind farm sites in Tazewell County. Dominion is also the utility building a 585 megawatt coal-fired power plant in St. Paul planned to be operational in 2012. The partners in wind energy projects say they could expand the Indiana facility to 750 megawatts in the future. Construction of the first phase uses 1.65 megawatt turbines with a hub height of 262 feet and a rotor diameter of 269 feet, and 2.5 megawatt turbines with a hub height of about 262 feet and a rotor diameter of 314 feet. A total of 850 workers were employed at the peak of construction of the Indiana project. A full-time staff of 36 is employed to monitor and maintain the first phase of the facility, the companies said.
“The commercial operation of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm marks an important step for BP in helping Indiana increase its role as a provider of energy to support growing state and national demands. This wind farm will deliver more than 1 billion kilowatt hours of clean, renewable electricity every year and brings new revenue streams to rural communities without impact on traditional farming and grazing practices. The cooperation of the landowners, county officials, contractors and subcontractors has been the key to the success of this project.”
Dominion Chairman Thomas F. Farrell II said such projects represent part of the solution to the nation’s energy-independent future.
“To ensure reliability and price stability, the U.S. will need to utilize diverse fuel sources in the generation of electricity, and these are concrete steps in that direction. Wind is and will continue to be an important part of the mix.”
BP America is the largest producer of oil and gas in the United States and one of the nation’s largest energy investors. For more information, visit the company’s Web sites at http://www.bpalternativenergy.com, http://www.bp.com/us or http://www.dom.com.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

China's aim to become a major global player in solar power

Bright future for solar power sector

China's aim to become a major global player in solar power has been boosted by a new subsidy program that will help cut the cost of attaching cells to rooftops and fill a manufacturing gap from declining demand from abroad.

Global market of solar photovoltaic cells in 2008 (estimated). Spain and Germany are the dominant markets. Though China is the world leader in the manufacture of PV cells, the domestic demand accounts for less than 1% of the global market.

The government announced last month that solar power attached to buildings in projects involving more than 50 kilowatts would be eligible for a subsidy of 20 yuan (US$2.90) per watt. China is the world leader in the manufacture of photovoltaic (PV) cells, or panels that covert sunlight into electricity. The surging cost of polysilicon, a key ingredient, in recent years had forced Chinese manufacturers to rely on demand from countries that offered subsidies for solar use. But now, with a substantial increase in supply, the price of polysilicon has plummeted.
"With the bursting of the price bubble for polysilicon, the timing is right to subsidize solar power development. That will encourage domestic use, create a stronger market for Chinese manufacturers and advance the nation's efforts to promote alternative, clean energy sources."
Jiangsu is China's major solar-cell manufacturing base, home to such big names such as Suntech Power Holdings Co and Canadian Solar Inc.

The 20-yuan subsidy, which equates to what's offered in California and is three times that of Japan, will cover nearly half the cost of solar power conversion, including equipment and installation, the government said.

The subsidy translates to a drop in power generation cost to about 1 yuan per kilowatt hour, only a quarter of some domestic pilot solar projects though still more than double the domestic grid prices for conventional coal-fired power.

Gao Jifan, chairman and chief executive of Trina Solar Ltd, called the subsidy plan, jointly unveiled by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, a "precursor" of longer-term state support. He believes that the rooftop plan is a good starting point before subsidies are extended to larger utility-scale projects, which will require a tariff regime to make solar electricity commercially viable. Germany, for example, passed a law in 2000 obligating grid operators to pay set prices, or feed-in tariffs, for renewable electricity sources. As a result, Germany has become one of the world's largest PV markets.

Tariff system

China does have a renewable energy law requiring distributors to buy renewable energy from generators, but it lacks a tariff system to boost the viability of solar power. At present, pricing is at the discretion of the National Development Reform Commission, based on the principle of reasonable cost plus reasonable return.
"If we are to have a feed-in tariff system like Europe's, it has to win approval from the National People's Congress, and that may take more time. So the government has decided to start up the domestic market as soon as possible by going after the rooftop market first"
Gao said China could account for 10 percent of the global PV market in three years to five years, up from less than 1 percent now. The new subsidy comes as Chinese solar companies are struggling with reduced access to credit and a drop-off in demand from countries such as Spain because of the recession. In addition to fighting climate change and boosting energy conservation, China's subsidy program is aimed at helping domestic PV makers by activating a largely untapped home market, the ministries said.
"The financial crisis is benefiting domestic PV makers because it has brought down polysilicon prices and drawn government attention to the needs of an increasingly mature industry."
Sha Xiaolin, chairman of Qiangsheng Photovoltaic Technology Co (QS Solar), said he was optimistic about the large-scale use of solar power, saying "an energy crisis would be much more frightening than the financial crisis." QS Solar, unlike most solar cell makers that rely on polysilicon, is developing the emerging technology of thin film. Although it has a lower conversion efficiency, thin film is cheaper and can be manufactured with higher throughput. Investors have welcomed the government's subsidy plan, with solar stocks surging in China and the United States, where many Chinese solar companies are listed.

Shares of Tianwei Baobian Electric Co are soaring

Shares in Hebei Province-based Tianwei Baobian Electric Co have soared 44.5 percent in Shanghai trading since the subsidy announcement.The Shanghai Composite Index rose 9.3 percent in the same period. Analysts said the subsidy program won't necessarily have a big impact this year because it will take time to get up and running. Based on the central government's subsidy budget of 400 million yuan on renewable energy this year, at most 20 megawatts of solar capacity could be subsidized in 2009, the China Securities Journal reported, citing Ping An Securities analyst Wang Fan. That amount is a fifth of China's total installed solar capacity in 2007, or 5 percent of Trina Solar's planned shipment of 400MW this year.
"I believe there will be an explosive growth in the domestic PV market, not just double-digit growth."
The domestic industry is on the verge of a big leap forward.

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Arizona may become a center for solar development

5 solar projects get $4 million in grants

Five new projects granted $4 million in seed money could help make Arizona a center for solar development, backers said Friday. Science Foundation Arizona announced the projects, and the formation of its new Solar Technology Institute, at lunch events in Tucson and Phoenix.

The Tucson event, attended by about 100 industry, government and university officials, was held just outside a 310,000- square-foot solar array that provides power at Global Solar Energy, 8500 S. Rita Road.
"The goal is developing disruptive technology breakthroughs that will bring the cost of solar energy down to the level of fossil fuels. We want to make Arizona a leader in the drive to change to solar."
"Germany, Spain and even New Jersey lead Arizona in the development of solar energy. We've got to change that."
The $4 million will provide startup funding for the projects, Powell said. Half of the funding comes from Science Foundation Arizona and half from the private sector.

The funding is in hand and not affected by state budget cuts for the organization, Powell said.

The projects cover the full solar spectrum, from collecting the sun's energy to distributing electricity to consumers, said Leslie Tolbert, vice president for research, graduate studies and economic development at the University of Arizona.
"The goal here is not just to meet our energy needs but to become a net exporter."
The projects are collaborations that include UA, Arizona State University and a variety of industry partners, she said. Solar panels don't work at night, and energy storage is a challenge that one funded project is addressing, Powell said.

Plans call for generating excess solar power during the day that will be used to compress air that will be stored, he said. When darkness curtails energy production, the stored compressed air can be used to drive turbines to generate electricity, he said.

Another project is using nanotechnology to improve the efficiency of thin-film solar devices while driving the price down, said Ray Kostuk, UA professor of electrical and computer engineering. Ultra-thin coatings will cause sunlight to spend more time exciting the elements in thin-film devices so they produce more electricity, Kostuk said.

Other projects are:
  • Concentrator photovoltaics to develop the next generation of low-cost solar reflectors that concentrate the sun's energy on high-efficiency photovoltaic cells.
  • Quickly testing and certifying solar products to determine the performance of new and improved technologies.
  • An improved system of "smart" electric grid management and command and control software to help select future power generation sites, storage sites and distribution and transmission pathways throughout the state.
Science Foundation Arizona is a nonprofit public-private partnership that invests areas of strategic importance to the state, including renewable energy and biomedicine.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Will geothermal stocks be heating up in the new administration?

Besides several types of alternative energy stocks, including solar energy stocks, wind energy stocks, ethanol stock and flywheel stocks, there still is an alternative energy that hasn't received much press coverage: geothermal stocks. Geothermal generation utilizes natural underground heat sources to power a turbine which drives a generator. Geothermal comes from the Greek words geo, which means earth, and therme, meaning heat. The literal translation of geothermal is "earth heat." And as it turns out, several of these geothermal stocks are heating up:
  • Calpine Corporation: Founded in 1984, this San Jose based company provides electricity in the United States and Canada through the ownership and operation of its own power generation plants. They own 19 geothermal power plants at The Geysers in California.
  • Constellation Energy Group: This 1906 electrical generating company owns and operates generating plants and fuel processing facilities utilizing various types of fuel including nuclear, coal, natural gas, oil, solar, geothermal, hydro and biomass. Yield is 2.1%.
  • IdaCorp, Inc.: This holding company owns Idaho Power Company [IPC], which is involved in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy primarily in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. Their electrical generation comes from hydroelectric, natural gas, diesel, coal, and geothermal plants. The stock yields 3.3%.
  • Nevada Geothermal Power, Inc.: This company explores for and develops geothermal projects in the United States to provide electricity. They own a 100% leasehold interest in the Blue Mountain, Pumpernickel, Black Warrior projects in Nevada and the Crump Geyser Project in southern Oregon.
  • Ormat Technologies Inc.: This Nevada based company traded on the New York Stock Exchange and founded in 1965, owns, and operates geothermal power plants, selling electricity in the United States, Guatemala, Kenya, Nicaragua, and the Philippines. They also provide products and services to other geothermal power generators.
  • PG & E Corp.: This California-based electric and gas utility serves 5 million customers. Their electrical generation comes from natural gas, nuclear, hydro, coal, geothermal, wind, and several other types of renewable sources. Yields 2.9%.
  • Polaris Geothermal: The company is a developer of renewable energy in Latin America. They are currently developing a 66 MW geothermal project on its San Jacinto Tizate concession in Nicaragua.
  • Raser Technologies: This Utah based company traded on the New York Stock Exchange Arca exchange, and founded in 2003, develops high performance electric motor and controller technology. In addition, it has secured geothermal rights to certain Nevada properties owned by Truckee River Ranches, LLC, under the terms of a 50-year lease agreement.
  • Sierra Geothermal Power Corp: A– Sierra Geothermal is a developer of renewable power from geothermal sources. They have investments in 15 geothermal projects located in Nevada and California. Sierra has also recently completed an approximate $5 million private placement.
  • US Geothermal Inc.: This Boise based company, founded in 2002, is involved in the development of geothermal energy power plants in the Raft River area of Idaho.
  • Western GeoPower Corp: The company develops geothermal energy projects. They own the Unit 15 Steam Field located in The Geyser Geothermal Field in California, United States and the South Meager Geothermal Project in British Columbia, Canada.
  • WFI Industries: This Fort Wayne, Indiana company develops and manufactures geothermal heating and cooling systems, for both residential and commercial customers. The company has paid quarterly dividends since September 2003, and currently yields 2.2%. The stock is up over 60% during the last year.
  • We, at Future Power Generation, believe that geothermal energy will be one of the most reliable alternative, renewable and sustainable energy sources of the future. For this reason we invest mainly in geothermal energy. Please feel free to join us!

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    Calpine, GE Receive California Public Utilities Commission Approval of Power Purchase Agreement for Planned Bay Area State-of-the-Art Power Plant

    Calpine Corporation and GE unit GE Energy Financial Services announced today that the California Public Utilities Commission has approved an amended Power Purchase Agreement for a state-of-the-art combined-cycle natural gas power plant, Russell City Energy Center, to be built in Hayward.


    The agreement calls for Russell City Energy Company, LLC – owned 65% by a Calpine Corporation affiliate and 35% by a GE Energy Financial Services affiliate, to sell its full 600-megawatt output to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). In addition, PG&E will supply natural gas to the plant for the entire ten-year term of the contract, which is expected to begin in mid-year 2012.

    “Approval of the amended Power Purchase Agreement brings the Bay Area one step closer to reaping the benefits of the Russell City Energy Center, which will power 600,000 homes with reliable and environmentally responsible power – meeting the region’s growing demand for new energy sources.”
    Calpine designed the facility using the best available emissions controls. It will be 40% more fuel efficient and significantly cleaner than comparable older technology plants by using advanced “combined-cycle” technology, which captures exhaust from gas turbines and generates additional energy in a steam turbine. In addition to providing a clean, local source of electricity, Russell City will be one of Hayward’s largest users of recycled water. The Russell City Energy Center will create 650 union construction jobs and inject millions of dollars into the local economy. The project also is expected to generate approximately $30 million in one-time tax revenue and $4 million annually in new property tax revenue. Calpine has reached an agreement with the City of Hayward to fund $10 million in community benefits that will improve the quality of life for Hayward residents.
    Mark Mellana, a Managing Director of Operating and Development at GE Energy Financial Services, said"> “Today's approval of the amended Power Purchase Agreement for the Russell City power plant project marks another crucial step in our work with our experienced partner, Calpine, to bring a critical new infrastructure asset to the San Francisco Bay Area.”
    The Power Purchase Agreement, originally signed in 2006, was amended in 2008 to reflect a new facility online date and contract price. The amended agreement received the endorsement of the Department of Ratepayer Advocates, The Utility Reform Network and California Unions for Reliable Energy.

    Calpine, one of California's largest power providers, currently operates 37 power plants in the state, which combined are capable of generating more than 5,200 megawatts of electricity. This is equivalent to almost 10 percent of peak California power demand and is enough electricity to power more than 5 million Californian households. Calpine also is the state's largest renewable energy provider.

    About Calpine

    Calpine Corporation is helping meet the needs of an economy that demands more and cleaner sources of electricity. Founded in 1984, Calpine is a major U.S. power company, currently capable of delivering over 24,000 megawatts of clean, cost-effective, reliable and fuel-efficient electricity to customers and communities in 16 states in the United States and Canada. Calpine owns, leases and operates low-carbon, natural gas-fired and renewable geothermal power plants. Using advanced technologies, Calpine generates electricity in a reliable and environmentally responsible manner for the customers and communities it serves. Please visit www.calpine.com for more information.

    About GE Energy Financial Services

    GE Energy Financial Services’ experts invest globally with a long-term view, backed by the best of GE’s technical know-how, financial strength and rigorous risk management, across the capital spectrum, in one of the world’s most capital-intensive industries, energy. GE Energy Financial Services helps its customers and GE grow through new investments, strong partnerships and optimization of its more than $22 billion in assets. GE Energy Financial Services is based in Stamford, Connecticut. For more information, visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com.

    About GE

    GE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.ge.com. GE is Imagination at Work.

    Forward-Looking Information

    In addition to historical information, this release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Words such as "believe," "intend," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "may," "will" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Such statements include, among others, those concerning expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans, as well as assumptions, expectations, predictions, intentions or beliefs about future events. You are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that a number of risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Please see the risks identified in this release or in Calpine's reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the risk factors identified in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008. These filings are available by visiting the Securities and Exchange Commission's web site at www.sec.gov or Calpine's web site at www.calpine.com. Actual results or developments may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, and Calpine undertakes no obligation to update any such statements.

    Source: Calpine Corporation

    For Calpine: Norma F. Dunn, 713-830-8883 (Media Relations) - norma.dunn@calpine.com
    Andre Walker, 713-830-8775 (Investor Relations) - andrew@calpine.com
    or For GE: Andy Katell, 203-961-5773 (Media Relations)

    Friday, 3 April 2009

    Do you think that nuclear energy is the solution of the future?

    Do you think that nuclear energy is the solution of the future?

    Is nuclear energy a solution for our future power generation?

    30 years after the Three Mile Island accident, a number of prominent scientists and politicians - including President Barack Obama - insist nuclear power must play a role if the United States wean itself from foreign oil and reduce carbon emissions. 

    But there is a nuclear dilemma, besides the nuclear waste problem with a radioactive half-life of hundreds of years, nuclear power generation is not carbon-free - it emits about one- fourth as much pollution as coal-fired plants.

    What do you think?

    Is nuclear energy the solution of the future?
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