Renew On Line (UK) 68
|Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 168 July-Aug 2007
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
10. US news
New US plan
Over 150 organizations and businesses from 38 states have endorsed the ‘Sustainable Energy Blueprint’ for the USA, a policy document developed by member groups of the Sustainable Energy Coalition as ‘a plausible strategy and timeframe for rapidly expanding the use of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies to enable a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gases, while simultaneously phasing out nuclear power and ending most energy imports’.
By 2050, the Blueprint says that efficiency should reduce energy use by 40% and renewables would account for half of total energy supplies. By 2025, at least 25% of liquid transportation fuels should come from renewables, including renewably-generated hydrogen, while at least 25% of electricity should be mandated to be generated by renewables. By that year, state or federal standards should mandate that 20% of all new buildings must be ‘zero energy’ and moving towards a goal of all new buildings being ‘zero energy’ by 2050 ‘using a combination of efficient design and clean on-site energy production’.
Annual federal funding for research and deployment of renewables ‘should be at least doubled over the next five years and expanded to no less than five times current levels by 2025’, and the ‘expansion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean distributed generation technologies should be promoted through national interconnection standards (net metering and transmission access reforms), production and investment tax incentives, government procurement, updated resource assessment, and state and local planning programs’.
Meanwhile, the American Solar Energy Society has produced a report
claiming that renewables could provide 50% of US electricity by 2030,
while an analysis commissioned by Greenpeace USA, and the European Renewable
Energy Council claims that the US can address global warming without
relying on nuclear power or so-called ‘clean coal’. Their
report, ‘Energy Revolution: A Blueprint for Solving Global Warming’,
outlines a global energy scenario in which nearly 80% of US electricity
comes from renewables, and US carbon emissions are cut by 72%, by 2050.
See our Reviews section.
The overall energy programme outlined by President Bush in his State of the Union address earlier this year may not have been very radical, but even so funding for renewables in the US is beginning to expand. Out of the $24.3 billion requested by Bush for the overall US Dept. of Energy Fiscal 2008 budget, approximately $1.24 billion will be allocated to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy- up $60m or 5% from 2007. It includes $179m for biomass; $148m for the Solar America Initiative; $213m for hydrogen technology & fuel cell development; $176m for vehicle efficiency technology; and $40m for wind projects.
One of the biggest gains was for the biofuels initiative, which, as
Bush outlined in his Sate of the Union Address, is now designed to help
the U.S. reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years and
aims to make cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012 through research
and development of biomass made from switch grass, wood chips and corn
stalks. Renewable Energy Access noted that the $179 million for the
Biofuels Initiative was an increase of $29 million or 19% from 2007.
The US Geothermal Energy Association criticized the lack of funding in the FY08 budget for geothermal energy research and noted that, in the past year, there have been a number of reports released from leading education & renewable energy organizations, including MIT, on the potential of geothermal. MIT’s recent study highlighted how new drilling technology could revitalize our approach to geothermal energy- see our Technology section.
* The DOE 2008 budget request also includes $2.7bn for expanding Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative, which he unveiled in his 2006 State of the Union Address. That’s a 26% increase above the FY 2007 request of $2.1 bn, and 53% above FY 2006. The initiative seeks to reduce US dependence on imported energy by promoting cleaner sources of electricity production and to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies, such as biomass, hydrogen, and solar energy; clean coal technologies through FutureGen; and nuclear energy technologies, through the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership- which seeks to create a new global nuclear regime in which uranium fuel is provided to host countries in the developing world by the US and spent fuel returned to the US for reprocessing. From: RenewableEnergyAccess.com, US DoE
330GW of offshore US wind
There is potential for 330GW of windfarm capacity off the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast, according researchers at the University of Delaware and Stanford University, in a study published in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters, a peer-review scientific journal produced by the American Geophysical Union. The estimate of the full resource of 330 GW was based on the installation of 166,720 turbines, each of 5 MW capacity. The turbines would be located at various distances from shore, to 100 m of water depth, over an ocean area spanning 50,000 square miles from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras. The 330GW would be the average output of the entire offshore wind resource and the researchers acknowledged that offshore wind is not uniform, but the study shows that multiple sites could be connected through power lines to reduce the number of times of both maximum and minimum power. The region’s current summer demand is for 73 GW of electricity. Source: Refocus Weekly
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