Renewable Energy Focus

With $6.5 billion loan, nuclear energy gets new life in U.S. - Feb 24

Although Republicans lambasted Department of Energy (DOE) programs that support renewable energy with loans topping out at about $500,000, mums the word when the agency announced 6 times more in loans for each of two new nuclear reactors. Last week, the DOE gave the final approval for a $6.5 billion loan to build the first nuclear reactors in 30 years - by Southern Company in Georgia. Another conditional loan for $1.8 billion will likely be given to one of the partners, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.

California geothermal energy potential largely untapped

Domestic Fuel - Feb 20

The Geothermal Energy Association has released a new report to coincide with the California Air Resources Board’s development of a scoping plan for implementing their climate law AB 32. The report finds that California’s geothermal resources remain largely untapped. Geothermal power generated 4.4 percent of total system power in California in 2012, but could have generated substantially more. The report also found that about half of California’s identified geothermal resources are still untapped, and significant resources may remain undiscovered.

LA's ambitious rooftop solar program delivering promised results

eSolar Energy News - Feb 18

Los Angeles' groundbreaking new rooftop solar energy program is delivering on its promise to bring cost-effective, clean power to tens of thousands of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers, and is ready for a significant expansion that would bring even greater benefits to Angelenos, according to a report issued today by J.R. DeShazo, Director of UCLA's Luskin Center for Innovation. Based on the successful rollout, the research team concluded that the "FiT 100" is on track to deliver 100 megawatts of carbon-free energy by 2015 – enough to power more than 21,000 homes annually.

PTC extension priority for new senate finance chief

Wind Power Monthly - Feb 12

Legislation to renew a package of tax breaks, including the U.S. wind industry's crucial production tax credit (PTC), will be a priority for the incoming chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. The PTC is among 55 tax provisions that expired at the end of last year. Max Baucus and Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House tax-writing committee, allowed them to lapse in favor of working on a broader tax code overhaul.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

2 solar projects approved in California Nevada

Yahoo! News - Feb 20

Federal officials announced the approval of two solar energy plants on public lands in California and Nevada, angering environmentalists who say the facilities will endanger desert tortoises. The plants were expected to supply 550 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 170,000 homes. The Stateline Solar Farm Project is slated for a site in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, near the Nevada line. Across the border, the Silver State South Solar Project will be located near Primm, Nevada.

Large-scale solar plants face challenges ahead

New York Times - Feb 13

The Ivanpah solar power plant stretches over more than five square miles of the Mojave Desert. Almost 350,000 mirrors the size of garage doors tilt toward the sun with an ability to energize 140,000 homes. The plant, which took almost four years and thousands of workers assembling millions of parts to complete, officially opened on Thursday, the first electric generator of its kind. It could also be the last. Since the project began, the price of rival technologies has plummeted, incentives have begun to disappear, and the appetite among investors for mammoth solar farms has waned. Although several large, new projects have been coming online in recent months — many in the last quarter of 2013 — experts say fewer are beginning construction and not all of those under development will be completed.

California opens world's largest solar power farm - as evidence emerges that it leaves birds who fly over “scorched”

The Independent UK - Feb 16

Environmentalists in California face a difficult dilemma after it emerged that a brand new solar power plant could actually be scorching to death some birds that fly over it. The system produces power by reflecting light from more than 300,000 giant mirrors onto three water towers. The sunlight hitting the towers can create temperatures of up to 1,000F (530C), producing steam, which then drives generator turbines. Yet this process also creates an extremely hot “thermal flux” around the tower, and biologists producing compliance reports for developer BrightSource Energy said that at least two dead birds found on the site in November last year were likely killed by “scorching."


Topics:  DOE, Geothermal Energy, Nuclear Power, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Tax Credits

Published In: Energy & Utilities Updates, Environmental Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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