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Storing Wind Energy as Hydrogen

Makes the case for coupling hydrogen production with wind farms in order to deliver more dispatchable power; lessen the need for transmission capacity; as well as other important bottom line benefits.

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This post answers the recently much hyped focus on wind’s variability problem, quantifying it in clear cost terms that put it in perspective. The post helps clarify the differences between energy, capacity and the ancillary services surrounding ensuring capacity and goes on to answer some of the other related problems that have been alleged for wind energy as its penetration level increases.

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Wind farms up here in the Pacific Northwest may soon be shut down temporarily because there is no transmission capacity to move this green renewable power to where it is needed. A record snowfall in the mountains at the headwaters of the Columbia river system is about to begin melting and will send a surge of water down the river. Because this water cannot be sent over the spill ways without endangering already endangered Salmon and Steelhead fish it needs to be run through the turbines. There is just too much power for the regional markets and the existing transmission infrastructure to handle and thus wind farms are likely to be idled. What this exposes is the need for an improved Ultra high voltage long distance electric transmission network that is capable of moving surplus power from one region to another.

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The WINDPOWER 2011 Conference & Exhibition, organized by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), is coming up this month and will run from May 22nd through the 25th, and will be held this year in Anaheim, California. On Sunday May 22nd, it will kick off with a Careers in Wind Summit, a full, one-day event that precedes WINDPOWER, and consists of two concurrent parts: the WINDPOWER “Careers in Wind” Educational Seminars, and the WINDPOWER “Careers in Wind” Job Fair & Exhibition.

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New technologies, feed-in tariffs, and tax credits are helping propel the small wind industry, especially in the United States. Once found mostly in rural areas, small wind installations are now starting to pop up on urban rooftops.

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Utilities don’t like wind not because it’s not competitive, but because it brings prices down for their existing assets, thus lowering their revenues and their profits. Thus the permanent propaganda campaign against wind. The reality is that wind power brings prices down for consumers.

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The first comprehensive update to Unites States wind potential estimates in 17 years helps renewable energy proponents by providing solid data for development and legislation. However, the wind power industry needs an improved electrical grid in order to transport and sell wind-generated energy…

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Supporting the local economy, promoting green jobs, encouraging energy conservation. These are some of the benefits that small-scale wind projects can offer–and are beginning to deliver in a big way despite market barriers.

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The RES Alliance for Jobs, a coalition of America’s renewable energy companies and national renewable energy associations, has released a new study showing that a 25% by 2025 national Renewable Electricity Standard would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the United States. The “Jobs Impact of a National Renewable Electricity Standard” study found that a 25% by 2025 national RES would result in 274,000 more renewable energy jobs over no-national RES policy. This additional employment is equivalent to 2.36 million additional job-years by 2025. The study found that new jobs would be supported by renewable energy in every region of the United States. While the biomass, hydropower and waste-to-energy industries would see significant job gains in the Southeast, the states of the Great Plains and Midwest would employ thousands developing their wind resources and the Western United States would see job gains in its solar and hydropower industries. Without stronger near-term targets than currently envisioned, the study found that industries like wind will experience flat job growth and long-term stagnation, while the U.S. biomass industry could collapse altogether. The Alliance recommends that aggressive near and long-term federal RES targets should be pursued in order to attract manufacturing investment in the sector and to ensure global competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy industry.

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