While other parts of the world are busy actually building national Ultra High Voltage (UHV) transmission infrastructure the US continues to do noting more substantial than litigate. A UHV super grid would be able to move renewable energy from where it is abundant to where people live and work, and do so at an economic cost. This kind of national electric energy infrastructure would enable solar, wind, hydro and geothermal generated electric power to reach market. It is a critical piece of the kind of future energy infrastructure we will need in order to continue to prosper. John goes into a lot of detail and provides numerous links to examples and more in depth reading on this very important subject.
This post takes a look at hydro power potential in the US, which is significant. For example, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has estimated that there is more than 12GW of untapped capacity at existing dams across the US; this is in part due to the fact that only 3% of existing dams generate electricity. Furthermore a 2006 DOE report noted that in every region realistic increases in generation capacity ranged from a minimum of 50% to well over 100%, which represents a lot of potential additional power. Large dams have serious environmental issues, disrupting Salmon runs for example, but a lot more power can be generated from existing dams and from less disruptive run of the river hydro.
Among the many measures the world can take to wean itself off fossil fuels, few match the benefits of making homes, business, and cars more energy-efficient. But financial and psychological barriers have kept individuals, businesses, and governments from realizing efficiency’s great potential.
The DOE’s “SunShot” initiative which is modeled after the highly successful Apollo moon shot program aims to spur innovations and rationalizations that will together slash the total system cost of solar photovoltaic systems by three quarters within this decade. If it manages to achieve these goals then solar PV would become cost competitive with other […]
Streamlining the building code process for solar installation could help rooftop solar reach price parity with the average price for electric power on the grid. This key price point is also known as grid parity. Permitting costs will add $1 billion to the price structure of solar over the next five years. This article poses the following question: With widely adopted standardization of best practices in solar system construction/installation in place and the 10-20 years of performance certification on actual operating systems in the field, why then is the permitting process stuck in time and why is solar treated as if it were still an experimental niche rarity that needed to prove itself before the building code bureaucrats can give it their thumbs up.
Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Steven Chu announces $50 million in funding for solar energy grid parity demonstration program for innovative solar technologies leading to cost-competitive solar energy that helps solar reach this important milestone.
DOE Announces New Biofuel Grant Programs for $30 Million for Research to Advance the Next Generation of Biofuels
GRANT ALERT: The DOE is accepting applications for small-scale process integration projects supporting the development of advanced biofuels that will be able to replace gasoline or diesel without requiring special upgrades or changes to the vehicle or fueling infrastructure.
What is the meaning and importance of embodied energy as a measure of sustainability and why we need to develop widely accepted standards for embodied energy? This article explores this somewhat arcane concept that seeks to measure how much energy is “embodied” in a product or service; in other words how much energy is used throughout the entire life cycle of the thing being measured including the energy required by decommissioning, disassembly and deconstruction.
Energy companies are rushing to develop unconventional sources of oil and gas trapped in carbon-rich shales and sands throughout the western United States and Canada. So far, government officials have shown little concern for the environmental consequences of this new fossil-fuel development boom.