Brief update for December 14, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tomorrow the Maine Ocean Energy Task Force will release its final recommendations for up to four sites for demonstration offshore wind energy projects. The short list of potential sites:
  • near Boon Island off York in southern Maine
  • near Damariscove Island south of Boothbay Harbor
  • beyond Monhegan Island off Port Clyde
  • off Cutler in eastern Maine

In Copenhagen, U.S. Secretary of Energy Chu will announce a $350 million plan ($85 million of which will come from the US) — to spread renewable and non-polluting energy technologies in developing countries. The Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (REDI) will have four components:
  • Solar and LED Energy Access Program (eliminate kerosene lamps where there is no electricity supply)
  • Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Program (promote high-efficiency appliances)
  • Clean Energy Information Platform (information exchange to spread clean energy technologies)
  • Scaling-up the Renewable Energy Program (policy support and technical assistance to low-income countries to cover capital costs associated with renewable energy investment)

Check out this Maine Sunday Telegram article suggesting wind power might not be as promising in southern Maine as expected. The article quotes Habib Dagher, director of the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center, as emphasizing that siting of projects must be done based on wind potential, as opposed to whatever municipal land is available. Failing to do so can be costly: Kittery and Saco each paid $200,000 for turbines from PEI's Entegrity Wind Systems. Each was promised 90,000 kWh per year, with Entegrity promising to reimburse the towns for any shortfall. Over a year later, Kittery has produced only about 35,000 kWh, with Saco producing only 16,000 kWh in 18 months. Compounding the disappointment, Entegrity is being liquidated by a Canadian bankruptcy court and is unlikely to be able to cover the towns' losses.

This Village Soup / Capital Weekly article describes the fate of the former American Tissue mill site in Augusta, Maine. What will come in next?

Meanwhile, on the climate front, this Science Daily article reports on a study that suggests that a forest's capacity to regenerate after disturbance (e.g. harvesting) is affected by the ambient climate. (The study found that trillium regenerated after disturbance in the Smoky Mountains, but not in Oregon.) Could similar factors be affected Maine's deer hunt?

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