Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The eastern US grid can handle sourcing 20% or more of our power needs from wind. U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS). NREL analyzed the economic, operational, and technical implications of shifting 20 percent or more of the Eastern Interconnection’s electrical load to wind energy by the year 2024 -- and concluded that it's feasible. Note that in round numbers, 20% of the Eastern Interconnection means 225,000 MW of wind generation capacity in the region -- approximately ten times more wind than is online today.

WSJ reports that Germany is considering reducing the subsidies it gives solar-power providers by 15%. Why? Because the initial subsidy scheme succeeded in attracting enough photovoltaic generation -- or maybe too much? German Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle has called for a reduction in the feed-in tariff rates -- the rates that utilities are required to pay for electricity generated by distributed generation. Note that this cut is in addition to the pre-set statutory reductions that occur periodically.

What's the effect of the Massachusetts special Senate election on energy issues?

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