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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Wind Energy Helps Build a More Reliable and Balanced Electricity Portfolio

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
U.S. Wind Energy Share of Electricity Generation by State During 2013

AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION
Some of the most common questions about wind energy focus on how wind can be reliably integrated into the power system. A key source of confusion is that, contrary to most people’s intuitive experience that winds are variable and electricity demand and supply is stable, the opposite is actually true at the grid operator scale. The following report answers 15 of the most frequently asked questions with lessons learned from grid operators’ experiences reliably integrating large amounts of wind. Concise answers to these questions are provided here in the executive summary, while citations and explanations of the supporting data and analysis for those answers can be found by following the hyperlinks to the relevant sections of the full report below.

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Fuel Cell Buses in U.S. Transit Fleets

Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Table ES-1. Summary of FCEB Performance Compared to DOE/FTA Targets

NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY
This report, published annually, summarizes the progress of fuel cell electric bus (FCEB) development in the United States and discusses the achievements and challenges of introducing fuel cell propulsion in transit.

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EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Reliability

Monday, February 16th, 2015
Figure 1 Application of BSER for 2030 CO2 Emissions Rate Standards by State

THE BRATTLE GROUP
The United States (“U.S.”) power system is undergoing a fundamental transformation, largely driven by advances in technology and low natural gas prices. This transformation is putting significant pressure on existing coal-fired and even nuclear generation, increasingly leads to renewable energy resources being cost-competitive with fossil-fired generation, and results in myriad choices for consumers that promise to permanently alter the role of demand in the power system. As a consequence, the fuel mix and associated emissions of the U.S. power system are changing rapidly, as are the actions taken by system operators to manage the quickly evolving electric system.

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Balancing Airport Stormwater and Bird Hazard Management

Friday, February 6th, 2015
Likelihood of striking birds

Airports have historically incorporated BMPs to comply with these requirements, such as stormwater detention ponds and vegetated swales, many of which have exposed open water, vegetation, and other design characteristics that attract wildlife. Research shows that 10 of the 15 bird species most hazardous to aircraft are highly attracted to these types of water features (DeVault et al. 2011)…To address this hazardous wildlife concern, the FAA has established guidelines for airport stormwater management to provide for aircraft safety.

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EPA: Technology Promotes Environmental Protection

Friday, January 30th, 2015
EPA: Technology Promotes Environmental Protection

EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center is an environmental forensic center. NEIC scientists work with a variety of technologies to monitor, collect data and analyze pollutants in the environment to better understand the threat to human health and ecosystems. Advanced technologies provide tools for scientists to measure, sometimes in near real-time, pollutants emitted from both large and small sources that can adversely affect entire communities.

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Boston: Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Infrastructure

Thursday, January 29th, 2015
methane fig1

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (PNAS)
Most recent analyses of the environmental impact of natural gas have focused on production, with very sparse information on emissions from distribution and end use. This study quantifies the full seasonal cycle of methane emissions and the fractional contribution of natural gas for the urbanized region centered on Boston. Emissions from natural gas are found to be two to three times larger than predicted by existing inventory methodologies and industry reports. Our findings suggest that natural-gas–consuming regions may be larger sources of methane to the atmosphere than is currently estimated and represent areas of significant resource loss.

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Going Solar in America: Ranking Solar Value to Consumers

Monday, January 26th, 2015
Overall City Rankings

Most Americans are unaware of the true financial value of solar today. Seen by many as a technological luxury, solar energy is not seriously considered as an option by most homeowners in the U.S. However, our analysis shows that, in 46 of America’s 50 largest cities, a fully-financed, typically-sized solar PV system is a better investment than the stock market, and in 42 of these cities, the same system already costs less than energy from a residential customer’s local utility…So why aren’t more Americans investing in solar? There is a clear information gap, and with this report, we intend to open the eyes of average homeowners by showing that solar can generate both significant monthly savings and long-term investment value, and not infrequently, cost less than energy from some of America’s largest electric utilities.

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Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
epa1

UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) General Information The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD) has finalized the science report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence.The purpose of this report is to summarize the current scientific understanding about the connectivity and […]

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Wind Energy Saves Consumers Money

Monday, January 12th, 2015
Wind Energy Chart

AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION
Wind energy’s consumer benefits stem from wind energy’s fuel price stability. Wind is one of the few energy sources that offers perfect fuel price stability that can be locked in up front, as wind’s fuel cost will always be zero. For all other major conventional sources of electricity, fuel prices cannot be locked in for the long term and are often set by the spot market. The costs of these fuel price increases and risk are passed directly on to consumers through their electric bills. In contrast, wind energy is more like a fixed-rate mortgage, locking in the fuel price for the life of the power plant.

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Our Energy Tomorrow: The State of American Energy

Friday, January 9th, 2015
hydropower

America now occupies a position of energy leadership that was unthinkable a short time ago. Gone are the days of uncertainty and concern over having the supply of energy we need, when we need it. Today, the United States is the world’s top producer of natural gas, the world’s leading refiner of petroleum products, and very soon could be the leading producer of oil…But this is only part of America’s larger energy story. The United States is in the midst of a new era in domestic energy abundance characterized by rising use of renewable energy and increased oil and natural gas production that is strengthening our economic outlook and enabling America to emerge as a global energy superpower.

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