Archive for the ‘Renewables’ Category
About five days ago, the Maryland House of Delegates passed a key bill supporting and incentivizing the creation of approximately 40 large wind turbines off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. The House bill passed by 88 to 47. Now this bill is in the Maryland Senate Finance Committee.
At AREVA we are strong supporters and producers of offshore wind technologies, and see its huge potential in the American marketplace as a key energy and economic solution. We think this letter to the editor at the Washington Post shows a great deal of wisdom:
There are 49 offshore wind farms in Europe, zero in America. As wind farms are built along the Atlantic coast and economies of scale prevail, the price will come down significantly. And all this will happen as climate change intensifies, pushing governments to further hasten to phase out carbon fuels. So offshore wind — Maryland’s most abundant renewable resource — is a good bet. By investing now, we dramatically increase the chance our state will be a regional manufacturing hub for turbines and supply-chain parts as other states follow our lead.
The Maryland Senate is set to adjourn for the year next Monday, so it is a crucial time to advance the bill forward this year. Quoted in today’s Washington Post, Governor O’Malley summed up the current status of the Senate Bill, “We still have some persuading to do in the Senate committee.”
Good to see news sites like Talking Points Memo Idealab covering our recent announcement on AREVA Solar and the Arizona’s Tuscon Electric Power:
A coal-fired electrical plant in Tucson, Ariz., is going green — or at least “greener” — partnering with a French, state-owned nuclear company to install a solar add-on that will generate enough clean electricity to power 600 homes using high-pressure, superheated steam warmed by a series of mirrors.
The new solar project is expected to begin construction in Spring 2012 and to be up and running at the current H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station in Tucson by 2013, according to a news release from plant operator Tucson Electric Power and AREVA, the French energy company behind the solar technology.
“Solar booster projects like this are gaining momentum in the United States and around the world as a way to leverage existing power infrastructure to provide needed energy with no new emissions,” said Bill Gallo, CEO of AREVA Solar, in the joint news release on Tuesday.
You can read the entire article here.
Yesterday we saw another very solid well reasoned and powerful op-ed from former administrator of the EPA, Christine Todd Whitman.
And we applaud the argument that it isn’t “nuclear vs. renewables” but that nuclear energy provides a crucial compliment to renewable energy sources as an always on backstop or “baseload” source of energy. As she put it well:
Renewable power suffers from problems of intermittency; it is very difficult to predict how much the wind will blow or how strong the sun will shine. The American electricity grid — built to connect massive, centralized, “always on” power plants to consumers — is unable to handle the unpredictability that a substantial increase in renewable power would bring. Natural gas, too, faces economic hurdles — it has a history of rapid and extreme price fluctuations that have made utilities reluctant to rely on it.
Until these problems are solved, our electricity system requires a stable, cheap source of energy to provide “always on” baseload power. The only candidates for such power in today’s energy mix are nuclear or coal power plants. We are learning that mining and burning coal provides too much danger to human health to base our electricity system on it: a new study in the American Economic Review has found that the air pollution emitted by coal-fired electricity generation is greater than the value it adds to economy. Nuclear power, on the other hand, can provide emissions-free baseload power at a low cost.
Today, a total of 104 nuclear reactors are operational around the country. They provide about 20 percent of the country’s total electricity. No other electricity source can combine the benefits of knowing that it will always be on with its affordability and its lack of emissions….This cheap, always available, zero-carbon power is an important backstop to the growth of new technologies. It can help smooth the price fluctuations that natural gas is vulnerable to and it provides the “always on” capacity that renewable power cannot.
Read the whole article here.
During the World Energy Council, Jacques Besnainou, CEO of AREVA North America, spoke with Llewellyn King about Safety Lessons from Fukushima, Used Fuel Recycling in the U.S., AREVA’s activities in North America, and the Energy Future. His comments are posted to “The White House Chronicle” blog, along with Barry Worthington of the United States Energy Association, Karl Rose of the World Energy Council, and Joan Macnaughton from Alstom.
The full video is below; Mr. Besnainou’s comments run from 18:59 – 26:32.
As we have noted before, we think there are important lessons to be learned from Germany’s efforts to phase out nuclear power. In the end, less nuclear seems to irrevocably lead to simply this: burning more fossil fuel, generating more carbon emissions and less energy independence.
The latest writer to notice this posted an article at The New Republic, “How Germany Phased Out Nuclear Power, Only to be Mugged By Reality.”
“Yet in bowing to the country’s strong anti-nuclear movement, Germany appears to have suddenly gone off track: Within the last year the country has gone from a net exporter of energy to a net importer, and the carbon intensity of the energy it purchases has risen as well. Now, with its energy politics in turmoil, Germany is serving as a very different sort of model for environmentalists: how not to go green.”
The world hit a milestone as expected this week, with global celebrations highlighting the birth of the symbolic 7 Billionth baby born….
Countries around the world marked the world’s population reaching 7 billion Monday with lavish ceremonies for newborn infants symbolizing the milestone and warnings that there may be too many humans for the planet’s resources….While demographers are unsure exactly when the world’s population will reach the 7 billion mark, the U.N. is using Monday to symbolically mark the day. A string of festivities are being held worldwide, with a series of symbolic 7-billionth babies being born.
Dr. Eric Tayag of the Philippines’ Department of Health said later that the birth came with a warning. “Seven billion is a number we should think about deeply,” he said.
We agree. Seven billion people — not to mention the projected growth rates from here — is a sobering statistic. As many commentators are pointing out, this accelerating population brings up important and pressing global health, housing, education, food and environmental questions.
But we also know undergirding and influencing all of these issues are the immediate questions of energy and sustainability.
Our global future requires a considered and balanced approach combining expanded renewable and nuclear energy solutions to provide and maintain steady, reliable, low-carbon power. This need is clear. How we accomplish it requires creative cooperation still hobbled by polarizing activism.
We must focus on these larger and harder questions together. We now have seven billion reasons to do so, and counting.
We saw two stories on offshore wind power that we’re “must-read” stories … First, this from the environmental blog CleanTechnica that notices a key new study on the potential for US offshore wind power.
Though well established and growing fast in Europe, offshore wind power has yet to get off the ground – or in the water – in the US. That’s despite the tremendous potential offshore wind holds in terms of supplying vast amounts of clean, renewable electricity to highly populated areas all along the US East, West, Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes’ coasts.
Pike Research forecasts that investment in US offshore wind power will rise steeply over the next six years, with revenue reaching $104 billion by 2017. That’s a 56% constant annual growth rate (CAGR). They could reach as high as $130.5 billion under different assumptions incorporated in a “more aggressive scenario,” according to Pike Research’s “Offshore Wind Power” report.
Source: Clean Technica
The blog post continues, comparing the cost and benefit of offshore wind to other energy sources and concludes that “the US populace would continue to be ill-served if their government representatives do not establish fair, equitable support and incentives for developing a largely homegrown industry with such economic, social and environmental benefits and advantages.”
The full report from Pike Research is here.
Then there was also this from the Baltimore Sun, noting how Maryland is potentially a new venue for offshore wind, and is looking at exactly the type of energy questions for their power needs:
Advocates of developing offshore wind power have come to Baltimore this week with optimism that they’re creeping closer to putting the first turbines off the Atlantic coast, but worried that Washington could pull the plug on the fledgling industry just as it gets started.Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are scheduled to open a three-day conference put on by the American Wind Energy Association.
The future of offshore wind in Maryland may ride on what happens in the next several months, as lawmakers and O’Malley aides chew over whether to ask ratepayers to subsidize offshore turbines off Ocean City or off neighboring states. Lawmakers balked at the idea last winter, tabling it for furrther study. Supporters released a pair of polls this week suggesting that large majorities of Marylanders favor offshore wind and would even be willing to pay more ($2 a month, even) to get it going.
You can read the entire story on this here.
by Steven Cuevas, Director of Business Development, AREVA Wind
During the recent RETECH conference in Washington, D.C., I was privileged to host offshore wind industry leaders in a robust and detailed roundtable discussion addressing the latest issues and challenges of offshore wind in the United States.
By including a range of international and domestic offshore wind perspectives, including developers, financiers, industry agencies, state government, turbine manufacturers, and consultants, the group’s discussion explored and brainstormed unique concepts for structuring effective business models and policy.
Blogger Ben Heard recently posted about solar power and AREVA on his Southern Australian blog, Decarbonize SA. He noted that AREVA Renewables, which was awarded funding under the Australian Government Solar Flagships Program for our 250-megawatt Solar Dawn concept, was part of the larger AREVA family (including nuclear power), and rhetorically asked if that put us in the category of “Saint” or “Sinner” or “Just Big Business.” Here’s where he settled:
Those who retain concerns that nuclear power is “big business”, and seek to buck the system by insisting on renewables, please just be aware of the following. Billion dollar energy investments, such as we need to decarbonise, whatever the technology, is nothing but big business.
Corporations are the vehicles for getting things like that done, be it solar, nuclear or other. In all cases, we deserve vigilant governance to ensure citizens get the best outcome. That is irrespective of the technology.
Indeed, we’ve long been clean energy fans; believing that large-scale, low-carbon power production with nuclear and renewables was both crucial and good for the planet, and good for jobs, the economy and business.