Monday, February 25, 2013

Fwd: Rethinking wind power. Another reason solar is the best resource

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rebecca Van Nichols
Date: Monday, February 25, 2013
Subject: Rethinking wind power
To: Monty Bannerman <>

Rethinking wind power
Mon, 02/25/2013 - 11:32am
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"People have often thought there's no upper bound for wind power—that it's one of the most scalable power sources," says Harvard University applied physicist David Keith. After all, gusts and breezes don't seem likely to "run out" on a global scale in the way oil wells might run dry.

Yet the latest research in mesoscale atmospheric modeling, published in Environmental Research Letters, suggests that the generating capacity of large-scale wind farms has been overestimated.

Each wind turbine creates behind it a "wind shadow" in which the air has been slowed down by drag on the turbine's blades. The ideal wind farm strikes a balance, packing as many turbines onto the land as possible, while also spacing them enough to reduce the impact of these wind shadows. But as wind farms grow larger, they start to interact, and the regional-scale wind patterns matter more.

Keith's research has shown that the generating capacity of very large wind power installations (larger than 100 square kilometers) may peak at between 0.5 and 1 Watts per square meter. Previous estimates, which ignored the turbines' slowing effect on the wind, had put that figure at between 2 and 7 Watts per square meter.

In short, we may not have access to as much wind power as scientists thought.

An internationally renowned expert on climate science and technology policy, Keith holds appointments as Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and as Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Coauthor Amanda S. Adams was formerly a postdoctoral fellow with Keith and is now assistant professor of geography and Earth sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

"One of the inherent challenges of wind energy is that as soon as you start to develop wind farms and harvest the resource, you change the resource, making it difficult to assess what's really available," says Adams.

But having a truly accurate estimate matters, of course, in the pursuit of carbon-neutral energy sources. Solar, wind, and hydro power, for example, could all play roles in fulfilling energy needs that are currently met by coal or oil.

"If wind power's going to make a contribution to global energy requirements that's serious, 10 or 20% or more, then it really has to contribute on the scale of terawatts in the next half-century or less," says Keith.

If we were to cover the entire Earth with wind farms, he notes, "the system could potentially generate enormous amounts of power, well in excess of 100 terawatts, but at that point my guess, based on our climate modeling, is that the effect of that on global winds, and therefore on climate, would be severe—perhaps bigger than the impact of doubling carbon dioxide."

"Our findings don't mean that we shouldn't pursue wind power—wind is much better for the environment than conventional coal—but these geophysical limits may be meaningful if we really want to scale wind power up to supply a third, let's say, of our primary energy," Keith adds.

And the climatic effect of turbine drag is not the only constraint; geography and economics matter too.

"It's clear the theoretical upper limit to wind power is huge, if you don't care about the impacts of covering the whole world with wind turbines," says Keith. "What's not clear—and this is a topic for future research—is what the practical limit to wind power would be if you consider all of the real-world constraints. You'd have to assume that wind turbines need to be located relatively close to where people actually live and where there's a fairly constant wind supply, and that they have to deal with environmental constraints. You can't just put them everywhere."

"The real punch line," he adds, "is that if you can't get much more than half a watt out, and you accept that you can't put them everywhere, then you may start to reach a limit that matters."

In order to stabilize the Earth's climate, Keith estimates, the world will need to identify sources for several tens of terawatts of carbon-free power within a human lifetime. In the meantime, policymakers must also decide how to allocate resources to develop new technologies to harness that energy.

In doing so, Keith says, "It's worth asking about the scalability of each potential energy source—whether it can supply, say, 3 terawatts, which would be 10% of our global energy need, or whether it's more like 0.3 terawatts and 1%."

"Wind power is in a middle ground," he says. "It is still one of the most scalable renewables, but our research suggests that we will need to pay attention to its limits and climatic impacts if we try to scale it beyond a few terawatts."

Source: Harvard University

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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fwd: Ontario's Speech from the Throne Focuses on Common Ground of Strong Economy, Fair Society, Effective Legislature

See weasel wording on energy infrastructure.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Ontario News" <>
Date: Feb 19, 2013 3:44 PM
Subject: Ontario's Speech from the Throne Focuses on Common Ground of Strong Economy, Fair Society, Effective Legislature
To: <>

Ontario Newsroom Ontario Newsroom

News Release

Ontario's Speech from the Throne Focuses on Common Ground of Strong Economy, Fair Society, Effective Legislature

February 19, 2013

The New Ontario Government Emphasizing New Jobs, Strong Communities and Healthy, Engaged Citizens

The new Ontario government is working toward a stronger province that will create good jobs and build strong communities across the province.

The Honourable David C. Onley, Ontario's Lieutenant Governor, delivered the government's Speech from the Throne in the legislature today.

The speech highlighted the government's way forward to find common ground with the opposition so that Ontario can build a fair society, a strong economy and establish a more accountable legislature.

Highlights include:

  • Eliminating the deficit by 2017-18.
  • Introducing an even-handed approach to balancing the budget, allowing all parties to work together to find savings.
  • Establishing better accountability in the legislature.
  • Focusing on employment opportunities for Ontario's youth, in partnership with education, labour and private sector partners.
  • Ensuring municipalities and families have input on the location of energy infrastructure in their communities, while continuing to protect the environment and encourage conservation.
  • Ensuring a respectful partnership with labour leaders by building a sustainable process for wage negotiation through collective bargaining.
  • Continuing to build the best education and health care systems in the world.


  • David C. Onley is Ontario's 28th Lieutenant Governor. He represents Her Majesty the Queen of Canada.
  • This Speech from the Throne marks the beginning of the second session of the 40th Parliament of Ontario.
  • Kathleen Wynne is Ontario's first female premier.




"Our government is committed to cooperating with opposition parties to move Ontario forward. We will focus on balancing the budget and ensuring opportunities for every Ontarian without letting anyone slip through the cracks. When we work together, Ontario is a place of endless possibilities."
 — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario


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© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008 - 2013


Monday, February 18, 2013

Chilean government to invest $3.2 million in off-grid PV systems

Chilean government to invest $3.2 million in off-grid PV systems

18.02.2013: Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture plans to invest 1.5 billion CLP ($3.2 million) to build off-grid PV systems at water pumps in agricultural areas across Chile. The program is part of a 41 billion CLP ($87 million) government plan to improve the efficiency of the national water system. Developers will be selected through a bid process, with no further details provided. Source: Chilean Ministry of Agriculture

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


CA getting lots of offers at $0.17/kWh

LADWP sees strong interest in FIT program

18.02.2013: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the largest public utility in the US, said its FIT program received applications for 107 MW of potential solar projects during its opening week. On February 1, LADWP began accepting applications for the first 20 MW allocation of its 100 MW FIT program. The scheme is open to renewable energy projects ranging in size from 30 kW to 3 MW. Approved in January by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, the LADWP FIT Program allows customers, solar companies and other third parties to develop solar or other eligible renewable energy projects within LADWP’s service territory and sell all the power to LADWP at a set price. The FIT applications submitted so far include 2 MW of capacity for 22 small-scale solar projects ranging in size from 30 to 150 kW, and 105 MW for 76 larger projects ranging from 151 kW to 3 MW. Contracts for the first 20 MW will be awarded over the next five months. These first projects will receive 17¢ per kWh for 20 years. Subsequent 20 MW allocations will be made available every six months through 2016 until the full 100 MW is subscribed. The FIT will decline after each new 20 MW block is reserved. Source: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Thursday, February 7, 2013

FW: China Sentences 7 For Toxic Gel Capsules | News |

You would think these morons could find something non-toxic to cheat their
customers with, but they never do.

BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese state media say a court has sentenced seven people
to prison for producing chromium-tainted gel medicine capsules.

The scandal that was exposed in April 2012 was the latest to rock China's
pharmaceutical industry, which suffers from abundant fakery and substandard

The official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday that the seven received
sentences of up to 11 years for producing and selling toxic products. They
were sentenced Wednesday at a court in eastern Zhejiang province.

It says three companies run by them made and sold drug capsules with
industrial gelatin, which contained excessive levels of chromium, between
2010 and April 2012.
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Brazilian state of Minas Gerais launches support for solar at mines

Brazilian state of Minas Gerais launches solar atlas

07.02.2013: The governor of the Brazilian state of Bahia, Antonio Anastasia, has launched the online application »Atlas Solarim√©trico de Minas Gerais«, a new tool to improve the mapping of solar energy resources in the region. The atlas has been developed by the public utility Energy Company of Minas Gerais (CEMIG), headquartered in Belo Horizonte, in order to promote the use of renewable and solar energy for electricity production for the Brazilian mining companies and sites. CEMIG has started the construction of a 3 MW solar power project that consists of two commercial power plants and a pilot plant in the state of Minas Gerais in April 2012. Moreover, CEMIG signed an agreement with the German government-owned development bank KFW to finance a 1.4 MW PV project at a soccer stadium in Belo Horizonte in January 2013. Source: Governo de Minas Gerais

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Monday, February 4, 2013

solar mining

Sunedison plans 100 MW PV plant for Chilean mining company

04.02.2013: Solar developer SunEdison, a subsidiary of US wafer manufacturer MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., has signed an agreement with the Chilean mining and steel group CAP to develop a 100 MW PV plant located in the Acatama Desert, Chile. According to the company, the plant will cover 15 percent of the mining group’s energy needs. Once completed, the plant will be managed and monitored by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC). The company did not provide details on the current stage of the authorization process and on the investment for the project. Source: MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy