Category Archives: Renewable Energy Conference

>Greening California, SB X8 34, And Our Renewable Energy Revolution

>

SB X8 34 is not the latest robotics model. It is a new bill from California.

SB X8 34 authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, will help further streamline and speed up the permitting and siting process for large-scale renewable energy projects. These are the projects that will provide Californians with jobs and greater energy independence and attract investment to the Golden State.

Today, at the world’s largest operating solar plant, the NextEra Harper Lake Solar Electric Generating System (SEGS) facility in Hinkley, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to announce a new joint program to make it easier to conserve land for endangered species and for developers to build renewable energy projects in California.

Mojave Desert Photo Courtesy Data.gov

“I cannot think of a more appropriate place to underscore that renewable energy is not ‘pie in the sky’ than here at the edge of the Mojave Desert where the largest solar plant in the world is generating clean, cost-efficient renewable energy for California communities,” Secretary Salazar said during a tour of the facility.

There are more than 240 proposed renewable energy projects in California that could produce nearly 70,000 MW of clean energy annually.

These proposed projects throughout the state include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small hydro facilities.

In addition to touring the NextEra Harper Lake facility today in Hinkley, the Governor and Secretary Salazar toured a 250 megawatt (MW) proposed solar facility, the Abengoa Mojave Solar project. The proposed Abengoa site is seeking funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) and will create over $1 billion of capital investment and more than 1,200 jobs in the local region. The Governor’s action today will help the Abengoa project and other renewable energy projects seeking Recovery Act funding.

“Our bold and innovative vision for California has made us a pioneer in renewable energy, green jobs and environmental protection and, as a result, we are seeing an energy revolution in California,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “California now has more than 240 proposed renewable projects looking to build and create jobs. Today’s action will help speed up the process for some of these large projects to break ground this year and qualify for federal stimulus funding. By working together, we can increase renewable energy development, create thousands of jobs and preserve our state’s cherished natural resources”

To better coordinate the state’s efforts to increase renewable energy and create jobs, the Governor’s Administration will hold The Governor’s Renewable Energy Policy Conference at the University of California, Riverside on Wednesday, March 24.

Solar Farming

SBX8 34 will ensure state regulatory agencies have the resources necessary to focus on the state’s stringent environmental review process and permit renewable energy facilities. The bill creates further efficiencies by:

  • Establishing the Renewable Energy Development Fee Trust, a revolving fund that renewable energy developers can pay into through project-assessed fees determined by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The fees will be used for the state and its federal partners to implement project mitigation measures including purchasing private lands related to habitat restoration, and monitoring and transaction costs connected to offset impacts to biological resources from construction.
  • Ensuring the needed environmental reviews occur in a timely manner by authorizing the CEC and DFG to assess application fees on projects at an amount that would fully fund dedicated staff to work exclusively on applications.
  • Speeding up CEC review by allowing for the free flow of information in a more timely manner by removing communication barriers between outside state agencies and CEC commissioners.

The Governor urged the legislature to continue working to help streamline the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects throughout the state in a signing message attached to SBX8 34.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan was also formed to create a science-based, stakeholder driven process to identify geographic areas designated for renewable energy development, and conservation and declining species management. This plan is currently scheduled to be completed in 2012 and is meant to provide a long-term road map to development and conservation in the California desert.

 

The following excerpt by: David Danelski, The Press-Enterprise

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his aides gathered at the graffiti-scarred ruins of an old feed and farm supply store as they waited for U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to arrive for a tour of the future solar energy site.

The crumbling building and more than 1,700 acres around it, mostly former alfalfa fields, have been acquired by Abengoa Solar, which is seeking approval to build a 250 megawatt thermal generation plant about nine miles northwest of the San Bernardino County town of Hinkley.

“It will go as far the eye can see along those transmission lines,” Scott Frier, Abengoa’s chief operating officer, said to Schwarzenegger and Salazar as he showed them a map of project site.

The governor and Salazar also visited the control center for the nearby 160 megawatt solar plant, NextEra Harper Lake Solar Electric Generating System, the largest operating solar plant in the world.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Abengoa Solar, CEC, Gov. Schwarzenegger, Green Blog Network, Greening California, Mojave Desert, NextEra Harper Lake, Renewable Energy Conference, SB X8 34, Secretary Ken Salazar, Species Conservation

>Green Salon Series Presented By Breathe L.A.

>

By Nicole Hansen
[Blogger Bio Below]
When the Green Blog Network asked me to be a panelist for the Breathe LA Salon “AB 32.0 and the Rise of Green Digital Media” and blog about it on The Green Blog Network, I was reluctant. Ever since my son Nikos directed the global warming PSA, Save It, I’ve been thrown into a world of “green” issues. Many times I feel ill equipped to participate, as if I’m the student and everyone else around me are the experts—including my own children. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in Boulder, Colorado! Nothing could be more “green” than the granola Disneyland of my youth. But since coming to California twenty years ago, being ecological has gone from something the “Earth Muffins” of Boulder would do to actually becoming state laws. Such is the case with California’s AB 32.

 
Nicole Hansen of Green Galaxy Enterprises spoke on behalf of The Green Blog Network at 
Breathe L.A.’s Green Salon series. Photo Courtesy Alastair Shearman.

AB 32 – Getting The Word Out

Stephanie Mullen, the Senior Field Representative to State Senator Fran Pavley made the opening remarks, stating that Senator Pavley authored AB 32 to give the California Air Resources Board authority to bring emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. Though the law was enacted years ago, I was surprised to hear that it has not yet been implemented. She stated that we need to use resources more effectively and are looking for a strong, green economy in California. The moderator, Ray Gonzales, a former KTLA personality, brought up the fact that there is a lot of opposition to the law because of its shorthand as “the global warming law.” I believe he has a point—so how does the green social media reach those who don’t believe in global warming so that they will be less opposed to something that is basically based on common sense?
Common Sense Approach To Information Dissemination
The first panelist, Jennifer Gooding, is the LA Ambassador to EcoTuesday. She brought up the point that people’s initial hesitation arises from a disconnection to the world that can be remedied by social media. She believes that we need a forum to connect, and she has been described as that connector. We often get a bunch of information, are overwhelmed, but are not connected. That’s the benefit of social media when it comes to getting the message out there, since the vast majority of people did not know what AB 32 is. We’re failing by not having common people understand the basics.
Panelist Siel Ju is the Green LA Girl, and has appeared on outlets including NPR and NBC, among many others. She has a Ph.D in creative writing and literature but is now devoted to blogging about environmental issues. She noted that AB 32 is not a familiar term to most people. It reminded her of the battle with rBGH, which makes cows produce more milk but also causes birth defects. We must give people more information and not just boil it down to “Ban rBGH!” (or “Save AB 32!”) Whether it be eating locally produced food or riding the subway, we should connect AB 32 to things people already desire. Moreover, we must use social media for a conversation to make connections.

Breathe L.A. Green Salon Series, March 2010, photo courtesy Alastair Shearman.
Pictured: Ray Gonzales, Moderator, Green Salon Series.

Panelist Josh Tickell, director of Fuel, stressed that there is power of media in environmental issues. Stepping back from the fray, the long-term objectives of AB 32 are a breakthrough and so are its emissions cuts. The Fuel film is digital media designed to have an effect. They didn’t want the result to just end in rallying efforts, but rather to “shift the energy needle” in this country. He wanted a campaign with 10 goals that people could choose from as they matched their own. A big topic for Josh is fuel made from algae, and he observed that a lot of food energy is going unused. He was able to get a meeting with the Department of Energy and to start a campaign for algae. The meeting turned into a shouting match with great disagreement on the department’s side. In the end, through the social, objective based digital and social media, there is significant investment and growing, with already $100 million being spent on algae lobbying. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can order a million solar roofs, and the next campaign should be a million green cars. What we need, according to Josh, is a broad perspective.

Save It
Before I spoke, I shared my answer to the global warming messaging through digital media and showed my son’s 1Sky PSA, Save It (later endorsed by Global Green and Greenpeace). The shocker was that people wrote hate messages on YouTube where it premiered as Take Part’s first video release, calling me an uninformed hippie that has brainwashed my kids, and some who even said my son was “stupid.” Ironically, my sons both have developmental disorders that I was warned by the EPA they would have, as a result of environmental toxins. With what my children have to go through to be educated in special needs schools, at the expense of the government, is why it matters to all of us. Framing the discussion as a human health issue is much less controversial than global warming and we can use social media to educate people about asthma, autism, cancer and numerous other disorders that are exacerbated by or a direct cause of the toxins we are responsible for trying to control. So Earth Muffin or not, the real cost of paying for our health will far outweigh the cost of converting to cleaner and greener technologies in the long run. That’s how we should use social media to educate the masses to the importance of actually implementing AB 32.
Bio: Nicole organized and produced the first Renewable Energy Conference and Awards Gala at the United Nations sponsored by the Honduran Permanent Mission to the UN with notable speakers and honorees such as Dr. Arthur Nozik of NREL, Dr. Daniel Nocera of MIT as well as Billionaire John Paul DeJoria. She was a featured speaker alongside producer Marshall Herskovitz for the 2009 Green Girls Holiday Event advocating publicly for the use of renewable energy technologies.   
Twitter @nikkihans

Leave a comment

Filed under AB32, Algae Fuel, Breathe L.A., Eco Tuesday, Gov. Schwarzenegger, Green Digital Media, Green Salon Series, NPR, Ray Gonzales KTLA, Renewable Energy Conference, Save It, Sen Fran Pavley, US EPA