Category Archives: renewable energy

Hollande Sets Ambitious CO2 Emissions Reductions Goals For France And EU

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Paris – Francois Hollande, France’s President, last Friday (Sept. 14, 2012), announced that under his watch, environmental issues will be placed at the top of the national, and even international, political agenda. His announcement was issued during La Conférence Environnementale, an annual environmental conference held in Paris.

President-francois-hollande-delivers-the-inaugural-speech-of-an-annual-environmental-conference-in-paris_-_greening_paris

His most ambitious statement issued is his recommendation to cut CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and 60% by 2040 at the European Union level. Current EU targets are 20% reduction of 1990 levels by 2020.

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Hollande stated that he would like to see more global dialogue on environmental issues, citing the lack of a renewed agreement on climate goals reached internationally so far makes this an urgent and important matter. The Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of this year so climate talks are expected to once again take priority at the upcoming November Doha COP 18 conference. According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, CO2 emissions rose by 3.2% last year to 31.6 billion tons, spurred by increases from China.

More initiatives he announced/ launched:

  • New tenders for solar and offshore wind power by end of 2012.
  • Closing of Fessenheim’s Nuclear Power Plant by end of 2016.  
  • Rejected applications for shale gas exploration.
  • Cut France’s nuclear power from 75% to 50% by 2025.

 

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Renewable Energy Goes Round…And Round

 

In Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, on the banks of the Seine, there is a Carrousel that is now powered by renewable energy.

Renewable Energy Carrousel, Paris - photo by Paige Donner copyright 2011

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2011

This City of Light is filled with carrousels. You can find them across the street from the Eiffel Tower, on the other side of the river at the foot of Trocadero, in the vast courtyard of the Hotel de Ville and many more locations throughout the city. But this one, just underneath the Eiffel Tower, is the city’s flagship Renewable Energy Carrousel. Its LED lights are the same color as the flickering lights that have the Tour Eiffel twinkling on the hour every evening.

On a recent sunny, Autumn day filled with the scent of fallen leaves, the carrousel was itself twinkling in the afternoon sunlight. And FYI – during the Christmas Holiday week, many of the carrousels are free for children to ride on.

Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice! 

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Gov. Brown Lauds Job Creation at World’s Largest Solar Energy Project

Office of the Governor

PRESS RELEASE:

Contact: Governor’s Press Office

Friday, June 17, 2011

Brown Lauds Job Creation at World’s Largest Solar Energy Project

BLYTHE — California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today joined Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and other federal, state and local officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Blythe Solar Power Project, a plan to build the largest solar energy facility in the world. The project will bring thousands of construction jobs to Riverside County and help California obtain 33 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

“It makes sense to power California with renewable wind and solar energy that protects clean air and water and promotes energy independence,” Governor Brown said. “Renewable energy projects also stimulate business investment in California and create thousands of new jobs.”

Brown also visited six other solar and wind energy projects—just 5% of the state’s 270 total renewable energy projects—including: First Solar’s Desert Sunlight, Solar Millenium’s Palen Solar Power Project, NextEra’s Genesis facility, Solar Reserve’s Rice Airfield Project, Abengoa’s Mojave Solar Project, and Terragen’s Alta-Oak Creek wind power project (also the world’s largest wind project).

The projects Brown visited today are estimated to create 5,390 new construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs in California. Upon completion, these power plants will generate 3,470 megawatts of energy, or 6 percent of California’s peak energy requirement, which is enough energy to power more than 1.4 million single-family homes.

In 2010, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies surveyed 12 solar, wind, and geothermal projects and found an average of 4,258 jobs would be created per month during construction. Skilled and non-skilled trades needed to work on these projects include steel and ironworkers, teamsters, plumbers and pipefitters, cement masons, electricians, operating engineers, and managers and general laborers. These projects would also bring nearly 1,000 long-term operations and maintenance jobs to California.

California’s move toward renewable energy is creating thousands of new jobs and providing economic benefits including:

•       Investment of approximately $250 million to $1.5 billion for a typical project

•       Hundreds to thousands of skilled and non-skilled workers employed per month

•       Long-term operations of approximately 30-40 years

In April 2011, Brown signed SBX1 2, which requires that one-third of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020. The renewable energy projects Brown visited today represent a significant step toward meeting state requirements to obtain 33 percent of energy from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2020.

Other federal, state and local officials and contractors attending today’s groundbreaking ceremony in Blythe included Bob Abbey, Bureau of Land Management Director, John Laird, California Secretary of Natural Resources, Joseph DeConinck, Mayor of Blythe, Uwe T. Schmidt, Solar Trust CEO, and Christoph Wolff, CEO of Solar Millennium AG.

# # #

Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

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$4 Per Gallon Gas = Energy Innovation

High-gas-prices

Why Expensive Gas Will Be

The Fuel That Drives Innovations in Alternative Energy  

 

Long lines at the gas pump weren’t the only product of the twin energy crises of the 1970s. A legislative push toward energy conservation and innovation were also born as a result.

And that’s why one expert believes the skyrocketing price of oil will do the same in 2011.

  “History has proven that innovation in the energy industry has almost always been driven by high consumer prices,” said Robert Brands, a veteran corporate executive who now consults with companies worldwide and author of Robert’s Rules of Innovation (www.robertsrulesofinnovation.com). “When we had cheap and abundant oil – and low gas prices – during the 1980s, energy exploration and innovation slowed to a halt. We didn’t need it, and we didn’t see an end in sight to the steady stream of oil from the Middle East. So, investors held back funds for new technologies, oil companies stood pat and conservation became a four-letter word.”

 

According to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, more than $172 billion dollars of government money was spent on new energy technology between 1961 and 2008, with the bulk of it being used during the 1970s. In the 1980s, the spending accounted for only 1 percent of all federal investment.

 

Brands believes that oil companies, besieged by Congress over taking huge tax breaks amid record profit reports, could earn some much needed political points by taking history’s cue and putting some of that money back into energy innovations.

 

“When you look at the broad spectrum of what the oil companies are making and compare it to the rate of innovation in alternative energy, it’s like comparing Mount Kilimanjaro to a grape,” Brands said. “Now, most consumers aren’t aware of that truth, because oil companies and ad agencies are very good at making it look like alternative energy is humming along when it’s not. While consumers may not connect those dots, they are very aware of the headlines that show record oil company profits combined with massive tax breaks – especially during a time when federal deficits are threatening them, their children and their children’s children. Today’s energy innovation is a fraction of the total of what we should be spending. What’s more, the same old song and dance the oil companies offer with regard to how much, percentage-wise, their research and development expenditures are as compared to revenue is a joke, and absolutely no guarantee of success.”

 

Brands wants oil companies to spark innovation not only because of the positive press it will net, but also because it’s the right thing to do.

 

 “The truth is that many scientists are beginning to calculate an end to the fossil fuel era, because one day, we will run out,” Brands added. “Innovation in this area has been driven by high prices and it has been driven by shortages. When we begin to run out, we’ll experience both, and it will be too late to innovate. We need to do it now, when our resources to commit to it are abundant.”

  

Robert F. Brands has hands-on experience in bringing innovation to market, creating and improving the necessary product development processes and needed culture, he delivered and exceeded bringing “at least one new product per year to market” resulting in double digit profitable growth and shareholder value:  Robert’s Rules of Innovation 

 

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Governor Brown to Sign Bill to Boost Renewable Energy

MILPITAS – At the dedication of a new solar panel manufacturing plant tomorrow, Calif. Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. will sign legislation that requires one-third of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources.  Later, the Governor will discuss the state’s budget crisis at the Bay Area Council’s 2011 Outlook Conference in San Francisco.

 

Sun Power Solar Panel Manufacturing Plant Dedication and Bill Signing

 

When: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 11:15 a.m.

 

Where: 1177 Gibraltar Avenue, Milpitas, CA 95035

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Also, in a related Energy Item, take a look at Ralph Nader’s Open Letter To The President in the current issue of The Beverly Hills Times Magazine. 

 

Excerpt Here: 

Let me give you an example. Months ago I wrote to inform you that several prominent environmental and energy groups, such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, were at their wit’s end trying to arrange a joint meeting with Secretary Steven Chu. He repeatedly declined to meet, though he has often met with nuclear energy business executives and has gone so far as to tout nuclear energy’s desirability in an op-ed. The environmental groups wanted a serious exchange with him on your Administration’s energy policies, including your request to Congress for very large loan guarantees by taxpayers for utilities that want to build more nuclear plants.

My letter asked you to intercede and urge Secretary Chu that it is only fair and constructive to hear what these groups have to say. There never was an answer from the White House or the Department of Energy. You know that for years many citizen advocates have worked hard to improve the federal government and they have rarely experienced such discourtesies of no replies. Perhaps you do not care. But you should know that there are people who do.  – Ralph Nader

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>California Says, We Are Going To Pump You Up!

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an award of up to $122 million over five years to the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), an Energy Innovation Hub with a team of leading researchers tasked with developing revolutionary methods to generate fuels directly from sunlight:

 

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers comments to NARUC July 21st in Sacramento. Photo courtesy Justin Short.

 

The Hub will be funded at up to $22 million this fiscal year and is one of only three that will receive funding this year. For more information visit: http://www.energy.gov/news/9243.htm.

“California has always been the birthplace for the nation and the world’s newest wave of research and innovation, so it couldn’t be more fitting the Department of Energy chose our state for this groundbreaking work. This energy hub will bring together some of the best minds to work on solutions that will reduce our dependence on oil and increase our energy security, all while creating jobs in our state. We have always led the way in California, and this impressive team will help further advance our global leadership in clean energy technologies.”

As a matter of fact, there are 270 companies that want to build now in California for renewable energy,…

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered remarks at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Annual Summer Committee Meetings on July 21, 2010.

Excerpts from the Partial Transcripts follow:

(Sacramento, Calif. July 21, 2010)  …And this is something that we have had in California. We have had consistency.

And this is why we have to go and do everything that we can to continue with that consistency. Why? Because we have to be and all of you have to be an inspiration to the federal government to create that consistency, because the federal government is a disaster when it comes to energy policy. They haven’t had an energy policy for decades.

We all remember when Jimmy Carter came in with some brilliant ideas about solar and about doing research and exploration of shale oil and wind and all of those kind of things. The next administration came in and said well, wait a minute. A barrel of oil is down to $10. Why are we futzing around with all this stuff over here when we can just buy the oil? And the policy was out the window. So this is not consistency, so people don’t know, should we invest in this or not invest in it? They don’t know. They’re confused.

And right now, several decades later — and I’ve watched all this since I’ve been in this country, I can tell you — it is really amazing that today the federal government still doesn’t have a policy. They have no idea how much they’re going to rely on more nuclear plants, what is their portfolio, their goal when it comes to renewable. No idea. No one can answer that question, how much should we reduce in greenhouse gases, what should our standards be, what kind of cars do we want 10 years, 20 years down the road? None of those things anyone can answer.

And this is a disaster because the rest of the world, European countries, have a goal. Even in 1976 when they started changing, when they saw the oil crisis. The Europeans stayed on course even though the oil price went down. And now, 30 years later, you see the great work that is being done in Germany, in Spain, in Portugal, Denmark and all of those European countries…  Read Entire Transcript at:  http://gov.ca.gov/

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