Archive for the ‘News’ category

United States Opens Access to Clean Energy

February 26, 2007

26 Feb 2007 – The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted a final rule that will facilitate access to clean energy resources.  Increasing numbers of renewable energy electrical generators have led to imbalances on the electrical grid.  In June 2007, a new rule to govern these imbalances will become mandatory and enforceable.

The electrical grid is getting more complex each year.  Differences between the scheduled and actual delivery of energy (generator imbalances) are corrected by transmission providers to keep the system balanced.  Existing policies provide wide discretion in charges and penalties, which many feel are discriminatory and excessive.  This is the reason for the reform.

Wind energy generation and other forms of renewable energy sources, by their intermittant nature, contribute to these generation imbalances.  But for increases in renewable energy source generation to occur, provisions must be made for green energy to have higher priority on the grid – and less penalties.  Some think this should require fossil fuel power-generating facilities, with higher greenhouse emissions, to shoulder more responsibility and cost in balancing the grid.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation has scheduled several workshops to understand implications of this paradigm shift underway in North America.  The workshops will focus on emerging standards, transitional steps, timelines, penalties, and how these 83 standards will be coordinated.

FERC press release.

Cheating with Carbon Credits

February 14, 2007

China is a member of Kyoto, but exempt from meeting greenhouse gas limits.  And China is selling carbon credits to European countries who cannot meet Kyoto!  Let the games begin!

What’s the big deal?  According to the Inter Press Service News Agency, by the end of this year China will have built an additional 200,000 MegaWatts of new power-generating capacity.  And 80% of it will be coal-fired!  This will contribute an additional 1.17 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2010 and eat up a large portion of the Kyoto targeted reductions of 5.5 billion tons – over the same period!  And yet nearly half of the carbon credits on the market are going to China.  Is that a big deal for you?  It is for me.

How about this analogy?

The world’s speed limit is 65 mph, but China is exempt, so they go 85 mph.  However, China has decided to go 75 mph and sell the 10 mph credit to others so they can go 75 mph.

– Kurt A. Boggner

Smoke and mirrors?  You bet.

Chinese environmental laws are less strict, so Chinese projects are easier to get registered at the UN.  According to Business Line, China has locked up 43% of the United Nations CER (certified emission reduction) “carbon credits”.  Three billion USD in carbon credits were traded in the first 9 months of 2006.  That’s a lot of green.  And the word out of China is, “Thank you EDF; keep that “renewable” money coming – while we continue to use our own money installing coal-fired power generation!”  How’s that for a funny joke on the planet?

How about this brillant idea for carbon credits:  invest money in your local utility for local renewable energy sourcing, and let’s all do our job at home – instead of playing games and supporting countries who choose to be the world’s largest polluters and greenhouse offenders.

-Lars

The Japan Institute of Energy Economics has some interesting info and data.

Sylvania Releasing New PSH Ballast in 2007

February 10, 2007

9 Feb 2007 – Word on the street is that Sylvania will be releasing a new 100,000 cycle, high-ballast factor ProStart “PSH” ballast later this year.  This will compete with the high-ballast factor GE Ultrastart.

Not only will the PSH drive more lumens out of each lamp than any existing ProStart PSX or PSL ballast, but it will provide significantly longer life to lamps than Sylvania’s current line of high-ballast factor, instant start ballasts.

The PSH is a welcome addition, opening up new retrofit options for offices hoping to de-lamp fixtures from four to two without sacrificing light output, while gaining incredible lamp life – even on highly cycled lighting, such as those with occupancy sensors.  Some installations will likely never replace a lamp!