Solar Energy in the Midwest

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Carbon Emmisions avoided by our solar PV installations.

Carbon Emmisions avoided by our solar PV installations.

The emissions data here is from the EPA eGrid site that reflects true carbon waste for our particular coal burning grid.

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The Cost Of Not Using Renewable Energy : Renewable Energy News :

The Cost Of Not Using Renewable Energy : Renewable Energy News :.

Not using renewable energy for electricity production is costing future generations over $9 billion a day – and that doesn’t costs associated with health impacts and climate change.

Solar naysayers have often used cost as a reason for not making the switch – an argument rapidly running out of steam given the plummeting prices of solar panels. Something else worth considering is the cost of not going solar.

For example, rapidly increasing electricity prices can make installing solar panels a better investment than putting money in the bank for many households.

Renewable Energy Provides Half of All New US Electrical Generating Capacity in 2012 | Renewable Energy News Article

Renewable Energy Provides Half of All New US Electrical Generating Capacity in 2012 | Renewable Energy News Article.

Wind led the way in 2012 with 164 new “units” totaling 10,689 MW followed by solar with 240units totaling 1,476 MW. Biomass added 100 new units totaling 543 MW while geothermal steam and water each had 13 new units with installed capacities of 149 MW and 99 MW respectively.

By comparison, for the full 12 months of 2012, new natural gas generation in service totaled 8,746 MW (33.15%) followed by coal (4,510 MW – 17.09%), nuclear (125 MW – 0.47%), and oil (49 MW – 0.19%).

For full article go here

Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems | Renewable Energy News Article

Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems | Renewable Energy News Article.

By Elisa Wood, Contributor  November 1, 2012
Superstorm Sandy can’t kill wind and solar.

First of all, wind and solar do not need additional energy inputs to produce electricity or cool a reactor, said John Kourtoff, president and CEO of Toronto-based Trillium Power Wind. There is no need for natural gas, oil or coal to be excavated, transported and applied to the system. Instead, they produce electricity by taking advantage of a form of energy that is already available – wind and sun.

Second, they mimic nature in design, so they tend to be more resilient and withstand natural disasters better, he said.

“Renewables at their core are simple bio-mimicry based on nature. This simple and closed aspect makes them successful when storms and natural disasters happen, whether hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis,” Kourtoff said.

He pointed out that last year’s tsunami in Japan devastated a nuclear plant, but wind turbines near the shore suffered no harm.   For Full Article

PWIR: President Clinton Endorse Prop 3 | MLCV-Michigan League of Conservation Voters

PWIR: President Clinton Endorse Prop 3 | MLCV-Michigan League of Conservation Voters.Submitted by Michigan LCV on Mon, 10/29/2012 – 4:06pm

… Former President Clinton championed the cause because he knows that the jobs created by Prop 3 will help spur the kind of economic activity that defined his Presidency. On the opposite side of the debate, campaign finance reports show that Enbridge – yes, that Enbridge (the one whose faulty oil pipeline dumped more than 1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River) – has joined the opposition to Prop 3. After all, why have more renewable energy in Michigan when we can have record-breaking oil spills into our rivers, instead? To read more go here

A Watershed Moment: Multiple Benefits of Proposal 3 « THE WMEAC BLOG

A Watershed Moment: Multiple Benefits of Proposal 3 « THE WMEAC BLOG.

Today we hear from Nicholas Occhipinti, Policy and Community Activism Director at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, who discusses Proposal 3, the Renewable Energy Standard that will require 25% of Michigan’s energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2025.

 

Not only will the ballot initiative help the environment through the increased use of renewable energy, but it will have other benefits as well. Currently a majority, approximately 60%, of our electricity is derived from coal. 100% of Michigan’s coal is imported from other states, relying on the use of oil for transportation, with negative economic and environmental effects. Utility companies have recognized oil as the leading cause for increased electricity prices for consumers, and with the fluctuation of oil prices, there is no guarantee for the cost of energy. The Proposal 3 initiative states that utility companies cannot increase energy rates by more than 1% per year, and has an outlook for an approximate 50 cent increase in cost, once the proposal is passed. In addition to a savings in energy bills, the proposal has a Triple Botton Line Benefit which will create 94,000 jobs.

 

The switch from using a majority of coal, to utilizing more renewable energy sources, will give Michigan more health benefits in addition to economic positives. Coal has been linked to illnesses such as heart disease and asthma, leading to an increase in health care costs. The Michigan Nurses Association has named Proposal 3, “the most important health proposal in decades.”

 

Moving toward renewable energy sources will also be reliable, as there are a variety of sources: solar power, wind power, hydropower, and biomass. There is also a grid that identifies where energy is being produced greatest across the state. This allows us to utilize the most productive areas for the most energy. With only a small increase of 25%, there is no doubt that renewable sources are and will continue to be reliable to meet the demand. “It’s the best chance for environmental progress in the last few years and probably the next few years going forward,” said Occhipinti.

 

WMEAC is reaching out to Michigan citizens during the election to vote Yes on Proposal 3: Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs. We need volunteers at specific locations on Election Day as WMEAC representatives and supporters of Proposal 3. Other volunteers will take part in a mass telecommunications effort to encourage Proposal 3 supporters to get to the polls and vote Yes! Several shifts are available the day before the election and Election Day itself.

Nissan Leaf All-Electric Taxi Cab Fleet Coming To Virginia | Earthtechling

Nissan Leaf All-Electric Taxi Cab Fleet Coming To Virginia

EV Taxicabs

 

What’s being heralded as one of the nation’s first all-electric fleets of taxi cabs could soon be hitting the streets in Arlington, Virginia. The fleet would consist of  Nissan Leaf electric cars and would include a supporting infrastructure capable of keeping this fleet going around the clock.

EV Taxicabs, according to the Washington Examiner, needs to first gain approval of th

e Arlington county board of supervisors before it can begin operation. It looks likely it will happen, given that the county manager there has already recommended the company be granted approval for 40 cabs out of a total of 65 new vehicles being added to the county’s existing 765 cabs. Go here for full article.

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article.

By Janet L. Sawin, Contributor
October 18, 2012

REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report — an overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment and policy developments worldwide, relying on an international network of more than 400 contributors — reveals that the sector continued to expand across all its various segments.

Renewable sources supplied an estimated 16.7 percent of global final energy consumption in 2010. Of this total, modern renewable energy (as opposed to traditional biomass) accounted for an estimated 8.2 percent, a share that has increased in recent years, while the share from traditional biomass has declined slightly to an estimated 8.5 percent. During 2011, modern renewables continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors.

In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 GW of electric capacity added globally during 2011. Wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) accounted for almost 40 percent and 30 percent of new renewable capacity respectively, followed by hydropower (nearly 25 percent). By end 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1360 GW, up 8 percent over 2010; renewables comprised more than 25 percent of total global power-generating capacity (estimated at 5360 GW in 2011) and supplied an estimated 20.3 per cent of global electricity. Non-hydropower renewables exceeded 390 GW, a 24 percent capacity increase over 2010. For full article

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

mattroushReporting Matt Roush

YPSILANTI — Barley, hops and yeast are powered by the sun.

Increasingly, so are the breweries that turn those ingredients into beer.

Southeast Michigan brewery owners Matt and Rene Greff are breaking new ground for Michigan breweries as solar installations at their two breweries come on line this summer.

Arbor Brewing Co. became Michigan’s first solar brewery when it flipped the switch on a new system comprised of a 2.4-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, 300 solar thermal collector tubes and a high-efficiency tankless water heater system to supplement the heat from the collector tubes when necessary.

These big ticket investments were combined with smaller improvements like switching to CFL and LED lighting and installing low-flow sprayers and occupancy sensors.

The project grew out of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s Energy Conservation Grant Program, which provided free energy audits and 50 percent project rebates up to $20,000 to downtown businesses that implemented audit recommendations to become more energy efficient.

ABC owner Matt Greff worked with Ann Arbor DDA Energy Programs Director David Konkle as well as a consulting team from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, led by Jarett Diamond.

Together they were able to identify a number of financial resources and incentives to help offset the installation cost of the system including the $20,000 grant from the DDA, a $10,000 interest-free loan from the city, a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government, and various incentives from DTE Energy.

The couple’s Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti is also nearing completion on its own $250,000 Green Brewery Project which includes solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies along with other improvements like new windows and awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment.

9 Surprising Facts About Solar Customers Infographic

Home Solar Power Discounts – One Block Off the Grid

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