Power & Energy Solutions

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Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister is eyeing the potential for wind power along Haiti's coastline as part of the effort to improve the earthquake ravaged country's capacity for power production.Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Monday technology will be an important element of rebuilding in Haiti after its infrastructure was devastated in the Jan. 12 earthquake that has left most of the Caribbean country in ruins.Wind power could reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels, the minister said before a conference on Haitian reconstruction in Montreal.But experts say that while wind energy should be part of a long-term energy strategy for Haiti, it is too expensive and unreliable as a short-term source of power to fuel reconstruction.Andrew Thompson, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation,who specializes in Haiti, said Cannon was not the first person to raise wind power as an option for Haiti.The island's geography and a strong air stream makes wind power a viable possibility, he said. But he added, it requires a massive capital investment and a tremendous amount of infrastructure."There's no silver bullet for Haiti's energy needs. Wind would be one of a series of different options, I think its worth considering solar power

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A Texas-based wind energy company has chosen Clovis for its venture into wind farm operation and turbine manufacturing.Officials at Vert-I-Go, a subsidiary of Plano, Texas-based Abundant Energy, say they expect the New Mexico plant to produce 60 jobs by 2013.Vert-I-Go has reached a preliminary agreement with Clovis officials to purchase six acres south of the city's landfill, with an option for an additional 34 acres later, for a five-megawatt wind farm and manufacturing plant.Clovis Industrial Development Corporation executive director Chase Gentry says the company will bring six local jobs to Clovis in its first year. Gentry says Vert-I-Go picked Clovis because of high wind patterns and easy access to rail lines.

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On a mountain top 80 miles northeast of Bangor, Maine, in country where houses and gravel pits are mere pinpricks on a map green with forest, Paul Gaynor is making stimulus work.Gaynor, chief executive of First Wind, is using $40 million in federal funds to help build a wind farm that will produce enough power for 13,000 homes and has created 200 construction jobs.Without stimulus, First Wind's project -- and most renewable energy projects across the country -- may not have happened."To us, it's been essential to get through the nuclear winter of financing ability," Gaynor said, referring to the dark days of early 2009 right after the financial collapse. "The recovery act was the bridge that got us from a broken market to one where projects actually get done."Because of the way tax incentives worked prior to stimulus, few industries were more dependent on Wall Street profits than renewable energy.Pre-stimulus, renewable energy developments were funded largely by big banks. As an incentive to expand clean, homegrown power, the government offered generous tax credits.The credit wasn't limited to just big banks, said Ethan Zindler, head of North American research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a firm that tracks renewable energy

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Populations continue to swell. Cheap energy begins to fade. And rising oceans swallow urban lands.Such problems demand solutions to the current path of energy, according to scientists, business leaders and politicians who gathered at a recent public forum at UNC-Chapel Hill's William and Ida Friday Center.But it's still unclear what alternatives are viable, particularly with unproven technologies that require massive investments in an already strained economy."We are dealing with some relatively long-term issues, but they are becoming more pressing as time passes," said Thomas Meyer, director of UNC-CH's Solar Energy Research Center, which hosted this month's forum.In the relatively short term, Meyer and others said, we could turn to alternatives such as clean coal and nuclear energy. But the long-term plan should focus on a systematic transition that turns the 6 percent of renewable energy that we use - including wind, solar, and biomass - into our main power source."We have to do that before an economic dislocation," Meyer said.That goal will demand a combination of research in science and technology, economic planning and public policy that supports energy efficiency.Energy storage presents a major obstacle to that end."Basically, energy storage is needed for the grid of the future," said John

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Looking for work? You might consider "green jobs."The term has been a buzz word the past few years, but according to a state report there were 8,169 "green-collar jobs" in 2008.Green-collar jobs can be found in construction, manufacturing, installation, maintenance, agriculture and many other sectors of the economy, according to the report issued by Gov. Chet Culver's office.Some of the jobs are in new industries such as wind energy while others are part of existing jobs that demand green skills such as heating and cooling.More are expected to be created in the coming years.U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin recently announced that $5.9 million in recovery act funds will be coming to Iowa Workforce Development to train people for jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable- energy industries.Josh Byrnes, division chairman of the Agriculture and Industrial programs at North Iowa Area Community College, expects growth in those industries."Anything that deals with energy conservation is something in the future that is going to have job growth," he said.Byrnes said people will need to know how to build "green" homes and buildings and how to maintain things like energy-efficient appliances.Energy efficiency will probably be mandatory some day, which will create a greater need

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In what is being touted as one of the largest clean energy deals to date, a consortium led by Samsung C&T Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation (NYSE:KEP) signed a C$7 billion deal with the government of Ontario, Canada.The $7 billion invested by the consortium will see the building of 2,500 megawatts (MW) of clean energy using wind and solar power and the creation of an estimated 16,000 new jobs in the province. The group will also work with the provincial government to build four new wind turbine and solar energy component manufacturing plants.According to the Ontario government, residents can expect to see their utility bill rise by an average of $1.60 a year - or 13 cents a month. Not bad for such an ambitious plan. The Samsung deal is made possible by the Ontario government's Green Energy Act passed last year providing for some of the most generous feed-in tariffs in the world.'This project is a good example of Samsung C&T receiving recognition in developed markets for its ability to manage and carry out projects, from planning and financing to execution,' said Samsung C&T Corporation President and CEO Sung-ha Chi.'With rapidly expanding expertise in the renewable energy sector,

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The King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) on Sunday launched a major national initiative to produce desalinated water and electricity at a much cheaper rate - less than a riyal for a cubic meter of water and 30 halalas per kilowatt/hour.Prince Turki bin Saud bin Muhammad, vice president of KACST for research institutes, said the initiative would reduce the cost of water and electricity production by 40 percent. He said the first solar-powered desalination plant with a capacity of 30,000 cubic meters would be established in Al-Khafji to serve 100,000 people.The project will reduce dependence on oil and gas to operate desalination plants. At present desalination plants on the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf consume a total of 1.5 million barrels per day. The new nanotechnology for using solar energy to operate desalination plants was developed by KACST in association with IBM."Desalination is our strategic choice to supply adequate amount of drinking water to people across the Kingdom," said Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, while addressing the launching ceremony. Saudi Arabia supplies more than 18 percent of the world's total desalinated water, he said."We want to make the Kingdom a major source of solar energy in the world," Al-Assaf

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Think of it as the shrinking American dream.What's out: Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, two-story foyers and deluxe bathroom features like multiple showerheads in the master bathroom.What's in: Smaller homes with lots of natural light, storage and energy efficiency features that save money and don't cost too much."There's no more 'la-dee-da, green is wonderful," said Calli Schmidt, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Home Builders.According to recent surveys by the Washington-based trade association and Better Homes and Gardens, there's less appetite than in recent years for big homes with high-end amenities.Now, the mantra for many homebuyers reflects a desire to keep costs down. They want to reduce wasted space like high ceilings that drive up energy bills. They favor features like smart appliances that help cut household energy costs.The average size of an American house shrank about 100 square feet last year to about 2,400 square feet, according to the NAHB survey. The percentage of homes with three or more bathrooms fell for the first time since 1992, while homes with four or more bedrooms declined for the third year in a row.Builders said they're less likely to build homes this year with outdoor kitchens, media rooms and sunrooms. The

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After eight years of review, the future of a controversial wind farm off Cape Cod now rests in what would seem to be friendly hands - an Obama administration that's pledged to make the U.S. "the world's leading exporter of clean energy."But it's tough to tell if Cape Wind's prospects just got better or worse.Obama has never mentioned the project while talking publicly about renewable energy, despite his enthusiasm for the topic and the fact Cape Wind would be the nation's first offshore wind farm.Some Cape Wind advocates have chalked up Obama's silence to respect for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, an early and influential Obama backer. Kennedy battled the project fiercely, writing Obama of his opposition the month before he died in August from brain cancer.To add to the uncertainty, Obama's Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who pledged this month to decide whether to approve Cape Wind by the end of April, has called it "a good project." But two Obama appointees to agencies connected to the project's review have links to its chief opposition, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.U.S. National Park Service head Jonathan Jarvis is the brother of alliance consultant Destry Jarvis. And Federal Aviation Administration chief

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China Wind Power International Co Ltd, which was listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange, said in an update on its project pipeline in Du Mon County, Heilongjiang Province, including its Sino-Danish project, has been identified by the Heilongjiang Province Development and Reform Commission as one of the key development areas in the province.China Wind Power has filed the final application for its Sino-Danish project, which is expected to have an installed capacity of about 200 MW when completed, according to the statement."Heilongjiang government set up a magnificent goal for wind power development and has put huge efforts to promptly carry out its Master Plan." said Mr. Jun Liu, Chief Executive Officer of China Wind. "We are pleased and proud to be part of these efforts and to be identified as one of the key wind power projects. With the priority given by the government, we expect to obtain the approvals for our Sino-Danish project soon." The provincial government has also granted a subsidy totaling RMB 1 million to the company to support and encourage the development of is wind energy projects. In addition, the company has also been awarded an RMB 1.62 million subsidy from the Du Mon County Government

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