Archive for Tennessee

Policy for Water Conservation for the Power Sector “doesn’t exist”

Water cooling leading to increased water temperature and loss of water as fog

“There are cost effective things that the power sector can do that would conserve water that will also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Paul Faeth, director of energy, water and climate at the CNA think tank’s Institute for Public Research.

CNA Corporation in its July 2014 report, “A Clash of Competing Necessities” documents the use of water for generating electric power as follows: an estimated 40% of all freshwater withdrawal in the US is used for thermal cooling. Coal with carbon capture and storage (CSS) came out top, using 4.3 cubic metres of water for every MWh.
Nuclear is a close second using 4.2, coal alone uses 2.3, natural gas 1, wind uses zero, and PV uses 0.1 cubic metres per MWh.

For ‘consumption’ of water, whereby water is completely removed from the local environment, CCS uses 3.2 cubic metres per MWh, nuclear 2.5, coal 1.9, natural gas 0.7 – and again wind uses zero and PV uses 0.1.

Water concerns “for policy makers and for many people are also a higher priority than climate change,” he said, adding that in drought it “doesn’t matter what the cause of drought is you still have to respond, and if you can respond in a way that is cost effective and mitigates emissions, such as using wind and PV, then that is a real plus.”

EPA Clean Power Plan Public Forum

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Please join us for a public forum on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, hosted by the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Because seating is limited, registration for the forum is strongly encouraged. Additional details, including registration and parking information, are provided below and also available by clicking here.

Clean Power Brochure

Living Light Solar House moves to Oak Ridge’s Children’s Museum

The Living Light Solar House, designed by more than 200 UTK students, has been donated by the University of Tennessee to the Oak Ridge Children’s Museum. The home is 750 square feet and is a zero-energy structure, providing an example of what energy efficient housing could look like in the future. Originally produced to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, the house will now serve as an educational and inspirational tool for children and visitors to the museum.

More information here and here.

SolarCity follows Tesla’s “Gigafactory” path, will manufacture own solar panels

GigafactorySolarPlant

SAN MATEO—In a recent move by SolarCity, the company will attempt to bring solar energy into the hands of a much larger portion of the population. Currently, photovoltaic solar panel systems are out of reach for many people because of their prices, forcing them to continue to rely on energy produced using fossil fuels. However, SolarCity’s goal is to change this, producing solar energy grid components on such a large scale that their prices will become low enough so as to become more economically viable than fossil fuels. In order to achieve this goal, SolarCity has purchased Silevo, a solar panel manufacturing firm, which SolarCity will expand, opening a new manufacturing plant in New York, and potentially more in the future. SolarCity will target a true “Gigafactory” to produce more than a gigawatt of solar power capability.  “What we are trying to address is not the lay of the land today, where there are indeed too many suppliers, most of whom are producing relatively low photonic efficiency solar cells at uncompelling costs, but how we see the future developing,” the company’s blog post read. “Without decisive action to lay the groundwork today, the massive volume of affordable, high efficiency panels needed for unsubsidized solar power to outcompete fossil fuel grid power simply will not be there when it is needed.”

Silevo is known for its ‘tunneling junction’ solar cell structure.  Combining the benefits of increased carrier generation, back of the cell contacts, matrix redundant cell connections, and eliminating bussbar current collection will create the next generation of silicon solar cells and panels that will reduce the cost of the panel by increasing the overall efficiency.  The target is rooftop solar which is the kernel of SolarCity’s business.

With TVA sales on the down side, it would be a great coup if TVA could entice SolarCity to build a plant here in Tennessee.  One gigawatt sized factory would create a $200 million yearly income for TVA and employ hundreds of workers with high paying manufacturing jobs.

TVA to study value of small providers like solar

KNOXVILLE, TENN. — The Tennessee Valley Authority is studying the value of electricity produced from small, dispersed sites, such as solar, wind or small gas turbine installations.

According to a news release from the utility, the initiative will develop methods to set the value of distributed generation to the electric grid and the value of the grid to the small energy producer. TVA will undertake the study with the help of local power companies and other stakeholders.

Solar energy will be the first resource investigated. The process is expected to last through the end of 2014. Public comments will be accepted and stakeholder group information will be posted at http://www.tva.gov/dgiv .

Note: Stakeholder group meeting should be available to the public as utube, webinar or as published on the TVA site..

Three Rivers Market Solar Solstice Celebration

20140615_134729Three Rivers Market in Knoxville, TN is going solar!  Help them celebrate the installation of their new 50 kW solar installation on Saturday, June 21st between 12:00 to 3:00.  There will be free Solar Solstice T-Shirts and mini-cupcakes from Magpies Bakery, tours of the installation, and great deals on products made with solar energy!  The install features Stion solar panels (Made in the USA!), Power-One inverters and DPW racking. Thanks to ARiES Energy for making the install happen!  More Details

Great Offer from ASES

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ASES Sixtieth Anniversary Membership Discount Offer
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To celebrate our 60th anniversary, the American Solar Energy Society today launches its 2014 drive for new membership. Our goal: double ASES membership by this time next year.

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Obama Climate Plan Relies on States

President Obama’s new plan to fight climate change depends heavily on states’ devising individual approaches to meeting goals. The regulation unveiled on Monday offers the states flexibility to pick from a menu of policy options. Intended to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 — represented Mr. Obama’s boldest step in using his executive authority to halt the warming of the planet. In order to comply with the new national rule, states can, among other actions, shut down coal plants, install wind and solar power and energy-efficiency technology, or join the California or Northeastern cap-and-trade programs. E.P.A. officials said states could even choose to comply by enacting a state-level tax on carbon pollution.

It will be interesting to see what the Tennessee state legislature plans to do, if anything, to comply with the EPA order. It will be up to the supramajority of state Republicans to decide on how to implement the reduction in carbon emissions. Ask your legislator why Tennessee does not have a master energy plan for the state. Might get some interesting answers.

relevant article on the subject

We will be Breathing Cleaner Air

What Is Cleaner Air Worth to You?

Clean Air is Nice to Breathe

Knoxville Citizens Support President in Reducing Carbon Emissions

Support for Carbon Limitations here in Knoxville

Knoxville, TN– Today, Tuesday June 3, in front of children playing in Market Square’s fountains, volunteers and supporters from Organizing for Action Tennessee (OFA-TN), the Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club, and Oak Ridge’s Citizens’ Climate Coalition are holding a community action event, If Not Now, When?, as part of a nationwide Day of Action to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Carbon Pollution Standards for existing power plants, which will help curb the dangerous carbon pollution causing climate change and threatening our health. While climate change deniers still ignore the basic science of climate change and try to block progress, President Obama is proposing what the New York Times called

“the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”

Scheduled speaker Rose Williams said,

“A child born this year will be 36 in 2050, a benchmark year that scientists mention when they warn us about the consequences of inaction. You realize that it’s not the distant future when you think about it that way. That’s all we want, is for our children to have the same opportunities that we have. That’s why we are staging our event with the water-play fountain in the background where children are having fun, children who count on us to leave them a healthy planet.”

“Climate change is real, it is now, and it is dangerous to our health, our economy, and our communities,”

Williams said.

“The good news is that we have the solutions we need to keep the lights on, create jobs, and protect our children. The President’s plan is an essential step,” Williams said.