Articles filed under Technology from USA

Sea Power?

WASHINGTON - For years, the United States has looked to the sun and the wind as renewable energy sources. But legislation moving through Congress would authorize $250 million in federal grants to develop ocean wave energy. The measure would be the nation's first major investment in wave energy, which converts the rise and fall of ocean swells into electrical power. A related technology, tidal energy, extracts energy from the movement of the sea's tides.
24 Jul 2007

Windy solution proposed for rural Brown Co. roads

"We would like the money (the county gets from windmills) to come back and take care of our county roads out here instead of for Packer Stadium or something," Collins said. "A lot of (county tax revenue) goes to the city."..."They take our taxes but they don't return anything," Kittell said. He said road maintenance and police protection in the rural areas are poor.... "I told him we should get the money back," Collins said. "We have to put up with the windmills."
22 Jul 2007

Cape Wind support founded on dollars

Time and technology have caught up with Cape Wind. Its advantage of six years ago as a novel proposal is now flattened by the advance of deeper-water wind technology (as well as promised advances in wave and tidal energy generation). By the time Cape Wind could be up and running - by 2011 or 2012 at the earliest - commercial-scale deeper-water projects will be a reality. No matter how you spin it, deeper-water locations are a better alternative to Cape Wind. The winds are stronger, the potential is greater and the risks are significantly lower.
19 Jul 2007

Alternative energy hurt by a windmill shortage

The race to build new sources of alternative energy from the wind is running into a formidable obstacle: not enough windmills...Numerous wind-power projects from Virginia to California have been stalled due to the shortage. But for some renewable-energy companies in Europe, where wind power has been in vogue for almost two decades, the logjam is a lucrative opportunity. These firms anticipated a shortage of turbines and locked in orders with makers. They're now using their considerable buying power to gobble up smaller utilities in the U.S. that couldn't otherwise get their hands on turbines.
9 Jul 2007

Cheap alternatives

CHEERLEADERS for renewable energy are fond of pointing out that patches of desert receive enough energy each year from sunlight to power the entire world. But few deign to explain how the construction of the millions of solar cells required to convert that energy into electricity would be financed. Utility bosses and policymakers tend to dismiss wind and solar power as noble but expensive distractions, sustainable only through lavish subsidies. But new studies suggest that renewables might not be as dear as sceptics suspect...These figures, of course, rely on all sorts of questionable assumptions.
5 Jul 2007

Shell CEO says conservation isn't enough

It's extremely important but, no, conservation isn't enough. The biggest reason is that energy demand is accelerating; even with conservation, it will double by the year 2050...In order to become a society that produces less CO2, there has to be a new mind-set. All the recent hype about renewables and about being "carbon neutral" doesn't change the reality of what we face, but it does help with short-term awareness.
5 Jul 2007

High-Altitude Wind Farms

Having been working in the cleantech field for almost decade, it is rare anymore for me to see or hear about something that I find revolutionary. However, a recent article in The Economist profiled a new technology concept that threw me for a loop: a multi-pronged wind turbine contraption floating aloft like a kite, six miles in altitude in order to capture the winds of the jet stream, tethered to the ground via a transmission cable.
2 Jul 2007

Inventor puts a new spin on wind

PORTLAND Oregon Wind Corp. and Portland State University are testing four 40- watt vertical axis wind turbines at the school's campus this summer. The 40-inch-tall Helyx wind turbines built by Portland-based Oregon Wind Corp. can generate electricity for about $1.50 per watt, according to the company's co-founder, Toby Kinkaid. "That's pretty close to what the big boys can achieve," he says. Kincaid plans to sell the machines for $60 each by the end of 2007. One Helyx operating at full capacity can only illuminate one light bulb, but a shelving unit dubbed the WindWall can pool the energy generated from up to 36 turbines, according to Kinkaid. Oregon Wind Corp. says it needs $500,000 in equipment to enable mass production of the fiberglass blades.
29 Jun 2007

Inventor puts a new spin on wind

PORTLAND Oregon Wind Corp. and Portland State University are testing four 40- watt vertical axis wind turbines at the school's campus this summer. The 40-inch-tall Helyx wind turbines built by Portland-based Oregon Wind Corp. can generate electricity for about $1.50 per watt, according to the company's co-founder, Toby Kinkaid. "That's pretty close to what the big boys can achieve," he says. Kincaid plans to sell the machines for $60 each by the end of 2007. One Helyx operating at full capacity can only illuminate one light bulb, but a shelving unit dubbed the WindWall can pool the energy generated from up to 36 turbines, according to Kinkaid. Oregon Wind Corp. says it needs $500,000 in equipment to enable mass production of the fiberglass blades.
29 Jun 2007

Massachusetts State to test wind power

BOSTON - Massachusetts will be one of two states building a state-of-the-art facility to test turbines used in wind power. The facility will place the state at the forefront of wind power and alternative energy, said U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, who outlined the facility with Gov. Deval L. Patrick at a press conference yesterday. "This will make Massachusetts a global center for clean energy technology," Patrick said. "This is a big step for us."
26 Jun 2007

Wind farms say TXU kept them offline

TXU, Texas' biggest electricity producer, and the wind farms, units of Florida-based FPL Group, are suing each other over claims each failed to live up to contracts from 2001 to 2005. Dallas-based TXU says the wind farms failed to supply power. The farms say TXU gave preference to its West Texas plant, leaving them without access to power lines. The trial started Tuesday in a Dallas state court and is scheduled to last two weeks.
20 Jun 2007

Is tidal energy next wave?

"Tidal power is an interesting form of renewable energy in that it is predictable. Other forms, like solar and wind energy, are less predictable," said Alex Farrell, assistant professor of energy and resources at the University of California, Berkeley. Because it is predictable, tidal power is a more dependable resource, he said.
20 Jun 2007

Developer nixes offshore wind farm

Plans to build what would have been the nation's largest offshore wind farm in South Texas have been called off because the multibillion-dollar project didn't make economic sense, the developer said Monday...Babcock & Brown Ltd. is moving on with an onshore wind farm in South Texas' Kenedy County, a $700 million-plus venture that calls for 157 turbines on thousands of acres, Calaway said. He noted the expense of building an offshore farm can be more than double the cost of one on land.
11 Jun 2007

Wind power divides environmentalists

The new plan stands a much better chance of getting built because it doesn't disturb the most sensitive areas and is farther from the Appalachian Trail. But it is still an example of how conflicted environmentalists can be on wind energy. The Conservation Law Foundation, a strong supporter of the plan from the start, urged the commission to reconsider instead of killing the plan. According to CLF, global warming from fossil fuel use is a much bigger threat to the environment and wildlife than the wind turbines. Maine Audubon, a steadfast opponent of the plan, argued against giving the developer extra time to regroup instead of having to start over. As Audubon saw the Redington plan, the impacts on wildlife and a sensitive natural resource outweighed the benefits of that particular wind farm.
9 Jun 2007

Digital Chirps Will Make It Easier to Site Wind Farms

-A Massachusetts company has perfected a way to measure wind speed by sending a digital chirp into the sky - lowering development costs and improving power predictions to make the siting of wind farms easier. Second Wind Inc. is introducing the Triton® sonic wind profiler, a device designed to address the limitations of sodar technology for identifying wind farm locations. The product was introduced today at North America's premiere trade event for the wind energy industry, WINDPOWER 2007 in Los Angeles.
4 Jun 2007

Hydro storage can boost value of wind energy

Wind is a great source of power. It is clean and plentiful. But it is hard to rely on as a major power source unless you figure out where to get power when the wind isn't blowing. In the power industry this is called "firming." NorthWestern Energy firms the power from the Judith Gap Wind Farm by purchasing contracts from other power companies. The problem is the contracts are not long-term and the prices are not stable....On the other hand, wind blows when we don't need power.
2 Jun 2007

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=12&topic=Technology&type=Article
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