As reported by EIA’s Energy in Brief

Worldwide wind power generation exceeded 200 billion kilowatthours in 2008, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of over 18 million average households in the United States. Wind generation increased by about 25% from 2007 to 2008, and has more than tripled since 2003. This growth is mostly due to capacity increases in the United States, China, India, and Western Europe. Despite this growth, the world still generated less than 1% of its total electricity from wind power in 2008.

Line chart showing the increase in wind electricity generation by region from 1980 - 2008. Source: Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics

Pie chart showing the contribution to global wind generation in 2008. United States 25.1%; Germany 18.5%; Spain 14.5%; India 7.2%, China 6.2%, United Kingdom 3.3%; Denmark 3.2%; Italy 3.0%; France 2.6%; Portugal 2.6% and Rest of World 13.9%. Source: Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics

Bar graph showing the share of total electricity generation from wind in 2008. United States 1.3%; Germany 6.5%; Ireland 8.6%; Spain 10.4%; Portugal 12.6% and Denmark 19.2%. Source: Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics

Did You Know?

A feed-in tariff is a financial incentive that encourages the adoption of renewable electricity. Under a feed-in tariff, government legislation requires electric utilities to purchase renewable electricity at a higher price than the wholesale price. This incentive allows the renewable generator to achieve a positive return on its investment despite the higher costs associated with these resources.

Did You Know?

Because the wind does not blow 24 hours a day and because the timing of it cannot be controlled, electricity from wind is not available on demand. Although wind makes up a significant portion of Denmark’s generation capacity, the intermittent nature of wind has been mitigated by the connection of the Danish electrical grid to the grids of Germany, Sweden, and Norway. These interconnections allow Denmark to export electricity when wind power generation exceeds demand and import electricity when there is not enough wind.

The United States Generated the Most Wind Electricity in 2008

Overtaking the previous leader Germany, the United States led all other countries in wind power generation in 2008. The remaining top-ten wind power generators, listed in descending order, were Spain, India, China, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, and France. Although about 60 countries reported significant wind power generation in 2008, these top-ten countries accounted for more than 85% of all wind generation worldwide. Wind generation in China has grown an average of 70% annually since 2003, in spite of delays in bringing some of its new capacity online.

Denmark Generates the Highest Percentage of its Electricity Supply from Wind

Nearly 20% of Denmark’s electricity generation came from wind in 2008. The next highest levels of wind penetration are found in Portugal at 13%, Spain at 10%, Ireland at 9%, and Germany at 7%. No other country surpassed 5% penetration, including the United States, which generated over 1% of its electricity from wind in 2008.

Less than 2% of Global Wind Capacity is Offshore

According to the World and European Wind Energy Associations, installed global wind capacity reached 159,000 megawatts by the end of 2009, with only about 2,000 MW of that total located offshore. Offshore development lags behind onshore generally due to higher costs and technology constraints. Western Europe is home to nearly all existing offshore capacity — although prototype turbines for China’s first offshore farm were connected to the grid in 2009. As of June 2010, there are no operating offshore wind farms in the United States, although the 420-megawatt Cape Wind offshore project off the Massachusetts coast had secured local, State, and Federal approval as of April 2010.

Wind Power Generation is Expected to Continue Growing

Over the lifetime of the plant, electricity from wind power generally costs more than electricity from power plants burning fossil fuels.1 However, wind power is expected to continue to grow worldwide because of favorable government policies. Multiple types of government support exist, including a production tax credit and State renewable electricity portfolio standards in the United States, a feed-in tariff (see the “Did You Know” box on the left) in Germany, and wind capacity targets in China. According to EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2010, wind generation is expected to account for more than 3% of total world electricity by 2020.

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ANGELA CHARLTON | May 28, 2009 05:01 PM EST | AP

PARIS — The top U.S. environment official says it’s time for the United States to shed its energy-wasting image and lead the world race for cleaner power sources instead.

After several years with a relatively low profile under President George W. Bush, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “is back on the job,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told The Associated Press on Thursday during a trip to Paris.

What the EPA does domestically this year will be watched closely overseas. Nations worldwide are working toward a major meeting in Copenhagen in December aimed at producing a new global climate pact. The U.S. position on curbing its own pollution and helping poor countries adapt to global warming is seen as key to any new pact.

Jackson was in Paris for international talks on how rich governments can include global climate concerns in overall development aid.

She dismissed worries that economic downturn was cutting into aid commitments or investment in new energy resources. She said the United States should take the lead on clean energy technology, recession or no.

“We have to get in the race now _ and win it,” she said. “I don’t expect a moving backwards because of recession.”

At climate talks in Paris earlier this week, European environment ministers welcomed greater U.S. commitment to environmental issues under the Obama administration _ but said it still wasn’t aiming high enough in its targets for cutting U.S. emissions.

Jackson said a shift in the American mindset is only beginning.

Talking about energy efficiency and saying companies should pay to pollute _ “that’s a revolutionary message for our country,” she said.

For a long time, she said, “People didn’t even expect the EPA to show up” at events, much less set policies that could be seen as examples for the rest of the world.

“Now it seems like every day we’re rolling back or reconsidering a Bush era policy on clean air,” she said.

She said it was time for the United States to take a more active role in limiting chemical pollutants, after falling behind Europe in that domain.

The U.S. also has lessons to learn from countries such as the Netherlands, she said, after visiting its low-lying, flood-prone lands to study ways cities like her native New Orleans can better manage water.

Our Perspective:

It is good to hear the administration making positive comments about our energy’s future. Alternative energy is a growth business and the correct path for insuring our future energy indepenence.

Let us know your thoughts? You may leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Would you like to know more about the financial opportunities that drive this investment. Feel free to contct us.

Written by T. Boone Pickens

Earlier this month I made a point of going to WINDPOWER 2009, the world’s largest conference on wind energy. Yes, it was in the Windy City, but the truth is it’s not always in Chicago. Next year’s conference will be here in Dallas and you need to put it on your calendar.

A decade ago you could have packed everyone who showed up at an event like this in a pint-sized 7-11. Those days are gone. Last year, attendance at this event topped 13,000. This year? More than 23,000. And it wasn’t just exhibitors (though there were close to 2,000 of them there as well). The roster of key policymakers who participated at WINDPOWER 2009 was impressive, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghof. All of them echoed the statements made by President Obama that alternative energy and renewables are important elements in this administration’s energy plan.

That’s not just sound energy policy but it’s good for the economy as well. Business is booming in the wind energy sector, and you know who is most keenly aware of that? America’s governors. Over the last year as I’ve been promoting the Pickens Plan, I’ve met wind state governors such as Brian Schweitzer of Montana, Bill Richardson of New Mexico, and Jon Huntsman of Utah. Back when she was Governor of Kansas, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hosted the very first Pickens Plan Town Hall Meeting in Topeka.

But what really stood out was the governors who attended WINDPOWER in Chicago were not from traditional wind power states. They were from Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and of course, Illinois. If you take a look at the Energy Department’s wind map, you’ll see that these states are not in the Wind Corridor, which runs the length of the Great Plains from the Texas Panhandle to the Canadian border. Yet, they are profiting from wind energy, thanks to the enormous number of job that are being created to manufacture turbines and other equipment, build infrastructure, and improve efficiency. These states have a vested interest in wind energy.

We all do. Right now there are wind farms and manufacturing facilities in 48 out of 50 states. While our country is fighting its way out of a recession, this industry and others in the burgeoning green economy are bright spots, creating permanent, good-paying jobs, putting people to work, and helping America cement its status as a global leader in the energy industry.

This is one of the basic principles of the Pickens Plan, and it goes straight to the heart of what I’ve been talking about since I launched the plan last July. Right here in America, we’ve got plenty of energy waiting to be tapped. The only problem is that for the last four decades we haven’t had the leadership to harness it or develop it or drill for it. Instead, we took the easy way out. Cheap imported oil became the crutch that everyone leaned on, only now we know it’s not cheap anymore.

Last year, as our economy stalled, we spent $475 billion on imported oil. Can you believe that? I can’t. Half a trillion dollars. The greatest transfer of wealth in recorded history. And to make matters worse we still haven’t learned our lesson. According to figures just released, our trade deficit on oil imports widened in March for the first time in eight months. We’re still importing more than two-thirds of the oil we consume, and that’s got to stop.

The purpose of the Pickens Plan was to put a lot of ideas on the table in order to help our country develop the energy plan it so desperately needs and deserves. Wind energy is one of the best, and if you don’t believe me come to Dallas next year and see for yourself at WINDPOWER 2010.

Written by Carolyn Thompson April 22, 2009  AP

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A New York state utility is exploring whether it is possible to put electricity-generating wind turbines in the Great Lakes, rather than inland or along the shoreline.

The state-owned New York Power Authority on Wednesday began asking potential developers how they would go about constructing an offshore wind project in Lake Erie or Lake Ontario and what the environmental, technical and other hurdles might be.

“The goal here is to develop within the next five years an offshore wind project in the Great Lakes that will produce a minimum of 120 megawatts of clean, renewable energy,” said NYPA President and Chief Executive Richard Kessel, who announced the plans Wednesday on the windy Lake Erie shore in Buffalo.

Several similar projects are being considered in Canada, on the northern side of Lake Erie, as well as off the Toronto shoreline of Lake Ontario, but nothing has been built so far, said Terry Yonker, chairman of the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative Steering Committee, a binational group pursuing wind development in the United States and Canada.

President Barack Obama has made wind energy a key part of his energy plan, estimating that it could generate as much as 20 percent of the U.S. electricity demand by 2030. The Interior Department issued long-awaited regulations Wednesday governing offshore renewable energy projects that would tap wind, ocean currents and waves to produce electricity.

In New York, Gov. David Paterson has set a goal for New York to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through renewable power by 2015.

“Harnessing the power of wind is critical to achieving that goal, and the Great Lakes offshore wind project will help us reach it,” Paterson said.

Several environmental groups have signed on as early supporters of the Great Lakes project, including the Audubon Society, Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

The wind turbines would be more than a mile offshore, in depths of 60 to 180 feet of water.

Kessel estimated the project would cost $700 million to $1 billion, which the developer could make back in power sales.

“It is more costly to place turbines in the lake,” Yonker said, “but on the other hand, the more you get away from land the better the wind resource becomes.”

NYPA’s request for comments, issued Wednesday, will be followed as early as next week by a similar request for technical information on the potential impact on the water, fish and birds.

One issue that must be addressed is the thick sheet of ice that often forms across much of Lake Erie in the winter and the potential impact on the turbines as the ice shifts and breaks. The deeper Lake Ontario does not freeze over.

If the project proves feasible, the authority would select a developer by the end of this year or early next year, Kessel said.

“There’s no reason why we can’t see a major offshore wind project operating here within five years,” he said.

TRUST IN THE WIND

April 8, 2009

ATLANTIC CITY – Windmills off the East Coast could generate enough electricity to replace most, if not all, the coal-fired power plants in the United States, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said yesterday.

His view was challenged as “overly optimistic” by a coal-industry group, which noted that half the nation’s electricity currently comes from coal-fired power plants.

The secretary spoke at a public hearing in Atlantic City on how the nation’s offshore areas can be tapped to meet its energy needs.

“The idea that wind energy has the potential to replace most of our coal-burning power today is a very real possibility,” he said. “It is not technology that is pie-in-the sky; it is here-and-now.”

A spokesman for Salazar said yesterday evening that the secretary does not expect wind power to be fully developed, but was speaking of its total potential if it were.

Offshore energy production might not be limited to wind power, Salazar said. A moratorium on offshore oil drilling has expired, and President Obama and Congress must decide whether to allow drilling off the East Coast.

“We know there are some people who want us to close the door on that,” he said. “We need to look at all forms of energy as we move forward into a new energy frontier.”

Salazar said ocean winds along the East Coast can generate one million megawatts of power, roughly equal to 3,000 medium-sized coal-fired plants, or nearly five times the number of coal plants now operating in the United States, according to the Energy Department.

Salazar could not estimate how many windmills might be needed to generate one million megawatts, saying it would depend on their size and how far from the coast they were located.

Jason Hayes, a spokesman for the American Coal Council, said he was puzzled by Salazar’s projections. He said wind-power plants face roadblocks including local opposition, concerns about the impact on wildlife, and problems in efficiently transmitting power from far offshore.

“It really is a stretch,” he said of Salazar’s estimate. “How you put that many new [wind] plants up, especially in deep water, is confusing. Even if you could do what he said, you still need to deal with the fact that the best wind plants generate power about 30 percent of the time. There’s got to be something to back that up.”

Yesterday’s hearing was hosted by Salazar and was the first of four nationwide to discuss how energy resources including oil, gas, wind and waves should be used as the Obama administration formulates its energy policy. It was held at the Atlantic City Convention Center, whose roof-mounted solar-energy panels are the largest in the nation.

Salazar said it is essential that the nation fully exploit renewable energy resources to reduce its reliance on imported oil.

By buying oil from countries hostile to the United States, “we have, in my opinion, been funding both sides in the war on terrorism,” he said.

Environmentalists are urging the Obama administration to bar oil and gas drilling off the East Coast, and invest heavily in wind, solar and other energy technology.

Our Perspective:

I have found there is no silver bullet. There are multiple forms of alternative energy solutions, each playing a unique part in the overall solution.

To install wind mills out in the ocean and rid ourselves of the mining of coal would amount to a homerun! Safety is always a concern. Not only the safety of our workers mining the coal but also the safety of the environment. All the pollutants discharged into the air from its’ use.

Let us know your thoughts? You may leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Have a question about financing your investment in alternative energy? Contact us. We specialize in creating the financial structure that make sense. 

As reported in

The Executive’s Daily Green Briefing

A new loan process from the Department of Energy could jump-start the alternative energy business, observers say.

Under the Obama Administration, energy companies can expect a quicker response to loan requests, in stark contrast to a process that tended to bog down in recent years.

As part of the new economic stimulus, Energy Secretary Steven Chu is revamping the Department of Energy’s method for dispersing direct loans, loan guarantees and funding aspects of the recovery plan. Chu wants to expedite disbursement of funds to begin investments in a new energy economy, putting millions of Americans back to work, according to a DOE press release.

Govi Rao, chief executive officer of Lighting Science Group Corp., Westampton, N.J., welcomed the news.

“DOE has been proactive in funding cleantech companies like ours,” Rao said. “But by reducing the bureaucracy and paperwork, the process should be much simpler now.”

In the press release, Chu said, “These changes will bring a new urgency to investments that will put Americans back to work, reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and improve the environment. We need to start this work in a matter of months, not years – while insisting on the highest standard of accountability.”

As an example of how critics say the loan process is broken, Massachusetts-based Beacon Power Co. has been waiting 25 months for a $50 million loan guarantee toward an electricity-storage plant, according to WSJOnline.com.

As part of the approval process, so far Beacon has supplied DOE with 96 documents, including a draft 87-page environmental-impact study for the proposed two-acre site, according to the article.

By reducing paperwork and processing applications on a “rolling basis,”  the Department of Energy aims to emulate the way private industry quickly finances projects. Among other things, according to the release, the department plans to:

  • Offer loan guarantees under the Department’s previous loan guarantee program beginning in late April or early May.
  • Begin offering loan guarantees under the stimulus by early summer.
  • Distribute 70 percent of the stimulus dollars by the end of next year.

Some other aspects of Chu’s approach may appeal to companies, including the department offering applicants the opportunity to pay fees as part of closing, instead of up-front when applying. Additionally, Chu plans to further reduce up-front costs by having credit subsidies paid over the life of the loan.

The Department of Energy is not offering a free ride, however. Companies receiving loans in most cases will have to come up some earnest money on their own.

A spokesman for DOE said it’s too soon to know how much the announcement will affect the number of loan applications.

Rao expects Lighting Science will apply for a loan in connection with a proposed factory in New Jersey, which has been courting the company.

Lighting Science designs, develops and manufactures light engines, plug and play fixtures, screw-based lamps and custom projects. It has operations in Florida, California, New Jersey and Europe. In addition to consumer uses, it specializes in so-called “architainment,” or the mixture of architecture and lighting for entertainment. One of its more famous projects is the Times Square Ball.

While at a previous company, Rao applied for a DOE loan, he said, adding, “It was tedious. It involved extensive documentation and took almost a year. That was understandable to a degree, but I’m looking for it to change.”

Rao said he expects the Obama Administration to deliver more good news for the cleantech sector.

“In general, the Obama administration will result in positive results not only for companies like ours but for the entire energy chain,” he said. “It changes the paradigm for energy production in this country. As we transition to solar, wind and LED lighting, it will take time to overcome the barriers.”

Obama signs stimulus plan

February 25, 2009

Written by Martin Lamonica

Martin LaMonica is a senior writer for CNET’s Green Tech blog.

President Obama signed into law a government stimulus package Tuesday and said the energy provisions will pave the path for doubling the amount of renewable energy in the next three years.

Energy is a major piece of the massive $787 billion package, totaling about $38 billion in government spending and about $20 billion in tax incentives over the next 10 years, according to estimates.

 

President Barack Obama signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Denver.

(Credit: Screen capture by Martin LaMonica/CNET Networks)

 

Obama signed the bill, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, into law at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science where he later took a tour of the museum’s solar-panel installation.

The energy portions of the law are intended to promote rapid development of renewable energy sources and increase energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, and other sectors of the economy.

The president said he hoped that the clean-energy-related portions of the bill will inspire Americans the same way that President Kennedy’s goal to put a man on the moon did in the 1960s.

“I hope this investment will ignite our imagination once more in science, medicine, energy and make our economy stronger, our nation more secure, and our planet safer for our children,” Obama said before signing the bill.

The major energy-related portions of the law were largely left intact after Congressional debate. Overall, the plan will more than triple the amount of spending on clean-energy programs, said Daniel Weiss, a fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Major energy portions include:

 

  • A three-year extension to the tax credit for wind, which would have expired at the end of this year, and an extension until the end of 2013 for geothermal and biomass renewable-energy projects. The credit has been increased to 30 percent of the investment.
  • $4.5 billion in direct spending to modernize the electricity grid with smart-grid technologies.
  • $6.3 billion in state energy-efficient and clean-energy grants and $4.5 billion to make federal buildings more energy efficient.
  • $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy systems, biofuel projects, and electric-power transmission facilities.
  • $2 billion in loans to manufacture advanced batteries and components for applications such as plug-in electric cars.
  • $5 billion to weatherize homes of up to 1 million low-income people.
  • $3.4 billion appropriated to the Department of Energy for fossil energy research and development, such as storing carbon dioxide underground at coal power plants.
  • A tax credit of between $2,500 and $5,000 for purchase of plug-in electric vehicles, available for the first 200,000 placed into service.

(Click here for full summary from the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and from law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf.)

Measuring the impact
In general, companies in the green-technology field have welcomed the focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy production in the law.

The law gives renewable-energy project developers an alternative to the existing federal subsidy. Many renewable-energy projects have been stalled, or scrapped, because many investors don’t have enough income to take advantage of a 30 percent federal tax credit. The bill now allows renewable-energy project developers to effectively get the same credit by applying for a loan from the Department of Energy for 30 percent of the project, explained Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA).

The loan guarantees are designed to help companies to commercialize new energy technologies, by providing money for a manufacturing facility, for example. A number of green-tech companies, including flywheel storage company Beacon Power, electric-car company Tesla Motors, and battery maker A123 Systems have applied

More generally, investors and analysts said that the significance of the law is that it’s a step toward crafting a more comprehensive energy policy, based on sustained commitment to renewable energy and efficiency.

“For years, U.S. policymakers’ support for clean energy has been uneven,” said Michael Liebreich, the CEO of research firm New Energy Finance, in a statement. “No longer…the U.S. will have a great chance to be the growth engine for our industry over the next several years.

The spending on the bill on things like smart grid technologies and energy efficiency should have a rapid impact, said Dennis Costello, a venture capitalist at Braemar Energy Ventures. But he said that even with the economic stimulus of the government spending, the conditions for energy technology firms remains very difficult.

Specifically, he said the drop in the cost of oil over the past year makes it harder for a firm that is seeking to develop a replacement, such as biofuels. Also, the overall recession continues to dampen demand for products and financing remains challenging.

“It’s kind of refreshing to see at least beginnings of a real energy policy, some sort of unified approach to our energy problems,” Costello said. “But it isn’t going to solve our energy problems. There are a lot of countervailing factors to give pause to being overexuberant on the future of energy sector and clean tech.”

Analysts noted there are other challenges to a rapid change in the slow-moving energy sector.

The stimulus act gives the Department of Energy control over billions of dollars in loans and spending on research and development projects–more than the department’s annual budget. But the Energy Department has not dispersed money in the past few years because of its slow approval process, which Secretary Steven Chu said he intends to speed up.

Also, a sharp increase in renewable energy from wind and solar power requires building new power lines to bring electricity from windy and sunny areas to more populated regions.

Bramaer’s Costello said an industry association estimated that the stimulus act spending could lead to 3,000 new miles of transmission lines. However, siting these new lines is a contentious process and likely to meet local and state opposition.

“Siting of transmission lines is this going to be the Achilles’ heel of renewables,” said Elgie Holstein, a senior energy policy adviser in the Obama administration.

Yes, They Could. So They Did.

February 24, 2009

Written by Thomas Friedman

Op-Ed Columnist New York Times

So I am attending the Energy and Resources Institute climate conference in New Delhi, and during the afternoon session two young American women — along with one of their mothers — proposition me.

“Hey, Mr. Friedman,” they say, “would you like to take a little spin around New Delhi in our car?”

Oh, I say, I’ve heard that line before. Ah, they say, but you haven’t seen this car before. It’s a plug-in electric car that is also powered by rooftop solar panels — and the two young women, recent Yale grads, had just driven it all over India in a “climate caravan” to highlight the solutions to global warming being developed by Indian companies, communities, campuses and innovators, as well as to inspire others to take action.

They ask me if I want to drive, but I have visions of being stopped by the cops and ending up in a New Delhi jail. Not to worry, they tell me. Indian cops have been stopping them all across India. First, they ask to see driver’s licenses, then they inquire about how the green car’s solar roof manages to provide 10 percent of its mileage — and then they try to buy the car.

We head off down Panchsheel Marg, one of New Delhi’s main streets. The ladies want to show me something. The U.S. Embassy and the Chinese Embassy are both located on Panchsheel, directly across from each other. They asked me to check out the rooftops of each embassy. What do I notice? Let’s see … The U.S. Embassy’s roof is loaded with antennae and listening gear. The Chinese Embassy’s roof is loaded with … new Chinese-made solar hot-water heaters.

You couldn’t make this up.

But trying to do something about it was just one of many reasons my hosts, Caroline Howe, 23, a mechanical engineer on leave from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Alexis Ringwald, a Fulbright scholar in India and now a solar entrepreneur, joined with Kartikeya Singh, who was starting the Indian Youth Climate Network, or IYCN, to connect young climate leaders in India, a country coming under increasing global pressure to manage its carbon footprint.

“India is full of climate innovators, so spread out across this huge country that many people don’t get to see that these solutions are working right now,” said Howe. “We wanted to find a way to bring people together around existing solutions to inspire more action and more innovation. There’s no time left to just talk about the problem.”

Howe and Ringwald thought the best way to do that might be a climate solutions road tour, using modified electric cars from India’s Reva Electric Car Company, whose C.E.O. Ringwald knew. They persuaded him to donate three of his cars and to retrofit them with longer-life batteries that could travel 90 miles on a single six-hour charge — and to lay on a solar roof that would extend them farther.

Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 5, they drove the cars on a 2,100-mile trip from Chennai to New Delhi, stopping in 15 cities and dozens of villages, training Indian students to start their own climate action programs and filming 20 videos of India’s top home-grown energy innovations. They also brought along a solar-powered band, plus a luggage truck that ran on plant oil extracted from jatropha and pongamia, plants locally grown on wasteland. A Bollywood dance group joined at different stops and a Czech who learned about their trip on YouTube hopped on with his truck that ran on vegetable-oil waste.

Deepa Gupta, 21, a co-founder of IYCN, told The Hindustan Times that the trip opened her eyes to just how many indigenous energy solutions were budding in India — “like organic farming in Andhra Pradesh, or using neem and garlic as pesticides, or the kind of recycling in slums, such as Dharavi. We saw things already in place, like the Gadhia solar plant in Valsad, Gujarat, where steam is used for cooking and you can feed almost 50,000 people in one go.” (See: www.indiaclimatesolutions.com.)

At Rajpipla, in Gujarat, when they stopped at a local prince’s palace to recharge their cars, they discovered that his business was cultivating worms and selling them as eco-friendly alternatives to chemical fertilizers.

I met Howe and Ringwald after a tiring day, but I have to admit that as soon as they started telling me their story it really made me smile. After a year of watching adults engage in devastating recklessness in the financial markets and depressing fecklessness in the global climate talks, it’s refreshing to know that the world keeps minting idealistic young people who are not waiting for governments to act, but are starting their own projects and driving innovation.

“Why did this tour happen?” asked Ringwald. “Why this mad, insane plan to travel across India in a caravan of solar electric cars and jatropha trucks with solar music, art, dance and a potent message for climate solutions? Well … the world needs crazy ideas to change things, because the conventional way of thinking is not working anymore.”

Letter to T. Boone’s Army

February 19, 2009

From the desk of T. Boone Pickens

Army!

The battle for the stimulus package is over and – thanks to you – we were very successful on the wind side of the Pickens Plan.

Here is the list of items which are included in the stimulus package:

  • A 3-year Production Tax Credit (PTC) extension through the end of 2012
  • An option to elect a 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in place of the PTC
  • An option to convert the Investment Tax Credit into a grant for projects placed in service in 2009, or 2010, or placed in service before 2013 provided construction begins in 2009 or 2010
  • A new $6 billion Department of Energy renewable energy and transmission loan guarantee program, which should fund around $60 billion in principal amount of guaranteed loans
  • Authority for the Western Area Power Administration to borrow up to $3.25 billion from the Treasury to build renewable transmission lines in the western United States, including western Texas

Did the New Energy Army have an impact?

Absolutely.

Last summer, when we started this effort, no one would have believed that 1.4 million Americans would join together to affect energy legislation in the Congress of the United States.  But last week alone, over a 3 day period, we generated over 60,000 emails to Members of the United States House and Senate urging their support.

You can like or dislike the stimulus package, and I’m not qualified enough to speak to the entire package or its economic prospects.  But I do know energy, and I know the aspects of the stimulus plan that address this subject are critical and beneficial.  But they are also a first step.

We’ve still got more work to do to end our dependence on foreign oil, especially on the natural gas side of the Pickens Plan.  I said on CNBC that the battle now shifts to the House and Senate Energy Committees to begin moving the country from imported gasoline and diesel to domestic natural gas.

I’ll be coming back to you in the next few days with a plan to have a serious impact on foreign oil.

Pat yourselves on the back.  Take ten.  Then get ready to saddle up and start again.

Thank you.

Boone

P.S.  If you haven’t joined your District Group yet, now is the time.  Click here.

Our Perspective:

Kudos to Boone!!! He has been relentless is bringing his vision for alternative energy solutions to the public.

Some may say, “He is just in it for the money”. If he just wanted to make money he would just continue his current MO. He has nothing to lose.

He however, sees that there is a real issue looming. As the demand for energy continues to grow over the next 8 to 10 years, we are unable to support this  growing demand with our existing facilities.

Many states have devoloped plans to reduce the demand off the grid upto 20% by the year 2020. They have also set a target of having upto 22.5% of their energy being produced by American Clean Energy Solutions

This is an exciting time. The future of energy is in our hands. Let’s not drop the ball.

Let us know your thoughts? You may leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com to learn more about opportunities available to join the energy evolution.

Written by Van Jones

As reported in Huffington Post Green

Pretty soon, Kermit the Frog is going to need a new song to sing. I’m not saying it’s easy being green. But it’s getting easier.

 As part of the $787 billion stimulus package that President Obama just signed, the federal government will be investing about $60 billion in clean energy, environmental projects, and scientific research.

 Gene Karpinski, head of the League of Conservation Voters, calls it “by far the biggest investment in new green technologies that we’ve ever seen from the federal government.”

 This is a huge step forward for America. The twin crises of economic collapse and ecological devastation have proven that the old, pollution-based economy has failed both the people and the planet.

 The ‘green’ money in the stimulus package is a down payment on a clean, green economy that will serve both the people and the planet. Check out some of the details:

$11 billion for the creation of a smart energy grid

$8.4 billion for public transit

$6.3 billion for state and local energy efficiency grants

$6 billion for the cleanup of contaminated Department of Defense sites

$4.5 billion to green federal buildings

$1.2 billion for the EPA’s cleanup programs

Plus, the final version of the bill eliminates the loan guarantees the Senate had included for nuclear and so-called clean coal technology development — false environmental ‘solutions’ that would have made matters worse, not better.

 It’s an especially exciting moment for me and my colleagues at Green For All, the Apollo Alliance, the Workforce Alliance and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. The stimulus includes $500 million for green jobs training — funding we’ve been trying to get for two years. That means that the recovery package won’t just stimulate the green economy. It will also make sure that the green economy includes pathways out of poverty for low-income people and people of color.

If only the billions that went to tax cuts had been used for even more green investments! Then Kermit would have had to completely rewrite that song.

Our Pwerspective:

The Government took a decisive step in promoting American Clean Energy Solutions.

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