Published by: Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Editor: Dee Hayden
IN THIS ISSUE:
* State pledging more energy assistance to poor
* Study Reveals Indiana's Biofuel Strengths, Possible Pitfalls
* Energy policy for Indiana
* Keeping the heat on this winter
* PUCO proposes cost spread
* A boost for coal country?
* Utah coal could go begging
* Federal Regulators Approve NiSource, Piedmont Gas Storage Project
* Drilling in ANWR? It's closer than ever.
* United States: Climate Change Litigation – Recent Developments
* Mercury rule may seal fate of coal power plants: EPA is reconsidering controversial proposal
* Stop Oil Company Price Gouging
* Soldius1, The World's First Solar Power Source for iPods, Debuts in Time for Holiday Shopping
* Nanostructure Discovery by HelioVolt CEO Propels Solar Thin-Film Commercialization
* Critics see flaws in Duke strategy
* Climate change will significantly hurt human health: study
* Climate change threatens California oaks
* Calculating climate change
* Get real on climate change
* Bush 'light years behind' on climate change
* Upcoming event - tapping solar power on the local level
* Wafer thin nano-films make a solar power play
* Solar power holds more promise than nuclear
* Solar Power Brightens NYC Commute
* Edison Mission Group To Develop Wind Energy Projects in Midwest
* Wind energy lobby speaks up for Makara proposal
* Texas Bid Could be First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm
* Wind farms blowing strong
* Bio-fuels now a part of the energy mix
* Switch to biofuels, public bodies urged
* Biomass boiler expected to save district $1M
* Biomass may be an answer to beetles
* Nation's first biomass project dedicated
* From hydrocarbon to a hydrogen-based economy
* Great River Energy Issues Request for Renewable Energy Proposals, Including Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED)
State pledging more energy assistance to poor
Local advocacy groups told state officials Tuesday evening that more needs to be done to curb the demand for energy and to help the poor retain heat through the winter. ...Dave Menzer, of the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, an advocacy group that supports conservation and environmental protection, said the state should focus less on increasing the supply of energy and more on curbing the demand
Study Reveals Indiana's Biofuel Strengths, Possible Pitfalls
A study released today says Indiana has the corn supply to support ethanol production. However, the study on the biofuels industry says the state needs to plan for and avoid any unintended consequences that a sharp increase in ethanol production might have on the livestock feed costs and export markets. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture had commissioned the study from Informa Economics. The study also says the state is in a strong position to be on the leading edge of the emerging biodiesel market.
Energy policy for Indiana
Will energy conservation rate as much attention as energy production? For the first time, Indiana state officials are working on a state energy policy, and there couldn’t be a better time for that work. Creating a strategy to increase energy production – and conservation – in Indiana helps position the state for better growth in the future. ...Even before the policy is released, Hoosiers can be sure that it will encourage the production of biofuels and more use of coal to make electricity. ...Environmentalists and all sensibly thrifty Hoosiers ought to be concerned that a state energy policy focused on economic development might do little more than pay lip service to conservation.
Keeping the heat on this winter
PORTER COUNTY: More might need assistance amid rising heating bills ..."At first I thought this is just people panicking, but these are shutoffs," said Madge Whickcar, an information and referrals specialist at United Way of Porter County. ...First Contact's Portage office saw five people in one day last week. Four had their power turned off and one had a disconnect notice. "This is very unusual. Not that we don't see disconnects, but not that many, not this soon," said Joanne Maynard, director of First Contact. Tom Cuddy, NIPSCO communications manager, denied there are more shutoffs or disconnects than usual right now.
PUCO proposes cost spread
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is proposing to spread out the cost of a settlement that stands in the way of transferring about 25,000 local electric customers to another carrier this January. The move is expected to save commercial and industrial customers about 21- cents per kilowatt hour, but add about 12- cents more to monthly residential bills already expected to increase. ...Flygar said he considers the $10 million Allegheny is seeking as ransom and that no one should have to pay it.
A boost for coal country?
Three plants to create 'synthetic' natural gas on drawing boards Illinois' abundant coal reserves are attracting energy entrepreneurs like Robert Gilpin. Mr. Gilpin and his partners are among a handful of investors looking to convert Illinois coal into synthetic natural gas — a product they believe will be a cheap and attractive alternative as natural gas prices soar. "The technology has been around for many years, but the price of natural gas wasn't high enough to sustain this kind of operation," says Mr. Gilpin,
Utah coal could go begging
California's decision to shun 'dirty' power will hit entire West Intent on sending a strong market signal to those who would build coal-fired power plants and sell electricity to California, that state's Public Utilities Commission says the Golden State isn't interested in pumping more global-warming related pollutants into the atmosphere. ...Environmental activists applaud the action, which they say is bound to affect plans to build at least 24 coal-fired plants in eight Western states. "California is saying, yes, they're open for business and are willing to buy power, but it's going to come from cleaner sources than it has before,"
Federal Regulators Approve NiSource, Piedmont Gas Storage Project
On November 1, 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a certificate authorizing Hardy Storage Company, LLC, (Hardy Storage) to develop a new underground natural gas storage field to help meet increased demand for natural gas in the eastern United States. Hardy Storage will convert an existing natural gas production field in Hardy and Hampshire Counties, W.Va. into a new underground gas storage field. NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) subsidiary Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. and a subsidiary of Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) are the joint developers of the project.
Drilling in ANWR? It's closer than ever.
Environmental groups are targeting moderate lawmakers in eight states to oppose the move. ...This time, after a long-running debate going back three presidential administrations and even more congressional sessions, this most controversial of energy development plans is nearer than ever to approval. ...Until now, Democrats and a small number of Republicans have blocked the measure on Capitol Hill by threatening to filibuster. Now, proponents of drilling in ANWR are attaching such measures to federal budget bills, which may not be filibustered. This means those who want to keep the wildlife refuge free of oil rigs, roads, and heavy equipment need 51 votes in the Senate (not just 41) to block it.
United States: Climate Change Litigation – Recent Developments
In the absence of mandatory federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions, states and advocacy groups have turned their attention to the courts to achieve their goals. Three recent decisions provide an indication of what is to come. These cases address issues of standing, political question doctrine and the viability of common law causes of action, and judicial review of agency action. The three courts have taken different approaches, creating uncertainty for potential litigants. It seems inevitable that more suits will follow.
Mercury rule may seal fate of coal power plants: EPA is reconsidering controversial proposal
POCATELLO - A controversial new federal mercury rule that could help or hinder the construction of coal power plants in Idaho appeared to be on the brink of approval. Now, it's being reconsidered. The Environmental Protection Agency announced Oct. 21 it will reconsider the main thrust of the Clean Air Mercury Rule, the first proposed national regulation of mercury emissions, after 14 states, most of them on the East Coast, voiced concerns.
Stop Oil Company Price Gouging
...Instead of adopting these pro-consumer, pro-environment solutions, the House Republican leadership has passed not one but two energy bills that do nothing to lower prices at the pump, are anti-environment, and give billions in corporate welfare to the same oil companies that are bringing in record-breaking profits.
The time is long overdue for Congress to take real action that will lower prices at the pump and move us toward sustainable energy.
Soldius1, The World's First Solar Power Source for iPods, Debuts in Time for Holiday Shopping; Soldius1 Also Compatible With Over 250 Mobile Phones
...Designed to maximize solar panel output to meet the power requirements of many different mobile devices, the Soldius1 features Maximum Solar Power Tracking(R) (MSPT(R)), a unique combination of patented and patent-pending solar technology developed by Soldius scientists. The Soldius1 is the first device of its kind to fully charge iPods and mobile phones, without the need for an intermediary battery or an out-of-the-box charge.
Nanostructure Discovery by HelioVolt CEO Propels Solar Thin-Film Commercialization; New Model Predicts Spontaneous Nanostructuring to Explain CIGS Thin-Film Efficiency
AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After four years of research by HelioVolt CEO Dr. BJ Stanbery and his team, HelioVolt Corporation, a next-generation solar energy technology company, today announced the joint publication with researchers from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) of experimental results confirming predictions of Dr. Stanbery's new theoretical model published in January, which explains much of the observed device physics and high performance characteristics of copper indium gallium selenide-based (CIGS) photovoltaics (PV). The Intra-Absorber Junction (IAJ) or Stanbery Model represents a key accomplishment in the scientific community's ongoing efforts to better understand the physics behind CIGS thin-films. The Stanbery model is a major leap forward for commercialization of CIGS photovoltaics.
Critics see flaws in Duke strategy
Duke Energy Corp.'s rationale for its $9 billion acquisition of Cinergy Corp. is simple: bigger means better. ...But merger critics contend the deal reflects misguided public policy and a flawed business strategy. ...Analysts already are speculating a beefed-up Duke would quickly pounce on a smaller adjoining utility in the Midwest or Southeast, as soon as late 2006.
Climate change will significantly hurt human health: study
Climate change is expected to significantly hurt the ecosystem and people's health, and bring huge economic loss in the near future, according to a UN-sponsored study released here on Tuesday. The study, entitled "Climate Change Futures: Health, Ecological and Economic Dimensions," links infectious diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, Lyme disease and asthma with the human-induced global climate change. Thus the society must pay more to cover the loss, said the researchers at the Harvard Medical School.
Climate change threatens California oaks
If trends in climate change continue, the effects could endanger the area's native species, including the beloved banana slugs, researchers at UC Santa Cruz say.
...As a result of global warming, the areas of the state where the climate is suitable for these species to grow will shift northward, and could shrink to nearly half their size, the researchers found.
Calculating climate change
The disappearance of sea ice and the effects it has on the people of the Far North is well documented. The problem is much more complex, though. Add just one more variable, anthropological archaeologist Anne Jensen said, and watch the problems grow. Add two and the results could cost millions of dollars. ...Jensen is among 36 scientists in vastly different fields who have banded together to help paint a global picture of an arctic region in great flux due to climate change. ..."It's a complex spider web. Changes in one component of a system reverberate through the rest of the system."
Get real on climate change
International unity on the way ahead is a must this time, says the Prime Minister
...We know climate change is a major threat. And worries over security of energy supply and rising oil prices are pushing energy policy to the top of the agenda. But we must understand that neither issue can realistically be dealt with unless the US, the EU, Russia, Japan, China and India work together. We also have to recognise that while the Kyoto Protocol takes us in the right direction, it is not enough. We need to cut greenhouse gas emissions radically but Kyoto doesn't even stabilise them.
Bush 'light years behind' on climate change
US President George Bush is “light years” behind the rest of the world on tackling climate change, a leading British environmentalist claimed today. Jonathan Porritt, chairman of Britain's Sustainable Development Commission, condemned the US president for refusing to sign up to the Kyoto protocol.
Upcoming event - tapping solar power on the local level
“Solar Power: Local Options for Tapping the Earth's Ultimate Energy Source," an educational event and networking opportunity presented by the Cape & Islands Renewable Energy Collaborative (CIREC), is scheduled for Wednesday, November 16, from 7pm-9pm, at the Cape Cod National Seashore’s Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham. ...The meeting will feature an airing of The Power of the Sun, a new documentary describing the history of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, its current and future applications, and its potential for meeting the world’s energy needs.
Wafer thin nano-films make a solar power play
The Californian creators of new ultra-thin nanocrystal solar cells are heralding their invention as the leading contender in the race for future dominance of the solar market, arguing they have several advantages over the betting man's current favourite, organic cells. ...Such cells have been a theoretic possibility for some time but the American team's prototypes are the first to have been produced.
Solar power holds more promise than nuclear
...Consequently the cost of nuclear energy, including all the burdens that the industry sloughs off on society, is too high, and the industry flounders. Tying nuclear energy to hydrogen, a clean fuel, does nothing to redeem nuclear energy from its fatal flaw. Further, tying hydrogen to large-scale, highly centralized energy infrastructure is a mistake. Hydrogen can be produced and used locally, using small-scale and diversified technologies. There is no economy of scale associated with hydrogen production, storage and utilization. The amount of solar energy falling on our state is many times our need. It can be captured on rooftops, parking lots and agricultural shelters scattered over the land and converted to hydrogen on the spot, where it can be stored for use as needed.
Solar Power Brightens NYC Commute
...The Stillwell Avenue station has been heralded as a revolutionary design thanks to its extensive use of solar power -- a rarity in municipal transportation services in the United States. On a sunny day, 60,000 square feet of integrated solar paneling on its roof can generate 210 kilowatts of power, enough to meet two-thirds of the station's energy requirements.
Edison Mission Group To Develop Wind Energy Projects in Midwest
Edison Mission Group Inc. (EMG), a subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE:EIX), announced it has entered into a joint development agreement with Midwest Wind Energy, LLC, of Chicago, to provide funding and other support to advance a series of Midwest Wind Energy's projects, which EMG plans to own and operate when completed.
Wind energy lobby speaks up for Makara proposal
Renewable energy projects such as state-owned generator Meridian Energy's $380 million wind farm planned at Makara near Wellington are important to the nation's future, says the Wind Energy Association. Wind was already competing with coal in terms of the cost of generating electricity and overseas was cheaper than nuclear-powered generators. In some regions wind could even be competitive with gas-fired generators.
Texas Bid Could be First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm
Austin, Texas - A new bid for an offshore wind project was announced this week in Texas adding to the current roster of projects hoping to take the title of first offshore wind power facility in the US. ..."Today marks a new era for energy development in America, and what better place to begin than Texas," Patterson said. "Texas knows energy, and we're ready to lead the nation toward establishing clean, reliable coastal wind power as an energy reality."
Wind farms blowing strong
Portland's PPM Energy has become the country's most prolific builder ...The new wind farm, scheduled to come online next summer, would be one of the largest in the Columbia River corridor, an area known for its windy conditions. ...Several market forces are giving the wind industry a big boost. One is the production tax credit, a federal subsidy aimed at easing up-front development costs and making wind-power prices competitive with more traditional forms of energy.
Bio-fuels now a part of the energy mix
Japan is finally awakening to the potential of biomass fuels, such as gasoline mixed with ethanol, which is widely used in Brazil and the United States, and diesel fuel made from used cooking oil. Because such fuels help ease dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and both the government and industry are now working to devise ways to convert the many agricultural products grown domestically into biomass fuels at low cost.
Switch to biofuels, public bodies urged
All leading public bodies in Norfolk are to be urged to fight against climate change, and to give a boost to the county's economy, by switching to vehicles using a high proportion of locally-produced biofuels. ...He also emphasised that the introduction of a renewable transport fuel obligation must be combined with a continuation of tax incentives for biofuels. And Mid-Norfolk MP Keith Simpson called on the Government to go beyond the current 20p a litre incentive over conventional fuels and allow VAT zero rating for biofuels.
Biomass boiler expected to save district $1M
Townsend schools, like many a school, have watched tax dollars go up in smoke - literally - every heating season. But with the installation of a new biomass wood pellet boiler this coming year, the schools' annual heating bill of $50,000 will be cut in half. ...The Fuels for Schools program grew out of the devastating forest fires of 2000, according to Farr. At that time, the Bitterroot Resource Conservation and Development Council began looking for ways to use slash, from thinning the forests, in a more productive way.
Biomass may be an answer to beetles (subscription)
VAIL - We know pine beetles are here in the Vail Valley. And we know they're not going anywhere until they kill most of the lodgepole pine trees. The ramifications of these pesky bugs could be devastating. ...But there may be a silver lining - power. All the dead wood the beetles will leave behind could be used to produce heat and even electricity for the town of Vail.
Nation's first biomass project dedicated
Country's first test project on village energy security through biomass was dedicated to the nation at tribal dominated Kasai, about 104 km from here today with an aim to meet its total energy requirements through locally available material. ...For the villagers of Kasai who had been living in darkness for ages, the project provides a ray of hope for development, income generation and improvement in quality of life, he said.
From hydrocarbon to a hydrogen-based economy
...In view of the twin problems of energy shortage and greenhouse gas emissions that the world faces, long-term strategies are being drawn to address the following objectives: (1) promotion of energy conservation and efficient use; (2) intensified use of renewables; (3) strengthening of research to lower the technical and economic barriers to all types of alternative energy most especially hydrogen; (4) capture of carbon dioxide emissions from power and industrial plants and storing them underground, a process known as carbon sequestration. ...In the end, imagine a world in which energy is limitless and humans can breathe in clean air. The veil of greenhouse gases begins to thin out and global warming ceases to be a threat to Planet Earth. It will be a brave new world for humanity.
Great River Energy Issues Request for Renewable Energy Proposals, Including Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED)
ELK RIVER, Minn.- Great River Energy is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) today, October 28, 2005, for a total of 120 megawatts (MW) of renewable resources, 20 MW of which calls for Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) proposals. Depending on cost-competitiveness, up to 120 MW in this RFP could be met with C-BED projects. ...To qualify as a C-BED project, the wind project's owner must be a Minnesota resident of the county or a limited liability corporation whose members are Minnesota residents of the county where the wind project will be located. Minnesota nonprofits or cooperatives organized specifically to develop community-based wind energy also may qualify.
Repowering the Midwest: The Clean Energy Development Plan for the Heartland
Environmental Law & Policy Center, Citizens Action Coalition, et al
Renewable Potential Maps – U.S. Census Division - U.S. Department of Energy -
Energy Issues Index
Citizens Action Coalition
ELPC Energy Project
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Union of Concerned Scientists
Ark - The Premier Climate Change & Renewable Energy Portal www.climateark.org
Repowering Indiana Weekly is produced by Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana with funding from Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana.
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These are the issues of immediate importance we are working on right now.