Monday, September 13, 2004

A smorgasboard or renewable energy projects from around the world.

In California, The Bureau of Land Management has identified 72,000 acres of land that appear promising for wind-power development.

If federal permits were streamlined and other steps taken to encourage wind power, the new study estimates, California wind turbines could produce an additional 1,460 megawatts of electricity by 2025. That's enough to serve a city of half a million households. By 2025, building the additional windmills in California would add 2,980 jobs, and operating them would add 500 more, according to the study. The jobs, in turn, would generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues.

In Germany, the World's biggest solar power plant was inaugurated last Wednesday.

Tucked away behind trees in the middle of the countryside, the Leipziger Land solar power plant Wednesday in the eastern German village of Espenhain is invisible from the road. It’s only when you drive through the gate and onto the site itself that you’re confronted with a vast field full of 33,500 shimmering gray panels tilted towards the sun at precisely 30 degrees -- the optimum angle for absorbing radiation. ...

The high performance modules, made of monocrystalline silicon, can handle the high voltage as well as delivering a high energy yield. Each panel produces 150 watts of energy. The plant cost €22 million ($26.5 million) to build and is capable of generating five megawatts of electricity. ...

Germany’s pioneering Renewable Energy Law, which was passed four years ago and amended in April this year, decrees that any electricity producer -- including private individuals -- get paid for the amount they feed into the national grid. This has encouraged thousands of people to install solar panels on their houses.

Renewable energy legislation like this should be a major priority in this country. Unfortunately, Congress can't seem to get any energy bill passed, much less a good one.

Even Nicaragua is developing two new geothermal fields that should be able to produce as much as 450 megawatts of energy. Nicaragua already has one geothermal plant at the Momotombo Volcano, 30 kilometers we of the capit that produces about 40 MW. Companies from Italy, Japan, Mexico and El Salvador have expressed interest in the two new sites.


At 12:26 PM, Blogger Renee said...

What is unfortunate in the United States (and possibly other countries?) is there are people who fight these wind farms because they "obstruct their view". There was a proposal for several off the upper east coast but the rich who live on the coast protested it and because of the money they donate to campaigns, got their way. Hence, no wind farms.


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