What Would It Take To Power New York State On Only Wind, Water And Sunlight?

Wind, water and sunlight power.

“We must be ambitious if we want to promote energy independence and curb global warming,”
Study co-author Robert Howarth, Cornell University

Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, a senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy, led a study to calculate what it would take to power the State of New York by 2030 with only renewable energy generated from wind, water and sunlight. Currently, almost all of New York’s power comes from gas, oil and coal.

Based on power demand forecasts for all industries, here’s what Professor Jacobson and his team determined would be needed:

  • 4,020 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 12,770 offshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 387 100-megawatt concentrated solar plants
  • 828 50-megawatt photovoltaic power plants
  • 5 million 5-kilowatt residential rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 500,000 100-kilowatt commercial/government rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 36 100-megawatt geothermal plants
  • 1,910 0.75-megawatt wave devices
  • 2,600 1-megawatt tidal turbines
  • 7 1,300-megawatt hydroelectric power plants, of which most exist

Looks like a lot and it is but it’s an investment. If installed, renewable energy would be the fuel source for vehicles, home heating and all industries in the state – it would be powering everything. Check out the full article on the study and find out how the plan, if implemented, would save billions in pollution related healthcare costs and help mitigate the future costs of climate change. [EurekAlert via e360]

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The Cape Wind Project Will Kill Our Views… Did I Say ‘Views’? I Meant Sea-Life.

Cape Wind project map.The Cape Wind offshore wind turbine project was federally approved in 2010 but it’s grounded today. Why? Because attorneys representing well funded groups are still fighting the project and now they’re bringing sea turtles and other sea-life into the fight. Attorney Eric Glitzenstein, who’s representing Cape Wind opponent Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, emailed Tom Zeller Jr. of Huff Po to explain how Cape Wind will adversely affect marine mammals and sea-life around Nantucket Sound. From Mr. Glitzenstein’s legal brief (in HuffPo):

“… [Cape Wind will kill] migratory birds, including endangered and threatened species, harass federally listed sea turtles, and place the gravely endangered North Atlantic right whale at increased risk of ship strikes – the leading cause of the species’ imperilment. In the course of approving the project, defendants contravened the safeguards that Congress established for the affected wildlife.”

It’s very noble to defend marine life pro bono but it’s way too easy to see-through his statement. Here’s my translation:

“…[Cape Wind will kill] our views, including our endangered and threatened views [of Nantucket Sound], harass our views, and gravely endanger our views…”

[Read more…]

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Global Solar Capacity Now Exceeds 100 Gigawatts. Wind Farms Break Records And Want Some Lovin Too.

Record breaking solar and wind power capacity.Not too shabby. Since 2011, over 60 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity has been installed worldwide. The last 30 GW installed in 2012 push the total solar capacity to 102 GW total. From Smart Planet:

“The preliminary results of the EPIA report shows that growth isn’t just concentrated in well-known solar regions, such as Germany. This year, there was a shift towards a more global PV market, with 13 GW of PV installations occurring outside of Europe, compared to just under 8 GW in 2011. The top three non-European markets were China with at least 3.5 GW and possibly as much as 4.5 GW, the United States with 3.2 GW and Japan with 2.5 GW.”

And not to be forgotten, wind farms added 44.7 GW of capacity in 2012 – beating the industry’s single year record, set in 2011, by 10%. Great to know 2012 was win win for renewable energy and not the end of the world. [Smart Planet and Smart Planet]

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Siemens Builds World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbines And DONG Will Operate The Wind Farm.

World's Largest Wind Turbine - SiemensSiemens is building the massive 6-megawatt wind turbines and DONG Energy will manage the project off the Yorkshire coast. DONG’s long term plan is to install 300 of the Siemen’s wind turbines around the UK. It’s great to see DONG and Siemens working so well together. [e360]

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To Keep Future Energy Costs Predictable, IKEA Decides To Double-Down On Renewable Energy.

IKEA solar panelsIkea has always tried to simplify the furniture assembly process. Following that same path, Ikea is now working to simplify how they’ll get their future electricity by doubling their investment in renewable energy to $4 billion. From Ikea CEO and President Mikael Ohlsson (Bloomberg):

“I foresee we’ll continue to increase our investments in renewable energy… looking at how quickly we’re expanding and our value chain, we will most likely have to double the investments once more after 2015.”

Ikea’s goal is to get 100% of the power for their stores from renewable sources by 2020. Ikea’s stores currently get 34% of their electricity from 250,000 solar panels they own and from 126 wind turbines they’ve invested in. [Bloomberg]

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TimberTower Builds World’s First Wooden Wind Turbine.

TimberTower Wind TurbineInstalled in early November 2012, the wooden TimberTower wind turbine is made out of glued laminated timber panels and will produce approx 1,500 kWh of electricity. The TimberTower wind turbine is 328′ tall and has a guaranteed minimum lifespan of 20 years. According to TimberTower, their just completed wood-built turbine replaced the need for 300 tons of sheet steel and 400 tons of carbon used to build standard steel towers.

Another advantage of the TimberTower is that it can be transported to a building site in standard 40ft trailers. [Gizmag]

Related: “Turbine Blades Made Out Of Vegetables To Solve Wind’s Hidden Pollution Problem”

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