Monday, January 31, 2011

Growing Renewable Energy in the U.S. through CLEAN Contracts - a Perfect Fit

A Policy to Repower the Nation with Clean Energy

No policy has helped other countries expand their renewable sources of electricity more than the CLEAN contract, also known as a feed-in tariff or FIT. Transparency, certainty and longevity of the contract forms the basis for its widespread acceptance, and its success in developing wind and solar power
in other countries and a few states.

A CLEAN contract makes Clean Local Energy Accessible Now. The policy allows renewable energy project owners to sell their electricity to utilities at a predetermined, fixed price for a long period of time. Clean energy providers are paid a price for their electricity that covers the cost of the generation. It makes clean energy investment a smarter choice for homeowners, utilities, and developers of renewable energy projects.

The CLEAN contract helps overcome upfront cost barriers to investment by making renewable energy projects more easy to finance. The contract offers a standardized process for new projects, minimizing uncertainty for developers and confusion for homeowners. It reduces risk and lowers the costs of getting things built. The CLEAN contract makes it easier to run businesses, build projects, and give consumers what they want.

The Center for American Progress has written a detailed paper that examines the workings and ingredients of CLEAN contracts. The paper also looks at how lawmakers and advocates can successfully move CLEAN contracts forward given how the contracts are affected by federal regulation. Finally, it provides recommendations to ensure that policies benefit ratepayers, workers, investors, and the U.S. economy.

Learn more about CLEAN contracts at the Center for American Progress.
A brief description of CLEAN contracts is provided in a video here and also below.

Isn't it time that we get on board and promote renewable energy development on a large scale through CLEAN contracts? Implementation of CLEAN contracts across the U.S. will accelerate clean energy deployment, recharge the economy and create new jobs. A shift from burning fossil fuels to utilizing clean energy sources will curb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce toxic pollution and protect human health.

Clean Energy News

Obama Asks Congress to Eliminate Oil Subsidies and Invest in Tomorrow's Energy

President Obama spoke in the State of the Union address of the promise of renewable energy, and the need to reinvent our energy policy and support innovation.

Obama said, "to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies." He added, "I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s."

Confirming his assertion, oil company profits are rising, as reported in the NY Times.

Clearing the Way for a Native Opportunity in America’s “Sputnik Moment”

Clean energy deployment in American Indian country can help address many woes, including limited access to electricity, high energy costs and elevated unemployment rates and poverty. Tribal lands are robust in renewable energy derived from the wind and sun.

An article by Van Jones, Bracken Hendricks and Jorge Madrid suggests ideas to stimulate a new wave of investment in clean energy and activate the economic potential of tribal lands. Read the article here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wind Action of a Different Sort

Wind turbines are for generating electricity from a clean, renewable energy source, the wind.

The local Wind Action Group in Buffalo promotes ways of developing our wind resources that maximize the benefits to the public.
However, they do not advocate utilizing our resources for the type of wind action shown in the video below.

Please do NOT try this at Steel Winds or any other wind farm!

To learn more about the Buffalo Wind Action Group, click here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

VIDEO: Abreviated History of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels have powered human growth and ingenuity for centuries. However, fossil fuel resources are limited, and obtaining, transporting and burning fossil fuels are creating problems for the environment, public health and national security. We need to prepare for moving beyond fossil fuels and transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources.

The video below depicts an abbreviated history of fossil fuels in a creative way, through time-lapse photography of hand drawn illustrations. Watch it and see 300 years of fossil fuel history in 300 seconds:

Power Shift 2011: April 15-18, DC Convention Center

Power Shift 2011 is now set for April 15-18 in Washington DC’s Convention Center — the largest available space in the nation’s capital.

The event is organized by the Energy Action Coalition, a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement. Their website states:
Power Shift 2011 is our opportunity to come together and define the way forward for our movement. Together we'll celebrate our grassroots success stories, hear from movement leaders, and learn from and train each other to launch new campaigns. We'll take bold action to set the tone in Washington and show them what true leadership looks like. If it's anything like years past, Power Shift 2011 is bound to be historic.
Power Shift 2007 and 2009 were the largest convergences of young environmental and social justice activists in U.S. history. The 2009 event was the largest lobby day ever on Capitol Hill.

To learn more about the 2011 event, visit the Energy Action Coalition on the web.

To REGISTER, Click Here. Register by Sunday, February 13 to get the discounted rate.

FaceBook Page is here.

To see earlier posts about Power Shift 2009, click here.

To see an extensive post about University at Buffalo student involvement in Power Shift 2009, visit Re-ENERGIZE BUFFALO.

The UB students also held a local Power Shift event in 2010.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where does electricity come from?

Do you know where your electricity comes from?

Fifty percent of the electricity in the U.S. is generated from burning coal.

Despite all of the industry hype about "clean coal", there is no such thing, and there never will be. Coal is dirty from start to finish: mining, mountaintop removal, watershed pollution, transportation, burning, greenhouse gas emissions, mercury and acid pollution of waterways, and toxic solid waste.

Isn't it high time to invest more into renewable energy, make the transition to a clean energy economy and create new jobs for coal miners and many others?

"The Story of Coal" video, below, was produced by a company that sells solar panels that use the free energy of the sun to make electricity. Other types of clean, renewable energy come from wind, hydropower and geothermal sources.

Watch the video to learn more about dirty coal.