Southeast River Runs Part 9: Coal Ash on the Tennessee River

This is the ninth blog in a series featuring rivers of the Southeast endangered by toxic coal ash pollution. The rest of the series can be found here. Thanks to David Whiteside, Tennessee Riverkeeper, who contributed to this post. Just east of Knoxville, Tennessee the Holston and French Broad Rivers come together to form the [...]

The Earth is Flat and Alabama Has No Wind (a study in misreading maps)

Wind power could provide some jobs and income for northeastern Alabama. In Cherokee and Etowah counties, where two wind farms have been proposed, the poverty rate exceeds the national average – nearly 1 in 5 people in those counties is living in poverty. It’s not every day that a 18 megawatt and 80 megawatt wind farm gets proposed here in the South; but according to studies by Jacksonville State University, the Shinbone and Noccalula wind projects could create about 350-490 full time equivalent construction jobs, and about 36 to 53 full time jobs annually for the projects’ expected 30 year lifespans. Additionally, the projects could pay $30 million in combined new tax revenues for the counties over the projects lifespans. The Shinbone wind farm has a signed contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide power, but will still undergo rigorous environmental review this fall. According to an informal online poll, some 68% of AL.com readers are OK with wind energy companies putting wind farms in Alabama.

Florida Making Waves with New Ocean Tech

Relatively, the proposed Florida Atlantic University pilot project is a drop in the bucket of the electrical demands for the state. The proposal is for a 20 kilowatt turbine at first, possibly expanding up to 100 kilowatts which could power about 40-50 homes. But this is the first step in conducting vital research to unleash an energy tsunami. According to Florida Atlantic University, the Gulf Stream may contain some 200,000,000 kilowatts (or 200 gigawatts) of energy potential. The state’s total electrical capacity is around 60 gigawatts.

The New Nuclear Craze

This op-ed by Mark Bittman, originally appeared here in the New York Times. There is a new discussion about nuclear energy, prompted by well-founded concerns about carbon emissions and fueled by a pro-nuclear documentary called “Pandora’s Promise.” Add a statement by James E. Hansen — who famously sounded the alarm on climate change — and, [...]

Ecotality Blinks Out, But EVs Still Growing

In recent news, electric vehicle charger developer and EV Project coordinator, Ecotality, announced that it is likely to file for bankruptcy. Ecotality has spearheaded some of the largest charging infrastructure installations in the U.S. over the past few years (see our blog here) with support from the Department of Energy (DOE). This news may raise [...]

The Alabama I Used to Know: Is the Southeast Getting Climate- and Water-Smarter?

This blog by John Rogers, senior energy analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Clean Energy program, originally appeared on The Equation on August 8, 2013. It is part of a series on Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World. A trip I just made to the Southeast included my first [...]

Ash Time Goes By, Part 2

This guest post is written by Michael Patoka of the Center for Progressive Reform, and was originally entitled “Ash Time Goes By: Administration Continues Foot-Dragging on Coal Ash Rule as Toxic Landfills and Ash Ponds Grow by 94 Million Tons Each Year” It is reposted here, with permission, as a three-part series. While the Obama [...]

Sharp Manufacturing Jobs at Solar Facility in Memphis

Last week I had the pleasure of touring the Sharp Manufacturing Company of America’s Memphis, TN facility with a few members of SACE staff.  Having used Sharp solar panels for both our Knoxville office array, and on the array installed at my home, it was fascinating to get an inside look at the manufacturing process [...]

Volunteers Flock to Water Mission International to Help Install 100kW Solar System

This post was originally written by George Greene III, Chief Executive Officer of Water Missions International, and posted in March 2013 on SolarWorld’s blog here. Work has begun on one of the largest solar arrays in South Carolina — to power Water Mission International’s world headquarters in Charleston. It’s exciting news that, when I think [...]

Wind Power: Made in America

But the American wind industry is one manufacturing sector that has managed to buck that trend. In fact, now approximately 70 percent of every wind turbine installed in the U.S. is American-made, as compared to 25 percent in 2005 (see Executive Summary of linked report). During that same time-period, the wind industry manufacturing workforce has grown ten-fold, from 2,500 jobs in 2005 to the 25,000 Americans that work in the wind industry supply chain today.