How expensive is solar power? You’re going to be SHOCKED!

In some southern states, like North Carolin and Florida, NREL reports that utility-scale solar power prices may reach a levelized cost of approximately 5 cents per kilowatt hour. Incorporating the federal investment tax credit (ITC) could drop those prices down into the 3-4 cents per kilowatt hour range ($30-$40/MWh).

Amazing Free Tool Shows How Wind Power Works

Finally, the WIND Toolkit helps eliminate any guesswork by wind energy advocates regarding newly proposed wind farm projects. Using the old 50 meter, 80 meter or 100 meter wind speed maps use to be the only way the public had any sense of what “good” wind resources looked like. However, those maps always proved too coarse for the average viewer to interpret accurately. Anti-wind activists frequently used outdated maps, some even dating back to the 1980s, to make a case against wind energy. The WIND Toolkit can now provide better analysis for stakeholders interested in learning more about wind energy. As a quick case study, the image below shows the results of the WIND Toolkit query compared to a 100 meter wind speed map in Northeastern North Carolina. The WIND Toolkit shows an average wind speed of approximately 7 meters-per-second (15.7 MPH), but the 100 meter wind map shows speeds of <6 m/s (13.4MPH). That 1 m/s difference results in the difference between a 30% capacity factor and a 40% capacity factor, based on the WIND Toolkit's power curve. In real terms, that is a 33% improvement in capacity factor. North Carolina's first wind farm recently broke ground in that region, and reports suggest average capacity factors of that wind farm to be near 40% – very similar to the results of the WIND Toolkit.

How many jobs do wind farms create?

NREL developed the JEDI model to enable stakeholders and decision makers an easy way to ground-truth jobs and economic development potential associated with many sources of new generation construction and operation. The JEDI model is available for for wind energy, biofuels, solar energy, natural gas power plants, coal-fired power plants, hydroelectric dams, geothermal, petroleum power plants and transmission line construction. Construction impacts, cost estimates and potential tax revenue are all calculated based off of recent real-world examples. Users can tailor inputs of a proposed project by changing the project megawatt size, location and by other variables.

Study Proves Fossil Fuels Way Worse for Land Use than Renewables

A new, peer-reviewed article published in the scientific journal SCIENCE estimates that 3 million hectares of land (that’s 11,583 square miles, or 30,000 square kilometers) have been lost due to oil and gas well pads, storage tanks and associated roads developed in North America since the year 2000. Rangeland and cropland through the heartland have been particularly [...]

Taller Turbines: Big win(d) for Georgia

New wind speeds maps released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrate the greatly increased potential for wind turbine development in Georgia with advanced turbines. As wind turbines increase in height, Georgia contains a much greater area of land viable for development. The shading on the map below represents new available land for wind development with modern turbine towers of 360 feet (110 meters) achieving a 35% capacity factor or greater. With these turbines, over 8,000 megawatts (MW) of land-based wind potential currently exists in Georgia.

What happens when the wind doesn’t blow?

It’s likely you’ve heard the argument that renewable energy is unreliable because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. It’s true that renewable resources are variable. We can’t make the wind blow and the sun shine 24 hours a day. That’s just nature. But, does this mean that large amounts of solar and wind can’t be incorporated into the grid?

It’s time to set the record straight.

Lies and Renewable Energy

This is the Truth…………………………………..This is a Lie This is what the debate against renewable energy has come to. When down on the mat, and overwhelmed by the widespread public support for renewable energy and its benefits, those who are losing the energy debate turn to the last tactic in the book: lying.

Wind Power is the Most Under Exploited Energy Opportunity in the Southern U.S.

This blog is a guest post by Herman K. Trabish originally posted at greentechmedia. New technologies make the Southern states’ wind resources a new frontier for developers. The U.S. has nearly 45,000 megawatts of installed wind capacity. There is a total installed capacity of 29 megawatts in the southern block of states of Arkansas, Louisiana, [...]