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Author: waterfell Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 53667  
Subject: Maine's renewable portfolio standard Date: 10/7/2012 6:44 PM
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In his weekly radio address, Governor Paul LePage of Maine discussed the state's energy situation. In one section, he talked about the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard.

http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Gov_Radi...

Unfortunately, Maine’s renewable energy mandate will raise electricity prices by $145 million and cost Mainers nearly 1000 jobs. It is because Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, often referred to as RPS, requires that some of the state’s electricity be generated by expensive "renewable" sources, like wind power and solar. The problem I have with this methodology is other green energy sources like hydropower are left out of the mix. Hydropower is clean and readily available in Maine. More importantly, it is inexpensive and can save Mainers a lot of money.
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This is similar to the policies of Washington state and California. All of these states have large hydroelectric resources, but do not count hydro power as renewable. (In California, hydro generators smaller than 30 MW can be included in the RPS, but only if certain environmental restrictions are followed.)

If they were really serious about producing clean energy, it wouldn't be a Renewable Standard in the first place. It would be a Clean Energy Standard, which would include nuclear, along with large hydro and the traditional renewables. But you won't see the major environmental organizations discuss the possibility of seeing nuclear in a positive light until the CO2 concentration is well above 400 ppm, and they begin to wonder why the existing green energy mandates haven't worked.

- Pete
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Author: jaagu Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38270 of 53667
Subject: Re: Maine's renewable portfolio standard Date: 10/8/2012 1:24 PM
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But you won't see the major environmental organizations discuss the possibility of seeing nuclear in a positive light until the CO2 concentration is well above 400 ppm, and they begin to wonder why the existing green energy mandates haven't worked.

- Pete

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But you won't see more nuclear power being generated for years because several nuclear plants are shutdown due to botched repairs and NRC investigations of unsafe operations at other nuclear plants. This does not help to turn the nuclear power image around.

Nuclear power generated is down 4.4%
July 2011 - 72,345,000 megawatt-hours
July 2012 - 69,129,000 megawatt-hours
http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/pdf/epm.pdf

Some of the problems are due to the fact that the nuclear industry has lost much of its talent and the new people are making mistakes because they lack the experience. Some of the problems are due to management emphasis on taking more maintenance and repair risks for profits. There are no other explanations for what is happening in the poor operation of existing nuclear plants.

jaagu

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Author: AdvocatusDiaboli Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38272 of 53667
Subject: Re: Maine's renewable portfolio standard Date: 10/8/2012 1:53 PM
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This is similar to the policies of Washington state and California. All of these states have large hydroelectric resources, but do not count hydro power as renewable.

For the love of god, WHY?

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Author: waterfell Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38276 of 53667
Subject: Re: Maine's renewable portfolio standard Date: 10/8/2012 3:10 PM
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This is similar to the policies of Washington state and California. All of these states have large hydroelectric resources, but do not count hydro power as renewable.

For the love of god, WHY?
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I think there is general opinion that we have already dammed up as many rivers as we can, and therefore it doesn't really matter if large hydro is included in the RPS, as there won't be any new dams in the future. I am not sure I buy into that argument, particularly for a sparsely populated state like Maine. In other places, existing hydroelectric facilities could be upgraded to provide more power. There are also areas where new hydroelectric pumped storage capacity could be added. But it is just too difficult to cut through all of the EPA's red tape. It is easier, and in the short term probably cheaper, just to build another natural gas burner.

Then there is the trend towards actually removing dams from service in the name of protecting the environment.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/09/110923-elwha...

Short answer: Hydroelectric dams are disliked almost as much as nuclear power amongst the environmental crowd.

- Pete

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Author: waterfell Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38279 of 53667
Subject: Re: Maine's renewable portfolio standard Date: 10/8/2012 5:13 PM
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Here is a report from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on potential hydroelectric capacity additions in the US.

http://www.aaas.org/spp/cstc/docs/07_06_1ERPI_report.pdf

From the executive summary:
The potential for waterpower expansion—at existing hydroelectric facilities, at dams without powerhouses, at new small- and low-power developments, and from the emerging next generation of waterpower technologies—is substantial, as presented and discussed herein. The potential increase in generation capacity is conservatively estimated as 23,000 MW by 2025. This includes:

2,700 MW of new small and low power conventional hydropower
(< 30 MW installed capacity);

2,300 MW capacity gains at existing conventional hydropower;

5,000 MW of new conventional hydropower at existing non-powered dams;

10,000 MW from ocean wave energy technologies; and

3,000 MW from hydrokinetic technologies.

These estimates could be significantly increased if economic incentives and regulatory processing for the waterpower technology industry are enhanced. The overall resource potential, based on resource assessments conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), EPRI and industry is estimated to range from 85,000 to 95,000 MW.

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The ocean wave and hydrokinetic technologies do not fall under the usual definition of hydroelectric power, but there are still untapped resources available from the conventional dam systems.

- Pete

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