Environment: What’s the true cost of fossil fuels?

Can carbon capture help mitigate the climate impacts of carbon dioxide?

Can carbon capture help mitigate the climate impacts of carbon dioxide?

‘We’re making decisions based on misleading costs’

Staff Report

FRISCO — The costs of burning fossil fuels are much higher than official estimates when the environmental and human health toll is factored into the equation, according to Duke University scientists who took a close look at the numbers and published their findings in the journal Climatic Change.

When those costs are factored in, a gallon of gasoline costs about $3.80 more than the pump price. The social cost of a gallon of diesel is about $4.80 more than the pump price; the price of natural gas more than doubles; and coal-fired electricity more than quadruples. Solar and wind power, on the other hand, become cheaper than they initially seem. Continue reading

Colorado: House committee rejects clumsy GOP attempt to roll back renewable energy target

Playing politics with our future

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Got wind?

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Colorado won’t be lowering its 30 percent renewable energy target anytime soon, as lawmakers on a State House committee yesterday rejected a measure that would have cut the renewable energy standard from 30 percent to 15 percent. Continue reading

Energy: New Southwest power line to boost production, distribution of renewable energy

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Energy infrastructure improvements are key to tapping renewable resources.

‘The SunZia transmission line will finally unlock New Mexico’s stranded wind and solar resources and move that energy to market’

Staff Report

FRISCO — A $2 billion, 550-mile transmission line project will bolster the U.S. energy grid’s capacity to use power generated from renewable sources in the Southwest, Obama administration leaders said as they announced approval for the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project.

The line will run from the proposed SunZia East Substation in Lincoln County, New Mexico, to the existing Pinal Central Substation in Pinal County, Arizona.

“The SunZia Project will help unlock the abundant renewable energy resources in the Southwest, creating jobs and bringing reliable, sustainable power to a growing corner of our country,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. Continue reading

New study touts wave energy potential

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Wave energy could help boost overall renewable energy supplies. bberwyn photo.

Wave energy seen as more reliable than some other renewable energy sources

Staff Report

FRISCO — Energy from ocean waves could fill a big gap in the renewable power grid because it is comparatively steady, dependable and can be integrated into the overall energy grid at lower costs than some other forms of alternative energy, including wind power.

By balancing wave energy production over a larger geographic area, the variability can be even further reduced, a group of researchers reported in the journal Renewable Energy. Continue reading

BLM hits solar energy milestone

Going solar ...

Going solar …

Public lands energy projects could generate 14,ooo megawatts when completed

Staff Report

FRISCO — Republicans in Congress may be scheming to try and block the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas emission rules, but there’s no stopping the renewable energy train.

Last month, the Department of Interior released environmental studies for three proposed utility-scale solar energy projects in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone in Clark County, Nevada that could generate 480 megawatts of electricity on 3,083 acres within the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone. Continue reading

Big fine levied for Wyoming wind turbine eagle deaths

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Big fined levied for wind turbine eagle deaths.

Company failed to avoid risks to protected birds

Staff Report

FRISCO — A Portland, Oregon-based wind energy company operating in Wyoming will pay fines, restitution and community service totaling $2.5 million for the death of protected birds at wind turbine facilities in Carbon and Converse Counties.  The two wind projects are comprised of 237 large wind turbines sited on private and company-owned land.

PacifiCorp Energy, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, Oregon, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The company is also on a five-year probation and must implement an environmental compliance plan aimed at preventing bird deaths at the company’s four commercial wind projects in the state. Continue reading

Report: Hybrid energy systems, smart grid planning needed to boost renewables

Going solar ...

Going solar …

Matched solar and wind systems could ensure steady supply of renewable energy

Staff Report

FRISCO — Smart grid planning and better energy storage could significantly boost the use of renewable energy in the U.S. according to a new report that calls for developing “hybrid” systems in which, on a broad geographic scale, one form of renewable energy is ramping up even while the other is declining.

Historically, a major drawback to the use and cost-effectiveness of alternative energy systems has been that they are too variable – if the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine, a completely different energy system has to be available to pick up the slack. Continue reading

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