Viridian Note 00188: Texas Wind PowerBruce Sterling [email@example.com]
Attention Conservation Notice: Windy Texan bragging may be especially annoying if you are a Californian under a brownout.
Entries in the Viridian Magazine Cover Contest:
http://communities.msn.com/saluviridian http://www.stewarts.org/viridian/a_magazine.htm http://homepage.mac.com/greenmed/PhotoAlbum.html http://homepage.mac.com/greenmed/PersonalPage.html http://www.earthlight.co.nz/~bretts/vmag.jpg http://www.ratsbane.com/viridian/main.htm http://www.unclestu.com/Viridian/Cover/index.html http://www.dcat.net/viridian.htm http://www.accesscom.com/~jerome/viripropbig.jpg http://www.casema.net/~maup/viridian/cover2.html http://users.erols.com/ljaurbach/MagCover.htm http://way.nu/greens/cover.html http://www.gollygee.com/jblocksom/magazine.html http://www.kungfu.net/viridian http://www.doctort.org/adam/Viridian/Coverpage.html http://www.creativedisturbance.com/viridian1.gif
This contest has been extended until September 5th.
Links: http://www.IwantCleanAir.com "BERKELEY, Calif., Aug. 30 == The 'I Want Clean Air' site at lets people stop air pollution while surfing the Web. For each visitor clicking, the site makes a donation to the Clean Air Conservancy, a non-profit group. The CAC uses the money to buy air pollution emission permits and retires them forever."
http://www.adbusters.org "If you spent your summer choking on Interstate fumes as you tried to find some scrap of wilderness to camp in, here are seven words to lift your spirits: September 21 is World Car-Free Day."
http://www.RenewableEnergyRoundup.com "Now is the time for anyone interested in volunteering to help at the Renewable Energy Roundup in Fredericksburg, Texas to get signed up. Please take the time to visit the web site and the Volunteer page for all the details. WE NEED LOTS OF VOLUNTEERS!"
(((If you do attend the Renewable Energy Roundup, by all means drop by our Viridian Outreach table, where you will probably be asked to babysit our collection of weird gizmos and ultra-hip design books.)))
"I know that Texans have a lot to be proud of. I don't want to threaten that well-known Texas humility, but wanted to stress how impressed we are (...). I wanted to make sure that each of you saw a copy of the press release we sent out today hailing the state's achievements(...). We believe the leadership demonstrated by Texas has profound implications for the national debate in regard to electric industry restructuring, and that you are providing an example of which Congress (amongst others) ought to be more familiar.
"Feel free to pass this along to anyone you think appropriate. (...)"
Randy Swisher Executive Director American Wind Energy Association 122 C St., NW, Suite 380 Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 383-2500 Fax (202) 383-2505 http://www.awea.org
"The state of Texas is well on its way to meeting the
nation's most ambitious state goal for the production of
electricity from renewable energy sources == wind, solar,
biomass, and geothermal == and doing so seven years ahead
of schedule, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
"The Lone Star State's smashing success in attracting
renewable energy-based power plants could have national
implications. While the Clinton Administration has been
sharply criticized by some Republicans in Congress for
energy policies that favor renewables, Texas, AWEA said,
is making it clear that renewable energy technologies ==
especially wind energy == are ready for prime time.
"'In 1999, the Texas legislature approved, and Gov.
George W. Bush signed into law, a requirement that the
state's utilities install or contract to buy power from
2,000 megawatts of new renewable energy generating
capacity by Jan. 1, 2009,' AWEA executive director Randall
Swisher explained. 'Last week, the chair of the Public
Utility Commission of Texas said that goal may be reached
by Jan. 1, 2002, fully seven years ahead of time and just
two and a half years after the law was passed.
"'A combination of factors have come together in Texas
to make this happen: a heck of a wind resource, a drop in
the costs of wind energy technology, a well-crafted
renewable energy requirement, and non-discriminatory
electricity transmission rules. Texas provides a textbook
example of what could be achieved nationwide with these
"(2,000 MW is equal to about 3% of Texas' generating
capacity, and is enough to serve roughly 400,000 Texas
households with 1 million people.)
"In recent weeks, Texas utilities have made headlines
with the announcement of plans for some of the world's
largest wind farms:
"Reliant Energy, based in Houston, said Aug. 24 that
it will buy power from the 208-MW King Mountain Wind
Ranch, to be built next year south of Odessa, Tex. The
plant will consist of 160 wind turbines, each with a
generating capacity of 1.3 MW.
"Dallas-based TXU Electric & Gas announced July 19
that it would purchase electricity from a 160-MW wind
farm, also scheduled for construction next year, that is
to be developed by the nation's largest wind energy
producer, FPL Energy LLC.
"The Texas law which has led to this burst of
activity, involving some $2 billion in new business
investment, is a 'renewables portfolio standard (RPS),'
which requires that a certain amount of electricity be
obtained from renewable energy sources. Utilities are
free to decide which energy resource they want to use, and
they typically issue solicitations and allow bidders to
compete to supply energy.
"A national RPS would work much the same way. The
Clinton Administration has proposed to require that 7.5%
of the nation's electricity be generated from renewables
(not including hydro) by the year 2010, but critics have
charged that the goal is unrealistic and will be too
expensive. In contrast to these assertions, the Texas RPS
is being fulfilled with wind energy capacity that competes
well with the cost of new fossil fuel generation.
"Some have asked whether an RPS is needed, given
wind's increasing economic competitiveness, but Swisher
said it is: 'The RPS has provided the extra incentive
that utilities need to seriously look at wind and other
renewables. Now that they have, it's obvious that they
like what they see.
"'The overwhelming success of the Texas RPS shows that the wind energy industry is ready and able to deliver on the long-pursued promise of clean, inexhaustible, affordable energy from renewable resources. The wind energy industry is proof that economic growth and preservation of the environment can go hand in hand."
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