Posts Tagged: wind energy

Raptor deaths dirty California’s cleanest energy source

Federal wildlife conservation officials have launched an inquest into the deaths of protected birds at a California wind farm, Louis Sahagun of the Los Angeles Times reports, highlighting a potentially crippling drawback of one of the world’s cleanest power sources.

A total of seven golden eagles are believed to have been killed over the course of two years after colliding with one of 90 windmills at the Pine Tree windmill site. The windmills, operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in the Tehachapi Mountains went on-line in 2009 and are spread out among 8,000 acres, generating 120 megawatts of electricity. (more…)

California renewables plan a breath of fresh air

California state officials are expected to approve regulations today requiring the state’s investor-owned utilities to source 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, reports Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angeles Times.

The vote is being closely watched by solar and wind plant developers whose plans are stuck in limbo as officials debate the rules. (more…)

Energy Self-Sufficiency: Perils and Promise

In Nevada, where’s there’s plenty of sun, a problem is brewing: new solar energy projects are demanding so much water that farmers and others, who rely on well water for irrigation and household use, are starting to argue against the big solar project that just a year ago was greeted like a savior in the job-strapped state.   Todd Woody explains in the New York Times that the cheapest solar projects, which generate steam to drive turbines that generate electricity, end up expending huge amounts of water — when the steam cools, most of it ends up evaporating.  But as Woody points out, this problem could be an opportunity for photovoltaic solar energy manufacturers.

Across the Atlantic, as John Tagliabue reports in the Times, a village on a Danish island (Denmark is dominating the news this week) appears to have solved its energy problems.  Samso residents use energy from a range of renewables, including straw burned in special stoves, solar, wind, and geothermal energy.   Could this patchwork approach become the fabric of tomorrow’s energy solutions here in America? -NH