And speaking of, if you want the first scoop on emerging trends in energy-related information, you should subscribe to the Weekly Energy Newsbriefs - a weekly current awareness service from The Washington State University Extension Energy Library that profiles new information received in professional journals related to energy isues.
Wind power capacity on the rise. According to a new study, wind power capacity grew by 31 percent globally in 2009, with the steepest rise occurring in China. About 37.5 gigawatts of capacity were added last year, boosting the total capacity worldwide to 157.9 gigawatts, says the Global Wind Energy Council, an industry trade group based in Belgium. Read more HERE.
It's always sunny in... New Jersey... Forget jokes about the Jersey Shore, this sun-related story is DTE approved. this month, William Paterson University of New Jersey will start building a 3.5-megawatt solar array, one of the largest solar-power projects among college campuses in the country. The installation will be capable of supplying 3.5 megawatts of clean, low-cost energy. The first 3-megawatt phase is to be completed during 2010; the second 500-kilowatt phase is scheduled to go online in 2011. Estimates show the solar panels saving the university $4.3 million in energy costs. Read more HERE. And read Paul Haeder's perspective on this story on the PacifCAD Sustainability blog HERE.
And another college looking at alternative energy sources. The College of Southern Nevada wants to install major photovoltaic power arrays at its three main campuses throughout the Las Vegas Valley, and recently hired JMA, a Las Vegas-based architecture, design and planning firm, to develop a comprehensive alternative energy plan that could cut the school's electricity costs by half. Money saved from reduced power bills would pay for the project's cost within 15 years. Read more HERE.
A coal-free Northwest. We've been dreaming about it, we've been working towards it, and now there's a roadmap for a coal-free Northwest. Kind of. According to WattHead, "the coal industry in the Pacific Northwest received a heavy blow [last week] with the release of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's (NWPCC's) Sixth Power Plan, describing how the region encompassing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana can cost-effectively shut down at least half its coal plants (including coal plants outside the region that supply these states with electricity) by the year 2020." Is this considered a victory for alternative energy and renewable resources? Yeah, it is. And WattHead thinks so too, "It's a victory because a third-party government body has now clearly shown that a transition away from coal is possible. It's a victory because it has shown climate activists in the Northwest the power we can have when we get organized. Now let's take this victory and run with it." Read more HERE.