• "Renewable Energy Payments in the US" from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute

    Europe has a very successful feed-in tariff program for renewable energy. Under this type of program priority of interconnection to the grid is given to energy produced from renewable sources, premium rates are paid to generate a reasonable profit for investors of a renewable energy project and standardized 20-year term contracts. Germany is the leading country in this type of payment program and has dramatically increased its renewable energy production so much that it had met its 2010 renewable energy goal by 2007. Germany is now the world’s largest market for photovoltaic and wind energy.

    The Environmental and Energy Study Institute had a conference on this type of payment program as a likely candidate to increase the renewable energy production in the United States. The presentations and audio of the conference are available here, including a comprehensive paper detailing the European system and the various legislative proposals by the states as well as a Federal tariff proposal, available here.

  • 2010 Wind Technologies Market Report

    U.S. Department of Energy logoThe U.S. Department of Energy released the  "2010 Wind Technologies Market Report,"  prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, providing a comprehensive overview of trends in the U.S. wind power market.  Despite a trying year in which wind power capacity additions declined significantly compared to both 2008 and 2009, the U.S. remained one of the fastest-growing wind power markets in the world in 2010-second only to China-according to the report.

    Wind power comprised 25% of new U.S. electric capacity additions in 2010.

    Wind power comprised 25% of new U.S. electric capacity additions in 2010 and represented $11 billion in new investment. Wind power contributes more than 10% of total electricity generation in four states, and provides more than 2% of total U.S. electricity supply.

    2010 Wind Technologies Market Report cover

    Roughly 5 GW of new wind power capacity were connected to the U.S. grid in 2010, compared to nearly 10 GW in 2009 and more than 8 GW in 2008. "The delayed impact of the global financial crisis, relatively low natural gas and wholesale electricity prices, and slumping overall demand for energy combined to slow demand for new wind power installations in 2010," said Ryan Wiser, a scientist at Berkeley Lab and one of the authors of the study.

    Some key findings of the study include:

    • Due to the size and promise of the U.S. market, wind turbine manufacturers continued to localize production domestically in 2010, despite the relatively slow year.
    • A growing percentage of the equipment used in U.S. wind power projects is domestically manufactured.
    • Wind turbine prices have declined substantially since 2008.
    • Technological advancements have improved wind turbine performance, particularly at lower wind speed sites.
    • Turbine price reductions, coupled with improved turbine technology, are expected to exert downward pressure on total project costs and wind power prices over time.
    • Looking ahead, projections are for modest growth in 2011 and 2012.

    Berkeley Lab's contributions to this report were funded by the Wind & Water Power Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy.  The full report ("2010 Wind Technologies Market Report"), a presentation slide deck that summarizes the report, and an Excel workbook that contains much of the data underlying the report, can all be downloaded from the Berkely Lab website.

  • Communities and Farmers Learn How to Harvest the Wind at Conference

    Pennsylvania farmer Marty Yahner attended the Community Wind Across America Conference for the Mid-Atlantic region in February 2011 for two reasons: first he spent the last year planning to put a wind turbine up on his on property, and he said "in addition to that, I'm here as a local developer, trying to develop a 30MW project in northern Cambria County on my farmland and the surrounding farmland around us."

    “Rural landowners, rural communities, municipalities, and community leaders learned what it takes to put a wind project in the ground, so that they can realize the economic development that wind energy brings.”

    Yahner was impressed with the good information at the conference and the level of enthusiasm, saying "There's a lot of passion in the wind industry." Hundreds of conference attendees shared in that passion as "rural landowners, rural communities, municipalities, and community leaders learned what it takes to put a wind project in the ground, so that they can realize the economic development that wind energy brings," explained Lisa Danniels, Windustry Executive Director.

    Farm landscape with small wind turbine

    Reporter Kristine Allen, with NPR affiliate WPSU, produced an in-depth feature on the Community Wind across America Mid Atlantic conference, held in State College, PA, February 8 and 9, 2011. Allen noted, "At this conference they're not talking about the huge wind farms you've seen on TV commercials, here the focus is on smaller scale projects that can be done by local communities or even by individual homeowners."

    Listen to the Community Wind Across America news feature to hear more about how farmers and communities learn to harvest the wind at a Windustry conference:

    WPSU news on PA Community Wind Conference

    If your browser cannot load the audio, access the news story on the WPSU website.

    Find Out More about the upcoming Community Wind Across America Northeast Regional Conference in Albany, NY, October 26-28, 2011.

    Community Wind Across America
  • President Barack Obama & President Hu Jintao

    January 19, 2011

    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington, DC 20003

    Dear President Barack Obama & President Hu Jintao:

    It is time to publicly acknowledge that the continued burning of fossil fuels threatens the survival of civilization. The science is incontrovertible on this fact, yet the response from government is business as usual. Our two nations dominate world carbon emissions.

    No civilization has survived the ongoing destruction of its natural support systems, nor will ours.

    It is with a deepening sense of dread over the fate of future generations that we call on you to acknowledge the severity of the global climate emergency by placing climate stabilization at the top of your policy agendas.

    According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, 2010 tied with 2005 as the hottest year in recorded history. Last year was also the wettest on record in terms of global average precipitation, according to the Global Historical Climatology Network, with devastating impacts felt across the globe. Estimates by the World Health Organization are that the Earth's warming climate contributes to more than 150,000 deaths each year. Here's what else we're facing:

    • Crop-withering heat waves
    • A melting Greenland ice sheet that threatens to raise sea level 23 feet
    • Fires transforming carbon-storing tropical rainforests into carbon emitters
    • Ocean acidification imperiling the base of the seafood chain
    • Melting glaciers in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau threatening the dry season irrigation water supplies - and food security - of hundreds of millions of people
    • Ever-deadlier storms creating growing numbers of climate refugees
    • Scientists predicting 1/5 of living species being driven toward extinction by mid-century

    This is just the beginning. Nature tells us time is running out, but we can't see the clock. As we blindly reach critical climate "tipping points," things promise to get worse, much worse. Central to the solution is a wartime-like mobilization by the governments of the United States and China to cut carbon emissions 80 percent (based on 2006 levels) by 2020. This is required if we are to reduce carbon emissions to 350 parts per million in the atmosphere, the level top climate scientists say is safe for humanity.

    There is no more important measure of presidential leadership than living up to the expectations of our children to protect their future. Every day our respective governments fail to act, their future grows more perilous. We await your response.


    Lester Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute
    Rev. Sally G. Bingham, President, The Regeneration Project & Interfaith Power & Light
    Brent Blackwelder, President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth
    David Blittersdorf, President/CEO, AllEarth Renewables, Inc.
    Jan Blittersdorf, President/CEO, NRG Systems, Inc.
    Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club
    Lisa Daniels, Executive Director, Windustry
    Brock Evans, President, Endangered Species Coalition
    Ross Gelbspan, Author
    Daryl Hannah, Actor & Activist
    Paul Hawken, Author
    Randy Hayes, Executive Director, Foundation Earth & Founder, Rainforest Action Network
    Courtney Hight, Co-Director, Energy Action Coalition
    Julia Butterfly Hill, Co-Founder, The Engage Network*
    Chuck Kutscher, Former Chair, American Solar Energy Society & Principal Engineer, National
    Renewable Energy Laboratory*
    Eric Lombardi, Executive Director, Eco-Cycle
    Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org
    Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth
    Phil Radford, Executive Director, Greenpeace
    Kieran Suckling, Executive Director, Center for Biological Diversity
    Rebecca Tarbotton, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network
    Mike Tidwell, Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    James A. Walker, Former President, American Wind Energy Association
    Tom Weis, President, Climate Crisis Solutions

    *Institutional affiliation listed for identification purposes only

  • CERTs 2011 Clean Energy Convergence - Learn, Connect, ACT

    The CERTs 2011 Clean Energy Convergence will unite Minnesotans who are blazing the paths to a clean energy future by working on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in their communities. You can learn, connect, and act with CERTs and 600 engaged community members on February 2-3, 2011 in Saint Cloud, Minnesota.

    CERTs 2011 Clean Energy Convergence

    CERTs 2011 is a venue for both broad and in-depth learning opportunities, connecting and networking with engaged community members, and taking action on energy efficiency and clean energy projects. The event will begin with In-Depth Workshops and an Evening Reception on February 2nd, and continue with a Daylong Conference on the 3rd. 

    Learn: At CERTs 2011 you will learn from experts and community members alike on what it takes to get projects done. Find out how individuals and communities are partnering, planning, funding, and implementing projects. Hear success stories and models that demonstrate how to become more energy efficient and harness clean energy while strengthening local economies and protecting the environment. 

    Connect: CERTs 2011 will provide networking opportunities for you to connect with community leaders, energy experts, local government staff, teachers and students, utility representatives, business owners, homeowners, farmers, and more. All have the same goals: saving energy, saving money, creating jobs, and powering our future renewably. 

    Act: Whether you're looking to save energy in your home, business, school, or local government; passionate about installing a renewable energy system like solar, wind, or biomass; interested in educating your community about energy issues; or looking for good training opportunities in Minnesota, CERTs 2011 has what you're looking for.

    Learn more, see the full agenda, and register for CERTs 2011 at http://2011.MNCERTs.org 

  • DOE Workshop: Deployment Barriers to Distributed Wind Technology

    U.S. Department of Energy

    Attendees of the Community Wind Across America conference for the Rocky Mountain region in Denver, along with others, are invited to join the U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday October 28, 2010 to brainstorm and develop concepts for federal legislative involvement in the distributed wind landscape that you believe would accelerate distributed wind deployment.

    When: Thursday October 28th, 2010, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., following the Windustry Community Wind Across America conference

    Where: Renaissance Denver Hotel, Denver, CO, USA

    The ‘Deployment Barriers to Distributed Wind Energy' workshop is open to the public. Registration is free but required to attend. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.

    The US DoE's Wind Power Program would like to develop a list of immediate high impact, top down solutions (federal policy, legislation, and actions) to streamline distributed wind (small and midsize) turbine deployment for policymakers and DoE upper management to consider. Specifically the Program is interested in the following deployment barriers: zoning, permitting, installation, site assessment, interconnection, net metering, standards, and certification.

    Download the Workshop Agenda

  • General Wesley Clark joins all-star roster for Midwest Wind Conference

    General Wesley Clark
    General Wesley Clark

    Special Guest General Wesley Clark joins an all-star roster of wind luminaries for the Community Wind across America conference for the Midwest Region on November 15-16 in St. Paul, Minnesota. General Clark opens Monday evening's reception (5:30 pm), the four star Army general has called for a Renewable Energy Standard for the country and extending tax credits for renewables, much the way the government encourages oil and gas development.

    Program speakers for the two-day event include Community Wind pioneer Dan Juhl and Small Wind guru Mick Sagrillo. Economics professor Arne Kildegaard, will speak to the regional economic impact of wind development with local ownership and Craig Lewis, of the FIT Coalition, will present on the benefits of Feed-In Tariffs.

    See the full two-day Agenda for the Community and Small Wind Energy event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel St. Paul, Minnesota on November 15-16. Discounted registration fees of $125 are available through November 11, so don't delay. 

    Get more information about the Community Wind across America conference series.