Intresting Facts About Solar Energy

If you are interested in getting to know how solar energy works and reducing a little from your household energy bill, facts about solar energy will help you. Solar energy is a inexhaustible resource and of the earliest method of energy use that is available at present. The important fact about solar energy is that the sun s beams are so powerful that if we are to convert that into energy it would mean that Earth will never run out of energy for at least another four point five billion years according to scientists.  Sun never create any hazardous by-product which could harm the environment.

During the early fifties solar energy was looked upon as an substitute to man made energy resources. Over much studies it was found energy could be obtained at much cheaper source. The demand for solar energy has grown substantially within the range of 20-25% over the last twenty years. Solar energy is able to support household gadgets, lighting and water heaters. As of the moment, solar energy is more heavily priced but in the near future with the growth in technological researches, it will bring down the prices and also growth its efficiency. Solar energy is to generate 2.5% of the world s energy consumption by 2025. Solar energy is the fastest growing technology.

There are some primary facts about solar energy that one needs to be acquainted to; solar energy is measured in kilowatt hours and 1 kilowatt=100 watts. One kilowatt hour is equal to the total of electricity which is required to burn 100 watt light bulb for around 10 hours. An average American household consumes 866 kilowatt hours per month. The Residential Energy consumption Survey conducted in 2001 shows that an annual energy bill was around $2000.

A reduction in unit costs has contributed towards an increase in growth rates and thereby making it an critical energy resource. After year 2000, solar energy has shown a growth rate of 40% per annum. Solar energy is moving at a raising rate in the developing countries too as the consumption of fossil fuel has doubled over the years. When compared to solar energy which is unlimited, fossil fuel reserves are diminishing.  As compared to expensive power grids, setting up solar energy gadgets is relatively easy. A disadvantage of fossil fuels is that the prices have risen together with the price of transporting coal, oil and gas. These are just a couple of the facts about solar energy.

Sewage Treatment, Waste Water, Septic Tanks Consultant

A Number of Things to Consider About Wastewater Treatment

Are you searching for sewage treatment systems? Maybe you’re thinking of septic tanks. You may be in need of a waste water treatment system. It is most important to understand the difference between these 3 methods. This is especially true for applications like campgrounds and subdivisions. You should decide on a proper waste system for a lifestyle block, school or coastal section. There is much more to know and consider, independent advice can make a big difference . You want the right system for the lowest cost. Here are good reasons to consider advice from Dave Miller of New Zealand a  Wastewater Treatment and waste qualified consultant.

Lifestyle blocks

If you spend a million dollars for a house, you wish everything right. It is important to spend time in your lovely yard, without any type of terrible smell. It is simple to have an inexpensive sewage system installed. However, it may not go for long. Miller who is a special sewage treatment research expert will test your properties soil. He will determine the proper system for that area. There’re many things that will be considered. You don’t want to contaminate ponds and adjoining properties, for example.

The best system will last for a number of years. It will also be safe for you and your family. Improper septic tanks can be a health hazard. Your new system will be affordable and will not give you any difficulties.

Subdivisions

Did you know there are many options for subdivision sewage treatment? Is a community system the best choice? May be each area should have its own system. Requirements can vary a great deal from council to council. If the entire subdivision is studied, the best system can be installed. This can help save money and a lot of time and troubles. You do not want to spend thousands of dollars, only for everything to need to be redone.

Marae

You need to determine your soil type heavy or light. The amount of land for wastewater disposal is also important. The right consultant can present a cost efficient treatment plan. This can save a lot on costs. It also may help to avoid future problems.

Schools

Nothing is more important than the well-being and health of our children. They too have a right to a safe learning environment. The location of Wastewater treatment is important. Schools need a cost effective and reliable service. A sewage treatment consultant may help them a great deal.

Camping Grounds

Camping grounds can present some unique situations. Proper waste disposal is vital. Natural resources like rivers and lakes must be taken care of. There are many things to talk about.

Restaurant and Tourist Area

A great deal of people can suddenly descend upon these areas. This can tax an effluent treatment system. It should be designed for a number of people at one time. Sanitation is of the highest importance, as food preparation will be taking place. A total assessment on the total area of soil and land available, will determine the proper system.

Summary

Are you looking for proper sewage treatment systems or septic tanks? There are many considerations for treating sewage. The amount of area is important. The type of soil also matters. The lay of the area and the local ordinances must be adhered to. A simple and low cost system may fail and present many problems. To be certain, it is best to hire the proper consultant. This will insure that your system will work properly. It will give you good service for a number of years. Go for someone that can do site evaluations and has experience. You may save a lot of money and future trouble, this way.

Davemiller is getting SEO from Brandon of high ranking SearchMasters. If you want to see your business on top of the search engines, don’t forget SearchMasters Search Engine Optimisation services.

Fundamental Facts About Solar Energy

Facts about solar energy help you to understand how solar energy works and how you can save some dollars without having to run a high energy bill. Solar energy is a renewable resource and of the oldest method of energy use that is available at nowadays. The critical fact about solar energy is that the sun s beams are so powerful that if we are to convert that into energy it would mean that Earth will never run out of energy for at least another 4.5 billion years according to scientists.  Sun never create any hazardous by-product which could harm the environment.

During the early fifties solar energy was looked upon as an substitute to man made energy resources. Through some research it was found energy could be acquired at much cheaper source. With a constant figure of 20% – 25% demand growth year-by-year, the solar energy demand increases for last two decades. Solar energy is able to support household appliances, lighting and water heaters. As of the moment, solar energy is more heavy priced but in the near future with the increase in scientific researches, it will bring down the costs and also increase its efficiency. Solar energy is to generate 2.5% of the world s energy consumption by 2025. Solar energy is the fastest growing technology.

There are some fundamental facts about solar energy that one needs to be acquainted to; solar energy is measured in kilowatt hours and 1 kilowatt=100 watts. One kilowatt hour is equal to the total of electricity which is wanted to burn 100 watt light bulb for around 10 hours. 866 kilowatt is the consumption by an average American home. The Residential Energy consumption Survey conducted in 2001 shows that an annual energy bill was around $2000.

A reduction in unit costs has contributed towards an increase in growth rates and thereby making it an critical energy resource. After year 2000, solar energy has shown a growth rate of 40% per annum. Solar energy is going at a increasing rate in the developing countries too as the consumption of fossil fuel has doubled over the years. When compared to solar energy which is unlimited, fossil fuel reserves are diminishing.  Setting up solar energy gadgets is relatively easier in the more remote areas in comparison for setting up an expensive power grid structure. A disfavor of fossil fuels is that the prices have risen together with the price of transporting coal, oil and gas. These are just a few of the facts about solar energy.

Upgrade your Sewage Treatment System

A Number of Things to Consider About Septic Tanks

Are you thinking of a septic tank? Maybe you are looking into a waste water treatment system. Or you might be in need of a sewage treatment system. It’s most important to understand the difference between these methods. This is specifically true for applications like campgrounds and subdivisions. You may need to decide on a proper waste system for a school, lifestyle block or coastal section. There is so much to know and consider, independent advice can make a large difference . You want the right method for the least cost. Here are good reasons to consider advice from D Miller of Palmerston Nth New Zealand a  Sewage Treatment and waste consultant.

Lifestyle blocks

If you spend a million dollars for a home, you want everything perfect. It is important to spend time in your lovely yard, without any terrible smell. It is simple to have low cost sewage system installed. However, it may easily fail. Dave Miller who is an independent sewage treatment research expert will check your properties soil. He will also determine the proper system for your area. There’re many other things that will be considered. You do not want to contaminate ponds and adjoining properties, for example.

The best system will last for many years. It will also be safe for you and your happy family. Improper septic tanks can be a major health hazard. Your new system will be affordable and not give you any kind of problems.

Subdivisions

Did you know there are many choices for subdivision sewage treatment? Is a community system the best option? May be each lot should have its own system. Requirements may vary a great deal from council to council. If the entire subdivision is studied, the best system can be installed. This can help reduce cost and a lot of time and troubles. You do not want to spend thousands of dollars, only to have everything redone.

Marae

You need to determine your soil type light or heavy. The amount of land for wastewater disposal is also important. The right consultant can present a cost effective treatment plan. This can save a lot on costs. It may help to avoid future problems.

Schools

No other thing is more important than the well-being and health of our children. They have a right to a safe learning environment. The location of Wastewater treatment is very important. Schools need an affordable and reliable service. A wastewater treatment consultant may help them a great deal.

Camping Grounds

Camping grounds can present some unique situations. Proper effluent disposal is vital. Natural resources like rivers and lakes must be taken care of. There are many things to consider.

Tourist and Restaurant Areas

A great deal of people can suddenly descend upon these areas. This can tax an effluent treatment system. It should be designed for many people at one time. Sanitation is of the utmost importance, as preparation of food will be taking place. A total assessment on the amount of land and soil available, will determine the proper system.

Summary

Are you looking for proper septic tanks or sewage treatment systems? There are many considerations for treating sewage. The amount of area is too important. The type of soil also matters. The lay of the land and the local ordinances should be adhered to. A simple and cheap system may fail and present many problems. To be certain, it is best to hire the proper consultant. This will insure that your system is working properly. It will give you good service for many years. Go for someone that can do site evaluations and has experience in it. You can save a lot of money and future trouble, this way.

Davemiller receives Search Engine Optimization from MJ Brandon of internet company SearchMasters. If you want to see your business on top of the search engines, don’t forget SearchMasters Internet services.

Why People Are Returning To Wood For Heat In The 21st Century

With fuel prices a worry for many, reducing the charge of heating homes in addition to businesses is now in the spotlight. A pellet stove by means of wood pellets can diminish warming prices considerably.

For most people home warming is a necessity, plus the traditional forms of heating are now for many simply unaffordable. Owing to conflicts creating problems by way of fuel source, as well as growing global demand, the charge of oil along with gas is unstable along with generally mounting year on year. For example within the next 5 years the charge of gas is expected to increase with 60%.

Learn about Harman Pellet Stoves

There are quite a few factors driving the rise in prices. The first is a limited source of the resources, plus year on year enlarge in demand. Oil along with gas reserves are limited to a few places, meaning most of the western earth is dependant on its fuel approaching from the middle east. Also as Asia, specifically India plus China continue to develop at unprecedented rates, they requirement for oil plus gas is also mounting. Remember China in addition to India have by far to two largest populations, in addition to as they carry on to develop, they requirement for more energy and fuel will also only increase.

 More on Pellet Stove Parts

Looking at this situation, its clear we need to diversify our sources of energy. Dwelling as well as company warming for case is one area where we can produce changes, by means of biomass pellets as well as pellet stoves. Wood has been was for heating for thousands of years, but actually burning logs is not a present sensible answer. Therefore processing the biomass into wood pellets produces a modern energy, which can be was automatically in a pellet stove.

A pellet stove is designed by way of an internal energy hopper. This hopper can hold at least sufficient pellet fuel to run the stove for 12 hours. Hopper extensions are obtainable, which can extend the running age of some pellet stoves up to a week. To remove the requirement to fill the pellet stove at all, it is likely to get a large external hopper fitted, which can feed the stove mechanically. An external hopper can hold a years worth of energy, you simply order a pellet delivery along with a container will fill the hopper.

 Facts on Pellet Stove Inserts

The pellet stove can feed fuel automatically and beginning the fire on requirement, running from a standard wall thermostat for instance. Depending on what type of fuel you are running on, you may need to only empty the ash draw once a month.

Basic Facts About Solar Energy

Facts about solar energy help you to understand how solar energy works and how you can save some dollars without having to run a high energy bill. Solar energy is a renewable resource and of the earliest method of energy use that is available at present. The critical fact about solar energy is that the sun s beams are so powerful that if we are to convert that into energy it would mean that Earth will never run out of energy for at least another four point five billion years according to scientists.  The sun does not create any other hazardous by products which could harm the natural environment.

During the early 1950s solar energy was looked upon as an alternative to man made energy resources. Through some research it was found energy could be received at much cheaper source. With a constant figure of 20% – 25% demand growth year-by-year, the solar energy demand increases for last two decades. Solar energy is able to support home gadgets, lighting and water heaters. As of the moment, solar energy is more heavily priced but in the near future with the increase in technological studies, it will bring down the prices and also increase its efficiency. Solar energy is to generate 2.5% of the world s energy consumption by 2025. Solar energy is the fastest growing technology.

There are some primary facts about solar energy that one needs to be presented to; solar energy is measured in kilowatt hours and 1 kilowatt=100 watts. One kilowatt hour is equal to the total of electricity which is needed to burn 100 watt light bulb for roughly 10 hours. An average American household consumes 866 kilowatt hours per month. The Residential Energy use Survey conducted in 2001 shows that an annual energy bill was around $2000.

A reduction in unit costs has added towards an growth in growth rates and thereby making it an important energy resource. Since 2000, solar energy has been expanding at an incredible rate of 40% per annum. Solar energy is going at a increasing rate in the developing countries too as the consumption of fossil fuel has doubled over the years. When compared to solar energy which is inexhaustible, fossil fuel reserves are diminishing.  As compared to expensive power grids, setting up solar energy gadgets is relatively easy. A disfavor of fossil fuels is that the prices have risen together with the price of transporting coal, oil and gas. These are just a few of the facts about solar energy.

Renewable Fuels for Alternative Strength

The Germans have truly taken off when it comes to green fuel sources, and have become one on the significant players from the option energy game. Under the aegis in the nation’s electrical power feed laws, the German folks set a world record in 2006 by investing above $10 billion (US) in investigation, improvement, and implementation of wind turbines, biogas power plants, and solar collection cells. Germany’s “feed laws” permit the German homeowners to connect to an electrical grid via some source of renewable strength and then sell back on the power organization any excess energy produced at retail prices. This economic incentive has catapulted Germany into the number-one position among all nations with regards towards the quantity of operational solar arrays, biogas plants, and wind turbines. The 50-terawatt hours of electrical energy produced by these renewable vigor sources account for 10% of all of Germany’s power production per year. In 2006 alone, Germany installed 100,000 solar power collection systems.

Over in the US, the BP corporation has established an Strength Biosciences Institute (EBI) to spearhead extensive new study and development efforts into clean burning green energy sources, most prominently biofuels for ground vehicles. BP’s investment comes to $50 million (US) per year more than the course from the next decade. This EBI will likely be physically located at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The University is in partnership with BP, and it will be responsible for study and development of new biofuel crops, biofuel-delivering agricultural systems, and machines to generate green fuels in liquid form for automobile consumption. The University will particularly spearhead efforts inside field of genetic engineering with regard to creating the far more advanced biofuel crops. The EBI will additionally have as a important focal point technological innovations for converting heavy hydrocarbons into pollution-free and extremely efficient fuels.

Also inside US, the battle rages on between Congress and also the Geothermal Strength Association (GEA). The GEA’s Executive Director Karl Gawell has recently written towards the Congress as well as the Department of Energy, the only way to ensure that DOE and OMB don’t simply revert to their irrational insistence on terminating the geothermal investigation program is to schedule a congressional hearing specifically on geothermal strength, its potential, as well as the role of federal study. Furthermore, Gawell goes on to say that recent studies by the National Study Council, the Western Governors’ Association Clean Vitality Task Force and also the Massachusetts Institute of Technology all support expanding geothermal analysis funding to develop the technology necessary to utilize this vast, untapped domestic renewable power resource. Supporters of geothermal power, for instance this writer, are amazed at the minuscule amount of awareness that the public has about the huge advantages that exploration and advancement from the renewable option strength source would provide the US, both practically and economically. Geothermal vigor is already less costly to create in terms of kilowatt-hours than the coal that the US keeps mining. Geothermal strength is readily offered, sitting just a few miles below our feet and simply accessible by way of drilling. A single company, Ormat, which is the third largest geothermal power producer in the US and has plants in several several nations, is already a billion-dollar-per-year business-geothermal vigor is certainly economically viable.

The Best Facts About Solar Energy

Facts about solar energy help you to understand how solar energy works and how you can save some dollars without having to run a high energy bill. Solar energy is a inexhaustible resource and of the oldest method of energy use that is available at nowadays. The important fact about solar energy is that the sun s rays are so powerful that if we are to convert that into energy it would mean that Earth will never run out of energy for at least another four point five billion years according to scientists.  The sun does not create any other hazardous by products which could harm the natural environment.

During the early fifties solar energy was looked upon as an substitute to man made energy resources. Over some research it was found energy could be acquired at some cheaper source. The demand for solar energy has grown substantially within the range of 20-25% over the last twenty years. Solar energy is able to support home appliances, lighting and water heaters. As of the minute, solar energy is more heavy priced but in the near future with the increase in technological studies, it will bring down the costs and also growth its efficiency. By 2025, it is expected to generate 2.5% of the world energy demand through solar energy. Solar energy can be considered as the fastest growing technology.

There are some fundamental facts about solar energy that one needs to be presented to; solar energy is measured in kilowatt hours and 1 kilowatt=100 watts. One kilowatt hour is equal to the amount of electricity which is wanted to burn 100 watt light bulb for approximately 10 hours. 866 kilowatt is the consumption by an average American household. The Residential Energy consumption Survey conducted in 2001 shows that an annual energy bill was around $2000.

A reduction in unit costs has added towards an growth in growth rates and thereby making it an critical energy resource. After year 2000, solar energy has shown a growth rate of 40% per annum. Solar energy is moving at a increasing rate in the developing countries too as the use of fossil fuel has doubled over the years. When compared to solar energy which is unlimited, fossil fuel reserves are decreasing.  Setting up solar energy appliances is relatively easier in the more remote areas in comparison for setting up an expensive power grid structure. A disadvantage of fossil fuels is that the prices have risen together with the price of transporting coal, oil and gas. These are just a couple of the facts about solar energy.

What to Know in Residential Wind Turbines

When you think about wind turbines, the tower with four blades reminiscent of Holland country landscape with the tulips and the Dutch gal is the first image that may come to mind. That image of a windmill seems a prototype of the mechanical wind turbine, also called aerogenerator that uses the wind energy to turn kinetic energy to electricity. It is also one of the mechanical inventions requiring great respect for it helps in alleviating the over-dependence of fossil fuels in generating electricity to power homes.
 
A distinction is to bring regards though in associating windmill with wind turbines. Windmill has mechanical purposes and that may not include generating electricity. The wind turbines, however, are invented to harness the strength of the wind to convert energy to electricity by turning the blades of the electric-generating wind system.
 
It may not be necessarily that huge to construct one unless you want megawatts of electricity to power a lot of machines in many households; that situation may need a behemoth one or numerous wind turbines beautifully lined up on a road or isolated locations to bring electricity to a whole town or a district of towns. The wind turbines may be humongous but seeing them collectively in an orderly, interval set-up makes them like the 8th modern wonders. These turbines have been utilized as a gradual replacement to the fossil fuels.
 
However, in the case of wind turbines for domestic application, the towering machines don’t have to be that big. A certain size for home use may be installed though. But, it is also important to note how much electricity you normally consume, as this will be a factor in availing a residential wind turbine with the appropriate capacity of the system for use in homes.
 
There are some things to learn about residential wind turbines. Although aerogenerator can be among the best machines that help lessen the amount of smokes fumed out from the power facility, using this at home is in simultaneous fashion with procuring electricity from local power utility at the beginning. The cut-in speed of wind turbines for homes is 7-10 mph. Below that speed is not sufficient to power a home, so it is better to have another connection of wires with electric power derived from the local power utility plant.
 
However, when the wind speed peaks up in the location of the wind system, enabling the turbine to roll its blades faster, the energy piles up converting to electrically charged current. As the turbine’s blades move at faster rotating speed and continuously, more and more electric current is made and the electricity may be enough to power homes, thus decreasing or eventually eliminating the dependence of power from the local power retailer. There can also be the tendency that the excess power produced from the turbine can be sold to the local power utility.
 
Residential wind turbine is an alternative medium to obtain energy to turn into electricity to power homes. This can be used as replacement to or in conjunction with solar panels, making your home environmentally friendly. This blade-turning machine with rotor and shaft may not even require batteries to make it work. Modern residential wind system eliminates the need for batteries and this is to watch out for when opting to acquire one or a set of required wind system.
 
If you desire to have a set of the wind machine system that helps generate electricity in your homes, make it a point to browse around. The best deals of residential wind turbines are just here for your purchasing decision.
 
 

State Policy Options for Utility-Scale Wind Plants


Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger, Berkeley Lab

 

Although dramatic cost reductions have allowed wind power to become the least-cost energy option in some regions of the United States, state policies still play an essential role in stimulating wind power development in most areas. The range of available policy options for large-scale wind projects is broad. Some of the prominent state-level approaches used in the past to promote wind power include renewable energy purchase mandates, renewable energy funds, tax incentives, resource planning, and environmental credit markets. Each of these options, along with its advantages and disadvantages, is briefly described below.

 

Renewable Energy Purchase Mandates

Renewable energy purchase mandates include traditional set asides directed at individual utilities in a regulated setting and renewables portfolio standards (RPS) that require all retail suppliers to serve a minimum portion or their load with eligible renewable energy. Examples of traditional purchase mandates can be found in Iowa and Minnesota. In Iowa, certain in-state investor-owned utilities are required to develop 105 average megawatts (MW) of eligible renewables. In Minnesota, Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) is required to develop 425 MW of wind by 2002 and another 400 MW by 2012 as part of a radioactive waste settlement agreement. Meanwhile, 11 states—Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin—have enacted some form of RPS. Of all the state policy types discussed here, renewable energy purchase mandates will likely have the largest impact on wind development. Set-asides and RPS policies are attractive in some states because they create a strong demand for wind generated electricity, offer incentives for wind power cost minimization through a competitive process, can be used in regulated and restructured market settings, and rely on the private market to make renewable energy investment decisions. In other states, however, political considerations make purchase mandates difficult to implement in legislatures. In states where politics allow the creation of RPS policies, the policies must be designed carefully to have the desired effect. Experience shows that effective RPS policies in restructured markets require a strong level of political support and regulatory commitment, clear and well-thought-out renewable energy eligibility rules, predictable long-term renewable energy targets that ensure new wind power supply, standards that are achievable given permitting and transmission challenges, credible and automatic enforcement, and credit-worthy electricity suppliers that are in a position to enter into long-term contracts with renewable energy generators. Texas is typically identified as the “model” for an effective RPS. The design of an RPS policy is typically easier in a regulated setting than in a competitive setting. The key issues should focus on utility cost recovery and standardized power-purchase contract terms.

 

Renewable Energy Funds

Most often funded through system-benefits charges (a small surcharge on electricity rates) but occasionally through regulatory or merger settlements, state renewable energy funds provide major support for utility-scale wind development. Present in 15 states (most are restructured), these funds are expected to generate $3.5 billion for the development of renewables from 1998 through 2012. Production incentives (cents/kWh supplemental financial payments) are the most common form of incentive employed by renewable energy funds in support of utility-scale wind power, although up-front grants, forgivable loans, and subordinated debt have also been used. To date, nine states have obligated $160 million to support 1,630 MW of new wind power. As of the date of this publication, 148 MW had been installed. Several lessons have been learned from experience with renewable energy funds. First, certain types of state support— such as up-front grants and subsidized financing—appear to trigger the “double-dipping” provisions of the federal production tax credit (PTC), thereby reducing the value of the PTC. Second, receipt of a state incentive does not guarantee that a wind project will secure financing; renewable energy fund administrators must remain mindful of the need for a project to secure a long-term power purchase agreement as well. Despite some limitations, renewable energy funds can provide useful supplemental income to wind power projects, providing essential cash flow for project development.

 

Tax Incentives

Various types of tax incentives have been used at the state level in support of utility-scale wind projects. Whereas investment tax credits were common in the past, property and sales tax reductions and exemptions are now most common, with state production tax credits also gaining popularity. As with other types of incentives, tax incentives can reduce the cost of wind power. However, state tax incentives alone have seldom been sufficient to stimulate significant wind power development. Tax incentives can provide a useful supplemental revenue stream to wind plant owners. States contemplating tax incentives for wind, however, might keep several considerations in mind. First, although far from clear, state tax incentives might trigger the “double-dipping” provisions of the federal PTC, thereby reducing the value of the PTC to the wind project. Second, a wind developer or project owner may not have sufficient in-state tax liability to take full advantage of a state income tax incentive (note that this concern only applies to income tax credits, not to sales and property tax incentives). Allowing wind plant owners to carry forward the incentive into future tax years or to trade the incentive to other in-state taxable entities would address this issue. Finally, granting wind projects a property tax exemption could result in a lower level of local community support for wind power.

 

Resource Planning

In some parts of the United States, the cost of wind power is arguably competitive with the cost of fossil-fueled generation. In areas of the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, and Texas, wind projects are selling their output at 3 cents/kWh or less. In such cases—particularly in regulated states—wind should be considered as a potential least-cost resource within an integrated resource planning (IRP) framework. Fairly treating wind power in utility resource planning involves fully considering the costs (e.g., cost of firming) and benefits (e.g., price stability and environmental benefits) of wind power within an integrated planning context, which typically occurs within public utilities commission proceedings. In one such IRP proceeding in Colorado, regulators deemed a wind plant to be the least-cost supply option, given the volatility of natural gas prices, and ordered the local utility to add wind power instead of gas-fired generation. As was the case in Colorado, however, such regulatory battles will typically be hard-fought and controversial because utilities are often inclined to resist wind power. Wind energy integration issues and forecasts of future natural gas prices are common areas of debate.

 

Environmental Credit Markets

If designed properly, state and regional policies that limit the emissions of pollutants such as NOx could present opportunities for wind power. In most permit trading programs, however, credits or permits are allocated only to polluting forms of generation, thereby denying the ability of nonpolluting forms to directly benefit. Several states, including Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York have designed emissions trading programs to include limited set-asides for eligible renewable forms of generation. These programs can offer a modest additional revenue stream to wind projects.

 

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