Drastic cuts for large-scale solar power subsidies

Subsidies for large-scale solar power installations are to be cut drastically, in a move that ministers said would preserve funds for households to put up panels, but industry warned would mean a slower uptake of renewable power.

The government said its long-awaited review of feed-in tariffs for renewable energy would divert funds from field-sized solar power plants to panels on house roofs.

But the renewable energy industry and green campaigners said the change of heart would mean community schemes, put forward by housing associations, schools and hospitals, would not go ahead.

Howard Johns, chairman of the Solar Trade Association, said the move would cripple the UK’s fledgling solar panel industry. “Crushing solar makes zero economic sense for UK plc because it will lose us major manufacturing opportunities, jobs and global competitiveness,” he said. “It also risks locking us in to more expensive energy options in future. It is inexplicable that the Treasury can be allowed to damage energy and industrial policy by taking decisions without taking into account the bigger picture.”

The reform, trailed in February but delayed by a consultation that was recently completed, will favour domestic and other small-scale installations of solar power, of up to 50kw – typically enough to cover several houses, or about two tennis courts according to the government, but not enough for some of the community-scale installations some developers had planned, which would cover fields.

Big Island company inks deal to provide biofuel

HONOLULU (AP) – Crops grown on the Big Island will be converted into liquid fuel as part of a deal between Hawaiian Electric Co. and renewable energy company Aina Koa Pono.

The agreement is the first in Hawaii to produce enough biofuel for use in power plants, where it will be converted to electricity.

By 2015, the 13,000-acre energy farm is projected to produce about 16 percent of the Big Island’s energy supply.

Power users on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island would pay about one-third of a cent per kilowatt hour extra to fund the accord, or about $1.86 per month for a typical residential consumer.

The cost hike would have to be approved by state regulators.

The deal is part of the state’s goal to get 40 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030

Big Island company inks deal to provide biofuel – Mauinews.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News

Department of Energy – Secretary Chu Announces Six Projects to Convert Captured CO2 Emissions from Industrial Sources into Useful Products

Secretary Chu Announces Six Projects to Convert Captured CO2 Emissions from Industrial Sources into Useful Products
$106 Million Recovery Act Investment will Reduce CO2 Emissions and Mitigate Climate Change

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today the selections of six projects that aim to find ways of converting captured carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources into useful products such as fuel, plastics, cement, and fertilizers. Funded with $106 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -matched with $156 million in private cost-share -today’s selections demonstrate the potential opportunity to use CO2 as an inexpensive raw material that can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions while producing useful by-products that Americans can use.

“These innovative projects convert carbon pollution from a climate threat to an economic resource,” said Secretary Chu. “This is part of our broad commitment to unleash the American innovation machine and build the thriving, clean energy economy of the future.”

Converting captured CO2 into products such as chemicals, carbonates, plastics, fuels, building materials, and other commodities is an important aspect of carbon capture and storage technology. Converting CO2 into other useful forms can help reduce carbon emissions in areas where long-term storage of CO2 is not practical. It is anticipated that large volumes of CO2 will be available as fossil fuel-based power plants and other CO2-emitting industries are equipped with CO2 emissions control technologies to comply with regulatory requirements.

The projects announced today were initially selected for a first phase funding in October 2009 as part of a $1.4 billion effort to capture CO2 from industrial sources for storage or beneficial use. Over the succeeding months, the project teams have performed experiments on innovative concepts and produced preliminary designs for pilot plants to study the feasibility of capturing and using CO2 exhausted from industrial processes. The selected projects now enter a second phase in which researchers design, construct, and operate their innovations at pilot-scale and evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of applying them commercially.

The projects selected to demonstrate the beneficial use of CO2 include:

Phycal, LLC (Highland Heights, Ohio)-Phycal will complete development of an integrated system designed to produce liquid biocrude fuel from microalgae cultivated with captured CO2. The algal biocrude can be blended with other fuels for power generation or processed into a variety of renewable drop-in replacement fuels such as jet fuel and biodiesel. Phycal will design, build, and operate a CO2-to-algae-to-biofuels facility at a nominal thirty acre site in Central O’ahu (near Wahiawa and Kapolei), Hawaii. Hawaii Electric Company will qualify the biocrude for boiler use, and Tesoro will supply CO2 and evaluate fuel products. (DOE Share: $24,243,509)