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By Michael Goggin 9/30/13

The Western U.S. could reap huge benefits in pollution savings and reduced spending on fossil fuels by installing more wind and solar power plants, according to a comprehensive new analysis released today by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The study found that obtaining 25 percent of electricity in the Western U.S. from renewable energy will reduce carbon dioxide pollution by up to 34 percent and save $7 billion annually in fossil fuel costs.

August 29 -- Renewable energy has gotten tantalizingly close to becoming competitive with conventional fossil fuels, and to help bridge the gap, more than 30 states have passed laws requiring energy companies to supply a minimum amount of power from green sources. But according to a new study, if renewable sources are built in the right places, they could compete against traditional power plants without subsidies, turning states like California, Wyoming, and New Mexico into green energy powerhouses. >>View Article

August 20 -- Increasing domestic oil and gas production is no panacea for our nation's energy needs or economy. That will only intensify our fossil fuel addiction. It also won't free us from the tyranny of the global oil market. U.S. oil production may be up 44% since 2008, but so are prices. The costs of crude oil have risen 6% in that time. >>View Article

April 22 -- The plunge in the cost of wind and solar power that bankrupted more than two dozen manufacturers is forecast to spur a tripling of investment in renewables by 2030 and to reduce the grip fossil fuels have on world energy supply. >>View Article

December 12 -- Growing demand in huge emerging economies like China and India will drive up world oil prices no matter what the US does, so it's crucial for the US to develop energy alternatives that will keep it from being hurt by those nations' successes, says Adm. (Ret.) Dennis Blair, former director of national intelligence. >>View Article

December 11 -- Powering the U.S. with renewable energy sources has always seemed to be a long-term dream, so distant that the temptation to stick with fossil fuels — despite the obvious environmental costs — has so far outweighed to motivation to move into a greener future. >>View Article

December 10 -- Over the past 30 years, society has struggled with an energy dilemma: fossil fuels have been cheap and plentiful, but they pollute the air and water — and much of the world’s oil must be imported from unstable and often-unfriendly parts of the world. Renewable energy from solar and wind are very clean but very expensive — until recently. >>View Article

December 6 -- US electrics company GE is to team up with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop advanced wind turbine blade technology that could put wind energy on an equal economic footing with fossil fuels, GE have announced. >>View Article

November 6 -- PPL’s announcement that it will mothball its 44-year-old Corette coal plant in 2015 has generated a lively conversation this election season. The plant is old, dirty and uncompetitive in today’s market. Yet, little of the coverage has focused on the relative benefits for Montana in this story. I would like to offer a few facts for the reader’s consideration. >>View Article 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:52

LTE: The Promise Of Renewable Energy

October 23 -- David Brooks’s Oct. 19 column, “A Sad Green Story,” unfairly brands clean technology subsidies as wasteful corporate welfare. He does not mention the numerous subsidies, in the form of research grants, sweetheart resource extraction contracts and costly foreign policy interventions, that have benefited fossil fuels for decades. The reluctance of both political parties to eliminate these subsidies puts clean technologies at a competitive disadvantage. >>View Article 

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