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Renewables & efficiency - Feb 27

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

Preparing for a Flood of Energy Efficiency Spending

Kate Galbraith, New York Times
... Knoxville’s timing is excellent. The city began the arduous work of cataloging deficiencies before the stimulus bill passed, and it is well along in planning its next steps. But experts worry that other beneficiaries, especially cities, are not ready to oversee the huge sums of energy-efficiency money about to come their way.

The money in the bill is enough to pay for a tremendous expansion of efficiency efforts across the country. But as with other parts of the stimulus package, the efficiency plan is creating tension between spending the money quickly, to get rapid economic stimulus, and spending it well, to do the most good over the long run.

“There’s enormous opportunity here for expansion of energy efficiency in this country,” said Lowell Ungar, the policy director for the Alliance to Save Energy, an advocacy group. “But there is certainly the potential for waste.”
(25 February 2009)

Intel Says Cheap Computing Is the Answer to Cutting Energy

Katie Fehrenbacher, Fortune
The way that Intel (INTC) Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Sean Maloney talked up energy efficiency at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco this afternoon, one could easily have mistaken the world’s largest chip maker for a firm tinkering with the power grid. But there are connections between microprocessors and energy consumption — Maloney said that computing power is now cheap enough to be able to help old-skool industries like manufacturing, construction and transportation do the bulk of their design processes virtually, cutting the energy expended to create physical models.
(26 February 2009)

Solar Panel Prices to Fall by up to 40 Per Cent by Year End

Joe Romm, WorldChanging
The long-awaited drop in prices for solar photovoltaics (PV) appears to be close at hand. Soaring demand for PV and high prices for silicon have kept PV prices up for the past several years, but had two beneficial impacts:

  • Producers ramped up polysilicon production

  • PV companies pursued designs with less silicon.

The result is that Business Green reports:

The price of solar panels could fall by as much as 40 per cent by the end of the year as huge increases in polysilicon supplies lead to a sizable fall in production costs for solar panel manufacturers.

(25 February 2009)

Tax innovations for solar energy

Marc Strassman, Etopia News
Jim Ferguson in Palm Desert on Innovative Tax Procedures to Implement Solar Energy

Jim Ferguson, City Councilmember in Palm Desert, California, talks about that city's efforts to expand its solar footprint through the use of innovative property tax procedures, recorded remotely from Palm Desert.
(25 February 2009)

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