Saturday, April 25, 2009

In the NEWS

Power Authority pushes $1 billion lakeside wind farm - 4/23/2009
Potential to develop local industry called 'extraordinary'
The state took its first step Wednesday to promote the construction of a large wind farm off the shores of Lake Erie or Lake Ontario that would cost an estimated $1 billion to develop. The goal is to erect a cluster of turbines — 25 to 40, depending on their generating capacity—and nurture an industry to manufacture and assemble windmills for projects taking root around the Great Lakes.

“The potential for wind [power] in the Great Lakes is extraordinary,” said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer of the New York Power Authority, who announced the undertaking at Buffalo’s Erie Basin Marina. “This is going to happen. This is workable. This is feasible,” Kessel said. Read the full report by James Heaney in The Buffalo News.

Last year, a report from the University at Buffalo urged New York State to develop a comprehensive plan for production of wind power offshore from Lakes Erie and Ontario. The report was prepared by Robert Berger and Dwight Kanyuck and is posted here.

Building the American clean energy economy - 4/22/2009
Earth Day
For decades, while Americans across the country have worked to make a difference in their communities, politicians in both parties in Washington have ignored the energy crisis, imperiling our economy, our security and our planet. Now, we have a unique opportunity to attack the energy crisis head-on and create a comprehensive energy policy that will bolster our economy, end our dependence on foreign oil and reduce the threat of deadly pollution that is devastating our planet.

We have an enormous, urgent environmental and economic task ahead of us, and it is one that we have ignored for far too long. See the Another Voice article, by Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, and Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, in The Buffalo News.

Cities urged to take lead on fighting global warming - 4/19/2009
Cities, including Buffalo, must address the growing problem of climate change
Finally we have a president who understands global warming and climate change and is committed to addressing this very serious problem. The importance of this sea change cannot be underestimated. It’s cause for real hope and celebration this Earth Day.

The bad news, of course, is that we still aren’t doing enough about climate change and we’ve lost a lot of time. Success depends on implementing completely new energy policies and practices on all levels of our society. Fortunately, despite a lack of initiative here in Western New York, a large number of U. S. cities have made serious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting back on fossil fuel use. Read the Viewpoints article by Walter Simpson in The Buffalo News.

Reduced energy consumption helps users and utilities - 4/23/09
How can corporations, including energy companies like ours, act responsibly and make a real impact on the environment? How can individuals and companies alike make Earth Day a year-round commitment?

Realistically we are stuck with carbon-based energy for the time being, and must continue to inflict some damage on both our health and the environment. But we can try to control our collective addiction and take the right steps to minimize that damage every day. Read the Another Voice article by Jeffrey Mayer, president and chief executive officer of MXenergy, a retail natural gas and electricity supplier, in The Buffalo News.

Watt’s the big deal? ‘Vampire power’ - 4/22/2009
Home electricity getting drained by lots of gadgets, even when they’re off
Some estimates suggest that electronic devices account for 10 to 15 percent of all home electricity use. A sizable piece of this energy use is known as “phantom power” or “vampire power” because it occurs while the devices are turned off or not in active use.

“It’s one of those things with electronics; it’s a couple watts here and a couple watts there, and pretty soon it adds up to a lot of watts — and real money,” said John T. Thompson, a Buffalo State College associate professor of computer information systems. See the article by Stephen T. Watson in The Buffalo News.

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