From the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office, posted on 2/18/09, retrieved on Friday, March 6, 2009:
President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, and the tax section of the act provides greater tax credits for clean energy projects at homes and businesses and for the manufacturers of clean energy technologies. For homeowners, the act increases a 10% tax credit for energy efficiency improvements to a 30% tax credit, eliminates caps for specific improvements (such as windows and furnaces), and instead establishes an aggregate cap of $1,500 for all improvements placed in service in 2009 and 2010 (except biomass systems, which must be placed in service after the act is enacted). The act also tightens the energy efficiency requirements to meet current standards. For residential renewable energy systems, the act removes all caps on the tax credits, which equal 30% of the cost of qualified solar energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines, and fuel cell systems. The act also eliminates a reduction in credits for installations with subsidized financing.
Click here to read the whole posting, and to link to additional Federal documents.
From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Wednesday, January 28, 2009:
A document submitted as a state energy plan falls short of its mark, while renewable energy projects submitted for funding might go too far, legislators said.
Members of the House Energy Committee, including Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, were critical of the Alaska Energy Authority’s state energy plan as director Steve Haagenson detailed the more than 240-page volume during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Rep. Bryce Edgmon, a Democrat from Dillingham and committee co-chairman, said calling the report an energy plan was something of a misnomer. Instead, the report seemed a “first step” toward a state energy plan, he said.
The State of Alaska has published its proposal for grant allocation from the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund. This money will fund the construction of a wide range of alternative energy projects throughout the state. The total proposed expenditure from the State of Alaska is $100 million, with a Federal match of approximately $300 million.
Click here for a link to the Alaska Energy Authority page that outlines the proposal and links to relevant documents.
From the Union of Concerned Scientists, retrieved on Friday, December 12, 2008:
The renewable energy industry is growing at a record pace in the United States, and so too is the demand for skilled “green collar” workers. Faces of Renewable Energy showcases real people who are building our clean energy economy.
Click here to listen to an interview with, and read a profile of, entrepreneur Bernie Karl.
From the Anchorage Daily News, on Wednesday, December 9, 2008:
Alaska farmers are always trying to find ways to make summer last a little longer. Now a dozen around the state, including four in the Valley, are getting a chance to try, thanks to a new state agricultural grant program.
The program, offered by the state Division of Agriculture for the first time this year, awarded grants up to $5,000 each to farmers growing specialty crops — things like spinach, raspberries and flowers.
From the Anchorage Daily News on November 2, 2008:
Want to buy some hot water? A lot of hot water? Maybe even enough to supply Anchorage with cheap, clean, reliable geothermal energy for years to come?
That’s essentially the proposition Alaska land managers floated recently while trying to lease geothermal rights to state land on the south slope of Mount Spurr, Anchorage’s neighboring volcano. The response was heartening.
A quarter century ago, the state made the same offer — and no one seemed to care. Only one of 16 tracts in the 1983 Mount Spurr lease sale found a bidder (a contract that was eventually forfeited).
This time, however, the state received offers on all 16 tracts, including $3.52 million in winning bids from Ormat Technologies Inc., one of the world’s largest developers of geothermal power plants.
For the past decade or so, Samsø [Denmark] has been the site of an unlikely social movement. When it began, in the late nineteen-nineties, the island’s forty-three hundred inhabitants had what might be described as a conventional attitude toward energy: as long as it continued to arrive, they weren’t much interested in it. Most Samsingers heated their houses with oil, which was brought in on tankers. They used electricity imported from the mainland via cable, much of which was generated by burning coal. As a result, each Samsinger put into the atmosphere, on average, nearly eleven tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Then, quite deliberately, the residents of the island set about changing this. They formed energy coöperatives and organized seminars on wind power. They removed their furnaces and replaced them with heat pumps. By 2001, fossil-fuel use on Samsø had been cut in half. By 2003, instead of importing electricity, the island was exporting it, and by 2005 it was producing from renewable sources more energy than it was using.
About a new New York State campus that is using sustainable building practices. From the New York Times July 27, 2008:
“Stony Brook Southampton will certainly be among a limited number of campuses with this level of commitment to sustainability,” says Judy Walton, acting executive director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. “Sustainability is really a change in the mind-set of how we operate. It’s like seeing the world through a new lens.”
But most significant is how Southampton, a part of Stony Brook University, is writing into its courses the concept of sustainability. Students study it when they study literature, economics, architecture or statistics.
PARIS, Maine – Mark Bancroft’s new pellet-burning furnace hasn’t been installed, but he’s already counting how much money he’ll save over his old oil-fired burner.
Instead of paying $5,000 for 1,100 gallons of heating oil in the coming year based on today’s record prices, he’ll spend $2,000 on about 8 tons of wood pellets. Even at a cost of more than $12,000, he thinks the new furnace will pay for itself within five years.