Wow. Willett Kempton, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, released the findings of a multiyear study last week at Washington University. After four years of collecting data, Kempton shared the details of his groundbreaking findings, which may shake up what we thought we understood about renewable energy — with big implications for the Midwest.

I have only read this information today and would really like to wrap my mind around this new information. The numbers Professor Kempton shared rock the understandings and assumptions energy professionals have held to for years.

One such finding, as reported in the St. Louis Beacon is, “Kempton found one could run 99.9 percent of a major power grid off renewables. He said previous estimates had put the magic figure closer to 20 percent without the use of large, expensive batteries. If the professor is correct, it makes variable generation and the clean alternative fuels it uses a far more viable option than once thought.”

If the findings of this report bear to be true, the face of utility planning and the growth of renewables could be an even brighter future for our region of the country with a myriad of positive impacts both economic and environmental.

posted by Kate Van Cantfort, Communications Director, Climate +Energy Project

 

 

You did it! And we thank you!

The legislation to roll back or eliminate the Renewable Portfolio Standard in Kansas has either been voted down or sent back to committee.  With the timing in the Kansas legislature session, this means the RPS is safe – for now. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

First let’s take a moment to thank each supporter who called from Kansas communities across the state. Your representatives heard you! Please take a minute to call or email them and thank them for their vote. See the how your Senator voted hereSB 82 Feb 28 vote (The House vote was not a recorded vote, so we can’t tell you how your official voted.)

I also want to thank the great organizations who worked tirelessly to fight this roll back: KS Interfaith Power and Light, the Wind Coalition, the Sierra ClubKansas Natural Resource Council, the Kansas Farmers Union, the Kansas Rural Center, and NRDC. Many other groups provided testimony to the House and Senate Committees including the Kansas Farm Bureau, Siemens Wind Energy, Heartland Alliance for Regional Transmission (HART), and others. The Kansas Energy Information Network (KEIN) and Polsinelli  Shughart created report on the “Economic Impacts of Kansas Wind Industry” which is a timely piece of research. Each of these efforts played a critical role in this on-going conversation.

So take a moment and appreciate democracy at work.

Okay, moment over. The Kansas legislature is not done for the session. We will need to continue to be vigilant as amendments can be made to one of many pieces of legislation still working through one or both chambers. We will be sure to keep you up to date on any actions in the State House.

In the meantime, please make sure to sign the petition in support of the RPS in Kansas. Keep up with CEP on our Facebook page – we will be moving forward with our Energy Leader Roundtables in communities around Kansas.

Here is a quick round-up of the recent articles about this effort in Kansas:

The Times Union – Associate Press article

NRDC blog

The Topeka Capitol Journal

The Wichita Eagle

Thank you to everyone for their efforts.

posted by Kate Van Cantfort, CEP Director of Communications and Special Events

In late April, CEP hosted a gathering of the Heartland Alliance for Regional Transmission (HART) stakeholders. the gathering was in conjunction with the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) regional state committee meeting and the SPP Board of Directors meeting. This was an interesting opportunity to meet with landowners, elected officials, renewable energy advocates, economic developers and to watch energy regulation at work.

CEP was able to bring renewable energy and energy efficiency experts to talk with the HART stakeholders. We thought it might be wise to share some of the  information provided by these experts.

The first piece we want to share is from Susan Williams Sloan, Director of State Relations for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA.) Susan was part of a panel on siting of wind farms and impacts associated with wind farms. Her presentation highlights issues with siting and public acceptance across the Heartland.  Her entire power point presentation is included here: AWEA siting and public acceptance April 2012.

She also addressed questions about the production tax credit and energy subsidies. Susan recommends this report from the National Academy of Sciences titled “The Hidden Costs of Energy.”

 

CEP and HART appreciates Susan taking the time to share her expertise to HART stakeholders and we hope you find the information useful as well.

 

Tomorrow we will share more from our April meeting.

posted by Kate Van Cantfort, CEP Director of Communications & Special Projects

Well, maybe not save the day – but certainly there is place for wind development in the armada of life boats to move Kansas out of the great recession.

There has been some talk about the role of wind energy development in providing some balance to the economy in places such as Wichita which has had some losses in the aerospace industry. Here is a great example in a recent article from the News Observer.

Governor Brownback continues to cite wind energy as a key factor in Kansas’ future. He even cited the Kansas’ status as in the top 5 states for wind development in his state of the state address earlier this month.

Kansas can benefit not just from wind farms and production within the wind industry but also from the upgrade, building and maintenance of transmission lines which are a critical component of a growing wind industry.

Stay tuned for more information on the economic impact of the renewable industry on the future on the Heartland.

written by Kate Van Cantfort, CEP Director of Communications & Special Projects

 

 

 

Ecycling is Major Business

January 9, 2012

According to the website earth911.com:

“The market value of e-waste recycling and reuse services totaled close to $6.8 billion worldwide in 2010, increasing nearly 10 percent from $6.2 billion in 2009, according to a new market research study from SBI Energy.

e-waste pile from US AID

electronic waste

Industry growth is expected to continue on its uphill path at least through the next decade, with collection services alone more than tripling by 2020, according to the study – which contains global e-waste recycling data from 2006 to 2010 and forecast data up to 2020.

READ: Is America’s E-Waste Problem Over?

The report, entitled “E-Waste Reuse and Recycling Services Worldwide,” predicts that the value of lead, copper, gold and other valuable materials found in e-waste components will continue to drive global market growth. In 2011, China and India are estimated to retain the largest market shares, with approximately 24 percent and 22 percent respectively, according to the report.

Although e-waste represents less than 3 percent of the world’s waste total, it is growing two to three times faster than any other waste stream, mostly due to electronics becoming obsolete more and more quickly, according to the study.”

The EPA announced today that the KC metro area has a new certified e-waste recycler. Congratulations to Surplus Exchange of KC, MO.

We included all of the news release because it couldn’t be found on the EPA website and they are offering an opportunity to tour the facility. So, if you are in the area and like to learn more stop by and check it out.

There has also been an increasing number of e-waste recycling days and events in the state of KS. Our local community hosts a huge event associated with Earth Day at our local nature center. I researched whether there was a database of the events for Kansas or the US.  I didn’t find an easy resource, but this listfrom the EPA should help anyone who is interested in ecycling in their community.

Pre-cycling, or choosing products because of materials or packaging which create less environmental impact, and buying energy star rated gadges and applicances are additional ways to limit the impact of our increasingly electronic world.

NEWS RELEASE

please contact: Kris Lancaster, (913) 551-7557, lancaster.kris@epa.gov

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 9, 2012) – Surplus Exchange of Kansas City, Mo., will be recognized by EPA and the General Services Administration (GSA) this week for achieving certification to the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment Program. Surplus Exchange is the first recycling facility in Missouri to attain this prestigious certification.

This event is part of the Obama Administration’s “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship,” which is a strategy for responsible design, purchasing, management and recycling that promotes sound electronics recycling. Electronic waste from old cell phones, computers and other devices often contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals.

A tour of the Surplus Exchange facility, at 518 Santa Fe, in Kansas City, Mo., will be held for the news media and public from 10:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. on Friday, January 13. A news conference will follow at 10:50 a.m. at the same location.

WHAT: Recognition of Surplus Exchange for e-Stewards Electronics Recycling Certification

WHEN: 10:50 a.m., January 13, 2012 (Tour of the facility will begin at 10:30 a.m.)

WHERE: 518 Santa Fe, Kansas City, Mo. 64105

WHO: EPA Region 7 Regional Administrator Karl Brooks, GSA Regional Administrator Jason Klumb, and Surplus Exchange Deputy Director Bob Akers

As a certified e-Steward recycler, Surplus Exchange operates its facility in accordance with the most stringent certification standards in the electronics recycling industry. Surplus Exchange was subject to extensive and rigorous audits conducted by an accredited certifying body to ensure compliance with the e-Stewards Standard. The facility processes nearly 2.2 million pounds of electronics for reuse and recycling annually.

 Every year, Americans generate almost 2.5 million tons of used electronics, which are made from valuable resources such as precious metals and rare earth materials, as well as plastic and glass. From computers and cell phones, to portable communication and music devices, the United States will continue to be a global leader in the designing and development of new and improved electronic technologies. The responsible management of electronics provides an opportunity to create economic development and jobs through the development of a strong domestic electronics recycling market while protecting valuable natural resources.

Since 2008, EPA Region 7 has recycled 2,944 pounds of spent batteries and 56,163 pounds of old computers, computer monitors, printers, and other electric/electronic equipment.

 As the government’s purchasing and disposal arm, GSA is working to ensure that all electronics used by the federal government meet green electronics standards and are reused or recycled properly.

 EPA and GSA seek to encourage other companies to use certified recyclers to help grow the domestic recycling market, create green jobs and educate consumers.

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The EPA provided the following information on ewaste recycling and local events:

There are two existing domestic third-party electronics recycling certification standards, R2 and E-Stewards.

For more information on the EPA and industry collaboration go to: http://www.epa.gov/electronicsstrategy.

For more information on GSA’s electronic stewardship goals and promoting federal agencies’ purchasing Environmentally Preferable Products go to: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/234565.

For more information on where and how you can recycle electronics go to: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/recycle.htm or www.earth911.com.

To locate a list of Responsible Recycling (R2) Certified Electronics Recyclers go to: http://www.r2solutions.org/index.php?submenu=Recyclers&src=gendocs&ref=R2CertifiedRecyclers&category=Main.

To locate a list of e-Stewards Certified Electronics Recyclers go to: http://e-stewards.org/find-a-recycler/.

Kate Van Cantfort, CEP, Director of Communications & Special Projects