Wednesday, December 23, 2009

EPA Releases New Mobile Source Emissions Model

An updated version of the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model – MOVES2010 – is now available for use to estimate air pollution from cars, trucks, and other on-road mobile sources. The model can also calculate the emissions reduction benefits from a range of mobile source control strategies, such as inspection and maintenance programs and local fuel standards.

EPA will soon publish a Federal Register notice approving MOVES2010 for meeting official state implementation plan and transportation conformity requirements. The MOVES2010 model replaces EPA’s MOBILE6.2 emissions factor model.

Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to update regularly the way it calculates mobile source emissions. EPA is continuously collecting data and conducting emissions studies to assess the air quality impacts of on-road vehicles. As a result of using data collected from millions of cars and trucks gathered since MOBILE6.2 was released in 2004, MOVES2010 provides increased accuracy in emissions inventory results.

For the first time, the model can estimate emissions on a range of scales from national emissions impacts down to the impacts of individual transportation projects. Another improvement is the ability to express output as either total mass (in tons, pounds, kilograms, or grams) or as emissions factors (grams-per-mile, and in some cases, grams-per-vehicle). These changes to how EPA approaches mobile source emissions modeling are based, in part, upon recommendations made to the agency by the National Academy of Sciences.

More information on the MOVES2010 model

Friday, December 18, 2009

Smart Electricity Meters: Real Time Electricity Pricing

The vast majority of people are on fixed electricity meters, which simply measure how much electricity has been used. These are used by the utility company to calculate how much you owe them for the electricity you have consumed.

During the day there are peak times when many people are using a lot of electricity - for example, in the early evening when many lights, tv's, and computers are switched on, and ovens and kettles are being used to prepare meals. In the middle of the night demands drops right off.

A smart meter offers two way communication between the utility company (electricity supplier) and the consumer. When demand is high (and therefore wholesale electricity prices are very expensive) the utility company can pass high costs onto the consumer. When demand is low (and therefore wholesale electricity prices are very cheap) the utility company can pass savings to the consumer. This motivates consumers to use electricity when demand is least so that they can save money.

This video shows the 'In Home Energy Display' by General Electric

The use of smart meters will reduce overall carbon emissions (since thinking about electricity usage tends to make people reduce their overall consumption), and also reduce electricity bills for anyone who makes the effort to time their electricity usage - for example, running the washing machine or tumble drier at night rather than during the day, and turning the dish washer on just before going to bed rather than immediately after eating. (REUK.CO.UK)

Long Island Power Authority Approves 50 MW Solar Project

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees has approved power purchase agreements (PPAs) with BP Solar and enXco Development Corporation, creating the state's largest source of solar power on Long Island. LIPA's Solar Energy Project will introduce approximately 50 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy generated on Long Island onto LIPA's electric grid. LIPA will enter into PPAs with BP Solar and enXco Development Corp. to provide 32 MW and 17 MW of energy, respectively.

In February 2009, LIPA officials announced the results of a competitive procurement process to install photovoltaic arrays, selecting BP Solar and enXco Development Corp. to provide LIPA with capacity, energy and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) from solar arrays to meet LIPA’s renewable energy goals. Both PPAs require the companies to construct, operate and maintain the project and achieve full operation by mid 2011.

BP Solar will construct its ground-mounted solar system at a cost of $298 million over the contracted 20-year term. enXco will install solar systems on car ports within existing parking lots, at railroad stations and other facilities owned by Suffolk County owned parking lots at a cost of $125 million over the contracted 20-year term.

The effect of the costs of The Long Island Solar Energy Project to LIPA customers is equivalent to approximately .83 cents per month per customer. To defray some of the costs of the solar project, LIPA is actively pursuing funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the amount of $15 million dollars and has already secured federal appropriations in the amount of $1.75 million. (, 12/18/09)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Governor Paterson Releases Final NY State Energy Plan

The 2009 New York State Energy Plan (Plan or Energy Plan) sets forth a vision for a robust and innovative clean energy economy that will stimulate investment, create jobs and meet the energy needs of residents and businesses over its 10-year planning horizon. To that end, the Plan provides the framework within which the State will try to meet its future energy needs in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, establishes policy objectives to guide State agencies and authorities as they address energyrelated issues and sets forth strategies and recommendations to achieve these objectives.

The Plan‘s strategies and recommendations have been designed to meet five policy objectives:

 Assure that New York has reliable energy and transportation systems;

 Support energy and transportation systems that enable the State to significantly reduce
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, both to do the State‘s part in responding to the dangers posed
by climate change and to position the State to compete in a national and global carbonconstrained economy;

 Address affordability concerns of residents and businesses caused by rising energy bills, and
improve the State‘s economic competitiveness;

 Reduce health and environmental risks associated with the production and use of energy across all sectors; and

 Improve the State‘s energy independence and fuel diversity by developing in-state energy supply resources.

Five strategies are outlined in the Plan, which simultaneously achieve these multiple policy objectives. The strategies are: (1) produce, deliver and use energy more efficiently; (2) support development of instate energy supplies; (3) invest in energy and transportation infrastructure; (4) stimulate innovation in a clean energy economy; and (5) engage others in achieving the State‘s policy objectives.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Large Wind Project Proposed Offshore

The New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative (OWC), a group of utilities and government agencies, is requesting proposals next year from developers for a 350-megawatt wind farm near the Rockaway Peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean 13 miles from Queens. It is estimated that the project could cost more than $1 billion and involve more than 100 turbines. The OWC wants developers to finance the project and recoup their costs selling power to nearby utilities, beginning in 2015.

The Center supports the project. (WSJ, 12/9/09)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holloway New Director of NY Department of Environment

Mayor Bloomberg has appointed Caswell F. Holloway IV, left, as the new commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental Protection. The position has a salary of $205,000. Caswell F. Holloway IV, 36, served as chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler since 2006, Mr. Holloway pushed through a plan for a citywide waste management system, oversaw the collection of human remains found at ground zero years after the attack; and drew up plans to revive the unsightly Gowanus Canal.

The Department of Environmental Protection has a budget of $1 billion, a work force of 6,000 and is responsible for maintaining the safety of the city’s air and water supply and collecting sewage. The agency does not develop environmental policy, a task handled by the mayor’s sustainability office. But the agency plays a crucial role in shaping and enforcing those policies. (NYT, 11/30/09)

Friday, December 4, 2009

RGGI States Complete Sixth Successful CO2 Auction

2009 Vintage Allowances Sold at $2.05

2012 Vintage Allowances Sold at $1.86

Proceeds Support Weatherization of Buildings and Other Consumer Benefit Programs

The states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) today announced the results of the sixth regional auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances, held Wednesday, December 2nd. The auction yielded $61,587,120.90, increasing the total amount of proceeds from RGGI auctions to more than $494.4 million. All of the 28,591,698 allowances for the 2009 vintage offered in Wednesday’s auction sold at a price of $2.05.

In a parallel offering, the RGGI states also auctioned allowances for the second three-year control period beginning January 1, 2012. A total of 1,599,000 of the 2,172,540 allowances for the 2012 vintage sold at a price of $1.86. Unsold allowances for the 2012 vintage year may be sold in future auctions according to each state’s regulations.

RGGI is showing that cap-and-trade works: six successful auctions, more than 100 bidders and $494 million for green energy and green jobs. States have chosen to auction nearly all allowances and to invest the proceeds in a variety of programs that reduce emissions, save consumers money, create jobs, and build the clean energy economy. The approach of winter highlights investments states are making to improve heating energy efficiency in homes and businesses. Across the region states are investing in programs to upgrade inefficient heating equipment, improve insulation, and replace old windows and doors.

To learn more about how each state is investing RGGI auction proceeds, please visit:

Additional details about RGGI Auction 6 may be found in the Market Monitor Report for Auction 6

About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have designed and implemented the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Power sector CO2 emissions are capped at 188 million short tons per year through 2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through 2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent. A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one ton of CO2, as issued by a respective participating state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions to demonstrate compliance at the end of each three-year control period.

The first control period for fossil fuel-fired electric generators under each state’s CO2 Budget Trading Program took effect on January 1, 2009 and extends through December 31, 2011. Allowances issued by any participating state are usable across all state programs, so that the ten individual state CO2 Budget Trading Programs, in aggregate, form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions.

RGGI, Inc. was created to provide technical and administrative services to the states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. The RGGI auctions are administered by RGGI, Inc. and run on an on-line platform provided by World Energy Solutions, Inc. (TSX: XWE).