KPPC's Executive Director and KREC's Public Information Officer joined 50 other participants representing 10 southern states for a day-long meeting to discuss ways to address organizational leadership and the future of biomass and biofuel messaging. The meeting was sponsored by the 25x'25 Alliance and the Southeast Agricultural & Forestry Energy Resource Alliance (SAFER). Meeting Participants heard from Mike McAdams, President of the Advanced Biofuels Association, and Dr. Janet Rechtman, Organizational & Leadership Developer of The Fanning Institute at the University of Georgia. Guest speakers discussed the importance of partnerships and cooperation to help advance the development and commercialization of biofuels.
Ernie Shea, Project Coordinator of the 25x’25 Alliance, provided a fresh look at the state of affairs in Washington, DC and how it translates into a need for committed bioenergy leadership at the state and regional level. Panels of state bioenergy leaders and regional association representatives also provided examples of success stories and highlighted the mechanisms in place to support state activities. The meeting provided KREC an opportunity to network with and learn from other renewable energy organizations and to find avenues for future collaboration.
KREC has published A KREC Compendium - 2005 to 2011 which highlights consortium activities and research grant programs over the past seven years. The compendium publication covers KREC's initial funding through a $2 million operational grant from the US Department of Energy, to the successful completion of two Competitive Research Grant Programs. The publication is now available as a pdf document.
The U.S. solar industry installed a quarterly record for new solar electric capacity in the third quarter with 449 megawatts (MW), says the Solar Energy Industries Association. The trade group said more U.S. solar electric capacity came online in the third quarter than all of 2009 combined, and that the fourth quarter is predicted to be even larger.
Industry officials cited utility-scale project completions, a strong residential market, effective policies and the plummeting price of solar panels. According to the SEIA and a report from GTM Research, through the third quarter of 2011, the U.S. solar market has installed more than 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity on the year, already surpassing the 2010 annual total of 887 MW. The 449 MW installed in the third quarter represents 140 percent growth over the same quarter last year.
However, solar industry officials say much of the growth is due to the Department of Treasury's 1603 program, which, absent a congressional extension, is set to expire on Dec. 31. With no extension of the program, the report predicts that there will be a tax equity bottleneck for projects in 2012, leading to a possible slowdown in installations in late 2012 and into 2013.
"The U.S. solar industry is on a roll, with unprecedented growth in 2011," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. "Solar is now an economic force in dozens of states, creating jobs across America. But our industry needs stable policy on which to make business decisions, and unfortunately an underlying mechanism for financing solar projects is scheduled to expire on December 31. To keep the industry growing and creating jobs in the U.S. we need Congress to extend the 1603 program."
Resch said the 1603 program "has done more to expand the use of renewable energy than any other policy in U.S. history. Our country is not in a position to have Congress turn their back on American industries, and it is critical that Congress extend the 1603 program in the few days left before the end of the year."
Learn more at the Solar Industries Association website.
Eastern Kentucky University students have joined together to form the EKU Energy Club, a student organization dedicated to educating the campus community and the general public on wide variety of topics related to energy. The club is a chapter of a state-wide Kentucky Energy Club which is modeled after the Energy Club at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its primary mission is to bring together a diverse group of students and educate, engage and excite one another concerning the issue of energy and the future of Kentuckians as active participants on the global energy stage. The Kentucky Energy Club consists of several college chapters throughout the state including the University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, Centre College and Ashland Community College in addition to EKU.
One of the primary club functions will be to host campus forums in which industry, government and academic experts discuss pertinent energy-related topics. This will provide EKU students, staff and faculty and other members of the community to engage in meaningful conversation with leaders in the energy industry. Learn more at EKU's website.
Find renewable energy publications at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
The NREL Publications Database contains bibliographic information about publications developed or written by NREL staff and subcontractors. Search the database for publications from 1977 to the present on subjects related to renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. Many publications are available electronically as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. The database includes:
KREC would like to publish your thoughts on renewable energy and energy efficiency in Kentucky in the "Members' Forum". Please send your opinions, articles or news about RE happenings in the Commonwealth to KREC@kppc.org. A short piece is preferable (300 or fewer words work best).
Make your voice heard – we want to give KREC members a forum to spread the word about renewable energy efforts and issues.