renewable energy

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Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a law that would require special registration fees to be paid by owners of electric and hybrid vehicles.

But now, as The Oklahoman reports, the Sierra Club of Oklahoma is challenging that law in court. The environmental watchdog organization insists that the payment amounts to an arbitrary fee, that would require environmentally conscious drivers to pay more than their share for use of the road.

Steve Wilson / Wikimedia Commons

The construction of what will be the largest single-site wind farm in the United States was announced last week, and the site will provide power to residents of Western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.

Pixabay / Wikimedia Commons

 A new report reveals which states have fully embraced renewable energy—and the states in the HPPR listening area are among the top in the nation.

As CBS News reports, the state of Texas now produces more wind energy than most countries - and a healthy portion of that energy is produced by wind farms in the Texas Panhandle.

Kansas continues to be one of the leading states in renewable energy, especially with wind power.

Kansas is the fifth state to have at least 5000 megawatts of wind power capacity installed. The state is behind California, Oklahoma, Iowa and Texas, which has a capacity of a whopping 21,000 megawatts.

Kansans get 30 percent of their power from wind and solar. California is at 16 percent.

ENERGY.GOV

The wind that blows across the Great Plains makes it prime real estate for wind turbines.

But as Colorado Public Radio reports, some are concerned that wind energy could threaten the reliability of the nation’s electric grid, while others believe if properly planned for, there’s no limit on how much renewable energy the grid can one day handle.

Tim Nauman / The Wichita Eagle

This week Kansas will dedicate two new wind farms, one in Kingman County and one in Pratt County, reports The Wichita Eagle.

Together, the two farms will generate 400 megawatts of electricity—enough to power 100,000 homes. That’s enough clean energy to power five cities the size of Hays, Kansas.

Most of the power will fall under the purview of Westar Energy, which also recently completed a large wind farm in Ford County.

Andy Cross / The Denver Post

The solar capacity of the state of Colorado increased by 70 percent last year, reports The Denver Post.

That may seem like an impressive leap forward—and it is—but Colorado’s solar ranking among states actually fell last year. That’s because other states increased their capacity even more than the Centennial State.

Daniel Acker / Bloomberg News

Last week, for the first time ever, the Great Plains derived more power from wind turbines than it did from any other source.

As Bloomberg reports, last Sunday the vast power grid stretching from Montana to the Texas Panhandle reportedly received 52 percent of its energy from wind sources.

Steve Sisney / The Oklahoman

Oklahoma has jumped to third in the state rankings, when it comes to wind power production.

As The Oklahoman reports, the Sooner State leapfrogged California to take the third spot. That’s no small feat, given that California bests Oklahoma in land area, population, and general economic might.

Energy Central

The number of jobs supported by the wind industry has cracked the 100,000 mark, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Energy.

As Energy Central reports, the milestone means wind power now employs more workers than nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants. And one out of every four of those wind workers are employed in the state of Texas.

Joe Mabel

Want to know what a green alternative to regular diesel is? Used vegetable oil.

EGE of Minneola, Kansas takes used cooking oil from over 200 restaurants in Kansas and parts of Oklahoma and converts it to biodiesel, the Dodge City Globe reports.

Wesley Orr, who works for EGE recently gave a small group from Pratt, Greensburg and Minneola a tour of the facility.

Brookings Institution / The Rural Blog

Despite Republican efforts to bring back coal as a fuel source, a new report by the Brookings Institution says coal-fired power plants will continue to close despite the arrival of the Trump administration.

As The Rural Blog reports, climate-change deniers such as Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt--who has been tapped to head the EPA--have been vehemently opposed to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. They’ve vowed to end what they call the “war on coal.”

energy.gov

Google announced last week that in 2017, renewable energy will power 100 percent of its global operations, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s blog, Into the Wind.

Larry Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

As wind energy becomes more economically viable in Oklahoma, momentum is building on a political movement to limit tax breaks to wind farms in the state.

As StateImpact reports, last week a panel that decides Oklahoma’s tax incentives decided to curb the credits being given to wind operations. The Incentive Review Commission has reported on ten different wind incentives under review this year.

Kathleen Lavine / Denver Business Journal

Wind energy is booming in Colorado, reports the Denver Business Journal.

In fact, 14 percent of the state’s power now comes from wind, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy. And the Centennial State isn’t alone; wind power is surging in many parts of the country.

Texas Observer

Renewable energy has seen a boom recently. That means many landowners have been tempted to lease their acreage to solar companies. In many cases, farmers and ranchers have received fliers and letters from solar operations.

news9.com

Oklahoma is one of several states challenging President Barack Obama's plan that would force coal plants to reduce emissions,

Theodore Scott / Flickr Creative Commons

A battle over local power in rural Colorado could have national implications, reports the The Rural Blog.

A small electric co-operative in Montrose, Colorado, is battling its supplier over how much local power it should be able to get from sources other than the big power company. The Delta-Montrose Electric Association is one of 43 rural utilities in four states that buy power from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

Center for Rural Affairs

A recent environmental study got Brian Depew of the Center for Rural Affairs thinking. After mulling the info from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, Depew penned a column on the rural development potential of transforming the energy sector.

Matthew Mahon / The Wall Street Journal

Texas has added more wind-based capacity than any other state, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.

The Lone Star state still embraces its oil and gas, and Texas has garnered many headlines leading role in the fracking revolution. But the state has also quietly been becoming a renewable energy powerhouse.

Naveena Sadasivam / Texas Tribune

A new book by a member of a think tank in Texas insists that renewable energy creates “false hope,” reports The Texas Tribune. In a talk last week, Kathleen Hartnett White praised fossil fuels and called the advent of fracking “breathtaking.” White directs the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Armstrong Center for Energy and Environment. While she spoke, protesters outside the event did their best to make their displeasure at her message known.

Friday marked the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, and our planet has come a long way since the inaugural holiday. But there have been struggles, too, notes The Kansas City Star. Earth Day began in 1970 in response to a 1969 massive oil spill near Santa Barbara, Calif.

cpr.org

Yesterday we reported on a problem Texas is struggling with: The state has so much renewable energy these days that, when the flow slows it costs power companies a lot to ramp up fossil fuel energy again. This problem could be solved by renewable energy storage, the next frontier on the energy landscape.

technologyreview.com

Sometimes the modern world presents you with problems you couldn’t have anticipated. Texas is facing one such dilemma. It seems, according to MIT Technology Review, that the Lone Star State has too much renewable energy. Or perhaps “too much too soon” is a better way to put it.

Drenaline / Wikimedia Commons

The US Department of Energy approved a project last week that would ship renewable energy directly from Oklahoma’s panhandle to cities in the southeastern United States. The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise reports that the 700-mile Plains and Eastern Clean Line project was okayed by the feds last Friday. The electricity transmission line will cross 14 Oklahoma counties before passing through Arkansas and ending north of Memphis, Tennessee.

ewea.org

Wind energy is exploding nationwide, and Colorado is hoping to be a big part of the revolution. In 2015 the US wind industry had its third-best year in terms of new wind farms built. Across the nation, the industry installed almost 9,000 megawatts worth of wind turbines, reports Denver Business Journal. That’s a 77 percent increase over the previous year. Colorado installed wind turbines capable of generating 400 megawatts worth of renewable power.

storageioblog.com

A group of Oklahoma students have found a way to turn trash into energy, reports KFOR. The students, along with staff members at Oklahoma State University, have patented a process they call “gasification.” The new system could be a game-changer. The name of the project is “Renewable Energy Power on Demand,” or “RE-PODS” for short. The program takes garbage and transforms it into “syngas,” which can run specially-made generators.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed today on new quotas for the amount of renewable fuels blended in to our gasoline. The E-P-A plan would increase the total volume of renewable fuels at gas pumps. But it actually cuts the amount of ethanol made from corn.

Senate Bill 498, which ends a five-year property exemption for new wind farms on Jan. 1, 2017, is headed to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk.

The Future of Wind Turbines? No Blades

May 19, 2015

Now that we’re used to seeing huge spinning blades across the high plains, there may be a new visual icon on the horizon in the future – enormous tall narrow poles that simply quiver in the wind. This report from Wired. They’re called Vortex Bladeless. Their purpose is the same: turning breezes into kinetic energy that can be used as electricity. But, that’s where the similarity to bladed wind turbines ends. Instead of capturing wind energy with the circular motion of a propeller, The Vortex uses vorticity. That’s an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of vortices. Whirling air patterns that are the enemy of architects and engineers, could now be have new purpose in renewable energy.

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