Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
Energy Issues

AC Direct Drive powertrain technology advances

REV announces 92% efficient AC Direct Drive powertrain for its zero emission FORD Ranger and Escape electric vehicle conversions

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA, December 06, 2008 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The new technology replaces the gas engine and eliminates the use of the original transmission. The result is that 92% of energy used reaches the wheels, a key requirement for fleet managers who want to eliminate tailpipe emissions and reduce fuel costs. REV's new AC Direct Drive powertrain is available for all new vehicle conversion orders.

On November 26, the province of British Columbia announced a program to support the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles with an initial test of 6 vehicles which will later be increased to 34 vehicles. "By expanding the range of clean energy vehicle technologies available to consumers, we can help achieve our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020," stated Richard Neufeld, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for the province of British Columbia.

"This is a strong commitment towards a sustainable transportation system," states Jay Giraud, Founder and CEO of REV Technologies. "REV is responding with electric vehicle conversion technology that meets the needs of BC fleets and is being deployed now."

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Balancing development and conservation

The DRECP will allow these renewable energy projects to move forward in some areas.  Other lands that are important for the long-term conservation of a variety of a declining and threatened and endangered desert species will be set aside as non-development zones.

The plan involves the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as several counties, state agencies, tribes, the military and energy-development businesses and will make available up to 350,000 acres for development of wind, solar and geothermal energy projects for an expected surge in renewable-energy development.

California has extremely aggressive renewable-energy and carbon reduction goals - an 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan will charge fees to companies that build energy projects on public lands, to help compensate for the permanent impacts to those lands. Public meetings on the plan are being held in the desert as well as in San Diego and Sacramento, through the middle of November.

The information on public meetings is on 4x4Voice.

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Let's Heat Things Up

Geothermal power production could significantly add to the United State's capacity to generate electric power. A new USGS assessment is the first national geothermal-resource estimate in more than 30 years. The results of this assessment show that the United States has an estimated 556,890 megawatts-electric (MWe) of power generation potential from a combination of identified geothermal systems (9,057 MWe), undiscovered geothermal resources (30,033 MWe) and unconventional Enhanced Geothermal Systems resources (517,800 MWe).

Full development of just the conventional, identified systems could expand geothermal power production by approximately 260 percent of the currently installed geothermal total of more than 2500 MWe. Geothermal energy is an extremely important but underutilized domestic, renewable energy resource. To view results of the assessment, visit http://energy.usgs.gov/.

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Power Transmission Construction Permits Rules Eased

Nine Federal Agencies Agree to Expedite Permitting of Power Transmission Construction on Federal Lands

WASHINGTON (Oct 28, 2009) – Obama Administration officials today released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by nine Federal Departments and Agencies to make it faster and simpler to build transmission lines on Federal lands. The goal of the agreement is to speed approval of new transmission lines, reduce expense and uncertainty in the process, generate cost savings, increase accessibility to renewable energy and jumpstart job creation.

As President Obama announced in his speech yesterday, the agreement “will help break down the bureaucratic barriers that currently make it slow and costly to build new transmission lines on federal lands.”

The MOU has been signed by the Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

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New BLM Office to Speed Renewable Energy Projects

Secretary Salazar, Director Abbey Open Renewable Energy Coordination Office in California to Speed Project Processing

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (Oct 9, 2009) – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey today officially opened a California Renewable Energy Coordination Office, one of several Interior initiatives to expedite the leasing and production of renewable energy resources on public lands in the West.

“These offices in California, Nevada, Arizona and Wyoming, along with our renewable permitting teams in six other western states, will help to swiftly complete application reviews on the most ready-to-go and environmentally appropriate solar, wind, and geothermal projects on U.S. public lands,” Salazar said. “In California the coordinating office will enable us to balance vital renewable energy development with the needed protection of sensitive resources in the California Desert Conservation Area.”

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21st Century Power Transmission Grid Policy Stated

Salazar Details Administration’s Policy Push to Build 21st Century Power Transmission Grid

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept 30, 2009) – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told energy industry officials today that the federal government’s past electric transmission policy has been as fragmented and disjointed as the nation’s outdated power grid and that one of President Obama’s top energy priorities is to speed the development of a 21st Century network to move American energy more cleanly, efficiently and safely around the nation.

“The President’s economic recovery plan makes an unprecedented $11 billion federal investment in building a better and smarter electric grid,” Salazar said in keynote remarks for a Transmission Policy Summit at the National Press Club. “The Administration is using a Cabinet-level working group to develop a unified, forward-looking strategy for siting, cost allocation, and coordinating the permitting for proposed transmission projects.  And Interior is fast-tracking a number of projects that are environmentally sound.”

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