Vermont Yankee Study Identifies Major Environmental and Economic Benefits

first_imgVermont Yankee Study Identifies MajorEnvironmental and Economic BenefitsVermont Energy Partnership Urges Policy Makers andthe Public to Review Independent Expert’s FindingsMontpelier, VT/November 17, 2008 – An independent assessment of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant finds that the facility provides major economic and environmental benefits to Vermont and that the consequences of closing it would be significant. In addition, the only potential solution to replace all or the vast majority of its power near term is to construct a combined cycle natural gas plant.The effects of such a plant and the loss of Vermont Yankee include:* Statewide average retail electric prices are estimated to increase by 19 to 39 percent.* Without Vermont Yankee’s power, carbon dioxide emissions, from all sources statewide, would likely increase by two million tons annually, a 100 fold or 10,000 percent increase.* Emissions of nitric oxide, a toxic substance which causes the weakening of the earth’s ozone layer, would increase by 550 tons, a twofold increase from current levels.* The potential costs to Vermonters stemming from the need for pollution allowances could exceed $60 million annually for carbon dioxide and $3 million for nitric oxide. These costs would be in addition to the retail price increases.* The loss of Vermont Yankee would deprive the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund $4-$7 million per year.The study’s author is Dr. Howard Axelrod, president and founder of Energy Strategies, Inc. of Albany, New York. Dr. Axelrod has been a management consultant for over 25 years and has been engaged by a wide range of energy clients, state and federal regulatory agencies, and large industrial users of energy.Dr. Axelrod evaluated various alternatives to Vermont Yankee and the feasibility of having these power sources online by March 2012, when Vermont Yankee’s current license expires.With respect to renewable resources, Dr. Axelrod found, “There is no question that wind energy and other renewable resources will play a vital role in meeting Vermont’s growing energy needs. However, it is highly unrealistic to assume that between the end of 2009 when the NRC [U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission] is expected to rule on the Vermont Yankee relicensing application, and 2012, when the original operating license expires, Vermont could add the necessary magnitude of renewable generation.”In fact, there are formidable challenges to bringing large amounts of renewable power online, especially near term. Dr. Axelrod’s study found the following.* Wind power. “To replace Vermont Yankee …. with an equivalent number of wind-derived electricity would require the installation of more than 1,500 wind generators. Given that the largest wind farms install only a few hundred generators, the addition of 1,500 generations with the associated transmission lines needed to connect to the Vermont network, 2012 is an unrealistic completion date.”* Solar. “The equivalent number of solar collectors (to replace Vermont Yankee) would require over 2,000 acres of dedicated space just for the solar collectors. To maximize exposure to the sun, an untold amount of land will have to be cleared in order to capture as much sun energy as possible.”* Wood. “The amount of wood and waste wood materials needed to produce the same amounts of electricity as from Vermont Yankee would exceed two million tons of bond-dry wood per year … a Vermont Yankee biofuel replacement would require over 200,000 acres of woodlands to be cultivated each year, which represents nearly five percent of Vermont total geographic space.”Dr. Axelrod does find, “There is one alternative to Vermont Yankee that might meet the tight time schedule, namely the installation of 620 MW (megawatts) of combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT).”He adds, “Unfortunately, CCGTs require large volumes of natural gas and will produce significantly more nitric oxide and carbon dioxide, the latter a major source of global warming. From a cost perspective, a new CCGT will be twice as expensive and significantly more uncertain as the price of natural gas represents more than 70 percent of a CCGT’s operating costs.”Dr. Axelrod emphasized, “It should not be misconstrued, solar, wind and biofuels can and should all contribute to Vermont’s portfolio of energy resources, but to assume that 620 MW of Vermont Yankee power can be replaced by 2013 is unrealistic.”In fact, the expanded use of renewable electricity power sources longer term will help reduce Vermont’s carbon footprint further. Currently, automobiles account for 46 percent of the state’s carbon footprint, almost twice the national average of 25 percent. With the electrification of automobiles expected to become more popular in the near future, there will be even more need for clean sources of electricity.Commenting on the study, Brad Ferland, President of the Vermont Energy Partnership said, “There are many intriguing findings in this study that should be part of the discussion not only about Vermont Yankee but of Vermont’s overall energy future. At a time when it is critical to keep and expand clean sources of power, Vermont Yankee has a paramount role to play in Vermont’s energy and economic infrastructure. We look forward to discussing the findings and ramifications with policy makers.”Jennifer Clancy, an environmentalist and board member of the Vermont Energy Partnership said, “While there is no silver bullet to Vermont’s vast and growing energy challenges, a combination of Vermont Yankee and expanded use of renewable sources are central to the state’s energy future. This report shows the respective roles, and time frame, that these sources can and should play in the coming years.”To view a full copy of the study, “An Independent Assessment of the Environmental and Economic Impacts Associated with the Closing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant,” visit www.vtep.org(link is external). For more information on Energy Strategies, Inc. visit www.energystrategiesinc.com(link is external) .The Vermont Energy Partnership (www.vtep.org(link is external)) is a diverse group of more than 95 business, labor, and community leaders committed to finding clean, affordable and reliable electricity solutions. Its mission is to educate policy makers, the media, businesses, and the general public about why electricity is imperative for prosperity, and about the optimal solutions to preserve and expand our electricity network. Entergy, owner of Vermont Yankee, is a member of the Vermont Energy Partnership.last_img read more

The new Aura Display Village on the Sunshine Coast cuts living costs

first_imgStockland’s $5 billion masterplanned community, Aura, has just opened its display village in its first suburb Baringa.NEW standards for sustainable community design are being set by Stockland’s $5 billion masterplanned community, Aura on the Sunshine Coast.The newly opened Aura Display Village is the first in Australia to feature a display home with Tesla Powerwall 2, the next generation solar home battery system that offers homeowners the ability to save money on their energy bills.Stockland regional manager Ben Simpson said Aura was the first community to be designed and constructed to the world’s highest environmental and sustainability standards, achieving 6 Star Green Star-Communities rating.“The Aura Display Village is a jewel in the crown of Aura’s first suburb, Baringa, and these cutting-edge technologies are paving the way for the outstanding quality, design excellence and sustainable living options set to become the hallmark of this future city.” Integrale Homes director Murray Riley said the company was experiencing a surge in interest about the Tesla Powerwall 2, now on display in its Oakvale 189 home. “The Tesla Powerwall 2 is proving to be a huge drawcard for potential buyers weary of being on the receiving end of endless price hikes in energy bills,” Mr Riley said. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours ago“With double the storage of the Tesla Powerwall 1, this battery should power a home from dawn to dusk.” Other hi-tech innovations in the display village include an electric car charge station and the installation of smart LED street lighting, using 50 per cent less energy than standard street lights.“These features are highlighted throughout the village, and potential buyers can do a walking tour to see each technology in action,” Mr Simpson said.The largest display village on the Sunshine Coast, Aura features 40 new homes, designed by 24 of Australia’s leading builders and designers. Each display home has achieved a 7 Star NatHERS rating, making the display village one of the most environmentally friendly in Australia. Current land sizes at Aura’s first suburb, Baringa, are priced from $203,400 to $344,150 and range from 250sq m to 716sq m. The Aura Display Village is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm and is located beside the Aura Sales and Vision Centre at 1 Lukin Terrace, Bells Creek.last_img read more

AP1 boosts investment in growth markets and slims dollar exposure

first_imgAP1 said it had upped its investment in growth markets while reducing its exposure to the US dollar during the year.Johan Magnusson, AP1’s chief executive said: “The main contributors in absolute money terms were equities and real estate.”In order to meet increasingly challenging external conditions, he said the fund was striving continuously to refine and develop its portfolio.“Measures in 2017 have included extending our investments in growth markets and reducing our exposure to the US dollar in favour of the Swedish krona,” Magnusson said.AP1 was also continuing its “determined sustainability work with a clearly integrated approach, whereby we regard sustainability to be one of several natural and vital aspects when assessing investments,” he said.In April last year the fund invested $250m (€203m) in a low-volatility “resource-efficient” equities fund, run by UK-based Osmosis Investment Management.AP1’s total assets grew to SEK333bn (€32.8bn) at the end of December, from SEK311bn at the end of 2016.The buffer fund paid SEK7.4bn into the pension system during 2017, compared to the SEK6.6bn payment in 2016. Sweden’s AP1 reported a 9.7% return on investments for last year, higher than the 2017 gains produced by the three other main buffer funds for the country’s state pension system.The return before costs was a marginal improvement on the 9.5% return AP1 produced in 2016 on the same basis, according to the pension fund’s annual report.After costs, the return was 9.6% in 2017, it reported.AP2, AP3 and AP4 reported annual returns before costs of 9.1%, 8.9% and 9.2% respectively.last_img read more

National Party MP Alfred Ngaro says number of abortions in New Zealand is a ‘tragedy’

first_imgStuff co.nz 21 May 2019Family First Comment: Asking the questions which need to be asked“Ngaro said the Government was pushing for abortions to be made legal at 40 weeks – full term. “People are starting to say: Is this Government taking away the core values that this country was founded on? Do you accept that we should have abortions at 40 weeks? We are talking full term.”” #chooselifeNational MP and possible leader of a new breakaway party Alfred Ngaro says no woman has been made to feel like a criminal for seeking an abortion in New Zealand.Ngaro’s comments came when asked if he supported taking abortion out of the Crimes Act, where it currently sits in New Zealand.The National list MP is openly exploring the possibility of splitting off from National and starting a new Christian political party, saying a lot of Kiwis felt like their values were not being represented in Parliament.On Saturday, Ngaro shared a pro-life Facebook post describing abortion as a “holocaust in our nation”.Ngaro said on Tuesday that he had not read the whole post and a better word for situation was a “tragedy”.But he pushed back strongly on the Government’s proposed abortion reform, which would take the procedure out of the Crimes Act.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/112876936/national-party-mp-alfred-ngaro-says-number-of-abortions-in-new-zealand-is-a-tragedylast_img read more