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2009: The Year that Coal Died?

By Sam Jaffe

Coal was supposed to be enjoying its renaissance right around now. Since 2000 more than 100 new plants had filed for permits across the United States. Yet in 2009, not a single coal-fired power plant broke ground. You read that right: Zero. Some bold pundits have been shouting from the rooftops that coal is dying. But maybe it's time to pronounce it officially dead as a new resource for capacity additions.

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Solar Reserve, the central solar thermal developer whose power tower receiver technology is based on rocket science (literally) announced today that it has signed a 100 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with NV Energy for a project in Nye County, NV. That's big news for Solar Reserve, but it's also important as a test for molten salt thermal storage, a technology that is critical for the future success of the industry.


Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced this week that National Grid (NGRID) and Cape Wind have agreed to enter into negotiations for a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) under which the electric distribution utility would purchase the electricity generated by Cape Wind's proposed 468MW (nameplate) offshore wind farm. Though PPA negotiations can turn into a longwinded process -- once an agreement between NGRID and Cape Wind is reached, the PPA still has to go through state regulatory review --

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On December 10, Vernon Turner, Chris Ingle and myself, held a press conference in Copenhagen, to coincide with the United Nations COP15 meetings, and announced the results from a special report we completed on the role Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can play to curb 5.8 billion tons (GT) of CO2 emissions by 2020. The research was conducted by IDC and IDC Energy Insights and jointly sponsored by Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, Intel, and Schneider Electric. During this press conference we also releas

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