Archive for July, 2007
Anyone got a spare turbine blade?
by damian | Uncategorized

A Wall Street Journal article a few weeks back decried a pending windmill shortage that is stalling alternative energy projects in the U.S. Tell that to PGE, which seems to have a spare one lying around for display. Vestas next weekend will park a 131-foot turbine blade outside PGE’s World Trade Center offices, presumably for a photo op. Vestas staff will be on site to answer questions about wind energy and look small.

Homemade biofuel
by damian | Uncategorized

A summertime activity almost as good as cranking your own ice cream. PCC is offering a workshop on how to make your own biodiesel.

Small Scale Biodiesel Production
PCC Sylvania Campus
Saturday July 28th
9am - Noon
Room: AM103 Tuition $19
Fees: $25

For registration online:

PCC Biodiesel Class

I want my 24 cents
by damian | Uncategorized

I heard from an ODOT employee yesterday that Oregon has what’s called a lawn mower refund for the gas tax. If you buy gasoline to use in your lawn mower you can apply for a refund on the 24-cent per gallon gas tax you paid at the pump. And sure enough, ORS 318.280 provides for a refund of the tax if the gas is used in equipment like lawn mowers and boats, which don’t ever hit the roads. My comment was that a lawn mower still burns the fuel and creates air pollution. His response was that the purpose of the gas tax is to pay for road use, not carbon emissions. What ever happened to that carbon tax idea floating through the Legislature this year?

Oregon law

PGE’s new plan
by damian | Uncategorized

PGE yesterday released its new integrated resource plan, which lays out how it plans to invest in renewable energy projects over the next eight years.
When I interviewed Peggy Fowler earlier this year, she wouldn’t talk about the renewable portfolio standard because the company had not yet finished the IRP but assured me that the IRP would go above and beyond what state standards require. Now the standard has passed and I wonder how the IRP measures up.
Among other things the plan calls for
- expansion of the Biglow Canyon wind farm
- an additional 218 MW of renewable power each year
- expansion of efficiency programs in partnership with Energy Trust
- longer purchase power agreements to even out price volatility when they purchase from the open market

Green mortgages
by damian | Uncategorized has a new real estate blog. And the first entry is energy-efficient mortgages! Basically the mortgage broker calculates how much energy you’ll save through efficient construction, design or remodeling and that amount is added to the borrower’s income in calculating the mortgage. You can borrow more, presumably because you’re not paying as much for energy.

Check it out: Ross’s Reader

Biodiesel parade
by damian | Uncategorized

Finally, an alternative energy event that isn’t “carbon neutral”. To celebrate energy independence month (declared so by Gov. K) next Thursday a caravan of 50 cars, vans and trucks running on biofuels will parade from Ecomotion to Jay’s Garage in Portland where participants will view Josh Tickell’s new documentary on biodiesel, Fields of Fuel.

WHEN: Thurs., July 19, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Start at Ecomotion, 1625 NE Sandy Blvd.
End at Jay’s Garage, 734 SE 7th Ave.

Packwood not charmed by streetcar
by damian | Uncategorized

Former Senator Bob Packwood (R-Oregon) spoke out against a possible streetcar extension to Lake Oswego at a citizens advisory committee meeting tonight, saying that streetcar lines exist only to build high rises and Lake O. wants to remain flat.

His comments came shortly after committee chairman Dave Jorling gave an impassioned appeal that committee members consider global issues such as climate change, peak oil and the war on terror when deciding on the local streetcar option.

“Maybe Lake Oswego is happy to become a dense town,” Packwood, a resident of the Dunthorpe neighborhood, said. “I hope that’s not the future of Lake Oswego; it’s a charming town.”