Special Report: Green Power — The NeW Generation

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

In the name of fighting climate change, solar, geothermal, wave and tidal energy are getting a new look.

Wanted: More green power
Washington utilities have their marching orders: Make more energy, and make it green. In the name of fighting climate change, renewable sources once on the fringe — solar, geothermal, wave and tidal — are getting a second look.

Expect gridlock along road to renewable energy

In the push to add more renewable energy sources such as wind, sun or waves to our power system, there’s a big obstacle to this shiny techno-green future: the grid. A look at the options

Wind power catches on; towers not so popular
Today, Washington ranks only behind Texas when it comes to the creation of new wind power. Yet wind power still meets strong resistance.

Biodiesel turning wheels, not turbines
Although biodiesel is hailed as an environmentally friendly savior in the transportation field, in the electricity sector, it’s barely a drop in the renewable fuels bucket. Even the requirements of Initiative 937 won’t likely change that.

Costs keep solar on the sidelines, at least for now
With the passage of Initiative 937 forcing utilities to look for alternative energy sources, and production of Washington-made solar equipment coming on line, experts predict solar power will soar like mercury in an August thermometer.

Puget Sound area leads the charge to tidal energy
Until recently, power projects aimed at harvesting energy from waves or tides haven’t received anywhere near the same kind of enthusiasm or financial backing as the push into wind power. But lately there has been a sea change in activity.

Geothermal plants would tap ‘Ring of Fire’
This would seem an obvious spot to pursue geothermal power, energy created by capturing the Earth’s subterranean heat. But only now does it look as if this region may finally exploit the hot-rock power lurking beneath our feet.

Ranchers turning cow manure into kilowatt-hours

Turning cow manure into kilowatts isn’t the sexiest way to develop renewable energy, but that and other biomass projects in the region are firing up.

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