May 17, 2020

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Retires Position

energy digital
Ken Salazar
Interior Secretary
obama admin
Admin
2 min
Salazar retires to return home to Colorado
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will retire from his position in March, with intentions of plans to return to Colorado to spend more time with his fami...

 

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will retire from his position in March, with intentions of plans to return to Colorado to spend more time with his family.

Under the Obama administration, Salazar oversaw a moratorium on offshore drilling after the BP oil spill and promoted the use of renewable energy sources throughout the country including nearly three dozen solar, wind and geothermal energy projects (worth enough to power over three million homes). He also approved the nation's first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind, off the coast of Massachusetts.

He helped “usher in a new era of conservation for our nation's land, water and wildlife” and “expand responsible development of our nation's domestic energy resources,” President Obama said in a statement. Salazar, a former Colorado senator, entered the Senate in 2005.

Of course, he was most well-known for his handling of the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the largest environmental disasters in the country's history. Following the spill, he called for an industrywide moratorium until deepwater operations could resume safely, despite the hardship it caused for the industry.

"We don't believe we ought to be drilling anywhere and everywhere," Salazar said in 2010, before the BP spill. "We believe we need a balanced approach and a thoughtful approach.”

Salazar also oversaw the settlement of a major dispute regarding Native American tribes and suspended 60 of 77 oil and gas leases on public lands in Utah that had been approved by the Bush administration.

"In the prior administration the oil and gas industry were the kings of the world. Whatever they wanted to happen, happened," Salazar said in January 2010.

Potential successors of Salazar include Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and John Berry, director of the White House Office of Personnel Management, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the EPA's Lisa Jackson have announced plans to leave. There is also word that Energy Secretary Steven Chu may make a similar announcement soon.

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Jul 30, 2021

Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector

marineenergy
renewableenergy
tidalturbine
Sustainability
3 min
The UK’s nascent marine energy sector starts exporting electricity to the grid as the most powerful tidal turbine in the world begins to generate power

Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre

At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable. 

How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?

Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.” 

“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement. 

The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.

“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government. 

“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.

“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”

However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future. 

We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.” 

The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours

This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly

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