FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Abby Kessler for E&E:According to a report published by the Department of Energy, reservation lands have the potential to produce about 6 percent of the nation’s renewable energy, although reservations make up just 2 percent of total U.S. land.And despite the potential, Bob Gough, secretary of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, or ICOUP, said “next to nothing” is being harnessed.The resources aren’t being tapped due to many factors, including hefty upfront investments required, lack of knowledge about how to plan for such a project and connectivity issues to the nation’s power grid in rural areas.During a DOE presentation last month, John Steward, acting manager for the transmission business unit at the Western Area Power Administration, estimated a feasibility study for implementing renewables would cost an estimated $10,000. A system impact study and environmental assessment would also have to be conducted, preliminary steps that would push the price of potential projects even higher.Sean Esterly, project lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, said funding is “definitely the biggest issue” tribes face when transitioning to renewable energy.Various financing programs are available for federally recognized tribes that provide funds and assistance to nations interested in assessing the potential for renewables on their land. DOE said that between 2002 and 2014, the agency invested $48 million in 183 tribal clean energy projects valued at about $93 million.But, Gough said, the government’s investment in renewables on tribal land is markedly smaller when dispersed among more than 500 federally recognized tribes.Funding shortages may be a concern, but Esterly said connecting tribes to those grants is an important step that is frequently overlooked. He said the tribes aren’t always aware that grant dollars are available to invest in such projects.“Unfortunately, due to capacity of some of the tribes and lack of knowledge of which of the resources they can take advantage, a lot of the opportunities are falling through the cracks,” he said.Another issue is access to the grid. Reservations typically are not well connected to the power grid, making transportation of generated energy an expensive endeavor.U.S. utilities “are operating off of 19th-century organization, 20th-century technology and 21st-century needs,” Gough said of the nation’s grid, noting the aging infrastructure is stymying the entire country’s conversion to cleaner power sources.He said the Great Plains region offers immense wind potential, while the Southwest offers ample possibilities for solar.A recent study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder, said wind and sunshine could power most of the United States by 2030. Over large geographic regions, weather trends tend to average out, meaning spreading renewables over swaths of land could smooth highs and lows in electricity output (ClimateWire, Jan. 26).The issue is not intermittency, Gough said, rather the nation’s utility infrastructure.Full article: Renewables offer glimmer of hope for isolated reservations Vast Renewable-Energy Potential Across U.S. Tribal Lands
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Mitch Trubisky’s prognosis is looking better.Bears coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday that the quarterback is considered day-to-day, and the team is “optimistic” he’ll be able to play against the Saints in Week 7, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Bears have a bye in Week 6. Trubisky injured his shoulder after being sacked by Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter on Sunday. ESPN reported he had a dislocated shoulder and partially torn labrum.But while the initial outlook was uncertain, it now appears Trubisky will return sooner rather than later. Related News “We have the bye coming up here so we’ll be able to see really how this goes for him,” Nagy said. “… It’s crazy sometimes how things go with these byes and where they come and all that. We’re in a good position right now knowing that Chase (Daniel) came in last week and we’ve been in this before so we’re fully confident in that.” Mitch Trubisky injury update: Bears QB leaves with shoulder injury in first quarter Trubisky is traveling with the team for Sunday’s game in London against the Raiders, although it is “unlikely” he’ll play, according to the Tribune. And there’s no need to rush him back. Daniel played well coming in off the bench for Trubisky against the Vikings, hitting 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown in the victory.“He sees things well, in general,” offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich told the Tribune. “He has a tendency, if anything, to overthink things. It was almost — not in any way a good thing, don’t take this the wrong way — but there was no time for him to think about anything. He had to just go. It was immediately, ‘Go to the bullpen. You’re in. Pitch.’ That was good for his mentality. He sees things. The timing of this offense, he’s been in for a long time. That helps.”