Impact on Economy
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
Iberdrola and Gamesa, Europe's second-largest turbine maker, signed the agreement in 2009 that allowed for joint development and operation of wind parks and included options for Iberdrola to buy projects in Europe from Gamesa starting this month.
This economy, proponents say, promises to rebuild communities abandoned by bankrupt manufacturers, restore jobs lost by the busted housing market and reinstate America as a global leader.
Not so fast.
Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says renewable energy has the potential to create "tens of thousands of jobs" in Nevada and more than a million nationwide, little research has been done on actual job creation in such an unchartered area.
Among the first Indiana residents to experience life near industrial wind turbines, Buchanan has yet to arrive at a final judgment of his 260-foot-tall neighbors, which went operational in March.
"They growl at you," he says. "The quiet of the rural area I have enjoyed most of my life, I probably will not be able to experience that again." ...Financially, "it's enormous," says Buchanan, who farms several thousand acres with family. "If you offer me the opportunity to have four towers that generate $30,000 to $40,000, that's a lot of corn and soybeans."
Economists are more skeptical about the long-term benefit to the county. They point out that solar and wind farms bring in an initial boom of constriction jobs, but require very few workers once they're up and running.
The five projects being built in Imperial County will generate 1,946 temporary construction jobs but only 71.5 permanent ..."Once you build them you don't need many folks to maintain them."
Two area wind energy opponents filed a lawsuit Monday against the Taylor County Commissioners Court for granting what the plaintiffs say are illegal tax abatements to wind farms developed within the county.
According to the lawsuit, wind energy equipment is not eligible for tax abatements under the state tax code.
In 2004 and 2006, Taylor County commissioners granted five tax abatements potentially worth $5 million to $10 million to three companies that have built farms of wind turbines in rural areas of the county.
"That's my money the county is giving away illegally. We're asking the court to rectify this," said Dale Rankin, one of two plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
By the time federal regulators stopped accepting public comments about the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm on Monday, two of the letters had already raised some eyebrows among the project's critics. That's because the two letters were signed by the same person, state Division of Marine Fisheries director Paul Diodati, but they struck noticeably different tones. ...Diodati's first letter [dated Feb. 20] spells out the loss of access that fishermen could face as well as concerns about rescue crews reaching a troubled boat in the area.
But the second letter, dated March 7, tones down the rhetoric considerably, reducing the section that lists the potential impacts to fisheries to just a few sentences. The section also mentions a couple of possible benefits, such as certain species becoming attracted to the newly built tower foundations.
Newark residents gave their selectboard a resounding go-ahead to spend as much as needed on legal costs to prevent two wind companies from developing the Seneca Mountain Wind project ...Not too far down the road, the towns of Lowell and Sheffield voted to reduce their tax rates with revenues from utility-scale wind developments.
"The math is simple and indisputable," IECA President Paul Cicio said. "The EIA's natural gas price assumptions used to determine the cost of S. 2191 are about one-half of today's real-world forward prices." The IECA recalculated the study using forward price figures as of May 30.
EIA found that, if passed, the legislation would increase average annual household energy bills between $30 and $325 in 2020 and between $76 and $723 in 2030, excluding transportation costs. EIA found that the increasing cost of using energy reduces real economic output and purchasing power and lowers demand for goods and services, causing real gross domestic product to fall $444 billion to $1.308 trillion over the 2009 to 2030 period.
A Federal Court decision has triggered a South Australian parliamentary investigation into whether wind farms can devalue neighbouring properties.
The terms of reference have been expanded for a select committee looking into wind farm developments.
...global investment bank Lehman Brothers agreed to advise and finance the $700m Cape Wind project, the US’s first offshore wind farm located near Nantucket Island and a landmark cause for many environmentalists.
This March, Goldman Sachs sold its investment – redubbed Horizon Wind Energy – to Portugal’s largest utility, EDP, for more than $2.1bn, making a profit of $900m. But Lehman Brothers’ project, despite early state-level approvals, has been stuck in bureaucratic purgatory from which it is unlikely to emerge soon.
The problem: Nantucket’s millionaire residents oppose the wind farm, which they claim would ruin their ocean views.
The contrast between the outcome of the Zilkha investment and the Cape Wind project illustrates the unpredictability of the clean technology sector. “There is no doubt in my mind that renewable energy is like other tech start-ups, where some will succeed and many will not.”
After two years of studying the economic impact of climate change, asset management firm AllianceBernstein has come to a seemingly paradoxical conclusion: one of the dirtiest fuels around--coal--has a bright future.
Its findings, released Friday, are one of several reports issued by investment firms over the past two years which explore how industries can benefit or be harmed by climate change.
The Department of Commerce released "Measuring the Green Economy," an early attempt to take inventory of how many "green jobs" exist today -- and what should count anyway.
The report (pdf) says selling "used merchandise," including toys, books and jewelry, can be thought of as a green job.
But even by a generous count, one that adds such jobs to other, commonly cited occupations like installing solar panels and weatherizing buildings, green jobs make up only 1 to 2 percent of the workforce.
The Arizona Corporation Commission has a mandate in place requiring that at least 15 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources by the year 2025.
But despite its intention to wean the state off fossil fuels, the move has drawn vocal criticism from free-market advocates such as the Goldwater Institute, which claims the mandate will cost utility customers billions over the next 15 years.
Burdened by global overcapacity, slowing demand and the resurgence of fossil fuel production, clean-tech investments have fallen heavily out of favor.
"Market analysts at Goldman Sachs, HSBC and UBS are now advising their clients to steer clear of clean tech."
It's round two for green power in Farmington today, with utility customers attending another City Council work session to protest a recommended $40 renewable energy fee.
"A bunch of us are going to turn up again," said Mike Eisenfeld, New Mexico staff organizer for the San Juan Citizen's Alliance. "I think the city needs to do the right thing and shuck the recommended policy." ..."All I can do is present the information and they will make a decision."
"Customers who choose to utilize renewable energy should do so because they believe it is the right' thing to do, but should also understand that these options are more expensive than traditional carbon-based resources," the report reads.