Impact on Economy
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
A steady Lake Michigan wind blows through Christmas trees and asparagus on Gerald Greiner's farm.
He might as well spit into it. The fourth-generation farmer is among three dozen in western Oceana County who had hoped to start harvesting the wind soon, turning it into a cash crop.
They signed leases with a Lowell developer for what would have been Michigan's first energy-creating wind farm, with 90 huge, white turbines - part of a national campaign to fight global warming.
"We'd see one just over the top of that hill," said Greiner, 81, pointing out the back window of his ranch home.
But some neighbors didn't like the idea, and neither did the local planning commission, which questioned the benefits of wind power and the impact on property values.
It's not clear what will happen to the project.
GALESBURG - Local landowners and officials find that taxes are the taxing issue for a future Knox County wind farm.
Taxes are a concern in two ways: The challenge for local officials is how to value wind turbines for tax purposes. How the tax bill is paid is a concern for landowners, who don't want to pay the taxes for the turbines, which cost $1.6 million each, said Michael Arndt, development manager for Invenergy. The Chicago-based company plans to build 266 turbines in Knox County.
The power generated by the mega-plants will be among the most expensive renewable energy in the country. ...Stanford University economist Frank Wolak said the state's renewable energy strategy could boost electricity rates 10% to 20%, depending on a number of factors. Potentially, consumers' bills could go up by 50%.
"It is easily in the billions of dollars," he said.
Investing in a Te Uku wind farm is as risky as buying an apartment in Auckland. ...Mr Gallagher presented calculations which showed a rate of return of 1.1 per cent on the wind farm. "If the wind energy is just 4.1 per cent less than forecast then the project changes from a marginal investment to a rejected investment proposal."
He said a more effective investment for Wel would be to spend $200 million installing 70,000 heat pumps in Waikato homes.
The proposed Ellis County wind farm could produce a maximum of 200 megawatts of energy - however, at this point it does not appear that the energy would have an effect on local power bills.
"If the power goes outside of Ellis County, there won't be one bit of change to the electrical bills of people in Ellis County," said Competitive Power Ventures project manager Krista Gordon. "If Midwest Energy purchases some of the energy, I don't know if that will have any effect on the bills or what it would be, but that is their call to make."
Midwest Energy, which provides energy to almost 46,000 customers in 41 Kansas counties, already has agreed to purchase 25 megawatts of wind energy from the Smoky Hills Wind Project, located in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties.
Texas consumers and taxpayers could pay more than $2.2 billion a year in subsidies and higher transmission costs to take advantage of the state's abundant wind-generation resources, a free-market research group said on Tuesday.
The state's current push to accelerate use of wind-generated electricity is "costing, not saving, Texans billions of dollars," said Bill Peacock, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Center for Economic Freedom. ...By 2025, the study said the price tag could total $60 billion as Texas reaches 10,000 megawatts of wind capacity.
LUBBOCK - Texas figures to lead the nation in renewable energy production by 2025 and stands to gain $22.8 billion in annual economic activity and 173,400 jobs overall, according to a study backed by a group that supports alternative sources of power.
A power producer typically gets paid for the power it generates. In Texas, some wind energy generators are paying to have someone take power off their hands.
Because of intense competition, the way wind tax credits work, the location of the wind farms and the fact that the wind often blows at night, wind farms in Texas are generating power they can't sell. To get rid of it, they are paying the state's main grid operator to accept it. $40 a megawatt hour is roughly the going rate.
A group of Democratic senators may seek to halt stimulus funding for wind-energy projects over concerns that the program is subsidizing jobs overseas.
The dispute was prompted by a proposed wind farm in West Texas, whose investors planned to use Chinese-made turbines and seek a $450 million stimulus grant. The senators insist that stimulus funds shouldn't go to projects that get most of their materials from abroad and create "the bulk of their jobs" in other countries.
Wind energy is considered beneficial because of the reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, air pollutants and hazardous wastes as well as a decrease in the reliance of foreign energy. It's controversial however, because it's more than three times more expensive than traditional energy sources, such as coal, and far less reliable. ..."We believe a better option would be to send price signals to the market that encourage those renewables that can produce electricity during peak demand periods and that are built closer to the urban or load centers," [Linowes] said.
A family who live in the shadow of a wind farm in Lincolnshire say they have "lost everything" just because of the noise it makes.
Farmer Julian Davis, his wife Jane and their teenage daughter have already had to rent a separate house to sleep in because they are kept awake by the sound of the eight turbines.
They claim their home, formerly worth £170,000, cannot be sold because it is so blighted by noise pollution but they may abandon it anyway.
Champions of renewable energy tout the jobs angle as another reason why the government should pour money into subsidies and other incentives for the industry. But economists are split as to whether these projected jobs will ever materialize. ..."I don't understand what people are looking at to say there would be all these gains on the job front," he said. "It sounds kinda phony to me."
A major selling point for the green jobs movement has been the near guarantee that renewable energy and green tech sector jobs will be tied to U.S. soil -- wind farm technicians and solar panel installers in China or India can't service turbines in Iowa and roofs in California.
The resulting theology of the green energy movement is that investments in alternative energy will yield millions of new U.S. jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.
But Sen. Charles Schumer's, D-N.Y., recent irritation over a proposed Texas wind project eligible to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus funding has shown just how erroneous this thinking is.
Landlord Bill Sioulas thought he'd be paying less for hydro after cutting his consumption by almost 20 per cent. ...Expecting big savings, Mr. Sioulas says he was shocked to open his hydro bill and find a skyrocketing provincial fee had eroded the payoff of his conservation efforts.
A strategy to subsidize the province's nascent green energy industry is starting to sting businesses and many households that find themselves paying the biggest markups on electricity pricing in the country.
Even as electricity demand - and market prices - dropped last year with the global economic downturn, electricity bills have risen steadily on the back of generous contracts signed by the province's power planning agency.
Snohomish County PUD officials estimate that acquiring renewables ahead of need - just to comply with the law - could cost its ratepayers between $20 million to $30 million by 2020 if additional growth doesn't come to justify the investment.
That traditional hydropower doesn't count toward the state targets remains a sore spot for many in hydropower-rich North Central Washington.
But Great River Energy, the state's No. 2 electricity provider to 650,000 customers in 28 electric cooperatives, said renewable energy cost it $20 million extra last year because it often lost money selling wind power to the grid. The loss works out to $24 per household, the company said.
LONDON (Reuters) - "Eco-friendly" is the buzz-word of the 21st century, and the environmental conscience is increasingly determining decisions on the home front.
A growing trend for ecological homes epitomises the modern zeitgeist -- and "green" homes are set to account for a growing proportion of the housing stock.
The government has promised to make all new homes zero-carbon by 2016, and those worth up to 500,000 pounds will be exempt from stamp duty until 2012.
Consumers' concern over the future of the environment is yet to reach an apogee, but Britons are already revamping their homes with environmentally friendly features.
More than 100,000 households have installed renewable energy appliances -- wind turbines and solar panels -- among them celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, who notoriously fell foul of planning rules after his wind turbine was erected in the wrong place.
That figure is expected to balloon to 1.3 million by 2020.
Such measures are environmentally sound, but are they economically so?
Both animal and human health is suffering from stray voltage that can cause catastrophic problems in the barn. But nailing down the precise causes and where the responsibility lies has proved a long and difficult struggle
Driven out of business as a result of a raft of health and behaviour problems suffered by their herd, beef producers Ross and Darlene Brindley are suing Hydro One Networks Inc. and Edmonton Power Corporation (EPCOR) for a hefty $5 million. They claim that stray voltage from EPCOR's wind turbines not only destroyed their herd, but has also had a severe impact on their own health as well. And they are not alone.
Western Wisconsin may never be a wind energy mecca like southwest Minnesota, northwest Iowa or the Dakotas.
But that doesn't mean windmills won't someday dot our skyline.
Wind developers - some local, some not - are exploring several projects in the region. So far, there are no done deals, but some developers hope to be building as soon as 2008.
In addition to replacing carbon-generated electricity with cleaner, renewable energy, there's money to be made from wind energy for utilities, governments and local land owners.