Impact on Wildlife or USA
Robert Arthur Reed, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in federal court in Casper to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. Four other co-defendants have entered earlier guilty pleas. ...An indictment alleges that they hired phone solicitors to make cold calls to investors, urging them to invest in wind farms by falsely claiming they were being constructed jointly by private investors and the U.S. government.
The overall direction of the market, however, has been down. You can get a sense of the amount of money that has been lost by investors from the WilderHill Clean Energy Index, which tracks the performance of publicly traded green energy stocks ranging from solar and wind to rare earth minerals and water companies. The market value of the companies in the index has fallen from a peak level of $231 billion in late December 2007 to about $108 billion today, a decline of 53 percent.
According to the project's final EIS, the geographic limits of the Grand Canyon condor population as determined by FWS overlap the project's proposed footprint. Condor can fly up to 160 miles a day in searching for food, and the Grand Canyon "experimental" population is well within that range of the Mohave County Wind Farm.
After years of complaints about noise and health effects, on May 21, 2013 residents of Falmouth, MA will vote on whether or not to tear down both of the town's wind turbines.
NAW has learned that a blade belonging to a Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbine came crashing to the ground at the 265 MW Ocotillo Wind Farm in the early morning hours of May 16. No one was injured.
A spokesperson from Pattern Energy, which owns and operates Ocotillo, corroborated the incident.
In several recent published studies, Adams and other researchers have explored the issue of turbines stealing energy from the wind, creating drag or a "wind shadow" of air slowed by the spinning blades. Each turbine added to a particular landscape captures less energy. "You reach a point that if you add any more turbines, you get no more energy," Adams said.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Program is revisiting the conclusions from its 2008 study that contemplated the technological and regulatory road map for the U.S. wind industry to achieve 20% wind energy by 2030.
An estimated 850,000 to 1.7 million bats have died from collisions with wind turbines in the United States and Canada since 2000, said Mylea Bayless, director of conservation programs for Austin, Texas-based Bats Conservation international.
"What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK," said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent based in Cody, who helped prosecute the PacifiCorp power line case.
By not enforcing the law, the administration provides little incentive for companies to build wind farms where there are fewer birds.
The problem, he said, is that those big investment firms tend to focus on mature companies that are generating significant revenue, and there are few of those in cleantech. Meanwhile, more government investment seems increasingly far off as congressional Republicans demand answers about the failure of Fisker Automotive.
In a decision swiftly condemned by conservationists and wildlife advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said operators of Terra-Gen Power's wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains will not be prosecuted if their turbines accidentally kill a condor during the expected 30-year life span of the project.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants exceptions to a wind farm and a building project in harassing or killing the endangered birds.
In a letter to the commission, Ginger Ritter, AZGF project evaluation program specialist, asked the commissioners to postpone the decision until more data was available on the locations, nesting sites and activities of the golden eagles and long-nosed bats in the vicinity.
AWEA is trying to secure more stable policy to give stronger signals to investors. Those options include a phase out for the credit and making the incentive permanent ...But Republicans have told The Hill they believe a phase out is AWEA's stance.
The slain young eagle was likely one of the six white-tailed eagles in a row, "said Pedersen, who follows bird migration in Skagen daily.
But the outlook for wind, batteries and biofuels is as dim as it's been in a decade. Global greenhouse gas agreements have fizzled. Dazzling discoveries have been made in laboratories, and some of these may yet develop into transformative products, but alternative energy technologies haven't become cheaper or more useful than fossil fuels. ..."In many cases, renewables aren't ready for primetime yet."
NAW has learned that West Butte Wind Power LLC has withdrawn its permit application enabling the developer to "take" golden eagles at a proposed wind project in central Oregon. ...the developer withdrew its take permit request in March due to the difficulty in finding a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the project.
As the $0.023/kWh production tax credit (PTC) is back on a countdown to expiration just months after US Congress passed a short-term extension of the incentive, some in the US wind sector are weighing whether negotiating its eventual demise may be the only way to put the industry on a stable footing for the long term.
PTC eligibility for 2013 also requires that project developers demonstrate that projects be under "continuous construction" from 1 January 2014 until completion. This marks a change from the cash grant system - which gave renewable energy project developers the option to receive 30% of project costs up front in lieu of a tax credit - for which projects were eligible using the Safe Harbor Rule or by being under continuous construction.
"We are VERY unappreciative of this symbol being used by the USPS for Earth Day," Marie McNamara recently emailed postal officials in Washington. "Thanks for putting us on record as strongly objecting to the symbol of industrial wind turbines as a postmark. Thanks for putting us on record as wanting to see the postmark go away immediately."
"The relationship between turbine development and bird death caused by collision with blades is predictable," Cleveland said. "If a lot of birds are known to move through an area and a developer decides to put up a windmill in that area, it's safe to say a lot of those birds would be killed by blades. Wind developers have to be careful about this."