Tax Breaks & Subsidies and Energy Policy
Despite a short-term spike in the cost of wind power, data from a recent Emerging Energy Research study shows wind energy is nearly cost-competitive.
The Comparative Costs of Energy report focuses on the European market but can be applied to the U.S. market as well, said William Ambrose, president of EER. Much of the study was based on global trends in the industry, he said.
In his first major speech on climate change David Cameron will outline Conservative plans to replace Labour's Climate Change Levy with a new, more effective and better targeted Carbon Levy.
Democrats said the legislation could produce as much as $15 billion in revenue. Most of that money would pay to promote renewable fuels such as solar and wind power, alternative fuels including ethanol and biodiesel and incentives for conservation.
Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] With energy independence and renewable energy development a legislative priority for Congressional leaders, the introduction of another renewable energy legislative proposal made its way to the Senate floor last week.
Western Wind Energy Corporation has reviewed the wind energy marketplace across the United States and has determined to seek new wind energy development opportunities in California. The strategy is focused at 30 sites totaling over 1,200 Megawatts.
PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain: Spain will cut subsidies to wind-power plants following an overhaul of the way it calculates aid for renewable power sources, hurting earnings at utilities including Iberdrola, the world's largest producer of wind power.
The state Senate refused Monday to re-open debate on Sen. Frank Kloucek's proposed tax break for noncommercial wind-energy systems.
The legislation failed on the first attempt on Friday, when Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard broke a 17-17 tie by voting against it.
An attempt to reconsider the bill on Monday fell short 17-18, as Sen. Jim Bradford, R-Pine Ridge, switched from yes to no.
The green energy sector has a lot riding on 2009. Policymakers from Washington to Beijing have pledged billions of dollars in "cleantech" investment to jump-start the depressed global economy and create millions of new low-carbon jobs. ...As with the solar industry, wind power has been hit by a sudden slowdown in private sector investment as credit has dried up and the price of oil has fallen from its mid-2008 high. The industry hopes public spending will help fill the gap until the global economy gets back on its feet.
While Ohio Governor Ted Strickland touted elimination of tangible personal property taxes for wind and solar companies Tuesday, that prospect didn't sit well with representatives of the entities that stand to lose up to $1.4 million in first-year tax revenue if the Buckeye Wind project gains approval to construct 70 turbines in Champaign County from the Ohio Power Siting Board this year.
"This would just be terrible for the dairies around here," said Weld County Commissioner and Platteville-area farmer Doug Rademacher, who added that Weld County's five-member Board of County Commissioners has spoken out against Senate Bill 252. "It would really be disastrous for all of ag. A farmer told me the other day this could increase his electricity costs for (groundwater) pumping by about $8,000 per month."
“Over the next 10 years, the wind production tax credit will cost the American taxpayers more than $26 billion….In fact, the tax breaks for the five big oil companies we have been debating on the Senate floor this week actually cost less than this one tax credit for Big Wind. The tax breaks for the five big oil companies amount to about $21 billion over 10 years.”
The Australian Wind Energy Association says it is relieved the Labor Party has remained in government after the weekend’s state election.
The association criticised the Liberal Party during the election because of its plans to scrap the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET).
Association chief executive Dominique La Fontaine says the result renews confidence in the industry, and more wind projects can go ahead.
Renewable energy projects including wind and biomass are springing up in Schuylkill County, and state utilities will be required to increase their purchase of power generated by these and similar sources over the next 13 years.
Although reports suggest customers should not experience much increase in cost and, in some cases, could see savings as these new sources become more prevalent, experts say other factors must also be considered.
"There is no magic bullet as far as getting us off fossil fuels right now," said Joel Morrison, a research associate at Penn State University and fund manager for the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund.
A panel chaired by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus on Tuesday approved an energy-tax package designed to boost alternative energy production and conservation - partially at the expense of big oil-and-gas producers.
"This is a significant victory in our efforts to become more energy independent," said Baucus, D-Mont., who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. "We have more to do to address climate change, lower gas prices at the pump and wean America off of foreign sources of energy."
The Finance Committee approved the $28.5 billion, 10-year tax package, which is expected to become part of a larger energy bill before the U.S. Senate this week.
The package includes tax credits to encourage production of wind power, solar power, gas-electric hybrid cars, biodiesel fuel and "cellulosic" ethanol, which is produced from agricultural waste products.
Behind the feel-good hype of carbon offsets, some of the deals don't deliver.......................Done carefully, offsets can have a positive effect and raise ecological awareness. But a close look at several transactions-including those involving the Oscar presenters, Vail Resorts, and the Seattle power company-reveals that some deals amount to little more than feel-good hype. When traced to their source, these dubious offsets often encourage climate protection that would have happened regardless of the buying and selling of paper certificates. One danger of largely symbolic deals is that they may divert attention and resources from more expensive and effective measures.
Members of a group campaigning against a windfarm are urging people to sign a petition calling on Tony Blair to withdraw subsidies for onshore turbine developments in “valued landscapes”.
Members of Den Brook Valley Action Group (DBVAG), which has been fighting plans to build nine 394ft tall wind turbines in the valley between North Tawton and Bow, are awaiting the outcome of a public inquiry into the plan, which was held in November.
In the meantime, the group is calling on people to sign an online petition set up by anti-windfarm campaigner Bill Short, from the North of England.
Despite the speed with which the government wants to act - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- includes a goal of spending 50% of the $787 billion allocated by the legislation within 120 days from when it is signed into law -- many hurdles and unanswered questions remain ...while one provision of the Recovery Act gives cash grants, another takes away tax benefits.
The act stipulates that recipients of cash grants can only use 85% of the accelerated depreciation associated with a project.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has declined to give an opinion about the legality of expanding a jointly-owned enterprise zone in Tazewell County, State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz said Friday.
Umholtz requested an opinion from Madigan's office several months ago ...But Umholtz said the issue isn't quite over for him.
"This is an issue of statewide importance," he said. "I'm still trying to encourage state government to follow state law."
Massachusetts is joining a race against other U.S. states for wind power development funding to build infrastructure necessary to keep innovation here, and reverse a track record of letting wind technologies drift out to the Midwest.
In addition to playing catch-up, Massachusetts officials face roadblocks including coastal Cape residents who vocally oppose windmills messing up the Atlantic horizon, lack of industry presence, and a lack of infrastructure to support development. There’s also some gale force competition blowing in from Texas and Iowa where sweeping prairies and open spaces provide ideal conditions for wind power generation.
Massachusetts House leaders today are to unveil plans for steering the state away from reliance on fossil fuels and toward embracing renewable energy and alternative fuels.
House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi will file legislation offering financial incentives to cities and towns to rapidly approve permits for the building of so-called "clean" energy generation facilities. It also establishes various programs to make it financially palatable for homeowners to invest in expensive energy efficient products.
Haverhill Democrat Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, the chairman of the House Telecommunications and Energy Committee, helped draft the sweeping proposal, called "The Green Communities Act of 2007." He said it represents a dramatic change in the state's energy policy.