Energy Policy and USA
The intent to prevent California's utilities from using out-of-state wind and solar generation to meet the new 33% RPS requirement is not obvious from the provisions of the bills. The exclusion results from a change in the requirements concerning the "delivery" of generation to California. Under California's current RPS legislation, in order to qualify as an eligible renewable energy resource such that California's utilities can count that generation against their RPS requirements, out-of-state generators are required to deliver the electricity to California simultaneous with its generation.
A National Park Service official has warned the Bureau of Land Management that approving dozens of solar power plants in southern Nevada could dramatically impact water supplies across the arid region.
An estimated 63 large-scale solar projects are proposed for BLM lands in the region, and the plants are expected to use a large amount of groundwater to cool and wash solar panels.
The Interior Department issued long-awaited regulations Wednesday governing offshore renewable energy projects that would tap wind, ocean currents and waves to produce electricity.
The framework establishes how leases will be issued and sets in place revenue sharing with nearby coastal states that will receive 27.5 percent of the royalties that will be generated from the electricity production.
[Dalton Utilities president and CEO Don Cope] said he had listened last week to a presentation by the Edison Electric Institute, an organization that all of the large, shareholder-owned utilities belong to, on the possibility of legislation capping carbon emissions produced by fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
"Their estimate is that it will cost the average household in the United States between $3,000 and $6,000 per year," he said.
A westward dash to power electricity-hungry cities by cashing in on the desert's most abundant resource - sunshine - is clashing with efforts to protect the tiny pupfish and desert tortoise and stinginess over the region's rarest resource: water. ..."It is not in the public interest for BLM to approve plans of development for water-cooled solar energy projects in the arid basins of southern Nevada, some of which are already over-appropriated," Jon Jarvis, director of the Park Service's Pacific West Region, wrote to the BLM director in Nevada.
The push to add more renewable wind and solar megawatts to the U.S. electric mix will force changes in the way the power grid operates to keep electricity flowing reliably, said an industry watchdog on Thursday. ...U.S. legislators are also discussing a federal mandate.
The vast expansion of wind and solar power planned by the Obama administration and congressional leaders is fraught with challenges for the nation's aged electricity network, grid monitors with the North American Electric Reliability Corp. say.
But a NERC report released today does not call for a slowdown in deployment of renewable energy.
The Obama administration wants to reduce oil consumption, increase renewable energy supplies and cut carbon dioxide emissions in the most ambitious transformation of energy policy in a generation.
But the world's oil giants are not convinced that it will work. Even as Washington goes into a frenzy over energy, many of the oil companies are staying on the sidelines, balking at investing in new technologies favored by the president, or even straying from commitments they had already made.
Windmills off the East Coast could generate enough electricity to replace most, if not all, the coal-fired power plants in the United States, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday.
But those numbers were challenged as "overly optimistic" by a coal industry group, which noted that half the nation's electricity currently comes from coal-fired power plants.
Wind over waters less than 100 feet deep could supply at least 20 percent of the electricity needs of most coastal states, the Interior Department report says. Erecting wind turbines in shallow water would be cheaper and easier than in deep water.
But allowing North Carolina's first commercial-scale wind turbines won't be a quick or easy decision.
Nothing underscores the green movement's soul-searching more than its conflicted view of coal, which provides about half the world's electricity. Should society pour billions of dollars into trying to perfect a way to turn coal into electricity without emitting greenhouse gases? Or should it reject coal as inalterably dirty and try to replace it entirely with renewable sources like the wind and sun? ...But last month, the NRDC, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, another prominent group, hosted workshops advocating more spending on clean-coal research.
This is how it worked: Large financial institutions like AIG, Wachovia, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Lehman Brothers and others would buy federal tax benefits from renewable energy startups that did not have enough taxable income to use the credits on their own.
In other words, big financial firms traded financing to offset tax liability. ...No more. The system, like other schemes crafted by insiders, has crumbled as AIG, Lehman and others have collapsed. The big boys no longer have cash to bankroll projects or the means to pull the profits to get credits, so the tax-equity space has turned into a financial dead zone.
Windmills and solar panel arrays have become symbols of America's growing interest in alternative energy. Yet as Congress begins debating new rules to restrict carbon dioxide emissions and promote electricity produced from renewable sources, an underlying question is how much more Americans will be willing to pay to harness the wind and the sun.
Crude prices fell sharply yesterday and natural gas tumbled to seven-year lows as a worsening economy led to more painful cuts in the industrial sector. ...By yesterday, a stronger dollar helped push investors away from commodities.
His company purchased 687 wind turbines from General Electric for $2 billion that can produce 1,000 MW and will be delivered in 2011. But there aren't yet any transmission lines from his wind park to the Texas grid to deliver the electricity to the Texans.
Initially he was going to build the transmission lines himself, but now that's "questionable," he said during a stop in San Francisco Wednesday, part of a tour to promote his alternative-energy plan. A transmission line to the west or east from the Texas Panhandle, he told members of the press, is "a little bit big for us."
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Congress has voted to set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as protected wilderness from California's Sierra Nevada mountains to the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia.
The legislation, which opponents, mostly Republicans, called a "land grab" that would block energy development on vast swaths of federal land, is on its way to President Barack Obama for his likely signature.
While President Obama has made development of cleaner energy sources a priority, an effort is underway to close off a large swath of the Southern California desert to solar and wind energy projects. In a move that could pit environmentalists and alternative energy industries against each other, the senator wants hundreds of thousands of acres in California designated as a national monument.
Saint John-based Irving Oil Ltd. is studying the potential construction of a 500- to 600-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant to sell into the energy-hungry New England market.
The project was revealed as New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham and Maine Gov. John Baldacci were in Saint John announcing their governments' intention to explore the development of an energy corridor to move electricity and natural gas between the Maritimes and New England.
Bureaucratic infighting is holding up one of the Obama administration's top goals in renewable energy - the construction of wind turbines off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts that would generate clean electricity and create "green" jobs.
At the center of the fight are two obscure but powerful federal agencies, each of which claims the ability to approve new wave and tidal energy projects along the outer continental shelf. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Minerals Management Service (MMS) each says it has the sole authority to issue permits and licenses, and neither is willing to budge.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday that the waters off the Atlantic coast hold some of the country's greatest wind energy potential, and he promised to move aggressively to develop plans to exploit the resource.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Salazar called for the creation of "renewable energy zones" to smooth development of offshore wind projects and to spur solar energy in the Southwest and onshore wind energy in the Great Plains.