Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
Little brown bats and northern long-eared bats were the state's most common cave-wintering bats as recently as three years ago. They clustered by the tens of thousands in caves and abandoned mines.
The number of little brown bats has plunged at least 75 percent, experts reported, and recent surveys in some spots could find no northern long-eared bats at all.
Wind-energy advocates fear a recent decision by an international board overseeing the U.N. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) may have dealt a devastating blow to China's CDM process.
Others worry that the damage inflicted by a CDM executive board decision March 26 in Bonn may stretch beyond China, perhaps upsetting the entire global carbon-credits exchange market.
Before the 11-8 vote, however, Rep. Janice McGeachin told the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday that she knew of two lawmakers who hadn't publicly disclosed their personal financial ties to wind projects while voting on a previous measure this session to extend a tax break for wind energy developers.
As the debate goes on, the turbines are going up in record numbers -- a trend that's expected to continue as the clean energy industry moves to take advantage of concerns about global warming and rising fossil fuel costs. ...Rick Webb, a senior scientist in the University of Virginia's Department of Environmental Sciences, isn't so sure wind power, particularly on the mountains of the mid-Atlantic, will help much. Webb participated in a National Academy of Sciences committee that studied wind power and released a report this year that found wind power is growing, but in many places, guidelines for development are lacking.
''I think the potential electrical supply and the potential reduction to other sources of power won't be great enough to compensate for environmental damages on the ridges,'' Webb said, adding he believes offshore development of wind farms would be more useful because there is a more-abundant supply of wind there.
Critics of clean-energy federal programs say it isn't the place of federal government to meddle in markets. "Given the amount of money that was put into this sector via the stimulus and didn't end up having the desired effect, with a lot of money ending up going out of the U.S., it's definitely an area that's seen by Republicans as ripe for being cut," said a Congressional staffer.
WASHINGTON - Thanks to $3-a-gallon gasoline and $75-a-barrel oil, wind power - the once-wimpy little brother of the energy industry - is putting on muscle and gaining favor.
"The green bubble is starting to fall apart," said Tom Borelli, a fellow at the tea party group FreedomWorks. "How much longer can we fund things that are not cost-competitive?"
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Obama prominently collided during the campaign over the fate of the tax credit. ...the last chance to extend it comes in December's lame-duck session.
Once-trendy biofuels like ethanol produced from corn are now being derided by the authorities, who say the fuels have little value in the fight against global warming. Vital components for windmills and solar cells have run short over the past year, requiring expensive projects to a halt. Meanwhile, subsidies for renewable energy remain at the whim of politicians, creating a boom and bust cycle for wind farms and solar projects, particularly in the United States.
Such a risky environment means some bankers are placing bets on projects that are unlikely to develop into serious, profitable alternates to fossil fuels, and could ultimately slow investment flows
"Some of these green investments are going in the wrong direction," said Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. "Very well-intentioned projects can go awry, particularly where government policies on cutting emissions aren't clear." ..."The world is repricing risk, and these are risky assets," Liebreich said, referring to renewable energy investments.
Large-scale power from the sun is finally gaining traction in Florida. And FPL is building solar plants in its home state, for the first time in the company's 79-year history. ...Though solar power is an expanding part of Florida Power & Light's agenda, the three new plants will generate far less power than conventional sources.
After the three natural-gas units at West County Energy Center are complete in 2011, they will produce 3,750 megawatts of power - 34 times as much electricity as all three solar plants combined.
On Aug. 21, when afternoon temperatures in Washington state soared, Avista Corp.’s (AVA) utility division asked customers to cut their electricity use while it scoured the region for power supplies. Utility operators were frustrated, in part, because the company’s supply of wind power was producing nothing, thanks to a lack of wind.
Avista wasn’t alone. Throughout the West during that August heat wave, a growing fleet of windmills met triple-digit temperatures with impotence. California’s grid operator was serving up a record amount of power that afternoon, too, while its 2,850 MW of wind turbines were churning out just 112 MW.......What can all these windmills do to help prevent a blackout in a heat wave? Utilities’ estimates of that range widely. When figuring out how to keep the lights on during the coming summer’s hottest day, PJM pencils in 20% of wind capacity for serving peak load. The California Independent System Operator figures 5% will be there. For Texas, which has more windmills than any other state, Ercot counts on just 2.6% of capacity. Avista, like many utilities operating their own grid, doesn’t count on any wind power during the summer peak. As more windmills come on line, overestimating could mean a blackout, while underestimating could mean paying a lot of money for unneeded standby generators.
Rick Koval wants to speak for the plants and animals he believes will be harmed by the construction of roads and wind turbines around Crystal Lake.
"We don't want to see them. Standing on the beach, we don't want to see them," he said during the council's work session Tuesday afternoon.
Councilman Jim Hall echoed the mayor's sentiment, saying the project could prove far more popular if the turbines were invisible from land.
"If you can't see it," Hall said, "then you can add acres and acres of wind farms. I think people are going to eat it up."
For Bluewater, it's an expensive courtesy. Lanard said pushing the turbines farther out to sea makes it more expensive. It costs $1,000 for every foot of cable connecting the wind farm to the shore.
New Jersey-based NRG Energy, however, said in a statement Monday that the outlook for offshore wind has changed dramatically over the last two years. The company cited two decisions by Congress that could significantly affect financing for any offshore wind project. Not one has yet been built in the United States.
As the Holy Trinity monks hold prayer services and mount a letter-writing campaign, Otsego 2000 is seeking out the most appropriate "petitioners" to file an Article 78 complaint against the 68-turbine Jordanville Wind Farm, a preliminary step to going to court to block the 400-foot-tall towers in view of James Fenimore Cooper's Glimmerglass.
The Otsego 2000 board of directors met for two hours Tuesday afternoon, July 3, but were not forthcoming after leaving the meeting on whether a firm decision was reached on a course of action. An announcement is planned early next week, according to Martha Frey, Otsego 2000 executive director.
The movement toward investing in green energy sources has been picking up steam, helped by a big push from the White House to "make America energy-independent." But the movement also has brought out scam artists attempting to ride on its popularity and rip off unsuspecting investors.Not every alternative-energy investment is a rip-off, of course, but investors have to be able to tell the difference.
The nonprofit that runs the New England power grid is exploring incentives to encourage gas-fired power plants to commit to long-term contracts, which could in turn finance more pipelines. The Governor's Energy Office is looking at ways to facilitate capital investment. The Maine House minority leader has a "bold proposal" - but he's not sharing it just yet.
"I think it's fair to say our commission is torn about the wind projects in our county," he said. "It's hard to argue against green energy, but quite honestly, is it any more economical than other forms of energy, if the tax incentives weren't in place?"
Reid's concerns about the value of wind energy match those in the larger national debate about renewable, or "green," energy.
The Wind Siting Reform bill would mandate turbines go up at least 1,800 feet from property lines, the strongest regulation in the country. The restrictions would prohibit any future wind projects from being built and threaten the same jobs that Obama heralded just weeks ago, the industry says.
While the state legislature agreed last week that it would not take up the bill during the current special legislative session, Walker has pledged to continue to fight for tougher regulations, according to news reports.
Where will the next bubble turn up? In Mr. Janszen's view, the alternative-energy industry's expansion is showing some of the same patterns that allowed values to swell far beyond their true worth during the dot-com and housing booms. For starters, green energy is popular with the media and with politicians - "energy security" has become a catchphrase for both Democrats and Republicans. It has received favorable legislation involving loan guarantees and subsidies, just as the Internet got a sales-tax amnesty in the 1990s and deregulation allowed banks to offer more credit to potential homeowners.
Quebec's government says it must promote regional development and at the same time prepare for the future, when the economy sparks up again and others are searching for cheap, green energy. ...The main consumers' group considers it variously scandalous or politically expedient - but more than anything an affront to Quebecers' pocketbooks.