Marin Clean Energy, the community electric power aggregation scheme, is gaining steam. The effort to fundamentally change Marin's energy supply is of such importance that voters deserve to make the final decision. The issue should be placed on the November 2009 ballot.
The judge overseeing the CPCN proceedings decided the PUC should consider additional testimony before making a decision. The additional testimony will focus on the impact of Colorado's recently passed Renewable Energy Standard (RES) that requires 30% of the state's energy to come from renewable sources by 2020 and encourages a shift toward pursuing distributed generation.
They may be called "smart meters," but the multiple controversies that accompanied their implementation in Maine and other places have not left the impression that all their implications were fully thought out.
BrightSource Energy, now building two huge solar thermal plants to supply customers of Southern California Edison Co., added a large amount of heat-exchange energy storage capacity to its projects. ...probably a good idea, and the PUC quickly approved it. But once again, there was no mention of cost. No one knows how much consumers will pay for that improvement, so no one outside the utilities commission can judge whether the gigantic storage units will be worth the money they'll cost.
There are many reasons to let this giveaway expire, including wind energy's inherent unreliability and its inability to stand on its own two feet after 20 years. But one of the most compelling reasons is provided in a study released Sept. 14 by the NorthBridge Group, an energy consultancy. The study discusses a government-created economic distortion called "negative pricing."
One industry insider, Mick Sagrillo of the American Wind Energy Association, warned in an interview in Renewable Energy World that the some companies may try to exploit the concerned public's inflated hopes:
"It's great that people are looking for alternatives, but it's amazing how little people know when they seek them out. That leaves people open to purchasing a product that is less-than-reliable. We are a very gullible culture, we're always looking for the magic bullet."
From smart meters, to the Green Energy Act, to the Samsung subsidy, electricity bills are skyrocketing. When you add in the impact of the HST and other rate increases, the annual cost of electricity bills for Ontario families is set to increase by another $732 per year by 2015, according to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.
Premier McGuinty is running Ontario's hydro system in a way that is unsustainable.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee has introduced legislation that would require FERC to make sure the cost of regulations it approves are related to the benefits that would accrue to the states or regions on which they are imposed.
The proposed Calvert Cliffs 3 nuclear reactor would be sited on about 350 acres. The 1,200 offshore wind turbines needed to produce the same amount of energy would require 74,000 acres. Onshore, 2,400 turbines would be needed and would require 8,500 acres. This is a lot of land or water and a big impact on the rich mountain ecosystems and habitats or ocean ecosystems about which we know little.
April 22, 2007
in The Register-Herald
Justice Benjamin said the Public Service Commission was "punting" its responsibilities in the permitting ..........
We'd like to take the punting analogy one step further - not only did the PSC punt, it was a quick kick on third and long.
Alternative energy has become quite fashionable, especially in electricity generation. Wind, solar, tides, dairies. If you can work "carbon emissions" or "global warming" into the press release, you've got a winner.
Electricity is the lifeblood of our America. Are you ready to turn back the clock on your standard of living? Until the technology improves on alternative electric energy sources, they all have to be considered experimental and supplementary. Here's why.
Land use regulation almost always triggers property-rights objection. In this case, a vocal minority of the eight landowners that have signed with the promoter assert that their "private property rights" should let them force industrial development into the Northern Laramie Range. This is nonsense.
The U.S. Supreme Court settled the issue nearly a century ago: Reasonable restriction on land use, established through appropriate public process, is not a "taking" of private property.
Both developers of wind farms in the town of Cape Vincent have asked for a quick conclusion to the wind law committee's work. Well, what a surprise. The developers thought that the town had been bought and paid for and now that the town fathers are giving the appearance of concern toward the citizens they serve, the developers are becoming impatient.
In conclusion, if the WTG doesn't pay for itself, real costs to taxpayers are hidden and simultaneously, the town still buys the same amount of carbon electricity that allegedly poisoned children in its making at a higher price, how is this good for Jamestown? Doing something, no matter what the cost, based upon good intentions is not the model for best practices even in good economic times.
In a case of putting the renewable energy bandwagon before the horse, Congress might soon impose stringent renewable energy production quotas on every utility in the country without doing anything to clear the way for a major expansion of the electric grid. These one-size-fits-all mandates - which require every utility to generate 15 percent of power from wind, solar and other "renewables" by 2020 - are misguided on a number of levels. But without a concomitant expansion of the transmission system, and without the construction of conventional power plants to back up these intermittent energy sources, this amounts to a fool's errand.
Can Mainers promote renewable energy, protect natural resources and agree on sites for turbines? Yes -- but it would take some talking.
We have a conflict today in Maine between renewable energy development and natural resource protection. Recent debates about several wind power proposals (Kibby, Reddington and Black Nubble mountains) have brought attention to differences between constituent groups. ...Does this mean every wind turbine proposed in adequate-wind areas should be permitted? No. Should most of them be? Perhaps, but today no one can reasonably make such a statement -- the threshold of ecological sensitivities has not been examined closely enough.
The regulatory implications of a clear statement to this effect would obviously be enormous. Therefore, formulating the statement should occur only after a concerted consensus- building process among all groups in Maine with a stake in these issues.
But running turbines on public conservation land, which Florida Power & Light was looking to do in St. Lucie County until county commissioners there got wind of it, isn't the way.
Florida needs to cut its dependence on fossil fuels. But not -- not -- where a wind farm would irreparably damage publicly preserved land.
Better options exist.