Energy Policy or Massachusetts
For wind developers wishing to induce municipalities to adopt wind-friendly zoning, they must abandon their current mantra of using the law to tell communities that they might as well agree to building wind farms because the state eventually will force the issue.
Wind energy developers will have to discover a means to generate wind energy at a competitive price in a state with a regionally anemic wind resource, or they'll have to walk away.
In short, California Democrats are proving that the real point of cap and trade is to give politicians another revenue stream for income redistribution while dodging accountability for raising taxes. That's worth keeping in mind when liberals resurrect the scheme for the entire U.S.
Wind is at best a niche player in energy. Grandiose claims made on behalf of wind-generated electricity are rubbish, whether or not renewable-energy advocates admit it. Wind-power developers will milk taxpayers across the world out of a few billion more dollars, euros or pounds in subsidies, tax credits and the like, but sooner or later the public will wise up.
In his "open letter" of December 2011, Gordon Deane described Fairhaven Wind as the private part of a "partnership" with the town of Fairhaven. Sumul Shah, Jim Sweeney and Deane have been operating a sound nuisance illegally ever since, depriving residence of sleep, the peaceful enjoyment of their homes, and their property value. It is time to reassess this so-called partnership.
Germany and Spain are waking up to the inevitable truth about renewable energy, especially offshore wind. They are now realizing the projects cannot survive without subsidies and that they make energy much more expensive to households and businesses. In an age of austerity, they are a luxury even Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse, cannot fully afford any more.
Most worrying was that while promising to give municipalities more say over where turbines are constructed, that power won't be bestowed until hundreds, perhaps thousands, more industrial wind turbines are erected on Ontario's skyline. This is because projects already navigating the approvals process are unlikely to be subjected to the province's new process.
The government and its cheerleaders wrap the drive to zero CO2 emissions in the language of growth, jobs, investment and innovation. ...and claims the energy bill will create 250,000 jobs. Even if that is achievable, it's the product of the single-entry bookkeeping so common in political green-energy projections. You can create any number of jobs putting up subsidized windmills or installing solar panels. But if in the process you drive up energy costs or taxes throughout the economy, you're bound to destroy more work than you create.
The turbines have been on most days and nights for just over a year. The DEP tested only nine nights out of 365.
On four out of those nine nights, the turbines were found to produce sound levels 10 decibels above ambient. Almost half.
It is now evident there has been a failure to prepare for this additional supply from new areas by providing extra capacity on the grid. The constraint periods are becoming longer and the payments larger, undermining the progress from fossil fuels towards green energy. Wind farm operators in Scotland have received almost £6 million in payments to stop producing electricity over 33 days between mid-April and mid-May.
Gov. Paul LePage is withholding support for a compromise bill being worked out by the Legislature's Energy Committee that's aimed at expanding Maine's natural gas infrastructure, boosting funding for energy efficiency, directly lowering businesses' electricity costs and making it more affordable for residents to abandon oil heat.
State testing shows that the two industrial turbines on Arsene Street in Fairhaven at times violate state noise regulations.
It doesn't happen all the time and testing is not finished, but this news is certainly enough for town officials to take notice — and to take action.
Rural Colorado already is doing its part to develop renewable resources and diversify our state's energy portfolio. With a veto of SB 252, Gov. Hickenlooper can give that substantial effort a chance to yield dividends-while also ensuring rural ratepayers are able to afford their utility bills.
The green lobby in Europe is so strong that it has pushed EU politicians to oppose virtually every kind of reliable non-renewable energy. ..."Ordinary families and small and medium-sized businesses are essentially subsidizing the investments of green do-gooders," who can afford to install solar panels on their homes and their businesses. But what's really starting to cause citizens and policy-makers to question their green energy agenda, is that soaring energy costs are driving energy-intensive industries in Europe to move to the United States.
Eliminating unrealistic statewide wind energy capacity goals, as Woodcock suggests, would be a start toward revamping Maine's wind energy policy to reflect the progress that's been made and the best route to capitalize on it in the future.
The European Union's utopian scheme of transforming itself into a green energy powerhouse is faltering as its fantasy plan is colliding with reality. As the EU's economic and financial crisis deepens and unemployment continues to rise, what used to be an almost all-embracing green consensus is beginning to disintegrate.
Renewable energy may be a popular catch phrase along Colorado's urban Front Range, but it has turned into fighting words across much of rural Colorado. Not because rural communities are against it, to the extent it makes economic sense, but because they're about to be force-fed an overdose by state Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.
The complaints eventually reached the state level, prompting DEP sound tests. Eventually, both wind turbines were shut down at nighttime. ..."There is no energy technology out there of any real consequence that doesn't have environmental and social impacts that need to be carefully studied and addressed. Just by using a renewable fuel, does not eliminate that responsibility, that challenge."
Renewables already added a 47 percent surcharge to electric bills at the beginning of this year. Now we're going to see something worse. The big, power-consuming manufacturers have been exempted from these charges so they can stay competitive with the rest of the world, but everyone else is going to bear the brunt.
It would be too bad if a project had local support but a moratorium quashed it. It would also be too bad if a project were universally despised in its host communities but a town's lack of standing in the process did not allow the PSB to take into account local views. ...Even boosters such as Shumlin say they don't want to cram any projects down townspeople's throats. The Legislature ought to be looking for ways that towns can be empowered to prevent that from happening.
A certain degree of local congestion and general oversupply is often planned into the system. However, given the relatively narrow operating margins of wind and solar projects, typical project leverage ratios and the debt service coverage ratio covenants by which most projects are bound, an annual curtailment of generating capacity of more than one percent can have a devastating impact on project viability.