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> Energy Policy (1302)
A renewable portfolio standard is said to be needed for creating and improving renewable energy technologies. In practice, however, it does little to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and makes energy production excessively expensive.
Coal-fired power plants produce more than 83 percent of the electricity sector’s carbon dioxide emissions. But because coal is cheaper than natural gas or oil, it is the least likely to be displaced by solar or wind power.
Natural gas has a relatively low carbon content. But it is likely to be the first to be displaced by renewable sources of energy because it is more expensive than coal. That means that even a renewable portfolio standard as high as 20 percent would reduce emissions by only a small fraction of what is needed to lower the risk of catastrophic climate change.
Absent special political privileges - federal research and development subsidies, tax breaks, and state RPS programs - today's renewable-energy industry, or most of it, would not even exist. Three decades, $14 billion in direct federal support, and untold billions in state taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies have failed to make "green" energy economically self-sustaining. Enough is enough. Congress should terminate, not expand, its patronage of this boondoggle.
Localities escaped a close call when the House reaffirmed that nuclear, wind and LNG facilities would have to meet local zoning and land-use restrictions. But they should be wary of the coercive spirit shown by the Senate, and all Virginians should be wary of the flawed energy policy crafted in their name.
The issues involved deserve more thoughtful, balanced consideration. In the interim the best thing that could happen to this bill would be a veto from the governor.
Senate Bill 251 sets the goal of getting 10 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.
“It’s basically meaningless,” Kharbanda said. Four out of the five utilities operating in Indiana are believed to have already met the majority of the law’s goals or will soon after already-planned energy projects are completed.
Maine citizens weren't consulted before this misguided and biased law was enacted. As an "emergency measure" we didn't have time to make our objections known before it was implemented. What is now apparent is that the wind industry hugely influenced the crafting of this law.
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The letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty articulates the frustration of many Canadians with the Ontario Provincial government's failure to consider the potential harmful effects of wind power development on the environment and human health and safety. Although written for a Canadian audience, the message applies in the United States and elsewhere in the world where turbine installations are aggressively being pursued.
Like most really thoughtful environmentally concerned scientists, I'd rather a tiny amount (in metric tonnes or cubic metres, after decades of use) of stored radioactive waste than the unmitigated disaster of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. And renewables are not realistically and politically going to fill the gap any time soon.
SO HERE WE HAVE A SALVO FIRED in a little noted "green" civil war -- a conflict between groups whom one imagined were allies: environmentalists and the lovers of "renewable" sources of energy.
The planet deserves the benefit of the doubt. Climate change is serious and must be a political priority. But the arguments must be subject to free and rigorous debate and the facts separated from fanciful predictions - the environment is too important to be bequeathed to the hysterical.
The real test for Ontarians will come in 2011, when there is the possibility of a double digit increase in residential electricity bills. Some argue Green Energy production and the infrastructure costs associated with it will constitute 50 percent of that increase. The question is - will the general commitment to renewable energy survive a direct hit to ratepayer's pocketbooks?
The CO2 hysteria is absurd, considering the minute contribution made by human beings. Of course the climate is changing - it always has done, hence the thriving vineyards of Northumberland in the 12th century and the Thames frozen three feet deep in the 19th - but human activity is largely irrelevant. The world's climate is controlled by solar activity, by variations in the earth's rotation and orbit, by external factors in space and, terrestrially, by clouds and volcanic activity. If the Canutes of the IPCC imagine they can control those elements, they are even more infatuated than they appear.
But what is most concerning to me is that Bernie's comment on this issue has shown me a different side of Bernie. That is, his total disregard for well-documented facts; his digging his heels in and using his influence to blindly push this agenda forward; and his inability to consider the benefits of taking a reasonable pause to allow time to learn the truth. This leads me to ask: Is this the way Bernie approaches all the decisions he makes in Washington?
But, as Angus King knows too well, proclaiming Maine's potential for energy production through wind is easy to say, and near-impossible to achieve.
Unless a project is sited in an out-of-the-way, unvisited, unremarkable corner of the state, potential for wind power has gone unrealized. Environmentalists bitterly disagree on projects, as do neighboring towns.
King's own firm, Independence Wind, only earned a split decision for its turbine projects in Byron and Roxbury. Yet the state has designated Maine's rural towns as for expedited reviews of future wind power plans, in the interest of meeting lofty energy benchmarks.
These forces are on an inevitable collision course. An offshore project would be a supernova.
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The symposium will also create perspectives for the legislative branches to drum up new laws, along with revenues for Wyoming. In turn the trade-off will be right-of-way easements and more access to state and federal land.
Wyoming Wind Corridors will produce the energy, and like all that is produced here, that energy will be sent out on the National Electrical Grid system. Each company online will receive a cut of the Wyoming wind energy pie.
Therefore once again Wyoming residents will hold out the coffers' bags, getting the least for the best Wyoming has to offer.
Welcome to the neo-medieval world of Britain's energy policy. It is a world in which Highland glens are buzzing with bulldozers damming streams for miniature hydro plants, in which the Dogger Bank is to be dotted with windmills at Brobdingnagian expense, in which Heathrow is to burn wood trucked ...We are going back to using the landscape to generate our energy. Bad news for the landscape.
Energy efficiency is by no means a permanent solution, but it should be a permanent part of the solution. Sensible energy use, combined with new power resources, is the only workable answer for New England.
If we really need "green power" so badly then we might as well rebuild the Edwards Dam across the Kennebec River in Augusta. Sound absurd? Well it is no more absurd than promoting industrial wind-power development in the protected mountain areas of Maine.
The Land Use Regulation Commission created mountain protection areas above 2,700 feet in 1972 for the simple reason that industrial development was not environmentally acceptable in the fragile alpine and subalpine areas of the Maine mountains.
Robert Sullivan's review of "Cape Wind" (June 17), about the battle over the development of a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, made me wonder why a majority of Cape Cod and island residents would oppose a project that promised them clean, cheap, non polluting renewable energy at a time when everyone is focused on making America energy independent. You can start with the fact that this project won't deliver lowercost energy because offshore wind is by far the most expensive form of energy. You can then wonder what all the fuss is about when you understand that at its optimum operating efficiency (an average of 170 megawatts, according to Cape Wind's own Web site, and not the 468 megawatts its proponents claim) it would produce just 1 percent of New England's electricity supply. And because wind energy is inherently unpredictable (it depends on when the wind is blowing and cannot be stored), fossil fuel plants would always have to be online as reserve power to keep our lights on. Concluding his review, Sullivan mentions the growing opposition to a wind farm proposal off the coast of Long Island. This opposition is bolstered by the economic facts of the project - according to previously confidential documents obtained by Newsday, energy from the proposed wind plant would cost Long Island ratepayers as much as double the wholesale cost of energy.
This initiative is really about wind power. The initiative counts other renewables, such as biomass, solar and tidal power, but other approaches are less advanced.
Bizarrely, I-937 leaves out a biggie. Hydropower — that hallmark renewable of the Northwest — doesn't count, except for efficiencies made at qualifying utility dams since 1999.
That's right: Hydropower doesn't count as renewable energy in the initiative.
DOC's job is to safeguard the conservation estate. Even after the former administration announced its whole-of-government support for Project Hayes, DOC might still have continued to press its concerns within government ranks. The suspicion is that, instead, it took the chance to extract $175,000 from Meridian. Fuelling this suspicion is the secrecy of the deal. Although Meridian says it was made public in mid-2007, it is curious that some environmentalists, such as Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, have only just learned of it.