Library filed under Energy Policy from Colorado
David Schnare, the Director of Environmental Law Center at the American Tradition Institute and lead attorney in a lawsuit (ATI v. Epel) against Colorado’s 30 percent renewable energy mandate said in an interview on the Amy Oliver Show on Thursday that global warming will be put on trial when he argues that the mandate violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
On the Eastern Plains vast stretches of farmland beckon wind developers. But in a state where agriculture is the second largest economy, the difficulty has been how to harvest what blows above the land while not losing the harvest grown on it. "What we don't want to do is allow the wind developers to come in and buy the rights," said Rep. Jon Becker, R-Morgan County.
The standard, however, is close to being met, and the future for renewable-energy incentives is uncertain. So, the question is: What is renewable energy's future in Colorado? "Are we going to see the billion dollars in renewable investment that was made in the last five years repeated in the next few years?"
Pueblo's rising energy costs are among their chief worries, they say. ...Tony Knopp, manager of the wind turbine maker Vestas' tower plant, said he understands many industries' concerns about rising energy bills. Still, Knopp said, he's convinced the greater use of renewable energy will pay off
The American Tradition Institute is suing the state of Colorado for its renewable energy mandate. Colorado voters approved a 10 percent renewable energy mandate in 2004. Since then the state legislature has increased the mandate two times to 30 percent by 2020. This first in a three-part series video explains the problems with wind energy in particular. Wind is "neither free nor clean." Rather than embrace gigantic "cuisinarts in the sky," real environments, such as those at ATI, eschew them. Duration: 2 minuyes 53 seconds
Colorado is widely recognized for its wind-power capabilities, but even there, wind power is inconsistent and undependable. Studies by Bentek Energy, which examined energy deployment in Texas and Colorado, found that emissions of pollutants actually increase with RES because wind requires backup generation by fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.
Officials pushing the bills say that energy prices soar and consumers suffer when utilities are required to allocate a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar. Clean energy groups counter that lowering the bar on state renewable energy policies would stifle new investment and kill jobs.
"Cleaner air and cheaper energy" was the slogan when voters mandated wind and other renewable sources for 10 percent of the state's electric generation with Amendment 37 in 2004. Democratic legislators liked the idea so much that they upped the mandate to 20 percent in 2007 and boosted it this year to 30 percent. One small problem: Neither half of the slogan is true.
Lawmakers referenced the movies "Alice in Wonderland" and "Ishtar" during a sometimes bizarre debate on a renewable-energy bill that tied up the Senate for a day and a half. Republicans argued that the Democrat-sponsored measure mandates that large utilities rely more heavily on "taxpayer-subsidized energy sources," mainly wind and solar.
Huerfano County, which straddles the Eastern Plains and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is facing a wind rush. Three wind-farm projects - particularly one near scenic La Veta Pass - have galvanized grassroots opposition and posed a challenge for county planning officials. "When voters and legislators adopted renewable-energy goals, I don't know if they were thinking of turning rural Colorado into an industrial zone," said Dawn Blanken, a La Veta councilwoman.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office said Saturday that he would veto legislation requiring a third of California's energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, choosing instead to mandate the change through an executive order. The Democratic bills that passed the state Legislature just before the end of the legislative session Friday would have set up the most aggressive renewable energy standards in the nation. But they also sought to limit the amount of energy from sources such as wind, solar and geothermal that could come from out-of-state.
The stimulus package passed by Congress in February included almost $80 billion for renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass transit, updating the electrical grid and research. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar has made production, development, and delivery of renewable energy one of his department's highest priorities. But the government's focus on using public lands for power generation is not the best solution for our solar energy needs. There is a better way.
Rural electric cooperative managers told the Public Utilities Commission on Thursday to keep its hands off their power supplier. Clean-energy advocates, however, urged the state to take a greater role in regulating Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, saying the coal-heavy company's power plants affect everyone, not just its customers.
A showdown is shaping up as state regulators consider whether to increase oversight of Colorado's second-largest electric utility, a wholesale power provider owned by several rural cooperatives. ...the PUC said more oversight might make sense given Colorado's emphasis on developing more renewable energy and concerns about climate change.
In the 20 years I have lived in Colorado, I have seen the transition from a growing, functional economy into an economy that increasingly relies on obscure, "politically correct" subsidies such as solar- and wind-power generation that are touted as solutions to our economic woes. ...these partisan policies are undermining Colorado's economy.
The state needs to come up with nearly 5,000 megawatts of electricity to satisfy the needs of the state by 2025 ...Northeast Colorado has been rightly billed as a wind energy mecca. The problem is wind energy cannot be the end-all, according to Sonnenberg. Supporting a statement made earlier by CREA Executive Director Ray Clifton, Sonnenberg said wind energy resources are available only 10 to 35 percent of the time. "Even if we estimate liberally, we still will not meet the 4,500 megawatts by 2025," he said.
Democrats can't get to Denver without dumping carbon into the air. They're washing away the sins of transportation and electrification by purchasing carbon offsets from a Vermont-based broker called NativeEnergy. ...This modern-day indulgence is officially called the "Green Delegate Challenge." For a mere $7.50, delegates and attendees can buy a carbon offset, making them at least theoretically responsible for new alternative energy. They can then forget about the emissions from jets, limos, buses, trains and taxis they take to Denver. They also can flash the lights, crank up the soundstages and rock 'n' roll like the dominant force they've become with that rhetoric about saving the planet.
For an East Coast liberal hoping to make it to Denver for next month's Democratic National Convention, air or car travel can create quite the carbon-foot printed nightmare. While the DNCC has attempted to help limit the number of guilty consciences by offering to sell delegates carbon credits alleged to help offset damage to mother earth, it turns out that a primary source of these credits is a sham. ...an eastern Colorado wind turbine "tapped for the [DNC's] carbon-offset problem has one problem: It doesn't generate any electricity."
If local citizens want to assuage their guilt about energy use and carbon footprints they must first prepare themselves for a few simple inconvenient truths. That's because some wind and solar true believers conveniently dispense with rational discussion concerning what's possible to achieve in meeting future electric energy needs along with what it will cost to make significant gains. Were it not for the huge taxpayer subsidies the "green" revolution promised for wind and solar would not be possible. ... Our Department of Energy wants to achieve that 20 percent goal by the year 2030 and some States even want a more ambitious goal. Fortunately there are people who recognize that in order to achieve these goals we will need to build twice as much capacity because it isn't always windy where it needs to be.
These days we read and hear more and more about the exponential increases in renewable energy, particularly large wind farms such as those sprouting up on Colorado's front range and eastern plains. Colorado's Amendment 37 requires the state's largest utility companies to produce 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2015. A subsequent legislative action doubled that to 20 percent by 2020. ...This is all great news, right? Not if you are an independent grid system operator, and not if you're expecting all of this large scale wind power to help reduce global warming carbon emissions. Wind power is by nature a notoriously intermittent source of power. Wind simply doesn't blow steadily all of the time. Therefore, the power output of all large scale wind farms goes up and down dramatically throughout the day, regardless of the demand for power on the grid. ...Without energy diversity, the more renewable power we mandate, the more unreliable the grid will become. The laws of physics simply can't be amended.