Library filed under Energy Policy from Maine
WORCESTER— Absent interest in lower-priced fuels, New Englanders should brace for continued high electricity prices, the byproduct of a regional system heavily dependent on oil, natural gas and coal, the head of the region’s power grid said yesterday.
AUGUSTA -- A week before hearings on a controversial wind farm project are scheduled to begin, an influential environmental group is calling for deep changes in the proposal. The Natural Resources Council of Maine on Wednesday asked Maine Mountain Power, which has applied to erect 30 turbines on two Franklin County mountain ridges, to drop plans to use the Redington Pond Range.
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.
Unlike the wind, tides are predictable. Also, water's greater density means fewer turbines are needed to produce the same amount of electricity as wind turbines. And since they're under water, tidal projects don't come with aesthetic issues like those associated with wind farms.
AUGUSTA (May 25): The Maine Legislature, enacted a bill Wednesday, May 24, designed to promote the development of wind energy in Maine.
Lee also warned that renewable energy sources, though desirable, were not a "silver bullet" solution. "It does leave an environmental footprint," Lee said, noting that wind energy and solar energy take up large areas of land, making it difficult to find a place to put them, especially in densely populated parts of the world.
All renewable energies have a common fault: They are very dilute. Massive areas are needed to produce small amounts of energy. Solar and wind have strong periodicity and do not match actual electricity use.
If New England's nuclear energy plants had to be replaced by other non-emitting sources of electricity to meet the RGGI goals, the region would be looking at large-scale wind projects, with weather-dependent output, spread over some 650,000 acres of land or water at a cost of more than $10 billion.
Renewable energy sources have disadvantages as well as advantages, however. Although their costs have decreased in recent years, many renewables are still more costly than traditional sources. Some are also available only intermittently; for example, wind can be variable and hydroelectric is seasonal. And while many people are in favor of renewables in principle, many are also unhappy when faced with the prospect of a windmill or a trash-burning power plant in their neighborhood. These facilities face the same siting and investment difficulties that any electrical facility would, as the developers of a proposed wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod have discovered in recent years.
...the MEA Report can be used to estimate the value (avoided emissions) of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) by providing both REC suppliers and stakeholders with information that can be used to communicate the environmental benefits of RECs and works to enhance the overall REC marketplace. Editor's Note: As noted below under Methodology [emphasis added], this report appears to substantiate the point that wind energy would not backdown "baseload" generation.
AUGUSTA -- A bill that allows the Maine Public Utilities Commission to pull Maine out of the New England power grid won endorsements from several large manufacturers at a legislative hearing Wednesday, but opponents warned that it could hurt Maine consumers in the long run.
The number one item in his energy bill may be ambitious: increase the amount of renewable energy being generated in the state by ten percent in the next ten years. Baldacci told reporters some of it is happening already.
There's more to determining the value of wind power than knowing which way the wind blows -- or even how hard. MIT researchers studying winds off the Northeast coast have found that estimating the potential environmental benefits from wind and other renewables requires a detailed understanding of the dynamics of both renewable resources and conventional power generation. Data show that wind-energy facilities would generate far more electricity in winter, because that's when winds are strongest. But the need for electricity is greatest in summer, when air conditioners are going full blast.
NEW YORK – Seven northeastern U.S. states have signed the country's first plan to create a market for heat-trapping carbon dioxide by curbing emissions at power plants, New York Gov. George Pataki said Tuesday.
After briefly wavering, Governor M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut yesterday agreed to sign onto a multistate greenhouse gas pact that Massachusetts and Rhode Island rejected Wednesday.
BREWER - As wind power begins to blow into Maine, state regulators on Wednesday considered its potential to squeeze increasingly expensive - and less environmentally friendly - fossil fuels out of the region's energy mix.
The head of New England's biggest natural gas utility promised yesterday that homes and businesses across the region will face no shortage of gas for heating this winter.
This presentation indicates that for New England the increasing demand for summer-time electricity is greater and increasing faster than winter-time demand. The fast-rising need for power in summer will likely result in construction of new power plants to keep ahead of demand - although inland industrial wind plants will not be able to contribute much to this demand period due to their very low capacity factor during summer months.
Comments to FERC by the New England Conference of Public Utility Commissions and the Vermont Department of Public Service