Articles filed under Energy Policy
The inconvenient truth is this: nearly half of America's electricity is generated from coal. Natural gas and nuclear energy add about 20 percent each. Most of the rest is provided by renewable sources, primarily hydroelectric energy at 6 percent. Non-hydro renewables like wind, solar energy and biomass total only 3 percent. And this is after decades of existing generous renewable subsidies.
Jefferson County legislators lashed out Friday at New York Power Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel after he said the authority won't buy power from any wind farms in the county. "It's an example of how downstate politics tries to pressure upstate New York into agreements and situations that we don't want," said Chairman Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River.
Corruption: The carbon trading system being pushed here has spawned crime and fraud across the pond. Cap-and-trade is not about saving the planet. It's about money and power, and absolute power corrupting absolutely.
National Grid Plc, an owner of utilities in the U.S. and U.K., will seek regulatory approval to sign a contract to buy half of the power output from the Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. Under the 15-year contract, National Grid will pay 20.7 cents a kilowatt-hour for the wind power output starting in 2013, and the price will increase 3.5 percent each year, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company said today in a statement.
An anticipated deal between utility National Grid and the controversial wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound could add from 47 cents to $1.33 to the average customer's monthly electricity bill, state officials said. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Secretary Ian Bowles said National Grid must agree to pay somewhere between 17 cents and 21 cents per kilowatt hour for the power it buys from Cape Wind to be competitive. At that price, the 130-turbine project, which received federal approval last week, would not only rival conventional energy, it could at times in the future be cheaper.
Gov. Donald L. Carcieri appeared before a Senate committee on Wednesday to support legislation that could jump-start an offshore wind farm project, the same day the attorney general came out against the bill. The bill would essentially circumvent the R.I. Public Utilities Commission.
The Ontario government has taken the highly unusual step of ordering the province's Crown-owned electricity utilities to cancel their requests for hydro rate increases, amid worries of a consumer backlash over soaring power costs. The government's 11th-hour intervention in a rate-setting process that is designed to take the politics out of electricity pricing follows revelations that residential customers in Ontario are already facing increases of $300 more a year on average to keep the lights on by the end of 2011.
Only two years ago, Spanish solar energy companies feasting on generous government subsidies expanded at a feverish pace, investing €18 billion (then worth roughly $28 billion) to blanket rooftops and fields with photovoltaic panels. They briefly turned the country into the top solar market in the world. Then came a monumental case of sunburn. The market crashed.
Today, state Rep. Tom McMillin of Michigan introduced a resolution (H.R. 277) urging his state's governor to withdraw Michigan from continued participation in the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord (MGGRA), an agreement among the region's governors to reduce greenhouse gases through a regional cap-and-trade program. ...nearby participating states intend to introduce similar measures in their own legislatures.
Governor Carcieri went before a Senate committee on Wednesday to urge passage of first-of-a-kind legislation that would allow a private energy company to bypass a key regulatory board in a quest to build a wind farm in waters off Block Island. ...Speaking at a candidates debate at a state business forum in the morning, Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, a Democrat, said that allowing one company to avoid the PUC would set a bad precedent.
Haas has three turbines spinning on his farmland. He makes about $15,000 a year just for having them there. That's a nice side income with no extra work involved. ...That extra money? Haas now says it isn't worth it. He blames the wind turbines for damaging his crops and interfering with his TV reception.
France could see its nascent wind power sector blown off its feet if amendments to a recent French green law are voted, the renewable energy sector body said. A parliamentary debate on a series of amendments to a French green law voted in 2008 starts on Tuesday after an enthusiastic environmental debate took place in the wake of the French presidential election.
Overall, wind turbines in the United States generated 52 billion kilowatt hours in 2008 ...But it isn't all good, according to Dr. Nina Pierpont, who has studied families living near wind turbines. Pierpont found that there are enough negative effects to warrant calling them "Wind Turbine Syndrome," because the symptoms form a consistent pattern from person to person, she says.A report by Quebec's environmental review agency slams a proposed wind project in central Quebec for shutting local residents out of the planning process. The 100-megawatt Érable wind farm is scheduled to go into production next year near St. Ferdinand, 200 kilometres east of Montreal.
An environmental scientist says the shelving of the Federal Government's emissions trading scheme (ETS) should not stop the far west New South Wales' proposed wind farm from going ahead. ...but the interest is quickly going to wane if there's no indication that there will be a price on carbons ... any time in the future."
Towering 350 feet above the prairie, wind turbines have taken root as a prominent part of the North Dakota landscape. But as they proliferate, issues of how they are sited, how they are funded and how they fit into the state's energy sources have been growing with their electricity generation. ...Detractors claim they are a passing fad dependent on tax subsidies that add stress to the existing energy infrastructure and clutter up the horizon. "This is going to permanently change the landscape," said Burleigh County Commissioner Mark Armstrong.
The citizens group opposing the proposed wind farm in southern Brown County has hired the former attorney for the Public Service Commission to represent them. ...Invenergy is awaiting siting guidelines from the PSC before resubmitting its application. The citizens group has launched an effort to gain political and public support for its claims that the proposed turbine locations represent potential health and safety hazards.
In testimony before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, the developer said that in summer, when winds are weakest, Cape Wind will produce an average of 100MW. A medium-sized coal plant like Xcel Energy's Allen S. King Generating Plant at Bayport, Minn., produces at five times that output throughout the year. This suggests rate increases for power customers to pay for this costly program.
After the announcement last week that Vermont Community Wind Farm had put its efforts in the town of Ira on hold, the chairman of the industry group Renewable Energy Vermont, Lawrence Mott, says the state needs clearer guidelines for such projects. Mott's group has 300 members, including Vermont Community Wind Farm.
Municipalities across Ontario have expressed economic and environmental concerns about wind farms being forced on them under the Green Energy Act. "If Dalton McGuinty's plan for placing industrial wind farms in the backyards of Ontario communities was as popular as he pretends it is, why is he so afraid of allowing Ontario municipalities and local citizens to have their say?"
The Block Island wind farm may have new life after Sen. Susan Sosnowski introduced a bill late Wednesday that would give four governor-appointed agency heads the power to approve a contract reached between Deepwater Wind and National Grid. A duplicate House bill is expected to appear soon.