Library filed under Energy Policy

Spain renewables industry fears subsidy cuts

Spain's renewable energy industry joined forces on Thursday to ask the government to clarify whether it plans to retroactively cut subsidies, as market-moving media reports have suggested. Shares in renewable energy generators Iberdrola Renovables and Acciona moved sharply lower on Wednesday after website elconfidencial, citing sources close to the government, said the government could reduce existing subsidies which finance most of the renewables plants in Spain.
22 Apr 2010

Granholm urges regulations for wind farm industry

Gov. Jennifer Granholm's support of offshore wind development in Michigan is clear. The governor has embraced locating huge utility-scale wind turbines offshore on some of the 38,000 square miles of Michigan's Great Lakes bottomlands. ...She acknowledged being term-limited and leaving the governor's office at the end of December. She said she wants offshore wind policies and regulations in place before the end of her term.
22 Apr 2010

Green energy rush hit by headwinds

Europe is making a huge bet on wind energy. Because there is little room in its crowded countryside for sprawling wind-tower complexes, planners are increasingly looking to the sea. ..."The danger is that we might end up paying a huge amount of money trying to achieve this [EU] target and then failing anyway," says Michael Pollitt, head of the Electricity Policy Research Group at Cambridge University. "The most sensible thing to do is abandon the target."
21 Apr 2010

1 Offshore Natural Gas Platform = 59 Cape Wind Projects

The decades-old ban on oil and natural gas exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) was lifted in 2008, following a public outcry over high gas prices. However, President Obama's recent OCS exploration announcement put most of those newly available offshore areas off-limits. The move will most likely lead to more imported oil, higher gas prices, and is a giant missed opportunity for new jobs. While offshore drilling has been largely avoided by the administration, there have been discussions of installing offshore wind turbines. So how do offshore natural gas and offshore wind production compare? This video analyzes the differences between developing the Manteo Prospect, a natural gas platform, with Cape Wind, a proposed wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. For a full transcript and supporting data click here or visit the IER website. Duration 2 minutes 23 seconds
21 Apr 2010

Too early to pick sides in offshore wind turbine controversy

As talk of putting huge wind turbines in Lake Ontario revs up, it's too early for citizens, businesses and governments to pick sides. That's because there are still too many unknowns, such as how many and where the wind turbines would be placed, how visible they would be from the shore, and what the impact would be on fishermen, boaters and birds.
19 Apr 2010

Clean-energy fund may fall victim to budget deficit

Rhode Island environmental advocates are decrying a proposal in the General Assembly to strip $1 million from the state Renewable Energy Fund to help fill the state budget deficit. ...a provision is still on the table to reallocate money from the ratepayer-supported fund that finances the installation of wind turbines, solar arrays and other renewable-energy systems throughout Rhode Island. The proposal would reduce the fund by 40 percent.
19 Apr 2010

Wind energy decision carries political impact

With a tight-lipped President Obama facing both a political dilemma and a critical deadline, the nation's offshore wind energy industry is about to find out which way the breezes are blowing. After nine years in the government regulatory mill, backers of the Cape Wind project off the shores of Massachusetts' Cape Cod will learn by April 30 whether Mr. Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will let them proceed, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the industry if the project is quashed.
19 Apr 2010

This Nuclear Option Is Nuclear; The costs of fads and superstition

Meanwhile, America, which pioneered nuclear power, is squandering money on wind power, which provides 1.3 percent of the nation's electricity: it is slurping up $30 billion of tax breaks and other subsidies amounting to $18.82 per megawatt-hour, 25 times as much per megawatt-hour as the combined subsidies for all other forms of electricity production. Wind power involves gargantuan "energy sprawl."
19 Apr 2010

Regulations needed before wind power projects begin

Kingston was approved for Ontario's first offshore wind power project last week, yet no regulations exist governing where turbines can be installed or how far they must be from shorelines. "The government is now working on establishing those standards. It's a very new field," said Ben Chin of the Ontario Power Authority, which granted the 300-megawatt project to Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Inc. last week.
17 Apr 2010

Lake wind farms yet to be approved

Ontario Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey said Friday her ministry hasn't given final approval to any offshore wind turbine projects in any of the Great Lakes. She said the government would soon be clarifying the approval process for renewable energy projects given that several ministries have overlapping responsibility.
17 Apr 2010

Residential hydro bills jumping $350 a year

An 8 per cent increase in domestic electricity costs announced yesterday is the latest in a series of fees that will drive up costs, and that's before the subsidies, the Opposition said. "People in this province are seeing increases that are putting them at the point where they can no longer cope with the prices of energy, and we haven't seen them all," said Progressive Conservative energy critic John Yakabuski.
16 Apr 2010

Your power bills will triple

Your electricity bills are going to at least double in the next 10 years and relentlessly rising power prices could easily triple them. ..."the price rises would be driven "largely by the current policy environment, large amounts of renewables being forced into the system, uncosted charges for those renewables given current policy settings, and substantial increases in transmission and distribution costs".
15 Apr 2010

Council defers turbine location report

Fearing legal ramifications, city council chose to defer a proposed resolution calling for a report on Horizon Wind Inc.'s revised plan for 18 wind turbines on the Nor'Wester Mountains. The report, solely to give council information to vote for or against the location of the turbines, was originally scheduled to be delivered on May 17.
14 Apr 2010

Senate OKs big jump in net metering law

Under the net metering law, the consumer who generates his or her electricity can essentially run the meter backwards. Thus, during peak hours, the consumer not only saves electricity, but can actually sell it back to the utility. ...The current law limits the size of generators to 100 kilowatts. The new law allows one-megawatt generators.
14 Apr 2010

Sell wind and solar energy stocks

Stocks related to wind and solar energy underperformed substantially over the past year. Although many commentators hyped the group as a play on Obama's presidency and a global cap-and-trade scheme, savvy investors made real money last year in stocks related to dirty energy sources such as coal and oil. And don't expect wind and solar energy names to perform well this year. Even with demand likely to bounce back, both industries face massive overcapacity and falling profit margins. For solar energy stocks, a big drop in subsidies from the German government remains a major headwind. Check out the graph below.
14 Apr 2010

New law ends Nebraska public wind energy monopoly

Governor Dave Heineman has signed into law a bill he says will lift Nebraska into the major leagues of wind power among US states by ending a public monopoly over its generation. "This legislation marks the beginning of accelerated wind energy development in Nebraska," says Heineman, with the law to take effect in mid-July.
13 Apr 2010

Dalton McGuinty's "Grand Green Gesture" comes with a hefty price

The Government of Ontario recently signed a $7-billion no-bid contract with two Korean companies to supply wind and solar power to the province. Officials claim the backroom deal will boost "green" industry and job creation. But it's hard to fathom how the additional employment can possibly be beneficial when each new manufacturing job will cost taxpayers a whopping $303,472. Nor do dramatic increases in electricity rates constitute much of a bargain.
12 Apr 2010
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