Articles filed under Energy Policy
In AWEA's blog post, they describe a national Renewable Electricity Standard as "a free-market" program. That is not accurate. In free markets, people are free to choose. A Renewable Electricity Standard forces people to buy wind, solar, and other government-approved energy sources. It is a mandate. Forcing someone to buy your product is not a free-market program by any definition. Contrary to AWEA's assertion that a Renewable Electricity Standard would lower energy prices, common sense and real-world evidence suggest otherwise.
State energy and environmental officials assured Islanders that their voices will be heard and their concerns considered as the state's draft Ocean Plan nears finalization on December 31. "The secretary's perspective is that we're not going to ram our projects down the throats of a place that doesn't want them," said Deerin Babb-Brott, an assistant secretary to Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles.
Having considered seven sites along Maine's coast for offshore wind demonstration projects, state officials on Tuesday narrowed the list to four possible locations where researchers might explore the potential for wind power facilities. The University of Maine, which earlier this month received an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for wind energy research, and commercial developers will be able to test deep-water wind turbines.
Two utility-scale wind projects on hold in Berkshire County, with a combined 45 megawatts of capacity, would expand wind generated electricity in the state by about 500 percent and power the equivalent of 15,000 homes, according to local and state officials. But both are tied up in litigation filed by local property owners, and one of the projects has been delayed for more than five years. A bill pending in the Legislature might cut the time needed for permitting, eliminating much of the litigation-generated delays.
It's never pretty watching people's rights getting trampled by a government caught up in the latest fad, but it's happening across Ontario. The victims are citizens living mainly in rural communities. Their concerns about the possible adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines are being rolled over by Premier Dalton McGuinty. We should all pay attention because our rights could be next.
In the wake of last week's National Grid filing with the state Public Utilities Commission, Deepwater Wind executives are hoping for more time at the bargaining table. Last Thursday National Grid recommended the PUC to turn down a power purchase agreement (PPA) proposed by Deepwater for an eight-turbine wind farm within three miles of Block Island. According to National Grid, Deepwater was asking 30.7 cents per kilowatt-hour for its electricity, when the average cost for wholesale electricity is about 9 cents. It called the proposal "commercially unreasonable."
Gov. David Paterson has ambitious renewable energy goals for New York state -- most of which he is trying to meet by encouraging the construction of large wind turbines. But wind farm advocates say that a new regulation adopted less than two weeks ago by the state Public Service Commission may severely curtail future construction of large-scale commercial wind farms in upstate New York. The rule requires that developers of new renewable energy projects in New York study whether there is enough transmission line capacity to handle the additional power their projects will create.
As the workforce at the only wind-turbine factory in Britain was laid off at the end of April, Rene Umlauft, boss of the renewable-energy division of Siemens, the industrial giant, was enjoying a run of turbine sales. He had sold more than 120 in Britain, Turkey and at home in Germany.
Plans by the Crown Estate to treble its revenues from offshore wind parks have angered energy companies, who say that the move could jeopardise the viability of important new projects and undermine government hopes to boost renewable energy in Britain. The Crown Estate, which owns the seabed out to 12 nautical miles, is already set for a £500 million windfall from offshore wind power production by charging rent based on each unit of electricity produced.
Climate change is the greatest new public-spending project in decades. Each year as much as $100 billion is spent by governments and consumers around the world on green subsidies designed to encourage wind, solar, and other -renewable-energy markets. The goals are worthy: reduce emissions, promote new sources of energy, and help create jobs in a growing industry. Yet this epic effort of lawmaking and spending has, naturally, also created an epic scramble for subsidies and regulatory favors. Witness the 1,150 lobbying groups that spent more than $20 million to lobby the U.S. Congress as it was writing the Clean Energy bill (which would create a $60 billion annual market for emission permits by 2012). Government has often had a hand in jump--starting a new -industry-both the computer chip and the Internet got their start in American defense research. But it's hard to think of any non-military industry that has been so completely and utterly driven by regulation and subsidies from the start.
Short-term thinking on energy is going to cause some long-term problems Ask Paul Edmonds, vice president of National Semiconductor in South Portland. In August, he wrote in the Portland Press Herald, "An inefficient regulatory system and lack of long-term energy strategy are conspiring against Maine citizens and businesses." I was intrigued. So I called him. He told me, "High electricity costs are a threat to manufacturing competitiveness in Maine."
Ontario's natural resources ministry has been so overwhelmed with applications to develop offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes that it has stopped accepting them - at least until March. Minister Donna Cansfield, speaking at a conference in Toronto, said more than 100 applications have been received representing more than 500 projects on the Ontario side of the lakes. "The window for applications has been temporarily closed," she said.
National Grid is willing to return to the negotiating table with offshore wind farm developer Deepwater Wind, the state's largest utility said in a filing with the R.I. Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The Wednesday filing, actually a copy of a letter sent to Deepwater, came six days after National Grid rejected the developer's renewable energy contract offer, saying that electricity from Deepwater's proposed offshore wind farm would be too expensive.
There are much cheaper ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than subsidizing renewable energies. CO2 abatement costs of PV are estimated to be as high as $1,050 per ton, while those of wind power are estimated at $80 per ton. By contrast, the current price of emissions certificates on the European emissions trading scheme is only 13.4 (Euro) per ton. ...Moreover, the prevailing coexistence of the EEG and emissions trading under the European Trading Scheme (ETS) means that the increased use of renewable energy technologies generally attains no additional emission reductions beyond those achieved by ETS alone.
Ian Bowles, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said Tuesday that the state is prepared to listen to the concerns Islanders have about provisions of the Oceans Act. He said that while Islanders have focused on the designation of areas west of the Vineyard for wind farm development, the state is actively exploring the potential for wind farm development in federal waters well south of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
Mr. Bowles is under fire from Vineyarders who object to the possibility that the state's ocean management plan, whose creation Mr. Bowles supervised, will write Vineyard regulators, the Martha's Vineyard Commission in particular, out of the picture when nearshore energy projects seek development permits. But, in a wide-ranging discussion of energy issues Tuesday, the imperturbable Mr. Bowles offered an unvarnished and concrete sense of his and the state's view of what lies ahead, in the form of renewable energy project siting south of Cape Cod.
Energy Tribune Editor's note: A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hearing William Tucker speak at a conference in Washington, DC. His explanation of E = mc2 was the best I had ever heard. Even better, Tucker explained how Einstein's equation applied to renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydro. His lecture was a revelation. It showed that the limits of renewable energy have nothing to do with politics or research dollars, but rather with simple mathematics. During a later exchange of emails with Tucker, I praised his lecture and suggested he write an article that explained E = mc2 and its corollary, E = mv2. To my delight, he informed me that he'd already written such an essay and he agreed that we could publish it in Energy Tribune. I love this essay. And I'm proud that Tucker has allowed us to run it. -Robert Bryce
Wind power costs a lot to build and nothing to operate. Could it hammer the profits of power utilities that currently charge a premium to light your home by burning the decayed remains of ancient organisms? Investors shouldn't be too worried, according to Lasan Johong, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets. Johong says that increasing our reliance on wind power could actually raise power prices significantly.
Nova Scotia's electricity consumer advocate is questioning Nova Scotia Power's proposal to spend $120 million on a wind farm. "Is it a good deal?" asks Halifax lawyer John Merrick. "Because ultimately it has to be paid for by ratepayers." The power company has applied to government regulators for permission to build and develop a 22-turbine wind farm at Nuttby Mountain, Colchester County.
Campaigners against wind farms have hit out at claims councils should be forced to hand over land for turbines. It comes after Hull East MP John Prescott said too many wind turbine planning applications are blocked and urged ministers to take on "nimbys", which stands for "not in my backyard". The former deputy prime minister wants to force councils to earmark sites for wind farms, as part of a strategy to override residents' objections to the developments.