Articles filed under Energy Policy

Wind farm simply symbolism

Green Mountain Power's plan to construct a wind farm along a ridge line in the town of Lowell will have little impact on Vermont's energy needs. Neither will it improve Vermont's climate or environment. Instead the wind farm will be a monument to crowd pleasing notions of energy independence and freeing Vermont from the slavery of fossil fuel dependence. With some of the cleanest air in the country and a nearly non-existent carbon footprint from Vermont Yankee, it's hard to understand just what role the wind farm will play.
21 Nov 2009

Don't blame wind, officials say

Power producers have installed more than 500 megawatts of wind energy generation in Wyoming in the past year. One driver behind the wind boom presumably is action by other states in the West to require that utilities use certain percentages of renewable energy in their power supplies -- called renewable portfolio standards. ...That has many speculating whether renewable portfolio standards in other states are driving up rates in Wyoming, where there is no such requirement.
20 Nov 2009

State leads Champaign County down road to nowhere

Testimony from Ohio Power Siting Board staffer Stuart Siegfried on Wednesday in Columbus left no doubt that Champaign County is a lost little dog in the state's fledgling process to begin certifying industrial scale wind utilities in Ohio. Siegfried showed a disturbing lack of understanding of OPSB's own process with regard to determining whether to certify Buckeye Wind's application to site 70 wind turbines of up to 492 feet in height on Champaign County's east side.
20 Nov 2009

France's former president tilts at windmills

Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the former president who championed France's dependence on nuclear power, may seem a modern Don Quixote as he leads a fierce battle against the expansion of wind power turbines. But unlike the fictional knight charging at windmills, Giscard's quest may not be futile. Growing political opposition, a lack of government support, and changes in the regulatory framework mean that France is in danger of missing its ambitious wind power capacity target, set by the European Commission.
19 Nov 2009

On balance, the forthright answer is, not here

For many of those who have organized the effort to gain maximum local control over wind energy projects in nearby state waters, the superficial argument is that Islanders should decide what affects them. In fact, the underlying motivation is the determination to block developments that will change what we see and hear when we look out from the shore. It is a not-in-our-backyard argument. And, that's exactly the right argument for Islanders to make. The calculations that must form the foundation for a decision on such things as wind energy developments on or near the shores of Dukes County are tricky and crucial.
19 Nov 2009

Province considers wind-farm bailout; Project downsized to 138 megawatts

The Selinger government is considering a bailout deal to rescue the financially floundering wind farm slated to be built near St. Joseph. Following some pointed questions from Tory MLA Cliff Graydon during a committee hearing late Tuesday night, Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk acknowledged Pattern Energy has approached the government for funding and that the province is considering it.
19 Nov 2009

Senate to put off climate bill until spring

Senate Democratic leaders said Tuesday they would put off debate on a big climate-change bill until spring, in a sign of weakening political will to tackle a long-term environmental issue at a time of high unemployment and economic uncertainty. Legislation on health care, overhauling financial markets and job creation will be considered before the Senate takes up a measure to cap emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to climate change, Senate Democratic leaders said Tuesday.
18 Nov 2009

Paying extra for green power, and getting ads instead

The solicitations have been flooding people's mailboxes lately: pay a bit more on your electricity bill for 100 percent clean wind power. Or, the fliers say, buy "green power certificates" to offset your global warming emissions. Close to a million electricity customers have signed up for such payments voluntarily, and the amount of electricity sold in this way has nearly tripled since 2005, amid rising concern about climate change and energy security. But the participants are in a distinct minority, with a sign-up rate of only about 2 percent in programs run by utilities.
17 Nov 2009

Judge keeps wind energy targets on track

The High Court has thrown out a legal bid that had the potential of derailing the drive to achieving the UK's ambitious wind energy targets. Mr Justice Cranston rejected a challenge to the authority of South Norfolk Council and their decision to grant planning permission for a wind farm development at Lotus sports car factory. Campaigners had argued that the local authority had acted unlawfully because it had not considered the impact of the scheme on local residents.
16 Nov 2009

County says state siting rules for area wind farms unfair; Officials ask for end to designation

Umatilla County is again asking the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council to do away with a 400,000 acre box designated as an energy generation area. The box sits along the north border of the county, in about the center. It includes Milton-Freewater, Adams, Athena, Weston and some of Pendleton. In 1999 the siting council designated the EGA in response to a legislative mandate. The Oregon Department of Energy has been unclear on the EGA's original purpose, but some have said it was meant to analyze cumulative effects of many small wind farms in a given area.
15 Nov 2009

Wind turbine bill worries West County

A Patrick administration proposal that critics say would strip local control from the siting of wind turbines is still awaiting action on Beacon Hill. And some West County town officials say revisions in the legislation don't go far enough in addressing their concerns. The Hawley Planning Board wrote this week to Gov. Deval Patrick and area legislators opposing the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act.
13 Nov 2009

Wind turbine policy met with many questions

Early work on a unified wind turbine policy was met with many questions at Thursday's Burleigh County Planning Commission meeting. Bismarck City Planner Gregg Greenquist said the policy should be split between "household wind energy systems" and larger wind farms. Greenquist said a large expansion is planned for a wind farm near Wilton into the Burleigh County jurisdiction.
13 Nov 2009

Push for wind farms in Western North Carolina renewed, scaled back

Legislators declined this summer to clear the way for North Carolina to tap the power of mountain winds. Next year, they could decide whether to allow a single, experimental ridgetop wind farm. Rep. Phil Frye said at a Wednesday wind-energy forum that he plans to propose allowing the state to issue one permit for building rows of wind turbines on a ridge - which he hopes would happen at a site overlooking his hometown of Spruce Pine.
12 Nov 2009

Premier's green energy plan is faulty

This is in regard to the 'Green Energy Bandwagon' and the media's comments that go something like, "It's not as if wind power is controversial." Wrong, wrong, wrong. More than 4,000 (some say as high as 7,000) of these massive, noisy, 250-foot high industrial behemoths are being erected in the backyards of people living in developed communities throughout south central Ontario, for no practical reason whatsoever. A cost-recovery-benefit calculation of Dalton's Green Energy brain cramp shows his part-time industrial wind power plan is only beneficial to, and lucrative for wind turbine promoters and builders.
12 Nov 2009

Wind energy regs a balancing act

Wyoming's Wind Energy Task Force has delivered a 78-page report to state lawmakers outlining how the state and counties might regulate the fledgling wind energy industry. One of the toughest policy decisions for lawmakers may be how to offer counties some measure of control over wind development without superseding the authority of the state. "This is a matter of expressed powers.
11 Nov 2009

Upper Deerfield committee members join other local officials through NJ in opposing state green energy bill; may be too late

Township Committee members here hope someone can stop a state green energy bill now awaiting Governor Jon Corzine’s signature before it becomes law. The New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJSLOM) and officials in towns throughout the state joined them in opposing the bill, whose Senate version was S1303. The bill passed the Senate in late February and the Assembly in late June.
9 Nov 2009

McGuinty blows smoke on wind

Normally, I don't write about problems I encounter in getting information from government because I feel it's too "inside baseball" for readers. I'm making an exception because I think this incident illustrates the problems besieged opponents of industrial wind turbines living in communities across Ontario are encountering in getting straight answers from their own government. This, as Premier Dalton McGuinty appears hell-bent on erecting these giant steel structures, up to 40-storeys high, as fast as he can. The last time McGuinty was this juiced we got ... eHealth.
8 Nov 2009

Future of wind farms in doubt

Britain's biggest developer of offshore wind farms has hired Rothschild to sell stakes in its projects because it cannot afford to build them. The move by Dong Energy, the Danish power giant, casts fresh doubt on the government's carbon-reduction plans just six months after it ramped up subsidies to keep the offshore wind sector afloat. ..."The issue is that these projects require enormous amounts of capital and it's getting very difficult to justify," said an industry source. "The enthusiasm there once was has diminished."
8 Nov 2009

Wind power paradox

One of the UK's major wind power operators, EON UK, submitted evidence to a House of Lords select committee in 2008, pointing out that wind power needs backup from conventional fossil-fuelled power stations equal to about 90% of the wind installed capacity. In other words, once we have a lot of wind power, the paradox is that we have to build extra power stations to support it.
7 Nov 2009

CO2 curbs would be devastating

Regulations and mandates that force nationwide cuts in carbon dioxide emissions offer only speculative environmental benefits, if any, as a switch to wind and solar power will certainly cause more harm than good to the environment. But command-and-control forces in Congress are headed in that direction, with the House narrowly passing a bill to cap CO2 emissions, and the Senate taking up a companion bill this month.
7 Nov 2009
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