Articles filed under Energy Policy

Wyoming considers nature of wind rights

As developers pursue the construction of wind farms in Wyoming, some questions linger about the nature of wind rights and how they relate to land ownership. Wyoming lawyers generally agree that whoever owns the surface of the land also owns the rights to develop wind resources. But the Wyoming Legislature has not addressed whether landowners can sever wind resources from their property, as state law allows for mineral resources.
4 Oct 2009

Northeast emissions project plots course for national plan

Maine was one of 10 states to create the nation's first market-based system to fight climate change. By putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions, it encourages large power plants to become cleaner and more efficient. It's too early to measure any effects on pollution or on electricity prices, especially given a recession that has reduced production - and thus emissions - far more than any government action.
4 Oct 2009

Wind power also comes with environmental costs

At the center of the back-and-forth between the Maine Public Utilities Commission and warring energy developers is a question of whether industrial-sized wind farms are feasible in Maine. ...The transmission line issue is not new to the PUC or to state and industry leaders who promote wind-power development in Maine. But it may come as a surprise to much of the public who see wind power as a clean form of energy that comes with little or no environmental cost.
4 Oct 2009

Winds of change; Power projects drive billions in grid upgrades

When the wind blows, a massive amount of power flows to the grid and "any time you get that amount of power into the auction system of the power pool, it's going to crush price," said Rob Falconer, director of distributed generation for the utility. The push to buy carbon offsets in a carbon-constrained world plays a strong role in developers' estimating profit margins, but existing uncertainty over prices makes the debate over sinking billions of dollars into extensive transmission projects even more relevant, he said.
3 Oct 2009

Briefing held on progress of proposed wind farms

Rhode Island's congressional delegation met with Governor Carcieri and other officials on Friday for a briefing on the progress of two wind farms being proposed in state coastal waters. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed and Representatives Patrick J. Kennedy and James R. Langevin were at the closed-door meeting at the State House to discuss regulatory issues surrounding the proposals.
3 Oct 2009

Law knocks wind out of Smelser moratorium

To paraphrase a southwest Wisconsin lawmaker, now the devil is in the details. On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill that calls for state regulators to come up with statewide rules for wind farms. The state Public Service Commission's rules will trump any local ordinances, including several moratoriums enacted by the Smelser Town Board of Trustees.
3 Oct 2009

Rural residents paying price for green energy act

I wish to express my grave concerns with the passing of Ontario's Green Energy Act. No matter where anyone buys a home, if it is near agricultural land, there is no guarantee that this land will not be used to erect industrial wind turbines more than 400 feet high, a mere 550 metres from the centre of your home, and residents are now powerless to prevent such an unwanted intrusion.
3 Oct 2009

Law on turbines' side: MPP

It's too late to stop the surge of wind-farm development in Ontario, even by arguing the turbines cause illness, says Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch. "As far as what they can do about it, there really isn't a heck of a lot," he said yesterday. ...Emotions ran high at Thursday's public meeting, which the health unit organized to provide wind turbine information to residents.
3 Oct 2009

Newburyport receives Green Communities grant

The city announced yesterday it is one of 103 Massachusetts cities and towns to receive a planning assistance grant from the Green Communities Program from state Department of Energy Resources. The grant will help communities like Newburyport take the necessary steps to becoming official Green Communities by providing free technical assistance to reach a set of pre-written standards.
2 Oct 2009

Scammed again

A few weeks ago I wrote about Public Act 295, called the “Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act.” This deceptively named law requires all Michigan utilities to produce 10% of their energy from renewable energy sources by 2015. Of course, the “renewable energy” they’re talking about is the kind we don’t have. Its water, biomass, and wind. It specifically excludes coal, nuclear and oil, three things we can buy or build that generate lots of cheap electricity. The kind of reliable, cheap power that people look for when they’re going to build a plant that employs people.
2 Oct 2009

Wind farm regulation a positive step

Regulating small wind farms in Wisconsin often is akin to holding a jury trial without a judge. Wind farm developers and municipalities argue their respective cases without anyone to referee the inevitable disputes that arise. That soon could change. ...Now it's up to the PSC to develop rules that are fair to everyone. Developers and local communities ultimately will be the judges of that.
2 Oct 2009

Ontario's iron-fisted energy model

At the G20 Pittsburgh summit, Canada endorsed a commitment to end subsidies to fossil fuel industries and step up subsidies to renewable energy sources. "We commit to...stimulate investment in clean energy, renewables, and energy efficiency," said the leaders. If anybody wonders what stimulating clean and green energy programs might mean to economic policy, a working model comes into effect today in Ontario.
1 Oct 2009

Settlement talks on CMP project questioned

At a confidential meeting today, parties including the staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and Central Maine Power Co. will seek ways to settle CMP's landmark request for a $1.4 billion upgrade of its transmission system. But two prominent parties in the case say the settlement attempt - initiated at CMP's urging - reflects political pressure by the utility's parent company and threatens to short-circuit a legal process that's meant to test whether the project is necessary in its proposed form.
30 Sep 2009

Councils ready to double wind power output

Danish Wind Industry Association managing director Jan Hylleberg said ‘Our surveys show there's a huge desire in the councils to construct more windmills ...however, the energy gained from any new wind turbines would almost be offset by the planned removal of older and malfunctioning ones by 2020.
30 Sep 2009

Naples takes turbine beef to state

With wind turbines literally on the horizon, Naples officials are again calling on state leaders to make sure the power-generating machines are farther away from the town's borders. ...Turbines on the hills near Naples became operational earlier this year. Plans for more turbines in Prattsburgh in Steuben County and Italy in Yates County give new urgency to the call for re-siting, said Naples Supervisor Frank Duserick
29 Sep 2009

Europeans blown away by govt-funded wind farms

Between 500 and 1,000 protesters gathered last weekend at Mont-Saint-Michel in France to demonstrate against plans to build a wind farm along the Normandy coast. They say it would be a useless eyesore disfiguring the bay area. The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW), along with four other environmental groups, organized the event "to denounce the massacre of our national and cultural heritage by the wind farm scourge." Though protestors hailed from France, Britain, Belgium, Holland, and Italy, the event received very little media coverage.
29 Sep 2009

Alternate-energy scramble on across West

In Utah, state officials are fielding various combinations of energy proposals, a list that includes solar and geothermal installations and an energy storage project ...Scores of projects - some speculative, others well-funded and a few quirky - have surfaced with energy companies eager to take advantage of loan guarantees and tax breaks being promoted by President Barack Obama.
28 Sep 2009

Floating turbines open wind potential

In the scramble to harness ocean wind power, floating turbine technology may be the holy grail. Turbines that can be floated into position and anchored in deeper water are the solution to much of the politics that confronts shallow-water projects, according to proponents of the concept. A pair of announcements this month seems to herald the next step into deeper water.
27 Sep 2009

There's nothing 'clean' about it

Small wonder one of the earliest, most enthusiastic backers of emissions trading in the U.S. -- which President Barack Obama and the Congress are about to drag Americans, and thus all of North America, into -- was Ken Lay, the late chairman of Enron. The now-infamous energy-trading company, later convicted of global fraud, predicted more than a decade ago emissions trading would "do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring" the fossil fuel industry.
27 Sep 2009
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