Library filed under Energy Policy
Sen. Chap Petersen’s (D-34) Clean Energy Future bill was wiped from the 2008 legislative agenda last week when the proposal calling for renewable energy sources and reductions in energy consumption was killed in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on a 3-12 vote. Senate Bill 446 would have required energy providers to produce 20 percent of their power through renewable resources by 2020. Petersen had touted the initiative heavily during his campaign for the Senate last year.
West has been trying for about three years to put her own personal wind turbine in her backyard, but she has run into some surprising obstacles and last month put up the only structure she has been able to erect so far -- a wind-monitoring tower. ...Park agency officials take the view that, regardless of purpose, a wind turbine is a structure taller than 40 feet. And the towers policy is meant to support the overall purpose of the APA, which, according to the Adirondack Park Agency Act, is to "insure optimum overall conservation, protection, preservation, development and use of the unique scenic, aesthetic, wildlife, recreational, open space, historic, ecological and nature resources of the Adirondack Park." Beautiful views have an economic effect, McKeever argues.
With a major wind farm in the works for Nantucket Sound, and as the town looks into ocean-based sites off Tuckernuck and elsewhere near the island, the Energy Study Committee is taking more of a landlubber's approach to wind power. The committee has submitted an application to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to have a "Municipal Wind Turbine Site Study" to assess the potential for generating wind power on government-owned land. ..."We don't want to alarm people," said energy commission vice-chair Barbara Gookin. "Just because we're looking at a site, doesn't mean we are going to build a turbine there."
The last objection to a Spanish power company's proposed $4.6 billion acquisition of the regional utility Energy East Corp. is from New York regulators who question the deal's promise to stabilize rates, boost the upstate economy, and generate more wind power. Public hearings on the proposal end this week in upstate New York. In January, Maine's regulator signed off on the sale of Energy East to Iberdrola SA. The deal would affect 3 million customers from upstate New York to Maine and would put Rochester Electric and Gas Corp. and New York State Electric & Gas Corp. under foreign ownership.
Husted and top GOP House leaders were planning to unveil new legislation today that rewrites -- and beefs up -- renewable energy provisions in the governor's comprehensive utility regulation bill, pending since last fall. The new bill will be sponsored by State Rep. Jim McGregor, a Republican from Gahanna, who earlier introduced a bill requiring utilities to generate 22 percent of their power with wind, solar and other renewable technologies by 2020. They would have had to pay heavy fines if they did not meet a strict time table. The measure stalled, but parts of it are now expected to resurface.
Executive Summary of a document prepared by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) which discusses the cost/benefit of deploying wind turbines to meet the Kansas Governor's challenge “to have 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity installed in Kansas by 2015.” Included below are sections 0.80 and 0.90 of the executive summary. The full document can be accessed by clicking on one of the below links.
City officials say they are making strides in the quest to build one of the nation's first urban wind farms. This week, Wyandotte plans to submit results from a one-year avian study to the U.S. Department of Energy. The findings, coupled with results gathered from two meteorological towers, are encouraging for plans to construct five turbines near the Detroit River, said Melanie McCoy, the city's general manager of municipal services.
Pacific Power is soliciting proposals for small renewable energy projects that can be up and running by the end of 2009. Oregon's renewable energy standard, passed in the 2007 legislative session, requires the state's largest utilities to get 25 percent of their electricity from new renewable energy by 2025, meeting interim benchmarks before then. Pacific Power's request specifies individual projects that produce less than 100 megawatts of electricity to be produced or delivered into its service network, which includes Oregon, Washington, Northern California, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. ...Utilities that don't meet the renewable energy standard benchmarks will be subject to fines yet to be determined
The Senate last week passed by a veto-proof majority a bill opening a door to the 1,400-megawatt expansion of the Holcomb facility owned by Sunflower Electric Power Corp. A roll call vote today in the House would determine if 84 votes exist in the chamber to protect its version from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto pen. After a three-hour debate Monday, the House gave tentative approval to its energy bill 73-45. Approval by a mere majority of House members would send the measure to a Senate-House conference committee to work out differences in the legislation.
Iberdrola SA, the Spanish utility seeking to acquire Energy East Corp. for $4.5 billion, is the largest wind power developer in the world. ...But research by the Times Union has found that even without the Iberdrola merger, nearly 7,000 megawatts of wind power could be in the pipeline through more than five dozen potential projects in the state. A 2005 study by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority found that the state could handle 3,300 megawatts of wind power -- about 10 percent of the state's peak need -- without seriously upgrading its transmission or operational infrastructure.
Department of Natural Resources officials announced that industrial wind development seemed appropriate for state land in Garrett County because so much private land will soon be planted with massive wind turbines. Given last year's legislative wind deregulation bill, so rife with cronyism, they're right. Now all a limited liability wind corporation need do to set up shop in Western Maryland is apply to the Public Service Commission, negotiate in secret with the grid for transmission line access, and get the PSC to hold a public hearing in the area. Even if 500 residents came to the hearing to oppose the project, with only a few approving, this outpouring would have no outcome on the permit.
Discussion of energy in Europe today tends to be dominated by what are described as environmental issues, chiefly the question of carbon emissions and global warming. So much so, in fact, that the rather more urgent matter of security of supply is all too often overlooked. But it is now becoming acute. ...the greater threat to Europe's energy supply lies at home, in the looming prospect of a growing gap between demand for electricity and the capacity of power stations to supply it. The problem is probably most acute in Germany, which is committed - on politically compelling but rationally inexplicable grounds - not only to building no more nuclear power stations, but to closing down those it already has.
A 1 GW coal or nuclear base load plant needs less than 500 acres. An equivalent 1 GW base load wind power at U.S. average capacity of about 22 percent would require 45,000 acres, plus another 5,000 acres for transmission corridors. Wind turbines the size of the LDS Church Office Building would be required every 240 feet along I-15 and I-80, spanning the entire state. Unfortunately at this spacing, the 250-foot-diameter blades of each turbine would intersect each other.
Local councils in the country's 28 windiest towns are digging in their heels against a national plan that would cluster the next generation of high-efficiency wind turbines within their borders, Politiken newspaper reports. ...Facing the prospect of asking their residents to accept an average of 35 giant wind turbines, local councillors are already warning national politicians that they are preparing to put up a fight.
The turbines would take up only 3 or 4 acres of dunes in the 409-acre park, FPL officials say, but to opponents like Coward that's too much. "It doesn't make any sense to me to promote green energy at the expense of our green spaces," said Coward. "I don't know that you could pick a worse site." Other commissioners are less certain about what to do, and want more information. "None of us are wind experts," said Commissioner Charles Grande, "although some of us are known for producing hot air."
Gov. Crist has committed the state to developing "green" energy that doesn't harm the environment. Now, he must direct state agencies, especially the Department of Environmental Protection, to stop approving little-tested technologies without setting standards. ...Last week, the state correctly backed off a hasty push to approve Florida Power & Light Co.'s request to build three, 40-story wind turbines on St. Lucie County public beaches. Even a planned April meeting is too soon to reconsider. FPL already plans six wind turbines on its own land. FPL has a booming wind business in other states, where turbines are inland, but little experience with coastal turbines.
Proposals to have Niagara County join a move toward "green" energy are making their way through the County Legislature. Measures recommended by the Working Families Party and introduced by six lawmakers call for pledging Niagara County to buying a fixed percentage of any wind-generated electricity produced in the county. Also proposed is a law that would require the county to buy federally certified energy saving products, such as appliances, when available. ..."There is definitely an up-front cost, but we see long-term benefits," Thampi said.
Because it is uncharted territory, Community Development Director Gordon Hydukovich is requesting a temporary moratorium on wind turbines. The city attorney will be asked during Tuesday's Fergus Falls City Council meeting to draft such an ordinance. It is necessary, Hydukovich said, until city code can be written clearly stating where they can be placed. The moratorium was prompted by an individual requesting to place a turbine in a residential area. Another request was submitted by an industrial user in the city.
Greenspan said it is "quite remarkable" that the US economy is able to do reasonably well with oil prices near historic highs. He also remarked, "Global warming is real, but its solution is going to be much more difficult than we'd like to admit." He said, "There's a presumption that we'll solve this [fuel and climate] problem with new technologies. I wish that were true." But then he also said that the use of electric-powered vehicles to displace much of the 9 million b/d of gasoline and 2.5 million b/d of diesel fuel used on US highways to electric "will have a large impact on world petroleum demand." Greenspan advocated greater use of nuclear energy and warned that a "mandatory cap on carbon emissions risks capping energy inputs into the gross domestic product while lowering production and increasing unemployment." He said, "I'm a strong advocate of competitive market capitalism.
What other country has politicians so gullible that they end up making their electorate pay to produce energy needed in another country? What other country would set a renewable-energy obligation that taxes its consumers to produce 18 per cent of electricity to compensate for the failure of England to reach its 10 per cent obligation? ...If England needs Scottish wind to fulfil its renewable energy target, surely English consumers should pay Scottish wind energy producers.