Library filed under Impact on Economy

Renewable energy targets in doubt as expensive wind power runs out of puff

About $18 billion is needed for wind farm construction in Australia to meet government renewable energy targets. But weak electricity prices and a troubled subsidy scheme threaten to jeopardise returns on projects. ...Without subsidies, current electricity prices would need to triple to justify new wind capacity, which costs about $2.5 million per megawatt to build.
6 Dec 2010

Vermont's pending price shock

Last month, the State of Massachusetts approved the most expensive power purchase agreement in the country -- a 15-year contract negotiated between Cape Wind and National Grid to sell one-half the project's 468 megawatts at 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour.
3 Dec 2010

Germany’s offshore wind: Wasted resources, environmental blight

Europe's energy consumers must pay 20 cents per kWh generated, plus an additional 5 cents per kWh for transmission costs. They must pay this regardless of whether they need the electricity at the moment, and despite the fact that a kWh of wind electricity is worth less than 3 cents on the Leipzig Power Exchange, due to the intermittent and highly variable nature of wind.
1 Dec 2010

Harnessing wind to help economy

South Dakota's wind energy industry is confident that if given the right incentives, short-term production gains would be a boon for the state's economy, and in 15 years, the state could be producing 10 times as much energy from wind as it is today. ...Not everyone shares this optimistic view. "Your state is being used because it has land," was the blunt assessment of Lisa Linowes, executive director of the New Hampshire-based activist group Wind Action. Linowes said the wind industry's economic forecasts typically don't take into account higher utility rates or the unreliability of wind as a power source. That the industry has potential to expand is a testament to years of government preference, not merit, she said.
1 Dec 2010

Renewable energy push leads to price jolt for rural electric co-ops

Minnkota Power Cooperative, which supplies electricity for a wide swath of eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, has been delivering a jolt to its member rural electric cooperatives. A combination of factors involving the economics of wind power in Minnesota have led the power provider to tack on a surcharge adding almost 10 percent at the wholesale level.
22 Nov 2010

BPA proposes 8.5% rate hike

BPA will also recover the costs of integrating rising amounts of wind power into the transmission grid through a separate wind integration charge paid by wind developers and purchasers. That rate will be determined through the same process of setting power rates.
18 Nov 2010

Agency cuts rate increase sought by Alliant Energy; PSC says utility was tardy with reports

Higley said concerns about the wind farm underscore the significance of the lawsuit that his group and the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group filed last year after the commission approved the wind farm. The commission didn't use its most exhaustive review process for the project because it was located outside Wisconsin, but Higley and Todd Stuart of WIEG said it's possible the transmission challenges would have become apparent earlier if the more detailed review process had been used.
12 Nov 2010

WPL is penalized for unclear information about wind-farm project

Wisconsin Power & Light got a slap on the wrist from state regulators for not making it clear that there will be problems getting electricity out to consumers from a major wind farm the Madison utility company is building in Minnesota. Last April, WPL requested a $35.4 million rate boost for 2011, primarily to help pay for the Bent Tree wind farm near Albert Lea, Minn.
12 Nov 2010

Wind energy jobs: A slow go

Outside of manufacturing, wind jobs are not so much in demand. One example: on the new Prairie Wind development near Minot, N.D., there are 77 turbines but the project requires just eight operations and maintenance employees, or about one for every 14 megawatts. As a job-creator, wind proponents themselves admit that coal plants put many more people to work.
11 Nov 2010

BPA officials talk power costs in Heyburn

Due to a variety of factors, including the volatility of wind energy, its managers have predicted rates may have to increase at least 6 percent in both the 2012 and 2013. ...Because wind is so variable, BPA has to maintain other reliable base generation to handle energy fluctuations, which also adds to its financial pressures.
10 Nov 2010

Power company to propose lower rates

The head of Bonneville Power Administration told local utilities Tuesday that the agency proposes keeping rate increases lower than projected for the next two years, but ratepayers will get less certainty in return. ...Franklin PUD and other smaller utilities in the region said their increases will not be as large because they don't have the same renewable energy requirements as bigger utilities.
10 Nov 2010

Cost of green power makes projects tougher sell

Even as many politicians, environmentalists and consumers want renewable energy and reduced dependence on fossil fuels, a growing number of projects are being canceled or delayed because governments are unwilling to add even small amounts to consumers' electricity bills. Deals to buy renewable power have been scuttled or slowed in states including Florida, Idaho and Kentucky as well as Virginia.
8 Nov 2010
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