Articles filed under Energy Policy
The renewables industry is demanding Chancellor Angela Merkel ends an impasse over a damaging planned distance rule for onshore wind and a cap on support for solar power. Both issues were supposed to be tacked at a meeting today with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states, but energy issues were adjourned due to pressing discussions on the Coronavirus.
A bill that would make utilities buy more electricity from local, renewable sources has strong backing from Vermont’s solar industry. But some utilities and the Scott administration are concerned that the new requirements will lead to rate hikes, especially in the state’s poorest regions.
The bill also doesn’t include any extension of investment tax credits for solar power or federal tax credits for electric vehicles that were left out of the $1.37 trillion spending bill passed by Congress in December. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, plans to seek amendments to the new Senate energy bill to extend these tax credits as well as push for more stringent building codes, The Washington Post reported Monday. Efficiency groups are also decrying the bill’s absence of a provision to allow homeowners to qualify for larger mortgages for more energy-efficient homes.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo late last month amended his state-budget proposal to let him ram through approval of wind and solar “farms” over local objections. It’s a classic Cuomo power grab — outrageous both on the merits and in how he aims to pull it off.
"It eliminates the role of local zoning laws, allows for eminent domain takings of land, guts critical environmental review, and limits a town’s taxation and assessment powers and ability to negotiate host community agreements," Simon and Dewart said in a prepared statement.
Advocates for local governments are pushing back against a Cuomo administration plan to speed up the siting process for renewable-energy generating plants. ...supporters of local scrutiny say such projects shouldn't be forced into communities that object to them and they fear Cuomo's plan could alter the character of towns that want to have a say in the siting of proposed industrial-scale power generating stations.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants 70% of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. That's got state agencies looking at ways to speed up permitting for wind and solar projects, worrying opponents of larger developments. Permitting for big wind farms could get a lot faster under new Cuomo proposals
“Transitioning to a zero carbon grid and increasing the penetration of intermittent, renewable generation means that conditions on the grid can become more volatile." ...But this boom in wind has also meant that constraint management is becoming increasingly challenging and expensive. In the first six weeks of 2020, National Grid made £55.7 million worth of payments for constraint management, almost half of the total of £130 million paid in 2019.
But the bill’s call to double — from 10 percent to 20 percent — the amount of renewable energy that utilities would have to purchase from new Vermont sources like solar seemed to be a bridge too far for some senators. ...Officials from Vermont Electric Power Company, which manages the state’s electric power distribution, estimated it could cost $900 million to upgrade the grid with enough battery storage to handle the jump to 20 percent renewables.
The Wyoming House of Representatives agreed to the introduction of a bill that would ban the disposal of wind turbine blades in the state. The House passed the introduction of the bill as part of a consent list vote on Thursday, Feb. 13. The vote was 50-9.
Sponsored by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate File 125 would have required energy utilities to provide 95 percent of their electricity from a restricted list of energy sources by 2021 and 100 percent by 2022. The list included coal, oil and natural gas — the state’s primary economic engines — but notably omitted utility-scale wind and solar power. Under the bill, if a utility had chosen to invest in renewable energy sources, the state could have penalized the company with a fine for each megawatt of energy not produced from the sources deemed acceptable.
Expanded renewable energy law, long-term utility planning or targets set by the governor are all on the table.
In its latest $75.7bn strategic plan for 2020-24, Petrobras earmarks investment in R&D for renewables and decarbonisation of $70m a year ...By contrast, a year earlier in the 2019-23 plan Petrobras had earmarked $417m for renewables, including the development of offshore and onshore wind, and solar PV.
Renewable energy projects also have spawned large demonstrations. In Kahuku, more than 160 people were arrested last year after staging protests of AES Corp.’s Na Pua Makani wind farm – a project being developed on state agriculture land despite longstanding opposition by residents. Renewable energy projects on Maui and the Big Island have been hindered by litigation. And the pushback comes as Hawaiian Electric is really just getting started.
Locals questioned the reliability of renewable power, arguing it is propped up by subsidies and too untested to shoulder the demands of the electrical grid. Repeatedly, speakers portrayed a dark vision of a future where solar panels and wind turbines crowd Wyoming’s vistas and degrade its wildlife and where electricity prices rise even as rolling blackouts disrupt western cities.
“The industry estimates that, given that power demand is growing, an expansion (of onshore wind) by 5,000 MW per year is essential in order to reach the 65% target by 2030,” they said in a joint statement. Their data showed operators installed only 1,078 megawatts (MW) of new onshore capacity in 2019.
Power prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe, not least due to the costs arising from the launch of renewable energy sources – but many customers continue to support the country's energy transition regardless. While wholesale electricity prices on average have been in decline in recent years, surcharges, taxes, and grid fees raise the bill for Germany's private households and small businesses. However, market observers say that power costs are often not even high enough for customers to look for cheaper alternatives.
But while energy and capacity market prices can go up and down, REC prices in New York are currently fixed when developers bid for projects through NYSERDA, the state agency responsible for centralized procurement of RECs. The difference with the new order is that instead of staying fixed, the indexed REC price will go up or down, depending on the direction of prices in the energy and capacity markets, to ensure there's a consistent amount of revenue for developers and projects always get what they need, Katofsky explained.
An investigation is underway to find the root cause of the blaze, which occurred at Phong Dien 1 wind farm in the south-central province of Binh Thuan. The farm is owned by Vietnam Renewable Energy JSC (REVN), which has been forced to halt all other turbines at the project to serve the investigation.
A central fight surrounds whether the government considers climate change concerns when analyzing a project. Environmentalists want agencies to look more at "cumulative" or "indirect" impacts of projects. The Trump plan shuts the door on that. ...The American Wind Energy Association said NEPA rules have caused "unreasonable and unnecessary costs and long project delays" for land-based and offshore wind energy and transmission development.