Last week, the New England Energy Alliance in Boston, released the results of its annual survey of New England energy consumers. Paul Afonso, executive director of the Alliance and a former Massachusetts utility regulator, summed the results up this way: "Overall, the main concern of New Englanders continues to be the economy and pocketbook issues. If voters think any policy - private or public - will bring down the cost of energy, they will support it."
Laura Israel's award-winning documentary, WINDFALL, is catching the attention of film reviewers around the world. WINDFALL tells the story of how residents in a small community in upstate New York responded upon learning a utility-scale wind energy facility might be situated in their town.
The United Kingdom has long been regarded as having the best wind resource in Europe.
Several years back, we wrote how the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), a quasi-public agency tasked with encouraging renewable energy technologies in the State of Massachusetts, gambled $5.28 million in public funds to purchase two new (at the time) Vestes V82 – 1.65 megawatt wind turbines. MTC hoped to jumpstart local public renewable projects by making the Vestas turbines available for sale.
The American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) newly released Annual Market Report for 2010 can be summed up in one word -- Spin!
[Editor's note: Windaction's executive director, Lisa Linowes, attended the March 19 DC premier of Laura Israel's Windfall.]
Late last week, the House of Representatives passed HR-1, the Continuing Resolution legislation needed to fund federal government operations through to September 30, the end of the 2011 fiscal year.
The House of Representatives is working to slash federal discretionary spending.
In the waning hours of the tax bill debate last December, the Obama Administration and GOP leaders released the terms for continuing the Bush-era tax cuts. The framework negotiated between the parties initially omitted any reference to extending the renewable energy programs introduced under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which were scheduled to sunset last December.
California has one of the most aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standards ('RPS') in the country requiring 33% of the electricity sold in the state come from renewables by the year 2020. A ruling this month upped the ante on utilities by mandating that 75% of the energy come from projects located in the State. Despite the enormous pressure on utilities to meet the RPS standards, the State has demonstrated that not every project should be built.
Wind energy is unreliable.
... Installations of wind energy by the end of 3rd quarter 2010 stood at 1,634 megawatts, down 72 percent from 2009, and the lowest level since 2006.
The headlines were abuzz last month following Energy Secretary Steven Chu's talk at the National Press Club where he dubbed the global race for clean energy our new "Sputnik Moment" and warned that the U.S. risked falling behind other countries. In this imaginary race, our competition is no longer the Soviet Union, but China, which now leads in the manufacture of wind turbines and solar panels.
The pressure is on to finalize the proposed tax bill before Congress that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans. Last minute amendments are expected in order to garner support among lawmakers who oppose the initial agreement forged between the White House and key Republicans. The worry now is whether the bill will become a vehicle for piling on more spending as the lame duck session finishes up.
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.
Windaction is closely tracking several important stories involving wind energy development that we will be reporting on in more depth in the coming weeks. Highlights of two of these stories are detailed below.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is on a mission to keep its members fat and happy as they bloat up at the public trough. The goals are simple:
This week, we were treated to the Department of Energy's latest advocacy on wind energy: the release of a new report proclaiming the benefits and feasibility of developing wind power along the coastal waters of the United States. The report adds little to the claims touted in DOE's "20% Wind Power by 2030" published in 2008 but this time the focus is on 54,000 megawatts of wind off our eastern seaboard, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes. Water depths on the Pacific Coast, according to the DOE, still pose a "technology challenge". 
This week, utility giant National Grid teamed up with Nantucket High School in Massachusetts to erect a 100 kilowatt wind turbine on school property. The 158-foot turbine  is located immediately adjacent to the school's football and baseball fields and by the road that runs behind the school.
Senate Jeff Bingaman, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, signaled he's determined to see a national renewable portfolio standard ("RPS") passed in the Senate before the members recess for the fall campaign season. Joined by majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and twenty other co-sponsors including three Republicans: Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Susan Collins of Maine and John Ensign of Nevada, Bingaman introduced new RPS legislation that will require retail suppliers of electricity to secure a percentage of their generation from renewable energy resources.