Articles filed under Energy Policy

National Grid is making millions on wind power. You're paying extra for it.

They knew that power from the Block Island Wind Farm would be expensive but were willing to pay the price in the hopes that the project would spur creation of a new clean-energy industry in the state. What they didn’t bargain for was that the wind farm would become a gold mine for an energy company that already had a dominant presence in Rhode Island: National Grid.
9 Apr 2021

The Germans now pay by far the highest electricity prices in the world

Rather, the new cost driver on consumers' electricity bills is network charges. In the course of the energy transition, network operators have to build reserve power plants and keep them operational, compensate market participants for line bottlenecks and erect thousands of kilometers of extra-high voltage lines. The West German electricity network operator Amprion has just doubled its investment volume for the next ten years to 24 billion euros. "The increased network usage charges and the increase in value added tax have led to this noticeable burden," says Lasse Schmid, Managing Director Energy at Check24: "The minimal reduction in the EEG surcharge cannot compensate for that."
4 Apr 2021

HB 1381 passes senate committee with amendment; Huhn calls it 'acceptable'

The Utility Committee seems to have heeded Huhn’s word. Senator Mark Messmer drafted what was referred to as Amendment Three, significantly changing the bill. This amendment grandfathers in counties that have more restrictions on renewable energy systems than the standards in the bill, like Henry County’s current wind energy conversion systems (WECS) ordinance. This amendment also reduces the noise limit a wind turbine can make to 50 db (it was higher in the original draft) and increases setbacks from municipalities and state parks to one mile. But most notably, the amendment does away with mentions of home rule, and changed the appeals process – instead of appealing to the IURC, complaints would be filed with the local circuit courts. This was done in an effort to keep more local control.
3 Apr 2021

Biden’s big infrastructure plan would further boost renewable energy

President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan would supercharge an already booming clean-power sector by expanding subsidies and addressing key bottlenecks impeding the shift to a greener grid. The plan, unveiled Wednesday, calls for the creation of a new tax credit to support the construction of high-voltage transmission lines, a major roadblock for the build-out of renewable energy.
1 Apr 2021

Now the energy transition is becoming a danger for all of Germany

The assumptions of the Ministry of Economic Affairs regarding security of supply for electricity are "partly too optimistic and partly implausible", criticize the auditors. The ministry also did not examine a scenario in which several foreseeable factors coincide that could jeopardize security of supply. So it could be that the network expansion is delayed and at the same time the cross-border transmission capacity is restricted. The Federal Ministry of Economics argues that “a stacking of various disadvantageous scenarios is not sensible according to the state of the technical discussion”. However, the examiners found this objection “not convincing”. Further uncertainties would arise from the increasing demand for electricity for the electrification of transport and for the production of the energy carrier hydrogen in electrolysis plants. The auditors therefore do not share the assumption of the federal government that electricity demand will remain more or less stable until 2030.
31 Mar 2021

Texas Senate passes bill aiming to counter federal subsidies for wind and solar power

The fees are included in a bill that is the most wide-ranging response yet to pass the Texas Senate dealing with the power outages from the winter storms. Beside the fees on solar and wind producers, the legislation would create an alert system to warn Texans about impending power outages, and would require all electricity providers to weatherize their facilities and transmission lines — a major source of the midstorm power outages. It would also prohibit the wholesale electric index plans that resulted in astronomical bills for some consumers.
29 Mar 2021

Why is China Buying Texas?

Experts warn the Chinese will be able to monitor and potentially interfere with air traffic at America’s largest pilot training facility at Laughlin. The project gives the Chinese communists a foothold in the Texas power grid. As now-retired Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast points out, if the power or water stops, Laughlin AFB stops working. “It triggered alarms the first time that we got evidence of Chinese money.”
25 Mar 2021

Texas’ blackouts blew in on the wind

For every 39 cents the oil-and-gas industry received in federal taxpayer subsidies from 2010 to 2019, the wind industry received $18.86, 48 times as much, and the solar industry received $82.46, 211 times as much. By 2029 Texans will have spent $2.5 billion subsidizing wind and solar farms through local property-tax abatements and $14 billion building the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone’s transmission lines through their electricity bills. While most businesses must pay to bring their product to market, wind and solar get a free ride from Texas taxpayers.
19 Mar 2021

State gives renewable energy developers a blank check in site selection

A 2020 state law stripped local control from the site selection process, in effect giving renewable energy developers a blank check regarding site location. From Queens to Grand Island, local control has played a role in Amazon’s site selection, but the state has decided that for renewable energy local input is irrelevant. If this seems like a staggeringly incongruous application of land use strategy, you’re right.
11 Mar 2021

Wind power was thriving in Texas. Then came the freeze

If nothing is done to unwind the power prices, they wrote, at least 46 projects totaling nine gigawatts of capacity “would suffer severe financial losses.” There are 31.9 gigawatts of wind power on the main Texas grid, and half or more were financed with hedged contracts, according to market observers.
4 Mar 2021

Energy regulatory bill criticized; County opposes state controlling rules over wind, solar

The Allen County commissioners Friday joined with those of more than 40 other Indiana counties in opposing a state bill regulating renewable energy. Commissioners said House Bill 1381, which would set standards for wind and solar installations, would place decisions about them at the state level instead of in the hands of local officials. The bill includes setback requirements, height restrictions and sound-level rules usually handled by local plan commissions and zoning boards and would replace a patchwork of local rules.
27 Feb 2021

After 45 hours with no electricity, some top takeaways from the Texas blackouts

The first and most important point is this: We ignore the fragility of the electric grid at our peril. The Texas Blackouts are a stark reminder that the electric grid is our biggest, most important, and most complex network. Its strategic importance to our society cannot be overstated. The electric grid is the mother network, the network upon which all of our most-critical networks depend. We must pay more attention to its resilience and reliability.
26 Feb 2021

Xcel plans to double its renewable energy generation by 2030. It’ll cost consumers $8 billion to do it.

The centerpiece of the plan is a dramatic increase in renewables and storage, adding approximately 5,600 MW of new capacity. This includes 2,300 MW of wind power, 1,600 MW of large-scale solar projects and 400 MW of battery storage. Another 1,300 MW of distributed solar, such as community solar gardens, would also be added.
25 Feb 2021

http://www.windaction.org/posts?topic=Energy+Policy&type=Article
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