Articles filed under Energy Policy from Indiana
Indiana consumers are getting few benefits from wind-power energy produced here because most is being shipped out of state, a new report says. Indiana saw a 700 percent increase in total wind-generated power in 2009, an increase second only to Utah, according to the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report.
Legislation that could bring more wind turbines and solar power projects to Indiana has a good chance of passing in the upcoming legislative session after failing in the last session's closing hours, two state lawmakers say. While the General Assembly seems unlikely to require Indiana utilities to generate a specific amount of electricity from renewable energy sources, it may expand the state's so-called net-metering policy.
Why not harvest seemingly limitless wind and sunlight and eliminate the pollution inherent to fossil fuels? Legendary Texas oil man T. Boone Pickens made much the same argument when he promoted wind energy and natural gas during an appearance at Indiana University this month. Yet, a national study issued in August by The Nature Conservancy, a not-for-profit whose mission is to protect ecologically sensitive land and water, raises yellow flags even for wind and solar-not to mention biofuels.
Over the last several months, extensive arrays of thousands of windmills have been placed throughout the landscape of northwestern Indiana. Once located quite a far distance away from the roads , these windmill fields are now prominently visible along several highways just north of Lafayette. Along with the intense search for alternative sources for fuel currently being undertaken by several companies in the state, Indiana is beginning to do its part ...Unfortunately, the rush to place windmills throughout the corn fields along Indiana highways is not as innocent as it might first appear.
One thing could slow down or halt the development of wind farms in Indiana, and it's not community opposition, government regulation, shortage of wind or lack of interest by developers. Getting the electricity generated by the wind to actual customers is shaping up as the biggest obstacle, experts said at the second annual WIndiana conference this week.
Does anyone else hear an echo of the ethanol boom from three summers ago? ...All of this makes the effort to erect two giant wind farms in Boone County, the state's second-windiest locale, worth watching. Putting in the 300-foot turbines is one thing in sparsely populated Benton County, but as Boone County's executive director of the area plan commission, Steve Niblick, said: "We are different than other counties with wind farms."
After three years of disappointments, renewable-energy advocates are trying again to convince state lawmakers to commit Indiana to drawing an ever-larger amount of its electricity from the wind, sun and other renewable sources. ...Indiana is the only state in the Upper Midwest without a renewable-energy standard.
Gipe, who now lives in California, was in Fort Wayne last month to speak to two groups involved with the local stirrings of wind energy. And he knocked the wind out of the sails of those who think Hoosiers might be able to escape spiraling energy prices if homeowners would only plop a wind turbine on their roof or in their backyard. "It's just not economical for homeowners," he says of wind energy. But that isn't to say locally generated wind energy is out of the question, Gipe says. ...
A House committee voted down a bill Thursday that would have required Indiana to generate 10 percent of its electricity from wind and other renewable sources by 2018 - a measure supporters said would attract new investment to the state. The House Commerce, Energy and Utilities Committee defeated the bill on a 3-8 vote after its chairman, Rep. Dave Crooks, D-Washington, refused to consider amendments he said were concessions to the state's electric utilities. ...During a hearing last week before Crooks' committee, Ed Simcox, the president of the Indiana Energy Association, said Crooks' bill was too ambitious for Indiana and that it would have cost the state's utilities $5 billion to achieve the 10 percent renewable energy goal by 2018. "The percentages are too great," Simcox said at that meeting. He also said his utility industry group believes a state mandate isn't needed because companies are already pursuing renewable energy projects in Indiana without a mandate.
Several companies are expressing interest in developing wind farms in Randolph, Jay and Wayne counties. "Land owners in those counties are being approached by wind development people," said Tom Chalfant, president of the Randolph County Farm Bureau. "I'd guess 200 or 300 or more have been approached or would be affected by these projects." ...But as wind farms are developed in Indiana, "we need to give consideration to local concerns like property values and birds and bats," Menzer said. "We need to be sensitive to local concerns. We don't want to steamroll people like we've done with hog farms, merchant power plants and ethanol plants."
CAMBRIA, Wis. -- With empty storefronts on the main drag and corn stubble stretching for miles in the surrounding hills, this fading farm town seems like a natural stop for the ethanol express. Not to John Mueller, though. The 54-year-old stay-at-home dad has led a dogged battle to prevent a corn mill from building an ethanol plant up the hill from the village school. Concerned about air pollution, the water supply and the mill's environmental track record, Mr. Mueller and his group, Cambrians for Thoughtful Development, have blitzed the village's 800 residents with fliers, packed public meetings and set up a sophisticated Web site. The mill has fought back with its own publicity campaign and local corn farmers have taken to the streets in tractors to show support. Now, as the mill races to build the $70 million plant, the matter is headed to the federal courthouse in Madison, 40 miles southwest.
FOWLER -- U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar made several stops around Indiana on Monday supporting alternative energy sources. At a stop at an office here of Orion Energy LLC, Lugar said people need to change their thinking about energy. He said too many have the mentality that "there'll always be oil or natural gas -- there won't be. ... We need to forge our own energy dependence."
State Rep. Jack Lutz, R-Anderson, is facing criticism for opposing legislation to mandate the development of wind energy in Indiana. “Lutz’s response is that utilities should be free to set their own standards,” said rural Delaware County health worker Lee Ann Mengelt, a Democrat running for Lutz’s seat in the Nov. 7 election. Lutz said he opposed a proposed renewable electricity standard after co-chairing a legislative committee hearing that considered the issue in Muncie recently. The legislation would require each electricity supplier in Indiana to generate at least 10 percent of its total electricity from renewable energy sources — such as energy crops, organic waste, methane from landfills, solar cells and panels, fuel cells and wind — by 2017.
Wind-energy proponents did not convince state Rep. Jack Lutz on Tuesday that Indiana should require electric companies to generate at least 10 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2017. “I was very thrilled when I heard in August that Duke Energy did it voluntarily,” said Lutz, a Republican from Anderson who chairs the House Utilities and Energy Committee. “I think that’s proof we don’t need to mandate it.” Indiana’s first wind farm — to include up to 135 wind turbines — is under development on 10,000 acres in Benton County. Duke Energy Indiana has agreed to buy electricity from the project. During a day-long meeting Tuesday of the Indiana General Assembly’s Regulatory Flexibility Committee, which Lutz co-chairs, spokesmen said Indiana’s electric companies have been experimenting with generating electricity from the sun, animal waste, switch grass, wind and landfill gas.
With the state pushing the use of corn for gasoline, environmentalists and a group of farmers are fighting an uphill battle to have Indiana take a closer look at using windmills as power plants. The Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development plans to push for legislation to require electric companies to provide at least 10 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2017. Similar requirements are in place in 20 other states.......The bill faces stiff opposition from utilities and Gov. Mitch Daniels, who opposed a similar bill this year.
MUNCIE -- The ethanol industry in East Central Indiana is on the verge of a rapid expansion. Could that be followed by a wind energy boom? Yes, according to the Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development (INCREED), which is trying to build support for state legislation to jump-start the wind-power industry in Indiana. "One of the things we want to dispel is that we don't have any wind capacity in Indiana," said Grant Smith, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, during a trip to Muncie last week.
In advance of the summit, we asked Purdue President Martin Jischke, Amy Myers Jaffe of Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and Sue Cischke, vice president of environmental and safety engineering at Ford Motor Co., to explore issues surrounding the nation's energy needs.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Renewable sources of electricity should comprise 10 percent of Indiana's energy supply by 2016, according to a bipartisan group that will push such legislation next year.
A coalition of farmers, consumer groups and corporations want the state to adopt a standard that would require Indiana utilities to produce 10 percent of Indiana's electricity with renewable energy by 2016.