Library filed under Energy Policy from Kansas
Republican Jim Barnett thinks hydrogen could be a major player in Kansas’ energy future. Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius says the state should try incentives for contractors to build more energy-efficient housing. The candidates in this fall’s governor’s race offer different ideas for future energy needs and generation in Kansas. But both agree on Kansas’s current situation: The status quo must change. Both say Kansas must seek to depend less on energy created outside the state. They say clean-burning energy should be a priority and agree that global warming is a concern.
TOPEKA - House Utilities Chairman Carl Holmes, R-Liberal, expects five coal-burning power plants planned for Kansas in the next few years will be the last built in the state, given federal concerns over global warming and air pollution. But Holmes doesn't see a need for a moratorium on the new plants as requested by the Sierra Club this week. "What do we gain by doing that?" he asked during a break at a state-led renewable energy conference in Topeka. "I don't see this state putting in tougher standards than what's already on at the federal level."
TOPEKA, Kan. - Sierra Club wants Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to prevent the construction of new coal-fired electric plants and appoint a commission to study their potential environmental effects. The request Tuesday from the group's Kansas chapter was a response to plans by Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build three generating plants that burn coal to produce power outside Holcomb in southwest Kansas.
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack challenged regulators and utility companies in his state a few years ago to produce 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2010. The push, known as a renewable portfolio standard and other incentives, has helped develop Iowa into a national wind energy leader. With 135 giant wind turbines towering in the rural landscape of Wright and Hamilton counties and several other wind farms in north-central Iowa, the state has become the nation’s third-leading wind-energy producer behind Texas and California.
Kansas officials said Thursday they'd prefer to wait for the federal government to place new caps on carbon emissions rather than follow California's aggressive approach to curb global warming.
The state has formed an energy coalition, which has a goal to find ways to secure 25 percent of the nation's energy production from renewable resources by 2025.
Several audience members asked questions and made comments during the forum. Tyler McNeal, Stilwell, said the search for energy should not encroach on America's shrinking tall grass prairie, including in the Flint Hills of Kansas. "Tall grass prairie is considered one of the most important ecological systems in North America; that compares to the rain forest," McNeal said. "I'm concerned that this important, fragile ecosystem is threatened by the development, for instance, of industrial wind turbine complexes."
Whenever energy prices rise, the government promises to subsidize oil alternatives," said Jerry Taylor, an energy expert with the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that opposes government intervention in economies. "It's flushing money down the toilet."
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius Tuesday reorganized the state's energy council, adding three agencies to begin tackling consumption and alternative fuels issues.
The bill provides a 10 percent income tax credit, accelerated depreciation and property tax relief to energy companies expanding or locating new facilities in Kansas on projects up to $500 million. The credit moves to 5 percent if the project exceeds that cost.
CONCORDIA — In some ways, Raymond Kindel is on the leading edge of energy technology. Horizon Wind
Bill Griffith, chairman of the Sierra Club in Kansas, said conservation was the least costly form of new energy and held the most realistic potential for moderating short-term natural gas and electricity prices.
"We would rather the market prevail," said Dave Holthaus, lobbyist for Kansas Electric Cooperatives. "If indeed wind energy is cost effective, we'll be buying it like any other utility."
Given its location, Gray County would have displaced mostly NGCC and some oil fired generation. Using the average 2003 NGCC heatrate for the sub-powerpool (7,478 Btu/kWh) and the average CO2 content of natural gas (116 #CO2/MMBtu), the project may have displaced only 158,000 tons of CO2 in 2003 (0.00207% of 2003 US estimated emissions according to the USDOE report entitled Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States, 2003 (issued December 13, 2004). (Note in 2002, the output was less and it would have displaced only 140,000 tons).
“America can't afford to have an energy policy that's tailored to what's "in" politically. We need to focus our efforts on expanding meaningful alternatives to fossil fuels that can have a major impact on achieving energy security and reducing global warming.”
All too often I hear an enthusiastic statement that wind generators will replace the power plant and become the singular source of our energy supply. Despite what the infrequent visitor to western Kansas may think, the wind does not always blow. Consumers want to turn on the television or do the wash at any time, illustrating that the demand for electricity is present even when the wind is not blowing.