Library filed under Energy Policy from Massachusetts
Kenderdine said a large number of states that have passed renewable energy quotas for their utilities may find those requirements in danger, once new governors take office. In Maine, meanwhile, the push for developing wind power both on land and offshore may lose steam under LePage as the new governor, Rothstein said.
This new analysis prepared by the Beacon Hill Institute of Suffolk University shows how Massachusetts green energy policies will cost State ratepayers more than $9.8 billion over the next decade. These costs will be in addition to the market prices for energy, already among the highest in the nation, according to the authors.
Cape Wind - composed of unnecessary rate hikes, sweetheart deals and hidden costs - has been disguised by a clean, green energy cloak, camouflage enough to fool any environmentally conscious consumer into thinking that if it looks green, it must be good. Cape Wind is not good for Massachusetts.
Tillinghast also made mention of the economic and public safety hazards potentially posed by wind turbines. She said that not only would the scenery of Berkshire County be marred by turbines more than 400 feet tall, but that the noise pollution would significantly decrease property values for residents within two miles of the development.
Last spring all the skids were greased for a publicly funded $91 million "specialized vessel for installing offshore wind farms," according to a report filed by Danish ship builder Kurt Thomsen, who also happens to be a consultant to Cape Wind.
A Baker spokesman accused the Patrick administration of supporting a "sweetheart deal between Cape Wind and National Grid" that will push up already high electricity costs. Rick Gorka, Baker's spokesman, also said that Patrick's green-energy policies are "soaking ratepayers" with higher utility rates.
Ian Bowles, the state's secretary of energy and environmental affairs, argues that plenty of alternative power sources have emerged to date and supply should not be a big problem in the future. That seems like wishful thinking. Wind power, especially offshore windmills, and solar power are not cost-competitive today. I doubt offshore wind will compete on price in my lifetime, and I'm convinced solar power in the Northeast will remain too costly.
This Act explicitly authorizes this single state agency to approve wind projects regardless of local decisions and regardless of recommendations from other state agencies with expertise related to such projects. It also replaces environmental laws with weaker "standards" that can be waived solely at the discretion of that agency and eliminates rights of appeal by municipal officers, municipalities, and most by other parties.
This is exactly the position of the Cape Wind project where the price per kilowatt hour is to be more than double the typical charge. We have opposed this project and the Massachusetts state mandates that lie behind it. If any Atlantic Coast turbines carry similar cost penalties they should be opposed too.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles directed the DOER to revise its biomass regulations following a study on the sustainability and carbon impacts of burning biomass to generate electricity. The study by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences revealed new insights about greenhouse gas emissions from biomass plants.
"We spent so much time making it sweet for Cape Wind, we skewed the market,'' said Robert Rio, senior vice president of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, an industry group that wants the state to wait for cheaper renewables to be built. "Here, they are picking the winners and losers, but we should let the competitive market decide.''
We're not anti-wind. We're not anti-industry. We believe that wind farms have a role to play on appropriate land parcels, but this bill would force municipalities to adhere to the state's approval criteria and it would effectively silence opposition from property owners affected by a wind turbine installation.
A shift in the Patrick administration's wind energy development focus from state waters to federal waters came as welcome news last month to Islanders concerned about possible nearshore wind energy projects near Martha's Vineyard.
Cape Wind's stipulated low fees are yet another example of the government assisting development of wind power and other renewable-energy technologies. Cape Wind is also expected to be reimbursed about $600 million, via tax credits, after expected construction of the $2 billion wind farm.
Net metering was approved as part of the Green Communities Act of 2008 as a way of giving municipalities and homeowners an incentive to put up a wind turbine or solar panels. But a measure pending before the Legislature would transform this small-scale incentive program into a much broader, and costlier, renewable energy initiative.
When there is no wind no power is produced. When the wind blows at night, battery storage power is as primitive now as it was in 1990, with very little improvement. The Big Breakthrough in proton exchange membranes and fuel cells is still a research hypothesis ...Thus, based on economics the conclusion is that Cape Wind is a No Build project.
Massachusetts' planning for ocean wind development is inadequate. The state has recognized the more competent effort made in Rhode Island. The state's consideration of Cape Wind deserves a second visit. This is the moment to press for a tougher look at the wind energy question, at sea and on land.
What is the point of renewables? Avoiding net emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief gas behind alleged global warming. Other agendas, however, must have been in play when the requirements were set. First, nuclear-generated electricity, which emits no greenhouse gases at all, can't be counted toward the renewable quota, currently 5 percent of sales.
Lawyers for AIM also suggested that the expensive Cape Wind rates - which are more than twice as high as electricity from fossil-fuel power plants - are unfairly being applied to National Grid customers who technically buy their power from other energy suppliers.
The new area for federal leases begins 12 miles offshore, three miles farther out to sea than some locations in an earlier draft leasing plan, said Deerin Babb-Brott, state assistant secretary for Oceans and Coastal Zone Management. The planning area covers 2,542 square nautical miles, 1,300 square nautical miles less than originally proposed.