Articles filed under Energy Policy from Pennsylvania
The bill would require not only a greater amount of alternative energy in Pennsylvania but also increase solar's footprint to 7.5% for in-state grid-scale solar and 2.5% for in-state distributed solar generation. It would also get the Public Utility Commission to study a state renewable energy storage program, which would allow for more resiliency during the night and when the wind isn't blowing. And it would also seek to limit the costs of electricity increasing.
But many business groups oppose reentering RGGI at all. Tony Bawidamann, vice president of government affairs at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said the cap-and-trade program amounts to a tax on businesses that will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher energy costs. “This makes us less competitive in the region because the ratepayer is going to be paying more and more for energy use,” Bawidamann said. ...“It’s a costly state to live in, and this makes it even more costly,” he said.
Uncertainties over tax incentives for wind, rules regarding energy credit trading and questions over how to count turbines in the EPA plan cloud its chances for inclusion in the state's proposal.
Two studies spotlight how the Obama administration's political drive to make economic winners of “green” ventures with public subsidies is creating bubbles, obscuring true costs and threatening taxpayers. ...wind and solar, unlike natural gas, can't compete successfully on their own merits. When Washington engages in picking winners, taxpayers and the economy become losers.
The opening clauses of the resolution, which establish why a comprehensive wind study is necessary, declare that wind facilities are being constructed without adequately considering their effects on wildlife. “Research and guidance are required before potentially negative impacts on wildlife become severe and irreversible.”
“My overlying concern is for the Pennsylvania consumer whose wallet is taking a double hit – first when your electric bill goes up an anticipated 12 percent to 15 percent, and second through the grants that are offered as incentives to promote use of alternative energy. Wind and solar power are honorable endeavors that are unfortunately too cost prohibitive to be relied upon heavily. Until we can substantially increase the amount of energy they generate, we cannot rely heavily on them for a significant amount of our electricity needs.”
It requires that 8 percent come from renewable energy resources - like solar and wind - and another 10 percent come from alternative energy sources, including waste coal and large-scale hydroelectric power. The problem for consumers is that those types of energy are more expensive to produce than such traditional types as natural gas or coal.
Henderson said the prior administration, under former Gov. Ed Rendell, simply signed contracts with companies from Texas and Colorado to buy energy credits for the right to claim in advertising campaigns that Pennsylvania was supporting renewable energy.
Last week, the coal lobby gained what it considers a friend in the governor's mansion: Tom Corbett, a native of Western Pennsylvania, where coal still pays the bills in thousands of households and underwrites community projects, and where a coal queen is crowned every year. What that means for the state's fledgling alternative-energy industries is not yet clear. But the stakes are high.
Pennsylvanians are sick of centrally planned, highly regulated, gimmick-driven economic policy. It hasn't worked, and now they want results. And is there a greater example of useless, wasteful government scheming than the commonwealth's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard?
Critics ask how PennFuture’s status as an educational nonprofit squares with its efforts to pass laws that will create business for its contributors, such as BP Solar and Clipper Windpower. They also question its receipt of $1.5 million in state grants in the past three years. The Commonwealth Foundation blasted PennFuture with harsh language, calling the group a “lobbying laundering organization for alternative energy special interests.”
While the organization condemns the natural gas industry for its lobbying against increased and selective taxation of its investments, PennFuture has received nearly $1 million during the last five years from alternative energy companies. These companies benefited from PennFuture's lobbying.
Advocates, including Gov. Rendell, for long-in-the-making legislation that would increase requirements for alternative-energy use in Pennsylvania expressed pessimism Monday that passage could be accomplished before the General Assembly breaks for its summer recess.
State legislators questioned representatives of Gamesa USA and Iberdrola Renewables about the advantages and drawbacks of turbines in Pennsylvania. ...Rep. Mike Fleck supports renewable energy growth but is unsure about the proposed turbine projects. "I love that it's clean energy. I don't know that we need to blow off the tops of our mountains to have it," said Fleck.
A public informational meeting will be held Wednesday at the Butler Township Municipal Building for input into amending the township zoning ordinance to address wind turbine issues. The meeting, slated from 6 to 8 p.m., was announced at last week's meeting of the Butler Township Board of Supervisors by Chairman Kevin Kowalick, a Republican-Herald employee. The decision to amend the zoning ordinance was spurred by the plans of Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC to construct 27 wind turbines, or windmills, in the Fountain Springs area.
Despite reports to the contrary, none of the $294 million in stimulus money awarded Tuesday to Spanish wind company Iberdrola Renewables will be spent in Pennsylvania, according to company officials. ...Johnson said Iberdrola applied for stimulus money using projects already completed, like Locust Ridge II, as examples. She said the federal government was looking at a company's track record of success.
The latest generation of wind turbines needs bigger blades than the 140-foot-long, 6-ton models that Gamesa Technology Corp. Inc. has been making at its factory in Fairless Hills. So company officials announced 184 layoffs in January and said the blade work would be transferred to a larger Gamesa plant in the center of the state, near Altoona. And just that fast, manufacturing jobs that Spain-based Gamesa had delivered to this region less than three years earlier - aided by more than $10 million in financial incentives from Harrisburg - were gone
A tie vote by Tyrone Borough Council means wind turbines won't be going up on Ice Mountain - at least for now. "Half the town's going to be pleased," said Mayor Jim Kilmartin, one of three who voted against leasing borough watershed land to wind energy developer Gamesa USA. "Half the town will be unpleased." Councilmen Mark Kosoglow and Steve Hanzir also voted against moving ahead with the project that would put 15 to 20 wind turbines on the mountain as part of Gamesa's Sandy Ridge Wind Farm.
Tyrone Borough Council will vote on a watershed study that started a few years ago. ...The city has been going back and forth between building windmills or establishing a gas lease, but the mayor says windmills appear to be the best fit.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, under Democrat Governor Edward G. Rendell's administration, put together an Alternative Energy Package that was passed last year, where the state borrowed $500 million to stimulate conservation efforts and alternative energy sources, such as windmills and solar. Rep. Stern explained that all of those efforts combined are good, but at the same time, he questioned the state's investment of $500 million in taxpayer dollars. The state's reasoning to invest such a large amount of money was to gain investment return dollars.