Articles filed under Energy Policy from USA

Texas gives early OK to wind energy power line project

A divided Public Utility Commission gave preliminary approval today to construct $5 billion in transmission lines to bring wind power from West Texas to urban areas. The project is expected to cost average household consumers about $4 a month. It should boost the state's wind farm business, already the largest in the nation, to even greater levels. It would increase capacity for wind generation to 18,456 megawatts. The plan, which is expected to be finalized later this month, is a middle ground between five scenarios ranging from $3 billion to $6.4 billion.
17 Jul 2008

Idaho Power chief discusses energy challenges, plans

The U.S. population is expected to grow by 45 million before 2026, and Idaho's population grew about 13 percent in the first sixth years of the century. In the past three years alone Idaho Power added over 40,000 new customers. That's all added up to the need for more generating capacity and transmission, and Keen said it's going to cost a bundle - about $300 million a year from now till 2010. ...recognizing that many renewable sources of energy don't produce power at a constant rate, Keen said new conventional resources must be sought out and expanded, including coal, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power. "Nuclear has to be a part of the solution long-run if we want to reduce our carbon footprint," he said.
17 Jul 2008

Legislators ask PUC to invest in renewable energy

Eight legislators from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex sent a letter to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Monday urging the Commission to opt for aggressive expansion of electricity transmission capacity from West Texas to reign in soaring electric bills and prevent further pollution of local air. ...The letter calls on the PUC to adopt Scenario 3 when it meets Thursday to continue its discussions regarding which scenario will offer the greatest benefits to Texans for moving electricity from the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) in West Texas and the Panhandle.
16 Jul 2008

T-Bone for Him, Slim Pickin's for Us

I haven't even mentioned that the cost of installing a land-based wind generator has risen 74 percent over the past three years; it's now pushing $2.6 million per megawatt hour. And there's no reason to believe that these associated costs won't continue to rise if some Congressional Mandate forces wind-powered electricity on us. This brings up the next point: That's exactly what promoters of this type of electricity are pushing for, a mandate from the government to move forward. ...Mandated structures don't work. Over the past 35 years Washington has given away untold billions in taxpayer monies or lost federal revenues for pie-in-the-sky ideas that were supposed to wean us off of foreign oil. But when Pickens says we imported 24 percent of our oil in 1970 and it's 70 percent today, he's absolutely correct: Congress gave those billions away and got us nothing in return.
15 Jul 2008

PSNH officials say millions of dollars of projects on tap

Boisvert said future projects only will result in more spending as the utility carries out needed improvements. She also said one of the most expensive projects on the horizon could be the proposed Coos County Loop. She said this project requires the transmission lines in Coos County to be upgraded so new biomass, wind and solar power generated there can be transported to Southern New Hampshire and other states as needed. Boisvert said PSNH has to carry out that project to meet the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards approved by state lawmakers. ... It has yet to be determined if the costs will be borne by PSNH ratepayers, New Hampshire state taxpayers or shouldered by customers of member utility companies that make up ISO-New England throughout the Northeast. "There's no definitive answer," Boisvert said.
14 Jul 2008

States trump feds on green energy policy

...much of the real greening of America is taking place at the state level. Driving the action are mandates - known ‘renewable portfolio standards' (RPS) and adopted by 30 states, as well as D.C. - that set targets, and timelines, for reaching a certain percent of overall power generation from renewable energy sources. ...Renewable energy remains more costly than conventional source of energy but that equation is quickly shifting in favor of renewables, and state mandates are accelerating that trend by driving adoption in the market, at initially moderate rates.
14 Jul 2008

PSNH officials say millions of dollars of projects on tap

Boisvert said future projects only will result in more spending as the utility carries out needed improvements. She also said one of the most expensive projects on the horizon could be the proposed Coos County Loop. She said this project requires the transmission lines in Coos County to be upgraded so new biomass, wind and solar power generated there can be transported to Southern New Hampshire and other states as needed. Boisvert said PSNH has to carry out that project to meet the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards approved by state lawmakers. ... It has yet to be determined if the costs will be borne by PSNH ratepayers, New Hampshire state taxpayers or shouldered by customers of member utility companies that make up ISO-New England throughout the Northeast. "There's no definitive answer," Boisvert said.
14 Jul 2008

An altitude change on wind power

There is ample evidence America's future for wind energy is mainly on the plains, not atop its peaks. If so, projects like TransCanada's 132-megawatt windfarm in northern Franklin County is perhaps the last of its kind. Maybe it should be. ... Turbines at high altitude just seem to attract controversy. Contested wind power plans for peaks in Roxbury and Byron, Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble Mountain were all proposed for above 2,000 feet.
13 Jul 2008

An altitude change on wind power

There is ample evidence America's future for wind energy is mainly on the plains, not atop its peaks. If so, projects like TransCanada's 132-megawatt windfarm in northern Franklin County is perhaps the last of its kind. Maybe it should be. ... Turbines at high altitude just seem to attract controversy. Contested wind power plans for peaks in Roxbury and Byron, Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble Mountain were all proposed for above 2,000 feet.
13 Jul 2008

Push for clean energy may capture the Lake Erie winds

At least two companies are interested in offshore wind development in New York's Great Lakes waters - BQ Energy, which developed Lackawanna's Steel Winds, and AWS Truewind. "I don't think it's inevitable, but I think it's very likely," said Bruce Bailey, AWS Truewind's president. There are significant obstacles and unknowns. ...Installing wind turbines in water can be at least twice as expensive because of the cost of mobilizing marine crews, the specialized nature of the installation equipment and the turbines and the need to move the power onshore, experts say. And that doesn't factor in what would be necessary to deal with the ice that often covers the eastern end of Lake Erie in winter.
12 Jul 2008

The Pickens Plan

The best location for the wind farms is the central part of the country but the power is needed in the big cities on the coasts. How do we get the power to the cities? Who is going to pay for those expensive power lines? This quote here makes me a little nervous: "But if we create a new renewable energy network, we can break our addiction to foreign oil." That word "we" has me checking to see if I still have my wallet. Does he expect us taxpayers to pay for this "renewable energy network"? Why does he "need our help", why do we have to "fight for it"? If wind power is such a good idea then go ahead and build the wind farm, why have a big PR campaign?
12 Jul 2008

State's deadline for renewable power in peril

California's big electrical utilities may miss the state's deadline for increasing their use of renewable power if Congress doesn't extend tax credits for new solar plants and wind farms, the head of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said Friday. Like all California utilities, San Francisco's PG&E has been scrambling to sign contracts with renewable-power developers. State law requires that by the end of 2010, 20 percent of the electricity each utility sells must come from renewable sources. But Peter Darbee, PG&E's chief executive officer, said many developers have already warned him that their projects may fall through if Congress doesn't extend tax credits due to expire at the end of the year.
12 Jul 2008

Push for clean energy may capture the Lake Erie winds

At least two companies are interested in offshore wind development in New York's Great Lakes waters - BQ Energy, which developed Lackawanna's Steel Winds, and AWS Truewind. "I don't think it's inevitable, but I think it's very likely," said Bruce Bailey, AWS Truewind's president. There are significant obstacles and unknowns. ...Installing wind turbines in water can be at least twice as expensive because of the cost of mobilizing marine crews, the specialized nature of the installation equipment and the turbines and the need to move the power onshore, experts say. And that doesn't factor in what would be necessary to deal with the ice that often covers the eastern end of Lake Erie in winter.
12 Jul 2008

Decision of offshore wind farm could come as early as July 31; Federal regulations critical to wind farm

Representatives of four state agencies will reconvene Thursday, July 31, and have planned to cast their final vote on a contract between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power that could lead to the nation's first offshore wind farm. Representatives of the two companies say they are optimistic the state agencies' representatives will support their contract. ... Changes were made to the state's renewable energy portfolio requirements, giving Delmarva Power 350 percent credit for each renewable energy credit it purchases from Bluewater Wind.
11 Jul 2008

Nuclear power's comeback in Germany

The idea was that, in the intervening years, electricity produced with renewable energy technologies would grow to the point that the shift away from nuclear would hardly be noticed. That, though, is looking increasingly unlikely. Despite a decade of massive investment and generous programs established to promote wind, solar and biomass power generation, green energy sources make up just 14 percent of the country's energy supply. Even if that were to double in the near future, the lion's share of Germany's energy consumption would have to come from elsewhere. Without nuclear power, "elsewhere" in Germany necessarily means coal-fired power plants.
11 Jul 2008

Bush Rejects Regulating Greenhouse Gases

The Bush administration on Friday rejected regulating greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, saying it would damage the U.S. economy and cause too many job losses. In a 588-page federal notice, the Environmental Protection Agency made no finding on whether global warming poses a threat to people's health, reversing an earlier conclusion at the insistence of the White House and officially kicking any decision on a solution to the next president and Congress. The White House on Thursday rejected EPA's conclusion three weeks earlier that the 1970 Clean Air Act can be both workable and effective for addressing global climate change. Instead, EPA said Friday that law is "ill-suited" for dealing with climate change.
11 Jul 2008

The wind cries 'Bailout!'

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens launched a media blitz this week to announce his plan for us "to escape the grip of foreign oil." Now he's got himself stuck between a crock and a wind farm. ...Even if wind technology significantly improves, electrical transmission systems (how electricity gets from the power source to you) are greatly expanded and environmental obstacles (such as environmentalists who protest wind turbines as eyesores and bird-killing machines) can be overcome, the viability of wind power depends on where, when and how strong the wind blows - none of which is predictable.
10 Jul 2008

PSC slates final comment, vote on Bluewater

State officials outlined the final steps needed to approve the Bluewater Wind contract with Delmarva Power on Tuesday, as the federal government published long-awaited proposed rules for offshore wind farms. ...During the meeting, Bluewater Wind President Peter Mandelstam noted that the federal Minerals Management Service had just unveiled 450 pages of proposed rules governing offshore wind farms. None has been built off the U.S. coast, and none can be placed in federal waters until the rules are enacted. Federal waters begin three miles from shore.
9 Jul 2008

Windmills should stand on merits

The large wind farms just to our north on the Kenedy Ranch are under construction and the owners expect to have 250 wind turbines generating enough electricity to power some 90,000 homes by the end of this year. ...While the privately owned Kenedy Ranch is the site of wind farms under development by private corporations, the government continues to prop up the industry through subsidies in the form of tax credits. In other words, wind farm development likely would be a less attractive business venture without help from the government.
9 Jul 2008

Windmills should stand on merits

The large wind farms just to our north on the Kenedy Ranch are under construction and the owners expect to have 250 wind turbines generating enough electricity to power some 90,000 homes by the end of this year. ...While the privately owned Kenedy Ranch is the site of wind farms under development by private corporations, the government continues to prop up the industry through subsidies in the form of tax credits. In other words, wind farm development likely would be a less attractive business venture without help from the government.
9 Jul 2008

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=173&topic=Energy+Policy&type=Article
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