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The renewable power mandate in Kansas, which helped vault the state to become one of the top six wind power producers in the country, may be about to become a victim of its own success. Gov. Sam Brownback is poised to sign a bill repealing the mandate and making it voluntary instead.
The bill strikes the state's current requirement, known as a "renewable portfolio standard," or RPS, which requires electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2020 and replaces it with a voluntary "goal." It also reduces property tax exemptions for renewable energy projects to 10 years instead of the life of the project.
Despite goals that require the growth of new renewable energy projects, towns and advocates say lawmakers have not taken up meaningful legislation on how and where to better build solar and wind projects. Hallquist said the state may need to revisit its renewable energy goals if communities continue to push back against renewable energy developments.
Gov. Paul LePage has submitted three bills to the Legislature aimed at lowering energy costs, but clean-energy advocates said Tuesday that the measures would dismantle years of state policies that support renewable energy and efficiency programs.
The green energy movement in America is dead. May it rest in peace. No, a majority of American energy over the next 20 years is not going to come from windmills and solar panels. ...What crushed green energy was the boom in shale oil and gas along with the steep decline in the price of fossil fuel that few saw coming just a few years ago.
As state legislative sessions kick into high gear, three damning pieces of legislation - including two particularly crippling bills for wind energy - advanced in Texas, Nebraska and North Carolina.
The bill, L.D. 1329, would eliminate the “expedited permitting” that industry supporters say has been key to making Maine the top wind power state in New England. Critics contend, however, that the law has forced Maine taxpayers to subsidize a costly and unpredictable energy source that mars the landscape while offering few, if any, environmental benefits.
But while the bill has bipartisan sponsorship — It's sponsored by state Sens. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) and Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-Somerset) — it's unlikely to be law any time soon. Supporters and sponsors admit that if it makes it as far as Gov. Chris Christie's desk, they expect him to veto it.
The agreement is the culmination of several attempts to roll back the RPS, which requires utilities to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Last year, Brownback urged wind energy and conservative business groups to come to a compromise on the issue.
Gov. Sam Brownback joined business and legislative leaders Monday to unveil legislation transforming the state’s mandate to expand renewable energy into a voluntary goal and to reset tax policy for developers of power production facilities.
Legal experts say the challenge to Connecticut’s renewable incentives is unique for many reasons. While the dormant Commerce Clause has been cited in cases regarding clean energy policies, it has not been used against a state that limits its renewable energy to the region, rather than the individual state.
Towns would have more regulatory authority over solar energy projects under a proposal in the Senate. The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee added a provision to the state’s renewable energy bill, H.40, that allows towns to adopt bylaws requiring solar developers to comply with setback and screening requirements.
Legislatively mandated renewable portfolio rules are already costing ratepayers millions of dollars and thousands of jobs, according to a previous Beacon Hill study that NPRI commissioned and released. All these losses come because the State of Nevada has told its energy utility that it may no longer use energy sources that have served consumers for decades and must instead replace them with more socially acceptable technologies.
Lubbock Power & Light officials are anticipating House representatives will approve SB 931 and are helping the West Texas Municipal Power Association to maximize the value of RECs WTMPA currently holds before the bill is implemented. If SB 931 is passed by the majority of the Legislature the bill would take effect Sept.1. If it’s passed by two-thirds of the Legislature, the bill will take effect immediately after Gov. Greg Abbott signs it.
The kerfuffle began when an op-ed writted by Randy Simmons, an economics and finance professor for the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business ran in the April 11 edition of Newsweek after first being published by The Conversation, an international global publishing platform. ...Simmons has written a slew of columns over the years online and in various publications. “I do the same kind of research that I’ve been doing for 35 years, and it appears to me what wind is all about in many cases is farming subsidies from the government, which is something economists call ‘rent-seeking.’”
The group Americans for Prosperity revealed it is operating a social media initiative, including an online petition, and a phone-banking operation aimed at encouraging state lawmakers to repeal a law that mandates the investor-owned utilities to generate 12.5 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2021.
Industry-friendly policies helped Texas retain its position last year as the nation’s top wind energy producer, but partisan politics now threaten that standing, wind advocates said last week as they released an annual report on the state of the industry.
There is a group of people opposed to a proposed wind farm sight on Turkey Heaven Mountain in Cleburne County they have shared their feelings several times with the county commission.
The program, established in 1999, had called for 10,000 megawatts of wind and solar power by 2025. But buoyed by improved turbine technology and an $7 billion transmission line project connecting West Texas to urban centers to the east, Texas passed that goal five years ago. It now counts 12,800 megawatts of wind energy capacity — at times enough to generate a quarter of the electricity on the grid.
Wind projects take longer to develop than solar, and they can face stiff opposition from the public. And experts say the federal tax credits that are keeping the solar industry on track have been uncertain for wind developers for some time.