Library filed under Energy Policy from USA
The closing days of this legislative session saw several senators try to give town and regional commissions a stronger voice in land use decisions by introducing an amendment to H.40, a new bill focused on energy policy. The goal of the amendment was to replace the tepid requirement that the board give “due consideration” to town and regional plans with a requirement for “substantial deference.” ...both Sens who represent Windham, Grafton and Townshend — the towns now facing a proposal to install up to 30 industrial wind turbines on their shared ridgelines — voted to deny their constituents even this modest statutory standing.
The state’s energy research authority is proposing to spend $1.5 billion over the next 10 years to spur further development in renewable energy projects, extending a program that began in 2004 through the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program.
Jonathan Weisgall, Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs, is slated to make the pitch before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power ...Specifically, Weisgall will call for legislative tweaks that would change the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA, a 1970s law originally intended to bolster renewables and efficiency.
SB 933, the bill on PUC oversight of transmission projects that would cross ERCOT's boundaries, will require the developers of such projects to secure a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the commission.
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. — Measures advertised as promoting "clean energy" in Illinois — including a plan pushed by power-producing giant Exelon Corp. — have stalled in the General Assembly, consumed, supporters say, by bickering over the state budget and an unsettled energy outlook.
Senate Bill 498 by state Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, and Sears, signed May 20, repeals the ability of the wind industry to qualify for a five-year property tax exemption. This provides a good start in addressing the magnitude of industrial wind’s subsidies and negative impact on Oklahoma’s budget.
Several initiatives by Gov. Paul LePage, including a proposal to use money from timber harvesting on state land to help low-income residents with heating costs, appear to be dead for this year, following action late Thursday by the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.
House Bill 332, which has passed in the North Carolina House, would freeze North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. This standard, enacted in 2007, requires utility companies like Duke Energy to sell more renewable energy each year. The act has a goal of 12.5 percent by 2021 but will remain at six percent if the bill is passed.
In a phone interview, McCarter said proponents “ignore the reality” that significant costs would be passed on to end users if the state adopts a 35 percent renewable energy standard by 2030. “If we shift to 35 percent the cost is going to be outrageous,” he said. ...In Wisconsin, a state which he said has laid out a less ambitious program than what is being proposed in Illinois, researchers found the cost to consumers to be in the billions.
The committee took no action on the bill Wednesday. The panel’s co-chair, Sen. David Woodsome, R-York, said he hopes to hold a work session and vote on the bill Thursday. With time running out for the panel to wrap up for the session, lawmakers are under pressure to either kill the measure, adopt certain provisions or hold over the bill for consideration next year.
The bill, H.40, would resolve that concern, allowing utilities to continue earning about $50 million in revenue from the sale of RECs. The bill repeals Vermont’s current incentive program, known as SPEED, and for the first time sets mandatory renewable energy targets. Double counting would not be allowed. This is similar to energy policies in all other New England states.
The utility says the credit — which amounts to around 6 cents per kilowatt-hour — is an unfair burden on nonsolar customers. The utility currently caps participation in the program to 3 percent of its peak generating demand, which is 7,500 megawatts (a Super Walmart consumes around three-quarters of a megawatt per year). The utility says ratepayers will pay $8 million for every percentage point the cap increases.
An ambiguous voice vote Wednesday sent to the full Senate a measure that would freeze North Carolina's green-energy standard, which has helped make the state a national leader in solar energy. The measure pushed by House Majority Leader Mike Hager and others has cleared the state House.
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.