Library filed under Impact on Economy from USA
Xcel Energy has asked a court to allow the utility to pull the plug on a 20-year deal to buy power that's never been generated from a proposed Goodhue County wind farm that may never be built after four years of nonstop controversy.
"Subsidies for renewables make sense only if they're achieving a societal benefit," said staff attorney Ed McNamara in a handwritten note on one draft report. "Without retirement of RECs, the only societal benefit of Vermont's program is economic development (and through) an inefficient method."
Why GAO Did This Study
Hawaiian Electric Co. residential customers on Oahu will pay an average of 13 cents more a month over the next three years to cover the cost of preliminary studies HECO completed as part of its plan to generate wind energy on the neighbor islands and transmit it to Oahu via an undersea cable.
Realtor Susan Whitehead said she has been trying to sell a property on Weeden Road for two years. That property was put on the market for reasons unrelated to the turbines, but Whitehead said buyers ask about the machines, which are visible across Little Bay, "100 percent of the time." "They ask about the noise, they ask about the flicker, and then they don't put in an offer," she said.
Renewable energy may be a popular catch phrase along Colorado's urban Front Range, but it has turned into fighting words across much of rural Colorado. Not because rural communities are against it, to the extent it makes economic sense, but because they're about to be force-fed an overdose by state Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.
To produce useable wind-generated electricity, other obstacles must be overcome. Perhaps most importantly, wind power is intermittent ...Therefore, reliable back-up power generating facilities must be on hand and ready to fill in when wind generation is absent. These realities require duplicate capital investment and, to some extent, duplicate operating expenses.
Congress is slowly but steadily drilling into energy policy tax issues, but anyone hoping to see detailed plans soon may be disappointed. "Like any good play, you have to set the scenes, and we'll see what happens in the final act," said Steve Nadel, executive director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
"It's too ambitious by 2030 to replace all the state's power with renewables," Angus McCrone, a senior analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London, said today. The projections, he said, look "unrealistic" for individual technologies. ...offshore wind turbines would cover an area of about 4,903 square miles, and onshore machines would cover a further 1,000 square miles.
Recent studies and testimony by real estate appraisers from around the world indicate that properties within two to three miles of wind turbines have seen their values decline from 25 to 60 percent - with the decreased value being "tantamount to an inverse condemnation, or regulatory taking of private property rights."
The Board of Zoning Appeals of Tipton County considered Juwi Wind's application for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm. The Board members were not fooled on the property value question. The permit was approved but with a condition that the project have no impact on surrounding property values. The hearing was called to order at 5:00pm March 20, 2013. This exchange took place at around 1:30am on March 21. The hearing room was filled with residents, most of whom opposed the project. Duration:4 minutes 40 seconds
The [Maine] RPS law limits the amount of energy we can use from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar, tidal, biomass and geothermal. But in 2009 legislators lifted the cap for wind power, which is expensive to build and produces a minimal amount of our electricity. In 2011, we got only 4.5 percent of our electricity from wind. While it produces only a fraction of energy, it is some of the most expensive electricity we buy.
Mr. Sanford said he wrote the bill because he is opposed to government mandates, not because he favors any particular energy source-a sentiment echoed by legislators in other states. "Texas is blessed with a lot of incredible resources for energy, wind and solar amongst them. But they need to be developed with free-market principles, not with the heavy hand of government directing us to an inefficient process," he said in an interview.
Recently the New Hampshire Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources amended Senate bill 99, placing a moratorium on new wind electricity generation projects for one year. That's a nice start, but it doesn't go quite far enough. What's needed is a repeal of the New Hampshire renewable portfolio standard mandate. Why? Because ratepayers are being forced to buy extremely expensive electricity when cheaper alternatives are available.
At the center of the battle between opponents and proponents of the Prairie Breeze project is the potential impact on property values in the area. ...Appraiser Mike McCann, representing the CRD, said a wind farm will change the character of the area from residential and rural to industrial and decreases the desirability of selling a residential property.
This presentation prepared by appraiser Michael McCann examines the various studies that look at property value impacts near operating wind energy facilities. In this case, Mr. McCann looks at the Tipton County, Indiana ordinance and the effects of the proposed Juwi Wind project known as Prairie Breeze Wind Farm. The project was ultimately approved by Tipton County but a condition was placed on the permit that requires the developer guarantee there will be no negative effect on property values. The full presentation can be accessed at the links at the bottom of this page.
The utilities have warned that the push to buy renewable power will raise customers' bills. PG&E, for example, estimates that renewable contracts will add about 1 to 2 percent to bills each year through 2020. ...Long-term power purchase contracts with wind farms, solar plants and other renewable energy facilities averaged 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour.
There is a 10-megawatt cap of net-metering credits per town as regulated by the state, but the town of Marion does not need to use all of its megawatts. Therefore, Wareham would be able to purchase power from Marion, a host customer, at a discounted price.
It's difficult to assess just how much oil and gas may be within reach, said Adam Sieminski, head of the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department's independent statistical arm. "The one thing I can say with absolute confidence here today is that our long-term forecasts are going to be wrong. It looks like the direction that we're going to be wrong, when it comes to oil, is that there's going to be more of it," he said.
Industrial-scale energy projects on Bureau of Land Management lands are pushed through by energy companies touting jobs and economic booms to communities. Not mentioned is the potential loss of tourism revenues if people stop coming to recreational areas that are visually blighted.