Library filed under Energy Policy from Wyoming
This week, Wyoming business leaders gathered to ponder evidence, assertions and projections about Wyoming's future economy in an uncertain future ...The good news for Wyoming is that the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that coal will fill 82 percent of that portfolio, with uranium, hydro-electric and renewables filling in the rest.
Kirkbride has five concerns for his county. Those include continuity, so developers can know what rules apply across county lines. He wants to make sure wind farms go up in the right places, not just the least-regulated areas. Second, he's concerned about how opposition to wind farm proposals will be handled. Roads are another area of concern. Like many small counties operating on limited budgets, Platte County is faced with more than 700 miles of roads to maintain. Wind development brings heavy traffic that damages those routes, yet financial benefits from the resource is typically several years out, Kirkbride said. ...He advised developing a screening process for wind projects and funding research to fill data gaps when effects are unknown. "Let's think this out," Lathrop urged. "Let's do it smart, let's do it right."
The high winds that are part of life in southeast Wyoming make it a prime target for the development of systems to turn the gusts into a usable source of electricity. To prepare for the expected influx of towers and turbines that may dot the landscape, Laramie County is creating rules to monitor the future installation, operation and potential abandonment of wind energy systems. County officials say the proposed regulations are designed to ensure the orderly development of the systems. They also seek to protect public infrastructure and the quality of life for residents while encouraging the growth of this alternative energy source for personal and commercial uses. "We do want to make sure they're safe (wind energy systems), and we do want to make sure you don't cause trouble for your neighbors. But that's it," county planning director Gary Kranse said.
Industry leaders believe wind could fill up to 20 percent of generation portfolio. But even wind proponents warn against the notion that it can solve the nation's energy and greenhouse gas concerns. "Wind is a great technology ... But it's not a panacea." There's fossil fuel consumption in the maintenance of wind farms. Many prime wind resources are located far from areas where renewable energy is in demand. Even here at the Foote Creek wind facility, where high gusts wreak havoc on turbines, lightning strikes are equally troublesome. "You've got to look at it for what it is," said Borrows.
The fate of Wyoming’s energy mix in the next few decades depends a lot on what kind of signals the energy industry receives from either the market and policy-makers. Two experts assembled for the final presentation of the University of Wyoming/Casper College Energy Futures lecture series said how we deal with carbon emissions will have a great deal to do with Wyoming’s energy future.
The man charged with leading power line projects in Wyoming says Montana’s new plan to supply electricity to markets in the Southwest won’t compete with similar plans in Wyoming. In fact, he says, it might even help.
GILLETTE -- Wyoming officials watched with interest as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed into law a sweeping global warming initiative that imposes the nation's first cap on greenhouse gas emissions. When the idea for such a bill was recommended about a year ago, Wyoming energy officials reacted strongly against it -- and even sent a letter to Schwarzenegger's office suggesting it may violate interstate commerce laws. Called for reaction on Wednesday, Gov. Dave Freudenthal's energy adviser, Rob Hurless, said he wasn't prepared to discuss interstate commerce concerns, but said the California law definitely is not a threat to Wyoming's ambitions to export more electricity.
But Manchin's proposal went a step beyond talk and ideas, setting out a concrete way to begin attracting more money to development of ethanol, biodiesel, solar, wind or biomass electricity generation. “I've always been told the $35, $40 range (per barrel of oil) is where alternative fuels become viable” Manchin told The News-Record after a tour of Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine. “Let's find that benchmark ... I don't see another way.”
WASHINGTON -- Federal officials vowed this week to boost renewable energy production on federal lands in the West, but wind and geothermal industry officials criticized the administration for a lack of openness and support leading to delays in some of their projects.
CHEYENNE -- Wyoming and California have joined ranks in promoting Wyoming for a federally backed initiative to build the cleanest coal-powered electric generating plant.
CASPER -- Because the stability of the U.S. economy relies on the nation's ability to meet increasing energy demand, planners likely won't have to choose between fossil fuels and renewable energy.