California is leading what could become a nationwide charge to manage instability in the aging U.S. electric grid brought on by large penetrations of wind and solar power as it combats climate change. The Golden State’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (ISO), in a report laid out solutions for challenges that could crop up during the integration of an anticipated 11,000 megawatts of new wind and solar — equal to the amount of 22 midsized coal plants — during the next eight years.
Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo leads a bipartisan coalition calling for the end of wind subsidies as Congress considers allowing wind tax credits to expire at the end of the year. Pompeo and 51 other lawmakers, including West Virginia Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall, sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, urging him to reject extending the Wind Production Tax Credit. “The growth in wind is driven not by market demand, but by a combination of state renewable portfolio standards and a tax credit that is now more valuable than the price of the electricity the plants actually generate,” reads the letter to Camp.
Fiscal hawks in Congress are pushing to end a federal energy tax credit for the wind industry set to expire at the end of the year. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kansas) and 51 other members of the House are asking the House Ways and Means committee not to renew the wind energy production tax credit (PTC).
Facebook announced yesterday that it’s been helping to develop an Iowa wind farm to cover the energy use of a new data center. The center’s scheduled to open in early 2015, and, Facebook says, “we expect it to be supplied by 100% renewable energy, as tracked by renewable energy certificates, from a new wind project in nearby Wellsburg, Iowa.”
Lawyers for billionaire Donald Trump are seeking to overturn the Scottish government’s approval of an offshore wind project. The proposed 11-turbine wind farm would be located near Trump’s golf course and property development near Aberdeen. According to the U.S. developer, the turbines would ruin the view from his golf course and proposed hotel and housing.
The future German governing coalition of the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to cut aid for new onshore wind projects and scale back offshore wind targets, setting up an economic hit for an industry that is struggling to recover from a slump. Germany needs cheap renewable power, as it has decided to close all its nuclear power plants by 2022. The country will target 6.5 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020 and 15 GW by 2030, down from previous goals of 10 GW and 25 GW, respectively.
Exporting wind energy out of a relatively low-population state such as Nebraska is crucial for the continued growth of the industry. Last year, the Legislature passed a bill that expanded tax breaks for large wind farms designed to export power. TradeWind Energy of Lenexa, Kan., was planning such an export project in northeast Nebraska. The company announced Wednesday that it would not be able to break ground this year. Higher transmission costs, limits on transmission capacity and other factors led to the decision, said Frank Costanza, an executive vice president of the company.
DOE Announces Webinars on Pedestrian-Friendly Nighttime Lighting, an Offshore Wind Economic Impacts Model, and More
EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.
Maryland has asked for Denmark’s help in developing offshore wind farms, officials said. Denmark is the home of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm developer, DONG Energy, and of the top two offshore wind turbine manufacturers, Siemens Wind Power and Vestas Wind Systems, both of which also have factories in the United States.
A bipartisan pair of senators have added their names to legislation that would expand a popular fossil fuel tax break to the renewable energy and efficiency industries, its sponsor announced yesterday. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are the latest to back the “Master Limited Partnership Parity Act,” S. 795, which would extend the ability to establish MLPs to clean energy firms. MLPs allow companies to establish partnerships whose shares are traded similarly to traditional stock but that are not taxed at the corporate level; the structure is popular in the oil and gas industry.