News

Wind farms creating an environmental divide

Source: By Erin Ailworth | GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 11, 2013, Boston Globe • Posted: Monday, August 12th, 2013

Timothy Danyliw is the type of guy whose truck has a “No farms, no food” bumper sticker, who owns a T-shirt proclaiming “Renewable energy is American security,” and who moved into a weathered, wood-framed house in the Berkshires for a quiet life amid nature. His friend Larry Lorusso, a river guide and photographer, is much the same. His car runs on biodiesel, he’s a fan of solar panels, and he heats his home with wood gathered from the forest around his house.

Wind still struggles to reach New England customers during peak demand

Source: E&E • Posted: Monday, August 12th, 2013

While last month’s heat wave forced utilities in New England to crank up generation of power from expensive and dirty sources, at least two wind farms in Maine and Vermont were forced to reduce the amount of electricity they produced. The weak rural system that links wind turbines to the power grid causes wind companies to be routinely taken offline or have their output scaled back.

State renewable-energy laws turn out to be incredibly hard to repeal

Source: By Brad Plumer, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, August 12th, 2013

With Congress deadlocked, a huge chunk of the action on clean energy in the United States is happening at the state level. Some 29 states and Washington D.C. have renewable standards requiring utilities to get a chunk of their power from sources like wind or solar. Over the past year, conservative groups have made a big push to try to repeal these laws, arguing that the mandates drive up electricity prices (since wind and solar can be pricier than coal or natural gas in many cases). What’s surprising, though, is that these attempts have been so unsuccessful — even in deeply conservative red states. As Matt Kasper of the Center for American Progress documents here, repeal efforts by one major group have failed in every state so far

Former commissioners go to bat for Binz over scathing editorial

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, August 12th, 2013

Former members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday hit back at an editorial in The Wall Street Journal calling President Obama’s pick to lead the agency a radical who will attempt to circumvent Congress to impose an anti-carbon and pro-renewables regime.

Transmission ruling sets off alarms in clean energy industry

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, August 12th, 2013

A federal judge’s decision this week that New England electric transmission companies should make less money on power line projects has triggered concern among wind and solar generators hoping to see a revitalization and expansion of the country’s aging grid. Administrative Law Judge Michael Cianci Jr. issued an initial decision that would reduce the return of transmission owners’ investments from 11.14 percent to 9.7 percent in New England states like Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island. The decision now goes before the full Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where the commissioners can reject the decision entirely, approve it or make changes.

Wind power systems hit hurdles

Source: By Wilson Ring and David Sharp | ASSOCIATED PRESS AUGUST 09, 2013 • Posted: Friday, August 9th, 2013

During the height of last month’s heat wave, millions of people in northern New England were urged to conserve energy, and some utilities fired up expensive, dirty sources of power to meet demand. But at the same time, at least two wind farms in Maine and Vermont were ordered to reduce the amount of electricity they provided. Even when the energy is needed most, weakness in the rural system linking wind turbines to the power grid mean wind companies are routinely taken offline or have their output reduced.

With critical infrastructure at risk, White House weighs options in cybersecurity fight

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, August 9th, 2013

It has taken less than half a decade for the concept of cybercrime to migrate from the realm of science fiction into the boardrooms and bureaus of major U.S. institutions. A rash of intellectual property thefts, the recent hack into servers at the Department of Energy and a number of high-profile cyberattacks overseas have put both the private sector and national security services on alert.

Bureaucracy, budget woes muddle reformer’s bold agenda

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Rare is the Obama administration official who can smile after testifying before House appropriators. But Energy and Water Development Subcommittee Republicans enjoyed hearing from the Department of Energy’s David Danielson. The DOE assistant secretary told the Republican-led panel recently about how he was turning his Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) into an accountable, efficient organization that would work smoothly with the private sector and protect U.S. innovation from foreign raiders. And he made music for Republican ears by promising “go, no go” project goals to protect taxpayer cash.

Kansas is propelling growth in wind energy

Source: Staff and news service reports, Kansas City Star • Posted: Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Kansas is among the largest and fastest growing wind energy markets in the country, the Energy Department reported this week. The agency’s annual Wind Technologies Market Report said Kansas ranked third among all U.S. states in the percentage of in-state electricity generation from wind power, with enough capacity to generate more than 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy.

Neb. court upholds wind farm tax credit

Source: E&E • Posted: Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that a wind company can claim a $1.6 million tax credit to avoid paying higher taxes over the next several years, striking down a lower court’s ruling that the credit was unconstitutional.