Yesterday was another good day for Kansas and the Renewable Portfolio Standard. The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) ensures that Kansans receive a certain percentage of renewable energy like wind and solar in their electricity mix, culminating in 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. Upon a second review, the House Energy and Environment Committee voted 10-9 to table House Bill 2241, which would have completely repealed the 20 percent target of the RPS.
Anti-tax conservative Grover Norquist attempted to convince Kansas legislators Thursday to support a bill to weaken a state law requiring utilities to draw 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020. Subsequent votes by the House and Senate suggest lawmakers, at this time, weren’t impressed. Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said the Legislature ought to abandon the “costly renewable energy mandate so as to mitigate its negative impact on the economy.”
Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition Finds Smart Energy Laws Spur Investments and Create Jobs Washington, D.C. – The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition today released an analysis showing the positive impact of smart energy laws across the nation, including $25 billion worth of investment in wind energy alone and the creation of thousands of jobs. The report […]
Letter Outlines Steps to Strengthen Nation’s Wind Energy Development WASHINGTON, DC —In a letter to President Obama, the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has outlined key administrative actions that will advance the nation’s wind energy development and economic potential. The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition is a bipartisan group of governors and provides regional and national leadership […]
An Iowa City industrial park that the city has spent millions to develop sits empty, nearly two years after a Maryland-based wind turbine company announced it would build an $85 million plant and employ nearly 200 people there.
Nadicom, or North American Ductile Iron Co., announced in April 2011 that it would build an iron foundry on the site that would support 175 jobs. But the foundry never materialized.
It’s unlikely that natural gas will be cheap forever, so hedging against future price shocks with wind power could be a viable strategy for utilities in the United States, according to new research. In a report released last week, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher Mark Bolinger observed that wind power has a hard time competing on cost alone when natural gas prices bounce near a record floor. “It may need to fall back on its nonprice attributes,” he said in a conference call yesterday.
The Texas Panhandle’s wind energy industry is about to be blown away. An international mix of companies has committed to more than doubling the region’s production capacity by spending more than an estimated $3.3 billion on construction of wind farms in the next two years.
There is a treasure trove of renewable energy in the U.S., but the obstacles and barriers to getting it on the grid are many. Johnathan Hladik, energy policy advocate with the Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA), said the biggest hurdle right now is the lack of high voltage transmission lines. Adding to that infrastructure would allow for the use of more renewable resources, he said, while helping with rural economic development. “There is so much opportunity associated with increased property tax paid by wind-turbine owners and by those building transmission lines, with the actual construction jobs associated with both the wind turbines and the transmission lines,” he explained. “We’re looking at a good way to rejuvenate a lot of our smaller communities.”
I was elated to read March 8 (“Panel draws ire for wind tax bill”) that several senators on the Revenue Committee voted to advance a bill that would allow renewable energy companies tax breaks under the Nebraska Advantage Act.
Despite a recent report trumpeting a record year for wind power in 2012, the numbers are not as encouraging as they seem. Because even though total wind power capacity grew by 30 percent last year, with 13,000 megawatts in new wind turbines, the actual portion of our electricity coming from wind energy did not increase proportionally. Also, the forecast for future growth in the next few years is not robust, which means wind power will not keep up with the faster growing use of natural gas.