Neb.’s rural nature adds twist to compliance planning

Source: Rod Kuckro, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Nebraska epitomizes the tension present in many state governments weighing compliance with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The governor and attorney general of this red state are in litigation with the federal government over the rule to force emissions cuts from power plants. Its environmental regulator and major utilities, however, are doing their precautionary duty to craft compliance options aimed at mitigating possible effects on the state’s electricity ratepayers and reliability.

States reach for ambitious goals, but industry is skeptical

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

The so-called ZEV Alliance announced a most ambitious goal late last year: eliminate the sale of traditionally fueled passenger cars by 2050. Comprising California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, British Columbia and Quebec, the Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance was formed to allow states and nations to swap ideas on how to better promote electric vehicles.

Offshore wind to set sail, studies find

Source: Eric Marx, E&E Europe correspondent • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

The dawn of a more robust era in offshore wind may be breaking, according to two recent reports on floating wind power that show long-inaccessible deepwater sites with some of the highest winds on Earth now appear to be within reach. One report, a polling result commissioned by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) at its annual conference in November, finds the sector to be already “winning the cost argument” based on simpler installation requirements. It projects electricity generation as low as $93 per megawatt-hour and focuses on construction of floating foundations as the main design challenge. That would be competitive with traditional offshore projects if floating wind reaches commercial-scale deployment in the 2020s.

N.J. positioned to be a leader in wind energy

Source: BY SCOTT FALLON, • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

New Jersey is in position to generate more power from offshore wind turbines over the next few years than neighboring states, according to a report released by an environmental group Monday. If every regulatory and financial hurdle are met, two major projects in New Jersey could produce 1,700 megawatts by 2020 outpacing Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maryland, which also have large offshore plans, said the report by Environment America.

Renewable energy for state renewable portfolio standards yielded sizable benefits

Source: By Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

A new study estimates that $2.2 billion in benefits came from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013.

National labs find RPS mandates yielding ‘sizable’ benefits

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Renewable portfolio standards have “sizable” impacts on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, water use, job creation and the economy, two national laboratories say in a report released today. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory conclude that renewable portfolio standards in 29 states and the District of Columbia resulted in $2.2 billion in benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions, assuming a “midrange” scenario and a central value for the social cost of carbon.

TransCanada Sues U.S. Over Keystone XL Pipeline Rejection

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

TransCanada Corp sued the U.S government on Wednesday to reverse President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XLpipeline, and also plans to seek $15 billion in damages from a trade tribunal. TranCanada’s lawsuit in a federal court in Houston, Texas, called rejection of its permit to build the pipeline unconstitutional. In a separate action under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the company said the pipeline permit denial was “arbitrary and unjustified.”

Fact Sheet: Offshore Wind – Can the United States Catch up with Europe?

Source: By Laura Small, EESI • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

In comparison, the United States is just beginning to invest in offshore wind energy, and is rapidly approaching the operational launch of its first commercial offshore wind farm. There is incredible potential for offshore wind development in the United States – the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has estimated the United States has over 4,000 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind potential, enough to power the country four times over.

Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition welcomes new leadership

Source: By GREG ALVAREZ, American Wind Energy Association • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Govs. Terry Branstad and Gina Raimondo will chair the coalition in 2016. The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has announced its new leadership for 2016. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will take over as chairman, while Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo will step in as vice chair.

Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition Names New Leadership Team

Source: By North American Wind Power • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has appointed Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as the group’s new chair and vice chair, respectively, for the 2016 term. “I look forward to working with Governor Raimondo and our coalition colleagues to help the wind energy industry diversify our nation’s energy portfolio and drive economic development in our states,” says Branstad, who previously served as the coalition’s vice chair. “We will continue to share best practices across the states and work with federal leaders to deliver stability and predictability in supportive federal policies.”