A federal appeals court found last week that it’s unconstitutional for Michigan to discriminate against out-of-state renewable electricity — a decision being described as giving a major edge to clean power in the legal fight over the future of the U.S. grid. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backed Friday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of a plan in the Midwest to apportion costs for new power lines slated to boost reliability and ship millions of megawatts of wind power from remote areas to population hubs around the Great Lakes
The White House last week set firm deadlines for fast-tracking the construction of new power lines needed to thwart cyberattacks and meet President Obama’s goal of doubling renewable electricity generation by 2020. Obama sent a memo Friday to the secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy and the Interior that laid out a timeline for ensuring existing “corridors” on federal land are being used to push through new power lines.
A new wind energy tax incentive signed into law last week was touted as a way to lure a wind farm worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Nebraska, but that’s no sure thing. The sponsors of the wind bill say the incentive has already drawn the interest of wind energy development companies, but there is no guarantee that the $300 million to $400 million wind farm will come here.
California lawmakers are considering a major boost in the state’s renewable energy targets. State Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez (D) on Wednesday added language to a bill that would require the state’s utilities to get 51 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030. The current target is 33 percent by 2020, which utilities are on their way to meeting
In a recent AP interview, Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says he wants to increase the state’s renewable energy mandate, a 2008 law that requires utilities to get at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015.
ON A breezy day in October last year the governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, took a tour of his state’s flourishing oil- and gas-exploration industry. But as the bus travelled across the open plains it was difficult not to notice a new phenomenon in Kansan energy: wind turbines. Lots of them. Last year the state doubled its wind-power capacity; this now provides 11% of its electricity. But a weatherbeaten oil man, looking up at one inactive turbine, remarked that the thing did little more than suck up government subsidies.
How can the federal government effectively engage states and local players on energy productivity? During today’s OnPoint, Thomas King, U.S. executive director at National Grid, discusses recommendations for productivity and security outlined in a report by the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy. King also weighs in on the future of the Senate’s Shaheen-Portman efficiency bill.
Electric utilities in Oregon, California and Texas led the nation last year in green power sales using voluntary programs in which customers pay a premium to receive electricity produced using clean sources, according to Energy Department figures released yesterday. The No. 1 utility for total green power sales was Portland General Electric, with 834,125 megawatt-hours, according to data compiled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. PGE was followed in total green power sales by Austin Energy of Texas, at 744,443 MWh, and two California utilities — PacifiCorp (604,007 MWh) and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (416,477 MWh).
The top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today said the federal government is making a fiscally foolish bet in offshore wind, an energy source he said would not stand on its own without government subsidies. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) today said he received a response to his letter last November to the Interior Department seeking an economic rationale for its issuance of a noncompetitive lease to offshore wind developer NRG Bluewater Wind Delaware LLC off the coast of Delaware.
Tech giant Google Inc. has made two renewable energy deals in one week, one with a 24-turbine wind farm in Sweden and another with a solar power project in South Africa.