Wind energy grew 28 percent in America last year, setting a new installation record and confirming its status as a mainstream energy source, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report for 2012, released today on a webinar for association members and reporters. In its best year ever, the U.S. industry topped all energy sources with 42 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity. Over 6,700 new wind turbines were erected, which produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 3.5 million homes. Overall, America finished the year with 45,100 wind turbines that can power 15.2 million homes.
President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget request would boost funding for a variety of clean energy initiatives while reducing spending on fossil fuel programs and repealing oil and gas tax breaks. The clean energy increases would come in research and development, state-based competition to enhance energy efficiency and the electric grid, a new trust fund designed to find alternatives to oil in transportation, and a permanent extension of the renewable energy production tax credit.
After his most successful legislative session in two terms, Gov. Martin O’Malley on Tuesday signed a long-sought bill to promote development of an offshore wind industry near Ocean City, among several other measures he hailed as job creators.
The UK’s wind power industry has restated its pledge to drive down the cost of energy, as it pushed the button on the last of the 175 turbines at the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The London Array project, jointly owned by Dong Energy, Masdar and EON, yesterday annouced that the first 630MW phase of the project in the Thames estuary is now fully operational.
This summer, San Jose State University is offering the first classes in what it calls “battery university,” a series in its professional development program intended to train a work force for the next generation of battery makers. The curriculum is being developed by more than 100 experts from the emerging battery storage sector — mostly from the San Francisco Bay Area — and will focus not only on developing the technology, but also on ways to make it cost-effective and realistically usable in electric cars, renewable energy or smartphones and laptops.
A decade-in-the-making offshore wind project that has found its pursuit of federal financing assistance caught in the crossfire of House Republicans received some backup today from its home-state congressional delegation. Massachusetts’ two senators and nine House members — all Democrats — are asking the Department of Energy to swiftly approve a loan guarantee for Cape Wind, the planned 130-turbine wind farm offshore Cape Cod that has been in development since 2001.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar voiced optimism Friday that the nation’s first offshore wind farm will soon break ground after more than a decade of delays and be followed by more off the Atlantic coast. “I think there’s a good chance it will happen before the end of the year,” Salazar said of the Cape Wind project. Speaking in an AP interview a few weeks before he leaves office, he also claimed gains as secretary in tightening oversight of offshore drilling after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “I think the coziness with industry that was there when I came into the department is gone,” he said.
A new study says New York could get the power it needs from wind, water and sunlight by 2030 with a concerted push, though the state’s decade-long effort to significantly boost green energy shows how challenging that could be. The study, led by researchers from Stanford and Cornell universities, provides a theoretical road map to how New Yorkers could rely on renewable energy within 17 years. It would require massive investments in wind turbines, solar panels and more from the windy shores off Long Island to sun-exposed rooftops upstate.
The Commerce and Job Development Subcommittee on Energy and Emerging Markets on Wednesday voted 11 to 10 to amend House Bill 298, which aims to revoke the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS). REPS mandates North Carolina’s utilities to obtain renewable energy power and energy efficiency savings of 3% of prior-year electricity sales in 2012, 6% in 2015, 10% in 2018, and 12.5% in 2021. REPS legislation was passed in 2007 and allow costs to be recovered through the ratebase at capped rates: $12 for residential customers in 2012; $150 for commercial customers; $1,000 for industrial customers.
Attacks on state renewable energy deployment policies continue in at least twenty-twostates. However the news is not all bad with a near equal balance of states presenting opportunities to expand, strengthen or improve existing renewable energy policies. For fellow energy policy wonks out there, the North Carolina Solar Center posted this handycompendium of all state-level renewable and clean energy legislative developments taking place in 2013.