Another day, another squabble about a right-leaning policy memo. This time the disputed document is a 10-page strategy memo appearing to detail an expensive and ambitious campaign targeting the wind energy industry. The memo, circulated by the watchdog group the Checks and Balances Project, calls for opponents of wind power to engage in messaging and media outreach efforts that “appear as a ‘groundswell’ among grass roots.”
Acciona, a big renewable energy company based in Spain, says it is naming its new 32-megawatt wind farm in Oklahoma “Big Smile.” The name is an oblique reference to an Acciona employee who died last year, the company says. That makes the wind farm one of the few in the United States not named for its location or a nearby geographic feature. Google lists 102 operating wind farms of 120 megawatts or more in this country, plus two under construction and 24 proposed, none of which are named after anyone, although some bear the name of a town that was named after a person long ago.
The Bureau of Land Management is nearing approval of what would become Arizona’s largest wind farm, covering nearly 50,000 acres of federal land, that supporters say could spark more commercial-scale wind power development. Houston-based BP Wind Energy North America Inc.’s proposed 500-megawatt Mohave County Wind Farm in northwest Arizona would string together as many as 283 wind turbines across nearly 39,000 acres of BLM land and nearly 9,000 acres of Bureau of Reclamation land. The wind farm would have the capacity to produce enough electricity to power as many as 175,000 homes in Arizona, Nevada and California.
President Obama will call on Congress today to extend a crucial tax credit for the wind industry, as part of a broader “To Do List” that will provide the foundation for Obama’s message on job creation in the coming months. The list — which Obama officially will unveil today in a speech at 1:25 p.m. — consists of five actions that the White House contends “will create jobs and help restore middle class security.” None of the proposals are new, but they come as Republicans and the White House spar over job creation during an election year.
The Heartland Institute’s failed billboard campaign attacking the existence of climate change is driving a surge of corporate donors to abandon the group and prompting a mutiny among its Washington-based staff, which is decamping for less volatile surroundings, according to sources.
The craggy face of the “Unabomber,” Ted Kaczynski, stares at Chicago drivers from a billboard over the Eisenhower Expressway.”I still believe in global warming. Do you?” is the question that appears next to the murderer’s 1995 booking photo.The digital billboard, which appeared yesterday, is the latest effort by the Heartland Institute, a conservative Chicago think tank, to discredit the scientific underpinnings of man-made climate change ahead of its annual conference in Chicago this month.
American Bird Conservancy. An interactive map shades areas where wind power is likely to pose an elevated risk to birds.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s remarks this week linking climate change and U.S. oil dependence with national security today drew a sharp rebuke from Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe.
Oil service companies led by Technip SA (TEC) and Subsea 7 SA (SUBC) for the first time are working with wind energy developers in the North Sea’s 14 billion-euro ($19 billion) a year market. The offshore engineers plan to exploit the similarities between building undersea oil installations and constructing offshore wind farms and have both established renewable energy units. Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) also offers expertise to wind developers in the North Sea, where fossil fuels first discovered in 1966 are being depleted as clean energy demand rises.
“Offshore wind is still just a niche industry, but it’s a growing niche,” said Steen Broust Nielsen, director of the renewable energy consulting firm Make Consulting. “It will count for 8 percent of the global [wind] market in 2016.
That growth is driven by Europe’s significant offshore wind potential — the North Sea alone has the potential to provide Europe’s electricity needs 10 times over — along with policies in the European Union to reduce carbon emissions and promote renewable energy.