At 2 p.m. on a sunny afternoon in June of this year, solar power in California surged to a new milestone. Over the course of an hour, photovoltaic panels and other arrays generated more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity — a record for the Golden State and for California ISO, its systems operator. Many environmental groups oppose nuclear power, but some scientists assert that it remains essential to a low-carbon energy future
The process used to generate electricity from decaying nuclear fuel creates a laundry list of toxic and radioactive byproducts along with plutonium, a man-made element that can be used to make nuclear weapons. What you won’t find on that list, however, are substantial amounts of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. Nuclear energy may not be clean, but without it, a climate-neutral energy system may be far more difficult and expensive to achieve.
The answer to high property taxes in Nebraska, at least in some rural areas, might be blowing in the wind. That’s the conclusion of a new report by wind power developers that projected that the construction of a large wind farm in the state’s 15 most-rural and least-populated counties could allow a local property tax cut of up to 39 percent.
A Montana wind farm is using tracking radar and a remote operations center to prevent golden eagle and other raptor deaths. The radar’s “detect and deter” cameras, along with human monitors, at the Rim Rock Wind Facility in Glacier and Toole counties can spot signs of possible bird collisions and shut down wind turbines within 30 seconds.
With just over six weeks remaining in the year — and, hence, in the current life cycle of some key clean energy tax credits — a coalition of environmental groups is calling on Congress to not let those incentives lapse.
It seems a long shot to expect congressional tax writers to turn their attention from the intensifying discussion of an overhaul of the tax code to deliver an extension of the expiring provisions before the end of this year. But failure to do so would create more problems for a slate of burgeoning industries, the groups wrote in a letter to members of the Senate Finance Committee.
More than 600,000 bats may have been killed by wind turbines last year in the continental United States, according to a new study, illustrating the ongoing controversy over clean energy projects’ environmental impacts. The study by University of Colorado, Denver, researcher Mark Hayes, to be published in the journal BioScience, used statistical models to determine the estimate from other researchers’ peer-reviewed data of bat deaths at 21 wind energy facilities across the United States.
President Obama today tapped a low-profile insider with legislative and administration experience to replace climate change adviser Heather Zichal, who departs today after more than four years at the White House. Zichal deputy Dan Utech will now be lead coordinator for President Obama’s broad Climate Action Plan.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said yesterday that his department “perhaps could do more” to boost carbon capture and storage (CCS) development but emphasized that the “technology is ready” to meet U.S. EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standard.
A new state analysis finds wind energy is blowing Michigan toward its 10% by 2015 renewable portfolio standard (RPS), and could help reach it 30% renewables by 2035 without reliability or affordability concerns. The report, “Readying Michigan to Make Good Energy Decisions: Renewable Energy,” was released by the governor’s office this week as the state starts to contemplate what its energy future should look like beyond 2015. While a ballot initiative to increase Michigan’s RPS to 25% by 2025 was rejected in 2012, this new analysis undercuts many of the arguments used in that election by showing renewable energy costs falling fast while being integrated into the grid.
Vestas Wind Systems is hiring more people to take advantage of a federal tax credit before the end of the year, a move that comes after a slow year for wind energy, including a series of company layoffs in 2012. Vestas announced Thursday the company will hire hundreds of workers at its factories in Windsor and Brighton to meet a spike in demand for wind turbines.