In the overall energy mix, the use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power will grow the fastest in annual percentage terms, but company officials maintain that they will still account for about 3 percent of the world’s total energy production in three decades.
For apartheid, it was universities in the West and Midwest that got the ball rolling. On the issue of Sudan and Darfur, the cause caught fire earliest at Ivy League schools. But for the latest college divestment movement, most of the action is unfolding at schools like Middlebury, the University of Vermont, Bowdoin, the University of New Hampshire, Tufts, Vassar and Swarthmore. Five weeks into a full-court press, a quixotic campaign to persuade universities to rid their endowments of stock in fossil fuel companies seems to be striking the deepest chord on campuses in the Northeast, organizers report. To highlight the role that fossil fuel emissions play in global warming, students at more than 100 colleges across the country are protesting the investment of their school’s endowment funds in large companies like Exxon, BP and Shell
By 2030, scaled-up green power could meet the demands of a large grid 99.9 percent of the time, according to new research from the University of Delaware. A mix of offshore and onshore wind, along with contributions from solar power, could provide reliable power flow during all but a handful of days in the hypothetical four-year period under study.
The Department of Energy said Wednesday that each developer would receive up to $4 million to complete the engineering, design and permitting phases of their projects in six states. Three of the seven will then be selected to receive up to $47 million over four years, subject to Congressional appropriations, for construction and installation, with the aim of having them begin commercial operation by 2017. So far, no offshore wind farm is operating in American waters. The projects are in Maine, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, Ohio, and Oregon.
The wind-energy industry asked Congress to extend a tax break for six years, a time frame it said was long enough to cut costs and short enough to ease fears the credit will become a permanent part of the tax code. The American Wind Energy Association, whose members include General Electric Co. (GE) and the U.S. unit of Siemens AG (SIE), offered the proposal yesterday in a letter to Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and chairman of the Finance Committee, and other members on the tax-writing panel.
The wind industry today is calling for its key tax credit to be phased out over the next six years — putting detail for the first time to its long-standing position that the credit will not be needed forever. The proposal from the American Wind Energy Association, outlined in a letter to lawmakers, could aid efforts to extend the wind production tax credit beyond its scheduled expiration at the end of this year. AWEA has long said it would not need the credit forever but was facing growing calls from Capitol Hill to spell out exactly what that meant. Until last night the group had not precisely detailed how much longer it would be needed or how a phaseout could be structured.
The wind industry is trying to break a Capitol Hill logjam by backing a phaseout of taxpayer support as it seeks to prevent an immediate cut-off of tax credits. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) proposed Wednesday extending the 2.2-cent per kilowatt-hour credit for wind power production by one year, then phasing it out through the next five.
The Omaha Public Power District is looking to nearly double its wind energy producing power with a new project near Elgin, Neb. On Thursday, the district’s board will vote on the purchase of 200 megawatts of energy from the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm. The 118-tower wind farm, located in Boone and Antelope counties, is scheduled to open in January 2014 and will produce enough electricity to power 59,000 homes. OPPD would purchase the power from the company building the farm, the Chicago-based wind development company Invenergy.
Wind energy enthusiasts in Texas are beginning to think the time has come to look beyond federal support for their industry, turning their attention instead to Austin and other regional state capitals. With the survival of the federal production tax credit (PTC) hanging in the balance, new investment in towers and turbines in the nation’s largest wind energy state is coming to a screeching halt. Ongoing projects are scrambling to be completed by the end of this month to make them eligible to receive the tax credits for 2012, but new projects aren’t happening, according to the offices of the Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse in Sweetwater.
In renewable energy, just as in real estate, the game is “location, location, location.” And Tenorio and his neighbors found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their efforts to secure a link to the electric grid fizzled this year when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., ruled that the proposed line they needed couldn’t proceed until other projects were built.