There is little to no evidence that wind turbines pose a risk to the health of residents living near them, a panel of independent scientists and doctors found in a report commissioned by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The panel concluded that there is no rigorous research showing that churning turbines or the resulting flickering light and vibrations produce dizziness, nausea, depression, or anxiety – a set of symptoms that critics call “wind turbine syndrome.’’
North Dakota is expected to add hundreds of megawatts of wind energy this year, while development has slowed to a near stop in South Dakota. The difference seems to be the availability of high-voltage power lines to ship the power to cities that need it. South Dakota has more than 30,000 megawatts of proposed wind energy projects in the queue, according to the American Wind Energy Association, but a state association director said he’s received no indication from developers that they’re ready to start building new wind farms.
The Obama administration should open more federal lands to energy development and speed permitting of new pipelines and transmission projects to create jobs and strengthen energy security, according to a panel of business leaders advising the president. In a report delivered today, President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness also recommends sustained investments in research and development, the extension of clean energy tax credits and increased energy efficiency.
The Energy Department is preparing to change how it assesses congestion on the high-voltage power line network as it seeks to revitalize the stalled transmission policy process created in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, DOE senior adviser Lauren Azar says. This year, DOE will complete its third triennial analysis of congestion in the Eastern and Western interstate power grids under the 2005 law, identifying any areas where power flows are constrained by lines or equipment.
“People will make trade-offs, but the one thing that won’t be traded off is keeping the lights on at reasonable cost,” he says. Given the reluctance of affluent Europeans to make sacrifices, what are the odds of persuading billions of people in poorer countries to pay more for energy today in return for a cooler climate at the end of the century? But suppose they were offered a deal with immediate benefits, like the one proposed in Science by researchers in the United States, Britain, Italy, Austria, Thailand and Kenya. The team looked at ways to slow global warming while also reducing the soot and smog that are damaging agriculture and health
The company planning to build what could be the nation’s first offshore wind farm says it’s ready to start construction on the multimillion-dollar project as soon as New Jersey officials give their approval. Fishermen’s Energy of Cape May wants to build the wind farm about 2.8 miles off Atlantic City. It plans to erect five wind turbines that would produce up to 25 megawatts, capable of powering about 10,000 homes.
Congress is returning to Washington, and the partisan rancor that defined Capitol Hill in 2011 is likely to remain — or get even worse — in 2012. Republicans still run the House. Democrats continue to cling to a slim majority in the Senate. President Obama seems determined to keep his distance from both chambers. And it’s an election year — what are the odds of anything getting done this year?
Vestas Wind Systems A/S said Thursday it will shed more than 2,300 jobs, or 10% of its work force, close one of its 26 factories and reshuffle management in a cost-cutting plan as it grapples with industry overcapacity.
The world’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer also warned that if U.S. lawmakers fail to extend a renewable-energy subsidy, known as the production tax credit, which expires by the end of 2012, it could lead to the layoff of an additional 1,600 workers in the U.S. Vestas will start preparing for a possible scale-down of U.S. operations later this year, it said.
The boom-and-bust cycle of the renewable energy sector was on display Thursday. Broadwind Energy Inc. said Thursday it was awarded a $23 million order for wind turbine towers that will be made in Manitowoc.
U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Ia., suggested Thursday that natural gas interests have helped block renewal of a tax credit for wind producers. “They’re pushing hard against wind, of course,” Latham said at a state Capitol event highlighting Iowa’s wind energy industry.