Gov. Bob McDonnell rolled out his 2012 energy initiatives on Thursday, proposing $500,000 to promote the development of wind power off Virginia’s coast and knocking the federal government anew for blocking oil and gas development in the same waters.
South Dakota lawmakers appear to be taking a wait-and-see attitude on a proposal to cut construction taxes on wind farms to help the state compete with its neighbors in attracting projects that generate electricity from wind.
The oil and gas industry wants to thrust energy issues to the forefront of this year’s presidential and congressional campaigns.
Massachusetts’ controversial Cape Wind project cleared a major hurdle last week when the state’s highest court upheld an agreement selling half the wind farm’s energy to a utility.
Marc Spitzer will work in the firm’s Washington, D.C., headquarters on electric transmission, smart grid, exports of liquefied natural gas, pipeline safety and hydraulic fracturing. The firm has more than 500 lawyers and offices in China, Belgium and England.
If Iran were to follow through with its threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit route for almost one-fifth of the oil traded globally, the impact would be immediate: Energy analysts say the price of oil would start to soar and could rise 50 percent or more within days.
Wind energy is notoriously mercurial, with patterns shifting drastically over the course of years, days, even minutes. These changes make scheduling power much more difficult for utilities that rely on wind turbines to serve an increasing percentage of their power demands. Because wind power in some places is now as cheap as or cheaper than coal-fired power, future profits and challenges for the industry will be written on the wind and how well they can use it.
The Interior Department today released a draft proposal to allow a wind energy company to kill or harass protected golden eagles, a first-of-its-kind permit that drew cautious optimism from a bird advocacy group.
The planning project, funded by an Energy Department American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, is the first comprehensive study of how power flows could be coordinated across the entire Eastern Interconnection — the synchronized power grid across the 39 states and six Canadian provinces that links 740,600 megawatts of generation with electricity customers from the Atlantic Coast to the Rocky Mountains. DOE also is funding similar studies for the Western Interconnection grid and the separate Texas grid.
In the race for bigger offshore wind turbines, what’s under the water can be just as much trouble as what’s above.