MidAmerican Energy Co. is beginning construction of its $1.9 billion investment in wind energy, with work starting on five sites across the state, the Des Moines-based utility said today. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to develop up to 1,050 megawatts of additional wind generation in Iowa by the end of 2015.
What are the key questions that need to be addressed by both U.S. EPA and states as the agency crafts its proposal for existing power plants? During today’s OnPoint, Tim Profeta, founding director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, discusses unanswered questions about Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, which triggers the regulation of carbon from existing sources. He also weighs in on whether the White House is doing enough to politically sell these regulations.
The “war on coal” lost in a clash last night with a supporter of climate science. Democratic allies are taking that message away from Terry McAuliffe’s narrow victory in the bitter race for Virginia governor, in which Republican Ken Cuccinelli accused his opponent of supporting the destruction of coal jobs through efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The country’s largest nuclear plant operator, Exelon Corp., has publicly fought to torpedo the wind industry’s coveted production tax credits, calling them financial threats to its reactors in the Midwest. But the Chicago-based utility is also cashing in on those credits, known as PTCs.
Latin America is riding a surge in wind power installations due to robust energy demand growth in countries like Brazil and Mexico and government policies encouraging the adoption of renewable energy, according to a new report from Navigant Research.
Microsoft Corp. is moving to close the gap with other technology giants by agreeing to buy all the electricity produced by a Texas wind project to power one of its data centers. The deal represents the company’s first direct purchase of renewable energy: a 20-year deal to purchase the power produced by a 110-megawatt wind project 70 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas. The Keechi project, by Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc., will begin construction early in 2014.
It appears that Christine Hanson is at it again with her recent attack on wind power on behalf of Americans for Prosperity, a group whose funding comes from energy industries which compete directly with wind. Unsurprisingly, the misinformation Hanson and her organization have spread concerning the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) walks hand in hand with the typical agenda-fueled rhetoric we hear from other special-interest groups. When the facts are on the table, however, we find a very different story than the one presented by Hanson.
With a draft bill circulating in the Senate to limit U.S. EPA’s rules for new and existing power plants and court action on the agency’s new source proposal anticipated, what is the future of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan? During today’s OnPoint, Eileen Claussen, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, gives her predictions of how far EPA’s regulations might go and what the biggest challenges to the rules will be. Claussen, who recently announced she will be stepping down as president of C2ES, also talks about her next steps and most significant accomplishments.
In the span of a couple of days last week, two similar renewable energy standard bills were introduced in the Senate, creating the impression of momentum behind a legislative proposal that had been largely left for dead at the federal level. But that brief surge of activity is not expected to improve the effectively nonexistent chance of such a policy being signed into law anytime soon. Rather, the effort is aimed at keeping alive an idea that has garnered bipartisan support in the past while supporters look for opportunities to bolster their arguments that expanding renewable energy production can create jobs and reduce emissions that contribute to climate change.
As Congress works on a tax reform package that could take months to complete, it’s looking increasingly likely that the production tax credit, a key wind industry lifeline, will expire shortly after the end of the year — at least temporarily. That expiration could hurt the wind industry, which saw construction of new wind projects grind to a virtual halt this year amid uncertainty over the subsidy. The production tax credit gives wind power owners a tax credit of 2.3 cents for each kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce.