Fickle West Texas breezes are pushing wind power generators to the state’s 367-mile coast. Texas pulled ahead last decade in the U.S. race to develop wind power thanks to the hardy gusts sweeping across its vast prairies and energy-friendly landowners. Now it’s seizing the lead in building turbines along its shoreline as developers find the slower but steadier air currents there translate to bigger profits.
The nascent offshore wind industry in the United States has faced its share of hiccups and stumbles over the last decade but lately has shown signs of progress. Now industry officials say the ongoing government shutdown could deliver another blow to its development. The industry relies on the federal government in several respects. Most utility-scale installations are planned for federal waters, where the Interior Department oversees lease sales and permitting. The Department of Energy has offered millions of dollars’ worth of grants to companies that are contingent on congressional appropriations over the next several years. And developers are hoping to qualify for lucrative tax credits set to expire Dec. 31 — without which facilities risk being unprofitable.
Dominion Virginia Power has won approval of its $1.6 million bid to lease nearly 113,000 offshore acres for wind power development. But the federal government shutdown is holding up finalizing the lease, the company said Wednesday.
The number of large-scale projects to capture and bury carbon dioxide has fallen to 65 from 75 over the past year, a worldwide survey has found, despite a consensus among scientists and engineers that the so-called carbon capture and sequestration, known as C.C.S., will be essential to meet international goals for slowing the buildup of climate-changing gases. The survey was released Thursday in Seoul, South Korea, by the Global CCS Institute, which is based in Canberra, Australia. Since the previous survey a year ago, five projects have been canceled, one reduced in size and seven postponed, while three have been added, the report said.
If you live in Nebraska, chances are you have cursed the wind at some point in your life. Whether it has ruined a good day of fishing, blown your neighbor’s leaves onto your front lawn or just messed up your hair on your way to work or church — we’ve all done it. And if you’re a farmer or rancher like me, it’s a safe bet you cuss the wind on a regular basis when you try to put up hay or irrigate your crops. The bad news is the wind isn’t going away anytime soon. The good news is it’s about to transform our great state.
The offshore wind industry is finally showing signs of progress in the United States. The Department of the Interior completed its second offshore wind lease auction for acreage off the coast of Virginia in early September, and the nation’s first grid-connected offshore wind turbine, a small prototype created by the University of Maine, started spinning off the Northeast coast this spring.
More than 400 Democrats from around the country are urging the White House to reconsider U.S. EPA’s proposal for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. The current and former politicians wrote President Obama a letter today as part of the CoalBlue Project, a group meant to boost and highlight Democratic support for the coal industry.
Heather Zichal’s departure from the White House comes near the beginning of a years-long effort to shepherd complicated climate policies through a bevy of federal agencies overseen by administration newcomers, now central to the success of President Obama’s climate plan.
Ron Binz got a bull’s-eye on his back during the first week of August. Roughly 20 leaders from prominent free-market and conservative groups — some enjoying ties to the tea party and Koch brothers funding — huddled in a downtown Washington, D.C., conference room to weigh Binz’s nomination to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. After two hours, they resolved to oppose President Obama’s choice. “This confirmation deserves to have a wrench thrown in the gears,” Benjamin Cole, a spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research, later recalled the group’s thinking.
LM Wind Power, a global manufacturer of blades for wind turbines, says it doubled its U.S. workforce to 700 in August — up from 350 in April. And it says the boom will continue: It expects to employ some 1,200 people in the U.S. next year — most of them based at its factories in North Dakota and Arkansas. In a press release, the company credited the extension late last year of the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit with the growth of its workforce: