The United States could increase its wind power deployment by more than 50 percent with larger components, but the outsized technology would also boost potential problems with transportation and wildlife deaths, according to a new report from the Energy Department. Wind hub heights — from the ground to the center of the blades — soaring to 110 meters would lower the overall costs of the renewable energy source because it could capture more power from the same amount of wind with longer turbines and larger rotors compared to current 80-meter technology, the report says.
“The wind energy industry is a dynamic and innovative sector with great potential to further diversify our nation’s energy portfolio, as evidenced by the U.S. Department of Energy’s recent Wind Vision report. Technological advancements will bring the environmental and economic benefits of wind energy to states previously thought to have little wind energy potential. We are encouraged by the scientific and engineering innovation that continues to advance the nation’s wind energy development.” – Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Chairman and Vice Chairman, Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition
All 50 states could become wind energy producers, according to an Energy Department report released Tuesday, once the next generation of larger, taller turbines in development hits the market. The bigger machines — reaching as high as 460 feet — could eventually make faster winds at higher altitudes an economical source of electricity, an important part of reaching the nation’s goals in fighting global warming, said Ernest Moniz, the secretary of energy. “We believe very much the central role of wind in meeting our climate challenges, and we’re very committed in this direction,” Mr. Moniz told reporters after speaking in Orlando, Fla., at the annual conference of the American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s main trade group.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday suggested U.S. EPA include a mechanism within the final version of the Clean Power Plan to maintain reliability — but turned down requests to review specific state plans. FERC Chairman Norman Bay and his fellow commissioners — two Republicans and two Democrats — in a joint letter to U.S. EPA acting air chief Janet McCabe outlined the parameters of a “reliability safety valve” to resolve conflicts between the final rule to curb carbon emissions and FERC-approved reliability standards.
At least 41 states are in talks with neighbors about how they might cut power-sector carbon emissions under U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, despite appeals from Republicans in Congress for state officials to refuse to comply, according to regional coordinators. Fifteen states are bringing court challenges to the rule, and based on comments from GOP governors and attorneys general, it appears that number could grow closer to two dozen once EPA finalizes the regulation this summer.
Kansas lawmakers are set to repeal the state’s renewable energy mandate and replace it with a voluntary goal for electric utilities, the Lawrence Journal-World reports. Lawmakers have approved a bill to the end the state’s “renewable portfolio standard,” which requires utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, and replace it with a voluntary goal instead. The bill also limits the property tax exemption for renewable energy projects currently in law. The Legislature passed the bill on Thursday, sending it to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback for his signature.
nergy Secretary Ernest Moniz will address House members this week as the chamber takes up far-reaching energy language to ensure the U.S. electric grid remains stable as new environmental rules take effect. Moniz is slated to address the House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee on Thursday about the department’s high-profile energy policy blueprint, the Quadrennial Energy Review, as well as a number of draft bills the lower chamber has generated in recent days.
A Senate panel this week will continue its work on a comprehensive energy bill with a hearing to consider more than two dozen proposals to boost supplies from offshore oil wells, hydroelectric dams, geothermal deposits and most other sources of energy. The proposals are competing for a spot in the energy bill that Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) hopes to have assembled by this summer, although not all of the 26 bills on the committee agenda will make the final cut.
“Although complying with the clean power plan will be a challenge, states tackle problems of this magnitude on a regular basis,” he wrote. “We think it would be irresponsible to ignore federal law, and that is why we intend to develop a compliant Clean Power Plan.” McConnell has devoted personal effort to advocating that states not submit state implementation plans (SIPs) for the rule, arguing that they have more to lose than to gain from doing so. His letter to the governors says EPA lacks the authority to sue a state that doesn’t comply and that any policies included in a SIP would invite federal and third-party litigation.
China’s wind farm firms are feeling the heat as state grid operators deliberately delay hooking them up and cut back on purchases, wasting about a fifth of the total wind power output or enough electricity to run Beijing for 40 days. China is now the world’s top wind power producer thanks to policies designed to boost renewable energy use, with an installed capacity of over 100 gigawatts – more than a quarter of the world’s total and almost enough to light up Spain. But capacity has raced far ahead of grid construction, with state grid operators reluctant to connect wind farms in remote areas as long as their profit margins on renewables lag that of coal-generated electricity.