Who will help President Barack Obama meet his ambitious promises to tackle climate change? Eco-celebrities and tree-climbing protesters need not apply. This is a job for wonks. The president’s top climate appointees and the outside advisers best positioned to shape his agenda are a team replete with heavy hitters — including green-minded business leaders, buttoned-down environmental lobbyists and bureaucrats who have spent years wrestling with the minutiae of regulations.
The Nebraska breeze could blow in about $690 million in annual income and 14,000 new jobs in the next 17 years. According to John Crabtree, media director at the Center for Rural Affairs, choosing to invest in energy diversification and wind energy development would bring real economic opportunities to rural Nebraska. “If we do this, for once we would be supporting a development that wasn’t focused on Lincoln and Omaha,” he said. “This wouldn’t be happening in urban centers, it would be out here.”
Delaware Sen. Tom Carper (D) today said that he believes the United States could see construction of its first couple of offshore wind farms in 2013 but that lawmakers must extend key tax incentives to keep the nascent industry afloat. Carper, who co-sponsored a measure with former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) last Congress that would extend the investment tax credit to the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind projects that go into service, said he’ll be pushing his plan again as lawmakers discuss comprehensive tax reform.
In what shaped up to be a record wind for American wind, Illinois was fifth in the nation for new wind installations in 2012, the American Wind Energy Association said Wednesday. The state installed 491 turbines, or about 820 MW of capacity, and is fourth in the nation for wind power installed.
The last three months of 2012 saw a record number of wind projects come online, even as construction of new wind farms ground to a halt amid uncertainty over whether a key tax break would be extended, the industry said in a report released yesterday. Wind was the No. 1 source of new generation installed last year, surpassing even natural gas, with 13,124 megawatts brought online, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s fourth-quarter report. The bulk of installations — 8,380 MW — came online between October and December, more than doubling the previous three-month installation record in the fourth quarter of 2009.
A potentially bruising battle for the top Democratic slot on the House Natural Resources Committee is looming. Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) confirmation yesterday as secretary of State could trigger a shakeup at the Natural Resources panel, since current ranking member Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has announced he will run for Kerry’s vacant Senate seat.
The vision is beautiful, if not somewhat tried: a large cluster of 360 foot tall towers encircled with long, slightly cupped blades, similar to airplane wings, spinning in the wind like a wind vane. The result? An outpouring of clean electricity at the Megawatt (MW) scale. That’s what Harry Ruda, CEO of Wing Power Energy, a small vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) company, sees when he imagines his turbines coming of age. He’s one of the believers out there gallantly chasing the dream of making VAWTS big.
While Maryland lawmakers debate whether to subsidize a large wind energy project in the Atlantic Ocean off Ocean City, an Annapolis company is moving ahead with plans for the state’s third land-based wind “farm.” Synergics Wind Energy LLC, which built Maryland’s second wind project along a mountain ridge near the West Virginia border, is seeking state and local permits to erect 24 turbines on similar terrain just west of Frostburg in Garrett County.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday urged Vermont lawmakers not to impose a three-year moratorium on the construction of new wind power projects in the state because he believes it would hurt efforts across the country to combat global warming. Sanders, an independent, was joined at a Burlington news conference by a number of environmentalists who support wind power. He said Vermonters should be proud the state is a national leader in environmental protection and that it has made strides in producing electricity from wind, geo-thermal and bio-mass.
Oregon officials approved a marine zoning plan yesterday that designates offshore areas for renewable energy. Passage of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan amendments ends a five-year moratorium on permitting for wave-energy projects along the state’s 300-mile coastline. Offshore energy developers and environmentalists praised the plan, which lets Oregon join Massachusetts and Rhode Island as the only states with ocean-management schemes.