More than 600,000 bats may have been killed by wind turbines last year in the continental United States, according to a new study, illustrating the ongoing controversy over clean energy projects’ environmental impacts. The study by University of Colorado, Denver, researcher Mark Hayes, to be published in the journal BioScience, used statistical models to determine the estimate from other researchers’ peer-reviewed data of bat deaths at 21 wind energy facilities across the United States.
President Obama today tapped a low-profile insider with legislative and administration experience to replace climate change adviser Heather Zichal, who departs today after more than four years at the White House. Zichal deputy Dan Utech will now be lead coordinator for President Obama’s broad Climate Action Plan.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said yesterday that his department “perhaps could do more” to boost carbon capture and storage (CCS) development but emphasized that the “technology is ready” to meet U.S. EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standard.
A new state analysis finds wind energy is blowing Michigan toward its 10% by 2015 renewable portfolio standard (RPS), and could help reach it 30% renewables by 2035 without reliability or affordability concerns. The report, “Readying Michigan to Make Good Energy Decisions: Renewable Energy,” was released by the governor’s office this week as the state starts to contemplate what its energy future should look like beyond 2015. While a ballot initiative to increase Michigan’s RPS to 25% by 2025 was rejected in 2012, this new analysis undercuts many of the arguments used in that election by showing renewable energy costs falling fast while being integrated into the grid.
Vestas Wind Systems is hiring more people to take advantage of a federal tax credit before the end of the year, a move that comes after a slow year for wind energy, including a series of company layoffs in 2012. Vestas announced Thursday the company will hire hundreds of workers at its factories in Windsor and Brighton to meet a spike in demand for wind turbines.
A federal tax credit on renewable energy generation is spurring development in the United States, with Texas emerging as an unlikely leader in wind power generation. Last year, Texas generated 12,600 megawatts, more than the state’s mandate of 5,800 MW by 2015. Although the state accounts for a major amount of wind generation, interest in developing the technology has waned with the rise of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling for fossil fuels.
AFP pressures 10 House members: Americans for Prosperity today is starting a $75,000, six-week online ad campaign asking 10 House lawmakers — eight Republicans and two Democrats — to sign a letter Rep. Mike Pompeo has been circulating opposing extending the wind production tax credit.
Bipartisan coalition of governors calls for policy certainty for the wind industry to continue crucial economic growth
Today 11 governors from states around the country called for policy certainty for the wind industry to continue needed economic development from wind energy. Last year the wind industry was responsible for pumping $25 billion into the economy for new wind farms, supporting 80,000 American jobs. The governors in an open letter to congressional leaders ask Congress to provide the certainty needed to keep those investments flowing and retain jobs in local communities.
The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition is the latest to enter the fray. Later today, the group will send a letter to both parties’ leaders in the House and Senate signed by a bipartisan slate of 11 governors. The letter emphasizes thousands of layoffs throughout the wind industry last year tied to uncertainty over whether the PTC would be extended and calls on Congress to pass a “responsible multi-year extension” of the credit.
The energy manager for BMW Manufacturing USA and Canada said he wants to see a renewable portfolio standard in South Carolina that would provide incentives for using solar, wind and other such resources that are readily available. “That would be huge for us,” Cleveland Beaufort said.