News

Democrats, GOP spar over Chu plan to upgrade power lines

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

A heated dispute over an Obama administration initiative to modernize the country’s sprawling electric grid triggered a partisan brawl in the House Natural Resources Committee yesterday, with a top Democrat accusing his GOP colleagues of trying to implement a “socialist electricity system.”

Wisconsin Ranks First in Extreme Heat

Source: By THE NEW YORK TIMES • Posted: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Which state had the most extreme heat this summer? Wisconsin, according to the organization Climate Central. The group set out to rank the states, with its analysis relying on two main questions: Which state broke or tied the most high-temperature records (after accounting for the number of measurement stations in each state, and the anticipated number of records based on the age of the stations)? Which states had the largest disparities in the ratio between record high and record-low temperatures?

Computer modelers say planet has enough wind to meet energy demand sevenfold

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Like all current and proposed energy resources, wind power faces a long list of challenges: connection to inflexible grids, inconstant generation and stiffly competitive energy markets, to name just a few. One problem the sector is unlikely to face, however, is scarcity of supply. According to the most detailed model of wind’s potential to date, undertaken by researchers at Stanford University and the University of Delaware, there’s enough wind on Earth to meet world power demand seven times over.

Concern over nuclear competition drove Exelon’s opposition to PTC

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Opposition by Exelon Corp. to a key wind industry tax break, which led to its dismissal from a wind trade association, is driven in part by concerns that subsidized wind power is making it more difficult for the utility’s nuclear fleet to keep pace in competitive markets, a company official said today.

AWEA board boots Exelon over utility’s anti-PTC campaign

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

The American Wind Energy Association’s board of directors has ousted a power company that has urged Congress to end production tax credits for wind energy. AWEA’s board last week found Exelon Corp. was no longer a member in good standing because of the Chicago-based utility’s public campaign opposing the extension of the tax incentives that are set to expire at the end of this year.

Amid Partisan Bickering, Everyone Agrees: ARPA-E Is a Fascinating Experiment

Source: By Ross Andersen, The Atlantic • Posted: Monday, September 10th, 2012

Last week, the New York Times reported on an exciting new energy project that is scheduled to begin testing off the coast of Oregon in early October. A company called Ocean Power Technologies is going to lower a 260-ton generator into the Pacific ocean, just 2.5 miles from the shore, in order to capture renewable energy from waves. The buoy generator will link up to the grid and, if it works, could generate enough electricity to power 1,000 homes. Like many new experiments in renewable energy, the Oregon project was partially funded by a grant from the Department of Energy. In previous decades, the Department of Energy drove basic research by operating giant government-funded labs, but under the leadership of Energy Secretary and Nobel Laureate Steven Chu, the agency has transformed itself into something different: the biggest, greenest venture capital firm in the world.

Chu’s absence to loom large at House hearing on controversial transmission plan

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 10th, 2012

Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s absence at a House Natural Resources hearing this week will loom large as lawmakers, industry groups and one clean energy advocate debate the Obama administration’s controversial plan to upgrade the electric grid using power marketing administrations. The secretary declined a second request to answer questions in person about a memo he sent to the country’s four administrations in March, triggering sharp criticism from House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.). Chu also declined to testify at a hearing in April because he was traveling (E&E Daily, April 27).

Conservative groups push for end to wind energy tax credit

Source: By Zack Colman, TheHill.com • Posted: Friday, September 7th, 2012

Sixty conservative groups on Thursday urged Congress to kill a popular wind energy incentive. In a letter to lawmakers, the groups said the federal government should not prop up wind energy with a 2.2 cent per kilowatt-hour tax credit.

Transmission siting is one thing Barrasso and former DNC chief Dean agree on

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Every odd couple agrees on something. During an hourlong forum on energy development, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso (R) and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) differed on how to advance solar and wind energy development, the source of climate change and whether President Obama’s energy strategy is effective.

Shifting Views on Climate Change

Source: John Broder, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 6th, 2012

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, have spelled out their views on climate change in a bit more detail than they usually do on the campaign trail in response to questions from a group of scientific organizations. In written statements posted on Tuesday at the Web site of Sciencedebate.org, the candidates added some clarity to their views on global warming, but in a way that also raised some questions about their consistency.