News

Chu to miss heated GOP hearing over controversial grid upgrades

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 23rd, 2012

House Republicans won’t get the chance they were banking on to grill Energy Secretary Steven Chu about a controversial plan to upgrade transmission in the nation’s power marketing administrations that they suspect will trigger electricity price spikes.

Culver: Energy program ‘right thing to do’

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said Friday that his signature program to support renewable energy research and development has been a resounding success, though less than a third of the money has been spent. Culver said the Iowa Power Fund has inspired investors and energy startup companies to do business in Iowa. He said the program is helping create jobs in some communities, and he said the program’s impact will grow as more projects advance.

House panel to open inquiry into expiring tax extenders

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 23rd, 2012

With the clock ticking on a bevy of coveted energy tax provisions that are set to disappear at the end of this year, a key House subcommittee later this week will launch its inquiry into how or whether to throw a lifeline to industries that rely on the favorable tax treatment. Energy tax provisions, such as the production tax credit (PTC) for wind that expires at the end of this year, as well as expired programs such as the 1603 grant fund, will be among those considered at a wide-ranging hearing Thursday morning before the House Ways and Means Committee’s subpanel on select revenue measures.

Lead by Example, Clinton Tells Sustainability Forum

Source: MIREYA NAVARRO, New York Times • Posted: Friday, April 20th, 2012

“Chill out – sometimes this stuff takes years.” That was Bill Clinton’s wry observation on Thursday as he addressed a sustainability conference in New York City, expressing frustration over how long it is taking for the country to move forward on clean energy and energy efficiency.

Next president may have to wrestle with climate issue, regardless of who wins — political experts

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 20th, 2012

The issue of climate change might be off the table for the upcoming election, but it is probably not dead for long, three political experts predicted yesterday. Discussion about how to limit warming — and even talk about a carbon tax — has a fair chance of resurfacing next year regardless of who wins the presidency, Democratic and Republican insiders predicted as they spoke at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm Green conference.

Iowa Power Fund off to a slow start

Source: RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, April 20th, 2012

Chet Culver’s signature program for renewable energy research and development is off to a slower and rockier start than the former Iowa governor predicted, with a fraction of the money spent five years after its creation, according to a review by The Associated Press. Culver pitched the Iowa Power Fund as a $100 million program that would invest in ethanol, wind, and other technologies to reduce pollution, break the state’s dependence on foreign oil, and add jobs. In a speech when he left office last year, he said the fund “allowed Iowa to become the silicon prairie of the Midwest” and its breakthroughs would secure Iowa’s energy future.

Overhauling subsidies could boost renewables, think tanks say

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 19th, 2012

As federal support for clean energy technologies is projected to decline precipitously by 2014, three prominent think tanks are pushing a new pathway that would free renewable energy industries from the boom-and-bust cycle of policy dependence by rejiggering incentives to reward technologies that can compete with traditional fossil fuels absent government support.

Clean Technology on the Brink

Source: JOHN M. BRODER, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Clean energy technology has grown robustly and come down in price in recent years, driven by hefty government stimulus spending, expectations of future regulation and substantial private investment. But that technology is going to fall off a cliff unless government steps in quickly to revitalize the solar, wind, nuclear, battery and clean vehicle sectors with new spending and federal policy, according to a new study from three research groups.

Global wind power market will suffer from loss of U.S. tax credit, industry executives say

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Thursday, April 19th, 2012

The global wind energy market is heading for a downturn next year as the expiration of the U.S. production tax credit casts a pall on the industry, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a new forecast yesterday.

Nevada, Iowa woos Chinese energy firm partners?

Source: Dan Piller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Folks here were happy enough when HZ Windpower of Chong-qing, China, dedicated two 2-megawatt wind turbines Wednesday, but the locals have their eye on a much bigger prize. HZ is looking for a site in the U.S. to build blades, towers and other components for wind energy. Nevada, whose motto is “Where Renewable Energy is Happening,” thinks it is just the spot for an HZ plant and laid out a welcoming lunch for the company’s officials at Indian Creek Country Club.