Wind costs fall to match coal, gas in key energy markets — report

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 8th, 2015

In a finding that should resonate across global energy markets, Bloomberg New Energy Finance revealed this week that wind energy has achieved cost parity with fossil fuel power in two key European markets, while solar continues to close the energy price gap across many parts of the world. BNEF, updating its levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) figures for the second half of 2015, found that the cost of onshore wind power fell globally from $85 to $82 per megawatt-hour for the second half of the year, while costs for solar photovoltaics fell from $129 to $122 per MWh.

Brown signs bill upping renewable energy mandate to 50%

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 8th, 2015

“The California example and the California strategy is being adopted, and people are joining with us,” he said. “This is global in its scope. This is not easy stuff. We are here because of oil, oil and gas, and, to a lesser extent, coal. “That is the prosperity. That’s how we got here. Everything we’ve got has it,” he added. “What has been the source of our prosperity now has become the source of our ultimate destruction if we don’t get off of it.” The measure from state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D) that became law, however, is a smaller version of a vision Brown put forward at the start of the year. Along with the electricity and efficiency mandates, he had sought to cut in half petroleum use by 2030.

California Wants Renewable Energy for Half Its Power by 2030

Source: By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown dramatically increased California’s climate-change goals, committing the state to use renewable energy for half its electricity and make existing buildings twice as energy-efficient in just 15 years. Brown tried for an even stronger measure that also would have enforced a 50 percent drop in petroleum use by 2030, but was defeated by oil interests. He called that a short-term setback, and insisted that the world needs to wean itself off fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

FERC’s Moeller to step down this month

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Philip Moeller, a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, announced today that he plans to leave the agency at the end of the month. Moeller in a statement posted to the agency’s website said he had thanked Presidents Obama and George W. Bush for nominating him as a commissioner and that he plans to pursue “other opportunities” in the energy field.

Wind energy is now as cheap as natural gas, and solar is getting close

Source: By BEC CREW, Science Alert • Posted: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Wind power is now comparable in price to fossil fuels, and solar is well on its way, according to a new report that confirms earlier predictions that renewables aren’t just the best option for the environment – they’re unequivocally the smartest long-term investment you can make on energy. The report, by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, found that in the second half of 2015, the global average cost of onshore wind energy will be $83 per megawatt-hour of electricity (which is down $2 from the first half of the year), and for thin film solar photovoltaics, the cost is $122 per megawatt-hour (down $7 in the past six months).

Spending talks off to a slow start

Source: Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Reid said congressional Democrats and Republicans, plus the White House, would have to agree on new spending offsets and address policy riders. Committee-passed spending bills include several provisions to undo or roll back Obama administration energy and environment priorities. “We’re not there yet,” Reid said about the progress in negotiations.

Another $1.6B offshore wind energy project planned off Hawaii’s waters

Source: By Duane Shimogawa, Pacific Business News • Posted: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Ted Peck, who once led Hawaii’s Energy Office, along with a former First Wind executive, plans to develop a $1.6 billion offshore wind energy farm for waters off Hawaii, the development team confirmed to PBN Tuesday. The 400-megawatt project located 10 miles southeast of Barbers Point in West Oahu mirrors another planned $1.6 billion offshore wind development by Denmark-based Alpha Wind Energy, which would also be located off Oahu waters, 17 miles south of Diamond Head and 12 miles northwest of Kaena Point. Alpha Wind’s 408-megawatt project, which would include more than 100 turbines at two sites,

California’s landmark renewable energy law to be signed on Wednesday

Source: By Paul Rogers and Louis Hansen, San Jose Mercury News • Posted: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

In a milestone for reducing pollution and fossil fuel use, Gov. Jerry Brown will sign into law Wednesday a bill that requires 50 percent of California’s electricity to come from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2030. With huge new solar farms sprouting in the desert every few months and Silicon Valley driving much of the clean energy investment, the state now receives 25 percent of its electricity from renewables. Brown’s act to double that at a signing ceremony in Los Angeles, however, sets in motion a green energy transformation for California over the next 15 years on a scale larger than anything any state has ever attempted.

More wind power for Mower County MN

Source: By Rochester Post Bulletin • Posted: Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

After seven years of planning and construction, planners of the Pleasant Valley Wind Farm expect it to be completed later this month. The 200-megawatt wind farm project based in Hayfield will consist of 100 wind turbines — 88 in Mower County and 12 in Dodge County — and is expected to provide an estimated $950,000 in annual local tax revenue, split pro-rata between the two counties and townships.

Jobs being created through the winds of change

Source: By Mary Thompson, CNBC • Posted: Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of jobs for wind-techs, as they are known, to increase by 24 percent from 2012 to 2022, well above the average growth rate for all jobs of over 11 percent. Still, it’s starting from a small base. In 2012, there were 3,200 wind tech jobs; by 2022, it is expected to jump to around 4,000.