BMW is going to extremes to make the i3 the most carbon-neutral car on the road. A wind turbine outside the BMW factory in Leipzig provides power for the i3 assembly line, and the carbon fiber for the passenger compartment comes from a factory in Washington State that uses hydropower. And of course the i3 itself has no tailpipe emissions (unless buyers choose a range-extender version that has a small gasoline motor).
A small wind farm planned near this small town is ready to begin construction except for one major snag — no one, so far, wants to buy the electricity it will produce. The 22 farmers behind Burt County Wind LLC are trying to change that by convincing Nebraska utilities that they need to look past the slightly higher cost of the energy produced by small wind farms and consider the bigger economic impact that such projects would provide.
Iowa is among several states now getting more than 20 percent of its power from wind, a key reason wind energy was the fastest-growing power-generation sector for the first time in 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy reported Tuesday. Wind accounted for 43 percent of all new electricity generation last year, a $25 billion investment, DOE reported.
Bonneville Power Administration’s hiring and promotion practices get stinging critique by Department of Energy audit
The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday released a stinging critique of human resources activities at Bonneville Power Administration. The overall conclusion of a triennial audit of the Portland based power marketing agency was that its hiring and promotion activities are “NOT EFFECTIVE.” The audit revealed “pervasive misapplications” of and “system departures” from federal hiring guidelines and laws.
Coal-fired power, hit hard by natural gas, could see further market erosion from regulations — report
s the largest power grid in North America, the Eastern Interconnection encompasses 39 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces and the District of Columbia. Some 84 percent of all U.S. coal-fired capacity falls within its jurisdiction. Given the Eastern Interconnection’s lion-sized role in hosting the flow of coal-fired electrons in the United States, the findings of a recent report by the consultancy ICF International are unlikely to bring much comfort to the nation’s faltering coal industry. The report, commissioned by the Eastern Interconnection States’ Planning Council (EISPC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), finds few challenges to natural gas’s current price advantage within current market or regulatory conditions.
The auction garnered praise from environmental groups and industry leaders. Oceana’s vice president for U.S. oceans, Jacqueline Savitz, said in a statement that the auction was “further proof that the Obama administration is committed to building a strong offshore wind industry in the United States.” Chris Long, offshore wind and siting policy manager for the American Wind Energy Association, called it “an important milestone in efforts to launch the offshore wind industry in the United States.”
A new study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that wind farms have no measurable effect on real estate prices in communities where turbines are built within 10 miles of homes. But the analysis, prepared for the Energy Department’s Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, is unlikely to quell ongoing debate over wind farms’ effects on property values, especially at the local level.
Dominion Virginia Power today was declared the preliminary winner of the Interior Department’s second competitive lease sale for offshore wind after outbidding one other company for the right to develop a 113,000-acre area off the coast of Virginia Beach.
The White House last week gathered about two dozen of its top environmental officials, outside conservationists and renewable energy leaders to discuss a controversial rule designed to protect eagles while promoting wind energy development. The meeting last Wednesday included White House climate change adviser Heather Zichal, American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan, Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark and National Audubon Society President David Yarnold, according to a meeting notice by the White House.
President Obama marked his visit to Sweden today with a joint statement by both countries highlighting the importance of climate change and low-carbon energy technology. The statement by Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt called climate change and its consequences “defining challenges of our time.”