Senate plan calls for energy investments, climate preparation

Source: Nick Juliano and Phil Taylor, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, March 14th, 2013

The budget released last night by Senate Democrats calls for substantial investments in energy infrastructure and research as mechanisms to boost the economy and address the effects of climate change. The plan is heavy on calls for infrastructure investments, including transmission lines, “smart grid” technology, water management and mass transit. The document is not binding on lawmakers but presents Democrats’ priorities for the coming years.

Wind farm near Searchlight gets OK, could power 70,000 homes

Source: By Conor Shine, Las Vegas Sun News • Posted: Thursday, March 14th, 2013

A major renewable energy project for 87 wind turbines on federal land near Searchlight received government approval Wednesday. The wind farm would cover about 160 acres of a 19,000 acre piece of Bureau of Land Management property west of Searchlight and would generate 200 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 70,000 homes, according to the BLM.

Offshore wind bill breezes through Maryland Senate

Source: E&E • Posted: Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

The Maryland Senate on Friday cleared a measure that would make it easier to develop wind energy off the coast of Ocean City.

In Search of Energy Miracles

Source: By JUSTIN GILLIS, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Many environmentalists believe that wind and solar power can be scaled to meet the rising demand, especially if coupled with aggressive efforts to cut waste. But a lot of energy analysts have crunched the numbers and concluded that today’s renewables, important as they are, cannot get us even halfway there. “We need energy miracles,” Mr. Gates said in a speech three years ago introducing his approach, embodied in a company called TerraPower.

Layoffs announced at Iowa wind turbine plant

AP • Posted: Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

An international renewable energy company is laying off 40 workers at its wind turbine plant in eastern Iowa. Acciona announced Monday that a reduction at its West Branch facility was necessary because of a sharp decline in U.S. wind development over the past year.

Wind energy bill clears Maryland Senate

Source: By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun • Posted: Monday, March 11th, 2013

Gov. Martin O’Malley’s plan to encourage development of a wind energy farm off the coast of Ocean City cleared a major hurdle Friday as the Maryland Senate passed the bill 30-17. The proposal, designed to spark an offshore wind industry by subsidizing its developer, now goes to the Maryland House of Delegates. The House has passed a similar bill but needs to consider minor changes made in a Senate committee.

Energy and Climate on the White House Agenda

Source: By JOHN M. BRODER, New York Times • Posted: Monday, March 11th, 2013

President Obama hosted a casual off-the-record meeting with a diverse group of energy and climate change experts at the White House on Thursday evening, officials and participants said Friday. The session appeared to mark an early stage of the “national conversation” on how to deal with climate change that Mr. Obama promised to lead shortly after he was re-elected in November.

Obama huddles with energy execs, ‘thought leaders’

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 11th, 2013

President Obama met Thursday night with more than a dozen executives and “thought leaders” to discuss energy policies, including natural gas, renewables, research and development, and efficiency, the White House said today. The meeting comes ahead of a planned trip by Obama to Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to discuss energy policy.

Former Republican leaders on climate change are steering clear of the issue

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 11th, 2013

Changing weather patterns and a slightly shifting political landscape have spurred a renewed interest in climate change action among congressional Democrats but not with the Republicans who once expressed concern about the issue. GOP senators including John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska still say that man-made climate change exists and deserves a response — a position that sets them apart from many in their caucus who say warming is not occurring or is driven only by natural causes. But they don’t talk much about the issue anymore, nor do they propose mandatory programs to deal with it.

Wyo. company to test new storage technology in wind project

Source: E&E • Posted: Friday, March 8th, 2013

An energy company is hoping to test out a way to store energy generated by wind turbines. Wyoming-based Winhyne Energy Group hopes to install a hydraulic pump system to the towers of its planned nine-turbine wind project. The pumps would store pressure as the turbines rotate, which would be used to turn a hydraulic motor and spin a generator. If the energy isn’t immediately needed, it would be stored by compressing nitrogen into a pipeline system.