News

Wisconsin Legislative Dems propose renewable energy ramp-up to 30% by 2030

Source: By Thomas Content, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Posted: Friday, February 28th, 2014

Saying the state needs a long-term energy plan, Democrats in the state Legislature are proposing to expand utilities’ use of renewable energy to supply power to their customers. The bill being unveiled this week would increase the state’s renewable energy target to 30% by 2030. Wisconsin utilities have already complied with the 2015 mandate, which requires that 10% of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources that year.

Steyer calls for connecting climate to people and commerce as key to congressional action

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 28th, 2014

Getting American businesses to support action on climate change is the key to prompting congressional movement, financial investor turned billionaire activist Tom Steyer told a group here yesterday. Businesses need to see how not acting on climate will affect their bottom line, Steyer said as he spoke at the Climate Leadership Conference. As well, he said, there are opportunities to make money by developing technological and other solutions to climate-related problems.

Researchers claim vast offshore wind farms could calm hurricanes

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 27th, 2014

It’s physics 101: A wind turbine spins by extracting energy from moving air. As a turbine moves faster, the wind powering the twirling blades slows down a little bit. But what happens when turbines are hit with the high-speed winds that power hurricanes like Sandy or Katrina? Could an offshore wind farm actually dampen the destructive force of a superstorm?

Combating climate change remains the key driver for U.S. energy research, officials say

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Though energy security and economic competitiveness are important benefits, officials speaking yesterday at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy Summit outside Washington, D.C., said slowing climate change is the primary driver for energy research and innovation. “I’ve certainly not shied away from emphasizing the role of climate” in driving policy, said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The big questions [around legislation], then, are what, how much and when.”

Funds and New Timetable for Offshore Wind Farm in Massachusetts

Source: By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Cape Wind, the much-delayed offshore wind farm project proposed for Nantucket Sound, said Wednesday that it had received a new loan commitment that would allow it to finish its financing this fall and begin producing power by 2016. “We expect to complete project financing in Q3,” Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for Cape Wind, wrote in an email, referring to the third quarter. “We will begin construction (on land) shortly thereafter. We will begin ocean construction in 2015 and commission the project in 2016.”

University of Delaware creates program to push offshore wind as a U.S. policy

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The University of Delaware yesterday announced a new initiative to educate policymakers and other stakeholders about the value of offshore wind, ultimately aiming to aid the commercial-scale deployment of the technology off America’s shores. Called the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW), it will be housed by the University’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and headed by Stephanie McClellan, formerly policy director and offshore wind adviser for Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D). “It’s our goal to help accelerate the deployment to a scalable level necessary to address the grand challenge of global climate change and to grow our domestic clean energy economy,” said Charles Riordan, the University of Delaware’s vice provost for research, at yesterday’s announcement.

Camp draft frames energy breaks as giveaways, rankling recipients

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 27th, 2014

In releasing his long-awaited tax reform proposal that would cut most incentives for the energy industry, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp was apparently eager to frame them as little more than wasteful giveaways to well-connected industries. Recipients of those deductions were quick to paint the Michigan Republican’s proposal as a dicey endeavor that risked halting the domestic energy renaissance and reversing long-standing policy goals.

Camp reform plan would ax incentives for oil and gas, renewable energy

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 27th, 2014

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp released his highly anticipated proposal to overhaul the tax code today, aiming to eliminate lucrative tax breaks that touch all energy sectors within a broader draft targeting economywide preferences in pursuit of a lower overall tax rate. The proposal is similar to drafts issued last year by then-Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus. But in the energy space, at least, early indications are that the draft from Camp (R-Mich.) would be more favorable to oil and gas companies and less favorable to renewable energy firms than ideas offered by the Montana Democrat.

Offshore Wind Farms Could Knock Down Hurricanes

Source: By Mark Fischetti, Scientific American • Posted: Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Hurricanes are unstoppable, right? Apparently not. An intriguing new computer simulation shows that 78,000 large wind turbines spread across 35,000 square kilometers of ocean outside of New Orleans would have cut Hurricane Katrina’scategory 3 winds at landfall by 129 to 158 kilometers per hour (80 to 98 miles per hour) and reduced the storm surge by 79 percent. The same collection of turbines offshore of New York City would have dropped Hurricane Sandy’s winds by 125 to 140 kph and the surge by up to 34 percent.

Markey to host summit, Whitehouse touts coalition building, as senators gird for battle

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Senate Democrats said yesterday that now is the time to lay the foundation for future climate change legislation and international action to address emissions. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), one of the chamber’s newest members, though a veteran of the congressional climate wars, will host a meeting on Capitol Hill tomorrow with more than 100 international legislators who hope to take action domestically to pave the way for an international agreement on climate change in Paris late next year.