Wind energy is a deeply underrated resource. Though the US invested $14.5 billion in wind-power projects last year, wind farms still provide just 4% of the nation’s electricity, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Globally, that percentage is about the same — teven hough researchers estimate that non-urban wind farms have the technical potential to produce up to 40 times the electricity the world consumes.
Few voters have a taste for lengthy debates over utility regulation. Nevadans are different. Last year, a fierce battle over rooftop solar engulfed the state. When regulators unanimously decided to do away with the retail rate doled out to residential producers, even celebrities like Mark Ruffalo joined the clamor of protests at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to denounce the ruling.
The Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition has appointed Gov. Gina Raimondo, D-R.I., and Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., the group’s chair and vice chair, respectively, for 2017. Rhode Island has positioned itself as a leader in offshore renewable energy, says the coalition, referring to the Block Island Wind Farm.
The Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition has picked Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) as chairwoman and Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback as vice chairman, the group announced today. In a statement, Raimondo touted the Block Island Wind Farm — the nation’s first offshore wind facility, which is slated to come online before the end of the year.
THE ISSUE: Energy independence has been a goal of every president since Richard Nixon. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have very different ways to achieve it. How energy is produced and where it comes from affect jobs, the economy and the environment.
North Dakota averages 60 percent of possible sunshine each day, according to the North Dakota State Climate Office. But according to Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency, the state does not have many goals or incentives for utilities or individuals to invest in solar energy. According to the North Dakota Century Code, in 2007 the Legislature established an objective of 10 percent of all retail electricity sold in the state be obtained by renewable and recycled energy by 2015. The objective was voluntary, and there were no penalties for providers that failed to meet it.
In the Miami area to stump for Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore wanted to enlighten a crowd of supporters about a controversial ballot measure on solar energy. Gore said the utility companies that back Amendment 1 make it sound like it fosters solar, but the true aim is darker than that. He called it a “phony baloney” initiative propped up by utilities. “The things they claim protect solar are protections you already have,” Gore said at Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus on Oct. 11, 2016. “But they are trying to fool you into amending your state Constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and just kill the solar industry.
Frank van Mierlo holds his dream in one hand — a hair-thin wafer of silicon, the platform for a solar power cell. After nearly 10 years and $100 million of investment, the dream is on the doorstep of happening. Next year, van Mierlo’s startup, 1366 Technologies, is set to break ground on a new wafer manufacturing plant between Buffalo and Rochester in rural upstate New York.
New techniques to continually monitor the structural conditions of an offshore wind turbine will go a long way toward optimizing maintenance and inspections, and help the offshore wind sector achieve greater increases in cost-efficiency. The TOWERPOWER project is being funded by the European Union’s Community Research and Development Information Service, and is aiming at developing reliable new techniques to continuously monitor the structural condition of an offshore wind turbine. The project is entering its final year, and is using ultrasound-based techniques to monitor the transition piece of a wind turbine — the part of the turbine that supports the nacelle and the tower itself.
Now as Trump struggles to keep pace in the race for the White House — weighed down by poor debate performances and accusations of sexual assault — Democrats are hoping that initial splash builds into a wave election that puts them back in control of the House for the first time since they lost the majority in 2010. But with a 59-seat deficit in the House for Democrats — and fewer than 20 truly competitive GOP-held seats — most political prognosticators agree it’s unlikely Democrats will be able to flip the 30 seats the party needs to take back control of the chamber.