News

CES would nearly triple projected coal retirements — EIA

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Senate legislation aimed at expanding use of low-emitting sources of electricity would nearly triple the projected retirements of coal-fired power plants by 2035 while providing a substantial boost to nuclear, natural gas and renewable energy, according to an analysis released today from the Energy Information Administration.

Combination of Errors Led to Power Loss in San Diego

Source: By MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Millions of people in Southern California, Arizona and northern Mexico were plunged into darkness last September because of errors and system problems paralleling those that caused the great Eastern blackout of August 2003, federal investigators reported on Tuesday.

China’s Vanishing Trade Imbalance

Source: By EDUARDO PORTER, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

What is more, the investment boom could help Chinese companies gain share in new, high-tech markets where they did not compete before. In the wind energy industry, for example, China now has about 6 percent of world exports, up from almost zero five years ago. Still, China has not adopted many of the reforms that economists suggest are needed to lay the groundwork for a new phase of development that relies less on exports to other countries and depends more on the spending of the Chinese themselves. To do this, wages and incomes must rise.

Wind farms might have warming effect, study finds

Source: Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Large wind farms might have a warming effect on the local climate, a new study suggests, casting a shadow over the long-term sustainability of wind power.

$75B needed annually to keep generation, U.S. grid system running smoothly — report

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Lagging investment in the nation’s electric power system could lead to a $107 billion funding shortfall for essential new generation and transmission lines by the end of the decade. That gap could grow sevenfold, to nearly $732 billion, by 2040, according to a new report from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The report, one of a series updating ASCE’s 2009 “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” concludes that such shortfalls could have major economic implications for U.S. homeowners and businesses as they are forced to cope with higher electricity prices and other costs associated with an inefficient electricity system.

Sparks fly as DOJ prosecutor forced to defend migratory bird law enforcement

Source: Lawrence Hurley, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 30th, 2012

Responding to criticism from an industry lawyer, the Justice Department’s top environmental crimes prosecutor yesterday mounted a foreceful defense of the government’s enforcement of a law that criminalizes the killing of migratory birds.

Duke Energy partners with Japanese firm to extend U.S. renewables

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 30th, 2012

Renewable energy development has been slow to take hold in the Southeast, but that hasn’t stopped one of the region’s dominant utilities, Duke Energy Corp., from significantly expanding its renewables footprint, even if it has to go to Texas, Kansas and Arizona to do it. Yesterday, Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke announced it had secured financing for 299 megawatts of new wind power generation in southwestern Kansas that it will build in a 50-50 joint venture with Sumitomo Corp. of America, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Corp.

Nebraska public power district pressed to expand wind power

Source: Paul Hammel, WORLD-HERALD BUREAU • Posted: Friday, April 27th, 2012

A coalition of Nebraska environmental and farm groups called on the state’s largest utility to develop more wind power to address future energy needs instead of relying on coal-fired power plants. The group said Thursday that the Nebraska Public Power District should consider clean energy alternatives rather than spend $1.5 billion to retrofit existing coal-fired power plants to deal with new environmental regulations.

Natural Gas Is on a Roll, Executive Declares

Source: ERIC LIPTON, New York Times • Posted: Friday, April 27th, 2012

A “perfect storm” of economic and regulatory factors is driving major United States utilities to rapidly switch from coal to natural gas as an electric power source, the top executive of one of the nation’s largest utilities said on Thursday.

House tax subcommittee chairman open to production tax credit extension as bridge to phaseout

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 27th, 2012

A leading House Republican said yesterday that he is open to extending a key tax credit for the wind industry that is set to expire at the end of the year but that he wants to hear more from industry leaders on how many more years they will need the government’s support. The production tax credit for wind energy was one of the most popular topics of discussion yesterday at a House subcommittee hearing on a variety of temporary tax breaks that will disappear at year’s end unless Congress intervenes.