“Chill out – sometimes this stuff takes years.” That was Bill Clinton’s wry observation on Thursday as he addressed a sustainability conference in New York City, expressing frustration over how long it is taking for the country to move forward on clean energy and energy efficiency.
The issue of climate change might be off the table for the upcoming election, but it is probably not dead for long, three political experts predicted yesterday. Discussion about how to limit warming — and even talk about a carbon tax — has a fair chance of resurfacing next year regardless of who wins the presidency, Democratic and Republican insiders predicted as they spoke at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm Green conference.
Chet Culver’s signature program for renewable energy research and development is off to a slower and rockier start than the former Iowa governor predicted, with a fraction of the money spent five years after its creation, according to a review by The Associated Press. Culver pitched the Iowa Power Fund as a $100 million program that would invest in ethanol, wind, and other technologies to reduce pollution, break the state’s dependence on foreign oil, and add jobs. In a speech when he left office last year, he said the fund “allowed Iowa to become the silicon prairie of the Midwest” and its breakthroughs would secure Iowa’s energy future.
As federal support for clean energy technologies is projected to decline precipitously by 2014, three prominent think tanks are pushing a new pathway that would free renewable energy industries from the boom-and-bust cycle of policy dependence by rejiggering incentives to reward technologies that can compete with traditional fossil fuels absent government support.
Clean energy technology has grown robustly and come down in price in recent years, driven by hefty government stimulus spending, expectations of future regulation and substantial private investment. But that technology is going to fall off a cliff unless government steps in quickly to revitalize the solar, wind, nuclear, battery and clean vehicle sectors with new spending and federal policy, according to a new study from three research groups.
The global wind energy market is heading for a downturn next year as the expiration of the U.S. production tax credit casts a pall on the industry, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a new forecast yesterday.
Folks here were happy enough when HZ Windpower of Chong-qing, China, dedicated two 2-megawatt wind turbines Wednesday, but the locals have their eye on a much bigger prize. HZ is looking for a site in the U.S. to build blades, towers and other components for wind energy. Nevada, whose motto is “Where Renewable Energy is Happening,” thinks it is just the spot for an HZ plant and laid out a welcoming lunch for the company’s officials at Indian Creek Country Club.
Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to block a wind farm in Southern California they claim would threaten endangered condors, protected eagles and other sensitive species.
Global wind energy capacity is expected to double by 2016 as installations continue to grow in newer markets like India and Brazil, with world capacity reaching 493 gigawatts in 2016, the Global Wind Energy Council said in a report released today.
Wind and solar will struggle in the short term but will thrive eventually as the world moves toward clean power, financial experts predicted yesterday. Renewable energy companies will struggle for the next year or more because there’s investor unease with the sector, said experts who spoke at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm Green conference.