If the American voter had to choose between Republican nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton based on their energy policies alone, the presidential election would still be a remarkable drama, amounting to the biggest referendum on global climate change since the term was coined.
The most significant change would require wind developers to leave a space five times the height of each tower between turbines and neighboring homes. Five times the tower height would amount to more than 2,000 feet for 2.5-megawatt towers.
Use of solar power is soaring, but Europe’s biggest solar panel manufacturer, SolarWorld, took the surprise step last month of cutting 500 jobs from its workforce of 3,000. The reason? Global sales are on track for a record year but prices are plunging due to a glut of supply. That is encouraging the spread of clean energy but squeezing manufacturers, leading to politically sensitive job losses.
Congratulations to Gov. Raimondo and Gov. Brownback, and a word of thanks for Gov. Terry Branstad’s steadfast leadership while chairing the group this year.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, who has overseen the rise of the country’s first offshore wind farm, has been tapped to lead a group of governors interested in promoting wind energy.
Raimondo was named 2017 chair of the Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition, a bipartisan group that Massachusetts helped to found in 2008, and Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas was named vice chair, the coalition announced Monday. The announcement came as coalition members gathered Monday in Providence for an offshore wind development summit, the group said.
The completion near Block Island this summer of the first offshore wind farm in the nation marks a milestone, but it will mean little if more projects don’t follow. Developers, suppliers, elected officials and regulators gathered on Tuesday for the first day of a national offshore wind power conference to see what they could learn from the construction of Deepwater Wind’s five-turbine Block Island wind farm, and to discuss larger prospects for the industry.
Anybody hoping for a robust national discussion about climate change this election year has been sorely disappointed. But one state, Washington, has been having just such a debate, thanks to an ambitious ballot proposal that would impose a tax on carbon emissions.
The United States is on track to triple its solar power capacity in three years, according to the Department of Energy. The agency recently released data indicating that solar power has continued to grow in the country, while the coal market has been shrinking. Experts say that the rise in the solar energy industry can be attributed to the low costs of equipment as well as tax credits offered to the sector
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.