Boulder wants goal of cutting greenhouse gas 80 percent by 2050

Source: By Erica Meltzer, Denver Post • Posted: Thursday, August 1st, 2013

The city of Boulder is set to adopt a goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Meeting that new goal, which is expected to be adopted by the City Council next year, will require an “unprecedented level of action,” a city staff memo said.

Wind power industry catches fresh economic breeze after tough half-year

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, August 1st, 2013

The U.S. wind energy industry’s growth engine badly sputtered and then stalled in the first half of 2013, with only 1.6 megawatts of new wind power coming online between January and June, according to data released yesterday by the American Wind Energy Association. During the second quarter of the year, no new wind turbines were built anywhere in the country, AWEA said, a circumstance few would have predicted one year ago, when the industry was riding a wave of growth that resulted in 13,000 MW of new generation being added to the grid in 2012.

Finance panel launches energy overhaul with partisan bickering

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, August 1st, 2013

A Senate Finance subcommittee yesterday began its work to overhaul an array of tax incentives benefiting energy companies with a broad overview of what benefits exist today and continued partisan disagreement over how to account for the tax breaks enjoyed by various industries. Negotiations over comprehensive tax reform have been simmering on Capitol Hill for more than a year, but the effect that overhauling the tax code would have on energy companies has remained largely in the background. Tax reform could have massive implications across numerous sectors, from oil drillers to pipeline operators to wind farm developers to building retrofitters.

Deepwater plans up to 200 wind turbines in US waters

Source: By Erin Ailworth | GLOBE STAFF JULY 31, 2013, Boston Globe • Posted: Thursday, August 1st, 2013

A New England company has successfully bid $3.8 million for the rights to develop offshore wind farms in nearly 165,000 acres of specially designated federal waters off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind LLC of Providence said it plans to build up to 200 turbines capable of producing enough energy to power roughly 350,000 homes, with a transmission system linking Long Island, N.Y., to southeastern New England. Construction could begin as early as 2017.

State wind-power efforts need a boost in construction of electric power lines

Source: By Jim Malewitz, Published: July 30, The Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Kansas is undoubtedly a windy state, but it is not yet the “Saudi Arabia of Wind” that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback wants it to be. Kansas has more wind energy potential than any state except Texas, but eight states generate more total megawatts of wind power — even as Brownback and his legislature have taken steps to boost Kansas’s wind industry. A key problem: a lack of high-voltage electric lines to connect the remote areas where turbines churn out power to the bustling regions that demand it.

Minneapolis may drop homegrown utility and corporate citizen Xcel Energy

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Xcel Energy Inc., the investor-owned utility that has been championed for its commitment to wind power by clean energy advocates far and wide, is at risk of being dropped as the electricity provider to this city, which is its national headquarters. Among other reasons, it is accused of not being sufficiently pro-clean energy.

Interior to review Va. plan to build 2 turbines

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The Interior Department is reviewing a plan by Virginia to build two 6-megawatt wind turbines in federal waters off its shores, a project that aims to lower the risk of developing offshore wind farms. The proposal by Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy would test “twisted jacket” turbine foundations that offer the strength of traditional foundations but use substantially less steel.

Nebraska: Lincoln Electric System’s out-of-state energy purchase criticized

Source: By Robert Pore / World-Herald News Service • Posted: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

A decision by the Lincoln Electric System to purchase wind energy from Oklahoma is being criticized by the Nebraska Farmers Union. Earlier this month, Lincoln Electric System agreed to purchase 100 megawatts of wind energy. LES officials touted cost savings for its customers. But Farmers Union President John Hansen said the public utility also has a responsibility to boost economic development in Nebraska.

Reid urges FERC to carefully weigh Buffett’s offer to buy Nev. utility

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to carefully consider billionaire Warren Buffett’s proposal to buy Las Vegas-based NV Energy Inc. for $5.6 billion and combine it with MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.

Carbon price unlikely to pass Congress but necessary to drive clean technology, experts say

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 29th, 2013

Pricing carbon may be the single most important thing the government can do to drive clean technology and is a necessary but not sufficient condition for mitigating climate change, according to experts. Many of the emerging systems that curb greenhouse gas emissions and displace fossil fuels show promise in the laboratory and at small scales but are too expensive for prime time. Attaching a price tag to carbon dioxide emanating from fossil fuels would go a long way toward closing the gap.