Investment in smart grid technology grew steadily last year — report

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 1st, 2013

Global investment in smart grid technology rose 7 percent in 2012, according to a new report by the Worldwatch Institute, buoyed by the growing presence of renewables in the energy mix and the integration of new technologies into infrastructure upgrades. World markets saw $13.9 billion invested in smart grid technology. The United States remains the lead investor in smart grids, though its investments fell last year to $4.3 billion, from $5.1 billion in 2011. China, in second place, appears to be closing the gap, increasing its smart grid spending 14 percent to $3.2 billion.

Zichal says Obama to speak soon on climate, skips details on executive action

Source: Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 1st, 2013

White House climate adviser Heather Zichal repeated the president’s warning that Congress must act on climate change yesterday, but she declined to give lawmakers a deadline or say which carbon policy is preferred by the administration. Describing climbing temperatures as “one of the clearest and most urgent challenges of our time,” Zichal also hinted at forthcoming action by President Obama as he faces pressure to spend more time rallying the public around solutions to climate change. He will pick up where his State of the Union address left off, Zichal said, noting that the Feb. 12 speech was “just the beginning of the conversation.”

Key Republican senators offer funding for R&D from subsidies, drilling revenue sharing

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 28th, 2013

“I would take $12 million in the subsidies to wind to begin to double energy research,” Alexander said today after a speech at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) fourth annual Innovation Summit at the National Harbor in suburban Washington, D.C. The senator, who has criticized wind energy subsidies in particular in the past, said during his speech that he would target “subsidies,” not just wind, as places to find funding for R&D.

‘Coal is a dead man walking’ — Bloomberg

Source: Manuel Quinones, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 28th, 2013

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted coal-fired power generation today during a high-profile Energy Department innovation summit just outside Washington, D.C. “The king is dead. Coal is a dead man walking,” Bloomberg said during the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) conference. “We are heading toward the sustainable future that we all want.”

AWEA Fact check: Harvard study misses real-world facts about wind power

Source: by Michael Goggin, AWEA Manager-Transmission Policy • Posted: Thursday, February 28th, 2013

A recent [Harvard] study errs in its assessment of potential wind energy resources by ignoring real-world data and experience and instead relying on crude theoretical modeling techniques. In reality, wind project developers and investors work closely with atmospheric scientists and other experts to make sure that their projects will produce as much as expected, and real-world data from large-scale wind installations in the US and Europe confirms that they do. Regardless of who is correct, the inescapable fact is that America’s developable wind energy resources are many times greater than our country’s energy needs.

Carper to introduce bill extending investment tax credit

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) today is expected to reintroduce a bill offering tax credits for the first companies to build offshore wind projects in the United States. Carper’s bill would offer a 30 percent investment tax credit for the first 3,000 megawatts of new offshore wind projects, which would likely cover at least the first several projects. Carper said he is hoping his bill can be part of a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code.

Vestas cuts turbine blade workers but adds tower jobs in Colo.

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Vestas Wind Systems A/S is cutting 110 jobs at its two blade factories in Colorado and adding 100 workers at another plant that makes wind turbine towers in the same state. The Danish wind turbine maker is reducing its workforce at factories in Windsor and Brighton, while adding jobs in Pueblo. Before the announcement, Vestas employed about 1,100 workers in Colorado.

Salazar: Looming Sequestration Threatens Offshore Wind Energy Development

Source: by NAW Staff on Tuesday 26 February 2013 • Posted: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The progress that offshore wind energy has made thus far in the U.S. could be stymied by cuts made under sequestration, U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar said at the Offshore Wind Power USA conference, which is being held in Boston this week. “We have made impressive gains – approving dozens of utility-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects in the West, and transitioning from planning to commercial leasing for offshore wind,” Salazar said during his keynote address. “The potentially devastating impact of budget reductions under sequestration could slow our economy and hurt energy sector workers and businesses.”

Washington Post poll finds majority support in Md. for offshore wind energy

Source: By Aaron C. Davis, Published: February 26, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

A majority of Maryland residents support Gov. Martin O’Malley’s plan to subsidize development of giant windmills in the Atlantic Ocean, according a new Washington Post poll. And there is growing momentum for the bill to pass the Maryland General Assembly this year.

Keeping Realistic Expectations About Wind Energy

Source: Michael Harper for • Posted: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

According to new research from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the notion that wind energy presents an unending supply of power might be a bit misleading. While there may be no end to breezes and gusts, the way we harness them could be counterproductive, according to applied physicist David Keith. His latest research, which applies mesoscale atmospheric modeling, finds large-scale wind farms will not be as effective as previously thought. His conclusions have now been published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.