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.
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.
NV Energy Inc. has pulled out of a major Idaho wind energy project after environmental studies showed it could have “more than minor adverse effects” on the population of imperiled sage grouse.
Supporters of a bipartisan effort to protect the American wind energy industry say that 37,000 U.S. jobs will be at risk this year if Congress fails to extend the production tax credits that have been vital to wind power development. The call for Congress to pass HR 3307, the American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act, was made during a teleconference hosted by three members of Congress, the American Wind Energy Assn. and TPI Composites, a Newton, Iowa-based wind blade manufacturer.
With a key House committee set to begin today considering whether to extend a key wind energy tax break that expires at the end of the year, a veterans group is pointing to the role renewable energy plays keeping the lights on at remote bases in war zones and providing jobs to veterans when they return home. A Ways and Means subcommittee meets this morning to consider proposed legislation that would extend a variety of temporary tax provisions scheduled to expire at the end of this year, including the production tax credit (PTC) for wind, which has been a key focus for renewable energy backers on and off Capitol Hill.
Small-government groups including the American Legislative Exchange Council, whose advocacy for Florida’s Stand-Your-Ground law and other measures have drawn calls to revoke its tax-exempt status, are taking aim at state mandates requiring renewable energy use. While environmentalists view the clean-energy standards as vital to reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, groups like ALEC and the Grover Norquist-run Americans for Tax Reform say the mandates are a hidden tax on consumers and a drag on state economies.
A Senate Appropriations subcommittee unanimously approved a fiscal 2013 energy and water spending bill today that would boost funding for clean energy and water infrastructure and authorize the Energy Department to begin finding temporary sites to store nuclear waste.
Congress is taking the wind out of turbine sales. And that’s despite support from President Barack Obama, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a substantial roster of House Republicans who see extending the wind tax credit as an electoral imperative.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state grid operator and manager of the wholesale electric market, hit a new wind record Wednesday, exceeding the previous record by almost 200 megawatts (MW). Wind output reached 7,599 MW at 8:41 p.m., Wednesday, March 7, exceeding the 7,403 MW record from the previous day, March 6, by 196 MW. Prior to March 6, the record for wind output in ERCOT was 7,400 MW, recorded on Oct. 7, 2011.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear testimony this week on the growing issue of weather-related power outages and what to do about it.