Markey bill would mandate that utilities buy renewables, boost efficiency

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, November 1st, 2013

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today introduced his first bill since joining the Senate earlier this year, aiming to require electric utilities to provide 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and to mandate reductions in energy use by both electric and natural gas utilities. The bill is the second effort to create a nationwide renewable energy standard (RES), a long-standing goal of environmentalists and clean energy advocates who hope to build on existing policies in more than two dozen states. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) earlier this week introduced a 25 percent by 2025 RES, although their bill did not include the separate efficiency standard in Markey’s

Industry presses for predictable policies after sluggish start to year

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, November 1st, 2013

Activity in the industry started picking up this fall, with about 68 MW installed between July and September, and wind farms capable of generating more than 2,000 MW are now under construction, according to the American Wind Energy Association. But the group says the sharp slowdown early this year following a brief expiration of the production tax credit demonstrates the influence the federal government has over the success or failure of the wind industry. “Our No. 1 challenge is the uncertain, unpredictable policy environment in which the wind industry has to operate,” AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan told reporters today.

In Brazil, the wind is blowing in a new era of renewable energy

Source: By Juan Forero, Published: October 30, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Wind is emerging as a prize for energy planners who see the howling gusts that arrive from the east as a way to offset the fresh limits imposed on hydropower. A string of wind-turbine parks is being erected in the nation’s windiest stretches, in what planners here see as the beginning of an extraordinary transformation. No one expects that wind will outpace dams as the main source of Brazil’s electricity. But the goals remain audacious for a country that projects an annual rise in electricity consumption of up to 5 percent in coming years.

Panel prescribes major fixes for aging U.S. power grid

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Today, everything from bank receipts to the batting averages of baseball players can be coded into megabytes and lines of data. Yet in the United States, the basic infrastructure that underpins these systems — the grid that feeds them with electrons — remains largely untouched by the computerization boom of the past half-century.

Fear is rising in oil industry that tax breaks would be axed in reform bill

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Oil and natural gas lobbyists have spent more than a year urging lawmakers to maintain targeted tax breaks for extracting and transporting their products, but there are signs of a growing fear within the industry that impending legislation to overhaul the tax code for the first time in a generation would eliminate most of those incentives in order to lower the top-line rate paid by all companies.

OPINION: Nebraska is a loser in the wind-energy boom

Source: By John Upton, Grist • Posted: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

It’s hard to find anywhere in America that’s windier than Nebraska, where sweeping flat lands offer little to break up the gusts. So why isn’t the state dotted with turbines?

Udalls introduce 25×25 RES bill

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Two Democrats today introduced a Senate bill that would require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The bill from Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is the latest in a long-running campaign to implement a nationwide renewable energy standard; when they were in the House, the Udall cousins introduced their first RES bill in 2002.

Udall Fights For National Renewable Electricity Standard

Source: KRWG, New Mexico • Posted: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Continuing their push for legislation to set a threshold for renewable electricity production, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Udall (D-CO) today introduced a bill to establish a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that would create jobs, reduce pollution and save consumers money.

Voters want EPA, not Congress, to set climate regs — poll

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Voters in 11 swing states said they would prefer that U.S. EPA set new standards for carbon emissions rather than leaving the task to Congress, according to a survey out today. While the Hart Research Associates poll of 1,013 likely voters, commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters, found strong public support for new regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions, it also showed that those polled would prefer the rules be set by bureaucrats, and not politicians.

Greenhouse gas levels rose 11% over 1 year in Calif.

Source: Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Green California led the country in greenhouse gas emissions between 2011 and 2012, according to an analysis of U.S. EPA’s recently released data. A wet year in 2011 ramped up hydropower generation in the state, which led to a relative drop in that renewable energy in 2012. The decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station also raised emissions, said Trevor Houser, a partner with the Rhodium Group and a former climate change adviser in the State Department.