A demonstration floating offshore wind project in Oregon breezed over another hurdle yesterday, raising hopes that West Coast’s first offshore turbines will begin spinning before the end of the decade. However, the project’s developers indicated that this new and potentially transformative technology will likely find a more welcoming market in Europe before it is realized at utility scale in the United States.
Industry and federal government officials say advances in turbine technology could transform wind development in the Southeast, adding another renewable fuel option to an area once dominated by coal. But as outside developers are eyeing places to build taller towers and longer blades, emerging lawsuits and legislation could drive them away.
“I look forward to working with Governor Inslee and our coalition colleagues to help the wind energyindustry diversify our nation’s energy portfolio,” says Daugaard. “We will continue working with Congress to extend the federal wind production tax credit so the industry can continue to produce rewarding careers throughout the nation.
Baucus’ exit means Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will take his place atop the Senate Finance Committee and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) will take over for Wyden as chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Both moves are likely to lead to a shift in emphasis at both committees, although the senators are still crafting the agendas they will pursue in their new roles. Landrieu said she is planning to sit down soon with top energy Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to discuss the committee’s agenda. The two are largely aligned in their support for policies favored by the oil and gas industry, which is prevalent in both of their states. But Landrieu said she has not yet fully crafted her priority list.
Fifty years from now, the U.S. electrical grid will look less like a one-way exchange of supply and demand than a network of interchangeable power sources, batteries, appliances and devices. It will be smart enough to balance the intermittency of solar and wind power, while simultaneously optimizing the power demands of hundreds of millions of customers — customers who know more and have more control over their consumption of electricity.
Global installed wind power capacity increased by 12.4 percent to more than 318 gigawatts in 2013 led by China and Canada, industry figures showed on Wednesday. Capacity rose from around 283 GW at the end of 2012, data from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) showed. However, installations slowed in 2013 to about 35.5 GW, almost 10 GW less than a year earlier mostly on a drop in the United States.
Lisa Heinzerling, a key architect of U.S. EPA’s climate change regulations, has been selected for a Georgetown University Law School professorship named for former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr. A former clerk for Brennan, Heinzerling is well-known for helping to lay the legal foundation for EPA’s bid to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases.
A New Jersey energy firm has set its sights on Carroll County for a $42 million wind farm investment. NJR Clean Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire its second onshore wind project on 1,100 acres in the county.
The Interior Department is expected to announce today that it’s advancing a Seattle company’s plan to install the nation’s first commercial floating wind turbine facility. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau are scheduled to make the announcement this afternoon in Portland alongside Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
“I look forward to working with Governor Inslee and our Coalition colleagues to help the wind energy industry diversify our nation’s energy portfolio,” said Governor Daugaard. “We will continue working with Congress to extend the federal wind production tax credit so the industry can continue to produce rewarding careers throughout the nation. We will also support efforts to modernize our nation’s electric transmission system that is so vital to economic development in Washington, South Dakota, and throughout the nation.