Nebraska lawmakers look again at wind energy

Posted: Monday, October 28th, 2013

Lawmakers are once again looking for ways to attract wind-energy producers to Nebraska. At least seven state lawmakers and Gov. Dave Heineman will speak next month at the annual Nebraska Wind Conference in Lincoln. The conference helps generate new ideas based on what has worked in other states, said John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union and an event organizer. Nebraska is the nation’s third-windiest state, but ranks 26th in the energy it could now produce, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Nebraska lags behind its neighboring states: Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas.

Governor vows to get more renewable power onto grid

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Monday, October 28th, 2013

Vermont’s governor said Wednesday that he wants to better coordinate a regional effort to exploit renewable energy resources. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said after touring the headquarters of ISO New England, the company that manages the regional power grid, that the region’s power operators need to work together to incorporate the growing renewable energy market into the power grid.

As Murkowski pondered Binz’s fate, she relied on staffer who had case before him in Colo.

Source: Manuel Quiñones and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, October 28th, 2013

As she was pondering in recent weeks whether to support Ron Binz, President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) got advice from a variety of top aides, including one who had dealt with Binz years earlier.

Texas still biggest carbon polluter despite national decline

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Monday, October 28th, 2013

Carbon dioxide emissions declined both nationwide and in Texas last year, but the Lone Star State still leads the country in greenhouse gas pollution, according to a federal report released Wednesday. The decrease is largely due to a shift from burning coal to natural gas and a slight drop in electricity production. Using data from more than 8,000 facilities required to report their carbon emissions to the agency, the results showed a 4.5 percent drop in emissions nationwide

8-state pact pushes for electric vehicles, but faces roadblocks

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 28th, 2013

Environmental, consumer and automaker groups yesterday praised eight states for teaming up to push sales of electric cars, even as some warned there are roadblocks in the market. The agreement announced yesterday among California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont sets a goal of putting 3.3 million zero emission vehicles, or ZEVs, on the road within a dozen years. That’s more than 50 times the current 65,000 now in those states (Greenwire, Oct. 24)

Coal backers, lawmakers plan blitz against EPA rules

Source: Manuel Quiñones and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, October 28th, 2013

Pro-coal groups and lawmakers are planning a blitz tomorrow against U.S. EPA rules affecting the industry, particularly a proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants and another expected to extend such scrutiny to existing generators. The effort will include hearings, the release of draft legislation and a Capitol Hill rally to highlight the harm they say the rules would do to coal country.

Calif., Ore., Wash., Canadian province to make climate announcement Monday

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 28th, 2013

West Coast state and provincial governments plan to make an announcement about their climate policies early next week. Representatives of California, Oregon, Washington state and the Canadian province of British Columbia will make an announcement Monday afternoon at a meeting of the Pacific Coast Collaborative in San Francisco, officials from California and Washington said.

To Expand Offshore Power, Japan Builds Floating Windmills

Source: By HIROKO TABUCHI, New York Times • Posted: Friday, October 25th, 2013

Twelve miles out to sea from the severely damaged and leaking nuclear reactors at Fukushima, a giant floating wind turbine signals the start of Japan’s most ambitious bet yet on clean energy. When this 350-foot-tall windmill is switched on next month, it will generate enough electricity to power 1,700 homes. Unremarkable, perhaps, but consider the goal of this offshore project: to generate over 1 gigawatt of electricity from 140 wind turbines by 2020. That is equivalent to the power generated by a nuclear reactor.

Creativity key as grid planners confront changing technologies, politics

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 25th, 2013

John Norris of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission warned the North American Electric Reliability Corp.’s (NERC) second annual reliability summit in Arlington, Va., that “rapid change” has become a fact of life in their business. “Hold onto your seats,” Norris said.

U.S. offshore wind moves closer to commercial viability — report

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 25th, 2013

Despite the global recession, the growth of offshore wind energy has surged over the last decade, with commercial farms regularly popping up in waters surrounding northwestern Europe and east Asia. Today, total global capacity for offshore wind has reached nearly 5.3 gigawatts, according to a new report by Navigant Consulting Inc. There is currently just one offshore wind turbine spinning in American waters, a 20-kilowatt pilot deployed by the University of Maine in June. But over the last year, analysts believe the United States made significant headway in making the wind industry’s offshore dreams a reality.