Payroll tax bill ‘the last chance’ to extend wind energy tax credit — industry panel

Source: Nathanael Massey • E&E • Posted: Friday, February 10th, 2012

Wind energy producers will have to start downsizing operations and laying off workers if Congress does not move swiftly to extend the production tax credit for wind energy, CEOs of wind energy companies said yesterday.
Tagging the extension onto the payroll tax bill, which renews a tax cut set to expire at the end of February, may be “effectively the last chance” to put that extension through in the first quarter of 2012, they said.

Iowa delegation joins chorus of calls to extend wind credit

Source: Gabriel Nelson • E&E • Posted: Friday, February 10th, 2012

Iowa’s entire congressional delegation is urging Hill leadership to renew a wind energy tax credit that is scheduled to expire at the end of this year, showing growing bipartisan support for a fast-growing industry in the windy country of the Great Plains. The four Democrats and three Republicans fired off a letter yesterday saying that Congress should add language extending the production tax credit (PTC) to an extension of the payroll tax cut that Republican leadership is now negotiating with top-ranking Democrats and the White House.

Surplus Renewable Energy: An Update

Source: MATTHEW L. WALD • New York Times • Posted: Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Last year I wrote about sudden surges in renewable energy that set up a conflict between wind producers in the Pacific Northwest and the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency that runs hydroelectric dams and the regional grid. When unseasonable storms created a simultaneous surplus of wind and water, Bonneville gave free power away but still had to deal with an oversupply that could overwhelm the grid. But at a two-day National Electricity Forum sponsored by the Energy Department and others, the federal energy secretary, Steven Chu, on Wednesday proposed a different set of solutions to the problem, which is likely to emerge elsewhere as installations of renewable energy expand and systems have to cope with surges or deficits of power they cannot predict.

North Carolina panel touts wind energy use

Source: ROB CHRISTENSEN • The News & Observer • Posted: Thursday, February 9th, 2012

A new study released Wednesday by Gov. Bev Perdue said North Carolina had the largest offshore wind resource on the East Coast and that the state should work with industry to develop the wind energy industry. The 15-member panel said wind energy along North Carolina’s coast and sounds offered significant opportunities for renewable energy and for job creation.

There’ll be no budget retreat on clean energy — CEQ chief

Source: John McArdle • E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 9th, 2012

The White House’s top environmental adviser said today that Republicans will be disappointed if they hope the hubbub over the failed solar equipment manufacturer Solyndra will translate into drastic new cuts in clean energy investments in President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal. “The president is going to articulate his priorities next week, and as you heard in the State of the Union, he spent a lot of time talking about energy,” Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley said today after a brief appearance at an environmental justice event for students that took place on Capitol Hill.

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas chairman resigns as company warns 2011 profit to disappoint

Source: Associated Press • Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, February 9th, 2012

The chairman of Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s largest maker of wind turbines in terms of revenue, announced he will step down after the company said last year’s profits were substantially below target. Bent Erik Carlsen said Wednesday in a live television interview that investors wanted change, forcing him and Deputy Chairman Torsten Erik Rasmussen to decline a re-election bid at next month’s shareholder meeting.

Inhofe optimistic about bid to roll back toxics rule

Source: Jean Chemnick • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) predicted today that his motion to strike a new U.S. EPA rule for power plant air toxics would fare better than efforts to roll back air rules using the Congressional Review Act.

Denmark leads EU countries on wind energy

Source: NIKOLAJ NIELSEN • • Posted: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

European wind energy is picking up as recently released statistics by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) show an upward spike in the number of wind farms created, amount invested, and energy generated. The European Commission describes it as one of the fasting-growing energy sources, while the sector itself aims to get wind power to account for 20 percent of final EU electricity consumption by 2020. In 2011, wind accounted for 6.3 percent up from 5.3 percent the year before.

Murkowski accuses FERC of ceding power to EPA

Source: Hannah Northey • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should be doing more than just advising U.S. EPA on whether power plants should be given extensions to comply with new air pollution rules. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski believes a FERC staff paper released last month that lays out an advising role for the commission relinquishes too much power to EPA and does not require the agency to take advice from electric reliability professionals.

Nearly all in Colorado delegation back push to extend wind-energy tax credit

Source: Mark Jaffe • The Denver Post • Posted: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

A bipartisan group from Colorado’s congressional delegation is calling for the extension of the wind-energy-production tax credit to be added to the bill extending the payroll-tax cuts.