News

Offshore Wind Energy Traversing Regulatory And Financial Currents

Source: By Ken Silverstein, Contributor, Forbes • Posted: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

“It’s more challenging in the United States because natural gas prices are lower and because terrestrial wind energy prices are also declining, making it hard for offshore wind to compete,” says Peter Asmus, principal with Navigant Consulting in San Francisco, in an interview. “The Obama administration’s recent executive order to cut carbon emissions helps but it is not enough to push it over the hump.” The US Department of Energy would like to have 54,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030. Those scenarios include development along Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts as well as in Great Lakes and Hawaiian waters, the agency says.

FERC, utilities, greens urge court to revisit demand response decision

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, environmentalists and some grid operators are pressing a federal appeals court to revisit its decision tossing out a policy that provided incentives to electricity users to consume less power. In a series of filings to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit this week, FERC and various parties are seeking a rehearing en banc, meaning before all of the court’s judges, on the case focusing on the power-saving practice known as demand response.

Blueprints for Taming the Climate Crisis

Source: By Eduardo Porter, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Here’s what your future will look like if we are to have a shot at preventing devastating climate change. Within about 15 years every new car sold in the United States will be electric. In fact, by midcentury more than half of the American economy will run on electricity. Up to 60 percent of power might come from nuclear sources. And coal’s footprint will shrink drastically, perhaps even disappear from the power suppl

2 nominees set for Senate vote early next week

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The Senate is set to vote next week on President Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after a delicate agreement was reached stating that the nominee would not actually take the helm of the agency for almost a year. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture yesterday to vote Tuesday on the nominations of Norman Bay to be a member of FERC until 2018 and the White House choice to head the commission, and for Cheryl LaFleur to another five-year term as commissioner.

BBC journalists to receive training for overly balanced science reporting

Source: Sarah Knapton, London Telegraph • Posted: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Following the publication of a progress report about the BBC’s science coverage, journalists within the company are being required to attend seminars designed to prevent “undue attention to marginal opinion” and “over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality” within scientific topics.

E.U. offshore wind targets look iffy as France and Germany fall behind

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Offshore wind is the key to the European Union’s commitment to a legally binding target to meet 20 percent of its energy consumption through renewable energy by 2020. Under plans submitted by E.U. member states, as much as 43.3 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity is supposed to be deployed by 2020. But the pace of installation is falling well behind this ambitious target — roughly the equivalent of 40 large electric generating plants. The gap is 14 percent at the moment, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), with France and Germany, in particular, significantly behind.

Christie administration is pulling N.J. away — again — from regional cap and trade

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Gov. Chris Christie (R) may have fallen out of love with cap and trade years ago, but his state is still struggling to complete the divorce papers. New Jersey has been trying to extricate itself from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — a cap-and-trade system spanning nine states in the Northeast — since 2011, when Christie first suspended participation in the program. But his administration had to restart the separation process this year after the state Superior Court ruled that it had provided insufficient opportunity for public participation.

Industry group asks for more time to vet EPA power plant rule

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

has already allotted more time than usual for public input on its bid to regulate power plant greenhouse gas emissions, but one industry group wants an even longer public comment period. The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council yesterday asked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a letter for an additional 60 days of public comment time beyond the 120 days the agency has already provided.

U.K.’s world-leading plans to build out sea-based wind power get a push from Norway

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

When it comes to offshore wind, the near-term development of this industry depends almost entirely on whether the United Kingdom manages to strike the right balance between reining in subsidies and saving taxpayers money without completely scaring off developers. The United Kingdom already has more installed offshore wind power capacity than the rest of the world put together, with nearly 4,000 megawatts out of 7,000 MW globally. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said in 2011 that by 2020 up to 18 gigawatts of offshore wind could be deployed in the country if costs are cut to €118 ($160) per megawatt-hour.

Turbines near Broken Bow bring benefits — but not to neighbors dealing with their noise, size, ‘strobe effect’

Source: By Carson Vaughan / Special to the Omaha World-Herald • Posted: Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

On the cusp of the Nebraska Sand Hills, an inch and a half of rain makes all the difference. The pastureland engulfing the town, so often a palette of browns, snaps green. Blue skies. Black cattle. A string of low, white clouds piling up like rush-hour traffic. And strewn across the horizon, just a few miles northeast of town, are 50 General Electric wind turbines standing 262 feet tall, their white blades slowly turning, shadows spilling forward, an intricate series of access roads snaking between them like a shallow prairie stream.