News

Ohio renewable energy policies spurred growth, now driving away business, report says

Source: By Jackie Borchardt, Northeast Ohio Media Group  • Posted: Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Ohio’s renewable energy policies sparked tremendous investment in the industry, but recent moves by state lawmakers have slowed that growth and threaten its future, according to a report released Tuesday. Ohio was No. 13 in the country for new capacity and private investment in wind at the end of 2012, according to the Pew report. However, new investment halted in 2013 because of “uncertainty” created by legislative debate over Ohio’s renewable energy standards and the expiration of a federal production tax credit, according to the report.

Cap-and-trade fund grows to $1B; groups say it could reach $2B 

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

California will spend $1 billion to combat climate change under a new budget proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown. But some argue it will reach $2 billion. The money in the Democrat’s draft fiscal 2015-16 budget comes from the state’s cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions, which requires some businesses to account for their greenhouse gas pollution. They buy allowances at auction, with the funds going into California’s coffers.

Feeding the Beast With Ever-Cheaper Oil

Source: By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

GOOD news! Oil prices have dropped through the floor. Or is it bad news? That depends entirely on whose news you’re talking about. For most of us, the most immediate impact of the price of a barrel of crude dipping below $50 is lower prices at the fuel pump. It wasn’t long ago that I paid more than $3.50 a gallon to gas up; during my visit to Texas over the holidays, I marveled at a gas-station receipt for $1.96 a gallon. I’m thinking of having it framed. Or maybe bronzed.

Wind energy hits headwinds

Source: By Peter Galuszka, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

A proposed 145-acre, 20-megawatt project in Clarke County is being scuttled because Dominion Resources has shown little interest in buying its power. In New England, a pioneering offshore wind project, Cape Wind, is on the ropes because of the merger of two utilities and opposition by one of the Koch brothers. Cape Wind off Cape Cod might have been the nation’s first real offshore wind farm. It would run 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound with electric utilities buying the output.

Wind energy shifts direction

Source: By Lindsay Kalter, Boston Herald • Posted: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

With the Cape Wind project on the ropes, the industry’s future in Massachusetts may rest on a federal wind power auction later this month for a sprawling area off Martha’s Vineyard. Twelve companies have qualified to bid Jan. 29 as the federal government auctions four commercial leases for 742,000 acres of sea roughly 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The power generated, if leased and used by the industry, could provide electricity for about 1.4 million homes, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said.

Oil Prices Fall to Lowest Since 2009

Source: By CLIFFORD KRAUSS, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Oil prices took another sharp turn downward on Monday to levels not seen since the depths of the 2009 recession. Several international banks predicted even lower prices later this year because of an oversupplied global crude market. The latest daily downward spiral of more than 5 percent has brought several crude oil benchmarks down by more than 55 percent since June in one of the fastest drops ever for the volatile commodity. The drop came even as Venezuela and Iran coordinated their efforts to persuade OPEC to cut production; Canadian Natural Resources, a major global producer, announced deep investment cuts; and American companies dropped their rig drilling count at quickening speed.

Greenwire’s Chemnick discusses legal, legislative impacts of EPA delay on power plant regulations 

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Monday, January 12th, 2015

How will U.S. EPA’s move to delay its final power plant standards affect the future of the regulations? On today’s The Cutting Edge, Greenwire reporter Jean Chemnick discusses the political and legal maneuvering behind the delay. She also talks about the agency’s strategy in announcing plans to release a model rule for state compliance with the Clean Power Plan.

Wind energy shifts direction

Source: By Lindsay Kalter, Boston Herald • Posted: Monday, January 12th, 2015

With the Cape Wind project on the ropes, the industry’s future in Massachusetts may rest on a federal wind power auction later this month for a sprawling area off Martha’s Vineyard. Twelve companies have qualified to bid Jan. 29 as the federal government auctions four commercial leases for 742,000 acres of sea roughly 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The power generated, if leased and used by the industry, could provide electricity for about 1.4 million homes, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said.

America’s Offshore Wind Energy Ambitions Take A Hit After Massachusetts Utilities Ditch Cape Cod Proposal

Source: By  Maria Gallucci, Internatiomal Business Times • Posted: Monday, January 12th, 2015

In the race to build America’s first offshore wind farm, the largest contender suffered a significant blow this week after two Massachusetts power companies pulled out of the project. The reversal threatens the broader U.S. effort to bring renewable energy to the ocean, a feat that European nations and China have long since accomplished. The Cape Wind project planned near Cape Cod would install 130 commercial-scale wind turbines in the Nantucket Sound. The $2.5 billion offshore project has been in the works for 14 years and struggled with a host of financial, regulatory and legal challenges. But the loss of the two utility contracts could be enough to sideline the project for good, experts told the media.

Mass. Utilities Back out of Plan to Buy Power Generated by Cape Wind

Source: By JON KAMP and  ERIN AILWORTH, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, January 12th, 2015

The two largest electric utilities in Massachusetts have backed out of a plan to buy most of the power that was slated to be generated by the proposed Cape Wind turbine project, dealing a potentially serious blow to the long-delayed wind farm off the state’s coast. National Grid and NStar, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities , were slated to buy a combined 77.5% of the output from the 130 turbine, 468-megawatt wind project, which isn’t yet under construction. But they announced late Tuesday they had backed out, saying the project had missed financing and construction commitments it was supposed to hit by Dec. 31.