Wind energy contributed a significant portion of new generation completed in 2015, making up 41 percent of a total 14,468 megawatts built last year. Many of these new additions were located in the Midwest and Great Plains, regions of the country that boast some of the richest wind energy resources in the nation. Rural communities in these regions stand to benefit from new renewable development, as projects provide new economic activity and revenue for these areas.
Clean energy and environmental interests usually go hand in hand. But in western New York, they are battling over plans to build dozens of wind turbines that could be among the nation’s tallest, rising 600 feet above the scenic shores of Lake Ontario. Apex’s proposal to plant 70 propeller turbines amid the farms and towns east of Niagara Falls is still in its early stages, but it has already generated thousands of pages of comments, studies and legal documents considered by state regulators.
“[They] basically just put out a solicitation to see if anybody could provide an alternative to diesel, and that’s something that we responded to,” said Peter Rive, co-founder and chief technology officer of solar provider SolarCity, which was recently acquired by Tesla.
To understand what makes Burlington unlike almost any other city in America when it comes to the power it consumes, it helps to look inside the train that rolls into town every day. The 24 freight cars that pull up to the city’s power plant aren’t packed with Appalachian coal or Canadian fuel oil but wood. Each day 1,800 tons of pine and timber slash, sustainably harvested within a 60-mile radius and ground into wood chips, is fed into the roaring furnaces of the McNeil Generating Station, pumping out nearly half of the city’s electricity needs.
“Climate change has played almost no role in any presidential election. Period,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. “It really has been deafening silence.” Paul Bledsoe, a former climate aide in the Clinton White House, said climate change and the environment were drowned out by the more spectacular developments in the race — from video of Trump discussing sexual assault to the steady drip of WikiLeaks’ internal Clinton emails and FBI Director James Comey’s surprise decision to reopen the investigation into the Democrat’s personal email server.
Distributed wind power could increase 300 percent by 2030 in the United States under “business as usual” economics, according to a report released today by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The assessment, the first of its kind from NREL, doesn’t project what is likely to happen with distributed wind but what is technically and economically possible.
Beginning with a simple message calling for English taxpayers to “stop subsidizing the destruction of Scotland by paying massive subsidies for ugly wind turbines,” Trump launched a full-on Twitter tirade against local politicians and the company that dare to finance the proposed off-shore wind farm — at one point, even then Prime Minister David Cameron became a target. Offline, Trump took his opposition to the project all the way to the highest court in the U.K. But in a unanimous decision, the U.K. Supreme Court rejected his case in 2015.
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team continues to roll out members of its so-called landing teams, staffers charged with orchestrating agency handoffs to the incoming administration. For top energy and environmental posts, the list includes staunch critics of the Obama administration’s environmental policies, energy industry advocates and Republican aides from Capitol Hill.
Environmental groups yesterday projected images and messages onto a U.S. EPA building to protest President-elect Donald Trump’s pick of Myron Ebell, a climate denier, to lead the agency’s transition. Images of a green planet, icebergs and flames swirled across the face of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, an office building near the Federal Triangle in downtown Washington, during the evening rush hour.
President-elect Donald Trump seemed to soften his stance on the Paris climate agreement today, saying he has “an open mind” after previously pledging to withdraw from the accord. Trump met with New York Times reporters and editors in the newspaper’s headquarters today for an on-the-record lunch. Columnist Thomas Friedman asked Trump whether he would withdraw from the accord.