What are the systemwide impacts of the federal government’s Smart Grid Investment Grant program? During today’s OnPoint, Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary of the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, discusses the reliability improvements associated with the investments. She also addresses some of the challenges associated with smart grid integration and consumer acceptance.
More than half the U.S. states with laws requiring utilities to buy renewable energy are considering ways to pare back those mandates after a plunge in natural gas prices brought on by technology that boosted supply. Sixteen of the 29 states with renewable portfolio standards are considering legislation that would reduce the need for wind and solar power, according to researchers backed by the U.S. Energy Department. North Carolina lawmakers may be among the first to move, followed by Colorado and Connecticut.
As North Carolina works on destroying its Renewable Portfolio Standard – the policy that’s catapulted it to US leadership – Google is showing how important renewables are to economic development there. Google is planning to expand its data center there, bringing its investment to $1.2 billion, and it wants renewable energy to power it.
Nebraskans looking for a reason why Facebook chose Iowa over the Cornhusker State for a $300 million data center might want to glance at the horizon. In Iowa, you’re much more likely to see a row of wind turbines spinning away.
After 18 months of courtship and competition, Iowa officials announced Tuesday that Facebook has selected a Des Moines suburb as the site for its next data center. The social media giant plans to break ground this summer in Altoona, Iowa, on a $300 million data center that could be the first of three facilities there. Much of the news coverage has focused on the $18 million in tax credits awarded by the state, but Facebook had another reason to “like” Iowa: wind power.
On a showery afternoon last week in West London, a ripple of enthusiasm went through the trading floor of CF Partners, a privately owned financial company. The price of carbon allowances, shown in green lights on a board hanging from the ceiling, was creeping up toward three euros. That is pretty small change — $3.90, or only about 10 percent of what the price was in 2008. But to the traders it came as a relief after the market had gone into free fall to record lows two days earlier, after the European Parliament spurned an effort to shore up prices by shrinking the number of allowances.
A Washington company intends to moor five wind turbines off the Oregon coast, and hopes the project dovetails with a separate proposal for liquefied natural gas.
Developers of what would be America’s biggest wind power transmission line have scaled back their initial plans to wheel so much electrical power from Texas and Oklahoma to the Tennessee Valley. But the Houston company proposing to build the 700-mile power line insists its $2 billion proposal — half the size of the original 2009 plan — still makes economic and environmental sense for TVA and other Southeastern utilities.
A bipartisan group of senators this week will resume its efforts to allow clean energy companies to take advantage of favorable tax rules that have benefited the fossil fuel industry for decades. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Wednesday will reintroduce the “Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act” with co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), an aide said yesterday. Moran co-sponsored the bill last year. Murkowski is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Stabenow chairs a Finance Committee subpanel focused on energy tax issues.
Governor LePage has a habit of using false anecdotes to back up his policy positions. It started during his campaign and has continued throughout his time in office. He routinely makes up regulations that don’t exist, conversations that never happened and discriminatory practices that have never occurred. LePage has repeated some of these claims even after they have been proven to be false. What these lies have in common is that they all seem designed to highlight some extreme example of what LePage sees as wrong with the world and justify his policy prescriptions. If any of them were true, they would be very compelling.