The average cost of electricity generated by solar and wind energy could fall by up to 59 percent by 2025 if the right policies are in place, a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Wednesday. Since 2009, solar photovoltaic (PV) module prices have fallen by 80 percent and wind turbine prices have fallen by around 30-40 percent as renewable energy capacity has grown to record levels and technologies have improved.
The company behind the largest proposed wind farm in the country, in Carbon County, says that uncertainty around Wyoming’s wind tax policy is making it more difficult to invest in wind. Wyoming is the only state in the country that taxes wind energy production and is considering raising that tax, a move which could ultimately deter future wind projects.
Massachusetts is on the cusp of adopting one of the largest renewable energy procurement programs in New England. So why aren’t renewable energy advocates cheering more loudly? Perhaps it’s because half of the 2,400 megawatts of new clean energy will come from Canadian hydro dams, effectively bypassing U.S. firms that argued that developing homegrown energy resources would spur more economic development and better diversify New England’s energy market. Or it could be that half of the new clean energy will come from yet-to-be-built offshore wind farms. While offshore wind is a promising new source of electricity for New England, it remains a higher-cost form of energy than either utility-scale solar or onshore wind power.
With three new 1.5-megawatt wind turbines to bolster his argument, Ward 3 Councilman Edward Giroux declared Friday that his town is “the greenest municipality in the state right now.”
“It’s very exciting what we are doing; the windmills [are] just crazy,” he said.
Solar advocates want to tap into Wyoming’s potential for commercial solar power development, which has been slow to lift off in the state.
They’re asking state legislators to lift the 25-kilowatt cap on solar-generated power that can be sold back to the grid.”I think what this step has the ability to do is unleash a new sector of solar development in Wyoming, a sector that doesn’t exist right now, commercial solar,” said Scott Kane, owner of Creative Energies, a solar installer. “When we look around to other states, there is as much commercial development as there is residential development.”
States that want to use their renewable portfolio standards to help meet U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan goals may want to make some program tweaks, according to a recent report by the Clean Energy States Alliance. The report digs into how states could count RPS achievements to meet the agency’s power-sector carbon limits.
House Republicans will roll out a regulatory approach today that “enhances America’s energy abundance,” as part of a broader legislative agenda for the GOP to run on this fall and pursue under a Donald Trump White House. The plan calls for giving a green light to the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, streamlining the approval process for hydropower (see related story) and natural gas projects, and repealing all climate change regulations under U.S. EPA’s Clean Air A
House lawmakers will consider technologies this week that could, in theory, turn solar and wind into baseload power and create an alternative to biofuels without the need for farmland. The House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee on Energy will hear from scientists working on solar fuels, electricity storage and advanced materials. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the “overall status” of research on the technologies in the United States, said a committee spokeswoman.
Senate Energy Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she was optimistic the huddle with ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and the pair’s House counterparts on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), would help clear the air over the conference, “Our staffs have been working to try to pull some things together, but it doesn’t happen till we get everyone sitting down,” she said. Democrats have taken a dismal view of the House’s revised energy bill over the inclusion of multiple bills that have drawn veto threats from the White House.
Coal production in the United States is plummeting to levels not seen since a crippling coal strike 35 years ago, according to a report released by the Energy Department on Friday. The coal industry in recent years has been plagued by bankruptcies as power utilities increasingly moved to replace coal with cheap natural gas and renewable sources, like solar and wind energy. Coal was once the dominant source of the nation’s electricity generation, but consumption of the fossil fuel has declined by nearly a third since its peak in 2007.