Clean Line officials said Dec. 22 the timing of the Illinois court case and a schedule set out by the Iowa Utilities Board led the company to the withdrawal. “Under the IUB’s timeline, we would have been required in January to identify specific parcels for eminent domain application in several counties, and we did not wish to do that at this point,” Clean Line Energy Vice President Hans Detweiler said in an email. “We prefer to get resolution of the Illinois approval first, and then revisit the Iowa process.”
Bloomberg’s Chris Martin reports on the declining cost in producing solar energy and his outlook for the coal industry. He speaks on “Bloomberg Technology.”
Given the rather bleak economic forecasts coming out of USDA, it is important for policy makers to understand that any effort to scale back or thwart the continued growth of renewable energy production will only exacerbate these conditions and economically disadvantage a segment of the electorate that helped shape the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Electricity prices from Boston to Dallas sank to their lowest levels ever in 2016, presenting new challenges for generators more than a decade after the industry was deregulated. Power prices plunged this year as cheap natural gas cut fuel costs, and wind and solar alternatives came online. Consumers also used less electricity for the second straight year, despite a summer heat wave, amid an industrial slowdown and growing awareness among households and businesses of ways to boost energy efficiency, according to government estimates.
The 50-year license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allows Absaroka Energy, of Bozeman, Montana, to construct and operate the project on a 177-acre site near the tiny town of Martinsdale, home to fewer than 100 people. The facility called the Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Project would use excess power produced by wind farms or other sources to pump water uphill to a 3,000-foot long reservoir, according to the license
Iowa’s new energy strategy envisions electric car-charging stations across the state, anaerobic digesters that turn animal waste to energy, and top state and federal researchers finding ways to store wind and solar energy. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds released the broad energy report Wednesday that looks at Iowa’s energy needs over the next decade. It provided 45 recommendations ranging from modernizing the state’s electric power grid to improving state tax credits for solar energy.
Each wind turbine spinning on the Iowa skyline stands on reams of legal paperwork spelling out in fine detail the property rights of all those involved — from rural landowners to the developers involved in building the project. Before many of the approximately 3,700 turbines dotting Iowa’s fields and prairies went up, Des Moines real estate attorney Kathleen Law drafted those documents, sometimes working the phones to answer questions from farmers about the effects wind farms might have on their crops and livestock.
“California can make a significant contribution to advancing the cause of dealing with climate change, irrespective of what goes on in Washington,” Mr. Brown said in an interview. “I wouldn’t underestimate California’s resolve if everything moves in this extreme climate denial direction. Yes, we will take action.”
Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it’s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere. In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy’s Enel SpA and Dublin’s Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home.
Company CEO Chris Wissemann said Fishermen’s Energy hopes a last-ditch effort to secure a power deal will succeed. But if it doesn’t, he says the company will wait until New Jersey officials adopt friendlier policies toward wind energy development. “We sincerely appreciate the support of the DOE over the past few years seeking to drive down the cost of offshore wind and bring this job intensive industry to the U.S.,” he told the AP on Tuesday. “We will continue to seek a customer for our power so that we can eventually build the project, hopefully working with the DOE. We have a short period of time to complete a Hail Mary pass.