Harvard study finds $38 billion of public health benefits from carbon reduction rule

Source: By Greg Alvarez, AWEA • Posted: Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

A new report finds carbon reduction rules create billions in public health benefits. While the Clean Power Plan (CPP) works its way through the court system, researchers continue to look into what it could mean for consumers. The results of a new Harvard study show there’s nothing to fear: using a model that resembles the CPP, researchers found net benefits of $38 billion a year. Because wind power’s costs have fallen 66 percent in the last six years, it’s the biggest, fastest, cheapest way to cut carbon pollution, making it responsible for a big portion of these benefits.

Critics look to tamp down green push in FAA extension

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Americans for Prosperity is once again urging lawmakers not to extend a key renewable tax break in upcoming legislation that would extend the authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration beyond next month’s July 15 expiration. In a statement issued Friday, the group reiterated its opposition to extending the investment tax credit for wind, geothermal, fuel cells, and combined heat and power facilities for five years in the FAA extension, expected before the summer recess.

Governor vows to fight on after court blow to clean energy law

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) says his pursuit of policies “to protect the quality of air that our citizens breathe” will not be undone by a recent federal court ruling that struck down key elements of the state’s landmark clean energy law. The nearly 10-year-old law, called the Next Generation Energy Act, suffered a second strike last week as the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis affirmed a lower court ruling that the law involves “extraterritorial regulation” of energy markets in neighboring North Dakota.

How ‘Brexit’ imperils climate and energy policy

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

“As Obama told them very clearly, you’re going to be a midsized economy in the middle of the Atlantic, and you’re not going to have the leverage you had as the 28 when you’re a one,” said Michelle Egan of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “And I don’t think they realize that the other 27 have no reason to be nice in the negotiation.”

As Wind Power Lifts Wyoming’s Fortunes, Coal Miners Are Left in the Dust

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Monday, June 20th, 2016

After Kullin Orcutt lost his job at the Peabody coal mine this spring, he knew what he needed to do: join the exodus. “Leave Gillette, leave the state,” he said. Mr. Orcutt is a third-generation miner and one of 592 coal workers who have been laid off here since January. Thousands more job cuts are expected this summer. More people will follow Mr. Orcutt. While many businesses in Gillette are struggling to stay open, a U-Haul dealer has been nearly sold out since the school year ended this month. But 200 miles to the southwest, in Carbon County, where Wyoming’s first coal mine opened a century ago, the mood is different. The last coal mine closed a decade ago, but the county may soon be home to the largest wind farm in North America, if not the world.

EPA moves to spur early action in states

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

U.S. EPA gave its stamp of approval yesterday to solar installations in low-income communities as part of an optional, early-action program under the Clean Power Plan. The proposal would also allow geothermal energy and hydropower. The Obama administration yesterday rolled out more details on its proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) . The optional program would give states early credit for certain actions to reduce emissions before the Clean Power Plan would take effect, like installing wind farms or energy efficiency projects in low-income communities.

Planned merger would create wind behemoth

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

wo major European energy companies, Siemens and Gamesa, will combine their wind divisions under an agreement announced this morning that should establish a new market leader in the world’s largest renewable energy sector. Under a binding agreement valued at €1 billion ($1.13 billion), Siemens AG, headquartered in Germany but with a global supply chain extending across a number of sectors and countries, will acquire majority stake in Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica SA of Spain.

‘Solar gardens’ blossom as Md. approves regulations

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Maryland this week became the 11th state to adopt formal policies requiring utilities to purchase power from community solar projects. The three-year pilot program, approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission, sets in motion one of the first state-sanctioned community solar programs in the Mid-Atlantic, following similar initiatives in a half-dozen East Coast states from Maine to New York and Washington, D.C.

Vestas enters conditional deal to supply MidAmerican up to 1,000 wind turbines

Source: By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen), Reuters • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

MidAmerican Energy Company has filed notice with Iowa Utilities Board highlighting an agreement between Vestas and MidAmerican with a potential of up to 2,000 MW in USA. MidAmerican to supply up to 1,000 v110-2.0 MW wind turbines for 2,000 MW wind XI project in Iowa.

Nebraska, Iowa defy trend in rural economy, show signs of growth as the wider region’s decline persists

Source: By Steve Jordan, Omaha World Herald • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

The rural Midwest’s economy is in its 10th straight month of decline, according to a survey of non-urban bankers, with farmland prices trending down for the 31st straight month despite recent increases in energy and farm commodity prices. But Iowa and Nebraska went against the trend, showing growth in their rural economies and other positive signs.Goss said the two states’ improvement may be tied to gains in food processing and alternative energy, including recovery in the ethanol business and, in Iowa, installations of wind-powered energy facilities.