News

Green-Energy Inspiration Off the Coast of Denmark

Source: By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

The Maine islanders, along with students from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, had traveled to Samso to attend the academy and hear the Danes’ advice. If all went well, each islander would go home with a team of students dedicated to solving an energy problem using ideas borrowed from Samso. Beyond that, the planners hoped, new Maine island projects could become templates for broader adoption of renewable energy. Because of their particular geography, islands often lack the resources and infrastructures to meet their own needs. Fuel, like other necessities, is often imported — sometimes with great difficulty — and electric grids, when they even exist, are often underdeveloped or out of date, all of which leads to higher prices and less reliable service. With residents open to cheaper and better alternatives, islands are becoming seedbeds of innovation, living labs in which to test and refine technologies and approaches that are too new or expensive to establish on a mainland. And their small size makes the systems easier to manage and analyze.

Opinion: The 4 smarter things Congress could be doing than voting on Keystone again

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

But when Congress focuses on symbols rather than substance, everybody loses. The truth is that building Keystone is not economically essential to the U.S. (sorry Republicans), but stopping it is also not, in the view of many scientists, going to do a ton to save the climate (sorry greens). Either way, the last thing America actually needs is another Keystone debate. But there are really helpful things Congress could be doing instead to protect the environment and boost the economy. Here are four of them.

White House seeks Supreme Court review of demand response case 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

The Obama administration said a federal appeals court “seriously misinterpreted” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s jurisdiction when vacating a high-profile demand response rule last year — and that the Supreme Court should review the case. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli asked the Supreme Court to review a federal appeals court ruling that scrapped FERC’s Order 745, a rule the agency issued in 2011 that ordered demand response providers such as factories or commercial buildings to receive full market prices when they curtail electricity use.

In Brooklyn, Fertile Ground for a Wind Turbine

Source: By TATIANA SCHLOSSBERG, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

“They say, ‘If you can do it in New York, you can do it anywhere,’ ” Mr. Outerbridge said. “And if you do it in Brooklyn, you can do it anywhere and you can be very cool.” The Sunset Park turbine can generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity. Its predecessors in the city, which help power residential or smaller commercial buildings, including the Whole Foods store in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, are one kilowatt, and typically about 20 feet tall.

Colorado Sen. Bennet explains wind-energy tax credit

Source: By Bridgett Weaver, Greeley Tribune • Posted: Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

It’s critically important to give certainty to this vital industry in Colorado. And nationally, the wind industry accounts for more than 75,000 jobs in the country and roughly 5,000 in Colorado, and by some estimates around 2,600 in Weld County alone. So that’s what’s so critical about it. It’s not just about the windmills themselves. It’s about the entire manufacturing industry and the subcontractors who are part of that. Many of whom are right here in Colorado that need the certainty that an extension or some other signal will give them in order to move forward.

Governors use ‘state of the state’ speeches to open fire on EPA’s Clean Power Plan 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Nearly half of the nation’s governors have already laid out their priorities for climate change, and U.S. EPA’s rules lowering the power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions were far from an overarching theme. But several Republican governors used the regulation as a target. So far, no one has embraced the EPA rules. Two Democrats laid out aggressive climate change actions that would likely reduce greenhouse gas emissions far beyond their states’ Clean Power Plan goals.

CAP takes voters’ pulse on Republican energy agenda 

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 16th, 2015

The Center for American Progress this morning released a new poll of likely 2016 voters that it says found strong opposition to the energy and environmental agenda of the Republican leadership in Congress. The CAP-commissioned poll by Hart Research Associates surveyed 1,101 likely voters by telephone from Dec. 5 to 9 with a 3.1-point margin of error.

Homes with rooftop solar sell at a premium, study finds 

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 16th, 2015

Homes equipped with rooftop solar panels are often worth thousands of dollars more in resale than similar properties without solar, according to new Energy Department research.The study, led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories alongside experts from academia and the real estate industry, found that homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) systems fetched an average of $4 in additional value for each watt of PV installed.

Merkel Dashes Loss-Making Power Plants’ Aid Hopes

Source: By REUTERS • Posted: Friday, January 16th, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not support proposed payments to loss-making coal and gas-fired power stations in Germany, dashing ailing conventional power generators’ hopes of receiving cash. Utilities such as RWE and E.ON desperately want government help through the creation of a “capacity market” to fund their otherwise unprofitable gas and coal-fired plants, saying they can guarantee supply and avert blackouts when there is a lull in variable wind or solar energy.

Industry job growth up in 2014 — report 

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 16th, 2015

The solar energy industry added tens of thousands of domestic jobs last year and will soon support almost twice as many jobs as the coal industry, according to a new report by nonprofit advocacy group the Solar Foundation. Solar companies added more than 31,000 jobs in 2014 and now employ about 173,000 workers nationwide, said the annual survey, released today.