A conservation group has renewed its push for the Fish and Wildlife Service to tighten regulation of bird deaths at wind farms. The American Bird Conservancy says the agency should establish a mandatory permitting regime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), a move it argued would bolster protections for wildlife while providing legal certainty for wind developers.
EU nations are on track to meet a target to get one fifth of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, even though Britain, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are lagging behind, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Tuesday. The EEA, which provides analysis to EU policymakers, said energy from sources such as wind and solar had become much cheaper. As a result, alternatives had displaced coal and gas, cut carbon emissions and improved energy security.
Yesterday General Motors (GM) announced it will add wind power to its energy portfolio for the first time in the history of the company. The construction of the 34 megawatt wind farm in Palo Alto, 325 miles (526 km) from Mexico City, will begin during the second quarter of this year
When it comes to U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Texas’ best bet might be to “just say no,” its regulatory utility commissioner said today. EPA would have to provide substantial new “relief” in its final version of the rule for existing power plants in order to give Texas confidence that complying would be a good idea, Commissioner Kenneth Anderson told the winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy suggested today that EPA would change the way early reductions are mandated in its final version of the Clean Power Plan. In an appearance at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) winter meeting, McCarthy acknowledged many states have told EPA that the interim compliance period would limit their options or affect reliability.
Following a lackluster several months for offshore wind in the United States, a new report argues that interstate coordination is essential if the industry is going to get back on its feet. Noting that the United States seems to have entered the “post-Cape Wind” era, report author and Clean Energy Group President Lewis Milford said in an email introducing the report that “the current policy isn’t working and there is a need for multi-state policy approaches.”
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) will resign from office effective Wednesday, succumbing to demands from state Democrats amid multiple investigations into whether his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, used her role as an energy policy adviser for personal gain. Kitzhaber’s resignation will automatically elevate Secretary of State Kate Brown (D) into the governor’s mansion. The state does not have a lieutenant governor.
Storing energy remains the missing link for many clean power technologies, but DOE researchers and startup companies are racing to fill the gap. Without a way to save electricity and heat for later use, intermittent renewable energy will struggle to close price and performance differences with fossil fuels. But stored energy has advantages. It can respond to increased power demands faster than a turbine can spool up, and it can also save excess power and then supply it when needed.
What happens when the wind doesn’t blow? That’s a question that wind power skeptics or critics frequently ask. While coal, nuclear and gas plants theoretically run uninterrupted whenever they are called upon, humans have no control over when wind turbines stop and start spinning. Some utility and power company officials say this is a reason that “reliable,” baseload power should be valued more than wind. But in a report released Thursday and an accompanying webinar, experts with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) explained how wind can actually be seen as a more reliable source than conventional power plants — one that contributes to rather than inhibits the stability of the grid as a whole.
“I’m not sure what Cape Wind’s next move will be, but anybody who is developing an offshore wind piece, this bill is going to be for them,” said Haddad, who is second only to the speaker in the House hierarchy. “If Cape Wind wants to compete and they want to bring a lower price to the table, then they are going to be successful.”